3 Responses to “on resistance”

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Thanks for sharing this Tom.

I was recently inspired by a story I read in Robert Wolff’s book “Original Wisdom” about a native healer he met in Tonga in the South Pacific.

In a conversation about the loss of ancient wisdom he tells her of his despair and sadness in how much age old knowledge in healing and herbal medicines we’ve lost due to our culture’s intolerance of other-ness, our rush to create man-made chemicals, invent machines, and ignore the talents and abilities we must have in our genes. “So much knowledge and wisdom,” he told her, “was lost through our crude and persistent efforts to eradicate native cultures.”

She sat with this for a long time.

Finally she said, “Yes, I know what you mean. Yes, we too used to have healers and much knowledge of healing and herbs. Most of that is gone.”

She paused again for at least a minute, then she sat up straight and looked him in the eye, her voice becoming stronger and more affirmative, “But” – and she pointed her finger for emphasis “that is not the whole of it. You see, there have always been people who know. When we most need it, someone will remember that ancient knowledge.”

She sat back smiling. “So you see, traditions may be lost, but the information is in here and in here,” she said pointing to her head, and then her heart, “and when we need it most, it will be inside us, for us to find.”

He knew she was talking about herself. Her gift of healing did not come from a Western education, nor did it come from training in traditional healing. It came from within.

I rest with the faith that we all have ancient knowledge someplace deep inside us and it will be remembered. It has to be if we’re to survive as a species on this planet very much longer. Activating this memory in ourselves and others may be as great an act of resistance as blowing up dams, fighting against Shell, and electing new presidents. The great remembering as an act of resistance. Sign me up.

csdrury said in May 29th, 2009 at 21:15

I’m afraid my act of resistance is going to sound rather silly or small, and at times I think it is, in the grand scheme of things anyway. Which is some of what this video is implying: petitions and letter are great, changing light bulbs also great, but what do they amount to in the long run? But then again, csdrury, you are also right, a way of thinking can be as much an act of resistance as anything, which is what makes “teaching” such a powerful act/process.

The video implies that resistance has to be this sort “militant” tear down the house type of action, so I think csdrury you’re saying the opposite it can be more subtle than that, and I agree. Maybe I agree because I’m not the type of person to “directly” resist anything. My act of resistance happens every May through October/Nov. I grow my own vegetables, volunteer at an organic urban/community garden, try as much as possible to subsidize the local farms we’re still lucky enough to have in NE. True, my doing that doesn’t necessarily amount to anything, but many doing that could have a much bigger impact.

b.e. said in June 1st, 2009 at 9:50

c.s. – thank you very much for that story, it is a great reminder to me that all may not be lost. b.e. – to me your acts of resistance cannot possibly be small since it is such a huge thing to gain and maintain the requisite awareness. hmmmm… sounds like a good topic for a post!

radicalteacher said in June 5th, 2009 at 8:39

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