Thursday, January 11, 2018

Shepard for the Day.4

"The passage of human development is surprisingly long and complicated.  The whole of growth through the first twenty years (including physical growth) is our ontogenesis, our 'coming into being,' or ontogeny...

Among those relict tribal peoples who seem to live at peace with their world, who feel themselves to be guests rather than masters, the ontogeny of the individual has some characteristic features.  
Gene Thomas (Onandoga)
"Eagle and Dreamer"

I conjecture that their ontogeny is more normal than ours (for which I will be seen as sentimental and romantic) and that it may be considered to be a standard from which we have deviated.

Theirs is the way of life to which our ontogeny was fitted by natural selection, fostering a calendar of mental growth, cooperation, leadership, and the study of a mysterious and beautiful world where the clues to the meaning of life were embodied in natural things, where everyday life was inextricable from spiritual significance and encounter, and where the members of the group celebrated individual stages and passages as ritual participation in the first creation."

Paul Shepard
Nature and Madness

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