Finding and Working with Ancestral Traditions – one of the objectives of The Virtue School

Finding and Working with Ancestral Traditions

A post from “What do we do with the fragments of ancestral knowledge? How might we use this to develop new traditions? This post explores family ancestral traditions, cultural traditions, and ancestors of the land for some possibilities.”

“[W]hen we think of ancestral traditions, they are those bits of language, behaviors, rituals, and culture that our ancestors have passed to us. The challenge I think that many of us face is that we are working with minor fragments of traditions, tiny bits and pieces that somehow survived and made it into the 21st century, into our hands. I choose the term survive very intentionally: in the last several centuries, with the rise of westernization, industrialization, and globalization, we’ve seen many cultural traditions, languages, and species disappear at an alarming rate. In fact, at present, over half of the 7000 languages in the world are ‘moribund’, that is, the remaining speakers are a few elders and the language hasn’t been passed on. These moribund languages hold incredible insights into how a particular culture thinks, sees the world, understands the human condition, interacts with nature, and more. And what these languages and cultural traditions have been replaced with is part of the predicament we are contending with in the present age.”

On this note…

Peru: Last female speaker of indigenous Amazonian language murdered


Very nice… keeping the culture and the ways…

nii juinti

The school of medicine and traditional culture, Corazón de la Amazonía (heart of Amazon and Nii Juinti in shipibo language), was created as an NGO according to Peruvian law. It’s director is Roger López, Suipino, who is a teacher and highly regarded shaman. Some of the most respected community elders will live beside the Nii Juinti kids, in order to take care of and protect them, and pass on important traditional knowledge.


A beautiful and informative film by Dr. Alberto Villoldo, who, in his own words, left his laboratory “and went into the Amazon and the Andes to work with medicine women and medicine men who did not have access to technology as we did; who had to rely on the unique capabilities of the human mind to heal and transform; and they became my teachers, they became my mentors.., for 20 years. And eventually I stopped approaching them as a ‘scientist’ or as an ‘anthropologist’ and became a student of the shamans…”


Another post on a group of student activists at UC Berkeley (SEAL – Students for Engaged and Active Learning) trying to preserve “old” ways and methods of farming (vs Globalist farming methods and the privatization of public land – i.e., Corporate Land-grabs). “We currently have limited information about the people who once lived on this particular land [Ohlone], but we are interested in receiving more of this history, and working with descendants and other indigenous communities to use this land to revive and relearn ancestral traditions and cultures.”

A nice historical overview of the project:

And a Virtual Tour


Something that  goes along with this…

I’d say rather that, what we generally refer to as, common sense (‘sensus communis’) is what we all “know” in general (or “sense communally”) on a rational level. At least that is the goal of Western education and the media – the result being that not many in the West can think “out-of-the-box” or “for themselves,” i.e., most everyone (commonly) believes “the facts of the universe” that have been spoonfed to them, unquestioningly, as “proven,” or they have to answer that way to get an “A” on an exam – rarely being aware that these “facts” are merely the contemporary form of theoretical understanding. One could even go so far as to say that the rational common sense referred to here is an elaborate, covert form of censorship – if not propaganda (more on this later).

There is another way of referring to common sense that is heavily downplayed in the West. It can be argued that we all know the truth (within), but the rational common sense, referred to above, has a tendency to destroy such “intuition” — or to belittle it as “irrational” or “mythical” or as “low on the evolutionary scale” (or “stupid” — e.g., believing that the sun rises and sets or that the moon is not constantly revolving). A problem that arises is that a lot of indigenous people refer to “common sense” as an inner knowledge of what is right and wrong and they have an elaborate unwritten, often mythical, traditional understanding of the universe which has been handed down by the ancestors. The goal of the Conquistadors seems to have been to erase this “knowledge.” Thus, one could say that mankind has been punished for having and using our common sense (intuition) — in order to make everyone rational (i.e., to never question the Official “Global” Authorities — i.e., to think correctly – democratically – to go along with the “majority” (in the West) – or else) – even though the West is definitely not the majority.

Thus, the Western World, it seems, has replaced (or has strived to replace) intuition with rationality as common sense. This is problematic in that even many people in the West have a hard time regurgitating this “knowledge” – not  only because such understanding is non-intuitive and often does not follow the common language structure reflected in our intuition (i.e., the sun does not rise and set), but also because it is not self-evident (i.e., we rely on the theories of so-called “scientists” to provide us with reality because they are the authority on such matters, even though it contradicts what we sense, feel and intuit with our own senses and “gut” feeling) … in process…

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