A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw
Edited By George J. Sefa Dei
3. We Are All One: Holistic Thought-Forms within Indigenous SocietiesIndigeneity and Holism Farah Shroff 53
Once one is one no more, no less: error begins with duality; unity knows no error —SANAI, 11TH CENTURY PERSIAN POET The holistic concept of social, psychological, and spiritual interconnectivity is a central aspect ofIndigeneity. In this chapter , we explore holistic thought-forms as one way of deepening our understanding of Indigenous societies. Various scholars who theorize Indigeneity mention the importance of valuing relationships between people (communal belonging) and the earth, holistic and circular understandings of the world, and ultimately , about spirituality (Agrawal, 2010; Ball, 2004; Cajete, 2005; Dei, 2008). This chapter concretizes some of these ideas. While this chapter does not focus on this, concepts of interconnectivity within Indigenous ways of knowing translate into various values: relationships with others and self and ultimately to helping others and being of service—kindness and compassion. The implications of teaching these ideas within educational settings are profound; if the intellect and the heart were engaged in educa- tional settings, the leaders of the world would come to their positions with values that would chal- lenge greed and the lust of power. Greetings within various languages of Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), the Americas and elsewhere, include such concepts as “ gorbanet” which in Arabic and Farsi means “I sacrifice myself for you.” Most contemporary Farsi speakers utter this word virtually every time they are say- ing goodbye so for most people the connotations of “gorbanet” are about the importance of their rela- tionship with that person. However, embedded within the language is the...
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