i read this lovely discription of the native american world view yesterday in the book Animal Dreams by B. Kingsolver, and it encapsulates my own.
"so you make this deal with the gods. you do these dances and they'll send rain and good crops and the whole works? and nothing bad will ever happen. right.
no it's not like that. it has to do with keeping things in balance. it's like the spirits have made a deal with us.
we are on our own. the spirits have been good enough to let us live here and use the utilities, and we are saying: we know how nice you are being. we appreciate the rain, we appreciate the sun, we appreciate the deer we took. sorry if we messed up anything. you've gone to a lot of trouble, and we'll try to be good guests.
the way they tell it to us anglos, god put the earth here fot us to use, westward ho.
i remember loyd one time saying he'd die for the land. i thought he'd meant patrionism. i'd had no idea.
to people who think of themselves as god's houseguests , american enterprise must seem arrogant beyond believe. or stupid. a nation of amnesiacs, proceeding as if there were no other day but today. assuming the land could also forget what had been done to it."
they are in an area where heavy mining is destroying the mountains and the river upon wich the fruit orchards depend is being poisened.
i just thought that that was such a good discription of the differences of seeing the world, not just in the US, but the west generally.