Talking Stick and Spirituality LO20291

worknews (
Sat, 2 Jan 1999 22:05:38 +0000

Replying to LO20279 --

One thing that tends to grab my attention is when people use language,
rhetoric and sophistry to obscure meaning rather than to lay it on the

On 27 Dec 98 at 11:59, wrote:

> Replying to LO20268 --
> Well, personally I find it repugnant that anyone would steal the
> concepts, artifacts, philosophies, thoughts, words, or actions of
> another person and adapt them for personal use. I believe that we
> are each obligated to personally invent each and every important
> concept and social innovation on our own without the use of history
> and/or resorting to thievery.

> Shame on those of you who indiscriminately use Roman law and Greek
> philosophy and Hanseatic economics and Arabic numerals. A pox on
> those of you who borrowed, and did not personally invent, scientific
> methodology. Fie on you who cannot even invent your own language but
> insist on borrowing the words that long dead Romans and Saxons used.

I think you are missing the point here. There is a difference between most
of the things you mention and symbols or artifacts that are held sacred
(let me make that bigger - SACRED), by a culture.

To use sacred land for profane reasons is considered defilement. To use
sacred ikons for profane reasons is to violate them.

To use a religious or sacred symbol for a mundane reason, out of context
with the culture is not so different from using a holy book
put in your own ugly action).

Using a talking stick isn't borrowing the IDEA - it is borrowing the
symbol and the word, which have meaning beyond our understanding. Borrow
the IDEA, but please have enough respect for the meaning of religious and
cultureal icons to respect that those understanding them may want them to
remain sacred.

I would no more use a talking stick than have a "role-play Catholic
communion" in a classroom.

> Those who don't borrow live in a world that does not change; not a
> bad concept in a perfect world, but not particularly useful in this
> one. If we see far by standing on the backs of giants, perhaps we
> could see even further if we borrowed their ladders.

There is no need to borrow the icons of others, particularly those that
are held as sacred and make them mundane, and without the magic that
surrounds them in their original cultures.

You can indeed borrow ideas (in fact it's hard not to).

Robert Bacal, author of PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT, published by McGraw-Hill. Details at and http://members.x
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