Paths Toward a Clearing: Radical Empiricism and Ethnographic by Michael Jackson
By Michael Jackson
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Additional info for Paths Toward a Clearing: Radical Empiricism and Ethnographic Inquiry (African Systems of Thought)
Escaping the static and airtight categories of traditional empiricism, where life is divided into the legal, the political , the economic, the social , the historical, and so forth, is perhaps as impossible as returning our ancestor masks to Africa and to life. Our class upbringing commits us to classification, and the conventional forms of our discourse trap us in dualisms and dichotomies. Even if we do sometimes throw off our conceptual chains, we fear the loss of identity and authority that follows from our freedom.
They are not one [the first means "beehive , " the second "elder"] . If you hear kina [elder] , he knows almost everything. But if you hear kina [beehive] , it does not know anything. The elder could be found in the younger and the younger could be found in the elder. Even if a person is a child, but behaves like an elder, then he is an elder. If he thinks like an elder, then he is an elder. Even if a person is old and senior, if he behaves like a child then he is a child. Therefore , this matter of seniority comes not only from the fact that one is born first, or from the fact that one is big and strong; it also con cerns the manner in which a person behaves and does things.
Let us find your mouth [i. e . , bring you food] . You are old. Live sweetly now . " Well, u p t o today, everything i s sweet. Saran Salia hesitated and looked earnestly into my face: "As you are, you love me. As you are , I love you. You love my children and my children love you. Since you have come and asked me to tell you all I know from my childhood up to now, this is what I will tell you. " In the days that followed, sitting together on the mud-plaster porch of Saran Salia's house , we talked at length about his childhood and youth and of the crises in early life that shaped his destiny.