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Earth Stewardship - Purple

Magical relationship to source. How does the tribe relate to the source of all?            

easter islandWhat Happened to the Rapanui?

While some tribal groups manifest a caring for the source of all, and some famously so, others have not done well at maintaining an awareness of the source of their sustenance, the Earth herself.

While pygmies in Borneo or other Native tribes have an ethic of respect for life, and a precept of not wasting the resources they make use of, there are ample points of evidence for how a tribal group can fail to steward the resources in their environment, and ultimately fail to survive altogether.

Perhaps one of the most famous examples would be Easter Island, where the Rapanui cut down all of their trees, perhaps for religious or other myth-oriented purposes. Famine and conflict ensued. The palm Paschalococos disperta species is now extinct, as are, largely, the Rapanui.
Recently, there have been questions as to what reduced the island population down to aproximately 111 individuals. Nevertheless, the metaphor of environmental destruction resulting from overpopulation deforestation and cultural fashions combined with short term planning, remains cogent when many think of Easter Island.


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Interestingly, some native people's respect for life and for mother earth is legendary. Others not so much. What happened to the Anasazi? How are Aboriginal Australians able to survive in the inhospitable outback? The Eskimos in an environment of freezing temperatures, ice and the occasional seal meal? It is no wonder that those who ponder the question of sustainability so quickly turn to the relationship of aborignal and native peoples with their environment. The study is instructive. The surviving/thriving peoples have a greater sense of connection to their supporting environment than is entirely indicated by the vMemes of the Purple spiral level; while Purple does relate to a collective tribal consciousness, the mythic beliefs may or may not include practices that support ecological sustainability. If present, Elders' understanding of the connection of all of life may be of a higher order, possibly even 2nd or 3rd tier conscousness, which would explain the reverence that first tier Green has for this level of wisdom.