«As Luther Standing Bear, chief of the Oglala Sioux, described the situation:
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as “wild. ” Only to the white man was nature a “wilderness ” and only to him was the land “infested ” with “wild ” animals and “savage ” people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it “wild ” for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the “Wild West ” began.
Today, thanks to this rather lopsided cultural foundation, we live in what is commonly described
as a Materialistic Society. But that description is in error. Ours is in reality an Abstract Value society in which things are not appreciated for what they are so much as for what they represent. If Western industrial society appreciated the Material World, there would be no junkyards, no clearcut forests, no shoddily designed and manufactured products, no poisoned water sources, no obese, fuel-guzzling automobiles, nor any of the other horrors and eyesores that haunt us at every turn. If ours were a materialistic society, we would love the physical world-and we would know our limits within it.
In truth, Western industrial society does not even notice the Material World. It quickly discards it, leaves it to rust in the rain. The material world is Here and Now, and industrial society does not appreciate or pay attention to the Here and Now. It’s too busy coveting and rushing after the There and Later On. As a result, it all too often fails to see what is right in front of it, and what’s coming from that. It forgets where it has been; it does not know where it is going.»
The Te of Piglet – Benjamin Hoff