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What Edmund Husserl said…

April 30, 2009

“Intentionality is the hallmark of consciousness” –Husserl

Edmund Husserl

This statement jumps out at me like a specter.  Husserl’s remarks give me sense of personal responsibility, purpose, and focus.  He is reminding me to be attentive to what it is I express.  On one hand, in and of itself, the quote is amoral in that Husserl seems to say purpose and experience are what define my reality.  That purpose is left to me to resolve.  On the other hand, he seems to be approaching a tenet for a buddhist thesis of life.  He seems to be making a statement about mindfulness. I know Husserl was a European philosopher, but it is interesting to me that he is expressing the notion of purpose tied to every act I perform.  Am I aware of all that I do?  If I am not, is it possible to attempt to be attentive to all that I do?  Is it possible to be fully acquainted with myself and behave in a right-minded fashion in all that I do?

Here’s some great phenomenology in action from John Carpenter’s super cool movie Dark Star

If as Edmund Husserl believes, experience is the source of all knowledge, then it is our mandate as a species to teach others through an intimate practice.  It is time for us to get our hands dirty, and our feet wet again.  Developing knowledge and learning is an act of communion between people (and place!).  Learning is a result of a shared experience.  If we are to truly express our knowledge, then let us ho’ike.  Let’s do it.  Let us, as the kids say; represent!           


A Maori Quote…

April 24, 2009

He toi whakairo he mana tangata

Where there is artistic excellence there is human dignity

I thought it would be appropriate to begin this blog with a reflection on a Maori quote about learning, respect, pride, recognition, and freedom of expression.  I do not claim to know too much about Maori life, modern or otherwise, but I can imagine the parallels between Hawaii islanders and our fellow Polynesian culture to the south.  For the modern pacific islander, there are many political and socioeconomic issues that are expressed when we speak of the marginalization of island cultures.  Sovereignty, gathering rights, access to the land and sea, education, homelessness, cultural alienation, and, urbanization.   These are some of the themes of cultural survival.  Certainly these ideas are important.  Often, these topics have led us into camps and factions, where divided, we squabble over constructs and ideals that seem to make us smaller and diminish our dignity.   While they solicit passion, they can be incendiary, and divisive as well.  An urgent passionate voice can turn to frustration and fear when faced with poverty, racism, deception, and victimization.   I don’t believe we can forge creativity, respect, and honor from a place of fear.         

Step back from the flames a bit and pause to reflect on the most exemplary and uplifting aspects of Polynesian culture.  We cannot help but be unified by honor and self worth by doing this.  We will become larger, and dignity will be established through love, respect, and aloha.  One example of this has been the rediscovery of the voyaging tradition taught to us by Papa Mau Piailug.  This unpretentious man from the small and remote atoll of Satawal has done so much to restore pride and unity into modern pacific island culture.  I am hard pressed to come up with an example of a single person who has done more to instill pride, and dignity.  Ultimately his teaching reunified the cultures of Oceania and has become part of the lore of the rejuvenation of Polynesian culture.  Through his teachings, one can see how a people have become transformed.  The process of learning the traditional art of wayfinding has been a path to dignity for Polynesians.  In this way, dignity is in the initiation of wisdom.  Pwo, the master navigator ceremony that took place on Satawal for the Hawaiians has taken place again for New Zealander’s as well.  Polynesians are re-inheriting their culture through the teachings of a single man from a small atoll.   The words paradigm shift are often considered cliche, but I believe that through Papa Mau’s teaching of the art of wayfinding, a keystone has been placed back into Polynesian culture that was missing and thought to have been lost.


April 23, 2009

This is my first blog.  An epic event.  A ghost town now but more content soon I promise.  Please feel free to leave comments!