Round 2 – Aff V msu hr 1ac

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Round 2 – Aff v MSU HR


Revelatory Knowledge 1AC

Alex “Little Soldier” Lunderman was a Rosebund Sioux Lakota, who led his tribe, the Sicangu Iyate. His successor, Ronald Neiss, explains his vision to us in 2002

[Ronald L. Neiss, Chieftain of the Rosebud Land of the Lakota in South Dakota, on January 1st, 2002]

Rosebud Sioux Tribe Utility Commission upon the passing of our previous president Alex "Little Soldier" Lunderman into the Spirit World.   Alex was also a tribal president and vice president. He fully supported the Tribe's gathering of wind data in 1995 and the Rosebud/DOE Wind Demonstration Project, which is scheduled for completion by this summer (2002).  Wind development was a part of his vision for the Sicangu Oyate (Burnt Thigh Lakota People) on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. He believed we could use modern technology as well as our resources in a way that is compatible with our history, our philosophy, and our cultural and spiritual values. In a vision, he saw a long line of people behind him walking toward a traditional tipi. Inside the tipi were computers and other kinds of technologies that could be used by our people to protect our Mother Earth. He later told us that being able to generate clean electricity from the Four Winds could help our people. With the Rosebud Wind Project, we are trying to make his vision a reality by using the tremendous wind resource on the reservation in a good way. The wind is always blowing on the Rosebud Reservation.  An elder from a southwest Pueblo once said to me, "Say, all your animals up here kind of lean over to one side. Do they fall over when the wind stops?" I answered, "We don't know... it never stops blowing."

Visions are a form of revelatory knowledge, knowledge which can be intuited from non-scientific origins – these visions open up space for new personal and political possibilities

Vine Deloria, Jr. retired professor emeritus of history at the University of Colorado. 1999. For This Land. Pg. 250-260

Revelatory experiences are another thing altogether. They tell us things we cannot possibly know in any other way. Moses approaches the burning bush, is told that it is a holy place, learns the name of God, and is given a vocational task to perform on behalf of his community. With this information come directions through which a new future is possible. k a holy place always involves the manifestation of a personal spirit of immense and unmeasured power, a real spirit of place with which our species must have communion thereafter. Holy places exist in all countries and form the sacred configuration of the land. These places speak of the ultimate holiness of creation. They give a meaningful context to the reflective locations. This distinction between reflective and revelatory places is not intended to downgrade the validity of reflective experiences of lands. It is the ability to reflect that creates the awareness and sensitivity of peoples to the qualitative intensity of revelatory places. But the distinction is necessary because revelatory places are known only through the experience of prolonged occupation of land, and they cannot be set aside because of the aesthetic or emotional appeal of particular places. The most common experience of Indian tribes today is that of reflective places. One must suspect that common knowledge of lands among Indians always featured a high percentage of reflective places throughout Indian occupation of this continent. ‘ilibal histories, for the most part, are land-centered. That is to say, every feature of a landscape has stories attached to it. If a tribal group is very large or has lived on a particular piece of land for many generations, some natural features will have many stories attached to them. I know some places in the Dakotas about which at least a dozen stories are told. These stories relate both secular events such as tales of hunting and warfare and sacred events such as personal or tribal religious experiences. Each family within a tribe has its own tradition of stories about tribal ancestral lands. In theory it would be possible to gather from the people of the tribe all the stories that relate to every feature of the landscape. If these stories were then arranged chronologically, the result would be a history of the people somewhat similar to what whites mean by history. But the history would be considered artificial by most Indians because the intensity of the original experience—which was a function of the place and important in explaining the incident or event—would have been abandoned in favor of the chronology.

Revelatory knowledge fosters physis. This connection is the starting point of our epistemology: it infuses both politics and a metaphysically impotent educational system with creativity and compromise

Allen 10 [Dyami Allen, born on Diné reservation, B.A. Evergreen State, studied philosophy at NYU, Talking Stick Native Arts Quarterly, Issue 13.3, Jul/Aug/Sep 2010, “Ways of Thinking”]

Philosophy endeavors to create meaning out of lived experiences and to uphold the idea that "A philosopher is a man who never ceases to experience, see, hear, suspect, hope, and dream extraordinary things" (Frederick Nietzsche). The nature and scope of the search for meaning are bounded, apriori, in the cultural context in which these terms are explored. In her essay, On Authenticity, Dine philosopher Marilyn Notah Verney asks three questions about Native American Philosophy: What is it? How can outsiders study it? How can it contribute to traditional academic philosophy? These three questions have informed my academic work and my personal experiences.¶ Western philosophy tends to take apart, taking apart what is to distinguish what is, from what is not. By this we tend to lose meaning by losing relation with all surrounding things. The difference between the western philosophy and Native metaphysical and ontological ideas are that Natives have an innate reverence to the land. Physis, as Heidegger states, is a Greek word meaning nature. It is this physis the west has lost touch with. In order to understand Diné it is imperative to understand physis.¶ Verney explains that in order to understand the differences one needs to look at the relation Diné have with the earth. One noticeable difference is how physis is not to be taken and owned. Earth is a living being to be respected as the mother. The mother who gives life, the mother who rejuvenates, the mother that disciplines its children by its unpredictable weather. We come from the earth, from she who fed us in the same way we are fed as babies at our mothers' breast.¶ Traditionally, Native Americans related to the natural world philosophically; that is, our philosophy is about relationships between person and nature. Verney states, "if non-Natives can understand our traditional spiritual relationship with the land and its connection within the universe, that all things have life, then one can better understand our people, our culture, and our traditional beliefs". We know that to fully grasp a particular culture, it's important to know that creation stories reveal much about a culture's metaphysics. In the context of creation stories, most Native Americans believe in a starting point, and, in most cases, that starting point is mother earth. Diné belief starts with animals and spiritual beings developing in the womb of the great mother. The creation legend of the Diné includes an account of the three worlds. The great flood forced animals and spiritual beings to climb through a hollow reed to the surface of the Mother Earth to escape the rising water. To the dismay of the inhabitants of the surface world, the water did not subside. Knowing coyote and his mischievous ways, the spiritual beings First Man and First Woman confronted coyote – because they knew that coyote wonders about things, and how they really work. First Man and First Woman found that coyote had taken two of the water monster's babies. Coyote was instructed to return the water monster's babies. Soon after the water began to recede, revealing the surface of Mother Earth.¶ Our oral tradition has formed our philosophical metaphysics, and by stories like this that teach us the way of being. The things around us, in our experience and the things to which we are most directly related are our teachers. It is this respect that sustains our life. Verney states, "Everything that sustains life is within our reach, for we sustain and are sustained by life, which is given to us by our Mother. Therefore, our universe and land are sacred, holy, and to be treated with respect. "¶ The base of metaphysics is developed by respect, "the metaphysics of respect." As one would prostrate himself or herself before a god in obedience, so the Diné show common kindness and caring towards Physis. By this we find our place in the universe. As Diné have co-existed with colonizers, new concepts and abstractions have flowed into the picture. These abstractions make our commitment to physis, to nature, more real and urgent. However we struggle to describe the universe without reference to western concepts of time or space – Our philosophy, our metaphysics, requires a language that is not represented in European/American traditions. In the end, these western philosophical traditions are impoverished as they lack adequate terms for our experience of everything from creation to the seasons.¶ In fact, western philosophy considers Native practices and beliefs – our metaphysics to be animistic or vitalistic. These colonial philosophers characterize us as primitive and thus avoid developing a language for representing those transcendental unifications of experience and those intuitions of things unseen, but felt by consciousness – the deeply felt experiences of Diné.¶ The world as we know it has been put in John Locke's idea, "where there is no property there is no injustice". Property has become the focus of our society, "the reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property," and ownership of the land in turn results in the loss of a relationship and intimacy with nature.¶ Native American thought has been in consistent confrontation with Euro/Am philosophy, a philosophy steeped in its politics, economics, and religion. Not much room for compromise, only a foundation that must be upheld at any expense. The way in which young Natives are raisedin public schools, on reservations, in boarding schools – alienates us from nature and thus from our metaphysical roots. Their schooling white washes our traditions and denies the fact that we come from a tradition where all of us are philosophers, all of us are Diné.¶ Martin Heidegger along with Friedrich Nietzsche are but a few European philosophers who hold analogous views to Diné. Heidegger's Dasein reveals how an individual can perceive it: Many things which we designate as seined, and we do so in various sense. Everything we talk about, everything we have in view, everything towards which we comport ourselves in any way, is being; what we are is being, and so is how we are. Being lies in the fact that something is, and in its Being as it is; in Reality; in presence-at-hand; in subsistence; in validity; in Dasein; in the "there is."¶ To know and/or relate to Diné it is important to know Being, revealing true self, a re-emergence to authenticity. "Dasein is in each case essentially its own possibility; it can, in its very Being, choose itself and win itself. It can also lose itself and never win itself; or only seem to do so" It is important to know the difference between Being and otherness, Heidegger explains:¶ In one's concern with what one has taken hold of, whether with, for, or against, the Other, there is constant care as to the way one differs from them, whether that difference is merely one that is to be evened out, whether one's own Dasein has lagged behind the Others and wants to catch up in relationship to them, or whether one's Dasein already has some priority over them and sets out to keep them suppressed. The care about this distance between them is disturbing to Bing-with-one-another, though this disturbance is one that is hidden from it." Verney asks, "do American Indians have to continue to follow a philosophy of the 'Other?'" Is the "Other" forgetting the ways of its Diné (authentic)? Heidegger proceeds:¶ This Being-with-one-another dissolves one's own Dasein completely into the kind of Being of "the Other," in such a way, indeed, that the Others, as distinguishable and explicit, vanish more and more. In this inconspicuousness and unascertainable, the real dictatorship of the “they" is unfolded. We take pleasure and enjoy ourselves as they take pleasure; we read, see, and judge about literature, and art as they see and judge; likewise we shrink back from the 'great mass' as they shrink back; we find 'shocking' what they find shocking. The 'they,' which is nothing definite, and which all are, though not as the sum, prescribe the kind of Being of everydayness.

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