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Magical Perception

Abram talks about nature as the people of Bali view it. He draws upon the idea that our view of nature is formed from our interactions with it and the way we were raised and educated in respect to nature. Even a cultures religious views reflect their view if nature. We are raised in homes separated from nature, indoor heating/ AC. Our water is run through a modern system of filtration and cleaning. Our waste products are flushed down pipes and we pay other people do deal with them. In our educations we are taught physical sciences to help us explain why things happen in nature that would be a total mystery without the aid of education. But if you look at the evolution of religion you can see the views of nature changing throughout the development of civilization. The very first religions were based on polytheistic ideas. A god for every force of nature and every thing bad or good that happens to people throughout there lives. Early man viewed diseases, famine, earthquakes, droughts all as dealings of the Gods because they had no other way to explain these occurrences. As societies gathered in cities and slowly defended themselves against the ravages of nature, religions evolved to reflect this. In our society today God rules over us in a moral sense rather than controlling every aspect of our lives. Although the Zoroastrians were the first monotheistic culture and that was in like 1000 BC, so maybe this all breaks down, but I'm pretty sure the whole gods for the forces of nature thing makes sense. An article on shamanism(wiki)


I can really relate to what you were saying about how we wouldn't really know anything about nature unless we had our education. It almost seems as if we're spoiled in comparison to other cultures.