Knowledge

  • Linear and non-linear learning

    • A focus on linear, abstract, declarative knowledge alone not only fails to create complex connectivity but damages the mind.
      • When we feel boredom, we are really just biologically punished for this destructive behavior
        • Extended periods of this affects a person’s mental health, resulting in bouts of rage, depression and worse. In centralised knowledge institutions today, this illness is called misbehaviour or misconduct.

      • In aboriginal knowledge, the processes are more important than the content
  • Metaphors

    • Good multi-layerd metaphors are very important in learning
      • Working with grounded, complex metaphors that have integrity is the difference between decoration and art, tunes and music, commercialised fetishes and authentic cultural practice.

  • Schools

    • Schools are sites of political struggle in this civilisation because they are the main vehicles for establishing the grand narratives needed to make progress possible.

      • The entire history of globalisation hinges on the story of modern public education, how it began and why.

  • Cultural knowledge should never be stored just in print or digitally (archives are great, but they are only temporary)
  • Working with knowledge in the aboriginal tradition

    • Kinship-mind
      • The only sustainable way to store data long-term is within relationships—deep connections between generations of people in custodial relation to a sentient landscape, all grounded in a vibrant oral tradition.

        • This doesn’t need to replace print, but it can supplement it magnificently—those two systems might back each other up rather than merely coexist.

          • This is the image for kinship-mind, which is about relationships and connectedness.
        • In Aboriginal worldviews, nothing exists outside of a relationship to something else.

          • There are no isolated variables—every element must be considered in relation to the other elements and the context. Areas of knowledge are integrated, not separated.

          • The relationship between the knower and other knowers, places and senior knowledge-keepers is paramount. It facilitates shared memory and sustainable knowledge systems.

    • Story-mind
        • This is the image for story-mind, which is about the role of narrative in memory and knowledge transmission.
      • It is the most powerful tool for memorisation, particularly when connected meaningfully to place.

        • This is how songlines have worked in Australia for millennia to store knowledge in stories mapped in the land and reflected in the night sky. It includes yarning as a method of knowledge production and transmission. Today it is also about challenging grand narratives and histories.

    • Dreaming-mind
        • This is the image for dreaming-mind, which is all about using metaphors to work with knowledge.
      • The circle on the left represents abstract knowledge, and the circle on the right represents tangible knowledge. The lines above and below represent communication between these physical and non-physical worlds, which occurs through metaphors.

      • These are images, dance, song, language, culture, objects, ritual, gestures and more. Feedback loops between the worlds must be completed with practical action.

    • Ancestor-mind
        • This is the image for ancestor-mind, which is all about deep engagement, connecting with a timeless state of mind or ‘alpha wave state’, an optimal neural state for learning.
      • We can reach this state through most Aboriginal cultural activities. It is characterised by complete concentration, engagement and losing track of linear time.

      • Ancestor-mind can involve immersive visualisation and extra-cognitive learning such as revealed knowledge in dreams and inherited knowledge in cellular memory.

    • Pattern-mind
        • This is the image for pattern-mind, which is about seeing entire systems and the trends and patterns within them, using these to make accurate predictions and find solutions to complex problems.
      • There are three lines with three sections. Each section represents the line from the kinship-mind symbol, which is two elements linked by a relationship. You can see at each point a new pair begins, linked by a new relationship. It is about truly holistic, contextual reasoning.