Dwellings: a Spiritual History of the Living World

In Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World. Linda Hogan hints in her essays and stories that our modern world has lost its connection with nature and that we have lost respect for the earth, or have gone against nature in general. Linda Hogan’s writings imply that the world is “out of balance”. She even says “The broken link between us and the rest of the world grows too large…” (130). I am in total disagreement with her claims. I don’t agree with Linda Hogan’s perspective or ideas on this matter.I believe that humanity as a whole has never been so close with nature that today’s modern world. I think we continually grow closer to earth and nature. Today all of our advancements in technology incorporate earth’s raw materials and nature in general. From making products with raw and composite materials to genetic and biological engineering. We work closely with nature and ways to understand and alter it for the greater good of humanity and for Earth itself. We also go to great lengths to take care of earth from harmful threats.If we didn’t look closely at nature and Earth we would not have learned such knowledge to create such incredible breakthroughs in technology. Everything comes from earth and nature. However we also do the Earth harm either intentionally or unintentionally. Pollution and global warming have posed great threats to Earth and nature, as well as humanity. Recently we have been working more than usual to fix these problems and make it better. Linda Hogan herself tries to separate herself from the rest because of her culture and heritage, but she also is as guilty as the rest of us.Linda Hogan writes in her essays that she uses modern technology. She uses a telephone, drives an automobile, and has access to a television set. Automobiles hurt the earth by releasing harmful gases and chemicals into the atmosphere; it pollutes and contributes to global warming. Yet Hogan takes part in this. Another aspect in her writing is that she frowns upon western society and culture, as if we are missing something from a big picture. Ironically she quotes many western writers. She then draws her points, or illustrates them through these quotes.In her later chapters she talks of space exploration and NASA’s space program such as “The Voyager”. The Voyager was created to document knowledge and history of human kind and earth. It was sent through outer-space in hopes or in case of alien contact. She complains about the voyager program because they left out the negative aspects of our race; mainly war and violence that we have a history of, especially nuclear weaponry in World War I and II. I think it’s pretty senseless for us to choose bad representations of us as a whole entity to portray earth’s life and humanity.I think it was a smart choice to pick good images and representations of our world, instead of negative ones. One aspect of Linda Hogan’s text I found to be troublesome. To me Hogan appeared to be somewhat ignorant and close-minded when she gives the impression that Native Americans are the only ones who understand nature and how they are the only ones who have not broken ties with earth and nature, especially when Hogan herself isn’t much different from the rest of the world.Linda Hogan specifically: “Indian people must not be the only ones who remember the agreement with the land, the sacred pact to honor and care for the life that, in turn provides for us”(94). Many other cultures and religions respect and honor earth and nature in various ways. I don’t believe that it’s right for her to assume such things. As an example, some sects of Chinese Culture highly respect nature and its land. Much has been learned from it and because of that they respect it, especially the living animals in nature.Buddhism teaches to be one with nature and that there is peace between the two. In Buddhism you can’t harm other living things; including nature. I know from personal experience as a martial artist that many of the Chinese martial arts styles derived from animals and elements of nature, such as water, fire, earth, snake, leopard, crane, etc. Many of these martial arts were derived by studying these animals and nature and reviewing its properties. These elements are highly respected in some Chinese cultures. This is just one example of many others.


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