In his book, Ishmael
, Daniel Quinn
discusses the basic vision
upon which our culture
is based. His premise is that as a culture, we have a mythology
and vision that underlies everything we do
. In this sense, a vision
is a fundamental way of perceiving the world
So what is the vision that underlies every action in our culture? Quinn says it has three parts, and defines it thusly:
1) The world was made for Man,
2) Man is destined to rule the world, and
3) the only reason we've not yet succeeded in doing so is that Man is fundamentally flawed in some way.
Quinn spends many pages discussing this vision and how it leads to what he calls the culture of maximum harm, for as long as we continue to believe that we can do with the world as we please, we will continue to reap harmful consequences on the planet and the entire community of life.
Once the vision is pointed out, you can see examples of it everywhere you look. You can see it in TV commercials, magazine ads, newspaper articles, news broadcasts, situation comedy shows, in schools, and in just about every conversation taking place over just about every checkerboard in every industrialized nation today.
Once you start looking, where have you seen examples of our vision at work?
Once, when the topic of Native American
Indians came up, one lady said, "Oh, I'm just so tired of hearing what we did to the Indians
and how we took all that land from them. It's not like they were doing anything with it anyway."
Another time, a man told me that the American Indians
wouldn't have survived much longer if the white man
hadn't come along. They couldn't have survived because of their primitive, "heathen
ish" ways. They didn't even have plumbing. We saved them, you know.