Aborigines: What can they teach us?

Aborigines

It has been suggested that the Australian Aborigine is primitive and uneducated; an animist who uses ritual to win the favour of the spirits controlling food, shelter, and fertility and to ward off malevolent spirits. Despite what sounds to the western mind as believing in superstition, these semi-nomads have shown enormous intelligence by hunting and foraging for food, and thus surviving, in extreme conditions of the arid bush-land and desert wastes for over 30,000 years.

And so the question arises whether there is anything of value in their way of life which can benefit us all today?

Choose Happiness

Ten steps to bring the magic back into your life by Steve Wetton Aber Publishing 2007 pp 144

By his own admission, the author is no intellectual, yet neither is he a fantasist and what he reports has the ring of authenticity. He offers us the chance to find a meaning of life for ourselves and he does this by discussing his approach to positive mental attitude and the idea that whatever we get out of life depends on what we’ve put into it. He takes the view that many of us consistently undervalue our own potential. But more dramatically he illustrates his theme, encouraging us to learn from his mistakes. He shares his own experiences and that of others he knows – real life stories that keep one’s attention.

Wetton tells us something of his younger days – excessive alcohol consumption, womanising, and sometimes violence. Someone who hated all the numerous jobs he tried. Spiritually speaking he was lost. But he eventually found a path.

One job he had involved driving around in a little van visiting customers on a door-to-door basis selling stuff and collecting weekly payments. One particular day he was running late rushing away from a house call when he got back into his van that was parked on the driveway. “I looked over my shoulder and prepared to zoom into the street without any obstructions to worry about. But for some unaccountable reason I found my foot lifting off the accelerator and

The Zombie Survival Guide

by Max Brooks Published by Duckworth 2009 ISBN 978 0 7156 5318 2

Are you alive and kicking? Not so sure? Perhaps you feel your own level of vitality, vim, and vigour are at a low ebb. If so The Zombie Survival Guide may be for you. It is a self-help book with a difference. It purports to protect the reader from entities called zombies. These fantasy creatures have became popular in modern horror fiction since the success of the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. They are portrayed as lifeless, sterile and apathetic, supposedly roaming around with a shambling awkward limp, and experiencing little or no physical sensation or emotion. The popular myth is that they are either re-animated human corpses or human beings controlled by someone else by magic. In either case they are said to be devoid of life of their own, and so assumed to be wanting to suck the life-blood from those who get into their clutches. If they get hold of you the book suggests this would be a living death and it aims to give practical advice about how to avoid this peril.

Yes, it all sounds rather macabre but I do wonder if this is a potent symbol for our times.