Science needs to strive to work with the sacred

While recently traveling I had an informative conversation with a Mayan shaman who is a direct descendant from the lineage of guardians of the Mayan calendar.

The shaman mentioned how a foreign brand of corn (genetically modified organism) had found its way into the Oaxaca region of Central America. Oaxaca is credited with being the birthplace of corn. And, to the Mayans, corn is sacred, much like kalo is to the kanaka maoli.

He mentioned how the Mayans have worked for countless generations to gently breed corn that could withstand the harsh climate conditions of the region. He was worried because transgenic corn, with its aggressive genetic traits, was cross-pollinating and interfering with their sacred species.

This is a perfect example of technological colonization – aggressive corporations technologically transgressing upon other cultures and belief systems.

The kind of mindset that invents technology usually has its focus exclusively in the material world, with little connection to the sacred. This mindset usually emphasizes transcending, dominating and controlling nature instead of working within nature’s abundant elegance.

This aloof and disrespectful mindset claims that indigenous belief systems are superstitious and primitive – they will perish while science triumphs.

I look forward to the day when science and sacred work together. Where the ineffable informs the material. Where Manifest Destiny means manifesting a destiny for all cultures and belief systems, not just for a technological superiority complex.

I believe this will happen sooner than we think.

James Phillip Miner