Academic journal article Pre- and Peri-natal Psychology Journal

Editorial

Academic journal article Pre- and Peri-natal Psychology Journal

Editorial

Article excerpt

Occasionally I find an extraordinary book that clearly reiterates ideas that have occupied my thoughts for as long as I can remember. Such a book is Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Some, Ph.D. Dr. Some, originally from the Dagara tribe of Upper Volta (now the West African country of Burkina Faso) was forcibly taken to a Jesuit mission school when he was a small child and educated for fifteen years by Europeans. Returning to his village, "he had to undergo an initiation so rigorous that it might have killed him." Remarkably he not only survived but was instructed to bring the wisdom he acquired to the West. Indeed, his tribal name Malidoma means he who makes friends with the stranger/enemy.

In a era of increasing alienation, especially in the West, the stringent demands, yet gentle wisdom, of the Dagara Tribe offer to the people of the world psychically well known but physically little traveled paths of survival. According to Some, "respect and love for children was universal in the tribe."

To the Dagara, children are the most important member of society, the community's most precious treasures. Homes have doorless entrances to allow children to go in and out whenever they want and it is common for mother to not see (Sic) her child for days and nights because he or she is enjoying the care and love of other people. When the mother really needs to be with her child, she will go from home to home searching for it. (1995, Some p. 23)

Many other statements in the book are equally reflective of the ideals of transpersonal psychology movement. Some maintains that "the Dagara believe it is terrible to suppress one's grief. Only by passionate expression can loss be tamed and assimilated into a form one can live with. An adult who can not weep is a dangerous person who has forgotten the place emotion holds in a person's life" (1995, Some p. 5).

The culture which Some describes clearly delineates the need for self actualization. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.