In the tribal way there is a concern not only with the family and the tribe, but also about a continuum that began with the ancestors, with maintaining a way that has been passed down, a good way, a sacred way, and passing it on to the unborn generations. This is the only major world viewpoint that has such a heavy reliance upon the unborn generations. There is a tradition always to plan for seven generations ahead.
At some point early in our lives, we decide just how conscious we wish to be. We establish a threshold of awareness. We choose how stark a truth we are willing to admit into consciousness, how readily we will examine contradictions in our lives and beliefs, how deeply we wish to penetrate.
When I agonized last year over whether or not to buy a friend’s typesetting business, I could have used Michael Phillips’ and Salli Rasberry’s new book Honest Business. I would have known my answer in a couple of hours rather than dragging out indecision for months if I’d read the chapter on “tradeskill.”
How the dog felt about the canary I can describe in no other way: she worshipped it. How else would you explain her devotion? Fascination, perhaps? All right. But worship, at least in part, is fascination taken to its extreme. I leave it to you to judge if this wasn’t an extreme case.