645: Hamilton Souther, part 1: Living Among the Matsés in the Peruvian Amazon
Suggest to people in our culture that we consider not growing the GDP nonstop and most react with fear at what they see as the inevitability of recession leading to depression leading to the tax base declining, infrastructure crumbling, hospitals closing, mothers dying in childbirth, thirty become old age, and reverting to the Stone Age.
Yet there remain many cultures that don’t buy into our culture at all. Despite our culture invading their lands, what many of us consider the pinnacle of human culture, they choose theirs, and not out of ignorance. They know our culture.
If our culture is so great, with electric vehicles, fruit flown overnight around the world, and iPhones, why do they resist it?
If we believe we have so much, why do we keep taking their land?
Hamilton lived among the Matsés in the Peruvian Amazon for 4.5 years. He shares how he arrived there, how they took him in and trained him to be a shaman, and what differences and similarities he saw there compared to here. We talked a bit about ayahuasca, but as I see one of our greatest challenges is to learn to live sustainably, and electric vehicles move don’t help, I was more interested in what I and we can learn from people who still leave things better than they found them.
Hamilton shares about how they live and the interface with a westerner who lived with them not as a tourist. I found his experience and education fascinating and accessible. Expect more episodes with Hamilton to come.