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    Default Ancestory, Ancestor Worship, Ancestoral Memory

    I wondered if this was significant for anyone, interested anyone or if they'd thought about it, I've read about it but mainly in the context of superstition and its rejection as associated greatly with fear.

    On the other hand it is bound to be important to any conservative inclination in the broadest possible sense of respect for the enduring and organic within society and its often unacknowledge and vital role in individual and social functioning, well being and competence.

    I read a little known author once who suggested that all political questions from the time of the Greeks related to the transmission of information, particularly experience from one generation to another, the most successful society being those that could manage this to the greatest effect and its obvious the role that ancestory would play there.

    However, on the other hand, I've read compelling or persuasive accounts which suggest that all that really exists is the present, that the past is constructed and invented in the present, with the service of someone or something in the present in mind.

    The idea also calls to mind the Orwellian idea that who controls the past, controls the future, who controls the present controls the past. I hope I've got that right, I am trying to recall itand its not perfect, I hope you get the idea

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    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    There's an entire on-line industry based on this: genealogical research. Much of it used to be free and run by generous volunteers. People have an interest or strong need to know where they came from many wish to know what famous, noble or infamous person is their ancestor. They seek to put the family stories to the test of research...

    On the practical side you can learn a bit about your ancestral medical history, reasons for migration, religion or economic progress...it becomes a never ending puzzle of discovery...
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

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    I'm extremely fascinated by the idea of ancestral memories, and think it is the reason why some people think they remember a "past life." I think it may serve to explain why people are drawn to certain places that they've never been, or to different cultures from the past.

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    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    I'm extremely fascinated by the idea of ancestral memories...why some people think they remember a "past life."...people are drawn to certain places that they've never been
    I've often wondered too if we descendants retuned to those lands where our ancestors lingered longest, would we find the weather more agreeable, the water more satisfying....would we have less or no allergies? I hope to travel central europe someday and give it a try....
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

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    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    I've often wondered too if we descendants retuned to those lands where our ancestors lingered longest, would we find the weather more agreeable, the water more satisfying....would we have less or no allergies? I hope to travel central europe someday and give it a try....
    Better make it the African savanna. Just sayin'

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    full of love Kingfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    I've often wondered too if we descendants retuned to those lands where our ancestors lingered longest, would we find the weather more agreeable, the water more satisfying....would we have less or no allergies? I hope to travel central europe someday and give it a try....
    i have a pretty strong instinctual pull to the American southwest, where my mother's family and ancestors are from, especially New Mexico. it always feels very calm when i am there.

    ancestory is very important to my mother's family. i have never experienced anything like ancestoral memory, but i do feel very connected to my ancestory. i could never turn my back on it - and i guess more than that, i do feel a need to embrace it. so i do feel a sense of duty to my ancestors.

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    I'm really drawn to the British isles and central/Eastern Europe.

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    /X\(:: :: )/X\ BlueSprout's Avatar
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    It's a shame that anthropological writing has and often continues to exoticize and misconstrue ancestor worship/reverence in other cultures.

    The little known author makes a compelling point about the transmission of knowledge, though tracing the development of human societies as a unilinear progression from the ancient Greeks is a flawed approach. I think that the fact that the knowledge is not replicated exactly over time is actually an asset to a society. Knowledge has to be flexible enough to fit the challenges and new possibilities of every generation. If it couldn't be adapted, fused with new ideas, and picked over for its most momentarily salient aspects then it would be useless knowledge. There are things my ancestors believed and ideas they generated that I could probably do without. That said, reverence for elders and ancestors who shaped the conventions, knowledge and wisdom passed down through generations and the (critical) contemplation of their contributions can be highly useful for a society as a whole.

    On a personal note, I've been drawn to the parts of Europe where my ancestors originated and hope to visit some day. On the other hand, I already feel connected to my ancestors in because of who I am. Sometimes when I'm cooking or gardening I look down at my hands and feel some sort of connection to the generations of women before me who had stubby, small fingers and veiny hands that washed potatoes, etc. I wonder if they ever looked down at their hands when they were older and were surprised to see their grandmothers' hands or mothers' hands doing their work.

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    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    I don't know, my family seems drawn to more northern United States. Their best years were spent there. Apparently some of my immigrant predecessors took the route through Canada into the US instead of going the traditional route, through Ellis Island.

    If I were to go where my family "originated," would I go to Russia, Austria, or Israel?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

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    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post

    If I were to go where my family "originated," would I go to Russia, Austria, or Israel?
    Maybe you could try somewhere between Chad and Kenya instead?

    Sahelanthropus tchadensis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    ---

    Anyway.

    A friend of mine tried to make genealogical researches in northern Poland, and the answer of the local authorities was rather... disturbing. According to them, Jews could never be considered as Poles ("True Poles = Catholic only", that what they said), and thus you have no trace of them, according to official records. The former Jewish graveyard has been razed not by Nazis, but by the Polish government some 30 years ago. Everything has been meticulously erased, and nobody seems to remember that the new town hall was built in lieu of the old synagogue. All that remains of centuries of continuous jewish presence are a few broken tombstones, stored in a derelict warehouse in the outskirts of the city.

    A very depressing sight.

    Unfortunately, Antisemitism is still rather prevalent in some parts of Eastern Europe, even if it has become almost Judenrein.
    You might, just like me, have very bad surprises if you try to know the truth.

    In his famous book "Landscape and Memory" (1), Simon Schama relates a very similar experience when he tried to find the exact location of the shtetl where his family had lived during centuries in Lithuania.
    Actually, the locals threatened him!
    And nothing, absolutely nothing remains. :sad:

    ---

    (1) "Landscape and Memory", Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1995, pp. 652
    Last edited by Blackmail!; 12-14-2009 at 11:31 AM.
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