Thinking styles/re. Marcus Aurin

Kristin Elfa Gudnadottir (kristelf@ISMENNT.IS)
Sun, 14 Apr 1996 14:18:23 +0000

In a post about "truth" Marcus Aurin writes:

>Why do so many people not of
>northern European descent seem to have no problem believing in, say, Legba,
>penicillin, Jesus Christ *and* spiritists?

Here in Iceland (a North European country) a belief in both Christ and
spiritualism has never been problematic. The eclecticism in New Age
thinking (very much a western phenomena) seems on the surface at least to
be similar to this. I agree with Mr. Aurin about the mythical content in
western rational thought, but want to point out also the danger, or maybe
rather the implication, inherent in the generalization: It may lead us to
assume that all "westerners" at all times are locked up in this kind of
thinking, that the heritage from the Greeks and later from Comte et al
(philosophy and science/empiricism combined) rules western thought in all
aspects. If we agree, as most anthropologists do, that myths are a part of
us all (our lives, that is), then it is obvious that the classical thinking
process is only a part of our thought. As an aside, I have found the
striving for empirical and rational thought (with "truth" as aim) to be
mostly a striving of academics. It is a very useful training to my mind and
one that adds to one's palette of thinking styles, but by no means the only