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WAIRUA & WATER: where is the science?

Indigenous peoples around the world, have developed a collective consciousness, by paying explicit attention to the expression of natural world domains, of sky father and earth mother; through our experiences of the various dimensions of the heavens and the earthly domains of Hine Te Repo, goddess of the wetlands, of Hine Parawhenuamea, goddess of the waters, which bursts from the earth, and so forth.

Our ancient civilisations follow a common whakapapa or cosmology, that being, the science of the origin and development of the universe. Our whakapapa, our line of descent back to the very beginning, defines a singular point in the past known as Te Pu. Also articulated by quantum physics as the point of infinite density and spacetime curvature. Te Pu is also known as the origin or the root. And it also defined by quantum cosmologist Stephen Hawking, as the big bang.

Our collective awareness establishes that everything is a part of one cosmic family linked together through a common genealogy or tatai. I am the water and the water is me. That oneness is the true meaning of aroha. Aroha is the essence of being. It is the force that holds together existence. It is joy, love, peace, and it means living in harmony with people and the land with reverence and compassion. When greeting others we hold a mutual regard and affection. Aloha being the word used by our Hawaiin relations when greeting one another.

Our genealogy weaves together a taxonomy of the universe. From the beginning all the way back to me. Who am I. I am wairua. Wairua, our divine true self, is dimensionless. Our wairua is formless and transcendent, going beyond the range of physical human experience. In fact going beyond space and time.

Our wairua gives rise to all forms of dimensionality of experience. The wairua of the waters of Hineparawhenuamea has spoken directly to our experiences as indigenous peoples for thousands of years, through which we developed our matauranga or our collective knowledge. To us, matauranga is an internal energy of the body. Knowing is the most fundamental aspect of awareness. The interpretation is a thought or hua, which is a movement in awareness. Constructed bodies of knowledge such as taxonomy, classification, and biology are human constructs.

Indigenous peoples take a positivist approach. We interpret inputs through our senses in terms of what we make of the world. This is what we call, Aroaro - sensuous three dimensional world influencing knowledge and memory.

Over thousands of years we have interpreted a wide range of observations. Observations which have assisted us to evolve with nature. Developing ways of life such as rahui or temporary prohibitions. Through our observations we developed ecological predictions. Many of our predictions of nature we have placed within the maramataka. The maramataka is not only our lunar calendar but it is a repository of astronomical and astrological knowledge, read from a point of the earth, centred around the people of that place. Marama means the moon. And maramatanga means illumination & wisdom. Whereby one comes to see deeply into their experiences. It allows for one to come out of a world of “darkness” of conflict… and into the world of “light” of peace and resolution.

Tokona te rangi ki runga, ko papa ki raro, ka puta te ira tangata ki te whai ao, ki tea o marama!

Matauranga and quantum physics recognise the energetic nature of the universe. However, biology has never really incorporated the role of invisible moving forces. And that is what we doing today.

The legal system acknowledges indigenous knowledge today. And as stated by Jessica Maclean in her thesis Te Paerangi: Darkness and Light in Maori Oral Tradition, according to our whakapapa, there is no distinction between the human and natural world, and more importantly, there is little distinction between the physical and spiritual realms. So it is not so much a matter of belief when it comes to wairua, but a matter of knowledge.

And so today, we as responsible lawmakers must agree to respecting a diversity of knowledge systems whether they are based on modern day science from England or matauranga from the Pacific.

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