Paula Gunn Allen quotes

  • Snowflakes, leaves, humans, plants, raindrops, stars, molecules, microscopic entities all come in communities. The singular cannot in reality exist.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Peace #Stars #Reality

  • Truth, acceptance of the truth, is a shattering experience. It shatters the binding shroud of culture trance. It rips apart smugness, arrogance, superiority, and self-importance. It requires acknowledgment of responsibility for the nature and quality of each of our own lives, our own inner lives as well as the life of the world. Truth, inwardly accepted, humbling truth, makes one vulnerable. You can't be right, self-righteous, and truthful at the same time.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Truth #Rip #Responsibility

  • Healing the self means committing ourselves to a wholehearted willingness to be what and how we are-beings frail and fragile, strong and passionate, neurotic and balanced, diseased and whole, partial and complete, stingy and generous, twisted and straight, storm-tossed and quiescent, bound and free.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Strong #Mean #Healing

  • America does not seem to remember that it derived its wealth, its values, its food, much of its medicine, and a large part of its "dream" from Native Americans.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Dream #Native American #Medicine

  • ... America has amnesia. ... Certainly, there is a passion for memory loss in American thought. ... Americans may be the world champion forgetters.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Memories #Passion #Loss

  • True shamans live in a world that is alive with what is to rationalist sight unseen, a world pulsing with intelligence.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Sight #Alive #World

  • What the Indians are saying is that they are recognizing the right of wilderness to be wilderness. Wilderness is not an extension of human need or of human justification. It is itself and it is inviolate, itself. This does not mean that, therefore, we become separated from it, because we don't. We stay connected if, once in our lives, we learn exactly what that connection is between our heart, our womb, our mind, and wilderness. And when each of us has her wilderness within her, we can be together in a balanced kind of way. The forever, we have that within us.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Nature #Heart #Mean

  • It's a little-known linguistic curiosity that the name Jehovah or Jaweh is the same name as Eve; Havva, the counterpart name in Farsi, the language spoken by the Persians, means either Jaweh or Eve.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #God #Mean #Names

  • Idealization of a group is a natural consequence of separation from the group; in other words, it is a by-product of alienation.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Outsiders #Groups #Separation

  • Medicine people are truly citizens of two worlds, and those who continue to walk the path of medicine power learn to keep their balance in both the ordinary and the non-ordinary worlds ...
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Two #Medicine #People

  • We are the land. To the best of my understanding, that is the fundamental idea that permeates American Indian life ...
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Land #Ideas #Understanding

  • Some feminist critics debate whether we take our meaning and sense of self from language and in that process become phallocentric ourselves, or if there is a use of language that is, or can be, feminine. Some, like myself, think that language is itself neither male nor female; it is creatively expansive enough to be of use to those who have the wit and art to wrest from it their own significance. Even the dread patriarchs have not found a way to 'own' language any more than they have found a way to 'own' earth (though many seem to believe that both are possible).
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Art #Believe #Thinking

  • As long as we avoid the creative, we are condemned to reaction.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Creativity #Long #Creative

  • The Indians used to be the only inhabitants of the Americas, but times change. Having perceived us as belonging to history, they are free to emote over us, to re-create us in their history-based understanding, and dismiss our present lives as archaic and irrelevant to the times.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Understanding #Used #Irrelevant

  • The root of oppression is the loss of memory.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Memories #Loss #Roots

  • An odd thing occurs in the minds of Americans when Indian civilization in mentioned: little or nothing.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Civilization #Mind #Littles

  • English is, from my point of view as an Americanist, an ethnicity. And English literature should be studied in Comparative Literature. And American literature should be a discipline, certainly growing from England and France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, and the Native traditions, particularly because those helped form the American canon. Those are our backgrounds. And then we'd be doing it the way it ought to be done. And someday I hope that it will be.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Views #Ethnicity #Discipline

  • In the Native American tradition... a man, if he's a mature adult, nurtures life. He does rituals that will help things grow, he helps raise the kids, and he protects the people. His entire life is toward balance and cooperativeness. The ideal of manhood is the same as the ideal of womanhood. You are autonomous, self-directing, and responsible for the spiritual, social and material life of all those with whom you live.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Spiritual #Native American #Kids

  • The hoop dancer dances within what encircles him, demonstrating how the people live in motion within the circling spirals of time and space. They are no more limited than water and sky. At green corn dance time, water and sky come together, in Indian time, to make rain.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Rain #Space #Sky

  • There are many female gods recognized and honored by the tribes and Nations. Femaleness was highly valued, both respected and feared, and all social institutions reflected this attitude. Even modern sayings, such as the Cheyenne statement that a people is not conquered until the hearts of the women are on the ground, express the Indians understanding that without the power of woman the people will not live, but with it, they will endure and prosper.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Inspiring #Attitude #Heart

  • For the American Indian, the ability of all creatures to share in the process of ongoing creation makes all things sacred.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Ongoing #Sacred #Creation

  • Indians think it is important to remember, while Americans believe it is important to forget.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Believe #Thinking #Justice

  • Human beings need to belong to a tradition and equally need to know about the world in which they find themselves.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #World #Needs #Tradition

  • Humor is widely used by Indians to deal with life. Indian gatherings are marked by laughter and jokes, many directed at the horrors of history, at the continuing impact of colonization, and at the biting knowledge that living as an exile in one's own land necessitates. . . . Certainly the time frame we presently inhabit has much that is shabby and tricky to offer; and much that needs to be treated with laughter and ironic humor.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Laughter #Land #Impact

  • The shadows cannot speak.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Shadow #Speak

  • I am not especially defined by my sex life, nor complete without it.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Sex

  • Breath is life, and the intermingling of breaths is the purpose of good living. This is in essence the great principle on which all productive living must rest, for relationships among all the beings of the universe must be fulfilled; in this way each individual life may also be fulfilled.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #Essence #Purpose #May

  • In the native world, major gods come in trios, duos, and groups. It is the habit of non-natives to discover the supreme being, the one and only head god, a habit lent to them by monotheism.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #God #Duos #World

  • In America, law substitutes for custom.
    -- Paula Gunn Allen

    #America #Law #Substitutes