• Chantel Matthews

1. Spirituality and Knowing: The Cultural Context of Knowledge

Q: What do I want to understand about the cultural context of knowing as knowledge?

Q: Sprit as knowing?

Serving higher principles.

" Knowledge that endures is spirit driven. It is a life force connected to all other life forces. It is more an extension than it is a thing to accumulate"

What was discovered in the thoughts of others and within my own reflection was the intentionality of process, the value and purpose of meaning, and the practice of mindfulness. These ideas, accessed via deep and enduring respect for our kupuna, our lands, our oceans, our language, rituals, and families, became the foundation of a Hawaiian essence. These are spiritual principles that, if played out as epistemology, help us enter spaces of wonderment, discernment, right viewing, and mature discourse.

How does the interpretation of knowledge as spirit affect your research? It doesn't. You

do. It merely points to a frequency that if heard will synergize with your courage when

you write without fear after asking questions that search for deeper meaning to an act,

an idea, a moment. An epistemology of spirit encourages us all to be of service, to not

get drawn into the ego nurtured in academia, and to keep diving into the wellspring of

our own awe. In that way, our research is bound in meaning and inspired by service to

others or to our natural environment. That's an epistemology based on what we refer

to as ea or animating principles. Ea is also our Hawaiian word for sovereignty. And as I

believe more in the Nation-Within idea, let it inspire you to develop your own mind within

the context of the needs of your own community. Do you see how it can assist you as

you begin to formulate the why and what of your work? See your work as a taonga

(sacred object) for your family, your community, your people—because it is.

Meyer, "Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies", 5 & 6

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