Mineral is the storage place of memory, the principle of creativity, resources, stories, and symbolism. In the cosmological wheel, mineral is located in the west and is colored white. It is the elemental energy that allows us to receive messages from the Other World, and to remember our origins and purpose in this life. These functions are what the human skeletal structure, made of mineral, is all about. In Dagara (Ghana) physiology, our bones, not the brain, are the storage place of memory. In the village it is not uncommon to hear an elder say, “This is in our bones as it was in the bones of our ancestors.” In the West there is a similar saying, “I knew it in my bones,” which refers to a deeper, more elemental knowing than is possible through rational thought.
To the indigenous person, mineral is also equivalent to stone. As they say, the bones of the earth are the stones and rocks we see. To know the true story of our earth, including the story of ourselves, is to listen to the rocks. They are the conduits through which earth passes information on to us. Any creature that is born with bones is said to be born already possessing some knowledge. This is where the indigenous derive their belief that no one comes into this world without a genius, and that this genius must be opened to the person shortly after birth, first through the name, and later on through initiation. All those in Western culture who wander without purpose are perhaps stripped of their genius and are in exile searching for ways to remember. These are people in need of mineral rituals, to repair their relationship to memory, which is symbolized in mineral.…This makes me wonder if many problems of the West are a result of forgetting.
I wonder also if those in Silicon Valley who shave stones to their essence and put them in machines of memory perhaps already know somehow that stones have always managed information. My sense is that those who experience midlife crises are responding to the pull and push of masses of information they have not been using because they can’t fully remember…
I wonder also if part of the modern world’s fascination with the Internet can be traced to this vast memory gap. People are searching for something, and when the information stored in our bones is neglected, one feels the urge to go outside the self in search of it. If the information out there echoes the information inside of us, could it be that the great turmoil of unrecognized wisdom within us is forcing us to race along the information superhighway, hoping that we will discover what we already have? The proliferation of various software to make the venture even easier would support this thought: does Windows 95 suggest the promise of a peek into the Other World?
Indigenous people don’t learn by looking outside themselves; instead, they learn how to remember the knowledge they already possess. The person who has a mineral nature speaks a great deal because mineral expresses in discourse what is stored in coded form within the bones.
Mineral people are storytellers, fascinated with myth, tradition, and rituals, versed in dealing with metaphors and symbols. In Africa, they are the town criers who know what happens now and what has happened for countless generations. They constantly remind us in stories, proverbs, songs, and poems the deep healing significance of staying connected. They know how to praise and how to warn.
A culture weighted too heavily with mineral is frenetically involved with communication at every level. In such a culture, language is an impressive instrument of power. The problem with such a culture is in finding an audience, or someone to listen. A mineral person’s love for argument, for different ways of saying the same thing, and for eloquent ways of saying nothing can baffle the non-mineral person. In truth, a mineral person or culture is extroverted, almost bombastic, but almost always has a point. The gift they present to their society and the world is the gift of remembering, through words and stories, one’s origins and purpose
(West African Elder, author and teacher, came to the West to share the ancient wisdom, technologies and practices which have supported his people for thousands of years)