We had a great seminar on Cultural perspectives. The speaker on the Samoan perspective was David Lui. A very good speaker, he shared his insights into the Samoan culture and their views with us. Here are some snippets from his talk.
He spoke of how it is considered normal to communicate with spirit. In particular ones ancestors. They may not always communicate in an audible voice. But sometimes as a sort of knowing. Guidance given to one. The Samoans say that the spirits live in a place called pulotu. It is from here that they communicate with us. He showed us on the map of Samoa where the Spirits leave when they die.
He spoke of one of the elders, who is considered one of the high Chiefs (Kings) of Samoa. How much he had learned from him. Here is a quote of his that helps to explain the integral nature of spirit in everyday life.
“…. if you want sight and insight into my psyche, you will have to speak to the gods who inhabit it. You have to eavesdrop on the dialogue between my ancestors and my soul. You have to address my sense of belonging. For, ), “I am not an individual; I am an integral part of the cosmos. I share divinity with my ancestors, the land, the seas and the skies. I am not an individual, because I share a “tofi” (an inheritance) with my family, my village and my nation. I belong to my family and my family belongs to me. I belong to my village and my village belongs to me. I belong to my nation and my nation belongs to me. This is the essence of my sense of belonging
The TuiAtua is one of the most ancient titles in Samoa and are direct lineage heirs of the Tagaloalagi line of kings. The other ancient lines are the Tui A’ana and the TuiManu’a (brother of Lufasiaitu) It is testament to the ancient might of these districts.
So why we must ask is it considered an illness to see and talk to beings in other worlds? The Samoan and the Maori believe we are made from the divine. Is this what some people see in their visions?A glimpse of their own divinity which can often be interpreted as delusions by those without such an experience. While they are left at a loss to find sense of such an experience. Something to ponder on.