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Holographic Epistemology


Source: Meyer, M. (2013). Holographic epistemology: Native common sense. China Media Research 9(2), pp. 94-101. 

What is Sacred:
First, Manulani Aluli Meyer is my mentor. She helped me to formulate my masters thesis at the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo before she left to do work in Aotearoa. The fact that we are both at the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu at this time cannot be circumstance or chance. Therefore, I continue to work with her and I continue to learn with her as part of my own journey toward conscientization (Friere). She is one who speaks in prophecy so it is not always simple to interpret, but this article keeps giving me pause. My understanding is right at the edge. Perhaps I need to first break down my mis-understandings before I can move to connection. 

The title is holographic epistemology. As an English teacher who is really a poor reader, I always need to break things down into familiar terms. In other words, I need to make "maps" of language (Hayakawa, 1939). I understand epistemology as ways of knowing. It is a philosophical understanding of how we know, what it is that we know, where did this knowledge come from (the origin) and the limitations of this knowledge (time and place?). So when I talk about Hawaiian ways of knowing, it is about using old/(k)new knowledge from the kupuna to make sense of this modern world. Not what would they do if they were living now, but how would they adapt based on their own maps of knowledge? I digress. This is not my point.

Perhaps my misconception of this map is in the word holographic. My understanding of the word holographic is a document that is handwritten.  The Beat poet and Volcano resident Albert Saijo used to turn in holographic manuscripts to publishers. They were never typed. But when I read this, she is talking about holograms and the ability of the hologram to not only show a three-dimensional perspective, but also in the technology of the lasers, by cutting an image up into pieces, we are also able to see that "the whole is contained in all its parts." That technique of making a modern hologram, according to Meyer, is best understood with an ancient mind (p. 94). Ea

Connections to Current/Future Work: 
I'm still working on my own understanding. However, here is where I easily connect my work to hers. Or she carries me, which she knows. 

An Indigenous world view thus begins with the idea that relationships are not nouns, they are verbs. (Hoʻopili - Hawaiians understood this idea of relationships as a verb. Pilina - join, cling. Hoʻopili - to cling to, to join, to adhere, to connect and intertwine. )
Relationship as a verb infers the intentional quality of connection that is experienced and remembered. Here we begin our walk into Indigenous epistemology; into the simultaneity of the unseen and seen. We are entering a wide-open field of knowledge production and exchange with priorities in practice, relevance, context, consciousness, and shared common sense. (p. 98)
So our connction, our pilina, is not in what makes us "Other" but what makes us same. What are those ways of knowing that allow us to "cling" to each other? How can we use our own common sense, built on our (k)new understanding to move forward collectively? If we are the individual parts of this hologram, then how do we hoʻopili? That is the work, yes?











 

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