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Psycho-evolutionary Theory

Intra-indigenous Consciousness

James Neill

Last updated:
27 Jul 2004


Intra-Indigenous Consciousness (IIC)

Intra-indigenous Consciousness (IIC) is the cumulative psychological knowledge of human evolution which is genetically stored.  It is the indigenous psyche within each person and it can be activated through direct experiences with nature, natural elements and natural systems.





"Ishi (the last hunter-gather Native American)
was sure he knew the cause of our discontent.
It stemmed from an excessive amount of indoor time.
'It is not a man's nature to be too much indoors'."
- Theodora Kroeber

Some ways to trigger and develop intra-indigenous consciousness (IIC)

IIC patterns (consciousness) are most reliably triggered via re-engagement in indigenous lifestyle, and sustained natural activities, self-exploration in nature, outdoor education, and direct study of extra-indigenous knowledge (i.e., indigenous culture, deep ecology, etc.).

Here's a suggested developmental sequence of accessing increasingly deep IIC experiences:

  1. Spend time in nature. Experience symbiosis with nature.  Gradually, regularly, explore your relationship with nature through various phases and cycles.  Become friends with nature. 

  2. Walking, jogging, running and other journeying in natural environments, especially camping and living in nature

  3. Study human connections to nature holistically and integrally, including cosmology, geology, botany, zoology, farming and environmental issues.

  4. Directly trigger intra-indigenous consciousness (IIC) through indigenous-type ceremonies and consciousness-altering activities such as solo in nature, sweat lodges and vision quests

  5. Undertake environmental service and nature restoration work (e.g, green corps).

  6. Live sustainability with nature (e.g., follow permaculture concepts) as much as possible.  Even small steps in this directing, such as growing vegetables and foraging for nuts can catalyze growth of IIC

  7. Engage in observation, experience, understanding and celebration of the natural seasons

  8. Act in ways that spawn sustainable living and realization of IIC consciousness more widely

Related concept: Naturalist Intelligence (Gardner)

Naturalist intelligence allows people to distinguish among, classify, and use features of the environment. This intelligence is exhibited in farmers, gardeners, botanists, geologists, florists, and archaeologists, as do well as people who can, for example, name and describe the features of every make of car around them.

Programs which develop IIC

  1. Indigenous

  2. Rites of passage

  3. Hunting, tracking, etc.

  4. Survival skills

  5. Pioneer living

  6. More possible formats