Westerners generally think they know more about life and death than native people because we have science, but I think this is naive. Our view is generally small and sterile compared to those who live their lives close to the earth. All our time spent indoors in houses and towns, watching TV and reading the newspaper has made us very uniform and conditioned in our thinking. The more time spent in nature away from the other people programming our minds makes us wiser, and makes our view of life broader, I think.
There is no doubt superstition clouds many people’s minds but this is not unique to non-western or native cultures. The cure to this is for us each to have an independent mind and not accept anything we are told as an inviolate truth. Instead, we must trust our own experience and form our own understanding of life. I think this is best done when we are in regular contact with the natural world and are able to lay our own thoughts aside for a while to observe how the natural world functions. I think this is where true knowledge and faith in life comes from. Otherwise, we will just find our ourselves interacting with other human minds and their artifacts and this will never free us from the limited, conditioned thinking of the human race which is steeped in many illusions and lacks the magical and spontaneous nature of the natural world!