One of the aspects that was considered by the ethno-psychiatrists of the past to define the “African mind” was a lesser degree of repression than that associated with the European counterpart. There was less repression of sexual and mystical feelings associated with native Africans. And this was, in turn, seen to make the blacks of Africa more susceptible to succumbing to schizophrenic psychosis.
Yet, when I came to Australia, I wondered why the mood of the social atmosphere and natural environment did not cut through my Western counterparts like a knife, as I had been accustomed to it cutting through me.
My relatively much lower level of repression of feeling-sensations (my capacity to be very sensitive to the dynamics of group spirit and mood), my capacity to dream more vividly than did my Western counterparts, and my actual THIRST for a message from the natural environment as if from “above” all differentiated me from those who had grown up Europeanised in every way.
I felt that such Western children were so repressed and circumspect in every way that they were like the living dead, and nothing that they said meant anything. They seemed to numb, as if they couldn’t feel the breeze of culture, history or nature. They stood aloof instead — judging me, perhaps, but in any case, meaninglessly.
They seemed to totally lack a faculty for feeling the reality around them.