Heidi Trautmann

880: The Heart of the Small Hunter - Connecting to the Original Spirit

The Heart of the Small Hunter and The Lost World of the Kalahari

Connecting to the Original Spirit


By Heidi Trautmann


The works by Laurens van der Post, i.e. Sir Laurens van der Post, have been compulsory reading for British and South African people, sp I have heard,  and also those who love Africa such as I having lived in Western Africa for a period of ten years. The other day I pulled out my favourite books of his about an area which is deeply buried in my heart and surfaces from time to time, especially when there is something up in my life.

The reason why I did so this time is to find something that connects me with earth again with the ‘original spirit’ that you find only in unspoilt nature, the pure spirit of mother earth.

Today we seem to have forgotten that the Earth is our mother, mother to all of us, to the human races and all animals, fauna and flora; with the sky and its milky way, the moon and stars being our relatives. We all carry the same genes.

It demands humbleness to recognise the truth, just as the bushmen did in Laurens van der Post books. I found again the words of their good and simple life philosophy. It was very important to the bushmen to be known, to be recognised by all, to be linked to, literally, to all molecules and atoms of nature,  the lion and the hyena just as to all the insects, the weed and the grain of sand. The bushmen the author has talked to and made friends with told him the legends and of their relationship they had with the world around them, the animals would represent a personality, would personify a feeling, virtue or bad habit, hate or love, envy or avarice, and like on stage these animals would act the deeds the people did or wanted to do, or it was used for educational purposes which I also encountered when I lived in South Africa in the 1960-1970s. The people living in villages, far away from any influence, would use animal legends and nature events to teach young people, to teach them morals. I know of these traditions from my dear friend Helen Sebidi who today is a great artist decorated with the order of merit and has a big fan community.

The years I spent in Africa, - in Angola and in South Africa, also Namibia and Nigeria – have taught me many lessons, lessons about life in the very primitive sense of meaning, to spend days or weeks in the bush, in the desert, with nothing but a tent, to meet and talk to people who spent all their life there, people who had a pride to live this simple life, people who were connected….yes, this is one of the truths, they were connected, rooted, they recognised nature and all its values and they felt recognized as a link within the chain of nature.


To be accepted, to be recognised, that is in our today’s society the big question around which everything circulates, however, today we connect to the wrong values. We don’t listen to the music of the stars, we complain that there is another power cut; we don’t go out to look for the natural riches, wild herbs, we fill our deep freezers with food over many months and finally, if you are sensible, you throw it away. You listen to what is advertised in the media and you don’t listen to your own built-in warning system, we don’t listen to the original spirit the roots of which are planted in our genes but we don’t use them, and we are no longer aware of them.

There was a time when autogenous training became the fashion and I remember that I tried it myself when I had a health problem. I was amazed – at least when you had proper training – how you could manipulate your own mind to wander around your body and actually heal yourself. The same feeling occurs by stepping out of yourself, by concentrating on a specific work, it is then that you realise that you don’t depend on outside effects to make you happy, you are able to achieve it yourself, can make yourself happy.

Another big truth is that today’s distractions are too many, our life should be more simple and with more discipline. We complain that we don’t have any time for things we like. We have, we must only make room for them. I know many creative people who are covered with so much crap they are busy with that they drown and their talent with them. We must not go with the fashion that commands us to do certain things, to fill our life with, to wear the uniform and act like all do. We must become individuals again.

Today I spoke with some poets and they said….who is listening to us, just our own kind….that might be true but we must keep trying. 

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