Your and my Mother, Maka Ina, has taught the people’s of this Earth many lessons over the centuries. It seems the Indigenous people’s have done a better job of hearing and remembering the lessons than those of us in the dominant culture. That doesn’t make us bad…it just means we need to listen once again to what She has to say to us. Those that still listen, many Indian people’s of the world, are the conduit for Her message.
When you watch via You Tube the documentary by Ahn Crutcher titled Yakoana you’ll note that the elders say to the world, “We, who believe, are most familiar with nature…you must become our allies. Do not fear us because the future of the Indians is your future too. And it is also the future of the planet.” Marcos Terena, the representative of 1,000 people from 92 Indigenous nations who had gathered in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 said, “You don’t have to look any further or spend millions of dollars on new research. We the Indians would like to offer you our science, our wisdom for your civilization. And once again we have to ask you, ‘Are you prepared for that?’ Is the contemporary world ready to listen to what we have to say after 500 years of silence?”
Well of course most people were not….and still are not.
….why? You have to ask why?
….. well there is this thing called technology and science that turned us away from spirituality and nature
….. there is this disconnection from living in and with nature
……there is this Christian belief humans are separate from and above nature
……there is a belief Indians, Indigenous peoples, are not as smart as ‘us’
……there is an enmity bred of anger and ignorance between and among Indigenous and dominant culture people’s….on both sides of the ledger. An enmity that splits this potential alliance that elder’s spoke of in 1992.
Yet there are many of us who heard the words of Marcos Terena and heeded them…sought out the elders and said, “I am, we are, ready to listen and learn. Please help us.” AND TO A PERSON the elders that were contacted shared the teachings…..shared their ‘science and their wisdom’ just as promised.
These teachings are called The Lore. Law isn’t the correct word. Lore is knowledge acquired through experience and education…in this case education by The Mother and the Spirit World. Laws are rules and guidelines drawn up and enforced by social institutions in an effort to govern behavior.
There are many Lore. The Mother gave us many Lore but there are three I wish to speak of that are of great importance in today’s world. I learned this Lore from the many elders I sat with over the years. You’ll quickly note that this Lore will remind you of Buddhist teachings like those found in the Heart Sutra, or ‘rules’ such as the Golden Rule or even teachings that have been in but removed from the Bible such as, “You will find ME in the wood that you cleave.”
One piece of Lore that The Mother gave us that most people’s can intellectually agree to, maybe even emotionally agree to, is…’All things are inter-connected or inter-are.’ Cause and effect. This is like this because that is like that. This piece of Lore settles in comfortably because it can be witnessed and it has a scientific bent to it.
A second piece of Lore that the Mother gave us that many people can intellectually understand, and possibly agree to emotionally is, “As humans you are not better nor worse than, nor greater nor less than, any other Thing (Being) on earth. But you are very mobile and have this large discerning brain and therefore you are accorded the responsibility of being Guardians of your relatives (All Things/All Beings). At it’s root this piece of Lore is very very difficult for Christians, Catholics and other religions to believe or agree to because of the statement, “As humans you are not better than nor worse than, nor greater than nor less than any other Thing on this Earth.” As you probably know in dominant culture religion humans are pretty high up on a hierarchy, food chain, of beings. We are separate from, feel separated from, all the other things of nature. It is the separation that leads to forget this charge to serve as Guardians. Such a sadness for our Mother. In this case The Mother speaks of Dead Lore and Life Lore. It is something we must grasp if we are to live and thrive.
Then The Mother offered us a third piece of Lore that as dominant culture people most of us cannot understand and surely cannot believe intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually…the third piece of Lore is that all things in this world are Persons. All rocks, all plants, all animals, all ‘things’ are Persons and all these Persons are your relatives and therefore you are all inter-connected. Indigenous people don’t believe this, they KNOW this. This is an important point…they KNOW this.
When you KNOW that everything is a person that KNOWING changes everything. We have a greater chance of treating all things as SACRED (with awe, respect and non-violence) when we KNOW all things are persons. It is in de-personification that we commit the crimes that are being perpetrated on one another as humans and on one another as ‘persons.’ When someone is a ‘some-thing’ it becomes easy to harm it, forget it, mistreat it, wound it and kill it.”
Don’t believe me? 25% of all women in college can count on being sexually assaulted during their four years of college. 25%. How is that possible? Well the ‘new meat’ that enters the campus simply wants to belong and not be rejected, and they are perceived as things or toys to be had, poked, nailed, screwed or hammered….they surely are not persons. And so violence takes place. The root of violence, be it to self or others, has it’s roots in disconnection, de-personalization and de-personification. You will find this to be the truth of the matter in stories through time and around the world. Want to destroy someone, some group or something? Simply refer to it as ‘other’ or as a ‘thing’ or de-personify it.
So The Mother, our Mother…Maka Ina…says…..”All things are persons.” KNOW that and you all will thrive.
Where do we grasp that Knowing? That is another whole story.
But I believe the story above is the Greatest Teaching. The Teaching that will save us all.
Hecetu welo. It is so.
Mitakuye Oyasin. We are ALL related.