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Old 10-17-2016, 05:05 PM   #1
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Spiritual Questions Comment

Greetings,
I am new to the forum and this is my first post, but I have been reading posts and I have a comment and would appreciate your comments on it. It is a little deep for a first post, so please forgive me. It is something I have been contemplating lately.
This spoken from a sincere heart and with the deepest respect. I am not speaking about new agers, or shamanism for money, or fad seekers, I am speaking about the lost and the alone, the individuals, no matter the race, who are on a spiritual journey. I speak of those individuals who are alien to the culture they were born into, whose spirits are different. Those individuals are like transgender persons, who body is one reality but whose spirit is another.
We each carry within us the DNA of our ancestors, they are with us, and they are within us. I, as a woman, can look behind me and there I see a line of women stretching back into time. Our mitochondrial DNA is passed unchanged from mother to daughter for thousands of years. I do not think it matters what the body looks like but the spirit that comes from and is part of the Creator.
There are individuals who sincerely want to connect with the Great Spirit and with Mother Earth, who are alone and are being exploited by these so called shamans, etc. They cannot turn to their own culture because there is nothing there for them. Once long ago before white men came here, they lived in indigenous communities and did have a connection with the earth and with the maker, but the same forces that brought evil practices here, visited them first. People were slaughtered, their beliefs and customs destroyed, their scared places desecrated until there was nothing left. I do not know if any of these customs were hidden away and protected, but if your spirit cries out for what was and not is, you are a very lonely, disconnected person.
I do know that there are specks of silver among the dross and that there are individuals whose native ancestors cry out to them. I am not saying that you have an obligation to these people, that you must share ceremonies or customs with them. It is like meeting two people in the forest. The first individual has plenty to eat, but he wants your food because it is novel. The second individual is starving. Does one ignore the second because of the first? I do not have answers to these questions. Perhaps this cycle of life for these individuals is to teach them that ultimately our connection with the Great Spirit, the Earth, and the other spirits who exist here is an individual journey, no matter how many humans are with us. I would appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Thikawoo View Post
I do not think it matters what the body looks like but the spirit that comes from and is part of the Creator.
If you've been reading posts here, you've probably already heard me say: "It's not about race." It has never been about what you look like. It's about being who the Creator made you to be. You were made who you are and I was made who I am.


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We each carry within us the DNA of our ancestors, they are with us, and they are within us. I, as a woman, can look behind me and there I see a line of women stretching back into time. Our mitochondrial DNA is passed unchanged from mother to daughter for thousands of years.
If you're going to cite mtDNA, I'm going to recommend you going seeking in sub-Saharan Africa, LOL. Which actually is an interesting point. Why do you look to us in the New World and not those in your ancestors' hemisphere of origin?
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:25 AM   #3
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I totally agree with what you have said

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Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
Welcome to powwows.com.




If you've been reading posts here, you've probably already heard me say: "It's not about race." It has never been about what you look like. It's about being who the Creator made you to be. You were made who you are and I was made who I am.


If you're going to cite mtDNA, I'm going to recommend you going seeking in sub-Saharan Africa, LOL. Which actually is an interesting point. Why do you look to us in the New World and not those in your ancestors' hemisphere of origin?
Thank you for your welcome. I am English, French, Nordic, German and Cherokee and 3.1% Neanderthal. That is my DNA. That is what this body is made of, these are my ancestors. I am a mutt. I hope I am not mis understanding you which is so easy when one is typing rather than speaking, but when you say this is how the creator made me....how the creator made me personally is not about the different peoples who make me up, but about the spirit that he has put into this body. That is why I mentioned transgender people because what the spirit is, is often not reflected in the body, but I do believe i am in this body to learn.

If you believe science sub-Saharan Africa is the home of every human. When I was asking opinions and I appreciate your answer, I was not speaking of myself as I have found my path and only want to grow in a deeper connection to the Creator, and I must look inside myself for that now, but I do see a hunger in some individuals for a connection to the Creator and the Earth that they cannot get from their ancestor's hemisphere because it is lost. When you look at the Celtic belief system, there is a revival, but they are trying to reconstruct something that is gone. They are trying to put flesh on scattered and shattered bones. The Christians saw to that. You have archaeology and you have the written account of Catholic priests and monks. If new world peoples had to reconstruct their belief system based on what white men wrote about them..... I hope you see my point. So they look to new world peoples because somehow, the traditions are still alive.

I hope I have in no way offended.

Last edited by Thikawoo; 10-18-2016 at 12:28 AM.. Reason: Looks like my post is part of the quote.
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:14 AM   #4
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Just an opening comment: Much of the language you are using and some of the concepts you are expressing owe far more to ill-understood and stolen Hindu ideas within the New Age, than any of the various Native traditions.

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Originally Posted by Thikawoo View Post
...but when you say this is how the creator made me....how the creator made me personally is not about the different peoples who make me up, but about the spirit that he has put into this body. That is why I mentioned transgender people because what the spirit is, is often not reflected in the body, but I do believe i am in this body to learn.
I believe this cultural weltschmerz, which afflicts many within the dominant culture, is a result of three factors:

1) Nearly complete ignorance of their own cultures. So many of my students seemed to think the cotton candy, potato chip consumerist diet of pop culture was the sum total of their cultural inheritance. They would reject organized Christianity without even knowing what a wide and diverse stream it is. They would reject their cultures' various thinkers, without even knowing what they said. They were people without memory. To expand on your metaphor, they stand in front of a storehouse of food, that belongs to them, and steal from passers by.

2) The baby-boomers' institutionalization of rebellion against parental authority, in particular, and authority in general. It ravaged the family structure in the dominant culture. Elders were objects of ridicule and rejection rather libraries of experience. Transition to adulthood now requires rejection of your antecedents.

3) Geographic dislocation.

I believe this creates inherently self-centered individuals. Without memory, family or God you are nothing but a predatory animal. We fear those animals.

Please, note none of these factors involve the Creator placing "Indian" spirits in "white" bodies. My understanding of my people's traditional worldview doesn't accommodate that.

In my experience Native spiritual traditions place the good of the people ahead of the individual - hechel lena oyate kin nipi kte. But the seeking you describe is all about the individual. It gets wrapped in a thin veneer of environmentalism, but in the end it is all about making you feel better.


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Originally Posted by Thikawoo View Post
When you look at the Celtic belief system, there is a revival, but they are trying to reconstruct something that is gone. They are trying to put flesh on scattered and shattered bones. The Christians saw to that. You have archaeology and you have the written account of Catholic priests and monks. If new world peoples had to reconstruct their belief system based on what white men wrote about them..... I hope you see my point. So they look to new world peoples because somehow, the traditions are still alive.
With all due respect, that comment reflects a rather profound ignorance the damage wrought on this hemisphere. There are tribes that don't even have a dominant culture record left. I've seen their descendants cobble together scraps they've taken from other tribes and more than a little Hollyweird.


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Originally Posted by Thikawoo View Post
I hope I have in no way offended.
No, you have engaged not emoted. Quite refreshing actually.

Just be aware, this argument/counter-argument mode of exchange has it's roots in ancient Greece, not the New World. While this former prof, finds it a comfortable, even pleasurable, activity, it can be offensive to more traditionally oriented folks. In my culture you show respect, by listening and absorbing. You do not immediately and directly offer objections or attempt to persuade, particularly an elder. This is not to say we didn't engage in spirited debate, we did, just with differing rhetorical devices.

However with me, please, argue away. :)
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Last edited by OLChemist; 10-18-2016 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:56 PM   #5
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I did tell you I was on my own path

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
Just an opening comment: Much of the language you are using and some of the concepts you are expressing owe far more to ill-understood and stolen Hindu ideas within the New Age, than any of the various Native traditions.



I believe this cultural weltschmerz, which afflicts many within the dominant culture is a result of three factors:

1) Nearly complete ignorance of their own cultures. So many of my students seemed to think the cotton candy, potato chip consumerist diet of pop culture was the sum total of their cultural inheritance. They would reject organized Christianity without even knowing what a wide and diverse stream it is. They would reject their cultures' various thinkers, without even knowing what they said. They were people without memory. To expand on your metaphor, they stand in front of a storehouse of food, that belongs to them, and steal from passers by.

2) The baby-boomers' institutionalization of rebellion against parental authority, in particular, and authority in general. It ravaged the family structure in the dominant culture. Elders were objects of ridicule and rejection rather libraries of experience. Transition to adulthood now requires rejection of your antecedents.

3) Geographic dislocation.

I believe this creates inherently self-centered individuals. Without memory, family or God you are nothing but a predatory animal. We fear those animals.

Please, note none of these factors involve the Creator placing "Indian" spirits in "white" bodies. My understanding of my people's traditional worldview doesn't accommodate that.

In my experience Native spiritual traditions place the good of the people ahead of the individual - hechel lena oyate kin nipi kte. But the seeking you describe is all about the individual. It gets wrapped in a thin veneer of environmentalism, but in the end it is all about making you feel better.




With all due respect, that comment reflects a rather profound ignorance the damage wrought on this hemisphere. There are tribes that don't even have a dominant culture record left. I've seen their descendants cobble together scraps they've taken from other tribes and more than a little Hollyweird.




No, you have engaged not emoted. Quite refreshing actually.

Just be aware, this argument/counter-argument mode of exchange has it's roots in ancient Greece, not the New World. While this former prof, finds it a comfortable, even pleasurable, activity, it can be offensive to more traditionally oriented folks. In my culture you show respect, by listening and absorbing. You do not immediately and directly offer objections or attempt to persuade, particularly an elder. This is not to say we didn't engage in spirited debate, we did, just with differing rhetorical devices.

However with me, please, argue away. :)
Thank you, I unconsciously was using rhetoric. I did not realize I was using it as I was trained in it as a college graduate from an Honors program where Greek thought was emphasized. I will keep what you have said in mind. I totally meant no disrespect. Since you like debate....

Point 1. We have no culture or we are ignorant of our culture. I can only address my own experience so I will speak from that view point. I have great respect for my elders (not in a tribe sense but a family sense as that is all we had.) It was my grandmother (this is where the Cherokee comes in) who taught me to love the earth and the things upon it. My father was a WWII veteran, much decorated, who helped liberate death camps. He had ptsd but back then they did not have a name for it. Our family unit was isolated as he discouraged interaction with other people. When someone came in the front door, he went out the back.
As for Christianity, I have studied it extensively. I have read the bible cover to cover, different translations, 15 times. I have attended many different denominations and extensively studied ancient commentaries as well as modern. I have read the Talmud and studied Jewish commentaries. Having said that, one could spend their lives in extensive biblical studies and never get to all of it. I have also studied other belief systems, including Hindu, buddhism, etc.
I am constantly studying history. I probably know more about English history than most English men. My house will never blow away because it is filled with so many books on so many different subjects. I am not ignorant of my anglo saxon roots or the "white" history of this land.

Point 2. I am a baby bomber. I do not think I rebelled so much as I thought intensely about things. The area where I was raised did not have one black family. When one wanted to move in, people burned the house down. I figured out that hating someone for the color of their skin, religion, etc. was foolish. The best compliment I ever received from my sister (nine years younger than me) is that "I would not have known prejudice was wrong if not for you." Was there a rejection of your antecedents as you put it. Yes and no. I did not reject what I was taught about how to treat people, about being kind, generous, honest, but yes, I did reject what I saw as wrong.

Point 3. I have nothing to say. You are probably absolutely correct. I do not know how to not be an individual. I hope I am not a predatory animal. I do not want to steal your customs or traditions. I do not want anything from you. I know I cannot be accepted and I understand why. I have no foundation in your culture, but I believe I can gleam wisdom from "listening."
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thikawoo View Post
Greetings,
I am new to the forum and this is my first post, but I have been reading posts and I have a comment and would appreciate your comments on it. It is a little deep for a first post, so please forgive me. It is something I have been contemplating lately.
This spoken from a sincere heart and with the deepest respect. I am not speaking about new agers, or shamanism for money, or fad seekers, I am speaking about the lost and the alone, the individuals, no matter the race, who are on a spiritual journey. I speak of those individuals who are alien to the culture they were born into, whose spirits are different. Those individuals are like transgender persons, who body is one reality but whose spirit is another.
We each carry within us the DNA of our ancestors, they are with us, and they are within us. I, as a woman, can look behind me and there I see a line of women stretching back into time. Our mitochondrial DNA is passed unchanged from mother to daughter for thousands of years. I do not think it matters what the body looks like but the spirit that comes from and is part of the Creator.
There are individuals who sincerely want to connect with the Great Spirit and with Mother Earth, who are alone and are being exploited by these so called shamans, etc. They cannot turn to their own culture because there is nothing there for them. Once long ago before white men came here, they lived in indigenous communities and did have a connection with the earth and with the maker, but the same forces that brought evil practices here, visited them first. People were slaughtered, their beliefs and customs destroyed, their scared places desecrated until there was nothing left. I do not know if any of these customs were hidden away and protected, but if your spirit cries out for what was and not is, you are a very lonely, disconnected person.
I do know that there are specks of silver among the dross and that there are individuals whose native ancestors cry out to them. I am not saying that you have an obligation to these people, that you must share ceremonies or customs with them. It is like meeting two people in the forest. The first individual has plenty to eat, but he wants your food because it is novel. The second individual is starving. Does one ignore the second because of the first? I do not have answers to these questions. Perhaps this cycle of life for these individuals is to teach them that ultimately our connection with the Great Spirit, the Earth, and the other spirits who exist here is an individual journey, no matter how many humans are with us. I would appreciate your thoughts.
I am but a humble person so the words I use are simple.

If you are going to learn of Native spiritualism, which one of the over 500 tribes spiritualities are you going to try to use?

If you find one you think will suit your needs, which one of your many belief systems or history lessons you have studied, will you use to interpret the Native spiritualism you are learning?

You see, you can only interpret what you are learning by what you already know.

Thus, starts the ba$tardization of the Native spirituality.
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"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

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Old 10-20-2016, 08:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
If you find one you think will suit your needs, which one of your many belief systems or history lessons you have studied, will you use to interpret the Native spiritualism you are learning?

You see, you can only interpret what you are learning by what you already know.
Please, reflect at length on this. This is very important.

Cultural structures run very deep. They are our invisible baggage. They hide in very languages that shape our thoughts. There are things that be said in Dine or Lakota or Cherokee or pick the Native language of your choice that cannot be expressed in English -- with any real accuracy -- because Native concept doesn't have a directly corresponding concept in English. The idea ends up with an alien cultural accretion, a kind of dominant culture case of barnacles obscuring the original.

Last edited by OLChemist; 10-20-2016 at 08:35 PM.. Reason: Atrocious grammar.
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Old 10-21-2016, 02:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
Please, reflect at length on this. This is very important.

Cultural structures run very deep. They are our invisible baggage. They hide in very languages that shape our thoughts. There are things that be said in Dine or Lakota or Cherokee or pick the Native language of your choice that cannot be expressed in English -- with any real accuracy -- because Native concept doesn't have a directly corresponding concept in English. The idea ends up with an alien cultural accretion, a kind of dominant culture case of barnacles obscuring the original.
I love "listening to you". You put stuff into words that just rumble around in my head as incoherent thoughts.
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
I am but a humble person so the words I use are simple.

If you are going to learn of Native spiritualism, which one of the over 500 tribes spiritualities are you going to try to use?

If you find one you think will suit your needs, which one of your many belief systems or history lessons you have studied, will you use to interpret the Native spiritualism you are learning?

You see, you can only interpret what you are learning by what you already know.

Thus, starts the ba$tardization of the Native spirituality.
These are very good questions. And when you think deeply about these things, it changes how you view them. My views thanks to this forum and being to evolve and change. I have a soft heart and I pity the lost.
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:51 PM   #10
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Language as a barrier to understanding

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Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
Please, reflect at length on this. This is very important.

Cultural structures run very deep. They are our invisible baggage. They hide in very languages that shape our thoughts. There are things that be said in Dine or Lakota or Cherokee or pick the Native language of your choice that cannot be expressed in English -- with any real accuracy -- because Native concept doesn't have a directly corresponding concept in English. The idea ends up with an alien cultural accretion, a kind of dominant culture case of barnacles obscuring the original.
Thank you for this comment. It makes perfect sense. Your comment about structures being invisible is true. We inculcate these things from infancy, no matter the culture.
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