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Lakota lack concept for seperate self

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posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 11:27 PM
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Oneness, the concept which indigenous people emphasized as the most fundamental of realities to understand, has become the emergent new paradigm, resulting in many attempts to define and illustrate it in ways we can understand. Most challenging is to provide a concept of oneness that supplants the illusion of the seperate self without annihilating the persons sense of identity. Learning from indigenous people has proven useful.

The Lakota Sioux, a native peoples of American descent, for example, have no concept or word for individual self. Writing in the journal 'Quadrant', Richard Voss ( Voss commentaryand www.matthewvossfoundation.com...) in the Department of Social Work at West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania, who has collaborated with Lakota elders in conducting research in social work among those native people, has explored the Lakota spirit-relational-self concept "wa'ce waki'ya!", which translates literally as "I am embracing relatives all around us!"

To the Lakota, the Western concept of the separate, independant, autonomous, bounded, material self is very bizarre. Rather, each person is seen as a node of interaction of ancestral spirits and the numerous spirits of creation. Thus a person is a focus of experience in a dynamic network of spiritual relations, which include the spirits of animals and plants, and which is continually changing and influencing a persons experience.

In this cosmology, health is not something that is a self-contained condition within a person, but rather a quality of the network of relationships relative to that person. Healing is a process that involves re-establishing harmony in all those relationships.

Lakota - encarta.msn.com...

Lakota ethnoastronomy - www.fiu.edu...

Lil Wisom -www.psychicworld.net...

We could all learn some lessons regarding this wisdom of the ancients...

[edit on 18-2-2009 by Byrd]




posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 10:38 PM
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Cool! I am exstatic to no end knowing that we are all in agreement.




posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 10:48 PM
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I challenge the notion that the Lakota people did not have a concept for separate self. Everyone in the Lakota had a very colorful name, which seems to me to indicate a strong idea of individuality.



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 11:54 PM
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I have never quite understood everyone's fear of losing "self-identity." Of course, my view of spiritual issues is that everything is one mind and we are each just a singular thought of that one mind to help fulfill its desire or "story."

Individualness is a concept of the dualistic mind, which is developed by materialistic influences.

[edit on 16-8-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 08:30 AM
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Responses to the Declaration:
War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality
February 6, 1996 to November 11th 1996
The following are responses to the statment concerning the exploitation of Lakota ceremonies. Anyone is free to submit a response to this statement provided you include explicit permission to post the statement to the internet. Each response must be individually processed by the web masters so please be patient if this process takes a little time. We ask that people be respectful in their responses and address the issues and not individual persons.
Due to the size of the responses I have divided them into smaller sections. You may read the most recent responses below in reverse chronlogy (newest to oldest). There are also archives of comments:

Lakota



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 07:40 PM
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Thank you very much SpeakerofTruth for your input (most informative). I am happy to know that at least one ATSer out there sees what im saying and is willing to express an informed and enlightened opinion. I just wish there were more people out there like you. It almost seemed as if I was about to be ridiculed for such a spiritual concept (that anyone can investigate on their own if they so wish)... almost like I was a misinformed savage who should be eliminated because I cannot see the light. (I also recieved some U2U's about this subject)

Many Thanks.



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 11:27 PM
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I moved this one here, knowing that the longtime readers of the forum will enjoy this nice bit of scholarship. Everyone gets tired (I'm sure) of hearing me gripe about "that's modern thinking... not the way THEY thought", and this (as with other good AmerInd studies).

This way of thinking... you are not simply an entity, but you are an entity that fits in a system of all living things... is perhaps the biggest thing that I see that divides them from many others. When you are not just you, but you are responsible to and for Grandfather Bear, and Grandmother Spider... when animals are not just things of convenience but are related to you, you treat the world differently.

The link that Speaker gave also speaks to another thing I address frequently here -- the stealing and changing of culture by well-meaning people who don't actually understand it. It showed up recently in the question someone asked about the Mayan calendar and the "14 calendars"... changes adopted by some when spiritual travelers from Europe and America came in and told the locals that their symbols related to the ones that the Europeans and North Americans held dear (Christianity and numerology, for two examples.)

In researching ancient cultures, you need to be aware of what Grock and Speaker have posted -- that their beliefs and practices and philosophy were VERY different from ours, and it's a mistake to interpret them through the things that we love and hold dear. We have to talk to the people themselves (or read what they said).

Let me add another good resource:
www.trailtribes.org...


(...and a note, "all my relations" is a simple phrase but it has a very complex meaning. I encourage the other scholars here to find the AmerInd sites and university sites and follow the paths to find out more about this concept. Avoid Lynn V. Andrews -- the tribes have protested vehemently at her "interpretations" of their cultures and beliefs.)

[edit on 22-8-2007 by Byrd]



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by uberarcanist
I challenge the notion that the Lakota people did not have a concept for separate self. Everyone in the Lakota had a very colorful name, which seems to me to indicate a strong idea of individuality.


They didn't have the notion of the individual as an isolated thing. This is one of our concepts here in Western society... we aren't identified by our tribe or our family (family names do not tell something about your status and where you came from, as they once did.)

The concept runs deeper than that. I know we have several Native Americans on the board who grew up "on the rez" and I'm hoping that they will come add to the comments here.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 12:52 AM
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reply to post by Grock
 



Grock, you are quite welcome.

Sometimes, at least around here of late, if you talk about spirituality, it gets hairy. It seems that ATS is beginning to become over run with athiests, agnostics and people that are wholly unaware of spirituality.


[edit on 23-8-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 12:56 AM
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The link that Speaker gave also speaks to another thing I address frequently here -- the stealing and changing of culture by well-meaning people who don't actually understand it. It showed up recently in the question someone asked about the Mayan calendar and the "14 calendars"... changes adopted by some when spiritual travelers from Europe and America came in and told the locals that their symbols related to the ones that the Europeans and North Americans held dear (Christianity and numerology, for two examples.)



Byrd, I entirely agree. It really comes down to people not understanding beliefs of other faiths and cultures. One of the biggest handicaps that many have is tha they have no understanding of symbology at all.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 09:05 AM
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In understanding how others placed their identities in the universe, I forgot to include the Alaskan coast Native Americans. Here, your name includes your clan name and your parents' clan names as well as totemic affiiliations. So if someone introduces himself as William Heartseeker of the Frog clan of the Wolf clan (bad example, but you get the idea) then it says immediately who his council members are, and also tells who he can marry according to clan laws.

One of the first things anthropologists do is look at kinship. Our modern system, where kinship ties are not as important as friendship ties is a very new thing.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by uberarcanist
I challenge the notion that the Lakota people did not have a concept for separate self. Everyone in the Lakota had a very colorful name, which seems to me to indicate a strong idea of individuality.


I accept your challenge. ^_^

Every guy who has ever named his "peepee", apparently it really does have a brain of its own.

Oh, and every guy who has ever named his car... apparently you don't actually need to drive it.

Ahh and those women who want to give their garden gnomes little pretty names... that's scary.

---If you will notice, people make very strong attachments to things that become a part of them (seeing as how a lot of women always suggest that a guy parts have brains of their own, it's good that they're attached... or else there would be women everywhere screaming and running from a mob of....)



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 11:00 PM
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I plan on doing more threads of this nature in the future. This was my 'feel out the vibe' thread, since I understand that any cross culture spiritual values will always be attacked by those who dont understand or are unwilling to open their minds to new understanding outside their box so to speak. (thankfully that didnt happen here to the degree I expected, even though it did happen to some degree).

I have alot more to say about this thread but I just got off work and need to 'unwind' and go to bed soon. Thankfully the weekend is now here. I FULLY appreciate your aware and enlightened feedback, you have enriched my views of ATS with your positive responses.

Thank You.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 11:40 PM
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I am Lakota.

Lakota have a difinate idea of self, however all things are tied into a "circle of existance." We are part of our smaller familiy, tiyospaye, which is our relatives and loved ones and the larger family, which includes everything in the universe.

We also have God concept. It is a monothiestic God concept that many try hard to integrate with Christianity, but I dont think that is possible.

I myself, like most modern Lakota, am Christian. Maybe we are all part of the hoop but if we are tied togeather it is through God.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 11:47 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
I know we have several Native Americans on the board who grew up "on the rez" and I'm hoping that they will come add to the comments here.


Byrd, each tribe is a distinct and separate nation and society. You being an anthropologist, I am sure you don’t need any reminder of that from me, however the Lakota metaphysical concepts are different (sorry, but often more advanced) than most other tribes and I don’t think it do much to hear from a other tribes on this issue at least.

But then I don’t enough about other tribes spiritual beliefes. Maybe we aren’t so different as I think.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
Sometimes, at least around here of late, if you talk about spirituality, it gets hairy. It seems that ATS is beginning to become over run with athiests, agnostics and people that are wholly unaware of spirituality.
[edit on 23-8-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]


Excuse me, we "agnostics and aetheists" are not wholly or even partly unaware of spirituality necessarily. Most aetheists and agnostics grew up in Christian homes and are quite aware of spirituality. It just takes a different form from the Abrahamic religions. Most that I've met have a highly developed sense of morals. But just because they're not Christian, don't assume that they have no spirituality, ethics, morals, etc.

And thank you CavScout for your information and clarification. There is so much that is misunderstood about Lakota beliefs.



posted on Sep, 4 2007 @ 01:04 AM
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I just wanted to add that it isnt just the Lakota with these beliefs. There are many different Native Peoples with similar beliefs and belief structures. Some Indigenous Tribes don't even have a word for 'dead' - for example. A 'dead' tree lying in the forrest is not 'dead' but in a period of transition, a transition which is still giving life to organisms that depend upon it for their own life(s). Some don't even have a word for 'Lie' or 'Deceit' - it eather is or it isnt...



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 01:10 AM
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reply to post by forestlady
 


I fully agree. Beliefs actually have very little to do with understanding. One is just a step to the other...



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 04:06 AM
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...I'm sorry, but what wisdom am I supposed to be recieving here? Just because their ethnic group lacks something other ethnic groups have, it's supposed to show some profound understanding of the universe?



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 12:23 AM
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You dont understand "being one with everything" or even the concept of it? If not, then I cant help you, or explain it in any simpler terms.



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