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Native American Wisdom

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posted on May, 29 2008 @ 04:24 AM
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Hi, I found this site :
www.greatdreams.com...


The Great Spirit is in all things: he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the earth is our mother. She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us

- Big Thunder (Bedagi) Wabanaki Algonquin

"Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.". . . .

Chief Seattle

"There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled, which leads to an unkown, secret place. The old people came literally to love the soil, and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. Their teepees were built upon the earth and their alters were made of earth. The soul was soothing, strengthening, cleasnsing and healing. That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him."

- Chief Luther Standing Bear

The Wise Man believes profoundly in silence - the sign of a perfect equilibrium. Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. The man who preserves his selfhood ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence - not a leaf, as it were, astire on the tree, not a ripple upon the surface of the shinning pool - his, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life. Silence is the cornerstone of character.

Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman) - Wahpeton Santee Sioux

"You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. "You ask me to dig for stones! Shall I dig under her skin for bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again. "You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it and be rich like white men, but how dare I cut my mother's hair? "I want my people to stay with me here. All the dead men will come to life again. Their spirits will come to their bodies again. We must wait here in the homes of our fathers and be ready to meet them in the bosom of our mother."

Wovoka, Paiute

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and Demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and Its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, Even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and Bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and For the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, The fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, For abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts Are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes They weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again In a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."

Tecumseh - Shawnee-(1768-1813)

"Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of the earth. We learn to do what only the student of nature ever learns, and that is to feel beauty. We never rail at the storms, the furious winds, the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensifies human futility, so whatever comes we should adjust ourselves by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint. Bright days and dark days are both expressions of the Great Mystery, and the Indian reveled in being close the the Great Holiness."

-Chief Luther Standing Bear

As a child I understood how to give, I have forgotten this grace since I have become civilized.

-Luther Standing Bear, Oglala

They were real people, we are poor compared to them



[edit on 29-5-2008 by pai mei]




posted on May, 29 2008 @ 05:20 AM
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I can really find myself in that. I would really love to go back to nature and live of the land, it's my dream.

Unfortunately, that's practically impossible here in Holland.



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 05:37 AM
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Mankind did not create the web of life, but are merely one strand within it.
Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother.
All things are connected, whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.
The earth is not inherited from our forebears, it is borrowed from our descendants.
There is no death, only a change of worlds.
The earth is not their brother but their enemy, they conquer it and move on. They will devour everything and the earth will become a desert.
Chief Seattle

We must learn to understand the animals, for what we do not understand, we fear, and what we fear, we destroy.
Chief Dan George


[edit on 5/29/2008 by BlackGuardXIII]



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by enigmania
 


What makes it impossible?



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 04:10 PM
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The fact that we don't have large natural, uninhabited areas, and the fact that the regulations are very strict, no hunting(only a few with permit), and it's not allowed to camp out in nature, only in designated areas.

Plus we don't have large populations of wild life, like deers and boars, only in a few areas.

That doesn't stop me from camping out though. If I absolutely had to, I think I could live of the land. I know were the animals are and I know how to snare and trap, plus I got an Excalibur crossbow and a handbow, wich are, luckily, legal without a permit.

But there are hardly any places in Holland were you are more than a few kilometres away from roads and villages.

If someone would see me walking through the woods with my bow, they would probably call the cops on me, and I would be in a lot of trouble.



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 05:51 PM
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I believe you can still find good "natural" camping in areas of Slovakia, Roumania, Bulgaria and the Ukraine - and certainly in Siberia!

Western nature writers also say the same types of things. See the book Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau. Also suggested are:

Richard Gregg & Vernard Eller. You can also review Montaigne, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Plus a look at the French philsophers might be valuable.



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 08:55 PM
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Sadly, the "wisdom" on that site is not the original Native American beliefs. They did not believe in a "Great Father" until after the arrival of the Europeans and the forcing of them to accept Christianity. Their traditions were forbidden and they were persecuted for ceremonies like the Sun Dance.

Many of the statements you read come from the time of greatest despair, when the Native Americans were little more than slaves and outcasts and longed for freedom and equality... the time of the "Ghost Dance" and certain other revivals.

There were those who went along with the "Great Father" scenario and tried to adapt to the ways of the Caucasians. The ones who wouldn't adapt (and become Christian) and who ran away from the reservations were hunted down and killed.

They are sad echoes of brutality and injustice.



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by pai mei
 


Starred and flagged. Idigenous American culture is fascinating, and deeply moving in many ways. There are several very good books about that are well worth a read too. It's just sad we don't know more than we do. If only we had shown their culture some respect, we would be far, far richer for it today.

J.



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 09:07 PM
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reply to post by Byrd
 


But Byrd, wasn't it more a change of terminology that occured after european domination? I always understood it was 'The Great Spirit' that later became the 'Great Father' - but only in order to appease the whites? The basic philosophy and religious belief systems of the native american tribes was still intact to a degree in Chief Seattle's time, wasn't it?

After all, we're talking about a culture that had no written language, and passed everything down by word of mouth for many thousands of years.

J.



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 09:18 PM
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Thank you for the quotes.

American culture has embraced Native American ideals more than history would indicate. Many of the ideas of the US Constitution have been credited as being inspired by the organization of the Iroquois nations.

There are also theories that the American ideal of the 'Wild West Cowboy' -- a loner, in tune with the land, tough and practical, with a strong sense of personal honor -- is derived from Native American values, not European.



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 01:32 AM
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reply to post by Byrd
 



I thought that when they mention "Great Father" they mean the US president ?
Didn't they believe in the "Great Spirit" ?

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us."

Black Elk - Oglala Sioux


These people had real communities, I myself have a hard time understanding that concept, being raised in a city. We are swarms of locusts not communities
www.dailymail.co.uk...

But we hear bad things about the modern world. The people there are confused, they want more and more. But that's not happiness. We, the Hadza on this earth, believe the life we have is enough for us. We are always happy ? as long as we have meat and honey.



The plan by the Arabs to buy their land is all the more ironic: the Hadza have no concept of private property, roaming unchecked for thousands of years alongside the animals they hunt.

Nevertheless, the Tanzanian government has repeatedly tried to 'tame' the Hadza, building houses and trying to teach them to grow crops. One attempt to resettle them ended when a dozen perished when they were forced into modern homes.

"They just rotted inside and died," said Charles Ngereza, a tribal expert.





[edit on 30-5-2008 by pai mei]



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by jimbo999
But Byrd, wasn't it more a change of terminology that occured after european domination?

Nope.

Original Native American beliefs reflected the society of the gods as being similar to theirs. There were no "chiefs" of any group (and by that I mean a leader who was always the leader.) If someone wanted to do something (a hunt, or a raid on another tribe), he would stand up in front of the tribe and say "Hey, I want to go steal the women of that other tribe! Who's with me?!!" and if he could get a party together, he was the "chief" for that raid.

This was one of the early problems that Native Americans had with the Europeans. Europeans wanted their leaders to talk to the tribal leader. Problem is, Native American society had no leaders... so the Europeans would pick one and assign him as the leader (read up on Powhatan and Pocahontis.)


The basic philosophy and religious belief systems of the native american tribes was still intact to a degree in Chief Seattle's time, wasn't it?

Alas, no.
en.wikipedia.org...

Note that his speech was NOT given in English, and was translated from his native language to a second native language and from thence to English. Oh yes... and that he was a baptized Catholic.


After all, we're talking about a culture that had no written language, and passed everything down by word of mouth for many thousands of years.


For better material on their beliefs and practices, look up the work of anthropologist Franz Boaz. I have his book of folk tales... it gives you an idea of just how far removed their real beliefs were from those stated today.

Here are some original, authentic beliefs of the Chumash religion -- again, a good example of how different they are in reality from what is reported as "Native American spirituality." www.terisagreen.com...

Some of the context there is not well understood unless you know more about the cultures (check out the previous chapters there online.) The cheifdom structure mentioned occasionally is a later development, and "chief" isn't a good translation for the word.

(I did quite a bit of research on the Chumash when writing a chapter for a history textbook.)



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 11:01 PM
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Originally posted by Ian McLean
There are also theories that the American ideal of the 'Wild West Cowboy' -- a loner, in tune with the land, tough and practical, with a strong sense of personal honor -- is derived from Native American values, not European.


Probably not true, given the shape of the tribes at the very brief time of the heyday of the cowboy and the general attitude toward Indians at that time. Some of the Mountain Men "went native" and joined tribes. Perhaps you were thinking of them?



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by Byrd

Originally posted by Ian McLean
There are also theories that the American ideal of the 'Wild West Cowboy' -- a loner, in tune with the land, tough and practical, with a strong sense of personal honor -- is derived from Native American values, not European.


Probably not true, given the shape of the tribes at the very brief time of the heyday of the cowboy and the general attitude toward Indians at that time. Some of the Mountain Men "went native" and joined tribes. Perhaps you were thinking of them?


No, I meant the formation of the American mythos of the 'cowboy', rather than specific events. In "The Frontier in American History" Frederick Jackson Turner said this:


Our early history is the study of European germs developing in an American environment.... The wilderness masters the colonist.... [A]t the frontier the environment is at first too strong for the man. He must accept the conditions which it furnishes, or perish, and so he fits himself into the Indian clearings and follows the Indian trails. Little by little he transforms the wilderness, but the outcome is not the old Europe... here is a new product that is American.

Not sure where I first heard the theories about the formation of the cowboy mythos (it was years ago); I searched a little and found this interesting essay:

America's Cultural Roots


[T]he American cowboy needed the American Indian to define himself, to give him purpose in life. He fought the Indian ferociously, but also learned to respect him as an opponent. The cowboy may not have realized it, but he adopted some of the Indian's beliefs and attitudes. He blended two cultural strains—the European desire for progress and control with the Native acceptance of egalitarianism and freedom—into something uniquely American.

Turner claimed the frontier broke down the Old World's class-conscious order and promoted a more robust, freewheeling, democratic society. We could just as easily credit this development to the Indian people as to the land. The Indians did more than show the colonists the Iroquois Confederacy's democratic practices. They inspired a whole new worldview.

Freedom, justice, success...these things no longer depended on where you were born, whom you knew, or what some distant king or priest commanded. A person could take charge of his own destiny, build something with the sweat of his labor, and flourish with only his kith and kin's help. He didn't need anything else.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 11:49 PM
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The origin of the cowboy is the Spanish vaquero -- the first cowboys on the continent. ( en.wikipedia.org... and other sources) Blacks and Native Americans as well as Hispanics went on to become cowboys, but the Hispanic tradition shaped the cowboy culture of much of the southwest, with Seminole Indians and Hispanic vaqueros contributing to much of the Florida cowboy ideals.

Native Americans were social people -- the idea of the "noble lone wolf" wasn't really in their tradition. There was a thread here that talked about the concept of Native Americans not really having a sense of self in the same way that most non-NA people do. If you ask one who he or she is, they will include the people they are connected to in the definition.

I'm pretty sure that Turner is romanticizing. On the other hand, he's a noted and respected scholar... I wonder if we can clarify this question (romanticizing or not) by searching a bit farther.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 03:14 PM
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Here is some Native American wisdom




I wonder what they did on top of these things?

I'll take my modern society thank you very much.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 03:18 PM
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Not to poo-poo any adoration of Native American history/beliefs or anything...
but all cultures have some deep wisdom, beauty, knowledge, etc that we can hold in revere. Conversely, EVERY culture has things to look down upon too. There has been no perfect society yet.
Take the good and learn from the bad.

my $0.02



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by mysterychicken
 


Well except Danes - they are perfect people, wonderful in all ways.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 06:14 PM
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Its not just Native Americans who felt deep within themselves, practically every indigenous people lived with Nature, it was forced out of them once the christians arrived, i think even the Hopi went to war for one day to throw them off their lands.



posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 09:52 AM
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Good thread. I find these words from a Native American woman of great wisdom always inspire me.

"Great Spirit be so loving to his peoples, he give four great things. He give love. He give truth and way to it. He give faith. He give bounties of Earth Mother for peoples to live good earthway lives. Peoples can find end of rainbow with them four things, they never need more."



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