At a certain level, it’s pretty funny Plato had it wrong and Indians running around in breech-cloths had it right. Here’s one to print out and give to people to think about:

The theoretical physicist Bernard d’Espagnat states: “The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment”

Consider that and then have a look at how it is Indians were thinking:

“In 1918 Christian missionary A. McG. Beede took Yale graduate Harry Boise to the Standing Rock Sioux and Turtle Mountain Chippewa reservations on separate occasions, where Boise explained scientific ideas to tribal leaders. Beede wrote in his report that both groups immediately understood the concepts without difficulty, saying: “There is no difficulty in leading an old Teton Sioux Indian to understand the ‘scientific attitude’ that the processes that give rise to phenomena may be more and more known by man and may be, to some extent, controlled by man, and that in this way the forces of nature may become a mainspring of progress in the individual and in the human race. The idea of atoms and electrons is easy and pleasing to an old Indian, and he grasps the idea of chemistry.” -Vine Deloria, Evolution, Creationism, and Other Modern Myths

The two tribal groups spokesmen replied to Harry Boise, following discussion among themselves:

”The ’scientific view’ is inadequate to explain … how man is to find and know a road along which he wishes and chooses to make this said progress, unless Manitoo by his spirit, guides the mind of man, keeping human beings just and generous and hospitable”  -Rising Sun, Chippewa

“The knowledge and use of any or all the powers of the objects on Earth around us, is as liable to lead a man wrong as to lead him right, because it is merely power, with no way of knowing how to use it correctly- except that spirit is with a man’s spirit for the light” -Red Tomahawk, Sioux

When Rising Sun says ‘Manitou by his spirit’ he is speaking of collective creation, our very surroundings are intelligence integrated to nature. When Red Tomahawk says ‘spirit is with a man’s spirit’, he is saying the same thing, both these men, at the end of their cultures’ many millennia era of knowledge, are looking at what d’Espangnat stumbles upon nearly 100 years later; recognizing consciousness embodied in our surroundings plays in everything we experience.

Moreover, Red Tomahawk is discriminating between intimate knowledge of any object’s raw power, and an understanding of the nature of something, recognizing these are distinct things. His understanding (different to the European concept) opens to the possibility of allowing for the trees, stones, or for that matter, everything surrounding us, to possess consciousness and to ‘know’ purpose exterior to our (western) self-centered cultural shaping. And it is only when this door of understanding is opened, we can know how to listen, know the ‘timing’ (the knowledge of creation as synchronized, to grasp nature as a living clock), and to ‘see’ our way through, as the nearly extinct Native thought embodied in now past elders so often attempted to point out to us, when pointing to ‘it’s all related.’

Now days, when modern Indians hear, say or think the words ‘Our Creator’ .. they think along the lines of ‘god.’ Well, they missed it. When the old people of past times stated ‘Our Creator’, they were looking at our surroundings, at the very expressions nature has given birth to, at a process which nurtures and sustains us. These days, truth be told, Native peoples have become as dumb as the Whiteman. Who’d have expected stupidity could be a contagious disease (looking around you, anyone?)

Post script would be, it wouldn’t matter if you had all the technical ceremonial knowledge on earth memorized, if you don’t grasp the preceding in a practical approach to life, you’re just dumb