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The Trickster in Equilibrium

Pre-Columbian Concept Translated to Modern

By Ronald Thomas West

© Copyright 2019

Unpublished draft manuscript. This work may be reproduced for educational & research purposes. For profit & mass paper media redistribution prohibited.

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“This idea that everything in the universe is alive, and that the universe itself is alive, is knowledge as useful as anything that Western science has discovered or hypothesized. When understood and made operative by serious and sensitive individuals, it is as reliable a means of making predictions as anything suggested by mathematical formulas or projected by computer programs. There are, however, substantial differences in the manner in which predictions are made. Because the universe is alive, there is a choice for all things and the future is always indeterminate.

“Consequently, predictions are based on the knowledge of the “character” of an entity. Statements about how an entity will behave have almost the same probabilities as the educated speculations made at the subatomic level in physics.

“Here the Indian knowledge has an edge over the Western scientific knowledge. A truly wise and gifted individual can appear to “cause” things to happen because that person can participate in the emerging event in a way that rarely occurs in Western science. Thus it is that people are said to have “powers,” which is another way of saying that their understanding of natural process and their ability to enter into events are highly developed and sophisticated.” -Vine Deloria Jr, Spirit and Reason

What is critically missing from Vine Deloria’s otherwise incomparably excellent intellectual grasp of contrasting systems of thought, and resultant reporting, is the role ‘individuation’ (separation, actually) plays in the Western psyche. When Deloria goes on to claim a strong individual identity is required to access the old indigenous knowledge, he entirely misses this phenomenal difference of individuation versus integration:

“The [Native American philosophy of a] living universe requires mutual respect among its members, and this suggests that a strong sense of individual identity and self is a dominant characteristic of the world as we know it”

This is a serious error. In the pre-Columbian (pre-Western educated) indigenous psyche, there is no split or creation of an individual awareness separate from the actual consciousness of the surrounding environment, consistent with Quantum theorist Bernard d’Espagnant’s observation opposed to Plato:

“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”

It is this single misapprehension of Western individuation of the psyche or psychological process (separation, actually) that prevents the modern mentality achieving the otherwise astute observation of Deloria concerning the ancient ability:

“A truly wise and gifted individual can appear to “cause” things to happen because that person can participate in the emerging event in a way that rarely occurs in Western science. Thus it is that people are said to have “powers,” which is another way of saying that their understanding of natural process and their ability to enter into events are highly developed and sophisticated”

In fact it should be mentioned here this ability is a much sought after knowledge by the several intelligence agencies that have sunk many millions of dollars into entirely futile efforts.

Deloria’s mistake is perfectly understandable as he had been educated in the Western system and it’s [his pre-law degree] theological seminary, his psyche, however opposed to attitudes of science, nevertheless had been shaped to a serious degree of Western; reflected in his seduction by Plato’s “Moral Universe” sans grasp of the deep problems with Plato’s “objectivity.”

Native survival habits, for instance the hunt and more, could easily misconstrued as ‘objective’ in a Western sense but this is actually something else. Follows are some illustrations:

The ancient native concept translated as ‘shadow’ is the ‘dynamic’ portal from which you are observed by the world of ‘spirit’ (nature’s omnipresent awareness or consciousness), in a case where self-recognition is not ego-based but environmentally substantiated within a greater context; where all surroundings are social. How you could experience this from this side (in non-individuated sense, as part of process), example given, where there is a wild plum tree in full blossom alive with honey bees; you don’t see or differentiate the bees or parts of the tree (blossoms) separately but rather first instinct understands the tree as alive with the sound of the bees, all as integrated single organism. This is information delivered via the ‘portal.’

You also instinctively know this is a shifting phenomenon of process that is constantly in motion and you are in a place of moving process. In other words, your shadow is a shifting or mutating awareness attending oneself or one’s presence, constantly feeding one information. How you would know you are seen from the ‘other side’ (in same non-individuated sense or as integrated to process), example given, let’s say you are hunting and as a hunter you understand it is what will be offered to you is what you are allowed to take; also it is spring and you shouldn’t take the doe carrying a young one. The mule deer herd senses your presence and begins to move away but a large doe stands still and offers herself. You take her because you understand she has offered herself; and discover she is barren. This is knowing both; how to read and how to write. It is a form of literacy, sans pen & paper. The doe knew the herd’s best outcome was giving herself up, you read that, and taking her, you wrote the best outcome for all concerned; your people are fed and the mule deer community kept it’s future in a higher state than if you’d taken any of the other deer.

Then, stepping up a level, let’s say because you are of the old indigenous mental construction and you know how to pray through the trees, while traveling, you come to a Y in the road. To now, you only know there is a way through the forest you are traversing, but you have no map and no detailed instruction. Because you know how to pray through the trees, the environment (which is sentient, intelligent, and social) recognizes, respects, and anticipates your thought when you send it out – “which way” – and a large bird of prey drops out of a tree and flies down right fork in the road, your questions are responsibly answered along this and other lines, with 100% accuracy, throughout the trip. This is because indigenous mentality can repeat this read of the environment with fluency and confidence, whether it is a bird calls in the precise moment, or noticing a feature resembling a face in a rock outcropping (psychosis to the Platonic mentality), even a puff of breeze moving leaves on an otherwise still day and more, all matched to a passive (receptive) thought process open to understanding the environment speaks to you. Western thought, on the other hand, is stuck in ‘objective’ interpretations; it is ‘illiterate’ and cannot read this environment.

How is it this ‘portal’ of understanding translates as your shadow?

This interactive understanding is an awareness that moves with you, coordinated with your thought process in receptive mode, except in case where you’ve been knocked out of alignment with your ‘portal’, in which case it can be said you’ve ‘lost your shadow’, a serious and even life threatening circumstance; with your loss of ability to ‘read’ surrounding environment. This ‘portal’ that follows (or precedes or surrounds) oneself is a critical component of essence or being in context of survival.

If you cannot ‘read’, you cannot take what is offered, as you cannot take what you cannot see and you’ve become out-of-sync. As well, because your surrounding environment is sentient and aware, you may easily become the environment’s ‘offering’ for lack of this ability to read; this loss of yourself is recognized by the greater social awareness (consciousness in your natural surroundings.) In this case, you easily become the surprised kill. This last is akin to the wolf identifying and taking the weak of the herd. They ‘know’ because they have ‘shadow’ or portal of understanding as well. When the environment, which is sentient, aware and social, knows you are out-of-sync, it’s only a matter of time and you will be taken.

This is not a “Moral Universe” in any sense of Western. It is unforgiving and this unforgiving core principle is understood in the indigenous instruction “You have to correct your mistakes.” From a Western, moral standpoint, it would have been construed to be inhumane; for instance one wonders how Deloria and the “Moral Universe” would have handled the philosophical dilemma that would arise from the Amskapi Pikuni (Blackfeet) oral history where a small band leader was caught in circumstance of having to conceal his group from a much larger, hostile party. There was a restless infant. To prevent the child’s cries giving up their location, the chief took the infant and smothered it with his hand over face; acting responsibly without hesitation, there was no fear, guilt or shame in the act – only the mistake of having been caught in a group endangering circumstance. This is not a ‘right versus wrong’ mindset, rather it is a ‘what works versus what does not work’ mentality. There is no moral judgement involved. Is that to say the band chief didn’t feel remorse? No, he probably, when privacy allowed, grieved from the belly with howls the Western people not only do not experience, but flee from when it might (the rare occasion) be encountered.

How this system of awareness came to be related to early ‘frontier’ photography and the concept of ‘shadow stealing’ is actually quite simple; this was era entire native nations had been knocked out of alignment with their natural social environment (interactive nature.) With the Europeans came a severe damage to this world of perception, with severe disease related losses, ecological damage and the disappearing of wildlife, together with attending psychological impact, almost nothing worked as it had.

The static ‘capture’ of image (photography) easily fit the concept of lost shadow, as it must have looked as one would imagine nature were to perceive the self, where previous to western culture, one might only behold in reflective water. However reflection in the water did not threaten; because it did not seize and keep the image. In a world without concept of coincidence, it could not be construed as anything other than, with the whites’ arrival, and the near simultaneous loss of the interactive ‘literacy’ of living integrated to nature, portrait photography came to represent the ultimate theft of this unique awareness.

This contrast between cultures is not nearly so accommodating as that of Deloria, and recalls a satire of growing up like a football thrown from end zone to end zone between the cruelties of a hardcore Puritan stepfather in greater Los Angeles (with beatings and attending psychological cruelty analogous to the boarding schools) and that of a very native Montana environment of Indians but mostly mixed bloods, West of the Blackfeet reservation, a community that has since ceased to exist as it had been:

“Napi Mephisto inherited his surname from the Jesuits who knew his ancestor, did not like him, and assigned this shaman’s denigrating sobriquet to his progeny in perpetuity: when called upon by the government to create an official membership enrollment list as the several conquered tribes were reorganized into legal entities.

“The Mephisto line then fell to the policy foisted upon Indians by the government that a minimum ¼ of his tribes established bloodline would be required to have membership and lacking that, the Mephistos were native blood of several tribes without ¼ blood of any, this native family was persistently persecuted or harassed and jailed by the Indian Police, for being Indians without membership on the reservation.

“Banished by Native America, they settled in an area adjacent to, but off of the reservation. Now persistently persecuted for fact of being Indian off the reservation, they were still frequently arrested and jailed despite the fact there WAS no reservation that would take in the Mephistos.

“Fate further assimilated each subsequent generation into the White blood surrounding them, and finally the Mephisto line had settled down to become what at least appeared to be White

“With this ancestral history behind him, Napi Mephisto grew up Indian, nonetheless. How could this happen? Habit.

“Napi, as his father and forefathers before him, was raised to be open to the mysteries of the natural world and it’s manifestations, to be sensitive, aware of the manifold possibilities of seeing the world, to be free and unhampered in one’s thinking, to be generous and kind in regard to others, to let everything have it’s own voice.

“In effect, a perfect absurdity to the Whiteman. To Napi, accordingly, as well as to the many other now invisible Indians grown up in the surrounding forest with near identical backgrounds, this surrounding world of Whites, which actually seemed to believe he was one of them, was actually beheld as absurd in turn.

“Rather than open to the mysteries of the natural world surrounding them, these real Whites beat the shit of the environment, just like they beat their kids, desensitizing them, beat them for freethinking, were selfish as hell in regards to their children by banishing them from their presence to do ‘adult’ things and constantly made promises that were broken almost as quickly as stated, and by god as for the everything having it’s own voice thing, these people would cut off your head if you lifted it up to speak as quick as they were to smack a child’s fingers with a ruler.

“In this off the reservation White world, it was the kids who were the Indians. And the amazing thing was the Whites not realizing what the kids know. Because the kids fear the adults, they conceal their world from the adults. That is exactly why the Shaman learned to conceal his world from the Christian. Aversion to these peoples violence” -A Native Mephistopheles, from Napi Mephisto by Ronald Thomas West

A follow-on, short satirical observation, would be this modified excerpt, from an obscene essay the reader is spared of any reference to:

“Truly honky folk, real White people, that behave in all sorts of self- repressed ways and repress their own kids because of their staunch Puritan belief in H.L. Menecken’s maximum that ‘proper’ Puritans must preoccupy themselves with the horrifying thought “Someone, somewhere, might be happy”, for inexplicable reasons, are compelled to maintain some pretense of civility. So they learned to follow Jesus command to ‘love’ by ‘loving’ to hate. Because of the ‘love’ factor in ‘loving’ to hate themselves, their kids and their fellow man, making ‘love’ is as often a rape as not, ‘loving’ their brothers and sisters is ‘loving’ to tell other people how to live their lives, and ‘loving’ security is to create an insecure society so they can ‘love’ the idea of a police state”

Lampoons in the immediate, preceding light, could never be applied to the ancient native world; where hypocrisy and lies were practically unknown.

In the 1930s, noted linguist Benjamin Whorf postulated language shapes reality (and that Natives know a reality the westerners cannot see), following his learning and subsequent study of Hopi Language. His work on this observed a different concept of time and ultimately led to his (argued over by academics ever since) conclusion there is a distinct similarity in Hopi language to Einstein’s theory of relativity. Hence Whorf’s theory or variant of ‘linguistic relativity’ came into being.

Following Whorf’s pioneering (and much disputed) work, noted ‘action anthropologist’ Karl Schlesier, observed in his book ‘The Wolves of Heaven’ (on Cheyenne shamanism) the resemblance of Cheyenne world view to famed Einstein associate and theoretical physicist David Boehm’s theories.

Relevant to this, Native American languages are relatively ‘noun free’ languages, where everything is described in terms of process, and process is a moving thing, hence the Native differing concept of ‘time.’ The present is never static, it is always perceived as moving and you are moving with it. Past and future, both, have a present tense. Our world is perceived as a living clock of sorts, the clock is time in motion and we all are part and parcel of this clock. So, it is easy to see how the western mentality is not equipped to fathom native thought and its attending abilities and how enforced western educations in Cartesian based or Platonic philosophies and concepts of time would destroy the abilities of the present native generations through the deprivation of their language and its attending intelligence. Simply put, western education, from a native based perception of reality, dumbs people down, severely.

How is the ancient native mind shaped? From infancy, the child is included in nearly everything. An infant sleeps with their parents until they wean themselves, that could be to age three or four, even five. A baby that does not wish to be held, must not be held. A toddler is distracted and enticed away from hazards rather than shouted at. Behavior is explained through example set, never demanded. The children are NEVER lied to. Teaching the child is primarily via example setting highest ethical bar for oneself. The same respect accorded the child is accorded all living things, to include trees and even stones. The is no ‘adult’ world versus a child’s world.

The result of this upbringing is the child learning to ‘see’ the world they live in, the ‘living clock’, as a state of self-integrated/ongoing process. The ‘product’ of this process is people who cannot be told what to do (external to their cultural context) except that they should decide for themselves what is in their best interest (seek the intelligent solution, most often represented in returning to the indigenous community.)

Enforced Western education, of course, kills this process, and development in the ancient native mentality is arrested. However in case of allowed this road free of the constraints of western culture and education, the ‘sight’ only grows, for the entirety of one’s life. Cartesian/Platonic shaped mentalities can never fully know this, or that is to say ‘science’ and mentalities trained in western thought. The Cartesian/Platonic disciplined mentality is ‘masculinized’ out of the ability to ‘see’ from infancy. And though it may be possible for the western mentality to intellectually grasp this, it would be nearly impossible, for the males particularly, to overcome how their minds have been shaped and actually ‘know’ these phenomena, except they were able to authentically reject everything they have learned, a highly unlikely prospect, and begin from scratch.

Ready to throw away that PhD, as well everything you’ve learned since in the womb, and begin all over again at age 30-50? They can’t do it. Even were there necessarily qualified native teachers remaining who would agree to share their knowledge, this is something a properly trained ‘seer’ should NEVER do for any Western exposé of their knowledge, because it would take them out of alignment and consequently out the window would go their gift of sight. Why? Simply recall d’Espagnat stating human consciousness cannot be arbitrarily separated from environment, which is what Cartesian-Platonic shaped Western science sets out to do.

When contrasted to the ‘living clock’ Native understanding of reality, the Native could be said to be allergic to the western concept of reality, which is almost certainly why the gifted native cosmologist, Leon Secatero, became ill and died, following his immersion in Western culture. Leon had tried to bring related ideas from Native Quantum reality across, to among others, Seed Open University, in that organization’s attempts to ‘feminize’ the masculine western reality, but the fact remains the result is not Native reality, but instead a ‘feminized’ western masculine reality. There cannot be any honest integration of the western duality to the ‘living clock’, because the androgynous nature of intention in the living nature aspect we are all meant to be integrated to, cannot know separation from the self. This requirement of Cartesian/Platonic philosophy shapes the western culture’s mentalities which only know intention as manipulations exterior to the integrated to nature experience. Nature hates you and you will die.

A short manner of restating all of this preceding is, if “the kingdom of heaven is within”, and “you must be like the little children” to get there, a Western culture subsequently shaped by the worship of a sadistic political murder of those very ideas, any “moral universe” notwithstanding, can never know the experience.

But because the native world entertains paradox, and had been based in subtle principles of matriarchy with incorporated androgynous thought, an experiment was devised, based in native principles, to test an emerging thesis the Western women might be able to make the bridge out of objectivity. Here is how the experiment was employed to determine this.

When you walk in nature, allow your thoughts to be free, to roam where they will with no concentration to control. A little bit like daydream but no specified subject. If it happens there is a bird calls at that very moment a point is made, seen or discovered in your wandering thoughts, a sort of conclusion, this bird has just spoken to you (in the mind, not only the ear.)

The birds are the messengers, who can pass understanding of events to you (among other things), to know if a thought is correct.

To learn to accomplish this in practical reality would be difficult for many within the modern mindset. Men, particularly, would experience difficulty with this exercise in ‘female intelligence.’ The reason is, Plato’s objectivity welded to Judeo-Christian cultural shaping, resultant mental strictures and taboo on the exercise of a feminine understanding of reality in Western Civilization (which has taken over the world.) In order for there to be a ‘rise’ of civilization, people had to come under the control of male dominated intelligence or a vertical ‘hierarchy.’

Mosaic law is one example, where there is prohibition of sorcerers and necromancers, a crude demonizing of female intelligence to preserve the male hierarchy. Examples related to this sort of control would be (about equally) Saudi Arabia executing women as witches and western science panning any understanding of female intelligence that cannot be achieved via the academically incestuous, constricted logic of empirical method; both science and religion are firmly rooted in a cultural system that fears and condemns or persecutes anything which threatens the ascendancy of male thought (and hence male hierarchy.) Civilization and ‘civilized man’ are both determined this understanding of the female ‘nature’ is not to be acknowledged in coherent form because it is a threat to male dominance. In the greater male hierarchy’s endeavor to suppress the feminine, the gynophobic Plato and the God of Abraham are peers, little different to the misogyny of Confucius, which serves this same purpose.

So, to understand the birds is tricky, it is important not to fool oneself, with how this works. The most common mistake (in the modern mentality) is when the bird makes its call, this can evoke another thought instantly from the self (not the bird) and you miss what the bird said, the thought the bird has brought has already been pushed aside by your thought and the real information is missed. This mistake is consequence of male oriented culture shaping the modern mind. Simply put, the alien (to original native thought process) ego (individuated psyche) won’t shut up and will be in your way, insistently pushing aside this intelligent sight.

The result of this experiment, over several years of walks in the forest, was men simply never could get it. But nearly half the women did, particularly those women with less male shaped mentalities, women less educated in the ‘hard’ sciences and least indoctrinated in religion, had better outcomes in overcoming the modern mentality obstructions, and attained some practical grasp and understanding of this natural phenomena, some in a matter of a few hours. This indicates the women who advance in the Western world’s hierarchy aren’t really women but something else. The MOSSAD trained woman who lobbied to go on one of these walks was so strictured in her thinking, it made no sense to take her (not because of her connection to MOSSAD, rather the typical intelligence agency intensive training in LYING is an absolute obstacle that could not be surmounted.)

Another mistake is to expect you can discover something you wish to know with this. This is a mistake because it is not about what we think is important to know, but rather what nature (the spirit) thinks is important for us to know. This is again, a western culture’s male ego issue, unknown in the native past and is why the point is made to NOT control the direction of thinking, for the process to fluently, dependably work.

A person who can master the birds can go on to master the techniques mentioned earlier, the caveat being, overcoming the false ego-voice is of paramount importance; because individuation (separation, the cause of the ego-voice) is a lie in and of itself. It follows, Deloria’s presumption Western science can be somewhat rehabilitated or moved towards a correct direction is a misapprehension of the reality, especially when referencing the oxymoron of Native Studies in the Western university format. In this regard, it should be pointed out that a western concept of…

“Separation-individuation is a fundamental organizing principle of human growth that has implications for adaptive functioning across the lifespan. In its most general sense individuation refers to a process “by which a person becomes increasingly differentiated from a past or present relational context” (Karpel, 1976, p. 66) -from Separation-Individuation, Daniel K. Lapsley and Paul Stey, University of Notre Dame

…perfectly describes the modern collateral damage to the ancient indigenous relationship with omnipresent spirit (integration to the greater aware state or consciousness embodied in nature.)

It cannot hurt to recall here, the modern ego construct or individuated mentality, considered normal in western culture, is a mental construct which had been diagnosed and treated as a psychological disorder in the ancient Plains culture. Contemporary Indians who most suffer from the modern mentality are least aware they suffer a diseased mentality and this is an ultimate irony because it is those Indians who most loudly strut the proposed idea they are ‘traditional’ are those who suffer the disorder.

This brings us to Deloria’s struggle with a concept (one hates to say non-comprehension) of the trickster. After having correctly dispensed with any ‘Promethean’ (Western) interpretations of the Native American trickster, Deloria struggles to understand the tricksters role in tool making, creation stories and finally settles more comfortably into the humor element:

[This] “category of Trickster functions is that of the Trickster himself—the worldly being of uncertain origin who lives by his wits and who is often embarrassed. This version is one with which I am more familiar as the Sioux Iktomi stories deal quite heavily with the Spider who seeks shortcuts and almost always becomes the butt of laughter, human, plant, and animal. I suggest that this aspect of Trickster tales is designed to demonstrate the inevitability of cosmic law and teach humility and other virtues by showing the consequences of attempting to be what one is not supposed to be”

Here, Deloria has ‘objectified’ the trickster or separated a principle of maintaining equilibrium into categories. His “I suggest” is a tacit admission he really does not know but given his wide authority attained in the (native, particularly) academic world, he should have disclaimed with ‘I don’t know.’

The (sometimes trickster) Blackfoot Napi is many things. Napi is a teacher, Blackfoot ancestor and much more. Napi is like Jesus or a holy man. Napi is the devil, Napi is the first real human being, Napi is a friend, a fool & the trickster- Old Man Coyote. Napi is all of the possibilities embodied in any Blackfoot MALE. But what is essential to understanding Napi in a macro-cosmic sense is equilibrium. Herein is a thread that ties all together; Napi the creator is at the birth of a new world out of whatever world preceded this one, following on Napi’s voyage (the so-called ‘raft’ story representing prototype Blackfeet arrival in the Americas by sea.) The Napi who taught the people to make stone knives represents meeting and merging with another group when settling into new territory and associated technology transfer. What lumps these ‘metadata’ Napi stories into a greater context of equilibrium inclusive of Napi the fool, is the order of priorities. Napi in the creation story is acknowledging relationships or contextualizing the equilibrium necessary to the cosmos.

To know this living cosmos requires a unique relationship to environment, commonly misconceived as a relationship solely to the land. It’s actually much bigger than this. To have some beginning idea of this cosmos, one must surrender any thought of ‘I’ and ‘me’ because ‘you’ cannot exist in this cosmos as an individual entity. Without the cosmos, you don’t exist. Within the cosmos, you cannot exist as an individual. This is because all of the cosmos is integrated, or restated, the original indigenous tradition demonstrates an aware, seeing, sentient, greater being or ‘cosmos’ and requires this cosmos permission to accept those who would inhabit it; to accomplish this integration had little to with exploiting environment and everything to do with finding a niche contributing to the cosmos health that must entertain a principle of equilibrium, to sustain.

Where the environment is seen as social and all is demanding equilibrium, permission is required to pursue not only specific activities within this community, but even to exist. Because this environment is seen as socially aware, there is a greater understanding of impacts directly relevant to undertaking responsibility; this is an environment with the ability to identify specific actions and react accordingly. From this aspect is drawn the native value of self-restraint; for not only does any nation hosted within this environment possess no right whatsoever to aggressively exploit, the demand of equilibrium by the environment is invested with the power to expel any nation inimical to its health.

The nation, to incorporate to the environment, must integrate to the intelligence of the cosmos. This integration required merging two kinds of consciousness; female and male. The result had been androgynous thought reflected in the many genders in the language; where these many gender actually reflect the many varying degrees of androgyny in the observed processes of nature from whence the ancient ways of knowledge had been derived. This salient fact is what altogether set the ancient intelligence apart from the modern. Awake time has its’ consistent dream element and sleep time is consistently informed with lucid dreaming. Never was a strict line drawn between, or boundary established, between the two. One reality is as valid as the other. Or, perhaps better said, these were never considered to be distinctly separate reality or experience. This unique (by comparison to the modern) integration is what enabled sight capable of ‘reading’ the language of other creatures, inclusive of trees, even stones. Within this integrated framework exists a ‘greater’ intelligence where time could be perceived in motion; a living clock could be its’ description. A nation’s collective ability to ‘read’ this clock is a utilitarian principle allowing for the nation to function as an organism within the environment hosted within the cosmos. Everything remains attuned within this clock, of which the nation was a functional part (of the clock’s many parts, inclusive of ‘other nations’ such as the elk, antelope and bison.)

In a mechanistic sense, an indigenous nation’s large ceremony (e.g. the so-called Sundance) should be seen as recalibration within this cosmos.

The point of devolved and closely interwoven (consensus) leadership had been to gain as clear a view possible of the cosmos; pertaining to any direction taken within the nation. The maintenance of the cosmos health, and the necessary conforming of the nation to these demands of the cosmos, was primary, all else came after. With many eyes and ears attuned to the environment within the cosmos, what was imperatively sought after, was sustained equilibrium. Prior to the enforced Western education’s ‘split’ of Native American consciousness, these many eyes & ears gave truthful, intelligently informed, consistent and wide view of all the elements necessary to receive direction as determined by the cosmos; stemming from an interactive relationship nature with sight unknown in the modern world. This equilibrium had environmentally sustained for millennia.

This preceding demands an integrated approach that precludes ego in the western sense; it was never about ‘me’ but about sustaining a system of perpetual motion which depended on all; right down to awareness of impact to the single blade of grass and the correct action or ‘lived awareness’ going to the fact all matter making up experience exterior to the self is equally entitled to exist. Necessarily, development of the self is integrated to the whole of it all, precluding any practical separation. It is now, we can speak of the lessons of the trickster as an idiot in relation to equilibrium.

Everyone learned from Napi (his stories) in Blackfoot culture, and the idea behind Napi is to foster what is sane and healthy in men and put strict controls on what is not. It is that simple, the lessons were aimed at maintaining personal equilibrium within a system where all is balanced.

Follows, is an excellent example of a Blackfoot Napi (coyote) story (stolen from the Crees) illustrating the preceding. There were many stories of Napi holding philosophical conversations with his rectum, and this is where typically the Napi stories become really dangerous. It is about a man that does not learn from his mistakes. It is about a man that does not put two and two together concerning the consequences of his actions. It is about a man that does not understand his relationship to essential functions in nature necessary to his survival. It is about a man that does not pay attention or listen. It is about a narcissistic man so full of himself, he lies to himself about others good intentions. It is a story about how not to live your life. Perhaps most of all, it is a warning about recycling old and failed ideas. The name Penucquem in the following story is the proper, formal, Blackfoot word for rectum.

“Napi Eats His Butt.”

“Napi had been to a great feast with his brothers. He returned to his camp very full of food and tired. Napi curled up to sleep by his fire, and you know where a dog’s nose is when he curls up to sleep!

“Spuurrpp! Napi farted and it woke him up, his eyes were watering. Napi said aloud ‘Well, that was really rude’ and curled back to sleep…

“Spuurrpp! Napi’s head popped up again, irritated, Napi shouted at his rectum: ‘Penucquem! If you won’t let me sleep, I am going to teach you a lesson!’ Napi curled up again.

“Spuurrpp! That really did it. Jumping up, Napi grabbed up Tail, out of harms way, and sat on his campfire to get even with Penucquem. “Yii! Yii!” Napi really took off, like only a hurt dog does, and this started him on his travels.

“Napi moved for a long time, he was thinking of how Penucquem had bit him really hard when he had tried to punish him, he didn’t understand how his rectum could do that to him while pushed down on the fire. It was Penucquem that should have cried out and ran away.

“So Napi kept moving and thinking, he was traveling a long time in a big circle…

“Napi walked and thought about it for so long that finally the large scab fell off of his rectum and still walking in a circle, he came across the scab and said “What do you know! Dry Meat!” Napi was getting hungry again about this time and he was happy to have found the dried meat some Indian had lost.

“The Magpies shouted out to him “Napi! Don’t eat that! It fell off of your rectum!” Napi shouted back to the Magpies “You’re not fooling me, you just want this dry meat for yourselves!”

“And then very delicately because there was not much of it, and with a lot of savor because he was hungry, and very deliberately, so the Magpies would envy him while watching, nip by nip, Napi ate his butt.”

A related modern, short, rude, ego-killing rendition, or a joke Indian story contrasting the Western coopted Native American mentality:

“Two Medicine Men, both teachers, visited the big city and took in a service at the cathedral. Returning home, they took their Indian students on a journey of ‘Discovery.’ First, they killed the nicest kid in the group and told the rest it was their fault for being born. But now, if they would eat the nice kid and drink his blood, calling it communion, they would not be held responsible for anything, ever. And this conferred upon them the right to tell other people how to live their lives- what they can and cannot do” –from Penucquem’s Journal

This immediate preceding could be called the ‘Father DeSmet’ perversion, referencing this incredibly ignorant quote:

“They [the Blackfeet] are plunged in coarse superstitions which brutalize their souls, they worship the sun and the moon and offer them sacrifices and propitiation and thanksgiving” -Pierre Jean DeSmet, Society of Jesus (Jesuit)

In fact the ancient Plains Indians didn’t worship the sun and moon but simply acknowledged these celestial bodies place in cosmos via ceremony.

It follows, only ego-centric (individuated, separated) people can kill the collective consciousness of our surroundings, including the awareness embodied in the rock, being blown up for cyanide heap leach gold extraction, that is part and parcel of our own awareness. Each of those dynamite explosions is exploding part of a process of sentient, aware intelligence. Deloria astutely references Red Tomahawk expressing an ages old, functional grasp of something western science is beginning to glimpse but falls short in his understanding of the greater implications:

“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, from Deloria’s Evolution, Creationism, and Other Modern Myths

Deloria, referencing statements similar to Red Tomahawk’s, holds the ancient Indian philosophy has a ‘modern ring’ in relation to advances in Western science but there is really more to it than that. When Red Tomahawk says ‘spirit is with a man’s spirit’ (for the light), he is speaking of collective creation, and ourselves as part & parcel of intelligent expression, integrated to spirit & nature, or one might say integrated to a sentient, omnipresent consciousness. Moreover, Red Tomahawk is discriminating between a sole, intimate knowledge of any single object’s raw power, and an understanding of the larger purpose concerning the nature of that very object, pointing out these are distinct things.

It follows, the pre-Columbian indigenous perception would be, with killing off of our surrounding intelligence, the Earth is, accordingly, becoming severely dumbed down. The analogy would be, with the increasing loss of integration to intelligent expression, our planet is becoming, in a practical sense, a brain damaged spastic. It can’t even coordinate its weather anymore. There is no escaping consequence, we all are a part of all of it.

Then, western perception of this exploitation, or as Red Tomahawk put it “the knowledge and use of any or all the powers of the objects on Earth around us”, to a point of destroying our life-giving environment, or a sentient nature, is ‘progress’ because building civilization in the process enables so-called ‘intelligent’ demonstrations of what ultimately amounts to grandiose acts of ego: “We put men in space.”

Well, you can proceed to destroy the planet by building civilization to a point you can send a shipload of colonists to Mars (to certainly die there) and no doubt this will titillate the collective ego of that very civilization, but how intelligent is it to sacrifice the underlying support mechanism, that is life sustaining nature, in the process? How is it western mentality (and the civilization it rules) cannot grasp this single, simple equation in an applied, practical sense? The individuated ego is, a literally blind, destructive thing.

Whatever might be intelligently salvaged from the upcoming, certain ruin of Western civilization (the ‘rise & fall’ phenomenon), the individuated ego and attending “scientific attitude” can be no part of moving forward.

To begin to grasp Native mentality, westerners, including many (most, actually) of today’s Indians, would have to take a mortal hit to ego, that’s the first step, and accept at the core of one’s being, you are a member of a class that are the most aggressive, dumbest entities to grace this planet with bipedalism since T Rex went extinct 66 or so million years ago, only less intelligent. T Rex didn’t deliberately blow his world up, only western civilization would do that.

The critical thing to look at is, the contrast between one of the great (and perhaps only universal) ‘gods’ (misnomer = small g) of the Native world(s), that is ‘the trickster’, and the construct of the mentality according to western psychology. These are mutually exclusive approach to life; the western way is all about process shaping the ego as an adaptive tool engaging one’s surroundings, the native way had been to pre-empt the emergence of ego in any form, and this had been the role of the trickster, who could quite accurately be described as the ego destroyer; in the several cultures where ego had been diagnosed and treated as an anti-social mental disorder.

Going to that thought, try solving this next problem or even grasping the magnitude of the proposed thesis:

A: “The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato” -Alfred North Whitehead

+

B: ”The [Plato’s] 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” -theoretical physicist Bernard d’Espagnat

=

C: “nouns or millennia destructive process ‘objectifying’ language, projecting individual identity onto pieces of one’s surroundings, or dis-integrating environment; a result of the isolated projection of self or (ego) individuation by Western humanity exclusive of integration to a sentient, aware surrounding, where all environment had been/should be, social” -Ronald Thomas West

3 October 2019

Chief

In our rapidly disintegrating world, it seems apropos to touch on the work of theoretical physicist David Bohm and the implications of a gross misapprehension of reality pointed to apocalyptic collapse (or worse.) If Bohm is correct in his ‘implicate order’ of things, we don’t have long to reverse and straighten out the damage of Cartesian-Platonic philosophy underwriting modern science and our social paradigm. The revised-expanded essay “Reality Check” (with references)

Apocalyptic essay on cross-cultural observations

I know most of my readers are into the ‘intelligence’ stuff, nonetheless I lose some readers and gain others depending on the political moment. When the sublime criminal Obama left office and I turned my guns on the morons surrounding Trump, there was (to some extent) a change in my audience’s political demographic. My satire has no doubt also ‘expelled’ certain people who otherwise might have continued reading at this site. None of the preceding has ever effected the material I produce, I call things as I see it in the geopolitical moment and poke at our would be ‘leaders’ with a sharp stick of ridicule if only because the court jester tradition is in danger of dying in the era of political correctness. My native sense of responsibility rebels at the thought.

For those who had been unaware of a certain biographical fact in this reporter’s shaping and evolution, it just so happens my mentality’s most stringent beliefs are derived from many years immersion in a pocket or remnant of Native American language community where pre-Columbian thought was still within reach. These ideas are as different to Western thought as the Earth is to Mars. More importantly is, when fluency in this sort of thinking is attained, one is never tempted to return to Western.

It’s not easy to translate this sort of thinking to Western language, in fact outside of one Native teacher (of mine, personal ), [1] I grade most (nearly all) attempts I have seen to translate high concept a rank fail. Maybe I will fail too, but here goes with trying to bring a greater perception across.

“Hopi and other Native Brothers [nations] were warned no man should bring anything down to Earth from the moon. It would imbalance natural and universal laws and create more severe earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, hail storms, season changes and famines. This is now happening. Most men have strayed from their life plan shown to them by Massau’u [a native concept of messiah, different to Western.] These signs tell us we are nearing the end of our life patterns. We are coming to the time of the Purifiers, the high kachinas commissioned by the Great Spirit to stop man’s destruction of self and nature” -Thomas Banyaca [2]

First, these sort of ideas don’t literally translate if one considers in Native American language generally, and Blackfoot language more specifically (example given), mostly it is the verbs carry the important information (do the heavy lifting), whereas nouns are few(er) and less important, in circumstance of perception which is largely based on, and conversation reflects, process. As example, with the process of heat, the important information is the degree of intensity, or one could say the state of its activity across a spectrum, while the vessels containing it, for instance the nouns kettle or stove, would be a detail and in most instance altogether unnecessary to the sentence structure (a case of the obvious.)

Interestingly, these languages (as opposed to Western) do not appear to struggle much with some of the more paradoxical questions raised by quantum mechanics, particularly noting the work of theoretical physicist David Bohm attempting to replicate a language of process based on his awareness of the Hopi (and other languages.)

“We’re not used to thinking about process. We communicate with an object-based language. David [Bohm] invented a thing called “rheomode“–language in which we speak to each other in a flowing mode. There are some ancient languages which do this–Hopi Indian and some others. In his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order, you’ll find a chapter on language, in which he discusses this rheomode. It didn’t work, because we were still thinking of objects” -theoretical physicist Basil Hiley [3]

From the Native side, it was an action anthropologist, Dr Karl Schlesier, in his ‘The Wolves of Heaven’ based on many years fieldwork, drew the conclusion Cheyenne Shamanism not only confirmed Bohm’s theory, but surpassed his elementary understanding of the implicate order. [4] [5]

Despite that relatively few grasp this, there must be a reason behind the convergence, it can’t just be some freak occurrence. With the preceding in mind, I’ll attempt to expand on the Hopi Thomas Banyaca’s words.

What the ancients (as proposed by Banyaca) were referring to is very likely string theory [6], a concept in its’ infancy in the Western understanding. The indigenous understanding is everything is interconnected by a vibrational web with phenomenal properties that can be established via a careful, focused, long-time intensive training in observation.

In this view, when you bring a moon rock back to earth, it recalls not an isolated history of the Moon created by an early, large asteroid impact with Earth (Western science view) but awakens (shakes awake or invigorates a previously sleeping or dormant, not dead) PROCESS. In short, this act is like sending a message inviting a large asteroid impact (or similar effect) because all is inter-connected process without static element but multiple living elements (cells) of a greater organism (cosmos) in various states of activity (process), whether asleep, awake or somewhere between (‘between’ misconstrued as the many ‘gender’ of the native languages as interpreted by Westerners.)

The ‘earth shaking’ is the web awakening awareness (not merely ‘memory’ which is but one element) of a time of great flux and it is that consciousness-awareness is in state of re-initiating process. What had been a long time calmed down or still ‘string’ has been ‘vibrated’ into action similar to web delivering information alerting or awakening a spider but this is alert of waking process coordinated in multiple phenomena.

These interconnected process(es) can be interpreted as varying states of graduating androgyny, over a spectrum of acceleration-de-acceleration in relation to time, with male representing acceleration and female de-acceleration (of time.) The male principle (common sense-action) when over-emphasized (or separated, cold rational) becomes destructive, whereas the female principle (serene-determined) over-emphasized (or separated) will morph into chaos. Either and/or both in extreme state of agitation point to process that will ultimately result in decay. This violence leading to decay will not only reflect in a form of A to B sequence but also can be observed as simultaneous phenomena even while observable in linear form where male initiation works out as destruction = chaos = decay, and female initiation reflects as chaos = destruction = decay, with either followed by birth that is not necessarily ‘rebirth.’

Whenever one manifests in exaggerated form, awakened process will seek correction as a matter of immutable law, whether expressed on the small or grand scale of events. In the case of a grand scale destruction-chaos event, what follows decay will be a new expression, or a birth which is not a rebirth, but imperatively a new birth (new form.)

That said, an extraordinary case of acceleration-de-acceleration pulling in opposite direction risks tearing the fabric of time (ripping apart the web.)

The parallel universe(s) ‘inferred’ by quantum mechanics (Western science almost certainly won’t survive to understand due to causing implosion) could be seen in the light of the preceding with the following metaphor:

Presume for just a moment our brains (we each have a pair) are self-expressed models of parallel universe in mirror image (facing each other.) Each of these universe has a character, principle and laws expressed as female and male, respectively. To sustain in orderly fashion there must be kept a close balance, and so we must keep a center of consciousness (self-aware state of equilibrium) to accomplish this, and further, suppose we are ‘the gods’ (per Jesus ‘don’t you know you are gods’) charged with keeping the balance in good order. As ‘custodians’ of our small cosmos (Earth), whether in the individual, the community, the nation or our collective cosmos (because we are possessed of creative consciousness that can and does initiate process via ‘the web’), it is critically imperative to locate aware-action in, and restrict these actions to, a space where balance is maintained and that requires a rigorous self-discipline and self-restraint where disturbance is kept in a minimal state.

Destruction and renewal are easily consequence of disturbance of ‘the web’ that were unnecessary, and a fact brought on by simply not paying attention can initiate these things, on the small or grand scale. The metaphor of the “Purifiers“ or “high kachinas” speaks to the grand scale.

This goes to the crux of theoretical physicist d’Espagnat’s observation concerning consciousness and the fact human awareness cannot be ‘disconnected’ from the awareness of ‘objects’, despite this ‘disconnect’ has become the innate cultural belief of Platonic thinking (modern psychology.)

Here we arrive at:

A: “The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato” -Alfred North Whitehead [7]

+

B: ”The [Plato’s] 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” 
 -Bernard d’Espagnat [8]

=

C: nouns or millennia destructive process ‘objectifying’ language, projecting individual identity onto pieces of one’s surroundings, or dis-integrating environment; a result of the isolated projection of self or (ego) individuation by Western humanity exclusive of integration to a sentient, aware surrounding, where all environment had been/should be, social. [RTW]

The result of this ‘separation’ (delusion of independence) is, Western science blind to the obvious staring them in the face. In the absence of experiencing clear observations, they are constrained to ‘inferring’ aspects (what they cannot see) concerning the nature of reality, piecemeal, as opposed to integrated, native view. Because they are nevertheless part and parcel of what they must sense but cannot see, understand or experience holistically, the Western mentality is condemned to ‘experiment’ in a state of thirst ‘to know’ that can never be quenched. This is a radical state of disturbance (blowing things up, smashing things apart) with consequence that cannot be shunted aside but must be accommodated, even to collapse and perhaps humanity gone out of existence. Some (ancients in the native traditions) say ‘there are always a few’ (survive), others (ancients in the native traditions) say ‘there is no promise’ (of survival.)

As a matter of fact, we have been here before. The oral histories point to a range of events that should be consistent with man abusing his powers in the past. The Hopi record multiple ‘renewal’ events, the Navajo have their stories and others, inclusive of the Plains Ojibwa & Blackfeet (my primary understanding.) These stories should be consistent with certain evidence ‘high’ civilization had been erased or otherwise brought up short and curtailed in their behaviors in other areas of the world, for instance records laid down in Hindu civilization:

“Vishnu incarnated as the Brahman Parashurama in this era because there were too many warlike Kshatriyas plaguing the Earth, and he therefore had to wipe out most of the world’s warriors. However, some of the Kshatriyas survived or more were created, and their population grew again” [9]

Finally, whether you believe Man went to the Moon, or when he will arrive, is unimportant; the Hopi warning is relevant in other (and many) respects.

As I write this, an American space vehicle is orbiting an asteroid to study & determine whether (and if so, when) that particularly large space rock will collide with our planet. There is integrated to this ‘mission’ the intent to return a sample of that very asteroid to Earth, which in native view would be like giving that particular space body a scent to follow with purpose.

Relevant to this, the dinosaur extinction impact site, or Chicxulub crater, has been drilled several times over these past decades, most recently in 2016. [10] As well, archaeology is recalling (literally) past civilizational collapse inclusive of epidemics & the attending violence or social upheaval.

In the current era, the mind as shaped by Plato fences out self-sight, sense of place and understanding of the cosmos. What the Native side has failed to understand is, the modern mentality (taken collectively) is actually incapable of possessing the psychological tools necessary to grasp reality and the implications of the things they do. What the Native side DOES understand is, this erasure could be big, very big, along the lines of the dinosaurs erasure occurring 66 million years ago:

dumb_result - 1

If this seems far-fetched, consider Western science is derived from a culture where two billion+ people ostensibly believe in “Virgin Birth.” In the case of Western ‘scientific atheism’, it is as simple as a matter of a delusional culture’s mentality swapping one misapprehension for another.

Updated 6 February 2019

Notes:

[1] Floyd ‘Tinyman’ HeavyRunner, Priest of Okan, Keeper of the Law of the Black Stone & Oral Historian (member of the Amskapi Pikuni or Montana branch of the Blackfeet Indians), my close acquaintance of over 30 years.

[2] http://banyacya.indigenousnative.org/un76.html

[3] https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/critical-opalescence/the-wholeness-of-quantum-reality-an-interview-with-physicist-basil-hiley/

[4] https://www.bookdepository.com/Wolves-Heaven-Prof-Karl-H-Schlesier/9781492334217

[5] Karl Schlesier was my personal acquaintance when I’d resided outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the early to mid 2000s. Over our extended conversation it was very clear he had a fluid grasp of Native American thought and agile understanding of their world view & perception of reality. His descriptions of Cheyenne phenomenal laws were outstanding and closely matched those of the Amskapi Pikuni (Montana Blackfeet.)

[6] https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16950-string-theory-a-beginners-guide/

[7] https://classroom.synonym.com/did-plato-contribute-philosophy-21831.html

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_d%27Espagnat

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treta_Yuga#Parashurama

[10] http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/updated-drilling-dinosaur-killing-impact-crater-explains-buried-circular-hills

 

Raven

For those looking for geopolitical intrigue, sorry but I must confess I’m presently burnt out concerning the subject. Consequently, I’ve been giving attention to my 30+ years learning with some of the last masters of Northern Plains culture. The most recent endeavor is a revised/expanded ‘Cosmos & Consciousness’ you may download at at this link. Alternatively, for a free pdf copy (you’re free to share with anyone) send a request to: pencuquemspeaks@googlemail.com

Bageera

ruin

^ European cultural mentality is self-evident

Of course it is unrealistic to expect we can live again as had been in the past; in modern times where our nations’ cosmos as we’d known them, no longer exist. The first step to experience any event other than altogether completed extinction, is to recognize our nations previous circumstance cannot be recovered. Any pretense to the contrary is a self-deceit. That was then, this is now and everything is changed. As the living clock moves to erase humanity as we know ourselves in the present, one should look at where might any possible remedy be within reach. To discover such an avenue would require the great mystery again recognize our value as a species.

That most changed has been our mentality, and certainly not for the better. Related to this, the European mentality which has overtaken us will end in one of three ways, in this order of possibility; 1) we will see this culture blow itself to bits, together with all the rest of humanity 2) social-environmental collapse will bring everyone down, no matter their role or possible intention or 3) self-dismantlement. Our duty is to work for this third, most remote possibility. To accomplish this, the first priority is to point as many people as possible (no matter the color of their skin) to disconnect from the grid. To disconnect absolutely will require recovering from the poison of the Western culture’s thinking.

The essential beginning would be renewed practical thinking that can be recognized as healthy by the cosmos. Without this, there is no future for any of the human species. In fact, without enough of this, there is no human future, no matter had some small communities accomplished a recovery or preserved some understanding of what it meant to ‘live in the clock’ where all had been balanced. This would require a lot of people. And you don’t get a lot of people with prejudices of whether someone is ‘White’ or ‘Cree.’ You arrive in that space by shutting out stupid people and opening to intelligent people, no matter their relationship to you, tribal affiliation or color of skin. Recreating a healthy cosmos would require solely people who understand how not to step on other beings lives. And that fact excludes many tribal people and includes people with no tribal affiliation. If there is any future people, it is those who can put European cultural mentality out of their lives, no matter their origins.

What would be the test? For those raised primarily in European culture, this will be a more difficult road; except for those in the native world who’d sold out altogether or have become too stupid to understand they’re stupid (perhaps the harshest reality.) The Europeans because they do not know how to be silent and listen (to nature.) And those natives who believe a Red skin makes them Indian (as opposed to the fact they are e.g. culturally Blackfoot-Americans little different to Irish-Americans.)

So, who among us native peoples will put television entirely out of our lives and the lives of our children? Who with more money will, instead of buying a new car, rather pay a native language granny to teach our pre-school children and the children of our neighbor without funds to do the same? Who will have the courage to stand up to the band councils and tell them ‘it’s going to be this way and now get out of our business’?

What Europeans would have the courage to pool their resources to buy land or other means to pull up fences and turn land back to the cosmos to mend, declaring it belongs to none other than life? And fight for the right to hand the land back, as well refuse their children educations intended to prop up a state that exploits with endless development? To be willing to have their children taught an alien language incorporating values far removed from Western Civilization and its historical ideals?

Who, between the two communities preceding, would have the courage to care for and depend on each other in a growing environment of trust where the White child is educated no differently to the Red; where the only idea worthy of spiritual reverence is the idea this world is not ours, it belongs to all life, where we have clearly demonstrated to step out of place is to step out of everything it could possibly mean to live in any positive way. And tell everyone else ‘there is no place here for stupid’

Even with all of this accomplished, it falls short, if you cannot clearly grasp your life is no more important than a beaver your ancestor either trapped or traded for. There are no innocent parties. So, what is consciousness? Certainly it is not the ‘self-aware’ preoccupied ego (‘it’s all about me’) of European concept. Consciousness is the gift of the cosmos to an entity that is an organism of many parts .. in which humans have become a cancer. Consciousness is nothing more and nothing less.

notes to follow-

*

Cosmos & Cosmology Cross-cultural encroachment (1)

Cosmos & Environment Cross-Cultural encroachment (2)

Cosmos & The Nation Cross-cultural encroachment (3)

Cosmos & The Clan Cross-cultural encroachment (4)

Cosmos & The Family Cross-cultural encroachment (5)

Cosmos & The Self Cross-cultural encroachment (6)

Cosmos & Consciousness Cross-cultural encroachment (7)

Cosmos & Consciousness (notes)

*

Life in Indian Country Essay collection

Chief

^ is this you?

Finally, we have reached that space where it becomes clear what had been expected of every individual at the level of microcosm. Essentially there was an expected practical behavior; under pinned in approach to life along these lines:

The ancient Blackfoot approached life like this … every impact, down to so much as a bruised blade of grass, in the course of going about anything, whether daily sustenance or whatever, generated awareness of impact. This in turn demands a life of ‘right action’ in relation to all things, as one’s life foundation, to live in the balance. It is within the cosmos’ ‘living clock’ this principle was observed and followed in such a way as to discover what would be ‘gifted’ to sustain the people. In the western culture Jung observed this principle as synchronicity but I will the note the Pikuni knew how to read the clock, it wasn’t ‘coincidence.’

This preceding demanded an integrated approach that precluded ego in the western sense .. it was never about ‘me’ but about sustaining a system of perpetual motion which depended on all; right down to awareness of impact to the single blade of grass and the correct action or ‘lived awareness’ demanded of that fact. Development of the individual was integrated to the whole of it all, precluding any practical separation. As this system of perpetual motion moved through the seasons, this living clock was acknowledged with ceremony. Everyone in the ancient way could read this movement until the Europeans arrived. And we should all know the consequence of this ‘new’ education.

Now, when we flip a light switch, everything it had meant to honor life within the cosmos is dishonored in a practical sense for the sake of ‘convenience.’ Think about it. Whether solar, wind generator, hydro-electric, gas-fired, strip-mined coal or nuclear generated; you just contributed to death within the cosmos with so small an act as the flip of a switch. Each of these systems required dealing death within the cosmos, to construct a grid that is putting the planet to death. This gives me a cynical laugh when considering the circumstance of people paying for plane tickets to attend workshops on what it means (or meant) to be Native American. Whether these are new age self-delusional souls seeking meaning or modern tribal mentalities meeting to consult on issues of ‘culture’, one is no different to the other, each has just contributed to death within the cosmos. And the cosmos doesn’t care whether your skin is Red or White. Quoting Karl Schlesier, a son, brother and father to three generations of Cheyenne Arrow Keepers:

“In the long and disturbing history of Indian-White relations in North America there have been other Whites, men and women, who became full fledged members and shared the fate of the tribes in the struggle for survival. These, often, had been taken as prisoners when young, and they grew up with new siblings and new parents and a new, wide range of relationships. They were not discriminated against because in the old world of the tribes skin color never mattered; what mattered were the expressions of one’s spirit and the voice of the heart. But adoption by a human alone was not enough. The adoptee had to open himself/herself to the spirit world of the specific tribe and had to be embraced by it. Thus, adoption was made final or was denied on the highest spiritual level beyond a first move made by adoptive elders”

What Karl is referring to, is whether to environment within the cosmos had embraced the concerned individual; as would have been recognized in the long ago ‘lived philosophy’ or the foundation all had been based on, in the living clock .. recalling the order of priority in caring for things:

1) The great community or cosmos (interpreted as territory)
2) The environment (within the cosmos)
3) The nation (within the environment)
4) The clan/band (within the nation)
5) The family (within the band)
6) The self (within the family)

What chance do you suppose ‘the spirit’ will recognize ANYONE in a so-called ‘native studies’ program, where light switches are flipped everyday; to study in the western culture’s classroom at the same university hosting departments teaching the European civilization’s philosophy and technology? This, contrasted to; in the ancients’ days, one would not so much as consider any association with any entity at odds with living intelligently in the cosmos. Forget romantic love; if your interest did not bring harmony into the family at the nuclear level, the relationship would never develop. This is because you have no right to disturb the peace of any other, and on realizing that person or institution interested in associating with you would be in conflict with the values upholding your family, within the band, within the nation, within the environment, within the cosmos, is antithetical to the greater social health; you would, at the individual level, deny any possibility of a relationship developing. Already, if we have ‘elders’ approve sending us to university, we can see how lost our peoples have become.

*

Cosmos & Cosmology Cross-cultural encroachment (1)

Cosmos & Environment Cross-Cultural encroachment (2)

Cosmos & The Nation Cross-cultural encroachment (3)

Cosmos & The Clan Cross-cultural encroachment (4)

Cosmos & The Family Cross-cultural encroachment (5)

Cosmos & The Self Cross-cultural encroachment (6)

Cosmos & Consciousness Cross-cultural encroachment (7)

Cosmos & Consciousness (notes)

*

Life in Indian Country Essay collection

Badger_River

^ Blackfoot sacred lands

The order of priority in the ancient native way had been:

1) The great community or cosmos (interpreted as territory)
2) The environment (within the cosmos)
3) The nation (within the environment)
4) The clan/band (within the nation)
5) The family (within the band)
6) The self (within the family)

This essay will point to the considerable difficulties inherent in maintaining the elements necessary to any authentic Native American spiritual awareness in relation to one’s surroundings and oneself.

To begin, there requires an intimate understanding of a living cosmos. To know a living cosmos requires a unique relationship to environment, commonly misconceived as a relationship solely to the land. It’s actually much bigger than this. To have some beginning idea of this cosmos, one must surrender any thought of ‘I’ and ‘me’ because ‘you’ cannot exist in this cosmos as an individual entity. Without the cosmos, you don’t exist. Within the cosmos, you cannot exist as an individual. This is because all of the cosmos is integrated. In the ancient Native American way, your cosmos is reflected (interpreted) as a territory where all is a single organism made up of inter-dependent parts, including every individual, and not only persons but every individual of every species, and what’s more, every stone and tree, down to each individual blade of grass.

The Blackfeet had their cosmos. The Blackfeet neighbors, whether Cree, Sioux, Crow, Cheyenne, Salish, or Shoshone, had their cosmos, each its’ own functioning universe with unique cosmology, within this concept. This had been the template on which Native American spiritual understanding had functioned; at the macro-level. To have a relationship to, and within, this cosmos, required a functional understanding of attending cosmology, that can be interpreted as laws immutably tied to the physical environment sustained within this cosmos. MOST IMPORTANTLY, this cosmos is its’ own self-conceptualizing, aware, seeing entity, a feeling or sentient being; in and of itself. “YOU” are ultimately unimportant to this cosmos -except- you were to know your place within this cosmos and that is the point of the cosmology.

Per example of this, I will point to the work of Karl Schlesier where he noted the Chiricahua Apache precursor people had “asked the spirit of the land to accept them” when migrating into those lands they were subsequently ‘discovered’ to inhabit; by encroaching European culture.

The original indigenous tradition required an aware, seeing, sentient being or ‘cosmos’ accept those who would inhabit it; and to accomplish this integration had little to with exploiting environment and everything to do with finding a niche contributing to the cosmos health. Finding this ‘place’ for an entire people determines whether you have a successful spiritual life and we are still a long ways from discussing the spiritual life of any individual person, or the bottom of the hierarchy.

Already, the implications are quite profound; not only would those of European cultural heritage be far removed from authentic Native American spiritual experience, but so would many who actually believe they are Native American .. because cosmology had been embedded in the native languages and those languages’ stories. It would be the case in every instance where a tribal people had lost their language, they had also lost their cosmology and authentic relationship to their cosmos.

Moreover, every tribal council applying the Western culture’s economic principles of exploiting resources is removed from their own cosmos and cosmology. It’s not just ‘White people’ these days. How it came to this is not the subject of these essays; the point is to go to the facts on the ground in the present. In the next essay we will go to the environment and the fact from an ancient indigenous perspective, a cosmos doesn’t care whether your skin is Red or White. The road to health in any living cosmos would be equally challenging for both.

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Cosmos & Cosmology Cross-cultural encroachment (1)

Cosmos & Environment Cross-Cultural encroachment (2)

Cosmos & The Nation Cross-cultural encroachment (3)

Cosmos & The Clan Cross-cultural encroachment (4)

Cosmos & The Family Cross-cultural encroachment (5)

Cosmos & The Self Cross-cultural encroachment (6)

Cosmos & Consciousness Cross-cultural encroachment (7)

Cosmos & Consciousness (notes)

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Life in Indian Country Essay collection

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