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Mourning The Loss Of A World

I’m gonna openly plagiarize, quote, paraphrase and generally butcher the work of John Trudell from his masterpiece, DNA. He said I could. Since much of that which I will quote from him was given during oral composition from speeches and talks he made, as well as the produced CD, the result is neither grammatically correct or easily followed in some places—but trust me—he will get you there eventually, despite my wordy interventions.

Once, the Earth was our Mother and the primary power of life and family was Female—Matriarchal, focused on the creative for its spiritual power. Civilization, through religion, has been all about severing our Relationship to that power. Hebrew, Muslim and Christian history has not evolved in the same spiritual direction as the majority of Indigenous People, especially in its spiritual perceptions and understanding of the attributes of their God.
Their religions insist that they pursue a spiritual domination of the globe through institutional religion, enforcing the belief that through the Patriarchal view of a Male Dominator God, all spiritual value power be removed from the Earth and that the Earth isn’t to be our Mother anymore but the Dominion and Property of God. And that you—the human beings—are now ordered to dominate and subdue the Earth—and those who do not share in the same ideals are to be killed, isolated, or subjected to non-human treatment.
For Indigenous Communities, this was like extraterrestrials landing—really, because this a completely different perceptual reality—going for caring for the Earth to dominating it! For Indigenous peoples before this, life was a gift and living and dying were a gift, an exchange of life, because we were part of a spiritual reality as physical beings.
And as a part of this forced process of domination, the dogma of the three great desert religions created it a moral crime for being born. The Story of Adam placed on the human soul a personally unresolvable guilt. So now all must bow down to the authority of this new male God because our original ancestor made it a moral crime for being here. And the realization that one is guilty at birth—for all the sins of the world—sins that can only be redeemed through the acceptance of the blood sacrifice of that Male God’s son, that alters forever one’s perception of self—and subsequently the ambitions and goals that one sets for oneself throughout life.
Crazy Horse said we are living in the shadow of the real world, and we truly are. The illusion of the perception of our shared guilt turns us from appreciating the value of shared spiritual and physical community and focuses us on our individual guilt and what we can take from life rather than what we can give to each other and the world—a gift to a gift. People don’t learn from their guilt, they just make more guilts, and we respond to that guilt by giving in and becoming subservient to what is demanded from us by the circumstances and controlling powers of this modern civilization.
Because of our acceptance of these guilts and our negative self-view, our life is dominated by our fears, our doubts, our paranoia, and our insecurities—most of which we hide from everyone but ourselves. Think of how this mental illness affects the lives of those around us! Our society is being overwhelmed by it. We’re convinced that the more money and toys we possess, the more powerful and self-satisfied we become, but that myth was disproved long ago. Gaining these things may give us more access to authority over others but it bears absolutely no relationship to Power. Authority represents an absence of Power, that’s why it is needed.
To heal ourselves we need to search for a coherent and responsible philosophy that focuses, not just on providing the necessities for all our relatives and for caring for the Earth that sustains us, but on helping those consumed by the guilts they accumulate in their lives, through action and circumstance, so that they can end their cycle of individual grief and guilt and start again. (end DNA recomposition)

I do not pretend to know how this is to be accomplished given the stresses, distractions, compromises, and challenges we are presented with in our daily pursuit of food, shelter, and security—but I know it to be the only hope for other families, poised the edge of losing a loved one, or lost and alone in the depths of self-doubt and emotional turmoil, or facing only the loss of other loved ones for the rest of their lives. We must resist being the “batteries” of their engine and give our loyalties only to those who try to speak for the ‘real’ Peoples.

My wife had the habit of keeping each year of our children’s school pictures. A few days ago, in preparation for this speech, I forced myself to look through my son’s pictures. I found the specific year when the look in his eyes and smiled changed from innocence and passion for life, to sadness and pain. The year I had failed to protect him from the demons, human and built-in, that surrounded him in this civilized world.
Two hundred years ago he would have been a powerful man, a protector of his family and his people, a successful provider, a man whose council would have been respected. His humor and generosity would have been universally admired. But that world was destroyed by one that considered itself to be superior to ours and we were, and are, still forced daily to bow down to its principles, prejudices, and circumstance.
He was born into a time where, from an early age, he was disrespected, looked down upon, mentally and physically abused, made fun of, discriminated against and made to feel inferior. It didn’t matter that his family loved and supported him—he was obsessed with what others around him thought—particularly his employers and co-workers. He was also corrupted by the demons that accompany self-doubt, and by the influence of others who talked him into actions that later consumed him with guilt. I was weak and self-absorbed, unable to protect him from the soul-less and depraved heart of the modern world, and unwilling to given him the praise and support his lonely and doubting heart needed. He would often chide me, that I was too consumed with my condemnation of the world around us and the people that succumb to, and promote, its superiority to Indigenous ideals. “I’m Indin, he would say, but first I’m a Human Being.” He was correct in his condemnation. I proved to be no better an example than they.
Two hundred years ago he would have been a good, if not great, man. Finally, he lost the battle with the forces that caused him to doubt his strengths and belittled his attempts to become one with them. I mourn each morning for his loss and the loss of that world. Now he is simply a statistic, another casualty of a spiritless world where everyone battles with the feeling of failing and being responsible and alone with that failure. He risked himself in an attempt to find one night’s peaceful sleep, never thinking he might not wake. We will miss him every day of our lives. And my hatred for our conquerors, and the worlds lost, is a thirst that will not be quenched. When I draw my last breath, I will not give their world even a cursory wave.

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James BlueWolf

6 comments to Mourning The Loss Of A World

  • Bob Grant

    James – welcome back.

  • mistermuse

    Beautifully and honestly said.

    I’d say much more, but I’ve already lost over half an hour trying to do so because my original comment didn’t “take” due to supposedly getting the CAPTCHA Code wrong (a not uncommon occurrence, I’m sorry to say). I regret I can’t afford another 30+ minutes trying to repeat my original reply, but I’ll have to leave the details to the devil to add to his already infinite supply.

  • Bob Grant

    I have taken CAPTCHA off the comment form.

  • mistermuse

    Thank you, Bob. Now that I can be sure my time won’t be wasted, I’ll try to repeat the gist of my lost comment.

    James, there’s no denying (although some do) the truth of your words. Man (perhaps especially the white man) has not only been violent throughout history, but often ignorantly so….and willful ignorance is a guarantee that lessons will not be learned. Even some Native American tribes warred against other tribes long before the “invasion,” but their violence pales in comparison with the duplicitous Europeans who not only thought they had a right to take whatever they pleased by whatever means necessary, but couldn’t even keep treaties that codified their plunder.

    So where do we go from here? We know that the “bad guys” will always be with us and will often “win” because they subscribe to the usual clichés: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, TO THE VICTOR GO THE SPOILS, etc. But we also know that there are more “good” people than bad, or the law of the jungle would’ve overwhelmed the world long ago. Someone once said something to the effect that all it takes for evil to prevail is for right-thinking people to do nothing. This would be a good time to remember those words.

  • mistermuse– you’re right of course. whining and crying never makes anything better. I just seem to do a lot of latter lately, missing my son. i heard when i was young that bitterness is one of an old man’s closest companions… wish it weren’t so. I simply haven’t found a way to get all of the “good’ people to stand together in a way that makes a lasting difference and i’ve spent my life trying to encourage it. speaking up is all some of us have-but is it enough? what would action look like? what shape would it take? who will lead it? just questions.

  • mistermuse

    With the understanding that that there is no quick or utopian solution to the fix we’ve gotten ourselves into, I think we should accept proceeding under the (not new) proposition that we mustn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Start making gains where we can, when we can, election by election, from local to national. Extremist right wingers must be turned out of office wherever possible even if it means voting for a less extreme right wing candidate, if that’s the only alternative. Call it the “lesser of two evils” choice, but even small improvements in tone and civil discourse will help turn the tide in the long run. The alternative is to let Donald Trump and his sycophants dictate where this country is headed….and as we are already experiencing, it won’t be pretty.

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