—by Bill Watkins 4/9/2017
We used to live on the earth.
Before concrete, metal, helicopters and sirens.
Humankind has been at war with nature and Powers greater than ourselves forever. We have tried to organize, defeat cold and hunger of course.
We began to paint on cave walls, make art, seek eternal life and our place in an eternal life cycle. That expression was valued in some cultures, not in others.
Native American thinking always placed God’s art—nature itself, before human achievements.
“Yes, Niagara will be Niagara a thousand years hence! The rainbow, a wreath over her brow, shall continue as long as the sun, and the flowing of the river—while the work of art, however carefully protected and preserved, shall fade and crumble into dust!”
—George Copway, Ojibwe Tribe
“White man’s pictures all fade, but the Indian’s memories last forever.”
—Indian Guide (1882)
Those quotes are two of hundreds that changed my life a couple summers ago, when my wife picked up Kent Nerburn’s The Wisdom of the Native Americans and brought the book to a beach trip up the central Californian coast.
Nerburn compiled a masterpiece, from a culture that was not obsessed with writing history, but actually engaged in living as one with its nature.
“The white people must think that paper has some mysterious power to help them in the world. The Indian needs no writings; words that are true sink deep into his heart, where they remain.”
—Four Guns, Oglala Sioux
There are benefits to civilization; without benefits, it never would have happened.
But the devil is weaving quite an enticing maze, battling the Creator like us, for control. The devil loves the speed with which people drive “progress” forward.
The devil loves forgotten history, repeating mistakes, and forgetting creation.
Ingratitude another favorite. The disease of “more” more and more engulfing people, unless…
Unless we stop. Go back. Remember our part in this… Be grateful for the ground, and perhaps consider traveling to our people’s first ground.
Track your way back to where Earth spawned you. Be at home.
Re-engage with the cycle of life, and find the eternal in the first eternity.
The one before religion.