ONE : Native American Wisdom & Spirituality
The purpose of this study in Native American Wisdom is to give a general background of knowledge of one of the oldest forms of Spirituality to exist on earth. These belief's were in existence long before Christianity and served the people who practiced them in good stead through many centuries.
Although the main teachings will be from a Native American Philosophy, the actual practices and belief's were commonly held in many indigenous tribal cultures throughout the world including Hawaiian, Celt, South American Natives, Russian Shamanic cultures as well as many other societies like the Australian aboriginal tribes. This would indicate the common thread of belief and spiritual practice among a variety of people whom had no common connection before the advent of the last two centuries advancements of communications and travel.
We need to know something of this philosophy to understand the 'Medicine' or things which served the health of body, mind and spirit.
A Deeper Knowledge of Native American Society
Among all religions, there has always been a simple religion taught to the masses and a special, deeper philosophy taught to those who were selected by various means to serve the masses as either Holy leaders, healers or a combination of both. This is true of many doctrines including Buddhism, Christianity, Mohammedanism and Mormon to name a few. This practice was and is also true of other less well known religions including Native American. Many of the non Christian teachings have been lost to many tribal cultures who are now failing due to the Christian influence often forced upon them by zealous and pious individual's who sought to make themselves 'right' by inflicting their belief's on all peoples of the earth.
The advanced teachings of the 'Nature Philosophy' were usually taught by the Medicine people to their sons and daughters, or to any young person in the community who showed a deeper awareness of all life around them and expressed an interest in finding deeper truths of life. If sufficient interest and proficiency was shown, the young man or woman was adopted by the Medicine Teacher and initiated into the teaching of the 'Natural Way' which included the arts of healing and special mental training, including what is referred to today as psychic perceptions and to the uninformed that which is called magic. All of these teachings were given verbally and the student was required to commit them to memory and when the time came for them to assume the role of teacher they passed these teaching on through a rich tradition of oral communication.
With a commitment to yourself, your community and Great Spirit, you can prepare yourself for these thought's and accept them as your truth's and deepen your appreciation for the circle of life which you have chosen to follow.
A Time for New Thinking and a Return to Old Ways.
The time for a renewal of the Spirit is upon us and will intensify as the world is systematically destroyed by greed, wars, sewage, selfishness, and misguided egos. We must act now if we are to survive the negative influences of belief's which ask us to destroy others in the name of God those that don't believe what the stronger more influential believe. The way to enact the truth's which you will be shown in lesson's to come is to walk your walk, and talk your talk. Teach by example not by ego. When others see that you are happy and peaceful and healthy they will want to know more. You will then be obliged to transition from student to teacher to help your fellow spirit's to live a better life. The time has come to take back the power that Great Spirit has given us, from the politician's and the so called religious leaders who themselves are corrupted by the very systems which control them.
The increased interest in Indian affairs along with the increased numbers of people who are searching for wisdom, natural living, and natural medicine, have since proven the need for the manifestation of this vision. In order to KNOW, the people must be taught, and to teach is the mission of all who undertake to follow the path of Nature and Great Spirit.
As a Man Thinketh...
There is an increasing school of thought among many Native Americans that being an Indian is a state of mind. It is not a matter of skin or hair color. If one thinks like an Indian, or Real Person, he or she is an Indian-a Real Person. If one "with red skin'' thinks like a ''white'' person, then he or she is a " white" person. " As a man thinketh, so is he."
"...it doesn't have anything to do with the color of your skin-it's the way you live your life. The only thing we have to give is the way we live our lives. If you live on this land, and you have ancestors sleeping in this land, I believe that makes you native to this land. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin. I was raised not to look at people racially. What I was taught is that we're flowers in the Great Spirit' s garden. We share a common root, and the root is Mother Earth The garden is beautiful because it has different colors in it, and those colors represent different traditions and cultural backgrounds."
-Oh Shinnah (Profiles in Wisdom, Bear & Co. Publishing)
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