Wednesday, 01 February 2023

BlueWolf: Morality and my world

I will center my discussion on the concept of morality as I interpret it from a modern indigenous perspective. My opinion represents only my family, not any Tribe or Nation.


I think that those who are carrying this jihad of hatred from both sides cannot be deterred from their paths by words. The direction of this civilization is toward increased terrorism and suffering. Only a complete change of direction will carry us off of this path toward the whirlwind. Modern civilization is enamored with its toys and successes, never examining what price has been paid in human life and destruction for those achievements.


Many of our common citizens recognize deep down that our culture is slipping from its pretentious moral high ground toward a decadent society consumed with violence and the desire to preserve its luxury and status at any cost. Institutional Islam seems intent on keeping its mouth shut while fanatics twist the teachings of their great Man of Peace into exhortations to sacrifice innocent life in suicidal acts of resistance against their age old religious enemies-both Christian and Hebrew. The cycle is endless, with centuries of history to drive it.


I have a quote for you to think about as I babble on. "Morality relates not only to the actions of human beings toward other humans but toward the entire planet as an integrated living being." I suppose that this is the major difference between the three great religions descended from Abraham and the rest of the indigenous world.


The concept of guilt at birth, which teaches that death, violence, and tragedy are unnatural conditions, and the belief in judgment, punishment, and reward has created an absolute fear of death in some, while encouraging acts of violent sacrifice in others the two bloody sides of today's coin of terrorism. Both sides court war, not only in revenge, but in the misguided belief that in causing death one can prevent future deaths. Life by the sword.


I'd like to present another view of morality centered around a Native concept that the entire earth is a living being. Every physical form upon it is comprised of the same elements moving and interacting. Earth, fire, air, water, rocks, trees, animals, and human beings. Indigenous peoples consider all these forms to be alive for differing purposes in our global family. The rock does not speak because that is not its purpose. Human beings have our own purpose. But Indigenous people do not ascribe to humanity any superiority or greater value than our environment because we could not sustain our lives separate from it. If we depend on it, how can we be superior to it?


We are asked to possess three characteristics: respect for Creation, responsibility to act in the best interests of Creation, and gratitude for that Creation. We do not perceive natural violence and death as punishment, but only a mysterious addition to Creation that is, for the moment, beyond the reach of our understanding.


Each moment the sun eats and transforms or kills hydrogen that has taken millions of years to form. On earth death allows for the building blocks of creation to take new forms. When a species suffers extinction there is often an explosion of new life in the areas previously inhabited. Indigenous people rever Creation. I'll say that again. Indigenous people rever Creation. It is all sacred. Every act, every word, every motion of humanity as well as the earth and all our relatives are part of a sacred related family ceremony. Just as the sun eats the hydrogen without remorse, so we are eaten and give back our spirits to Creation. We view death as a natural process. We grieve for our losses, as do any humans, but we know that the basic elements of creation are everlasting and cannot die. No guilt, no blame .


The sacred permeates the lives of Indigenous Peoples because it is perceived to be inherent in every earthly form and movement. This is not simply an intellectual exercise but a deep emotional attachment to Creation. To be very frank, some of our Elders predicted these circumstances would occur because of the seemingly selfish preoccupation some societies have with considering humanity as the preferred species rather than as an integral equal part of a whole earth entity.


But there is a difference between the mysterious order and purpose of natural destruction in Creation and the willful, contentious and calculated violence of human beings purposely disturbing and destroying the very relationships that should give their life meaning, purpose and joy. My uncle believed that it was the fear of death, the fear of judgment, the fear of loss, the very selfish fear of personal extinction that leads to all the dangerous and destructive vices and proclivities men practice. Certainly, as there is the light of love, there is also the darkness of hatred. And for every other good and noble virtue we find a counterpoint of darkness.


We can feel no gratitude, no appreciation for the beauties and lights of our lives without the potential to suffer the other. As the volcano pours its lava into the villages below, we are assured that someday flowers will sprout in the enriched soil of that destruction. That is what separates natural violence from the violence of men. Natural violence will always result in new creation. But the horrors men put upon each other do not guarantee that from those horrors new flowers of great beauty will sprout. The Power of Creation can not be reproduced by Man.


In our family we think that it is part of man's purpose in creation to search for a balance between fate and choice. Our nature and potential is malleable. It can be chosen and altered. We live in the bubble of America while the rest of the world struggles for the basic necessities of life. To raise the standards of the world to our level we would have to speed up the harvest of these resources six times or find six new planets to plunder.


The truth is that we have created a world of fantasy which pretends that we can continue this lifestyle indefinitely while 75 percent of the rest of the world is lacking nutritious food, shelter, or a safe place to sleep. It is a myth that there are enough resources for them to raise their standards to our level, even if the entire world modeled their systems after ours.


Today, the designs of small and powerful groups of men spin out of control thrusting us away from balance and toward destruction. It is part of our purpose to attempt to divert this course, to point toward beauty and gratitude, and away from revenge and violence. But those who have chosen war and conflict will not be convinced or changed.


As my friend Clayton says they are the people of ruin, everything they touch they ruin that has become their purpose. In America, one would expect that a people experiencing such plenty would be overwhelmed with gratitude for our many blessings and overflow with compassion. For our leaders to act with attitudes of arrogance, superiority and a willingness to exercise a violent spirit can only lead to our losing those blessings. Meaningful change can be led specifically by people who demand that the moral principles of our spiritual heritages be applied without compromise to the principles of the republic. Lip service and rhetoric only increase the danger. Our foes are all the dark vices embodied in the greed and corruption of the men of power around the world.


Our hope is that gatherings of like minded neighbors will encourage a willingness to endure sacrifice for change.


This gathering is the only means in which power can be taken back into the hands of common families. We need not share exactly the same perspectives and beliefs, only agree that our goal is not to loose unnecessary and unjustified evils upon the world merely to preserve a standard of living that it will be impossible for the rest of the world ever to share.


The noise we make must be heard above negotiations, even above the bombs. I'll end with this quote:


"Goodness does not thrive in the absence of evil. Selfishness, small vices and jealousies dominate mankind in those times. True goodness only emerges in the threat and presence of Shadow -- nestling in the crook of its arm, whispering in its ear, until the Shadow goes mad and men relinquish their fears to cry once more for compassion and the creative spirit."


James BlueWolf is a artist and author. He lives in Nice.


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