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An Interview from Beyond with Native Americans Elders!
Since I was a young boy and until now I admire, no, I love the Native Americans' way of life. I love its simplicity that is an integral part of the living environment. The love and respect they show in every creature and creation of God and the unity they feel with Him and with all creation. I always admired their wisdom and morality, which springs from the experiential knowledge that everything and all creatures are One. All, everything that exists in this and any world, we are Brothers since we are the creations of the same Great Father. This knowledge and morality I tried to follow in my life, and this has helped me to become a better and happier man.
For a long time now, I was thinking how valuable it would be to have a conversation with some of the Great Native American leaders, an opportunity to ask them a few things I have in my mind. How important would be an interview with these beautiful people! Then one night, an elder of the Lenape tribe, called Old Fox, appeared in a dream and told me:
"My brother, all the questions, you would like to ask, have already been answered by many brothers of mine so that you can have your interview. Use your imagination; remember that the Great Spirit will guide you always."
And so it happened! I searched, and I found the answers to my queries. Hence this interview has been done with questions that have been asked in the present and answered in the past! Great Spirit works in mysterious ways!
I hope you'll enjoy it.
Sean: One of the things always annoyed me was listening to people call Native Americans uncivilized! Please, tell me some things about the way that your "uncivilized" communities worked.
Lame Deer: Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didn't have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn't know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.
Chief George Copway: Among the Indians there have been no written laws. Customs handed down from generation to generation have been the only laws to guide them. Every one might act different from what was considered right did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the Nation. This fear of the Nation's censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social, honorable compact.
Chief Joseph: Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The Earth is the Mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself, and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.
Sun Bear: I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.
Charles Alexander Eastman: It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving. The Indians in their simplicity literally give away all that they have -to relatives, to guests of other tribes or clans, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom they can hope for no return.
O' Great Spirit, help me always to speak the truth quietly, to listen with an open mind when others speak, and to remember the peace that may be found in silence.
- Cherokee Prayer
Sean: I can see that this way of living has its foundation on two pillars, the respect for Mother Earth and the belief of the existence of a Greater Love. I believe that Spirituality is an integral part of your daily life. Please, enlighten me about these.
Big Thunder: The Great Spirit is in all things:
He is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us.
Chief Seattle: This we know. The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth. All things are connected, like the blood that unites one family. Whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the children of the Earth. We do not weave the web of life; we are only a strand of it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
Chief Hiawatha: We return thanks to our Mother, the Earth, which sustains us. We return thanks to the rivers and streams which supply us with water. We return thanks to all herbs which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases. We return thanks to the moon and stars which have given to us their light when the sun was gone. We return thanks to the sun that has looked upon the Earth with a beneficent eye. Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for the good of her children.
Sean: A connection, like this one you describe, is a safe Spiritual way to inner peace and consequently to true happiness! I have read about three kinds of this peace. How someone can accomplish them?
Black Elk: The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers; and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit); and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals; and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all, you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.
Sean: Yes! This is wonderful! Happiness springs from the awareness of our relationship with everything, of our Oneness! How do we build strong and healthy relationships?
Cochise: You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.
Chief Tecumseh: Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Sean: I understand that the issue of "respect" is essential and fundamental to your people! What really is respect?
Dave Chief: Respect means listening until everyone has been heard and understood, only then is there a possibility of balance and harmony, the goal of Indian spirituality.
Mourning Dove: Respect is to acknowledge that everything on the Earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.
Chief Edward Moody: Respect is to protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.
Lose your temper and you lose a friend; lie and you lose yourself.
- Hopi Proverb
Sean: So, as you say, we have to respect and live in harmony with every creature, birds, animals, fish and trees! Everything is sacred, even the rocks and soil!
Lame Deer: Listen to the air. You can hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it. Woniya wakan-the holy air-which renews all by its breath. Woniya, woniya wakan-spirit, life, breath, renewal-it means all that. Woniya-we sit together, don't touch, but something is there; we feel it between us, as a presence. A good way to start thinking about nature, talk about it. Rather talk to it, talk to the rivers, to the lakes, to the winds as to our relatives.
Touching Spirit Bear: Whatever you do to the animals, you do to yourself. Unfortunately, modern man has become so focused on harnessing nature's resources that he has forgotten how to learn from them. If you let them, however, the elements of nature will teach you as they have taught me.
Chief Dan George: The time will soon be here when my grandchild will long for the cry of a loon, the flash of a salmon, the whisper of spruce needles, or the screech of an eagle. But he will not make friends with any of these creatures; and when his heart aches with longing, he will curse me. Have I done all to keep the air fresh? Have I cared enough about the water? Have I left the eagle to soar in freedom? Have I done everything I could to earn my grandchild's fondness?
Sun Bear: Nature is not dumb. Humanity is dumb when we can't hear or when we forget how to communicate with nature. Nature is very much alive. Intelligent living beings and vibrant energies are all over the planet.
When all the trees have been cut down;
When all the animals have been hunted;
When all the waters are polluted;
When all the air is unsafe to breathe;
Only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
- Cree Prophecy
Sean: I am happy to see that your way of thinking, your Spiritual path, is so similar to other Spiritual paths around the world, into its essential principles! That means that it is a Truth superior to any religion.
Vine Deloria Jr.: Religion is for people who're afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who've already been there. Whether we walk among our people or alone among the hills, happiness in life's walking depends on how we feel about others in our hearts.
N. Scott Momaday: To encounter the sacred is to be alive at the deepest center of human existence. Sacred places are the truest definitions of the earth; they stand for the earth immediately and forever; they are its flags and shields. If you would know the earth for what it really is, learn it through its sacred places. At Devil's Tower or Canyon de Chelly or the Cahokia Mounds, you touch the pulse of the living planet; you feel its breath upon you. You become one with a spirit that pervades geologic time and space.
Chief Joseph: We are taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything, and that he never forgets; that hereafter He will give every man a spirit-home according to his deserts. This I believe, and all my people believe the same. We live, we die, and like the grass and trees, renew ourselves from the soft clods of the grave. Stones crumble and decay, faiths grow old and they are forgotten, but new beliefs are born. The faith of the villages is dust now but it will grow again like the trees. May serenity circle on silent wings and catch the whisper of the winds.
What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
- Chief Crowfoot
Sean: Thank you so much, from the depths of my Heart, for this fascinating Spiritual discussion! It was such a consolation for my mind, my Heart and Soul, and I hope for our readers too! Would you like to say something more before the end?
Black Elk: Do not forget, every dawn, as it comes, is a holy event; and every day is holy, for the light comes from Wakan-Tanka, and you must also remember that the two-leggeds and all other peoples who stand upon this Earth are sacred and should be treated as such.
White Elk: When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
Wakan Tankan Nici Un (May the Great Spirit walk with you)
Linda Lum: Simply beautiful. Thank you for your research. Your reverence is tangible. Here is a link to the Steilacoom Tribe, who lived in the place I now call home. https://steilacoomtribe.blogspot.com/2009/01/history.html
44 hours ago from Olympia, WA
My sister married a Native American, so I learned much about their culture while growing up....thank you for this interview/dream/perspective.
Peace be with you always
44 hours ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.
Thank you Sean. I wish this were not so long as now I am running late. LoL. My son is building a model "Nez Pierce" pithouse at this time. And the strangest thing happened from his school. They referred to Native Americans as "American Indians".
My youngest daughter has a degree in "Native American Studies" from Berkeley.
I think I have at least 20 "friends" on Facebook who are either Navajo or Hopi. I grew up with them, fought them, dated them, and played sports and hung out with them. Din'e are the people and Hopi generally mean peaceful ones. (Din'e is Navajo). That is why I call them, them.
I could go on about Kayenta and 2nd Mesa.
I know - too long of comment. Let me end by saying that in my small mind calling someone Native American is wrong. Each tribe and nation should be called by that name and not all the same.
Again thank you for this piece of peace. You add such positvity and love when you write. I am glad you spread the love of my buddies.
45 hours ago from New Delhi, India
A well researched and well presented, informative article about the Native Americans. I have always been curious about them and after reading this beautifully written hub, I know more about them. It's a good idea, to write this in a question, answer form.
Thanks for sharing this! Have a good day!
47 hours ago from Norfolk, England
That was very interesting to read. I think the Native Americans are very peaceful and loving people. I read a lot from reading your article, thank you. =)
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