Bird Droppings August 6, 2019
Can we find answers outside our windows?
As I read and pondered a world engrossed with money and how we can spend that money. I wonder if perhaps some of the thinking that is bringing so many American Indians back to their more traditional world views has merit. I was looking at a book written by the creators of Waiting for Superman, a movie about public education. When first reading a book, I look at the index to see who does the author borrow from and quote. This for me is often a precursor for my continued reading of that book.
I first caught notice of John Dewey and went to the page that mentioned John Dewey. All that was written was that John Dewey taught that experienced based education was the way to go. Jean Piaget had six words while Arne Duncan had ten or so pages and even Bill Gates had more than that. I did not see one innovative educator in reference anywhere. Most were advocates of the privatization of education or people who were foundation heads and provided money. Sadly, nowhere was really innovative education being considered. How has all that mess worked out?
“Black Elk saw the earth becoming sick. The animals, the winged ones, and the four-legged ones grew frightened. All living things became gaunt and poor. The air and the waters dirtied and smelled foul.” Ed MaGaa, Eagle Man, Mother Earth Spirituality
Black Elk was a teenager during the battle later known as the battle of the Little Bighorn, in which Custer lead his four hundred and eighty or so troops to battle against the combined forces of Sioux and Cheyenne numbering over two thousand. Black Elk had a vision as a young man that would be later translated by his son and recorded by John Neihardt in the book, Black Elk Speaks. This quote is based on another medicine man, Eagles Mans thoughts on a piece of the vision and yet how prophetic are the words. Looking back in recent history we have polluted rivers till they smell before we do anything. Years ago, in Ohio a river caught fire from the pollution. Most recently we had the great oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and today an article on the massive dead areas on the bottom of the Gulf. Even more recently a massive red tide wiped out sea life along a one hundred fifty mile stretch of the Gulf coast due to pollution from sugar cane fields in Florida. Dead coral and other normally alive areas are devoid of life. We issue smog warnings in most major cities on a regular basis. Acid rain strips paint from cars and kills frogs.
“Everything was possessed of personality, only differing from us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature learns, and that was to feel beauty. We never railed at the storms, the furious winds, and the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensify human futility, so whatever came we adjusted ourselves, by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint.” Chief Luther Standing Bear
It has been nearly eleven years since I was walking on the beach in Panama City Beach Florida. As the sun rose I was alone with the water, wind and pelicans flying along the edge of the water. There was a silence even as the waves rolled in and wind blew. There was calmness amongst the surroundings that put me at ease. As I gazed out into the Gulf with my back to the civilized world I could imagine this place before the tourism took over and high rises and condos sprang up.
“Although we can expect great progress from the greening of technology and the inventiveness of the human spirit, we should not allow ourselves to be beguiled by that information and technological advance will be sufficient.” Ed McGaa, Eagle Man
Perhaps I think too much and ponder too much as I sit here writing. I do believe we can accomplish a new world and a new way of seeing our reality. It will take each of us perceiving life differently than we choose to now. I wonder if that is even possible.
“The more knowledge we acquire, the more mystery we find…. A human being is part of the whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. The delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a person nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to see this completely, but the striving for such an achievement is in itself a part of our liberation and a foundation for inner serenity.” Albert Einstein
In this world of ever-changing technology and innovations what is new today will be antiquated tomorrow. Albert Einstein knew this as he offered the statement above. Einstein was a man of vision and thinking beyond what most of us will ever comprehend.
“Because the world at large does not get enough exposure to feminine principles such as acceptance, emotional expression, and peacefulness, we have moved to far from center and are therefore contrary to Nature’s plan. Humanities patriarchal track record is dismal at best. We need to remind ourselves as individuals as a culture, that aggression and intimidation are not our only options when something does not go our way.” Ed MaGaa, Eagle Man, Nature’s Way
In my life time I have not known a true time of peace in the world. When I was a tiny child the Korean War was being fought as a teenager and young man Viet Nam and in more recent years we have been fighting in the Middle East for nearly twenty years. In my studies of history, I have found that all wars have an inherent root cause, and that is money. Stories go that Lyndon Johnson continued Viet Nam to provide business for US companies. Historians will write about our effort in Iraq as a war for oil. Greed has been a driving force in literally everything we do.
“It is not only important to walk down the path that creator has set before us; but we must walk in the way. The way is all the little things one does along the path. What kind of product is being produced? Is there a large pile of money? Is there a pile of accumulated physical things, such as cars, houses, property? Are there many degrees and awards on the wall? All of these things can be used in a positive way. Possibly, when one accumulates them as a means to a positive end, they can be certainly good. However, if one accumulates them as an end; this may be not so good!” Susan Thomas Underwood, Walk With Spirit
I am often reminded of a line from a song by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame. “Life is about the journey not the destination.” So often I forget and start seeking that destination and forget that so much is along the pathway. Opening my eyes and listening a bit more carefully there is much to see and hear. Last night I watched The Game of Thrones and was totally caught up in the plot and action. An interesting tale while mostly fiction it has some truth. A man believed in freedom and fought for it dying betrayed by his own countryman and in GOT he was brought back to save mankind. A bit away from my journeying and writing but as I think and ponder. Another day and as I have for so long please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and to always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)