Bird Droppings October 22, 2021
Can we find answers outside our windows?
It has been a few years since the largest ever lottery drawing and the frenzy of buying a ticket which was crazy. While in SC, my wife and I got a Powerball ticket seems we got thinking, hey, we win, we could buy a house at Pawleys Island. We all get caught up, which led me to think about this world engrossed with money and how we can spend money. Granted, I get caught up in what if I won dreaming. I wonder if perhaps some of this thinking is bringing so many people back to their more traditional world views as well; what if I had nothing.
I was trying to look at a book written by the creators of Waiting for Superman, a movie about public education. At first, when reading a book, I tend to look at the index to see who the author borrows from and quotes. 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 innovative education being considered.
“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 (Custer’s Last Stand in some history books). General Custer led his four hundred 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 Black Elk Speaks. This quote is based on Eagles Man’s thoughts on a vision and yet how prophetic the words are. Looking back in recent history, we have polluted rivers till they smell before we do anything. In Ohio, a river caught fire from the pollution. Most recently, we had the significant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and today an article on the massive dead areas on the bottom of the Gulf. Dead coral and other usually alive regions are devoid of life. We issue smog warnings in most significant cities regularly. Acid rain strips paint from cars and kill 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 ten years since I walked 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 the 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 tourism took over and high rises and condos sprang up. Sadly I know that image has changed with the last hurricane.
“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 that information and technological advance will be sufficient.” Ed McGaa, Eagle Man
Perhaps I overthink 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 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. Humanity’s 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 lifetime, I have not known an actual 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 history studies, I have found that all wars have an inherent base cause of 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, 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. We are in the grip of a winter freeze here in Georgia, and temperatures have dropped below freezing. This morning I will bundle up as I head to school and try and educate a few children. Last night I watched Braveheart, the story of William Wallace of Scotland in the late thirteenth century. An exciting tale while part fiction, it has some truth. A man believed in freedom and fought for it, dying betrayed by his countryman. 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 your hearts and to always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)