Monday, October 27, 2008

On Native American Spirit

Vine Deloria, a Standing Rock Sioux, thought that whites in America should investigate the roots of their own spiritual traditions rather than adopt Native American spirituality. I would tend to agree (although I would not limit the quest in a parochial manner).

Not that Native American spirituality cannot provide direction. It’s earth-based rituals, its respect for all life, and its understanding of unity are all beneficial if practiced with an according respect for their origin and cultural possession, especially considering the history of horrendous atrocities made upon the American Indian.

But as practiced by American Indians, and especially by Pre-Contact Native Americans, they come from a pre-existing sense of unity, and a very different relationship with ego. In other words, before the fall.

To we who have fallen, such practices will not help in the rising. They certainly will not help eradicate the ego. In fact, they could become another set of beliefs and identities assisting in a further separation.

For those who are not native to it, Native American spirituality can be a beautiful window into the wondrous world of unity, but it seldom will be the door.

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