The Traps We Have Set

 

images (4)I suppose all a fella is doing when he has a blog is write the same thing over and over only said a thousand different ways. I know I’m that way, though I make no apology for it. When you got a message you want to convey then that’s what you do, convey any way you can. Well ok I’m sorta gonna break from that here and get very specific though it still regards my typical message, only narrowed down to one aspect of it. Just for clarity my typical message is we are doomed unless we shut this fucker down and change our lives completely, becoming sacrificers of all that we’ve known, living and doing only for the sake of future generations.  Or to put it all into one phrase, “only a miracle now”.

In this essay I wish to focus only why the truth of that message is so clear to me and hopefully to you the reader as well. It’s about magnitude. It’s about the scope of the next 100 years, it’s about the traps we have set that are sure to catch us and have it so we don’t see the next 100 years. There are four traps we have set that, short of a miracle, are sure to go off. When I say “go off” I mean that each of these situations are presently on a course to reach a tipping point that from there comes total collapse. To confound this further each situation, or trap, once gone off will in turn set the other traps off as well. This makes for the chances of catastrophe to be set to a matter of permutations. In other words, collectively these four traps make for one sure trap set to go off, that being extinction…mass extinction.  The four traps are:

Nuclear/Biochemical

Population

Food and Water

Climate Change

These are not in any order of importance; I don’t believe there’d be such a thing in this case. Each has there own agenda, each are capable of destroying civilization and beyond. However, they are listed in an order that helps delineate the overall situation we are in, which is due to these four burgers. Nuclear is there first because nuclear will be there last. That is because no matter what collapses civilization, that collapse will also eventually collapse the safety and welfare of nuclear and biochemical agents and their waste. When they start their spread unattended, death will follow, death lasting for thousands to millions of years. That’s why it is the alpha and omega of doom.

This is not way out talk, this is fact. This is what you call the perfect trap to set if one wants to end life on planet earth. And here’s the thing that makes this trap a trap, a sure trap. The collapse of civilization “will” happen, again, and again. A meteor will hit big enough to do it, or a comet, or a super volcano, etc. In other words, just natural events alone will set this nuclear trap off cuz they’ll cause collapse. And natural events are sure to happen, 100%. That’s why they’re called natural. You need a civilization that is organized and functional enough to deal with these materials, collapse destroys that possibility. All’s you gotta do is look at it with unbiased eyes, it’s right there in front of you. The “yeah buts” won’t sway it, it’s fact, until nuclear and biochemical agents are dealt with or dismantled, then due to their existence at some point we are sure to see total annihilation of life on this planet.

Population is a trap by itself needing little explanation. The thing about it is how it plays into all the other scenarios. It is worsened by climate change and food and water but only by how much it worsens them. Then of course as this develops and goes unattended, collapse is sure to follow and then the nuke story is played out all over again.  The only thing good about population and its relationship to these other scenarios is that it is the one case that get’s lessoned over time, and that’s due to mass death. It’s the problem that will be solved the quickest.

Food and water issues need a little more explaining as to why they are even in the list. But my criteria for this list is that each item listed can by themselves cause the collapse of civilization, but not necessarily extinction. Only nuclear and climate change have the ability, by themselves, to cause mass extinction. Food and water issues, like population, only assist climate change and nuclear in bringing about extinction. By themselves, population and food and water issues are self-mending, they only bring death to the point of manageability, not annihilation.

Food and water are in this list because without them we are not going to live long and prosper, obviously. And they are sure threats that stand by themselves, even without climate change, though it makes them a sure deal. Because of issues with water, arable land and population growth, food and water together make for collapse if their problems continue their present path. Do not be fooled by high yields that are still happening. Groundwater is depleting at unprecedented rates and arable land is getting harder and harder to find as population grows and demand for food and water increases. The sure sign of defeat is mostly about the water issues, without water no food. Need I tell you?

Climate change, believe it or not, will not be the thing that kills us in the end. Humans will be extinct from nuclear long before climate by itself will kill us. Climate change has just gotta act up long enough to cause collapse. That collapse will come by food and water issues, mostly water. And of course due to that collapse nuclear and biochemical material will be unsecured and then will radiate to death, every last one of us.

Ok, that’s all I wanted to say.

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If There Be a Message

downloadThis is a continuation of an early post of mine, Forced Utopia. I suppose I could just do a dido of it and not write this. However, let’s go ahead and get a little bit wu-wu on this, just a bit. If there is something out there, aliens, a god, a universal entity, take your pick. However you might come to understand a spiritual plain, be it duality or non-duality or whatever you imagine this way, could you also imagine that “it” would be sending us a message?

I mean you wanna talk about writings on the wall, 21st Century Earth has a museum full. I call them traps, or sabotages that we’ve set for our self and the remaining planet; they are absolutely real and undisputable. Here are the main culprits: water, food, nuclear, energy, economy, and population. From each of these stem an array of calamities, and many are intertwined, one reinforcing the other in direct dynamic ways. The words that ignite these scenarios to their destructive force are peak, shortage, contamination, release and growth. Theses words are where the intertwining feedback loops start, but they are where the message lies as well.

I can’t help be make the alcoholic analogy, it fits so perfect to the human race as a collect being. We’re talking about an alcoholic that’s just on the verge of hitting bottom, one who may still be on the edge of functioning, still employed even, but her life falling so fast apart she’s going to collapse any day. Her plight leaves her with three options, the mental ward, jail or death. She is cornered, she has set so many traps that the sheer weight of them it is all about to come unleashed, add to that, her liver is so shot she may not live long anyway. She is at the turning point; she has hit the lowest bottom of her life and can no longer continue. But in her despair, a light comes to her mind, she imagines a change or a miracle of sorts, to happen to her. She realizes she has nowhere to go, no other choice but to do a Hail Mary and go to AA, the land of promises and dreams.

Yeah that’s us, that’s us as a collective entity anyway, we together are in the same demise as our lady drunk above. Our essential addiction is energy in whatever form it comes in. Some drunks think they can tame there drinking problem by switching from whisky to wine, but then they become winos is all. We’ll do the same with clean energy, it will bring us along the path to new and greater problems because our disease is progressive and gets worse over time the same as alcoholics.  Just like the alcoholic, they seek the high they get from alcohol much more than the alcohol itself, we the human race like energy for all the manifestations it produces. And somewhere along the way we get lost in the manifestations just like the drunk gets lost in the highs. And just like the drunk can’t stop the search for the high to end all highs, we as a collective find ourselves consumed by the manifestations our drug brings to the point that we are enslaved to it.  We have hit the lowest bottom of our existence as species and have set so many traps to extinction we see no way out except for the hope of a miracle. That’s us, that’s exactly who we are, with no exaggerations.

The lady alky mentioned above does not necessarily get granted the miracle she hopes for, in fact, few do who are in her position, they usually die. Yet, it’s miracle she needs, at least that was the message she got in her extreme moment of despair. It’s the same for us, we may not get the miracle no matter what we do, no matter how deep our surrender, or how great our awakening towards sanity, the miracle my yet pass us by. There is such a thing as hitting bottom and crashing through, we may have done that already. But at the very least, we should be getting pretty freaking close to getting the message. If we do happen to get it soon, then let’s hope we surrender to it and better yet let’s hope our surrender is worth a shit.

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Only A Miracle Now

imagesI find myself from time to time thinking about that line in the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou, where George Clooney says, “Lookn’ fer answers?”  I’m darting over here darting over there, you know, looking for answers. And I’m thinking that maybe miracles have occurred in the past, maybe Jesus feed the five thousand, perhaps Krishna was a blue boy; or maybe the collective power from unity of thought from the masses, a great mind to step forward. I don’t know, some damn thing? Whatever enigma should manifest the result would have to be a miracle, or call it magical, super-phenomenal, whatever, some flip of the switch, bango, here we are doing good and how the hell did that happen?

It has to be a miracle at this level. Even the moderate science of the IPCC is telling us we are headed towards extinction, but you don’t have to go far beyond them to see the real time ticking of our clock, just listen to the Russian scientists, those in Siberia, listen to those on the ice. I ain’t gonna get into the depths of how far this takes us or when except to say extinction is inevitable and when is pretty soon in geologic time. Also take note of the pace of clean energy, how the leaders of that movement tout economic growth which is insane. Then carry that thought over to several other factors of decay in society. Food and water, they have a path of their own even without climate change as we toss in population, loss of arable land, all with built-in feedbacks needing no help from any aspect of society, not at this point; yet, society feeding the fire with economic growth, more emissions, and no real plan to stop it in sight!

Yeah so I say, all things considered, we need a damn miracle. I could tone that down with some language, like say, call it an evolution or an abrupt evolution…of sorts. Yeah where all the sudden we get single minded and set on a direction solely to fix the problem (la, la-la, la la-la-land)! Well, I mean if you wanna get into the most tangible miracle that could happen, then it would have to of come from some out of the blue revolution and change of the nature of human beings worldwide. This change would have turned them into something akin to worker ants that get done what ever is needed done to save the colony, yeah, that’s the scale. Look it up, take a week or two checking all the issues on impacts, methane, ice; all that, check it out.  Don’t stop with one venue, check out several and then allow each venue to coagulate in you to get a generalized impression of where we stand in history and science. You’ll see the net value is hopelessness. Therefore only bright and sudden manifestations, that we may not know of yet, can give the sane person hope.

The miracle would have obvious shape and form. Some kinda mix of Star Trek and Einstein’s picks and shovels thing I suppose. I mean that is if we’ve made it out of this mess. There are so many pictures hanging on the wall, each one ending with a cliff, and only a leap to make as we fall into the hope of miracles. I see no shame in it.

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Hari Krishna Adventures Remain

images (2)This is more or less a continuation of my previous post, Hopi Adventures Remain. Actually, there will be three more yet to be written, AA Adventures RemainChristian Adventures Remain, and Activist Adventures Remain, so, five all together. Let me cut to the straight and say that these “stories” I call them, are mostly about what the field of psychology might call ‘Schizotypal personality disorder’. Now, I wouldn’t disagree much with what Wikipedia says there about this disorder, at present I still have what I’d call a mild to medium version of it, acute maybe, but not chronic. In my twenties and early thirties it was chronic.

In any case, and perhaps a rare case, I believe my remedy has also been my ecstasy, and not in pill form. In other words, I learned that by knowing my grandiosities could be originating from a soc-called disorder, at least in my case, I evolved a way to detach from the disorder aspect of it. By not taking the fantasies too serious, I found it made them more real by the experience alone, staying just distant enough to realize my experiences generated by my disorder, were genuine in themselves and to be honored and remembered. But also realized they did not make me anything more special than anyone else, or that some higher power was making me a messenger of sorts. At the same time, the disorder was relieving me of order, allowing me to explore these fantasies by taking the leaps out of normal culture to make them somewhat real, literally changing my environment to reflect the fantasy, i.e. I made it physical.

OK, first the stories, then I’ll get back to this just a bit when those are completed.

 

In 1981, a woman, who later became my second wife, and I set out on an adventure to take (for me personally) my greatest dive from normal culture to that date. I’ll have to intertwine the AA story with this one just a bit as this one came in the midst of it.

Getting tired of being a wanna-be-alcoholic in AA, I decided to take a break from it to become a wanna-be-Hindu. I met with this gal, Susan, who had been involved with Yogi Bhajan, meditating, praying, chanting, that stuff. Anyway, she had changed course while in jail and attuned herself to the Hari Krishna religion. We met up and she began telling me all the wonders of Hinduism. Well me having little or no identity, which by the way is a better description of my disorder than Schizotypal personality disorder, I took it in like syrup to pancakes. Next thing I know we take off from Topeka KS on a big drunk to St. Louis MO and found our way to the Hari Krishna temple. It took us 4 days to get there, obviously we stayed drunk the whole way there and needed to get motels each day to keep from crashing my 1965 Chevy half ton pickup. I could only go about 35 to 40 miles per hour in this thing otherwise the front fenders would start to lift up making it an airplane; we took two-lane highways all the way there.

Of course now we were going to be holistic Hari Krishna’s so the drinking stopped abruptly. The temple president, Sura Das, was a charismatic, Hari Krishna hardcore who I was immediately struck by. Singing and playing the harmonium, a small organ like instrument that you pump to make it work, his Jewish sounding singing voice mesmerized me. And the fact that he was in personal service to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder and head guru of the Hari Krishna movement, added to my infatuation.

I took it serious. Having been in AA and coming to understand the concept of “God as You Understand Him” (try to forget that ‘Him’ thing) I liked even more that Krishna was all the gods in one, that he was an incarnation of all the gods of the earth, just disclosing himself to different cultures and using different faces. What a guy, ya know? I mean he was Jesus, yeah, Jesus. I mean how understanding for the god of all gods to humble himself and disguise his identity so that each culture had their desirable god. Now that’s a god.

After a few conversations with Sura Das, I willfully became what they call a Bhakti, the first stage to becoming a true “devotee” of Krishna…I was proud. I’d get up in the morning, 4am, and go down to the temple room and do the morning arti, a ritual where devotees and bhakti’s would chant, sing, play the Manjira, small hand held symbols, and mridangams, drums you play by slinging them with strap over your shoulder and play at both ends. Actually, there are many instruments in Hinduism, but with the Hari Krishna’s these are the most common, oh, jingle bells also. I always played the symbols, I’s pretty good with‘em. Man, you could really get going at these morning rituals. Jumping is a common form of dancing with the Hari Krishna’s, jumping strait up to the beat of the music more or less.  I sometimes would see guys who played the drums jump so high that the bottom of their feet were level with my eye, no shit. And they weren’t bending their knees either. The power of spiritual music is amazing.

The Hari Krishna’s music is beautiful and can send you to trance like states. Always the song is the famous mantra: Hari Krishna, Hari Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hari Hari–Hari Roma, Hari Roma, Roma,  Roma, Hari, Hari. I think I’m remembering it right. I ought to, even though it’s been over 30 years since I chanted the mantra. A daily task is to chant the mantra while pinching your index finger and thumb on a bead set in a string of beads, 108 beads per string, sort of rubbing the bead as you chant the mantra and then go to the next bead and chant it again. You repeat this 16 times to get one round. That’s 1728 chants of the mantra for one round. Devotees may do up to 10 to 20 rounds in a day. The string of beads are in a cloth sack with a cloth handle that you put your hand through and into the sack and then pinch the first bead and head off chanting. You’d see the devotees with their hand in that sack from morning to night. They learned to chant and not move their mouth or make sound and would be chanting in their head while they talked to you.  Hey, the Catholics do their rosary stuff, so…The most rounds I ever made in a day was four, damn near killed me.

Back to the music as I want to tell you about an experience, I had. Remember, I had a pretty good case of Schizotypal personality disorder at the time so, go figure when you read this. The rituals were not always just the morning arti, there was always some special occasion, actually, many of them, one a week at least it seemed; some bigger than others. Well one time we had one of the Guru’s come to St. Louis, there were thirteen of them world wide at the time. Of course the music and dancing began, it was a powerful event, it’s a big deal when a guru comes to your town and so the dancing matches the occasion. I got to dancing and about twenty minutes into it I started to get in a trance like state. These dances could go as much a an hour or two sometimes, especially when Sura as was leading. I was facing the alter while dancing, staring at the deities. Man I got to going, I’s jumping so high I thought I’d hit the ceiling, didn’t care if I did, I’s trippn’. All of the sudden I began to see the face of Krishna fading into view. His face was covering the entire alter area. I’m thinking, ‘wow, Krishna loves “ME”’. Bout that time the image began to fade away as slow as it came and then finally was gone.

OK well I gotta qualify this experience. Times of ecstasy like this, and it truly was ecstatic, and especially if you have Schizotypal personality disorder, can turn around and become depressing when they pass. When the dancing stopped, I began to feel almost sick, like I wanted to throw up, I had to leave the temple room and go be alone as I was beginning to fall into a deep depression. See, though now I’ve learned to use my disorder to my advantage, I wasn’t so keen on that while being a Bhakti with the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, or ISKCON. But still now, and even then, I truly appreciate the experience, conjured up or not. And like my wanna-be-Indian trip, I have no shame for my shenanigans with the Hari Krishna’s. I would not trade that experience away for nothing. One reason I suppose is that eventually one can learn that life’s experiences do not always have to be real and genuine for them to be worth having; enjoy them while they last.

 I lived in the temple with the men for about a month. Susan lived with the women in an apartment across the ally from the temple. Susan and I were in love and so to be together we got Sura Das to marry us and so we moved into an adjacent apartment next to the ISKCON women. Actually, all he did was sign the marriage license, there was no ceremony. I don’t think he approved but obliged us with the signing just the same. Susan and I were notorious drunks when together, you’ll get more of that in my AA story. Sure enough, after about a week we began drinking, and getting very drunk; for about 16 hours of the 24 hour day. So one time I got all lit up and decided to go over to see Sura Das and give him shit about whatever. By this time we had fallen out the with ISKCON group, and were more or less shunned by them. They didn’t need drunk Bhakti’s hanging around, rightly so I suppose. Sura’s room was on the 3rd floor of the temple, it was a big place. I don’t remember what took place in the heat of the ordeal, but I do remember that I was suddenly lifted up by Sura himself, he was kind of a bull, and taken to the balcony to be thrown off onto the parking lot below. Being powerless at the time I was fortunate that two or three devotes were there and just about the time Sura was to flip me over the balcony, the devotees interceded and pulled me back.

Yeah well, my ISKCON days kinda ended then. But later on and after I got sober in AA…again, Sura and I made up somewhat and I continued going to the temple on Sundays for their weekly feast. I did that for the next three years. And hey, the food, my god it’s like heaven food, or Krishna Loka food, all vegan. Sometimes, about once a year, they have a 108 course feast, yeah, 108 different kinds of food, half of them deserts. You literally eat all day at these things. Many temples have a restaurant, they are now called Govinda’s since they more or less made it a chain, sadly, cuz now the food is shipped in frozen and nothing like the homemade versions all temples used to have. Sura Das and a lady named Govinda (coincidence I think) were the cooks at the St. Louis temple, and perhaps two of the best cooks in all of ISKCON, they were famous in the movement for their cooking. Govinda was also famous for her Hindu art, she was taught by Prabhupada himself, many of the images you’ll see in temples are prints or originals of her paintings. She use me as a model once for a painting of Krishna, I was so honored. Not that I looked like Krishna or anything, she just needed me to hold this horribly uncomfortable pose for nearly half the day, but I gladly obliged. Yeah, the food and the art of ISKCON are, or were anyway, an experience in itself.

There’s much more to divulge about my ISKCON days, but one thing I will say is that though ISKCON is considered a cult, I would rather think of it as a religion. Oh sure, people there get really fucked up, much like those in cults do, but hell, you can see that in any Christian church on any Sunday. Some of the devotees at the St. Louis temple have been in the movement since 1968, Sura one of them. I was last there about ten years ago for a visit talking to an old friend there name Divinonda (sp?), at that time he’d been there 35 years, always dressed in his chiffon robes, called sari’s for women, and of coursed the shaved head and pony tail. I have deep respect for the Hari Krishna’s, they are gutsy people, I like gutsy people. I thought of myself as gutsy to dress in these same robes and dance down the streets of St. Louis banging my symbols and singing the mantra. I’d do it now for kicks, just to be anti-cultured. See, I ain’t all well yet, thankfully.

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Hopi Adventures Remain

hopi-butterfly-festival-300x217 These are stored memories, I’ll be coming from off the top of my head, no research really, maybe for spelling, names and such. These are memories etched into my head, they are scenes of the best and most interesting time of my life; allow me to revive them just a bit here, I need that.

In 1995 I was working in good old St. Louis for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE), I was their Membership Director at the time. Eventually I became Administrative Director, I suppose what you’d call the highlight of my employment life, and since has been, but you’ll see that it also clashed with a major turning point in my life.

It came vacation time and my mother was living in Pinehill, New Mexico, I headed out for a 6-day visit with her at the end of June that year (1995). I was heavy into fishing at the time and going to the cow pastures of New Mexico was not my dream vacation, I was a water boy. However, I needed a visit with mom, so I packed up my 1972 Chevy 1 ton RV, and headed for the wilds (literally) of New Mexico. After nineteen hours of continuous driving I arrived at Pine Meadow Ranches, Lot 33 located in western Cibola County. There are several places like this in various forms across the Southwest. Here at Pine Meadows it’s a hundred down and seventy-five a month for ten or fifteen years, two and a half or five acre lots, hell of a deal really. Nearly twenty years later I own and live on one of those lots. It is a long and dreamy story, both nightmares and adventures.

The six days I spent at my mother’s were epic in my life. I had parked my RV at the top of a hill on my mom’s land; it was 4am at the time. At 8am, I found myself being woke to the smell of dried horseshit, burning outside my cabin window. My mother, who had lived there for two years by now, was gone New Mexico nuts. The purpose of this effigy is to ward off gnats, no-seeums, some would call; angry little bastards, bitn’ motherfuckers. Anyway, I actually found the smell quite romantic, in a manly sort of way. I still like and use it today. In any case, it was there in the waft of horseshit–my adventures began–June 26th, 1995.

After a day of driving around with my mother and seeing the locality, we returned to my mothers place and got ready for a campfire evening. Please understand that my mother’s place was quite primitive, in modern standards anyway, she spent the first year living out of the back of her 1980 something Chevy Hatchback.  By now, she had a nice 12 fit. camper trailer, no juice yet, she was 63 I believe, maybe 64, me 40. She did have a well by then I believe, with a generator to pump it, but no, I think she was hauling, yeah, she was a water hauler then. She got the well a year or so later. I made several journeys from St. Louis to New Mexico from June 1995 to March 2000, at least eight round trips, so it gets a little combobulated on the details.

Before the campfire was sunset, my mother asked me to maybe go off somewhere while the sun set cuz she had a quiet time at that moment. I’m like, “yeah, mom, I’ll be back.” My mother has taken many journeys in her life, ‘this was one of them’, I thought. Truth is, throughout my life I had vicariously lived many of her adventures, from afar at least. So’s I head off to a spot on a high hill, comparative to the landscape, to leave my mother be. It was on a lot just north of my mothers. At the crown of this hill is a fence, the other side belongs to Dean Bond, the last remaining rancher in his family going back to the 1850’s, there about. At the time, they were part of the Mormon invasion of this area, but a beautiful spot at sunset, nonetheless. I found a post to lean on at the very crest of the hill. Staring out to the south, looking at a mound the locals call Black Mountain, I suddenly was struck by the events of the day, for lack of a better explanation. Thoughts of a Great Spirit overwhelmed me. I could see myself in this spot a thousand years ago, whew!

Well, call it what you will. I’ve given it every description I can think of, from a vacation high to a life changing moment. Turns out, it’s somewhere in between. One thing for sure my life has never been the same since. The little vision could be summed up in one phrase that came to me at that moment, and has plagued me in so many ways since; I’ve come to accept I never will get it, this “walk into the desert” crap. My god the roads that phrase have taken me down, whoa! Still is, nearly twenty years later.

Well at that time, what the experience turned into was a ravenous desire to head for the rocks, for the truly wild, Indian lands. Yeah, I became an Indian-wanna-be in a about two seconds. I had seen some rock formations over on Bonds land, a place they call Bond Mesa, a ten thousand acre stretch of canyons, buttes, mesa tops and low laying grass bottoms. From a distance, it looked like a place riddled with ancient history, the same now as 10 thousand years ago. My blood on Indian fire, I had to see it, feel it, and experience it. I’m kinda big on experience stuff, was highly into it at that time in my life. At this moment I was blinded by it. Hard to explain, my mind and thoughts were obsessed by wanting to be in those rocks. No shit, I’d never been taken over by anything so powerful in my life.

From my mother’s to Bond Mesa was about 4 to 5 miles, but there was a way to drive to the north end of Pine Meadows sub-division and cross the fence over to Bond’s ranch land; making my hike a little less than two miles to the rock buttes I had my eyes on. There was a way to gently rise to the mesa top from its backside, but I choose to walk the bottoms and perhaps climb up the buttes once arriving to my destination. As I came to a clear view of the front side of the mesa and its buttes, a Golden Eagle swooped off the edge of the highest butte, then glided its way down about 200 feet, into the trees below. Now the fire was raging, from there, the day was full of prayers, rock stacking, all the stuff mid-westerners do who go ga-ga here. I was no special case. Nevertheless, the day never had a moments rest from awe, and I’ll give no shame or embarrassments to it. I spent the next four days spending my time in those rocks, hiked there everyday, probably covered at lest 50 miles in that time.

This love affair with Bond Mesa carried on through the last five years I lived in St. Louis. This was a difficult time, but made for majestic experience at the same time. I was torn everyday of those five years. My wife of the time was not into my wanna-be status, rightly so. I was wanting to move to New Mexico, I became a backpacker of the Missouri Ozarks, went nuts on it, spent as much as three weeks sometimes in the woods, by myself, being wild and…Indian.  However, it was also disrupting my marriage and my work with the environmental group. We were in the process of finding a new Executive Director. I actually had a fair chance at getting the position. I would have had to study up and groom myself for it, but the search took two years, I could have easily become a contender. Big job, a very popular group as state groups go, in the top five of the nation I suppose, long history, big names on the board, supported by Emily Pulitzer of the famed literary family, likely more prestige than I could have handled, truth being.  Nevertheless, my eyes were on New Mexico and nothing was going to stop from me getting there, I started arranging for my departure in 1998, both at home and at work. I got my dream in March of 2000, been here every since, 14 and half years now. It was a very disturbing time prior to getting here. I was either heavy involved with the group I worked for or in the woods. My wife was quite distressed behind it all, we’ve since divorced and remain friends. But what a hard time, I was so confused, so wrapped up and selfish. I only felt at peace when I was in the woods. I see-sawed from frustration to wonder like I was in a contest of endurance.

But it passed, for awhile anyway. In the end, my ex-wife actually was the one who wound up arranging to move to New Mexico, an irony of sorts. She’s still here, in Albuquerque doing good. I’m out here on my land, the same lot I had my little vision on, my mother bought it for me in December 1998; so much history now.

Hopi Time

In June of 1999 my now ex-wife and I took a trip to Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez CO. While there, I found a book by Thomas Mails titeled, The Hopi Survival Kit, after one read my Indian adventure took an entirely new turn, one that still goes on today. During the first 5-years on this stent with the Native American life-ways, I studied and read many books on Indian culture, mostly the Plains Indians, but this book by Mr. Mails, redirected my path.

The first week of August 2000, I was finally able to take my first trip to Hopi Land. My destination was to the village of Hotevilla. There was to be what they call the Home Dance, the ceremony dedicated for the return of the Kachina’s to their home in the San Francisco Peaks of Arizona; where they live in spirit until the monsoons come and they leave their home to become the Cloud People bringing rains for the corn, beans, squash and melons. Goes something like that anyway, I’ll not get too picky, besides, there seems to be many aspects and interpretations to the Home Dance ceremony. This is close enough.

I missed the dance though, was a day late, came on a Sunday and the dance was Saturday. By now, I had learned from books quite a bit about Hopi, and particularly about Hotevilla. It’s located on Third Mesa. There are three mesas where the pueblo style residents reside, thirteen villages in all. The original village is Oraibi, which was founded over 900 years ago and is the longest continuously inhabited village in America and now still has about 30 residents, last I heard. In 1904, the residents of Oraibi came into dispute over the ideals of what is best described as the progressives vs. traditionals, which pretty much explains it all if you take the two words literally. Today, the clash is not so distinguishable, though still awake a plenty, but it is rare to find a true traditional, mostly folks are somewhat mixed about it. The hard-core traditionals can be disguisable by their dress, look and is age discriminate, usually it’s the elders, but not many of them left.

Again, there is no one way to look at this; the perspective always has to be wide concerning the Hopi. They stand out as the mother tribe as Indian spirituality goes. They are much like the Tibetans, lots of weird coincidences between those two worlds. Hopi astrology will match just about any of that in science or culture anywhere. Everything happens by stellar arrangement. There was at one time 265 days of ceremony per year spreading across all three mesas, all based around stellar timetables. That has dwindled heavily since the 20th and 21st centuries arrived, I would be surprise if there are thirty practiced now, outside of the kiva’s anyway, a kiva is their spiritual center and meeting place for elders, there are usually more than one per village, more like three on average.

Well this dispute got out of hand in 1904, by then the US government had pretty much invaded and had taken control of the Hopi, the last tribe for the government to deal with actually. Did you know that the Hopi were the only tribe to never sign a treaty with the US government? So technically, they are not bound by the American constitution…yeah right. That made no matter to the missionaries, BIA agents and the forces of the American government. The Hopi were gathered up, sent to schools in Winslow AZ, and assimilated into the American way of life…that’s another “yeah right”. I don’t think any tribe has been able to avoid the white indoctrination’s of the American lifeway better than the Hopi people.

You would be amazed to still see that in 2014 Hopi Elders are out with there planting stick, there hoe, and a hand full of corn seeds; in the desert sun planting one plot at time.  My girlfriend and I were with two of them as recently as October 2013, Roosevelt and Loretta, they had just finished their harvest of corn, white corn and were out shucking in front of there rock stacked home in Oraibi when we arrived. The traditional Hopi home as laid down by their God of the present Fourth World would have the Hopi with only a table, a chair and a bed, that’s pretty much the home of Roosevelt and Loretta. A beautiful tribute to the Hopi tradition, these two are.

Back to the dispute. How was Oraibi gonna settle this debacle? Finally, the village chief declared a tug-a-war, whichever side caused the other to cross the line in the sand, would have the loser leave the village, so the Hotevilla inhabitants of today are decedents of those who lost the tug-of-war, the traditionals of Oraibi in 1904. But because they were the traditionals that has since given Hotevilla an unspoken title as the spiritual center of Hopi Land, leaving Oraibi to be lost spiritually and decaying there forward, while Hotevilla has more or less flourished, especially given the times.

Well you can see why I was pretty hopped up about being there, walking thru the streets of the village. Though the village is only a little over a hundred years old, Hotevilla still has the ancient feel and look of any pueblo anywhere in the Southwest, more so actually. After a touring the village awhile, I decided I had been present long enough and so decided to head back to my car outside the pueblo. As I was coming out of the village, I saw a Hopi man, probably about 60 or 70 years of age, restacking some fallen rocks from a wall at the edge of his home, the last home as you come out of the village.

Out of nowhere I found myself approaching this man, he was breathing heavy and kind of bent over. As he was stacking the last rock, I came out with something like, “Hard job, eh?” He replied, “Oh, my nephew was drunk last night and hit the wall with his car and knocked the rocks down, so I am picking up after him”. I don’t know why, but I just came right out with it, “Hey sir, I am very interested in the Hopi culture, would you mind spending a little time with me and give me your thoughts about being a Hopi in the 21st century? And give me your impressions of the Hopi way as well?”

To my surprise, he accepted the request gladly. I told him I’d be back in about an hour after I had some lunch. Upon my return, I found him more or less eagerly awaiting his discourse. He talked very slow, very Indian and hard to understand, he was full blooded Hopi, likely spoke his own language most of the time, but his English was good enough and his slow talk helped a lot. We talked all afternoon, I was invited for supper and wound up moving my vehicle next to his house to sleep in that very night. I don’t think I could have found a better mentor, not because he was so knowledgeable, but his stories were more fascinating to me than anything I’d read thus far. I came to learn that he was a well-known and loved figure in the village of Hotevilla, known as ‘Uncle Ben’. Along with Ben, his sister Nona, her daughter Melody, and Melody’s two kids Zoi and Skyler made for the household, a wonderful bunch of people. I came to know the Hopi child thru the two kids, I loved them dearly, haven’t seen them now for at least ten years, they probably wouldn’t know me anymore.

From that day forward I had many visits to Hopi and to see Ben and his family. I usually slept in my car at the Hopi Cultural Center. There is a grouping of picnic tables a couple hundred feet from the center, I would park, get set up and do my domestics there. Or sometimes I would stay next to Ben’s place and do the same, perhaps eat with his family. Their food though simple, I actually found to be quite delightful. If you are going to have mutton stew, do it at Hopi, but not at the cultural center, get it from a dweller there. Also, try the “pudding”, it’s not a desert, but a mix of wheat shoots, corn, sugar and whatever else but it is a great snack. Traditionally it sits in a bowl on the table, you just simply dip your finger in it and lap it up. It is something that the people ‘share’ together, in that case, it feels right to dip with the finger right behind someone else.

Ben liked to take me around and show me things about Hopi. He even gave me directions to Prophesy Rock, a petroglyph scribed by Masaw (various spellings), their God of the Fourth World, probably the most sacred place in Hopi, though I am sure many a non-Hopi person has been there to see it. I have taken three people there, I think I should not have done that as it was an attention getting thing. I apologize now for that, to Ben and to the Hopi. The ego gets a bit wieldy when becoming a wanna-be-Indian. Hopefully, I have gone past that stage…well, I’m fairly sure I have, thank god.

Probably one of my most enduring memories with Ben is when he took me way the fuck out into Hopi Land to have me try and catch an eagle chick. Yeah that’s right, an eagle chick. The Hopi use a grown eagle at the Home Dance to sacrifice at the end of the ceremony, which is a long day, let me tell you. I don’t know how those Kachina dancers make it through the day. I once watched the dance all the way through, started at daybreak and went till nearly dark. Eight separate dances with less than an hour of rest in between, usually at least 30 dancers, heavily adorned, it’s July and hot, and each session is about 30 to 45 minutes of non-stop moving your body dancing. I did once see a Kachina dancer drop to the ground, they picked him up and put him right back in line. He immediately continued.

Anyway, back to the eagle catching thing. So we do this long drive across the sandy roads of Hopi, so sandy that I nearly got stuck several times, and finally came to a place where we parked and then walked about 20 minutes to a particular location Ben was intending for. I mean this was so far out in the desert it kinda scared me. I thought, ‘what if my truck don’t start?’ So after the walk we finally came to a place where there was a nice rock for both of us to sit down on comfortably, I believe this was a rock Ben had sat on many times in his life. Immediately he starts into stories. I didn’t even get a chance to ask, “what the fuck are we doing here?” I don’t remember all the stories, he must have told stories for an hour straight and me maybe getting in one or two questions the whole time.

I do remember one story he told, it was the last one actually.  The story was about what made the black bug of the desert Southwest a black bug. He said that black bugs in the Southwest are the people who have died and they were bad, or something. So they had to take one step a year to the West and eventually, after about 800 miles, they came to a furnace or maybe a horno oven or something. Anyway, they had to go inside this thing and burn and be burned down to this bug, then to walk the southwest deserts for their remainder of eternity I suppose. So, be good I guess. This is a very short version with much left out, but don’t remember the details. Ben had lots of details and sidetracks in his stories.

Oh yeah, back to catching the eagle chick. Well he seemed to be done with his stories, and so I ask if we should maybe get back. He said, “No! We gotta catch the eagle chick!” (They catch them at chick stage in May so they’ll be grown by July). He said, “there are chicks up there on that tall rock butte”. Well, this butte was about 50 feet high and one round column about 20 feet thick, standing alone in the sand, with fairly smooth sides, in other words, nothing to cling to. I said, “Ben, how the hell we gonna get up there?” He replied, “You’re gonna get up there!” I didn’t know what to say. I told him there was no way for me to climb the damn thing, I was starting to panic and get a bit mad. Suddenly he shrugged and said, “OK then, let’s go back.” He didn’t seem mad at me or anything, he carried on as if it was totally fine with him to forget about the chick, it baffled me. I mean we had traveled all this way, it was at least 6 pm by then, and we going to come back with nothing? But, that’s what we did, and nary a word said again about it.

This last episode I told you was an event that seem to regularly occur in my dealings with the Hopi, of some order anyway, though usually much smaller scale, subtle things I wouldn’t remember except that they occurred, more or less indefinable. Remember, the Hopi are a culture set apart from many of the tribal cultures of America. You will find yourself quite lost much of the time, but it doesn’t matter, as long as you are feeling it. It’s like poetry, you can read Wordsworth, coming away scratching your head, but still feeling enlightened.

This experience happen to me another time when I was invited to go out again to the wilds of Hopi and participate in a round up of cattle, another all day and into the night adventure. The eagle adventure with Ben was all day as well and we only had two ears of white corn and some crackers I had in the truck to feed on for the day. And only one liter of water. Well, on this roundup trip it was exactly the opposite. God damn the food, it was around all day then when the cattle were all rounded up we sat down to a feast such as I have never seen before. The roundup cattle pin was were an old adobe home was, it had been abandoned for decades I’m sure. Had holes in the ceiling, large cracks in the walls that sunlight came thru, and the furnishings only consisted of a long table made from rough cut wood that appeared about to fall over, it was at least 10 feet long. Other than that, there were two wood cooking stoves, one outside and one in, the women brought camper stoves to supplement the cooking, massive amounts of cooking.

Oh, dust everywhere, did I mention that? The women were actually there before the men early in the morning doing the cooking, cooked all day. Well when we sat down to the table, (they brought chairs and benches) there were at least 15 to 20 people squeezed around it. Me and a guy that married into the clan (this event was a clan thing) were the only non-Hopi there, he was white also. OK but the FOOD! It was literally stacked on top of each other. I mean that if there was a pan of chicken there was a pan of round steaks stacked atop of it. A salad bowl would have a pan of potato salad on top of it. I don’t believe there was single item on the table that didn’t have another item under it.

It was another wonderful day in Hopi, but I have to say, I am not sure the majority of the clan was happy with Ben that I was invited; some treated me nice, others made me uncomfortable and perhaps not wanted. Nothing obvious or serious, but the vibes were there from time to time. I experienced this off and on over the years with Ben’s clan and some family members outside his home. It was something that told me I was doing something wrong by getting this close to Ben and his family. Ben didn’t seem to mind and even when I asked him about it, he’d nod it off. But Ben was a very friendly guy to whites, he said he liked them a lot, I think that confused and bothered his peers, but he was so liked I think they ignored it.

There was one time when Ben’s ease with me should have been checked closer, I was disappointed at him for it. I was heading out after a visit and he said, “I want you to go to a dance in Shungopavi today before you go home.” The village of Shungopavi is on Second Mesa, and is very strict about not allowing whites or non-Hopi’s into there ceremonies. I reminded him of that but he said, “It’s OK, if someone gives you trouble tell them that Ben Wytewa from Hotevilla invited you.” I said, “yeah well Ben I actually gotta be getting back, I don’t think I have the time.” Then he insisted that I go, almost got irate about it, so I said I’d go and stay for awhile. He said, “No! I want you to stay until the dance is over.” I humored him and said I would. He didn’t give me any good reason for his insistence even though I ask, he just repeated that he really wanted me to go.

Shungopavi is a good size village and has probably the largest plaza where the ceremonies and social dances are held. A social dance is just a dance and not a traditional ceremony, though the social dances that I attended seemed not to differ much from the ceremonies, but I suppose to the Hopi eye there is a world of difference between them.

So I pulled in the entrance of Shungopavi and immediately I see tons of cars and people, all Hopi folks. I almost turned around right then. But I remembered that Ben was insistent that I go so I pressed on and found a place to park that gave me an easy exit and far away from the plaza. As I walked toward the plaza I was getting a shit load of stares like, “what’s that fucker doing here?” Everyone seemed to be dressed quite traditionally; I thought ‘what the heck is Ben doing, is he trying to get my ass kicked for not catching the eagle or something?’ This was the same weekend of the eagle event. Finally, someone actually approached me and told me kindly that this event was for Hopi only; I hadn’t even made it to the plaza yet. I told them Ben Wytewa from Hotevilla invited me to the ceremony, they said, “Oh OK, that’s good enough.”

I am sure they could see I was scared down to my britches and perhaps that is why they accepted my explanation so easily, I really don’t know cuz I’m sure they didn’t even know who Ben was, maybe they recognized the Wytewa name, his dad was a big wig at one time. Whatever, so far I was in unscathed. But then just as I was about to approach the plaza and enter, there were two Hopi police cars right before the entrance. Immediately one of the cops got out of his car and stopped me quick and said I could not enter the plaza if not Hopi. So I bravely told him the invite thing again and sure enough, he bought it just like the citizen did… I slowly entered the plaza scared to hell. I was thinking I otta get out of here and go ask Ben what the fuck he was up to, but I instead quickly found and empty chair. These chairs were just inside the plaza as if they were there for folks wanting to leave early, that suited me.

I sat down, still enduring the stares, there must have been nearly a thousand people there, crowed all around like beans in a sack, on roof tops, edged into the dancing area, a mass of people, Hopi people. I kept looking for some white folks, and though the crowd was big, I did spot an elderly white lady, by herself like I was, sitting quietly like me as well. And then I saw a young woman at the other end of the plaza, very white looking, like a yuppie, but it appeared she was with some Hopi folks and was talking with them.

About five minutes later the dancers came onto the plaza. OK, I don’t know how to describe this but, the immediate intensity of the crowd and especially the dancers was literally overwhelming to me, and scared me even more. I was excited to be witnessing such a thing, but felt so out of place I could almost cry. It was as though the crowd was as much a part of the ceremony as the dancers. Their movements were so in time and the beat was so rhythmic that Buddy Miles would have died of envy. And the intensity, well, I just can’t describe it, I felt like I was literally on an acid trip, and all the Hopi present as well, like were all dropping acid from the same bottle. This happened like this within seconds of the dancers coming out; hit me like a bullet.

It never let up, in fact, it grew more intense as the dance went on. After about twenty minutes of gong thru this, I decided I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like I was losing my mind. Before I knew it, I realized I had gotten up and was practically running out of there. I got back to my car, I was breathing so heavy you’d think I had just sprinted a quarter mile. I drove home in silence, trying to figure out what had just happened. Ben never gave me an explanation for why he sent me there, it’s still a mystery to me 12 years later, and since that day and that dance, I find that Shungopavi is a place I rather just bypass.

Beyond Hopi

Between the years 2000 and 2003 I must have made at least ten trips to Hopi.  Since I have only been there maybe five times the last 11 years. There are many reasons for backing off, the Shungopavi incident the least of them, but a small part of it. One major reason is that Ben died near the end of 2002. Now, the Hopi, like many Indian tribes, do not like to talk about someone after they have passed. There was a time that I held to that tradition for their sake. But what an egotistical thing that was for me to “attempt” to follow Hopi tradition, like I was Hopi or some damn thing. So the other day, I finally decided to write extensively about Ben and the Hopi experiences he gave me. I am not Hopi, and Ben was my friend, more than a friend, he was an experience. One that I’ll never forget and will always treasure deep, deep inside me.

We weren’t like hotshot buddies or anything like that, we were both experiencing each others cultures, mainly his to me. But I shared with him much of what my life as white man was about. I did not speak of whites very kindly, and still don’t. Ben and his nephew Frank, both scolded me for being so down on “my people”. They felt I should stand up for them, regardless of their shortcomings. I didn’t buy it. I stood fast to my critiques. I feel as though our coming to these lands and taking over like we did was an abomination. We said, “a good Indian is a dead Indian”. And we meant it. For that, I can’t seem to find any reason to be understanding, and so it remains.

My adventures continued though. I have probably been over to Bond Mesa at least 30 times since 2003. I’ve spent the night over there wrapped in tarp while it rained. I’ve been face to face with owls, had eagles swoop down over my heard, Watched them lift off from Ponderosa’s while being above them on cliffs. Have encountered almost all types of wildlife in the area, including mountain lions, but have not yet seen a bear. I took on totem animals as a spiritual walk, prayed to the spirits on a daily basis at my shrine where my vision first took place. I am still a wanna-be-Indian, only now I have no shame for it.

Yes Indians are just people, and have committed atrocities unthinkable, yeah I know. There are tribes of all kinds and some I wouldn’t have given two shits about in their time. Yet there are tribes, like the Hopi, that if we just listen to them, our world would evolve like corn making it’s first break through the soil. Our white culture has so much to learn from indigenous peoples. We were indigenous at one time; we have it in our blood. I would encourage us to listen deep for that knowing, and perhaps we may become caretakers of this earth instead of its ravenous consumers as we are now.

There is much more I could share about Hopi and my wanna-be life surrounding it, but I think this is all I can muster, Nevertheless, thank you for sharing with me my story. Kwakwa Kwakwa and Kwakwa again, two more times. And thank you Ben, most of all.

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As Aliens Pass By

download (2)I often wonder what aliens think about our world as they pass by to check us out. Of course, they are going take note of who’s running the show and focus on that, and that’d be we humans. Not that we’re so omnipotent, but it’s just that we seem to have the most influence on the direction of the planet, in a species sort of way that is. The aliens will know all this.

Let’s pretend there was just such an event about three months ago. Two young aliens and their captain have come here from planet Botnonim located in the fourth quadrant of our galaxy. They begin to orbit our planet and collecting data. One of the young aliens says to the captain, “Have you ever seen a place like this before? It’s so beautiful isn’t it?” The captain replies, “Yes, it is, but there is something wrong going on down there, I don’t know yet what it is.”

So the aliens continue making their orbits as they finally come to the last orbit, only the seventh, and now have collected all the data they need to take back to the home base and have it analyzed. Within two days they are back home and are now facing their superior. As the alien captain gracefully hands over the databank to his Supreme Commander, the commander says, “So, Captain Vegosalow, you have been to the planet Earth have you? I was there as a young Botnonim, I was a captain just like you on a visit there 10,000 years ago. What a beautiful place it was, the greenest greens and the bluest blues, what did you think?” The captain replies, “Well sir, I think you’d better have a look at the data, I’d rather not say.”

So the commander pulls from his pocket his little data analyzer, slips the data chip in and waits for the analysis to complete, takes about three seconds. “Humm” says the commander, “What’s this? Planet Earth is on a death spiral? Their climate has been altered? Their water is disappearing and is becoming contaminated? The population is out of control? They are in continuous war? What has happened?”

So the commander continues to examine the results of the data. The captain watches him as his face begins to flush and contort. Finally, the commander slowly lowers the data analyzer to his waste, he stares long into the captains eyes and then says, “I’m sorry for you Captain Botnonim, you have witnessed something I have seen happen on other flourishing planets. It’s called the free enterprise system of economics. It was originally used in a sector near us to help their infant planets get started on development. In every case, it worked beautifully. Economies grew, there was ubiquitous innovation, incredible speed in medical advancement, all kinds of good things happened.” The captain says, “well yeah we saw all that as well sir, but somehow we could see, even without the final analysis, that planet Earth was on a path to devastation and extinction, why is that?”

The commander turns to his seat and eases himself down and says, “Just as every planet benefited greatly from this particular economic mechanism, also everyone eventually perished, some in as little as hundred years, others it took as much as a thousand, it varied. But what was for certain that every time a planet was introduced to this ways and means operator, the propagating species of this operator, and most all other species, were destroyed from the propagators self annihilation, every time.” As the captain sits in confusion, the commander continues, “You see Captain Botnonim, this operator has two elements within it that make it work, self-interest and competition, without them the operator ceases to exist. Eventually we saw it was these two elements that was what made this operator turn deadly, it literally made the propagators go insane and turned them into ravenous, consuming creatures who became trapped in what is called unending economic growth. A growth where so much product is continuously produced that its byproducts begin to overwhelm the health and destination of the propagating species themselves. They would find themselves so locked in, that it became impossible to stop the deadly growth of product, thus, the consumers eventually were consumed.”

“God damn commander! Oh, sorry sir, but I am devastated.” “I understand” replied the commander, “I too am devastated, because this operator was banded over 4000 years ago, and now it has shown up again, some evil is out there has rediscovered it and is using it to destroy life on planets, I suppose so they can take them over when the extinctions are complete.”

As the two aliens sit in silence and despair, the commander arises and says to the captain, “I’m sorry captain, but there is noting we can do for planet Earth, according to the data analysis, it is too late to reverse the process. What we must do now is go the Utmost Supreme Commander of All and tell him we must gather our allies, and go to Earth and destroy it to nothingness, we must make sure there is no trace left the free enterprise system of economics, and hope that it never rises its ugly head again.” The captain weeping now, turns to the commander and says, “Oh great Supreme Commander, I’m so scared, so scared…but we must do what we must do.” The two arise and slowly make their way to the Office of the Utmost Supreme Commander of All. As they stand at the door ready to knock, voice cracking and hands shaking, the Supreme Commander says to the broken captain, “God help us all, Gallamanitis is back.”

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The Tribal Way

February 2002

At one time the people of the earth lived in such a way that all of us were more or less in constant contact with each other.  We acted as if we were one mind.  Spirits were with us in visual form and the animals communicated with us and did not run from us nor did we run from them.  The important thing to remember here is that we acted and thought collectively.  In doing this we were very conscious of our actions and choices.  Since we were always thinking about the whole body of life we were naturally more careful about our choices in living out this life.  We did not do things that were harmful to the earth and our collective selves.

We were given instructions by the Creator on how to live life, called a Lifeway. These instructions were very specific, yet very simple to follow.  We were to live by the natural law of mother earth, and by her life giving properties in their natural form.  She had all we needed.  Food was available to us, materials were there for shelter and clothing, water was abundant and readily available.  We just had to live by her natural ways.  We could not manipulate her in any way as to take away her natural form.  There was no need to do so because all we needed was to stay alive and walk in the beauty of our earth mother.  After all, she was a living being and a supreme caretaker; there was no need to change her in order to get more from her, she had all we needed.

But, somewhere along the way, probably about 1500 to 3000 years ago, we decided she was not enough for us, why I do not know.  We slowly began to sever our connection with the earth mother as the earth mother.  And as this connection to her was lost so in turn was our connection to each other lost because she was the reason we stayed connected in the first place.  In short, we moved from living an outwardly functioning spiritual life to a life geared towards non-dependence on spiritual ways.  Now that we were not connected anymore we began to view the earth in a totally different manner.  We were now alone in our effort to survive.  Our common purpose to perpetuate living in beauty with mother earth had turned to an individual purpose to survive and beauty, except for that of our own making, no longer had anything to do with living.

It is important to avoid a sarcastic tone about this change we went through.  It is a change and nothing more.   If we, having free will, choose to live apart from the earth and each other it is our right to do so.   After all, there is an advantage to making this severance.  In certain ways life does become more interesting.  Not having a collective to worry about allows us to explore all sorts of fascinations, and we surely did, as you now can see in the 21st century.

The problem is that this change has eventually come to be harmful to not only the earth but to the future of all life on the earth.  Now that we live for ourselves we are not always aware of when we are hurting others.  Not having a collective mind anymore blinds us to our common need to preserve the earth for survival reasons.  Even though we no longer serve and worship the earth mother does not mean we still are not absolutely dependent on her or “it” as we call her now.

This is not to say that our lives today are not meaningful.  Before we made this change we had two “participation’s” in life.  One was to our collective, we participated in the care and nurturing of our collective survival through our earth mother.  The other was our individual lives, which were not individual in the way they are now, but suffice to say there was an existence outside of the collective.  This was generally thought of as family life.  We participated in relationships with our spouses, children, parents, grandparents and so on.  Life in this way had a very similar look to it as it does today.  We lived together in homes, we laughed and cried together, we worked together for our survival and so on.  These things definitely have meaning.  In this way, life has not changed, but while we used to do all the same functions in family life as we do now, back then, we as families did these same functions with the collective, and the collective did the same functions with our families.  This is what is no longer with us and is essentially the only difference, though it is a massive change to our basic ways living.

So we do live meaningful lives today.  We still have our families; we still love and care for each other at least at the family level.  And of course there is even still quite a bit of involvement with the community (though it would be wrong to even hint that there is an active collective consciousness).  Yet, it is well known that we are in grave danger of destroying ourselves.  This can or will happen through a number of causes: war, atomic catastrophes, environmental decay, starvation and so on.

What many of us these days portend is that this severance with the earth is the root cause of our demise, that today’s lifeways are lived in a bubble.  We see, feel, experience and live as though we have meaning, but it is in a bubble. And our family lives are bubbles living within this larger bubble.  The big bubble is the collective no longer knowing it is even a collective and we as individuals are inside that bubble severed from ourselves as a collective and not knowing that we are part of a collective.   We have lost connection as a collective mind and as individuals.  We no longer know who we are, but we think we do, because we don’t know what happened to us in the first place.  We do not know that we, by choice thousands of years ago, severed our relationship with the earth mother and our collective consciousness, which she held together.

Living in this bubble we feel secure because we have our families.  We have a life, and we cherish our lives.  This is a natural thing.  But there is another natural aspect to life and that is the awareness and function of the collective mind in harmony with the earth mother.  We only have the one of the two “participation’s”  of life going on.  So, we are out of balance and we do not realize it, and if some of us do realize we are out of balance, in most cases we do not know why.  Some of us do know why, but we are few in comparisons to those that don’t.

Living without this essential collective experience is why we are destroying ourselves.  We would have never allowed ourselves to get in this condition had we kept our relationship with the earth mother and our collective mind.  Because we would have been conscious of each other as one being.  There would have been no reason or circumstance to create self-destruction because we could clearly see each other.  Loosing the collective relationship brought blindness to each other and therefore blindness to our choices.  And so here we are.

As we live in this bubble we are participating both collectively and individually in destruction.  We think that, as individuals we are innocent.  We say it is the corporations, the government and so on.  We don’t think of ourselves as part of a collective, race, creed or societies.  We only think of ourselves as members of these entities and that they are there for us and that as individuals we are not responsible for them.  But we are.

This is the great lie of our separation from the collective and the earth mother.  We think we will be judged as individuals and not as a collective.  Though there may be a judgment for the individual, make no mistake there will be a judgment for collectives.  Races will be judged as races, nations as nations, tribes as tribes, religions as religions, societies as societies.  If you are a member one of these whether you want to be or not, and you have to be a member at least one, then you as a member of that collective will be judged. Yourcollective will be judged and you will be a part of it, no escape.

You may say, “Hey look, I just go to work everyday and do my part. I take care of my family, I do not harm anyone and I try to be of service to my friends and my community, what’s the beef?”  The beef is this; when you go to work you drive your car.  When you are at work you are making money for yourself and for the company.  You may be involved in the making of a product, let’s say its baby rattles.  Ask yourself, “Are these ‘normal activities’ destructive?” We all know what this destruction is: the rain forest, the perpetuation of child sweat shops, dirty air, corrupt governments, crime, child abuse, weakening family life, loss of resources and so on.

So, when you drive your car to work you are emitting poisons into the air that is causing the oceans to rise and people to not be able to breathe.  When you are working for money for yourself and your company you are participating in an economy that perpetuates destruction just by its mere existence.  The making of baby rattles promotes the use of petroleum based products that further promotes a petroleum based economy which is the root cause the decay of our earth mother.  Not to add that our economic system promotes and preserves the isolation of the collective by its TV’s, mass communications, intangible mobility or the use of cars which put us inside a cubical and away from contact with the earth when we travel.  Don’t get me started!

You may feel as though you are detached from the destruction our economy causes.  But you are most certainly not, you buy the products that make the economy sustain itself,you are a functioning unit in its existence. You can not escape the responsibility becauseyou buy and use the products that people in third world countries are dying from the production of. Of course, your excuse is, “Well, I have to make a living, I have to eat, I have to clothe myself, you know, how else can I survive?”  But hey dude, you are doing way more than surviving!  You watch a TV, you eat McDonalds, you drive two cars, you have a computer, you have three coats, ten pairs of shoes, and three suits.  You have a complete dining room set and two sets of bedroom furniture.  You have 60 CD’s and three places to play them.  And you know what, you are lower middle class!

And guess what, every thing mentioned above was made at the cost of the earth, and some poor native in a foreign land.  Just so you can survive?  You are not detached, you are very much a part of a destructive force called the modern society, and guess what, you are not innocent.

I do not know where we exactly crossed the line.  Was it the ability to grow our own food instead of directly getting it from mother earth?  Was it the invention of the wheel? Was it fire?  Was it the train, car, telephone?  I do not know.  But I do know what and when ever it was; it destroyed our connection with each other and our earth mother.  To turn this around we have to go back to the ways of the earth.  We must seek these lifeways to the point we begin to see each other again and come to understand the earth is a living being.

The last known time that we lived in this way was when the tribal and clan system was in place.  Believe it or not we are fortunate enough that there are still some tribes with the clan system in operation today.  Though they are almost gone and in danger of being lost with every day that passes.  The time is critical to turn this around.  It is not too late.

The reason the tribal system works to preserve the original instructions we received from the Creator on how to live with mother earth is, one, because it came from the Creator, and two, it supports the existence of the collective mind.  It has to.  A tribe has a system that goes beyond the family unit by itself.  The old saying is “it takes a village to raise a child”.  Everyone is in touch with everyone.  They depend on each other for their food, clothing and shelter.  All other material goods are in existence for the tribe and for the earth mother in ceremony; not exclusively of course but predominately.  In short, the tribe is there for the tribe and nothing else.  ‘You’ then, are a part of the tribe and it is intentional, you know that you are a part of something and that it is a part of you and you live by that knowledge.  From that, the Earth stays in balance and you walk in beauty once more.

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