Wisdom from Granddad
 ~ Fox Northstar

Well, it has been a rough winter.  We are spiritual

beings placed temporarily in physical bodies, and

we do wear those out.  As such, I lost an elder I

had been particularly close to for many years, and

I am watching others have their trials and tribulations as theirs also rack up the miles.  I must keep in mind that is happening to me as well.

I was brought up that it is bad form to talk of one’s self, but have been recently reminded we all reach an age where it becomes permissible in order to share the teachings one carries.  For me, this has not been an easy adjustment, but I have been reminded that some of my teachings come from experience, and there is but one way to share those, from my perspective.

So, while I am on this thing about physical, I cannot believe how many have lost sight of the big picture.  Let me see if I can sum this up easily (probably not).

When we got invaded, another culture tried to wipe ours out.  Contrary to what history books want us to believe, they did NOT come for religious freedom.  They came to make money, all were financed by big business of the day -  including, but not limited to, the various monarchies.  Keep in mind, this “all MEN are created equal” bull in today’s government was started by the moneyed class of its day.  If you were unable to read, female, or non-white, you were buggered and had no say.  Greed seemed then (and still does) to be the driving force behind it.  In other words, the attitude is “While I have all I need, I must gather more things to impress others with my accumulations.”  In other words, he who dies with the most toys wins.

Never mind, someone is going to need to distribute your stuff after you’re gone….and the more you have, the bigger the headache for those left behind.  If you family has factions within it, the legal jousting can make and already sad situation even worse.  And just why do people collect mostly useless (although it can be pricey) stuff?  I was guilty of that as well.  The powers that be fixed that for me as I had to put much in storage after my last divorce.  Well, my unit got
broken into and most of my stuff was stolen.  While I miss the 1,000 books, thousands of photos (both personal and historical) and historical artifacts, it has occurred to me that there are nine full rooms of stuff I no longer need to cart around when I move.  See, there was a blessing in disguise there.  My hopes are those items wound up in the hands of someone who can truly appreciate what they have.  The side bar is that a half dozen or so of the photos have
found their way back to me, and many of the most “important” titles I have been able to replace.

Now, let us get back to the ways of our ancestors, what the invaders have tried to beat out of us, with a higher success rate than I care to see or admit.  Back in the day, we were much more community-oriented and a damned site less selfish.  A famous politician is noted for saying “It takes a village….” That is true, but only another case of our culture being robbed.  That saying comes from the Pawnee Nation, and was around long before that politician got hold of it. But it IS true!  Our ancestors knew what real teamwork was.  Once our own family was secure in its needs, any surplus was given to those who were not so well off.  A prime example is medicine people.  In many nations, they did not hunt as it was contrary to their purpose….saving lives as opposed to taking them…even for food. But our communities made sure they were never left out for meat…..it was traded for services rendered.

Does religion have a part to play in this?  You bet your sweet bippy it does!  As far as I have been able to tell, other than the persecuted Jews and Buddhists, most belief their faith is the “one true religion,” and has nothing to do with spirituality.  The Catholic Church was directly responsible for the Crusades and the Inquisition, prime examples of intolerance of beliefs which did not coincide with theirs; ergo “we will force you to our beliefs or eliminate you.”  Keep
in mind, even Jesus was a Jew, but his followers decided his message was more relevant that Judaism, and founded the Catholic Church decades after his death.  I do not think he would be amused.  Six centuries later, Muhammad came along, and all of a sudden, HE had the right answers. A millennium after that, John Calvin and Martin Luther decided the Catholics were too restrictive and not responsive to the people, and created spin offs of their own.  And we cannot forget Joseph Smith and the Mormons as they have still another set of beliefs.  Sure, we have 500 nations among our peoples, but I have learned we all follow similar paths in that direction.  When our elders taught us, they guided us to connect with the Great Mystery.

The invaders are like sheep in that their so-called elders teach them there is but one way, and that is the one a particular person is espousing.  Am I the only one who sees how counterproductive this can be?  Keep in mind, also, that one of their tenets is to support the poor, and yet the build these massive monuments to themselves (do NOT believe the BS that they do it to honor their god), wasting money they should have put where their mouths are. Never mind that the majority of “privately” held gold in in the custody of the church….not all of it in the Vatican Bank.  Look at all at golden accouterments in ANY of the religions.  Hypocrisy in full bloom.

Keep in mind I’m not saying Jesus and Mohammed were not connected to the Great Mystery, but that they were GREAT teachers - but their teachings have been convoluted and twisted in a manner so they could control the masses. Do you think EITHER would be happy in how theirs names have been (ab)used in the last millennium at least? My problem lies mostly with these intermediaries that each put in their own personal righteousness.  And no one EVER remembers that the New Testament wasn’t even written down until 30 years after the
crucifixion at least!  How well do you recall events of 30 or more years ago?  If you think you’re that good, I issue a challenge to you.

Sit down with old friends and start to reminisce about events you shared.  Be prepared, you each will have a different spin.  Here’s the catch, while no one is completely correct, none of you are wrong either.  It all has to do with our experiences along our individual paths, the experiences especially those that have the lessons. But therein lies the beauty….helps us pass the important things along.

As I sit here writing this, the day after my birthday, I am reminded that I have far fewer days ahead of me than those I have left behind.

I am grateful for each and every one, and the lessons they contained.

I must admit, I wish I had caught the lessons sooner.  No matter, they were my path.  Many moments in that, I’m not so proud of…. but the lessons were there.

So, in the future, I’m sure I will tirade from time to time, but the focus is shifting.  It is time to share and hope it helps.  I’m still not comfortable, my basic teachings.  But responsibilities come with age (and the accompanying “honors”) and things need to be shared. I’m hopeful this shift is good for all of us, as much as I hope my ego doesn’t get the best of me.

A final thought. As a fire keeper, I have learned that public knowledge about one’s self is fine to discuss. Many lessons there, but that provided fertile ground for things that followed. Other than
that, I have NEVER pursued anything…but cute native women.  A teaching that I carry is that those who pursue honors will never achieve them.

Those who try to avoid them and stay small are those who get “saddled” with them.  When I was handed an eagle staff years ago, I asked the elder “Why me?”  His reply was “Because you do not seek it.”  I get the torch has been handed to me, and it’s my turn to step up.

I do not expect all of you to agree with my thoughts, any more than I would agree with yours, but that it how it should be.  Then again, that can be the base of great discussions….and sharing of teachings.