What a thing to wake up to — the World According to Native America. Well, I’m not really going to try to describe all of Native American beliefs since this is supposed to be a short post. However, there are a few things that we might discuss.
Beliefs. I think these are important to all people. And I’d love to share with you some Native American beliefs and then I’d love for you to share some of yours with me. All peoples of the world share certain things in common. We all want the best for ourselves and our children and families and most people of the world share beliefs about the Creation of the World. There is probably no culture on earth that does not believe in some aspect of a greater force that created the world and us, and even those in science nowadays rave on and on about their lack of “belief,” which is, if you really look at it, just another opinion about the way life was created. So even they have a theory.
Now, mind you, I haven’t studied all of the Native American tribes and so I can’t tell you one for one the beliefs, but I can tell you this. One for one, each tribe that I have studied (the Blackfeet, the Lakota Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Crow, the Iroquois) all believe in a Creator of the Universe. There are other beings who have super powers, it’s true, but there is only one Creator, who does not take the part of any one tribe, since He loves all his creatures. Thus, in order to get a “foot up” on one’s opponents, one looked to other things in the environment to help him do well in battle, or marry the right girl or win that foot race. These environment beings were anything, any creature on the face of the earth who would be willing to give its power to the person so asking. Many Native Americans called these creatures their spirit helpers. It could be an animal, a tree, a rock, lightning, a storm, the wind. Any force of nature that was willing to hear the pleas of the person so asking, would do.
Native America was filled with wonders and mysteries. To the Native American of the past, there was no need to look for anything outside one’s “backyard,” since one’s backyard contained so many things of beauty and mystery. Also, men often ranged hundreds, even thousands of miles from home. Sometimes in search of game, but sometimes in search of other peoples. A young boy, and in the Iroquois tribe, the women, too, would often fast and go up into a high place in order to ask the spirits or animals or other helpers to take pity on them and help them along on their path in life. They would fast and would try to communicate with the forces of nature. It was commonplace in those long ago days that some people could talk directly to animals and could understand them completely. These dreams would then forge the path for the person who had the dream.
Many Native Americans never asked God for anything in their lives. They often believed that God (or the Creator) had made the world perfect. There was something to fight every disease, nourish every body, build every house. There was no reason to ask for anything else. If one wanted to appeal for help, again, one went into the moutains and asked one’s spirit helper for aid. And most often, that aid was given at once.
Well that’s all for today! I’d love to hear what you think of some of these beliefs. No one expects one to adhere to another’s beliefs, I think the only important thing is to oneself have something that one does believe in. There are so many different ways to look at the world, and so many different ways to think about things, that it is my opinion that the only wise thing to do is to grant to others the right to think for themselves and to believe as they see fit. There have been more wars and more murder and killings over “beliefs” than I like to think about, so to my mind it is a good arena to stay out of. I do believe that our Founding Fathers were right when they placed into our Bill of Rights that Congress shall make no laws respecting religion, etc. What a great idea and at the time it was written, it was a completely new idea for that time and place. I still think it is wise.
Therefore, I’d love to hear what you think about this, and your own beliefs. So come on in and let’s chat. Now mind you, I don’t have regular computer access right now and so I can only check email once a day at the library. So bear with me — and ifyou haven’t already gotten your copy of THE LAST WARRIOR, please rush on out and get it. Till next time.