Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Seven Natural Laws

Here is an article written by Ed Littlefox. I know some of you that have been around me have heard a lot of this before. It is worth hearing it from someone else. The only thing that Ed and I might disagree on is AIM.


Seven Natural Laws

By: Ed Littlefox

1. The Law of Cycles

Literally all of life is ruled by Cycles. It is a matter of 8th year science that Plants utilize the waste Carbon Dioxide exhaled by animal life and return Oxygen to the atmosphere. We even call that the Oxygen Cycle. Scientific, yes, but that is neither taught, nor looked upon, as a part, or an example, of a much larger and more complex system that involves All-Things, whether animate or inanimate, from the smallest constituent of matter, to the Black Hole. Though this Law, as all others, is inescapable, Modernism has, for the most part, robbed us of our aware participation in this Law. For instance, our view of Death.

Death? Yes! Undeniably, we are alive because something else has died, be it another animal or a plant. For the most part, modernism has also separated us from knowledge of Death to the extent that we fail to view it as a part of the Cycle of Life. A Mystery? Yes, but one that a Traditionalist faces, and understands, every day. An acceptance of Death is an acceptance of Life, as well, and an understanding of why Native People all over the World take the time to speak to the Spirits of those plants and animals who have sacrificed their Lives so that we might Live.

2. The Law of Individuality

Have you ever seen any two things, in Nature, that are alike? Any two Oaks, Deer, Hawks–or, for that matter, Rocks? Even leaves on the same Tree? Even if you think so, look more closely. There are no two things alike; even,”identical” Twins. We categorize Animals and Plants with similar physical characteristics into families and species, but individuals within the species differ, and, many times, greatly. However, there is a great deal more to the Law of Individuality than is apparent on the surface. Put simply, All-Things are different, and that is where this law becomes very important and complex.

That All-Things are Individual means that All-Things are Unique. It is a widely held belief among native people world-wide that Mystery or “The Creator” created All-Things, and is within All-Things. The Concept is a simple one to see and to grasp. For example, suppose that you wanted to give a friend a Gift– a pair of Moccasins. You have a choice as to whether to buy them, or to make them. If you choose to buy them, then you have given your friend a pair of moccasins. If you have made them, then you have given your friend a piece of yourself. The same is true of The Creator.

That You are Unique among Human Beings means more than just looks, it also means Perceptions. You see and assimilate and think uniquely, and apply knowledge uniquely as well. This also means that everything about you and your interaction with Life is Important both to yourself and Others. It is important also that your Path and your Relations with All-Things and Mystery be a unique expression of yourself, and that it be shared among others, as it is in this way that New Knowledge comes to the People.

3. The Law of Change

All-Things Change. Change is the driving force of Life, Evolution, and Growth. Change is Movement, and it means that nothing is static. It is important to realize that Humanity has the ability to Change the shape of All-Things on the Earth, through the Power of Choice. There are always Three Choices in any decision-making process, and they are; This, That, and Choosing not to Choose. {We will discuss Choice as a subject later in this magazine.} Change means that every day is a different day, and every Now, a different Now, with all of the potentials and possibilities that life and the universe have to offer.

4. The Law of Place

It is that every, unique Thing, has a unique Place, as well. This goes far beyond the scientific principal that no two masses can occupy the same space at the same time. The Law of Place introduces us to the Web, and I do not mean this one. As this law affects Human Beings, it means that your Place in Life, your Place on the Path, and your particular point of View is Important both to yourself and to the World at large. Nothing either can -or ever will - occupy your Place, or that of anything else. It defines not only that you live, but also how and why.

5. The Law of Twin-ness

This one may be a bit harder to grasp, or maybe not. Everything is Two Things. This is what my People call the Forked-Tree Teaching. Picture in your mind a Tree with two forks, each bearing leaves and limbs and twigs. Imagine that the Forks are Duplicates of each other. Remember that a Duplicate is NOT a Reflection; a reverse image. Label one of these Forks Physical and the other Spirit, and picture yourself as this Tree. Remembering that the Forks are Duplicates and not mirror images, tell me which one of the forks is you. The fact is that Both are.

You posses both a Body (the physical fork) and a Spirit (the Spirit fork). The Forked Tree is both an Ideal and a Fact. Everything is Two Things, but those two things stem from the same Trunk, so that the two things are One Thing– separate, but really together. The Idea here is that without the labels, you do not know which is which. The most important thing about this {at least to me} is that the Forked Tree teaches that all acts are Spiritual Acts, regardless. When the Spirit Acts so does the Body, and vice versa. It means that care must be taken in the actions of Living, with a constant awareness of the real ramifications of those actions.

6. The Law of Interdependence

Serious business, All-Things are Interdependent. As Humans, we depend on Plants for our breath, and Animals and Plants for our food. Plants are dependent on Animals for food and breathe as well. It goes on and on. We are taught by the modern World to be “independent”, when there is literally no such thing as independence. This is Circle-Dance. Each Individual Circle dancing together within the Greater Circle of Life, each moving and touching each other in the Dance of Living, each Relating to the Other, and each dependent upon the Earth and Each Other for Life and Living. This is the True meaning and reason for Dance at Pow-Wow; why the Dance Arena is Circular. It is the essence of Pow-wow to present, in microcosm, a picture and demonstration of the Greater Dance of Life. Think about it–All-Things are CONNECTED!!

7. The Law of Synergy

This is the last, and hardest of the Seven laws to comprehend. There are two words I have used which are American Indian,” Skan” and “Orenda”. The First is an abbreviated term for the Lakotah phrase” Taku Skan Ska”, and the second is Iroquoian. The concept presented by these two terms is one which has dropped from the English Language over Time. I will not say that because these concept- words are not translatable directly into English that the words for them never existed in English. It would do all of us well to remember that the English language evolved from Tribal Tongues. I have no doubt that this concept and the Words existed in antiquity within the English Language.

Literally Translated” Taku Skan Ska” is "That which moves in movement”, and “Orenda” may be translated as “presence”. Both words allude to the concept of a Force or an essence which authors movement {life as a dynamic} and is a permeating Presence within life. Neither of these terms is a name for a deity. Both Terms connote the presence of ” The Web”, and I do not mean a facet of the Internet. The Web is a spiritual manifestation formed by the interconnection and the balanced interaction of All- Things. It is the invisible “energy structure” in which All-Things are suspended. It is the Web woven by Spider Grandmother.

If you can imagine a structure in which an Individual point is connected to All other Individual points, then you have a good picture of the Web– it is exquisitely complex and exquisitely beautiful. The Web is the ultimate manifestation of Natural Law and the means by which Mystery applies Natural Law Universally.

Synergy is the result achieved when Natural Forces interact in Harmony and Balance with each other.

In Physics, a Balance of Forces produces Stasis. However, we are not dealing with Physics–we are dealing with Life and the Energies of Life–which are dynamic forces. When in Balance, and working in Harmony with each other, they produce another Energy (Synergy) that did not exist before, but is created as a result of the Harmony– and that new Force or Energy is called “Synergy”. The Synergy is always greater than the sum of the forces which interact to produce it, and it is that Synergistic Force which supplies the Energy necessary for the continuity of the creative process in the universe.

In Terms of the Equine/Human Relationship– this marks the difference between Riding ON a Horse– and Riding WITH a Horse. Horses live under the auspices and dictates of Natural Law–as they are Natural Beings and an integral part of their environment. Humans, however, have chosen to live ‘artificially’ and no longer subscribe to the tenants of Natural Law. What our Horses do Naturally we find difficult for us, and that is mostly because of our artificial lifestyles.

To understand fully the Nature of Horses and further our Relationship with them, we need to understand the Dynamics of Natural Law and how they relate to us and our Horses. ( THAT is a step toward fully understanding ourselves, as well.) Our ‘first reactions’ as Humans, whether with Horses or not, needs to evolve from Fear and Doubt to Love and Acceptance. Learn from the domestic Horse that this is his first reaction to you– Love and Acceptance. Your Relationship should always be based on Love and not Fear. Only in this way can your Horse Teach you about himself–and you, in turn, Teach him about you. Remember, there is nothing more fulfilling in your Relationship with your Horse than Unity. That Unity is the first Goal and first step in true communications.

Though I have used Horses, and the Equine/Human Relationship as examples above, understand that the Horse also Symbolically represents “New Ways”. What I have used as examples above is just as applicable to the Human/Human Relationship. We must in this Time, come to an Understanding of why it is that our first reactions to each other as Nations of People is always Fear. I know of few who would disagree that there needs to Change from this precept of the Modern Era. Change always begins in a small Way, with an Idea, and a Teaching, and a Reaching Out to another. I cannot Change the Fear-based Precepts upon which we have built Modern Governments and Political Regimes–but–we can, and by our own Love, our own Wills, and our Own Choice. History cannot be Changed–but the Future definitely can be, and should be.

Mystery– a Commentary

We have come to the last of the Seven Natural Laws. It is my hope that knowing these Laws and thinking about them individually and together will help to enlighten you to your own power as a Human Being walking your own Path. I have mentioned Mystery and the Web several times in this writing, and I wanted to explain a little more about these two things as I see them.
Mystery is not some metaphorical ‘god’ that sits on a throne in a place that I can easily separate from my everyday world and life. I walk in the Mystery like a fish swims in a river. Mystery is everywhere and in everything, even me and you. With Knowledge comes Responsibility, and I am wholly responsible for my own acts in my own Life. I breathe Mystery, and I know that, and that I know that is my discipline...

So, what of the Web? It is through the Connections provided by the Web that Life-Force travels to and through All-Things. By this means, All-Things are Related. There is an old Chinese Teaching which states,”When a Stone is cast into a Still Pool, the Waves reach all Shores”. This is a Noble Truth; the same being True of the Web. Every Act of Living creates ‘vibrations’ which reverberate throughout the structure of the Web–ponder this.

Much has been said about “Medicine” and “Guides” or “Animal Spirits”, and how they are acquired. If one were to view the Web as a structure of Light, then the strands which connect you to your “Medicines” are the Brightest–and, often, the ’shortest’. As this regards Inter-species Communications, the brightest, closest, shortest connections are the very ones which you find the easiest to communicate with. For most of us, these ’short strands’ constitute those which connect us with Domesticated and ‘Companion’ Animals. That these Species are ‘Domesticated’– meaning that, over time, they have become very closely associated with Humans –has served to ’shorten’ their communications connection with us. In essence, their ‘phone line’ is always hot– and they speak to us all of the time when we are in their presence. Whether we ‘hear’ them is another matter– one of our individual Awareness and how well we have developed it.

What I have given you, here, is a view-point on what is Possible. It is for us– you and I– to Believe in the Possibilities presented to us in Life, and to do so in a Positive Way; for, if we do not, then nothing ever becomes possible for us!! Taken properly, there are Keys here for far more than Animal Communications–far more. Take the time to look, and moreover Feel— become a bit more vulnerable to the Force of Life so that you may interact with it, and so, other Life. Speaking for myself only, I was lucky enough to learn about these things at a very early age. Over Time and experience, I learned to accept that one can never Love unless one makes himself/herself vulnerable to Love (as an Energy). That I ‘Love’ something means that I am in its Energy–and it in mine– whether Human or Equine.

I cannot decide the Truths of Living Life for you– we must all do that for ourselves. For Your-self –Choose to Choose—-.

Ed Littlefox is a Tsalagi/Saponi Elder and serves as a Contributing Editor for “The Lodge.”

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Senator Who Likes Cows

An Old Native American Man was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Arizona when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.

The driver, a young man in an Armani suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, Will you give me a calf?"

The Old Man looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, " Sure, Why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany...

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS -SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-Tech Miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."

"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says The Old Man.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then The Old Man says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"

The young man thinks bout it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a Congressman for the
U.S. Government", says The Old Man.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required." answered the Old
Man. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows...this is a
Herd of sheep. .

Now give me back my dog.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Buffalo Returning Home To Rosebud

Here is a great video of Buffalo returning home to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota home of the Lakota.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Death Of Common Sense

London Times Obituary of the late Mr. Common SENSE

'Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Elastoplast to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.'