The Seven Grandfather Teachings

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BetteTheRed

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I'm a bit late starting this, as we move into Week 4 of the 7 next week in my Tuesday night group.

But if you're interested in comparisons with Christian texts/ethics, I offer the following:

1. Humility. Look to wolf, working for the good of the pack. Difference between deference and fright.
2. Honesty. We talked a lot about honesty with self, which we thought was rare-ish.
3. Respect. Look to buffalo. That Buffalo offers self to sustain you does not make their life any less than yours; It makes it more.
4. Courage. Next week.

Thoughts? Feelings about how these teachings might correlate with your own beliefs?
 

GeoFee

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I have just a moment in which to whole heartedly to agree with such indigenous insights. My companion was a researcher into chronic illness. This took her to reservations all across Canada. There she shared her values and learned the values of the indigenous population in general.

Occasionally I would keep company with Barbara when she travelled to a reservation. One time, while Barbara was meeting with band leaders, I met the peoples medicine man. He invited me to sit with him in his Tee Pee. There he told me about the tribes sacred stones.

One time, while living in Fredericton, Barbara was invited to a circle of indigenous drummers and singers. They were getting ready for a spirit event. While we sat in the house where they were practicing, they decided to sing a song honoring Barbara's place in their experience.

I have a pocketful of stories rooted in my experience with indigenous persons and writers. But now I am away to play with our bored pup.
 
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GeoFee

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The writings of Chief Dan George helped me gain insights regarding the indigenous perspective on our European manners. Here is an example:

"It is hard for me to understand a culture that not only hates and fights his brothers but even attacks nature and abuses her. I seem my white brothers going about blotting out nature from their cities. I see them strip the hills bare, leaving ugly wounds on the face of mountains. I see them tearing things from the bosom of mother earth as though she were a monster, who refused to share her treasures with them. I see them throw poisons in the waters, indifferent to the life they kill there; and they choke the air with deadly fumes. My white brothers do many things well for they are more clever than my people but I wonder if they know how to love well." From "My Heart Soars" - 1974
 

GeoFee

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Years ago I began to explore the Indigenous medicine wheel. Then I composed this graphic:

1604091839286.png

On the reverse side I printed this:

Credo:

We understand that ancient stories reveal values that helped our ancestors find their way forward in confident hope;

We understand that such stories continue to be treasured and told by peoples all over the earth;

We understand that such stories offer us insight and wisdom to help us find our way forward in these days of change;

We understand that the stories of all peoples have at their heart the longing for goodness;

We understand that hearing the stories others tell will enrich our experience;

We understand that by working together we will be able to ease the doubts and fears of our time and place;

We understand that all peoples value their children and their children's children.
 
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Mendalla

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Years ago I began to explore the Indigenous medicine wheel. Then I composed this graphic:

View attachment 4308

On the reverse side I printed this:

Credo:
We understand that ancient stories reveal values that helped our ancestors find their way forward in confident hope;
We understand that such stories continue to be treasured and told by peoples all over the earth;
We understand that such stories offer us insight and wisdom to help us fid our way forward in these days of change;
We understand that the stories of all peoples have at their heart the longing for goodness;
We understand that hearing the stories others tell will enrich our experience;
We understand that by working together we will be able to ease the doubts and fears of our time and place;
We understand that all peoples value their children and their children's children.

I like it much. The central image is very similar to some of the stained glass in the local fellowship (designed by a now deceased local artist who was a member). The Credo on the back is excellent, too.
 

BetteTheRed

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@GeoFee, I like it a great deal. Can you explain the graphic in the centre of the wheel? I see figures and pointing fingers but unsure of premise?
 

Pavlos Maros

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I'm a bit late starting this, as we move into Week 4 of the 7 next week in my Tuesday night group.

But if you're interested in comparisons with Christian texts/ethics, I offer the following:

1. Humility. Look to wolf, working for the good of the pack. Difference between deference and fright.
2. Honesty. We talked a lot about honesty with self, which we thought was rare-ish.
3. Respect. Look to buffalo. That Buffalo offers self to sustain you does not make their life any less than yours; It makes it more.
4. Courage. Next week.

Thoughts? Feelings about how these teachings might correlate with your own beliefs?
Sorry. No religious person has Humility, they think themselves far to important for that.
How can a religious person be Honest when all that they spout has no evidence.
And Respect how can they respect themselves or others. When humility and honesty evade them.
 

GeoFee

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@GeoFee, I like it a great deal. Can you explain the graphic in the centre of the wheel? I see figures and pointing fingers but unsure of premise?
The folks in the circle are sharing food and drink. I placed it at the center to illustrate our common dependency on mother earth.
 

Mendalla

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Humility is very much a personal thing, largely independent of ones worldview. I have met very humble religious people and very arrogant, egotistical atheists. It is how you let your worldview affect you more than the worldview itself.

As a pantheist, I find myself in awe of the universe and its complexity. I recognize that I am a very tiny part of a very big, very ancient system. That is the source of my humility.

At the same time, that very big system is, to some degree, embodied and given a voice in me. That elevates me but I also know that is nothing of my own doing, simply the way things are. It is, like unmerited grace for a Calvinist, a gift that I may not deserve.
 

GeoFee

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The medicine wheel is common to most indigenous peoples in North and South America. Here are some insights from a book called "The Sacred Tree" which presents the insights of a conversation involving Elders and spiritual leaders of various Indigenous communities in North America.
  • "The medicine wheel teaches us that the four symbolic races (red/yellow/black/white) are all part of the same human family. All are brothers and sisters on the same Mother Earth."
  • "The medicine wheel teaches us that the four elements (fire/earth/air/water), each so distinctive and powerful, are all part of the physical world. All must be respected equally for their gift of life."
  • "The medicine wheel teaches us that we have four aspects to our nature: the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. Each of these must be equally developed in a healthy, well-balanced individual through the development and use of volition."
 

Mendalla

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"The medicine wheel teaches us that the four elements (fire/earth/air/water), each so distinctive and powerful, are all part of the physical world. All must be respected equally for their gift of life."
Interesting. Wish I had known this when I was doing my sermon series on the four elements. Though I never finished it (just did Air and Water) so maybe I will revisit someday when I am back active in a church.
 

BetteTheRed

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Sorry. No religious person has Humility, they think themselves far to important for that.
How can a religious person be Honest when all that they spout has no evidence.
And Respect how can they respect themselves or others. When humility and honesty evade them.

So, these are indigenous teachings, and I was wondering how they might translate into another religion, for which I chose Christianity, because I sorta know that one. We could talk simply about what such qualities mean to humanity in general, but that's not what I chose for my specific series based on this book.

So, is your suggestion that no indigenous person can/should strive for these properties? Or that specifically Christians cannot? I'm a bit confused.
 

Ritafee

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How can a religious person be Honest when all that they spout has no evidence.
Intuition not ego, as I understand it, is at the crux of indigenous 'religions'.

Stories are woven from intuitive truth and existential experiences/analysis.

We are all indigenous humans being continuously challenged and questioned by existential motivations ...

Meaning?

The practice of existential analysis relies on dialogue as the main therapeutic tool to explore these challenges at the individual level.

Existential fulfillment is the result of a life with inner consent. - Viktor Frankl
 

Ritafee

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The poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote that “the universe is made of stories, not of atoms,” Kepler knew that whatever the composition of the universe may be, its understanding was indeed the work of stories, not of science — that what he needed was a new rhetoric by which to illustrate, in a simple yet compelling way, that the Earth is indeed in motion. And so The Dream was born ...

Kepler knew what we habitually forget — that the locus of possibility expands when the unimaginable is imagined and then made real through systematic effort.


indigenous teachings, and I was wondering how they might translate into another religion, for which I chose Christianity,
It was Christians who put Keplers mother on trial for practicing witchcraft.
 

BetteTheRed

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It was Christians who put Keplers mother on trial for practicing witchcraft.

No argument that there have been avenues down which some Christian groups have travelled in error.

If we were to view the bible as a collection of stories with a variety of themes, how easily can we find some of these same themes? I think I'm trying to make the argument that "a good way" to live can be found in both traditions, but that we might have different meanings for the same words.

When I think of "humble" in a Christian context, I think of the Beatitudes - the meek, the poor in spirit. But there seemed to be a different emphasis in the indigenous understanding. The wolf (who we think of as a "predator") is humble because they subject themselves to the collective good of the pack. And also that odd little phrase - the difference between deference and fright.
 

Luce NDs

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With dark areas ... don;t enlighten ... you could learn some awful lessons in the (w)hole thing! You may even find yourself sucked into a mindless activity ... passion and multiplication!
 

Ritafee

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in a Christian context, I think of the Beatitudes - the meek, the poor in spirit. But there seemed to be a different emphasis in the indigenous understanding
Christian is one of those words that holds no true 'meaning' for me ... indigenous understanding transcends the limitations of dogma across all 'religions' ...
wolf feeding.jpg
 
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