NATIVE EARTH WISDOM
The Native People were able to recognize the particular gifts and powers of Nature, because they lived so closely to the land and their lives were immersed in the natural world and cycles of Nature. They had to know about the natural world and the forces of Nature, in order to survive, and they wanted to know about the various kingdoms and species of Nature because they felt inter-related with those lives and found much beauty in those natural manifestations of the Great Mystery. Their interest and knowledge of the natural world of relations and forces was both practical and aesthetic. They felt themselves to be connected in the Circle of Life and a part of the manifestation of Great Spirit, or the Great Mystery. They felt to be part of the natural world, and not distant or superior to it, and so they naturally felt that the lives of Nature were an essential part of their own being, their own soul.
Now although the world has changed for almost all people, and now the artificial world is often more evident than the natural world, it is still possible to be intimately connected and tuned into the natural world and the primary forces of Nature. Many people have returned and re-rooted themselves in Nature. Many people are leaving behind the artificial aspects of society and returning to a simpler and more sacred way of life. This is good. And it is good that people feel the freedom to do this. Yet, many might not feel able or wanting to make such a radical change in their life, or to completely leave behind the modern world. This is not necessary anyways. What we need to necessarily leave behind, though, is the conditioning and the rat race of consumer greed and a life where we are not true to our most fundamental natural feelings and needs. As well, we need to disassociate ourselves from the greedy cultural establishment which values money and possessions more than spiritual and ecological balance.
We need to remember our natural roots and re-connect with our earthiness and the very ground of our being. If we are not connected with the natural world, then we will remain spiritually and emotionally imbalanced. So need to re-connect to Nature, in whatever way we can. This Nature is where we come from and who we are. But we have gotten lost in a false belief of separateness and a feeling of being isolated from our Mother Nature. This is the spiritual illness of modern culture, and the effects of this uprootedness causes many related problems, from ill-health to emotional distress and mental confusion.
So the Native teachings is a rescue call for the human kingdom to return to Nature, return back to the earth, to re-connect and re-root ourselves in the nurturing soil of our Earth Mother. The Native Teachers say that each of us must take responsibility in restoring health and balance on Earth. They say we must return to the earth, return to respect and reverence for the earth, and return to a simpler, though more fulfilling, way of life.
The Native Way to re-connect ourselves to the Earth Mother and to the Whole Circle of Life and to All Our relations is by remembering that this Earth is sacred, is spiritual, and is our true Home and the potential Paradise. We make the re-connection by remembering and appreciating all the other Lives who share in this Circle of Life, and by realizing the inter-relationship of all life, and being grateful for all that is around us and given to us. Know that gratefulness is the key to receiving the medicine energies and divine qualities of the natural world. But even before gratefulness there must be recognition, the recognition or acknowledgment of what life gives to us, what Mother Earth gives and what each kind of life gives.
The Earth Wisdom and Native Attitude in living is founded on the realization that the natural world is full of beauty, intelligence, and powers, all of which can add to the sacredness and joy of living, that is, if we are able to really see and connect with these lives of Nature. Returning to nature and to balance involves our recognition of the natural world as the manifestation of spiritual truth and beauty. For all things are connected and all life is inter-related, so there is a very real connection between your inner spirit and the spirits of nature, and between who you are and what you find in the world of Nature. Thus, we need to continually deepen our respect and attunement with our own inner spiritual nature and also with the greater Nature around us.
We need healing, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Nature is healing to us on many levels. This because nature reflects our natural spiritual being. If we lose touch with outward nature, we lose touch with our own inner nature as well. If we lose touch with our Mother Earth, we lose touch with the love, the healing, and the spiritual gifts that She has for us.
True spiritual healing is the return to wholeness and balance. This means to once again realize the inner wisdom and love deep within our natural being, the Great Spirit within, and restore the balance and harmony of mind, emotion and body, under the inspiration of Spirit. We must return to our natural Spirit, and let the inner Spirit guide us, not the conditionings and forces of an unhealthy, materialistic culture. This involves re-connecting our hearts and feelings with the Earth and re-appreciating all that is given. Once there is the recognition of our essential connection to the Earth and All Relations, and once there is appreciation and gratitude for the greater ecology and beauty of life, then our natural response will be to live closer to the Earth and serve the Earth’s continuance.
We need to return to Nature, because we are essentially natural beings, and this begins with an opening of our hearts and sensitivity to the natural world and to the Love of Mother Nature, and living our lives in appreciation and gratitude for all that is given from the Earth Mother and All Her children of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms. These are are all our relations. We can also give our gratitude to those ancestors and people of the Good Path who have helped make life more beautiful, harmonious and joyful.
We must return to Nature, to the natural world and to our natural self. Our spiritual self is the same as our natural self. This is what makes Native Earth Religion different from many other religions. When we speak of spirituality or being spiritual, we do not mean anything other than a natural way of being. We find our spirituality by learning from our natural feelings and passions, and allowing this natural truth to be expressed. And we find our natural spiritual self reflected in all the many lives and forms of the natural world, in the Earth Nature. We don't deny the natural self nor deny the natural world around us. So the spiritual ideal is found right here on Earth, in Nature, and within our natural being.
In some religions the spiritual is thought to be opposite and superior to the natural way of being. The natural self is not trusted, and so one needs religious books and rules in order to tame the natural self, like one would tame a wild animal. This duality between the spiritual and the natural does not exist in the Native View of Life. The spiritual and the natural are really the same. The natural self can be trusted, because our own nature is made from Great Spirit. So our deepest, natural motivation is to love, to understand, to be healthy, and to live in beauty and harmony. Our soul is natural, our love is natural, our inner wisdom is natural, our creativity is natural, and our beauty is natural. We have an inner goodness which is natural. And all of this is spiritual, because our very nature is the expression of the Great Spirit.
The Way is to become more harmonious and balanced, within ourselves, and with the natural world around us. We become more attuned with and expressive of natural wisdom, sensitive love, and creative power. This wisdom, love and power are the three fundamental qualities of Great Spirit, which are reflected in our own inner potential or human soul. We must return to our soul, to our inherent seeds of spiritual expression, and we must nurture our inner soul with love and recognition, and allow these qualities to come forth. Just as any seed or plant needs a good environment for which to grow, we each need the energies of Nature to nurture our own soul and its emerging expression.
There is a profound relationship between our soul and nature, which can only be known by discovering this relationship through experience. You must discover your deep relationship with Nature and the spirits of nature, by your own experience, and the best that the Teachings can do is to help lead you to this experience of conscious relationship. If you have already made good progress in this, and already have a good understanding of this, then know that this understanding and conscious relationship can be ever-deepened and made evermore profound. Carry on to greater and greater wholeness and harmony of being.
We believe that God is right here on Earth, and in Earth, and within each life and form as found on this planet. The animals are manifestations of God, not just creations but actual manifested expressions of the One Great Living Spirit, the Great Mystery Power of all Life. Each animal is a particular expression of Great Spirit, and so is each plant or tree or insect or rock. For the Native Earth man or woman, God is all around, everywhere, through everything and everyone. And of course this includes human beings.
Yet human beings are even more special, because humans can speak and sing in many ways. Humans can think and act in many ways. The human spirit, as part of the Great Spirit, is free, and be many things, almost anything it wishes to be. The animals, plants, trees, and rocks are all beautiful manifestations of Spirit, in a particular form and particular pattern of being, but the human being is not limited like these other lives of Spirit, for the human can, potentially, become whatever it wishes or imagines is possible. The human being has this potential freedom to dream or vision the yet-to-be and to behave and pattern its life in any number of possible ways. So in the human family there is much diversity, because the human has been given this special freedom to grow and flower in all sorts of ways, not being limited by particular instincts as are each of the animal and plant beings.
In animals there is a natural instinctive intelligence for adapting to environmental conditions and to a greater ecology, and the natural world of plants, trees and animals have slowly evolved together in a growing cooperation and symbiosis, where there is a give and take which nurtures the overall eco-system and keeps the Earth-life in a relative balance and harmony. This instinctual sense of adaptability and cooperation is also within the human intelligence, but it has been suppressed and virtually lost because of the western culture which has emphasized the superiority of the human free will and has falsely believed that the spiritual self is something alien from this Earth world. This is why we must return again to Earth Spirituality and to the natural adaptive intelligence inherent within the human soul.