The concept of oneness goes far beyond the spiritual. It is the daily practice of unity between Native Americans and their real and spiritual environment that expresses itself in their art, their music, their rituals, their interrelationships, and their respect for all life and the earth. All of this melds together into a cultural ethic that guides their lives. We often mistake this as standoffishness or, in our own smugness, as being primitive. Why, then, do we wonder why we are often regarded with both suspicion and aloofness? We are outside their world, which was the world we invaded and have never fully understood or accepted, and, as such, we remain outsiders.
The following link takes you to one very basic concept of their meaning of "oneness." It is not intended to be comprehensive so please regard it as only a glimpse of their spirit of oneness. Click here, if you wish.
Yes, I am sure there are variations in the concept of oneness among existing and ancient cultures but the fundamentals appear to be the same. My father, who worked as an "understanding" missionary among many cultures of the Southwest never imposed the "gospel" according to the white man. Instead he listened and counseled on issues that arose between native cultures and we outsiders. In his own words, "he learned far more than he ever taught" and gained a never before level of personal humility. Fortunately, he passed both on to me.
Archaeological studies of the early cultures, including the Anasazi, confirm that"oneness" was part of their respective lives. In fact, based upon studies of these cultures and the oral histories of their descendants, it was and is the center of their daily lives. We will see evidence of this in both their ancient ruins and in the type and style of the petroglyphs and pictographs that communicate their cultures. The ongoing mission for us, is to discern what is being expressed.
Photo credit: Northwestern University Library, Edward S. Curtis's 'The North American Indian': the Photographic Images, 2001.
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November 18, 2014 My Blog will Be Renewed!
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