Hi lovely Earthlings!
We’re on the final stretch. Chief Seattle concludes his lament with an even more touching lesson. What is life? Joy, connectedness, a sense of being part of a larger whole, beauty, pleasure, the music of trees, of birds. Being present to all this IS life. Does “survival” qualify? “No” the chief claims. And so it goes for the hypermedicalized lives many of us live today. When one’s life is mere survival it doesn’t even count as life. It would be better to surrender it and become part again of life in general, return to the larger whole. The hostess will know what to do next with what’s left of the individual whose personal life has dissolved. As Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens declare in the vows of their ecosexual weddings, when we marry the Earth we do so “until death brings us closer together.”
So life is not really different from death, it’s a cycle, a continuation of strands that come upon other strands, of waves and their ebbs and flows. If we shift the focus away from death, and the fear of death we internalize from belief systems organized around it, we find out that there is no such thing as death, only life and its ongoing ebbs and flows.
“Survival” the wise chief implies, is not worth the pain. It’s just a result of the fear of death and the effort of staving it off. But then, when life in general becomes survival, there is no real life left at all. Zombis, as they say. Oh well . . . .
“The Land Is Sacred to Us”
Chief Seattle’s Lament, Cont’d
|Handsome chief, eh?
Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all; we shall see. One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover—our God is the same God. You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white. This earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.
But in your perishing you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man. Your destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires. Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. And what is it to say good bye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival…..
Source: From “The Land Is Sacred to Us: Chief Seattle’s Lament.”
Did you notice the wisdom of these words? The Washington Chief assumes Chief Seattle thinks he owns the land. Chief Seattle knows better. And he is honest. Nobody really owns any land. The earth own itself. It is sovereign. And it the seat of life where individuals graced with presence are mere moments in the energetic flow.
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Come back! And stay tuned for more wonders.
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
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