America's Original Instructions

The original Instructions to many of America's Indigenous peoples include teaching everyone to live in a way of harmony, balance and wherever possible, peace with ourselves and with all creation; including other people. Those original teachings meant making sure no went went hungry; no one was treated better than anyone else; that we actively sought and preferred peace over war; that instead of hostility, we extended hospitality to strangers; that we kept a good mind about all things and all people, even our enemies. Often, today those teachings are commonly reduced to just say that we are all supposed to live in a good way. This is true not only in America but all around the world. Indigenous peoples including Maori, Zulu, Aboriginal, Saami, Maasai, Ikalahan, Hawaiian, and our many North American Indigenous peoples have similar teachings with names like ubuntu, shalom, hozoo, Duyukti, wo-dakota and Aloha. This "Harmony Way," some believe, is the original teaching for all humanity.

Our country (Turtle Island) is experiencing unusual turmoil and it has been building up for a while. Any country built on the backs of Indigenous genocide, chattel slavery and White Supremacy might stop to wonder what the Universe thinks. Adding to America's "original sins" are continued systems of oppression, injustice, corporate greed and the most irresponsible defilement of the earth imaginable. The expected results of such atrocities might be, by any rational mind, apocalyptic in proportion. I have studied religion and and religions most all my life. I'm pretty sure God, the Universe, Spirit, the Force or however you imagine God to be, is not about retribution. No, I think our judgment may not come from "on high." If anything is true, it is the fact that we have done this to ourselves. Frame it as karma, reaping what we have sown, inheriting the whirlwind or whatever your religion or philosophy teaches but this time of turmoil was prophesied long ago by many of America's Indigenous peoples.

I'm choosing not to preach the prophecies here. The point is not for any group to say, "I told you so." We need only to look around at current politics, policing, education, the justice system, the weather or any other area the news decides to highlight in order to know that our country is in deep trouble. Think about weather and the environment for example. Increased and more severe tornadoes, flooding, droughts, rising seas, seasonal changes, water shortages, seed patenting, expansive mono-cultural cropping, pollution, fossil fuel extraction, decreased natural wild lands and wetlands, species extinction, political unrest, civil violence, racial divisions, wars, etc. all point to decreased food production, higher prices, fewer jobs, more violence, more crime, expedited crumbling roads, disintegrating bridges, faltering dams, loss of life and loss of quality of life. So, here's the thing:

A lot of the Indigenous American prophecies point to this time; a time of extreme turmoil. I've only been around 60 years, but I've been paying attention most of those years. I, (and others who are much smarter than me) think we have now arrived at this crucial time in world history. That's the bad news. The good news is, many of the prophecies also say that during this time we have a very short window to choose peace and harmony, and that if we do, it will last a very long time. I believe we are now in the time of choosing between a future of turmoil or a future of harmony. Regardless of your religion, or if you have no religion, this makes sense for us, our children, grandchildren, their descendants and for our earth environment. You simply can't destroy the land and people around you and expect good results. Right now the world has a rare opportunity to choose a different future over the one worse than what we are currently experiencing. But choice means actually doing something about it. Choosing goes beyond belief.

Certainly, doing means more than simply being informed, but we should all be well informed so we can act accordingly. Living in a good way means to live it out personally each day and to live it out in every area of our lives. Following the way of harmony does not mean there is no struggle but it does mean living well and being fair in the midst of struggle. The kind of peace I'm promoting does not mean there won't ever be a conflict but it does insist on active peacemaking strategies that must be implemented and preferred over conflict. The harmony way means investing ourselves in the good things that promote wellbeing for all living creatures and divesting ourselves of practices that destroy our good relationships, our good earth and our good mind. Not only do we have to live for the good way, but we have to take action now.

The choice for harmony means today we have to influence politics and public policy. If we want harmony in our lifetime, we must pray, gather, rally, march, non-violently protest, write to influence, vote for positive change and embody the peace we are pursuing and, be ready to compromise and reconcile with those who think differently. Again, according to sources like the Mayan Calendar, we may only have a few short years. Regardless of your, belief, it makes no sense to wait because people are suffering now. Our present and our future depends on what we do today. Act now...please?

The Creation nurtured the people, provided them with food and clothing, with beautiful things and good medicines, and the people took in the process of the natural world. They gave a greeting and a thanksgiving to all the things that produced their lives, and they gave a greeting to one another for the same reasons. And the people who lived in this way celebrated Life because they were happy. And the people who lived in this way celebrated Life because they were happy. -John Mohawk