Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Was Deganawida's Purpose For Peace Or Survival?

Just a few thoughts I’d like to share… lately I’ve been thinking about the confusion that exists in our communities. There are so many versions of the “Great Peace” or the “Great Good” or the “Great Law“. There’s confusion about what version to follow or what the real translation of what Kaienerakowa even is.
Many people believe the founding principle of the Great Law is peace. Many would say our lives are based on peace maintenance. I beg to differ.
When the message of the Great Law or Great Good was brought to us it was at a time of war. Our people were constantly battling till death. We were surely killing each other off. The end of the existence of Ogwehowe was imminent.
Until the Peacemaker brought the message of the Great Good.
The Great Good simply laid out every aspect of who we are. There are rites and responsibilities for death, burial, birth, marriage, “adoption”, war protocol, language, culture, education, ceremonies, clans, nations, men, women, children, nature, animals, water, weather, counseling, etc… Nothing but a whole lot of common sense and respect.
This message brought to us a clear definition of who we are and how we are to relate to one another and the world. I believe this message was sent to let all Ogwehowe know we have a responsibility to all aspects of life.
One must realize not every aspect of the Great Good involves peace. Nature and weather is not always peaceful, neither is the water.Death is not peaceful for the living or dead. Ask any woman who has carried a child and given birth about whether or not they experienced pain through this process.
Black wampums are not peaceful, either.
Peace is not a consistent part of the Great Good. However, our existence as Ogwehowe is.
The Great Good constantly mentions the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s, why’s and how’s of everyday life for us. I believe it was brought to us in order to maintain our existence and every aspect of life Creator and Mother Earth has offered.
People today mention we must constantly maintain peace. My question is at what cost? The cost of our existence as Ogwehowe? Do we have our future generations pay the price of us “keeping the peace”? Our Great Good has protocol to deal with threats to our existence. To deny that is to deny the Great Good.
The eagle sitting atop the tree of peace has fulfilled it’s duty for centuries. It has been crying for a long time, warning us of oncoming threats to our future generations, our very existence. We’ve all heard those cries. We’ve seen those cries. We’ve felt those cries.
Yet, what have we done to respect the eagle and let it know we are listening? How do our actions let the eagle know we’ve heard those cries and are ready as Ogwehowe to uphold our responsibility to life?
We all need to sit down and seriously think about these things. Is our responsibility daily peace preservation or is our responsibility to maintain our existence as Ogwehowe? They are two completely different responsibilities. These are also two very different aspects of the Great Good. How do we "peacefully" find fit water to drink, clean air to b reathe, healthy soil to plant and safe food to eat? How do we "peacefully" deal with our men, women and children being murdered, kidnapped, beaten and raped? How do we "peacefully" deal with the Crown stealing our land and resources for her use and benefit while our families are poverty stricken? Where's the peace in hunger?
Is it really the first principle of the Great Good to be "peaceful"? Does being "peaceful" mean living in denial and not being angry at your abuser? I think not because that would mean you would have to deny your very existence.
That's why I believe the sole intent of the Great Good is for us as Ogwehowe to maintain our existence and get rid of anything that poses a threat to our future generations and all aspects of life.

Janie Jamieson November 16, 2008

1 comment:

ohnkwe ohnwe said...

Whether our existence was really on the brink of extinction or just in a severe state of turmoil we can now only speculate. I certainly do believe we are now on that brink. For the most part the genocide or assimilation is now peaceful. The threat is real and the need for action is urgent. The Kaienerakowa is not a pacifists bible. It is a roadmap for problem solving. This Great Path to Follow restated much that already existed in our culture but that had not been put to use because of greed and corruption. The symbolism of burying weapons was never intended to make us weak or unwilling to fight for our beliefs and/or survival. The Kaienerakowa provides very deliberate processes to use statesmanship for problem solving, but it also addresses treason, war and crime equally deliberate with harsh and, yes sometimes, non-peaceful means. What ever fighting means or what ever form it takes we better muster some up if we are going to survive as a people. The residential school policy of killing the Indian and saving the Man continues. We are barely recognizable as Onkweh Ohnweh. I don't believe what remains is a man. Not a "Real Man".
Great letter Janie!