The indigenous people have understood that the human beings are part of the web of life and that balance is the key to maintaining the health of the environments all beings live in. This includes our personal environments, our communities, and the world the human beings have made. So our choices must reflect the health of our environments if future generations are to benefit to their highest good. And it begins with how one thinks.
In his presentations on the native culture Eagle would offer an interpretation of the “web of life” that anyone can apply to their personal lives and the environments (school, workplace, community) they are in. The human beings, too, live in an ecosystem where one action affects another — as seen in the current issue of climate change, an illustration of imbalance. Here is Eagle’s prospective on how to look after ourselves and the environments we live in.
He began with the “Directives of the Great Spirit”. We are to look after our body, SPIRIT, and mind. Spirit is capitalized because it is the most important. Today we nurture our spirit in many ways – quiet time, mindfulness, meditation, journeying within, music, ceremony, prayer. Yet we look after ourselves by taking care of the four elements of life inside us and around us in our physical environment.
These four elements of life are the “Gifts of the Great Spirit”. They are water, air, earth, and fire. We look after ourselves by drinking clean water, breathing clean air, eating nourishing food, wearing clean clothes, living in safe shelters. We also have to look after the earth to sustain a healthy environment that is able to meet the needs of all beings and keep nature balanced. By ensuring that these four elements are kept healthy we are looking after ourselves, the communities, and the ecosystems we live in.
How do we do this? We live in communities (family, social, urban, localities) where personal interaction is ongoing. When our personal lives are not in balance, our negative self-images are reflected in our personal interaction with others. Hence, bullying and crimes. This imbalance is also reflected in the infrastructures we have created to provide for our wellbeing.
In his book, “from the Heart of an Eagle” as spoken by EagleChild, Eagle explains that “it is the same energy that hurts that also heals — it is how you use it.” (pp.1-2) We need a prospective from which to base all our interactions. That prospective is the concept of HARMLESSNESS. And we cannot just build our interactions for a win-win solution, we have to do it right to ensure the survival of the next seven generations.
As Eagle would say, “If we harm someone else, if we harm other beings (eg. nature), we are harming ourselves.” Choose HARMLESSNESS!
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