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10/29/2015 1:18 pm  #1

Are they stealing our ways?

Debate the issue here, respectfully. 


12/05/2015 12:59 pm  #2

Re: Are they stealing our ways?

In one forum a member claimed UFO followed Medicine People around, and Native Americans came from outer space!


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4/05/2016 2:06 pm  #3

Re: Are they stealing our ways?

Yes and no.  There has been some blatant stealing.  The Lakota sweat lodge being one of the biggest issues I can think of off at the moment. There are two threads of thoughts on this concept that I look at.  The new age movement to an extent is attempting to recreate something. A new spirituality based in the modern world.  The problem is that this group labelled New Agers are nearly infinitely diverse.  So pinning down intentions is rather difficult.  There are groups of people trying to create a new faith based on more universal acceptance and connection to the world.  There are people writing down stuff to make money.  Part of this comes from the duality of the western mindset.  There is an angle of corruption, appropriation greed and just terrible behavior in general. There is also the notion of innovation and advancement.  So depending on the perspective one looks at the western mindset from jades the perception how one perceives the new age movement as a whole.  Its in its early phase, borrowing, reclaiming and even stealing concepts from around the world.  Since most indigenous traditions in Europe were wiped out or shifted so far underground as to be irrelevant.  A new group of people claiming inspiration from divine to alien have cropped up.  Who will survive over the next few generations is hard to say.  Once this rebirth phase is over, things will begin to settle down and stabilize.  What are considered the best ideas will survive and expand.  This is how the western concept of innovation and discovery works.  Its messy, but it has brought about a great deal of understanding in regards to many concepts.  

Another cultural clash with the western mindset is that the mindset creates a variable of exposure.  Its not good enough to know that it works, one has to know why it works.  To break it down and discover its base components and from that you can expand and recreate.  This requires experimentation and deep study that often goes on over generations.  Its the element of the scientific method and its influence on society.  From what I understand of Native traditions there is less concern for the why it works and more emphasis on the it works portions.  Both outlooks have merits.  The Western outlook tends to lead to discovery the native tends to lead to conserving tradition and less on innovation.  Finding a balance between the ideals creates a stable growth process. Which I personally see as a core concept of Buddhism.  Traditional Buddhist sects disagree.  I am a byproduct of my environment and that concept of innovation and tradition have been part of my upbringing. 

One often mixes the pagan movement with the new age movement and this is a mistake.  The pagan movement is generally trying to rediscover its roots and spiritual practices of the past.  With the three biggest players being the Wiccan, Heathen and Druidic groups.  Though with the increase of Hispanic populations there has been an influx of other traditions hitting the collective sphere of this community and it has created some tensions. One of the factors in this regard that I see come to play is the reality that many Native traditions have similarities to many of the European traditions that are mostly loss. Both being earth based and to an extent shamanistic.  Using the anthropological term here for simplicity.  This creates a desire to gain an understanding of still standing traditions in the context of seeing how it is done in a surviving culture and the applying the concept into the context of the reforming practices and beliefs.  Something that interaction with Native practitioners has been very helpful in.  With so much lost and a ground work of traditions already in play, the desire to get things jump started is strong.  This had created a bit of contention between purist.  For instance the Choctaw description of a medicine bag and the Celtic concept are pretty similar.  The Celtic traditions stems from the crane skin bag stories and has some components that are traditionally in them.  There was no surviving tradition of special blessings for this ritual item and it was decided that creating a ritual associated with the item would be proper.  A concept borrowed from Native traditions, I cannot remember which one off the top of my head, its been  while since I looked into the history.  The concept was used and a new ritual was born from the fusion of two cultural beliefs.  Creating something uniquely connected to the Celtic practices.  While sharing common elements with other native practices.  I was accused of appropriating a native feather head dress not to long ago and I had to explain how it was a traditional Celtic warrior headdress and while it had similar features was actually built from extensive research into Celtic tribal clothing.  That is part of the confusion in regards to some of these things.  The concepts are similar, though altered from various concepts and conditions over the ages.  Feathers can honestly only be arranged in so many ways so concepts are will repeats.  Roman Imperial feather headdresses are neat too,  Though being connected a helmet helps the distinction a lot.  

Then there are the people that claim to have been trained by Natives and then spout out things that are way off.  Some of that has to do with limited interaction, some of that has to do with a desire to make money from it.  In its own way it creates a new tradition of practices that vary.  One issue I see coming from many in the Native community is complaining about how white people sum all Natives into a lumped whole while simultaneously declaring that the use of ritual objects and customs is off limits for all non natives.  As far as I know five or six tribes have declared their practices off limits to outsiders, at least completely .  The Lakoto ironically have that disclaimer in a website that list there main traditions and practices in a measure meant to keep the traditions alive for future generations.  So it comes down to is a person willing to respect the intent of the site or not. 

That leads back to another problem, nothing on the internet really goes away.  This conversation and concept will be archived and accessible in some form or other for as long as the lights stay on.  I know do to limited internet access in reservations the Non-natives have had a head start on creating websites and other such things spreading incorrect information about native practices.  The backlash from that is anger.  Most people that have an interest in native practices have a legitimate interest and have to fight through the same wave of crap as every one else has too.  Though as time progressives and more natives speak there voice, the influence of the incorrect material will decrease and proper material will surface.  Through understanding comes respect.

Well hopefully this will spark some debate on the subject.  I have tossed in my perspective and having other perspectives expressing in the concept only brings enrichment to all of our understanding as a whole.  



4/06/2016 3:42 pm  #4

Re: Are they stealing our ways?

This is why I developing this forum. On the reservation, I get online when the wifi works out here.The internet is based on a written tradition of the Modern World. It was the oral story telling that kept out traditions alive. One must be careful of the salesman who sells the sweat lodge of the people.Money has contaminated many things.

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4/06/2016 7:41 pm  #5

Re: Are they stealing our ways?

Money has indeed contaminated many things.  Though it is interesting the process that some are going through to discuss the concept of returning to a more balanced society and accepting the reality that technological advancement has changed the world permanently.  Some for the better some for the worse. The potential exchange of information is amazing, the odds of bad information spreading is also enhanced.  The chances of hearing a once silenced voice has been increasing as well, which is good it adds a new perspective to the collective spirit of the world.  Its a grand experiment in human nature and the paths that we will follow.  This world that is expanding out before us is a path never tried before and it will be messy and glorious all at the same time.  


4/07/2016 8:42 am  #6

Re: Are they stealing our ways?

Money has changed the world before technology did. The use of money developed because we are all subservient to a ruling  class of people. We work for a living. Modern technology is all based on money, and will end when money becomes worthless. The use of money has separated us from the natural world.

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4/07/2016 6:16 pm  #7

Re: Are they stealing our ways?

I can see where you are coming from with that concept.  Money in itself if not the force that caused the issue.  Trade existed before there was money.  Money was developed to make trade easier.  Instead of trading a basket for a vase, money entered the scene.  One then traded a an object with a perceived value, for a vase the individual then used the object to purchase food or whatever was needed.  NDN was not immune to this practice.  Though some tribes did form and become quite prosperous without a money system.  Wampum(sp) were used as a form of currency and was already in play before the Spanish arrived.  Aztec people used coffee beans as payments and gold dust as well.  We lose connection to nature when the love for money and the privilege it brings outweighs our respect for the world.  Currency is merely a tool to trade.  The importance we place on it is where things get bad.  Trade is needed in any culture as there are limited resources that cannot be sourced locally, excess materials were traded in exchange for needed materials from another area.  The earliest forms of trade were established with salt.  Salt being important for all human life and not readily available in all areas. 

Members of a ruling class tended to fall into the trap of greed and accumulate wealth in whatever form, initially, this came into play as protection.  I will fight this group and you will give me food and shelter so I can focus on fighting and being strong.  In return, you can get a bit of peace.  Those that gained power then fell into the trap of greed again and decided they were better than others.  Sometimes this was linked to money, other times it was a cultural dominance thing.  One cannot really stand up to the warrior class as they spend all day fighting and protecting while decent folk is busy making things and growing food.  It's a complex web of events and when it goes out of balance the trend becomes corruption.  When the warrior forgets why the people aid him in being strong and turns to demanding it as his right instead of the respect for his sacrifice things get messy.  Human nature is always a string of complexity that has to be addressed to fully comprehend the nature of things.  

One of the interesting factors to contemplate is the drive for efficiency tech will eventually lead to the end of scarcity.  Technology will either kill us all or bring about a world in which money has no meaning because we have removed scarcity.  There is a theory that once a society has reached a certain point they cannot truly revert back to a more primordial point without a cataclysmic event.  For instance, the chances of any society returning to a hunter-gatherer state is questionable.  There has been to many years spent refining plants for our use.  Cut out the lights tomorrow and after the chaos passed, we would still be an agrarian society.  With a much lower population.  It's too easy to plant the crops and grow things that have been developed for thousands of years to be beneficial to us.  We have not been what could be considered a highly technologically advanced society for very long, so the technology is still fragile.  Turn off the lights tomorrow and all the tech would disappear.  We would be kicked back to roughly 16th century in a matter of minutes.  But the knowledge does not die out.  We would adapt with the higher levels of knowledge and figure something out.  bouncing back quicker then other setbacks that have taken place in history.  This has gotten a little off topic, but its an interesting point to contemplate.  Once changed to a certain point can a society ever truly revert back.  Which does create an arc of thought on this topic.  


4/08/2016 9:10 am  #8

Re: Are they stealing our ways?

In today's time we get what we need from a store such as Walmart or Safeway. We buy or shelter, food, and clothing. That is what separated us from nature. The Nations here before the white man came, got every thing they needed from their immediate environment. Thus they developed a deep spiritual connection to their environment, because of this connection. Even the things they traded came from the immediate environment around them.

Money has separated us from nature because we get what we need from a store such as Walmart. Thus we lost touch with the natural world. The natural world has become something to exploit and control. Also to some, nature is just a playground. We want to conquer nature, not adapt to it. Making money is how we survive. Today's technology depends on money for its very exsistance. Money is human behavior, thus that makes it unstable, and it can be worthless overnight. It takes money to make, maintain, and buy today's technology. If money becomes worthless, today's technology will collapse.

It is not modern technology that will save us, it will have to be our ability to adapt. We have come to think technology will save the day and send us into the stars to exploit another world. That is just a myth. I call it the Flintstone - Jetson Myth. Early peoples were bruts, and technology will give us paradise. That will not happen. We think technology is magic. But it has it limitations. and is subject to human and natural forces.

Humans are very adaptable, modern technology will pass as the money system eventually fails. As this happens we go from world power governments such as America, to small states, to warlords such as ISIS and eventually back to tribal ways, where we will be adapting to nature once again.

Last edited by Thunderbow (4/08/2016 9:19 am)

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4/08/2016 1:10 pm  #9

Re: Are they stealing our ways?

It's an interesting perspective.  One I do not disagree with in full, but for the sake of debate, I will continue on with the thought process.  One of my favorite quotes from Arthur C Clarke "=14pxAny sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."  There are more than one path that technology can bring.  There is the path of destruction and greed or there is the path of peace and harmony.  Being someone well versed in technology from the perspective of software design I do not consider it a mystical thing.  Merely one path of human progression.  If it is divorced from the more spiritual paths it is more likely to follow the destructive trend.  
I do not subscribe to the flintstone-jetson myth.  People are not inherently good because they have a different level of technology.  People are not inherently bad for it either.  The trend of human spirit expands out in a multitude of directions.  Currently, in the present, money controls things.  In the future, there are different paths that can come into play.  In the present the concepts of money are already being debated, the system is unstable and already based on faith more than anything else.  Technology and closeness to nature do not have to be inherently separate.  

Science and its side effect of technology are meant as a tool to understand and express the realities of the physical world.  At this point in time, it is divorced from the unseen world. Though its deepest experimental state, science is beginning to touch on the unseen world as well.  From my perspective, an understanding of science helps create a deeper understanding of the unseen worlds.  As such it enhances my spirituality and connection to nature in profound ways.  By understanding the way a molecule works and the underlying principles of the stages of reality underneath even that, the majesty of the natural world explodes into a deeper concept and mystery then I could ever imagine.  A new reverence to the forces that build reality is born from that understanding.  As such I have a deeper connection to my environment around me.  In regards to my spiritual work it allows me a deeper understanding of that as well.  I am one path that such things can create.

Right now there are extensive experiments in balancing out the land for the practices of farming, to create a way to meet the demands of the population and sustain balance with the natural world.  It is slow in coming and it will take time to be implemented, but it is forming.  

Technology currently depends on money to exist.  As the world is driven by consumerism.  Money is just a symbol though, a society can exist separate from it.  It takes a shift of perspective.  One that is happening slowly in the minds of a few right now.  Most modern people are not interested into adapting to nature, but there are those that do just that in their process.  One direction we can go is to remove ourselves from technology and attempt to revert.  Honestly, though I do not see that happening.  The other is to embrace the advancements and shift into a sustainable point.  That is the long-term trend that is growing.  One can shift from the negative aspects of technology and establish to nobler aspects of it as well.  The concepts I speak of are not near future events, but following a trend of events that are taking place in the present and will continue in the near future.  In the far future there are several paths that can be followed.  It can even be argued that sustainable technology will lead to the future you envision, merely from a different angle.  A point were the struggles of survival are diminished but the reverence of nature is enhanced.  That might be too utopian for truth and that is a narrow path of future possibilities. 

So I think in the end your perspective is very accurate for the present, while I look through the lens of future generations and the potential the present has to bring to us all.  I see a multitude of paths before us.  Somewhere your vision can come to pass, somewhere mine can come to pass and a multitude of other possibilities.  Currently, in the present we are part of a great experiment.  A point were many different concepts are going to fight each other and what will emerge are hard to tell. 

I will end with this a technological society that is spiritually void will not be sustainable. I ponder on how the two can interact and become one and the same.  The concepts of the primitive brute is a myth.  Each side of the equation has something to bring to the future.  The choices made in the present will define what is brought to the future.  We are existing in an age where information is more abundant than ever before.  If I went back in time even 200 years I would be considered a magician with the knowledge I have.  In many regards a greater sum than even the most educated man of 200 years ago resides in my mind.  The legacy of thousands of cultures through out time.  What the future will hold is a mystery.  This time frame is an experiment that has not been tried before.  I have the perspective of the optimist in this regard.  


4/08/2016 2:52 pm  #10

Re: Are they stealing our ways?

We have to much faith in modern technology, to the point of being arrogant about it. It is only supported by money, and it serves money. I look past the plastic front of technology to the realities of the universe. It has made life easier and it can even heal to a degree. But it is not real, and only works for the subservient society. If money becomes worthless, technology as we have it can not exist. Buying what we need in stores has separated us from nature.

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