Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shop and Compare-A Month Out

I've been out of camp for a month and even while I was at Naraya (June 10-15th) I wasn't digging too many roots, though we did find some onions, lilies and camus to transplant, I was aching to get back to the hoop. Alas, I needed to still tie up loose ends in Seattle and see family and friends so they won't worry about what I'm up to. This took me from Oregon, up to Seattle, down to New Mexico, up to Colorado, to Nebraska and now I'm in Salt Lake City for the last visit and it's been more than a month. I miss my crew.

The time in Seattle was short and tidy, getting out fast and onto Martin Prechtel's Bolad's Kitchen, not a school, or a workshop, but some kind of learning is going on there. Ten of us familiar with the Biscuit root were at this gathering and it was good to see them. I felt confirmed in my work, in that I was doing what needed doing. I may not have an indigenous soul yet or even a hope for one, given my cultural upbringing that destroys spirit as well as the Earth. I still feel good doing this work, even though I won't see much of the fruit of my labors.

Being in the place where life gives abundantly and I can give of myself simple cultivation action as I gather what generations before me have planted for their children, these same children who were forced into Empire thinking through BIA boarding schools, outright slavery and torture, and in this generation are struggling to reclaim any and all surviving cultural and language. The Shoshone, Wasco and Paiute have not forgotten this knowledge of the plants, we are here mostly to help out and keep some of the knowledge in a living way to strengthen their hand and assist in keeping it vital. I am rewarded pretty quickly with just being in relationship directly with a land that misses human beings and in relationship to basic needs without a lot of abstraction. I feel my spiritual life flourishing as I am not abstracting spirit into some symbol or altar, spirit is just HERE. And I can be present to spirit directly, at at least I feel like it, which is a joy in either case.

So, why don't more people come out to paradise? Some of my thoughts are:
1. No exposure to Nature
2. Great economic attachments (economics are backwards to me - leaving all of nature as extraneous in its formulations)
3. Psychological barriers to becoming wild. A great deal of our conditioning is to keep us all from running away from slavery or speaking out our truths in the face of authority/ies. I was reading Malidoma Some's book "Of Water and Spirit" where he describes his early experience in the French Boarding schools -- The conditioning he got(what we all got earlier before we even went to school) namely, the ability to not care what happened to another child, to be in competition, to tell on each other, to look solely to authority for answers to our questions, and the isolation that we are so accustomed to.
I am mostly interested in this this issue #3, coming from a life full of wake up knocks, that some would call PTSD, but I call having to change my identity, take on new information that didn't jive with my more innocent and hopeful ideas about the world and to find my way to forgiveness. Most importantly, I have tried to do this re-wilding once before and failed miserably because I didn't understand the difficulties. I can see that the Native view and our view are in opposition in a general overall kind of way and ALL OF US have come from Indigenous tribes and none of us gave it up willingly. Our place in Empire was at a great cost that we didn't want to pay - but it happened anyway. What we have now is our state of needing recovery of our senses, as in David Abram's book "Spell Of The Sensuous". Reading Martin Prechtel's books also point the way for me towards what I am doing presently. His work has given me the courage to see and to take the steps for me to step out into this great experiment of life, leaving behind civilization as my main source of value to embracing the health of the Great Basin as my Mother, as I am fed by her and learn about living from her. I believe a lot of what I am following are actually in line with European spiritual teachings - that we all have looked at but not completely embraced. Peace Pilgrim was one of my teachers that I felt taught these truths clearly and I find no conflict with her teachings and what I am doing now. (www.peacepilgrim.com).
This perception of the wild, is in opposition to what 'normal' is and so I walk a thin line on this journey. John Trudell(see below) talks about our culture mining our psyches in that our natural way of being in power as humans is instead been sucked out of us and we are left with our doubts, insecurities and fear, without clear coherent thinking in our analysis. So I am curious about getting my psyche off the grid and finding what it there without the fear of losing any of the things society has given me.

What will I be able to bring back to you dear reader and hopefully commentators is experiences and thoughts about life on the Great Basin Hoop that we can all digest and find some kind of guidance for the big world path. Over and over I am told that people can't do this cause there are too many of us.

Not all of us can go and hunt wild foods, which is true, but one person can and I will. There must be a thing or two to learn this way and I can't think of a better way to spend my life.


One of the objectives of this technologic, civilized perceptional reality has got to do
with erasing the memories of the human beings. We have a common collective experience. We are all the descendants of tribes. Back in the time of the original dream we were all tribes, and we were all the earths' children. We all knew that the earth was our mother.

And that we were all part of a spiritual reality, because we had being. We understood that there was a spiritual reality and we were physical in a spiritual reality. We being who we are today, however we landed in this reality, whoever we are today, we carry the genetic experience of our lineage from the very beginning. It's encoded in the DNA, it's like genetic memory. It's something about the experience of the journey we have it in us. But somewhere within our genetic memory, somewhere hidden in there, we all come from a people; each of us comes from a people that knew they lived in a spiritual reality. And because we lived in a spiritual reality every one of our ancestral peoples understood we have a responsibility. We were responsible for the past, the future and for the present.

We understood that all things had being. So we knew who we were, we understood what we were saying and we knew where we were: we knew our purpose. And this reality lives in our genetic memory. As human beings, whoever we are, whatever individuals we are know. That experience is there now. It's that ninety percent of our brains that they say we can't use. So they're using it.
- John Trudell

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