Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Beautiful and Wise Native American Narration

This is from a narration from the book entitled, Seven Arrows by Hymeyohsts Storm that was written in 1972 and that I have read back in the late 70's.  There was one narration that stuck in my mind that I have reflected on from time to time over the years.  This book is full of Native American Wisdom and one that I highly recommend.  This is a converstation between men of different tribes who lived on the Great Prarie at the time that American settlers were beginning to arrive.  Now, I will share this timeless wisdom with you the readers.  I will write it straight from the text without any alterations.  Here goes:

I have been told that you possess great Medicine for healing, Night Bear signed.  The old man clapped his hands together and laughed.  Do you and your brothers here wish to learn of one of my Medicines?  It is probably my greatest.

Yes, yes, yes, each man said aloud in his own tongue and also signed.

Then here it is, Shining Arrows began.  We will talk about a People, for example who number one hundred.  My greatest Medicine is one of the mind, and body, and heart.  If you have one hundred people who live together and if each one cares for the rest, there is one mind.  The power of this one single mind is a great one and is a means of keeping sickness from among them.  If there are but one or two among them who hate, there is little threat to any of the hundred.  But if ten of that hundred do not care for the rest of their brothers and sisters, then there is a threat.

The threat is one of sickness.  I know what you are all thinking; that you have heard of those who are able to make others sick, but this is not what I mean.  Nor do you believe this is possible.  I do not say that there has never been one who had the power to direct his hate causing illness to another.  This may sometimes have happened, but I think the possibility of it is remote.

The truth of the matter is this.  The hate these ten people have among the hundred will strike out and cause sickness.  We are each a living Spinning Medicine Wheel and each of us possesses this power to destroy and to create.  When ten of the hundred do not care it makes our shield that much less capable of stopping sickness.  This sickness strikes out at random and can hurt anyone.

I am sure you have seen a little child or person who is gentle striken with sickness and sometimes crippled by it.  This happens more because of the people not caring than because of the haters.  If twenty of the hundred do not care for the rest of their brothers and sisters there is twice the chance of sickness affrecting someone.

Maheo!  Two Bulls Touching signed.  You mean that not caring about our brothers is one of the causes of sickness?

Exactly!  answered the old man.  Not caring for one another has always caused sickness among a people.  It is one of the means of the Medicine to teach people to care for his brothers.  Caring is the only way to end sickness completely.  Of course, it does not really make all sickness disappear.  No!  There are things in all men that may cause sickness.  And they are endless in their naming.  Even if all the hundred care, there is still the accidents of the Great Prairie.  But these are not the same as sickness.

You used an example of the hundred, Pretty Weasel signed.  Is the Power greater if there are more people?

If there are ten, a hundred, a thousand, or just one, it is the same, White Clay signed.  It is not numbers, it is completeness.  I am an old man and I have seen clearly what happens when a people are not one.  Before the white man began to destroy the unity of the camps, there was very little sickness.   I had never seen a child born bad or dead.  I never knew a man who was crippled by disease.  Crippled men, yes!  But they were crippled by carelessnesss upon the great prairie.  This other is carelessness much more deadly.  It is the torn lodge, open to endless diseases.  There are as many diseases as there are grasses upon the Prarie, because there are many things in men.

Do you mean to tell me that if all the People of the world cared, there would not be one single person ill?  Night Bear signed.

No, signed the old man.  I do not.  There will always be minor sicknesses, because illness exists.  But it would be so very weak a sickness by comparison that one would hardly notice.

What if two camps of the People were to live close to each other, signed Pretty Weasel and in one of the camps there were those who were uncaring and in the other camp all of them cared?  Would one still affect the other or does distance keep this from happening?

Remember what I said to you?  White Clay signed.  Sickness exists in random places.  Sickness has no mind and it cannot seek out victums.  One camp, ten camps, or a hundred camps can never stand alone.  Each camp affects every other camp no matter what the distance between them.  It is like the teaching I have heard concerning the Singing Stone.   Both the Stone of Harmony and the Stone of Uncaring can be the drums that set the rings of water in motion within the Dance of the Medicine Lake.  One ring touches the next until all is within the Dance of Medicine Lake.  And it is the last leaf, the tiniest leaf, that is set into motion at the edge of the Lake.  This Leaf could be the leaf that will effect everyone.  If the People care for one another, the Rings of the Dance are Harmonious.

Then the answer is the same, signed Night Bear.  A people must care for their brothers and sisters to keep this from happening.

Exactly!  the old man answered.  This teaching is the greatest of all my Medicines.

Note:  I will say no more and leave this to your own ponderings.  Perhaps these words will lead you to a better understanding of your place inside the Medicine Wheel and you will come to remember if even for a moment that part of you that has Great Medicine?


Sharon said...

Hello Mike...Thanks for sharing this narration. I agree,both beautiful and wise.

Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Hello Sharon:

You are most welcome. Glad that you can appreciate the beauty in these words.