March 26, 2021
The Light Of Ancient Wisdom
You have noticed that everything an Indian does
is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World
always works in circles. Even the seasons form a great circle
in their changing and always come back again to where they were.
The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is
in everything where power moves. In the old days all our power
came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation and
so long as the hoop was unbroken the people flourished.
Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
Linear time. The distinction between the past, present
and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
Jokes are made about those who believe the Earth is flat. But since the Age of Enlightenment we have latched on to the notion that time is a straight flat line. With analog clocks we saw the circle of time but now digital time flashes at us one second after another after another, a straight line into the future. Now there are tutorials on how to introduce children to the mysteries of analog time. Yet for our ancestors, the cycles and seasons of time were not a mystery but fundamental to their lives and world view.
When the story of linear human progress became the central organizing story of the Western world, knowledge, once considered the province of nature, became usurped by the notion of superior human knowledge. And we relied less and less on the wisdom of the natural world. The cycles of nature and man were forgotten. Wisdom lost.
We have lost our connection to the power of the world. We have lost the ability to communicate with the natural world, now only observing from a distance. We have lost touch with the heartbeat of the Earth that beats in us and are estranged from the flow of seasons and cycles of Earth, Sun, Moon, and Stars. Civilizations were built on this wisdom, but not ours. Great monuments were built to honor this wisdom, but not in our time.
Of course all of this power of the world and universe is still there and available to us, perhaps even waiting for us to wake up again to this great web and harmony of all life. Yes. There are those who are waking up to the great mystery and the wisdom of seeing ourselves as woven in all life. But for many, and unfortunately for our dominant culture, they are asleep. They are flat lined.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org