Newt Love: nDn Wannabees
Why can't you become an nDn? We are not being mean spiritied when we say "NO". There are two fundamental reasons:
No human can tell GreatFather that he is wrong, and since he created some white, some yellow, and some red, et cetera, he knew what he was doing. Anyone who tried to change the "color" of their genes, refute their heritage, and go try to "find God" in another group is telling God / GreatFather that he made a mistake that they will fix that mistake by joining another group.
By doing that, you are being very offensive to American Indian sensibilities. By declaring yourself to be wiser than GreatFather, you have declared yourself a God, and are about to undergo some heavy duty judgements and trials. Most nDns will want to avoid you like a plague until that period is over.
Just because you white folks can proseltize and evangelize and jump from Catholic to Lutheran to Baptist, to Evangelical, to Agape / Maranatha to Episcopal to Methodist to ... doesn't mean you can tell us that we have to allow you to jump into our private religious space, and then declare that we should share our most intimate matters with you, a stranger who has declared that God / GreatFather was a fool and made a mistake by not having you be born into an American Indian family unit. To us, you are almost a raving lunatic.
The second major / fundamental problem with being an Indian Wannabee is in how you try to take our medicine ways and use them as rituals without knowing what they really are, or how they work.
Medicine is for the moment. A doctor will give a double dose to start the medicine, then taper it off to regular dose for a week or so, then down to a half dose for four weeks, and then you are cured.
Also medicine is for the individual. A non-diabetic should not take insulin; it may kill them. Diabetics must have insulin, or they will die. Every medicine is mixed by the doctor for an individual person for a moment in time.
nDn spirituality is called medicine for a strong reason. You cannot take my medicine. It will be bad for you. I dare not take your medicine. It is bad for me.
Don't try to be me, or any other nDn.
Sit still! Listen with your whole heart. Tell your mind to shut up. Be very still. Listen... really listen, and take your medicine.
I am newt, Newton Love, and I speak only for myself.
This blog is from the perspective of teachings and documents like:
"Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality"
(June 1993 and renewed 8 April 2002)
At the Lakota Summit V in 1993, people from U.S. and Canadian Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nations drafted this document. The declaration is controversial, and the web site provides the text of the declaration, along with links to dissenting and supporting commentary by both Native and non-Native peoples.
When someone comes with honest intentions, who stay long enough to become like family, they are welcome in our circles. Respect and honor are indicators of the mutual drawing near of the different peoples toward the one center of the universe. All of that spirit are welcome.
What I am talking about in my blog are two other groups of people. One group seeks to steal the trappings of our Way, and set themselves up as (what we call) plastic shamans. (See We don't have shamans.) The Sonoma County Free Press has an excellent expose of two infamous plastic shamans. They set themselves up and sell sweat lodge journeys, sometimes mixing in drugs, which is a violation of Inipi. They claim to be important spiritual leaders, offering to teach nDn ways for money. Those folks are little more than New Age conmen, who pray on the second group.
The second group are seekers who wish to "try on" the nDn Way to see if it makes them feel better. Flitting from one religion to another, they are confused, and often cannot release their ignorance enough to listen to why they can't "try on" our religion. It just doesn't work that way.
It has no Catechism to be debated and voted on. It has no rote memorizations to apply like bandaids to wounds. The application of religion cannot "fix" anyone's soul. As the 12-step AA program says, surrendering to a higher power is the way to transformation. Trying to be an American Indian will not fix a wounded psyche. Turning inward to the ember / flame of life within and nurturing that life force connection to God will fix a broken psyche, but that does not require playing dress-up games with nDn cultures.
nDn spirituality is not something applied from the outside, or worn as a shirt for a few hours while in a meeting of ceremony. It is something that comes from within, and is constant, informing every breath with knowledge of our connection to every molecule and life in the earth and universe. Mitakuye Oasin (we are all relations)
I am not trying to be elitist. I am trying to say that the GreatFather made us who we are, and we must find him from within our own life, and I hope, within our own culture. God is not some far away being that one needs to travel to Tibet or somewhere to find. If climbing a mountain helps a person focus on their walk, so be it, but God is able and ready to meet a person at any and all points in real space and time.
The core truth is that each person can find God where they are, being who they are. They do not need to pretend to be an American Indian, or any other person. They do not need to learn a foriegn language to speak to God, or to hear and receive his medicine. They do not need to wear my traditional robes; they can wear what ever they want, including traditional clothes from their culture.
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