07 Mar 2017

we are becoming the Elders we revered

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This life looks short from this side of the line.  The Elders that I honored and revered are pretty much on the other side, helping from their vantage.I am reminded about a teaching that was told to me a long time ago, from one of those now departed. It was a teaching around “Elders and Old People”.  The elder was making a point about discernment.

We will always pay our respects to those that have gone before and breathed more air,experienced more life.  But in our soul work and the refinement of our spirit, there are deeper guides than others.  He spoke about the ‘almost’ demise of the people and the culture. There were not only brutal killings, poisoning, and displacement, but more hidden, nonetheless deadly, were the mission schools, discrimination of all kinds and the cultural exclusion.  This led in a direct route to alcohol abuse, sexual domination  and the breakdown of the traditional society and norms of behavior.  In this turmoil, a people were exhausted of internal underpinnings and traditional teachings.  Only a few of these Elders held to the  Traditional  Principles and kept them alive. In many cases the ceremonies were deemed illegal by the dominant culture and therefore, the people were required to perform cultural  necessities at risk and in secret. Much of the regalia and sacred objects had to be buried after ceremony. These were the people, under deep duress, that kept the old ways alive. They held the language,  kept the ceremonies and directed those that were interested. They would be considered Elders. It was from their experience, physical, real experience that the wisdom became refined and emerged. They are the treasure of the people.

Mixed in the roil of this dominant culture/ Traditional culture clash, lived  many people who were ensnared in the baubles of the dominant culture’s  shine. The conflict of the cultures, for many, became internalized and became a truculent poison, vicious and unrelenting. Quelling the pain, many turned to alcohol and later drugs.  For many, the life that held promise in younger years became a pain- strewn succession of nightmares. Little soul work or spirit refinement could take place due to the constant demands of  the internal demons. These people, though aging, and in many cases healing from this catastrophic collision of cultures, were consumed in healing, personally. Their efforts were directed at self preservation,  and they could not step into a position of  cultural teacher, as that had passed them by.  These were, as told by the Elder, the Old People.  They would always be honored and kept, but their vision of traditional matters and cultural ways would require specific discernment.

We live in a time when many things can appear shiny.  With the deepest hunger for true spirit growth and  soul development, our path requires the utmost in  careful discernment,  of who we follow and what is being asked of us. We are becoming the Elders we revered. Our decisions and discernment determine the path.


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