Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Katahtawi: I carry myself

As we adopt non-native words to describe Native concepts we get so caught up in defining their words that we move away from what we believe. At some point we began using (or over using) "sovereign" to describe ourselves. The word became almost synonomous with being Native. But soon it was all about sovereign nations and sovereign governments and the question arose; who was the sovereign? With all the talk of government to government relations, the people started taking a back seat to their representatives who increasingly were being referred to as the Nation. There soon became a debate over where sovereignty was vested; with the people or the government? There is no debate if we go back to our language and back off a word that was used for kings. Katahtawi means "I carry myself". This is the concept and practice we need a return to. When we carry ourselves, the concept or definition of sovereignty becomes moot. To carry yourself you accept responsibility to support yourself and help others. If we as individuals can be neither dependant on Native government nor non-native institutions we keep our Nations strong and impossible to be hijacked or sold out.

1 comment:

Wahbememe said...

Earlier this spring i started a garden. I started it for myself an my family. The time i spent weeding and watering gave me time to reflect on myself. I believe it help me "carry myself". I know its easier to go to the store and buy what you want,but you are relying on the outside world for what you want. I know just because i had a garden didnt mean i didnt go the store. I feel it brought me closer to sovereignty of myself. Where I feel if we all felt that way then it would be approate to use that word.