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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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stop Trying to "Solve" the Great Mystery!

Previously published in the December 11, 2013 issue of the Two Row Times

When you pull up my blog online, this is my intro:
"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 every day 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. [And] I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that."

We live in a world where one of the most overused concepts is "science." Now, the basic idea of studying and dissecting an object or a concept for better understanding is both noble and consistent with most forward thinking cultures, including our own. However, the problem isn't the open-minded approach to learning but, rather, the practice of cherry picking info or skewing the findings to backfill preconceived notions or spiritual beliefs.

Christian Scientists, the Church of Scientology, Quantum Healing and a host of other religious brands actually jam "science" or scientific terms right in their names; and you can bet they cite a ton of scientific data to "prove" their spiritual claims. I have heard plenty of the "born-again" experts detail scientific proof that evolution is false and that science supports creationism. But think about it — Papal Bulls from the 1400s also were based on scientific evidence of racial superiority. And we saw how those ideas were played out through the centuries.

But science isn't just being appropriated by desperate men trying to save their religions. The “religion” of power and wealth also has invested in “convenient” science. Governments and corporations – some intertwined with one another – and established religions, are finding ways to undermine Indigenous peoples by gathering scientific evidence to void the entire concept of Native populations.

One general concept currently being circulated is that if we – the original people of this continent – all migrated here only slightly before the White man or if we are really just White men with great tans then somehow our claims to land and resources are invalid.

The notion that we all left Europe, traveled through northern Asia and crossed the Bering Strait is still taught in schools as a "theory" when it barely qualifies as a hypothesis. The windows of time that were established by science for such a possibility have been slammed shut again and again but the "theory" is clung to regardless.

The unlocking of DNA is the next scientific breakthrough for solving the "Indian problem." You see it all comes down to, "if we can figure out where they came from that is not where they are now or at least make up a compelling story of such, we can cut the cord that ties them to the land." So connect us genetically to Europeans or Asians and who cares how we got here?

Now let's be clear that it isn't just the White man trying cut our legs off here. There are those among us touting ancient Egyptian connections, Jewish connections, African connections and connections to alien worlds through worm holes. Our own Creation stories have been altered to match up with other cultures and get promoted as an exact account of our creation rather than the lesson of Creation. Hell, there are those among us that suggest Tekanawida was actually Jesus Christ.

And that is the reason for beginning my column this week with my blog’s introductory statement. By all means speculate all you want about our origins. Create stories and fantasize but do so without creating dogma. The Great Mystery was never presented as a challenge. It is not a pass or fail test. It is like the Ohenton Karihwatehkwen — an acknowledgement not necessarily of a higher power but of things that are simply unknowable. In a world that presents itself with all of Creation so open and honestly, it is pointless to obsess on the unknowable.

If there is a point to this folly then what is it? Solving the Great Mystery is not only futile but also dishonest. I can point to an agenda and a strategy behind this mockery. Every major religion on Earth has made a claim to knowing the Great Mystery but how has the planet fared with these claims to knowing the unknowable?

The ties to our past have in too many cases been weakened by the attempted genocide of our people but the good news is that we can still know the present. The same Creation that produced the world of our people seven generations ago has also produced this one. The paths of those that came before us are still available to us. Our cord to our mother has not been cut. Who else can make that claim? Our "original instructions" are not from someone's account of the past. They come from Creation, every day!

2 comments:

Cathy C said...

There is no need to publish the following: this is a personal communication to Mr. Kane.

Dear Mr. Kane,
I read your article in the December 11th, 2013 issue of Two Row Times and was dismayed at your comments regarding the Church of Scientology, Christian Science, and Quantum Healing.
I have been sympathetic to the struggles of the Onkewehon:we for over forty years, having been befriended by members of the Woods Cree Nation in Northern Alberta as a teenager. At that time the treatment of my friends was beyond disgusting. They were not considered to be people at all.
I have been a Scientologist for thirty years. I know what it is like to be dismissed as irrelevant by the uninformed. You debased yourself with your comments from being a reasoned opinion leader to becoming an uninformed bigot. That a member of culture that has struggled so desperately and suffered so utterly from cultural ignorance could randomly target other groups for criticism was a cheap shot.
It is my personal opinion that the Onkwehon:we understand better than any other force the environmental threats facing the planet, and my respect is based in no small part on that understanding. Please don't diabuse me of it.

Cathy Caccavella

John Kane said...

Cathy:

Now let me get this straight. You believe that this comment:

"Christian Scientists, the Church of Scientology, Quantum Healing and a host of other religious brands actually jam "science" or scientific terms right in their names; and you can bet they cite a ton of scientific data to "prove" their spiritual claims"

rises to the level of bigotry?

Perhaps you missed the point of the article and can't quite understand what your governments and religions have done to our people and done so with plenty of science at their backs.

There is something to be said for the level of offense that you took from the view I have expressed here. Perhaps it says more about you than me. I welcome the discussion but suggesting that I have debased myself to the level of bigotry is not much of a conversation. It is a personal insult rather than an objection to my opinion or style of expressing it.

I could apologize or stand corrected if you had shown the error of my ways but you chose call me an "uniformed bigot" and accused me of taking a "cheap shot." I suspect you were not really concerned that I "could randomly target groups for criticism" but rather that I specifically mentioned your "group."

I will neither judge you as you have me nor will I sling insults at you for your opinion expressed here. In fact, I will not attribute your insult toward me as having come from your group or your beliefs associated with it.

We all have our crosses to bear.