Near Death Experience.

Rosa Celeste: Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the...

May 31, 2013 by Jerry Alatalo

There is much that we can learn from the phenomena of near death experiences (NDE). Perhaps there are some of you reading this who have experienced a NDE. For those of you who have experienced a NDE some of this information will be very familiar, as you are well aware of the phenomena.  Others of you reading this probably have had an out-of-body experience (OBE). OBEs are much more common than NDEs and are remarkable in their own right. OBEs are often called by other names such as astral projection or astral travel. Both NDEs and OBEs find a person leaving their physical body with their soul going on a spiritual journey

Perhaps some of you reading this have come across accounts told by those who have experienced a NDE. These stories are remarkable as they give us glimpses into the afterlife that are it seems important for people to be aware of. The information we have been given about spiritual truths in the accounts of NDEs seems to give us insight on our ultimate reality.The increasing interest in the NDE phenomenon seems a part of the waking up of humanity at this time. The descriptions given by people who have been to the “other side” are breath-taking and important.

I am convinced death is an illusion. Taking all the many thousands of NDE accounts from young and old, from all locations on Earth, we are left with no other conclusion but that there is no end to our existence. There are those who have tried to argue that the experiences have been caused by hallucinations related to oxygen deprivation in the brain. There are other theories that try to explain the NDE as other than the profound and real experiences for those who have had them.

Any theory given which does not conclude that a NDE is a real separation of the person’s spirit from their body is wrong. We will try to make the case that the NDE phenomenon are real and extremely important for humanity to become aware of. The information brought back by those who have had a NDE is of such size that all measures to share it should be taken to communicate these amazing accounts. You may go on your computer, type in near death experience and begin your amazement when you find personal accounts.

The honesty of these accounts is obvious. Because the accounts are obviously honest we can only conclude that the experiences are totally real. As they are totally real then the absolute importance of the experiences for humanity’s awareness.

The most compelling evidence for NDEs being real can be found when one realizes the great similarities among young, old, varying nationalities, varying locations and varying pre-NDE spiritual beliefs. There are common events seen in the thousands of recorded accounts that would seem to point to the inevitable conclusion that NDEs are real.

The common features of the thousands of recorded accounts include travelling through a tunnel, seeing a bright light at the end of the tunnel, meeting relatives or friends who have passed on, seeing a review of one’s life, being told “you have more to do” and not wanting to leave that place of profound beauty, peace and love.

We will look at the words used by those who have had a NDE and find that they are honestly shared. Many have not shared their accounts as they are afraid that others would think that they are crazy. Those who have shared their accounts were thankfully able to do so after they realized they were not alone.

The subject of the NDE years ago reached popularity with the publishing of a number of books studying both the phenomena and personal accounts. Both researchers and the experienced are seen being interviewed on television and heard on radio interviews. There are now a number of websites devoted to the NDE where one can find personal accounts along with scientific studies.

We will get right to some personal accounts.

“I left my physical body. I floated to the ceiling and went through a tunnel at a high rate of speed. I was thinking faster and clearer. Felt the emotional states of oneness, peace, joy. I entered an unearthly realm. I found myself standing beside my bed and was looking at me in the bed. Then I heard a voice saying, “Come with me.” We went through a tunnel of light and on the other side everything was pure love, pure peace, pure perfection. I had the feeling that I was not worthy of such a place. I was given a life review which showed everything of my past. I felt the effects on others of every action I ever took when interacting with them… I felt what they felt at that time. I could see everything going on when I was outside my body… Nurses, doctors, outside the hospital, I saw my family members at home…”

Another account comes from a woman who had a blood clot at the brain stem/base of her brain. She recounts. “I popped out of the top of my head. I was looking down at the operation going on.”

What she saw while out of her body corresponded to what was occurring on the operating table. The conversations of the nurses and doctors corresponded to what they actually said.

“I felt a presence. I saw a pinpoint of light and was pulled toward the light. I noticed figures, one of which was my grandmother. I went to her. I also saw an uncle who had passed and many people I knew. The light is God’s breath. I was told it was time to go back but the more I was there the better I liked it. I did not want to go back into my body when my uncle told me to “jump in”. My uncle pushed me back into my body.”

The doctors and nurses had no explanation for how she had seen and heard what she did.

One man had two separate NDEs related to triple bypass surgery.

“The first time I remembered that death was so instantaneous that it was unbelievable. It is just a passage. A man came to meet me and he said, “Follow me.” We went up through a “mud” tunnel and came into an incredibly bright room which had no climate. There were 250-300 people waiting there to greet me. They were thrilled to see me; every one of them hugged and kissed me. They were men and women who were radiant. They were exuding love and beauty; I knew I was in Heaven/Paradise. I was led to sit on a table, while the 250-300 people were around, where I saw the movie of my life. As the scenes of my life went by one by one I noticed Jesus standing on a distant mountain. He asked me over and over and over, during each scene of the movie, “At that time what did you do for your fellow man?” …”At that time what did you do for your fellow man?” …”At that time what did you do for your fellow man?”

…These were the most incredible, mind-blowing experiences I have ever had. We are absolutely our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. The soul is much bigger than we know. The soul is huge.”

These events result in tremendous positive consequences for those who have them. To the point these people come to have no fear of death, an increased belief in an afterlife and God, less emphasis on materialism, a more loving and joyful attitude, along with a conviction that there is a wonderful afterlife that awaits all of us.

A woman gives her account.

“I merged with and became one with the light. This was when the ecstasy and bliss started. The ecstasy was so intense and I knew that I was immortal, eternal, totally safe and had total knowledge. I had always existed, always would exist and all is well; there is a perfect plan that is working itself out in its perfection. I was like a receiver of immense love and knowledge. I started to wonder how much more I could stand…”

“…the light then began to dissipate, I left the intensity and was in a green meadow. My personality was not any part of it. I felt unconditional love, no judgment and total forgiveness. Punishment is not God’s game. God is for us, not against us. Jesus raises our consciousness. There is no reason to fear death; it is the closing of one door and the opening of another. It will be wonderful to leave a worn-out body behind. This was a spiritual dimension with total comprehension. We are so much more than we know, we are so unlimited. It is a great big universe that we are a part of, we are part of God, the all of love…”

“…I was able to look into my soul and know that my soul is total love; everyone’s soul is love. I learned to know that there is no death. This was an enormous thing that happened to me; it is so much better than we think it is. I was in a meadow where the colors were unlike any colors I had ever seen before. I saw 18-20 people who seemed to be waiting for something and I met one man whose face was authoritative and beautiful; I knew I could trust him. He told me “It is not time for you to be here yet.” I asked him what it was all about, what life was all about. He told me in a three sentence answer. Then he said that I could take the whole experience back except for the last answer. I would not be able to remember that answer…”

“…I knew that I had tapped into just the beginning of what there is to know. That it is a non-ending eternity which is all so much more vast than anything anyone could make up. Earth is one little way station to bring light and love; a gift, a blessing and a responsibility. If there was one gift that I could give to everyone, it would be for everyone to have a near death experience. We would have a beautiful world where everyone would know that “I too am part of God.”

The near death experience gives humanity a powerful, profound and hopeful message.

These are not dreams or hallucinations. They are absolutely real events of spirit. They are ineffable. Incapable of being described in words.

Keep the faith.

****

Eric Clapton “Tears in Heaven”.

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Mainstream Media Intellectual Prostitutes.

Imagine: John Lennon (soundtrack)
Imagine: John Lennon (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 31, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Throughout human history men and women have shared their ideas and thoughts regarding the perennial condition.  Generations of our ancestors were dealing with the same issues and problems that we are still trying to resolve up to now. Is it possible to finally, create a world where the age-old problems are solved once and for all?

The answer is a yes. The solutions are spiritual.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948).

“Ahimsa (infinite love) is a weapon of matchless potency. It is the summum bonum. It is an attribute of the brave; in fact it is their all. It does not come within reach of the coward. It is no wooden or lifeless dogma but a living and life-giving force. It is the special attribute of the soul.”

Gandhi, along with many other men and women throughout human history, had come to a certain point in their respective experiences where the concept of Infinite Love had been understood to be a real, tangible one for them. This would be nothing less than proof positive that creating a world where our problems can be solved is entirely possible. Can we imagine, like John Lennon, “all the people, sharing all the world”?

John Lennon along with many others were and are today talking about a very real possibility. Anything that man can imagine he can create. We have all felt the sadness and compassion when observing the news reports showing our fellow human brothers and sisters suffering every kind of pain up to death. Does it not seem that this has become an untenable situation?

How long will we continue to place these absolutely searing images out of mind, out of sight as we watch our American Idol, our sports programs, our fictional situation comedies, our fictional dramas and our “reality shows” on our 80″ plasma televisions? What will it take to bring us to a point where those who have concerns about solving these immense life problems are no longer in the minority, mostly unseen by the majority of the human population, on the mass media? When will these men and women be given their chance to share possible solutions on the 80″ plasma?

The television is the major form of mass communication for the human race. We simply must ask ourselves what has gone on since the invention of television that has resulted in programming that, for what seems like 99% of the total air time, has almost nothing in it that pertains to the human issues and problems of our times. Let us look deeper.

Perhaps we need only to read the words at the end of journalism Professor Ben Bagdikian‘s book “The Media Monopoly”, written in 1983, where he says, “If this generation of Americans exercises its responsibilities to political morality, it will be following the dictates of eighty years ago by that remarkable physician-philosopher William James.”

James said “The deadliest enemies of nations… always dwell within their borders. And from these internal enemies civilization is always in need of being saved. The nation blest above all is she in whom the civic genius of the people does the saving day by day, by acts without external picturesqueness; by speaking, writing, voting reasonably; by smiting corruption swiftly; by good temper between parties; by the people knowing true men when they see them, and preferring them as leaders to rabid partisans or empty quacks.”

Mr. Bagdikian’s 1983 book deals with the media ownership situation at that time where the media was becoming more and more concentrated, owned by fewer corporations. Men and women sit on the boards of media conglomerates as well as on the boards of oil, banking and manufacturing corporations to the point where we can easily see why no investigative reports of certain organizations are seeing the light of day on your 80″ plasma.

This phenomenon is called “interlocking directorates” and is elaborated on up by Mr. Bagdikian when he said:

“…which way will the common oil/RCA (RCA owned NBC in the 80’s) director vote “in the best interests of” conflicting corporations?”

Louis Brandeis, before joining the Supreme Court, wrote:

“The practice of interlocking directorates is the root of many evils. It offends laws human and divine… It tends to disloyalty and violation of the fundamental law that no man can serve two masters… It is undemocratic, for it rejects the platform: “a fair field and no favors.”

Basically The Media Monopoly points out that interlocking directorates results in a form of media censorship. Any news of relevance about large corporations which is of a negative nature will probably not be seen, read or heard of by the average television viewer and reader. Unfortunately the consolidating of the media into fewer and fewer owners/conglomerates has only accelerated since 1983.

Hence the information we receive from sources other than alternative media or the internet has mostly been sanitized.

Did you ever notice that the night-time programs such as 20/20, Primetime, Nightline etc. seem to always deal with stories involving one family or other stories where the content pertains to only a handful of people? This, it would seem, gives proof that the sanitization of “news” is a reality. Can you imagine what progress we as humans could have made during all these passing years if air time were devoted to the most important issues and problems facing us all?

Such a potentially powerful tool which has been so drastically underutilized.

Bruce Springsteen wrote the song “57 Channels, And Nothing On” years ago which sums up his agreement with the awareness that television programming choices have been an example of the wasted opportunities to use the power of communication inherent in the television media.  So much potential, so much wisdom, especially from the world’s elders, could be being shared with everyone on Earth. Think about all the real wisdom that is available from our elders to be shared now.

Wouldn’t you be interested if there was a channel on your cable listing devoted to those who are concerned with solving major human problems?

Would not this wisdom be of so much more value to us than the words of teenagers from the entertainment industry or the words of professional athletes or the words of power-hungry, greedy politicians? Does it not seem that the wisdom of the grandmothers and grandfathers gives us a greater chance of arriving at truth? Our elders are to be respected above all according to many spiritual traditions, including those whom some call primitive.

To you reading these words, please remember. Do give the utmost respect to the elders. It is a law. Please give respect to all livings things. The principle of not harming others is the number one principle of all. This includes all people, all life and all things. But the elders, especially, absolutely are to be respected.

Let us get to the heart of the press/media issue with the help of some historical quotes. The words and thoughts contained in the following quotes were worthy of recording and sharing.

Speaking about the press American historian Henry (Brooks) Adams (1838-1918) said in 1862: “The press is the hired agent of a moneyed system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where their interests are involved. One can trust nobody and nothing.”

Ponder the next time you click on the “news”.

English reformer Charles Bradlaugh (1833-1891) said in 1890: “Without free speech no search for truth is possible… No discovery of truth is useful… Better a thousand-fold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race.”

Have you ever wondered why there are not any channels for world leaders to express their thoughts on the most pressing concerns of the day? Would it not be very useful if men and women around the planet could tune in to those channels and gain a better understanding of the true situations on the ground where there have been warnings of potential military conflict? Or where there exists a humanitarian crisis as a result of natural disaster?

The technology is available for world-wide broadcasting of solutions based information.

American writer Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) said in 1942: “The American press, with a very few exceptions, is a kept press. Kept by the big corporations the way a whore is kept by a rich man.”

We apologize, for some of the information we are sharing with you is not the most positive. We simply believe that the awareness of these realities is necessary for people to have so that truth will be able to emerge.

Truth must and will emerge in the very near future as the human race is going to experience, and is experiencing now, a rise of consciousness which will be simply unstoppable. Many are aware of these changes coming from the Creator at this time and are glad. These changes will result in the human race becoming aware of its divine origins. There is nothing anyone can do to stop this.

This will be the greatest event in human history as our spiritual physical balance will be restored. We will all come to understand infinite, unconditional love.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980) in his dissent in the Earl Caldwell case of 1972, said: “The function of the press is to explore and investigate events, inform the people what is going on, and to expose the harmful as well as the good influences at work. There is no higher function performed under our constitutional regime… A reporter is no better than his source of information. Unless he has a privilege to withhold the identity of his source, he will be the victim of governmental intrigue or aggression. If he can be summoned to testify in secret before a grand jury, his sources will dry up and the attempted exposure, the effort to enlighten the public will be ended…”

“…The intrusion of government into this domain is symptomatic of the disease of this society. As the years pass, the power of government becomes more and more pervasive. It is power to suffocate both people and causes. Those in power, whatever their politics, want only to perpetuate it. Now that the fences of the law and the tradition that has protected the press are broken down, the people are the victims. The first amendment, as I read it, was designed precisely to prevent that tragedy.”

Justice Douglas was one who thought that the maturity of a nation was evidenced in its acceptance of a dissident press.  Perhaps most folks think a dissident press is one that expresses differing opinions than the mainstream press. Perhaps the time slots taken by one of the “reality” shows could be devoted to debates between the mainstream and dissident presses.

One of America’s great men, third President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) had this to say about newspapers: “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put in that polluted vehicle.”

Jefferson also said: “Perhaps an editor might begin a reformation in some such way as this. Divide his paper into four chapters. Heading the first: truths, second: probabilities, third: possibilities, fourth: lies. The first chapter would be very short.”

This was during a time when newspapers were the only media. It is unfortunate that the absence of truth that Jefferson mentioned has persisted until now. Thank the Creator for that powerful communication tool that we call the internet; the opportunity for men and women to talk and share ideas with anyone on Earth. We should all be expressing gratitude for this Godsend. The positive results of all the ongoing chats and the sharing of ideas across national borders have surely been blessings.

With the continuing improvements in communication technologies we can only be more and more grateful. Can you feel the joy experienced by all the men and women who have really connected in a good way with this most blessed tool? Can you see how the internet is a divine tool which has contributed mightily to the powerful changes which we are literally seeing before our very eyes? The internet allows all of humanity to keep the faith.

American newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) said on his retirement: “…Always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice and corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news; always be drastically independent; never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.”

We can see why the Pulitzer Prize was created in his honor. Pray that more journalists and writers come to accept the thoughts that Joseph Pulitzer shared with us.

American press lord E.W. Scripps (1854-1926) said: “The press of this country is now and always has been so thoroughly dominated by the wealthy few of the country, that it cannot be depended upon to give the great mass of the people that correct information concerning political, economical, and social subjects which it is necessary that the mass of people shall have, in order that they shall vote and in all ways act in the best way to protect themselves from the brutal force and the chicanery of the ruling class.”

Once again, thank God for the internet. By now you are getting some idea of the realities of the media/press that are not well-known. This awareness is vital to you because once this awareness is gained you will no longer see, hear or watch the mass media in the same ways that you did before. You will no longer pass along information you received from the media to others as if it was the gospel truth.

Then the spread of untruths and propaganda from the mainstream media will diminish as men and women find truthful information elsewhere. Imagine how much time and energy we waste in conversations and communications where the ideas shared are founded on false information or outright lies.

Everyone has experienced talking with others and being astonished with the errors conveyed. Sometimes we are astonished because others have thankfully corrected us. Please remember to strive to be as honest and open-minded as possible in all of your communications. This will guarantee the greatest possibility for the real exchange of ideas and the understandings that we need to share.

Editor of the New York Sun John Swinton (1830-1901) said in 1893: “There is no such thing as an independent press in America. I am paid to keep my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street looking for another job. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks; they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

Seems that Mr. Swinton had come to a point where he had no fear of retribution. The honesty of his words here is something to behold. The willingness to share his thoughts in this way gives us hope and faith that journalists and reporters will give us the true depictions of events.

What a sad situation it has to be to belong to a group called intellectual prostitutes. It is understandable that those who have gone to university to study journalism, broadcasting and related fields have a really tough time with regard to the decisions that need to be considered concerning employment.

We have compassion for these men and women. Thank God that they, along with all of us soon enough, will be relieved of these difficult moral choices we must make, as the answers will become obvious to us. The option of choosing the immoral will be no longer available.

The moral choice will be the only choice.

Keep the faith.

****

U2 “Where the Streets Have No Name”

Calling All Writers (Schmidts) From Around the Earth.

About Schmidt
About Schmidt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 30, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Being that we just started this website we are inviting men and women from around the Earth to become contributing writers. The site was begun on May 25, 2013 and we are looking for help to enhance it.

If you would like to write articles here please join our effort. Perhaps you do not have the time to write articles here but you know of say, a bright young man or woman who has good thoughts about making a good difference in the world.

Or maybe you have a grandfather or grandmother who is a retired high school teacher or university professor who would be interested in sharing thoughts now and then. Perhaps you have had good conversations with the woman clerk at the post office who could become a contributor.

Maybe your buddy who you drink beer and shoot pool with has impressed you with his insights and honesty. Perhaps your brother or sister has thought that writing would be something they would like to give a shot. You see where I’m going here.

Being a contributor requires nothing. You can write articles if you so choose; you can decide not to write. We are looking for writers who would be interested in making a positive impact on the lives of all people. Perhaps you know men and women through the internet from various countries around the world.

We want to contribute to and accelerate the transition to a new paradigm of love on Earth.

Kick this invitation around and perhaps you will direct that kind 80-year-old couple who lives next door to you here.

For those of you who have seen the Jack Nicholson move “About Schmidt” take a few moments now and remember the ending of the movie. Thank you.

That ending was true art.

For those readers who have not seen “About Schmidt” please do so as it is an excellent film. I don’t know if it received any awards but, if not, it should have. Jack Nicholson’s character is a recently retired insurance statistics something or other. He used mathematics to figure insurance rates for the different lifestyles, health conditions, driving records etc. of his corporate employer’s customers.

So he retires and finds that he missed everything up to the point where he retired. His life has passed by and he knows it. It reminds you of that line in “Like a Rock” by Bob Seger that reads “Twenty years now, where’d they go? Twenty years. I don’t know.”

He somehow ends up sending a letter to a very poor boy in Africa and they start a mail correspondence. I will not divulge any more of the storyline but to say that you will be moved by the film.

If you watch the film you will surely remember reading these words. When you break down crying at the finale you will know what the essence of this communication is.

We are looking for writers who were moved to tears at the end of “About Schmidt.” Your possession of that emotional compassion is the sole, single criterion required of the writers we are looking for.

We want all the Schmidts in the world to write for us.

****

Beatles “Paperback Writer”.

Native American Spirituality.

May 30, 2013 /  by Jerry Alatalo

Soul Of An Indian.

ApsarokaHorse
ApsarokaHorse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 We came across a book with the title “Soul Of An Indian” written by Charles Eastman (1858-1939) which shares the nature based philosophy and spirituality which humanity is now in the process of returning to. The religion of the Indian is the last thing about him that the man of another race will understand. We know that all religious aspiration, all sincere worship can have but one source and one goal. We know that the God of all spiritual traditions is the same God. Every person that fears God and works righteousness is acceptable to him.

The original attitude of the American Indian toward the eternal, the Great Mystery that surrounds and embraces us, was that he was the supreme conception, bringing with it the fullest joy and satisfaction possible in this life.

No priests are authorized to come between a man and his maker. Worship is solitary and silent. No man may meddle with the religious or spiritual experience of another. No creeds are forced upon any other; there is no preaching, proselytizing or persecution. There are no churches, temples or shrines among us but those of nature.

He needs only the cathedral of nature. Solitary communion with the unseen Creator, God is the highest expression of religious life that can be seen as the “consciousness of the divine.” Young Indians experience the vision quest, which is similar to confirmation or conversion in the Christian tradition.

The young person prepares for the vision quest through purification in the sweat lodge (like a sauna or steam room) where there is the removal of as much human influence as possible. The young man would then seek out the noblest height, the most commanding summit in the region. Taking no material things but sacred tobacco to offer God, he showed humility by wearing no clothing but moccasins and breechcloth.

At the solemn hour of sunrise or sunset he begins a two-day vision quest naked, erect, silent and motionless. He may chant a hymn or offer the filled ceremonial pipe. Facing the Great Mystery in this holy trance the Indian mystic found his highest happiness and the power of his purpose for existence.

After returning to camp he would re-enter the sweat lodge for purification before talking with his friends and guides. The vision or sign was not spoken about unless some aspect needed to become publicly fulfilled. At times, an old man, standing on the brink of eternity, may show to a chosen few the oracle, his vision, from his long past youth.

The Native American practiced a religion which forbade accumulation of wealth and luxuries. To him the love of possessions was a snare, a needless peril and temptation. The rule of life was to share the fruits of his skill with his less fortunate brothers. His spirit was not clogged by pride, envy or greed.

He carried out the divine decree; the divine law. This was a profoundly important matter to him.

Concentrated populations are seen as the mother of evils, both moral and physical. Food is good while overindulgence kills; love is good but lust destroys. He dreaded the loss of spiritual power which resulted from too close contact with other men.

The Indian divided mind into two parts, the spiritual mind and the physical mind. The sun represents the universal father and Earth the universal mother where are found the embryos of plants, animals and men. Our love for the sun and Earth is an extension of our love for our parents. This is a form of physical prayer where appeals become made to the sun and Earth for gifts we may desire.

Nature’s forces of wind, fire, water, ice and lightning are regarded with awe as spiritual powers. We believe the Great Spirit is in all creation and that every creäture possesses a soul, although perhaps not conscious of itself. All of creation is to be revered and honored. He would honor the spirits of those animals that would voluntarily sacrifice their bodies to preserve his own.

He saw miracles everywhere-the miracles of life in seeds and eggs, the actions of nature. The virgin birth would be seen as miraculous as the birth of every child that comes into the world. A single ear of corn contains the same miracle as the loaves and fishes.

We of every spiritual tradition must still face the greatest miracle-the origin and principle of life. Our attitude must the same or similar to the natural philosopher who feels awe when experiencing the divine in all creation.

Jesus’ hard truths about the rich man would have been understood by the Indian. As for the moneyed church where those who attended participated in displays and self-aggrandizement, the Indian had no use for such actions. The Indian would not fail to contrast the lust for money and power with the spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus.

No priest assumes responsibility for another’s soul. Parents were to assume the responsibility for the souls of their children. The mother would teach the newborn soul to love the Great Mystery and brotherhood with all creation. Silence, love and reverence are the first lessons. She later teaches generosity, courage and chastity.

The child thinks that he is a blood brother to all living creatures while the wind is the messenger of the Great Mystery. At the age of eight he is taught by grandparents the wisdom and experience of the human race. The old are teachers and advisers; the young love and revere the grandparents.

The Indian had one inevitable duty-the duty of prayer-the daily recognition of the unseen and eternal. This was more important than daily food. Each soul must meet the morning sun and the new Earth in the great silence alone. In the course of the day if he comes to see striking beauty he stops for an instant to worship. There is no awareness or thought of setting apart one day of the week because all days are God’s.

To the Indian every act is a religious act. He sees the spiritual in all creation and draws spiritual power. He respects the eternal nature of his brother, the animal, and prays in honor to the spirit of his brother whose life was needed to sustain his own.

Friendship is the most severe test of character for it is a bond without thought of gain or pleasure. If need be, each takes a vow to die for the other. We understand now what Jesus was saying when he said “Greater love hath no man than this; that one lays down his life for his friends”.

For the Indian two ceremonies were universal and fundamental, the sweat-lodge and the sacred pipe.

The sweat-lodge (like a sauna or steam room) is essential to the Indian for his effort to purify and recreate his spirit. Used by both healers and patients, every man who is facing death, danger or spiritual crises must enter the cleansing bath; the sweat-lodge. Everything used in the sweat-lodge is held sacred or adapted to spiritual use.

The sacred pipe is reverently used by warriors to acknowledge miracles, give daily thanks or to receive good faith during times of difficulty. It is a form of holy communion where the incense of tobacco is found in place of wine and bread.

The Indian believes profoundly in silence, the sign of a perfect state of intellectual and emotional balance. Silence is the absolute equilibrium of body, mind and spirit. Silence is the Great Mystery; holy silence is his voice. Silence results in self-control, true courage, patience, dignity and reverence. He has learned the lesson where when one guard’s his tongue in youth when one grows older he may mature a thought that will be of service to the people.

It is believed that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. The child must learn the beauty of generosity where he must give away that which he prizes most. Public giving is a part of every important ceremony. Orphans, the aged and the unfortunate are cared for both by family and by all.

In matters of crime such as stealing, lying or murder all adhered to the fact that the Great Mystery knew all things, so people did not hesitate to give themselves up for fair punishment. Long ago lying was considered a crime punishable by death. Believing a deliberate liar was capable of committing any crime, the person was put to death so that the evil might be stopped then and there, allowed to go no further.

The truly brave man yields neither to fear or anger, desire or agony. He is at all times master of himself. His courage rises to the heights of courtesy, loyalty, honor and real heroism. He would not allow cold, hunger, pain, danger, fear or death itself prevent him from doing a good deed.

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