The Dann Sisters.

Posted on June 8, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“The study of nature is intercourse with the highest mind. You should never trifle with nature.”

– LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873) Swiss-born, American naturalist

aaa-18Recent events involving the Bundy ranch out west in America/Arizona and the family’s dealings with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) made front page news, while the nightly ABC, CBS, and NBC 6-o’clock news broadcasts featured a string of reports. John Stewart and many other comedians on the late-night talk shows made hay with Cliven Bundy, as Americans talked about the latest “Bundy news” around the company water cooler; the situation has since, like most news stories, fallen off the radar and replaced with the next irrelevant reporting.

I admit to having no researched knowledge of the facts surrounding the Bundy situation, having, frankly, not enough interest to look into it deeper. Like similar controversial situations, opinions have become expressed both for and against the Bundys as well as the BLM, people travelled to the ranch with weapons to protect the rights of the Bundys, while others view the family as deadbeats who are not paying grazing fees, etc. and deserve no sympathy. So, I have no idea what the real facts are.

Americans didn’t see the same worldwide coverage of the experiences of Carrie and Mary Dann. As a matter of fact, their story received little to no news coverage at all back some 7-10 years ago, when the western Shoshone sisters became subjected to some very raw treatment by the American government. They too, were ranchers who had lived and survived in the American west, but the land their family lived on and which gave them sustenance was subject to a treaty signed between the western Shoshone and the U.S. government.

The following short documentary about the Dann sisters’ experience, where the U.S. government took actions to allow for massive gold mining by the world’s largest corporations on land where the sisters and their ancestors lived raising animals and earning a living, gives viewers an example of how multinationals and their owners team with government enablers to force unwanted changes to people’s lives, and in too many instances cause deadly pollution of the environment, social unrest, violence, and wars.

In the case of the Dann sisters, violence was never a consequence, unless one takes into account the spiritual violence done to two elder sisters who see the Earth as our mother who must be treated with care for future generations. The film successfully shows the sharp contrast between two very different life philosophies, and leaves the viewer with much to consider.

Given the  historical evidence that proves wars are fought for natural resources and the wealth that goes with the various metals, energy, woods, foods, banks, etc., the Dann sisters’ story is one which holds a great deal more relevance than the Bundy story when one considers the implications for the human race and its relationship to the environment on Earth. The film, though short in duration at approximately 25 minutes, lays out eloquently a lot that is wrong in the world – and a lot that is right.

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(Thank you to Oxfam America @ YouTube)

The Most Basic Principle Of All.

Rolling Thunder
Rolling Thunder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted August 10, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

“The most basic principle of all is that of not harming others, and that includes all people and all life and all things.”

Rolling Thunder

(1916-1997)

The spirit behind these words by Rolling Thunder, who was a Native American medicine man, reflect wisdom and truth. Can we imagine the entire human race consciously accepting, acknowledging, and truly living in accord with the spirit? We read the words spoken by Rolling Thunder and wonder about how one gets to that point, where words such as these are spoken.

Take a moment and read Rolling Thunder’s statement again.

How do the words affect you? Does the spirit behind the thought dissolve into your entire being? And how can we describe that spirit? It is what Native Americans call the Great Spirit. The omnipotent, eternal, omnipresent, Great Mystery, God, Creator, Allah, Source, Krishna, the Almighty are some terms used by people around the world.

“It means not controlling or manipulating others, not trying to manage their affairs. It means not going off to some other land and killing people over there-not for religion or politics or military exercises or any other excuse. No being has the right to harm or control any other being. No individual or government has the right to force others to join or participate in any group or system or to force others to go to school, to church or to war. Every being has the right to live his own life in his own way.”

Here Rolling Thunder spoke of all people-not Americans, not Russians, not Chinese, not those from India, Africa, Europe, South America, Australia,or Canada, but all people. His words precisely identified all of the ways that human beings have harmed other human beings. Rolling Thunder simply spoke without forked tongue-honestly and truthfully.

“Every being has an identity and a purpose. To live up to his purpose, every being has the power of self-control, and that’s where spiritual power begins. When some of these fundamental things are learned, the time will be right for more to be revealed and spiritual power will come again to this land.”

Rolling Thunder conveyed here that all persons should strive to avoid mistaken thinking that life has no meaning.  Every single person is important, and self-control is the tool that one uses to make life meaningful.

“Modern man talks of harnessing nature, conquering nature and making nature a servant of man. This shows that modern man doesn’t know the first thing about nature and nature’s ways. And the condition of the environment today proves that. Now everyone’s afraid-afraid of air pollution, radioactivity and poisoned water. The land is becoming contaminated and the resources are disappearing or becoming unusable, and now people wonder if it’s too late. You can’t make any kind of laws or system to control nature or to control man’s inner nature, his consciousness or his natural behavior-the way he thinks and feels. That cannot be controlled. No individual or group can block another individual’s path or change it against what fits his nature and his purpose. It might be done for a time, but in the end it won’t work out. It will only lead to danger and fear for everyone. Even in healing we take that into account. A true healer considers a man’s karma and his destiny. He has a way of looking into and understanding what is meant to be according to each individual’s own progress and unfoldment. That way things are more realistic and it saves everyone a lot of trouble. Nature is sovereign and man’s inner nature is sovereign. Nature is to be respected. All life and every single living being is to be respected. That’s the only answer.”

All life and every single living being is to be respected. Rolling Thunder was speaking in that way again. With obvious truth that points to a philosophy, a way of living, that leads to peace, harmony, and brotherhood. He said that it is the only answer. He was correct.

“Back in Oklahoma some years ago, there was a meeting-the first such high level meeting in over a hundred years-where chiefs and medicine men came together from all over the continent, and some from South America. The Iroquois came from New York and they brought a board with writing on it. On the last day of the ceremonies we formed a huge circle.”

“The circle is the Great Spirit’s emblem. All life is a circle. The world is a circle and the atoms are circles. The circle is seen on the rock writings, and it goes around all things, it takes in all things. When we met in Oklahoma, we formed a huge circle of all native tribes and we smoked the peace pipe to the sun, and it stayed lit around that huge circle. Then the Iroquois brought out the board with writing on it and interpreted it. They said ‘today our tribes are united again’. The emblem showed a chain of hands-people holding hands in a circle-and they said ‘today our people have formed the circle of brotherhood and friendship here’.”

“Eventually, this circle will go around the world. The brotherhood and peace that the world is seeking will now start on this land here. All the people here will be joined in the circle of friendship and brotherhood, and that circle will go around the world.”

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