Whereas in our culture we tend to look up to people who have status, power, or money, in a traditional culture these would be looked upon as superficial values. An elder is not someone who is "successful" according to these standards. Rather, they have demonstrated a hard-won wisdom that comes from making personal sacrifices on behalf of their people. They may have little money, but they are rich in experience.Read More
I was raised in a family that—even on good days—greets the world with trepidation. Although I cannot recall being given an explicit pre-natal orientation (“Welcome to Earth. Please watch your step! The inhabitants here are prone to wanton acts of violence. Your body is a biological time bomb which is waiting to be ravaged by viruses, bacteria, and/or a host of different cancers. The most basic law of terrestrial physics is: ‘There is always something very bad waiting to happen to you!’”), I seemed to have picked up the message nonetheless. For us, life is an all-too-brief dash through the great cosmic minefield.
For many eons, our ancestors regularly gathered around the fire. Here they shared the big stories that gave life meaning. Around the fire, they laughed, danced and reaffirmed their bonds to one another. Here they encountered the Great Mystery. Through heart and fire, they found their connection to the deep wisdom of those who came before them. This state of grace is celebrated in the story of Genesis as the Garden of Eden before the Fall. The great march of history from Eden to virtual reality is really a retreat from the warmth of the heart into the coldness of the mind.Read More