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by David Sparenberg
2022-08-27 09:11:16
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The Navajo (Dine) people of the American southwest practice sacred ceremonies and prayers of Hozho (Blessing) to renew the order of creation: confirm or reset the proper relationships between human communities and the other-than-human communities of our mutually inhabited biosphere. This is the Blessing Way, the way of respect, appropriate alignment, of coming into, or returning to, original at-onement. Within the elaborate Blessing Way Ceremony humans are not viewed or treated as a breed apart, but are significant participants in intricate, inter-related and interdependent, global, even cosmic, eco-systems. Within this interdimensional dynamic, sometimes called the Sacred Hoop of Creation, humans have a specific role, the role of embodying, articulating, memorializing, prayers of time-space renewals and ceremonies reenacting primordial appropriation (role and placement) and resulting harmony.

Within the Blessing Way is the prayer called the Navajo Prayer of the Interior Forms of the Earth, the shortened title of which is simply Earth Prayer. A visionary sensibility is required to be able to “know;” to be relational, even intimate, with the interior (spiritual/relationship) forms, present everywhere, of elaborately diverse Earth entities.

deav001_400Within the heritage wisdom of Navajo traditionalists and ceremonialists, Hozho (Blessing) is synonymous “with proper order.” This says, “There is a way for everything, and that way is blessed as it was decreed in sacred history.” How does this apply in the here and now and to the present disorder and disconnected and imperialistic structuring of the modern human world? The politics of lifestyle exceed general designations of politics and are potently, existentially manifested in the politics of experience and worldview.

During the current crisis mandating human withdrawal into non-action, minimizing and quieting mainstream behaviors, the other-than-human species and compositional materials of the Earth flourish and begin to reposition. It is spring and we can witness, from our circumscribed impositions, spring’s diversity coming forth, unfolding in spaces we had but recently occupied and dominated. Trees blossom, flowers emerge, the numbers and varieties of birds increase and from within our restrictions we can watch and listen to the diversity and vitality of autonomous burgeoning. Dolphins are swimming in the canals of Venice! Deer casually parade along traffic free suburban streets! These examples are powerful addresses. They provide meaningful lessons. Look into a mirror. Look into the eyes of the person nearest to you. Ask: What are you learning? There are more empowering resources in the right questions being asked at the right time, than in the presumptions of expedient answers. The audacity, the soulful daring, of the Socratic method of examining the who and what and wherefore of personal and civic life!

In the Blessing Way humans relive the miracles of creation. In the chaos of illusions there are myriad distractions, prohibitions, and lessons are not learned.

In the Blessing Way Ceremony is a chant including these lines, “Before Earth with small blue birds it is blessed/with small blue birds around me it is blessed as I say this.” The chant closes with the direct action of participatory expression. Thus, the chant helps (may even be instrumental) in bringing about is observed then enhanced through ritually giving voice to a truthful recognition of is given.

Here is a reflection from ecologists-authors Peter Knudtson and David Suzuki: “The Navajo prayers of the Earth reveal a profound empathy for nature and its various forms, even an ecstatic identity with a religious veneration for them. These very qualities would be essential to any meaningful science-compatible ceremonies of world renewal that Western societies may, by urgent necessity, be compelled to create within the decades ahead.” *

I will extract key words and phrases from this prescriptive statement, inviting to a deep contemplation. Such are these: empathy, ecstatic identity, veneration, essential, ceremonies of world renewal, urgent necessity, compelled to create, decades ahead. Let me next construct a comprehensive sentence from these words and phrases to focus experiential-attention on the lesson we could and should be learning: Empathy, ecstatic identity, veneration (integrated into) essential ceremonies of world renewal (are) urgently necessary (enactments we will be) compelled to create within the decades ahead. That is, I add: If we, the wayward, startled and baffled along the evolutionary continuum, are to endure, to survive within affirming, habitable conditions; planetary conditions; of biotic justice, directional sanity, systemic renewal and sustainable (bio-regionally sensitive) Ecosophy. If we would return, I suggest, to the sacred, recover the Blessing Way, live our lives together as flesh and body-soul of Earth Prayer. As such we may be bound to take cues from sources such as Navajo ceremonial wisdom, creating reality based teachings, rituals and stories to validate sensibilities of the human right to continue, as belonging beings not at extinction risk because of being devouring invaders; because of mistakenly setting ourselves apart and above the constant assertion of biotic life. Question: Will challenges generate an increase in blind arrogance, greed and aggression; truly the traits of being a breed apart; or instill a sufficiency of humility to make future habitation a qualitative possibility?

It is only, I believe, in the cultivation of responsibility as an intergenerational ability to respond to what is real and what necessary as dynamic conditions of this planet and from this point of departure to do what is biotically right for life, to assist the human species toward achieving a state of compatible clarity, relational-disciple and dedication. An achievement amounting to an actuality of what enlightenment and human maturity can propose to be beyond this troubled time of tumult, trauma and excruciating trial. An existent enlightenment which the ecosphere we are positioned within supports and which can be sustained and transmitted into a mutual future—a profundity of purposive tradition bequeathed to generations to a measure and significance akin to the Blessing Way and the Navaho Prayer of the Interior Forms of the Earth.

*WISDOM of ELDERS by Peter Knudton& David Suzuki, Stockdale Publishing Company Ltd. Toronto, Canada


Check David Sparenberg's BOOK
The Fate Of The Poets - Selected poems 1974-2019
is online now and you can download for FREE HERE!



Also Check David Sparenberg's THE GREEN TROUBADOUR
A Source Book of Performance Ecosophy
download for FREE HERE!


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