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Forum Post: BLACK ELK SPEAKS: Why the wachusi on Wall St. will lose and the people's spring will triumph

Posted 5 years ago on Jan. 13, 2013, 3:01 a.m. EST by therising (6643)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

frovikleka shared a wonderful quote today:

"You can crush the flowers, but you can't stop the spring."

Alexander Dubchek from the Prague Spring

I love that quote.

It really reminds us that there are bigger things than human society. There are forces at work that are far more powerful than anything we might design. We can either align our human activities with those forces, those seasons, those waves, those tides or we can feebly attempt to resist them with comical valor.

The elite corporatists worshipping the Wall St. Journal look serious and important in their $10,000 handmade suits, but, when you get right down to it, their arrogance and confidence is comical. . . especially when the camera pulls back for the observer to witness the entire scene in context. Their arrogant, haughty and selfish demeanor in "the zoomed in version" may look like confidence, but when the camera pulls way way back to reveal the 150 foot tidal wave bearing down on them, they just look silly.

Don't mess with mother nature. . . She bites hard.

I think there are accounts in John Neihardt's legendary book Black Elk Speaks ( http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Elk_Speaks ) of Native Americans describing the look in the eyes of the white people (wachusi) they encountered for the first time. As I recall, the Oglala Sioux described the wachusi as appearing to be gripped by a sickness -- one that made them blind and deaf to the impact of their actions on other people and the world. They basically described the wachusi of being "users" and "takers", something that stood out in bold relief when set aside their "base every decision on looking forward every 7 generations" philosophy. I like to think that the spirit of the native people of this land is helping to power this new season in America, this spring that is now emerging. Black Elk at the end of his life was very dismayed and troubled at the state of affairs in this land but I suspect he would be heartened somewhat by the season of Occupy.

In fact, Black Elk and his friend might have been occupiers of a sort in their own day. Check this out:

"Black Elk and Lame Deer were Heyoka which means that you literally say and do things backwards in a humorous manner but whose spirit helpers are the powerful thunderbeings. Lame Deer was the last true Heyoka. If you look at this world most things flow in a clockwise cycle but you also have that small element in life that goes the opposite direction. There are things that Black Elk and Lame Deer did and said things in a way to divert the tensions at that time when the pipe way was under attack. Zintkala Oyate, as quoted in Heyoka magazine (6 December 2006)

The momentum of modern culture has a dominant clockwise spin. But one might says that that those supporting and participating in the occupy movement are sort of Heyoka's themselves in that they are moving in the opposite of the dominant direction. This seems like something a society needs now and then, a season when the salmon swim upstream to keep the life cycle of the river in balance.

Black Elk once said this:

"Grown men may learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure, and, therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss."

Let us reclaim our childlike innocence so that we might be in tune with the real forces of this world. If we align with them, they will lift us like the Great Spirit lifts "sun through the morning clouds."

Consider these lines by the Rastafarian poet, Bongo Jerry:

"Sooner or later but mus'

the dam is going to bus'

What force can stop them,

this river of people who know their course?"

A virtuous cycle has indeed begun.

James Baldwin said it something like this to the wachusi (paraphrasing): No you will not succeed in drying up all the rivers. Forces have opposed you. Now other forces will check you. Rub your eyes my brother and begin again. What I had always wanted to say to them is exactly what they were saying to me and it was something to thing to see, them coming alive and realizing they could step out of the lie and the trap of their history and be, just be. Watching them come to life was amazing. I saw some, not all but some, white boys and girls come to freedom on that road and it was a beautiful thing to behold."

The wachusi may be deluded but they are not incoragable :)

"No lie can live forever." - Martin L. King, Jr.

"And I am talking about getting ready because it is coming." - Cornel West

There are some amazing quotes at the following link from people who would have gotten along well with Black Elk if they met him at a party: http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/like-the-sun-through-the-morning-clouds-why-there-/



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[-] 4 points by Middleaged (5140) 5 years ago

We can never earn enough money to justify submergence into a corporate job that damages either our spirit or our environment. We can never earn enough money to keep our kids safe from running out of money. All of this control by making money damages society. All of the fear of bills, debt, cost of education, and the need to consume ... is really just materialism. The crisis in employment today has always been a crisis for the native indian.

Okay, so our government depends on corporate and wealthy lobbies ... our legislation has been warped to benefit the wealthy and coporate interest. Our people jockey for their next promotion or job with a higher salary in a corporate position.

But we all have family or community ... or at least have value for community and fairness. So the balance has tipped toward capitalism and making money. We are imbalanced.

There must a time of telling stories ... a time to remember the bad things that have happened to try to keep the memories ... and spread the lessons. The stories have value to a culture. The stories have power in reaching more people. The stories are education and imagination. And with imagination a society can grow.

In some cultures, the woman is the story teller. Kids need to have elders to tell stories to add some initiation to the education. There is a need for some ceremony and ritual. Even our military recognizes the value of ritual and ceremony. Perhaps it is archtypal. We learn through feelings, images, words, writing out things for ourselves, interactive activities .... Thanks for the stories.

I actually knew a pipeholder and at least once shared an intimate pipe ritual. It was very simple and the smoke seemed smooth and clean. Later on I have remember some piece of that ceremony and tried to bring that mediation or prayer to other times. Some may discount a native american pipe ceremony as new age stuff with little value. I suppose it has the value that you give to it. A pipe ceremony can be a nice quiet time, a prayer, or just a time to reconnect with yourself.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing this. Great info here. Quite true.

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 5 years ago


[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

"Time to reconnect with yourself.". Wow, we could sure all use that each and every day :)

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 5 years ago

Or as we say "Reconnect with Spirit".

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 5 years ago

Here is something new to me that descibes how ideas become part of culture (OWS?)... I guess.

A meme (pron.: /ˈmiːm/; meem)[1] is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.[3] Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, fashion and the technology of building arches.[6]


Memes spread through the behaviors that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread and (for better or for worse) mutate. Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success, and some may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.[7]

A field of study called memetics[8] arose in the 1990s to explore the concepts and transmission of memes in terms of an evolutionary model. Criticism from a variety of fronts has challenged the notion that academic study can examine memes empirically. However, developments in neuroimaging may make empirical study possible.[9]
Dawkins used the term to refer to any cultural entity that an observer might consider a replicator. He hypothesised that one could view many cultural entities as replicators, and pointed to melodies, fashions and learned skills as examples. Memes generally replicate through exposure to humans, who have evolved as efficient copiers of information and behaviour. Because humans do not always copy memes perfectly, and because they may refine, combine or otherwise modify them with other memes to create new memes, they can change over time.

[-] 3 points by Gillian (1842) 5 years ago

There is an old native american tradition called the ' Giveaway'. It's not so much a tradition as it is an ideology to live by. It's a way of living with an awareness that we are always in a state of using the gifts that the earth provides and that we need to give back by nurturing the land, the animals and the people. "The answer to conflict is the Give-Away . . . Whenever one gives from his heart, he also receives . . . The Medicine Power is within all People, and all of the things of the Universe. The Power has been generous in His Giving and has taught us Understanding so that we might also Give.

Giving freely is what giving is all about. We shouldn't give just to receive.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

"Giving freely is what it's all about."

Right on Gillian :). Cheers to that!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Black Elk still speaks. That spirit is still alive and well. :)

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33688) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Spirit is what gives one ears to hear and eyes to see life and appreciate their part in it..

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

So damn true! Well said DKA

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33688) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Thx - I have always had a warm spot in my spirit for American Indian views on life/spirit/nature/environment - coexisting - a oneness a continuity with the earth and the universe.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

Native Americans, like many native people's had a far more advanced view of the world than those who conquered them. As Sizuki pointed out in the wonderful book "Wisdom of the Elders", many native people had a true sense that everything is sacred. And once you have that worldview, it guides all of your actions in a way that nourishes your own life and the lives of others (including those who will come after you. This contrasts sharply with the "take, take take" exploitive mentality of many of those who conquered native peoples.

The book Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt is a true American treasure. It's an incredible read from an historical and spiritual perspective. To anyone who hasn't encountered this book, seek it out. It is extraordinary.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33688) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Yes much of civilization went on a journey of developing material rather then building spiritual. Would love to see a healthy melding of the best of both. And maybe this new age we are entering will see the wide spread addition of tending and growing the spirit.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 5 years ago

You know. . . I think we're closer than we think to kicking this revolution into hi gear. . . http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/are-you-as-pissed-off-as-i-am-tired-of-the-stagnat/