Friends, this is a bee blog and more than a bee blog.
Because humanity is at an intersection, I feel I must speak heart to heart. Please bear with me. More than the words, I hope you will make sure and listen to each video posted here.
One of my heart teachers is wise elder Joanna Macy. She speaks to these times. She speaks from a Buddhist perspective, but it is no different for any religious tradition— including the teachings of Jesus which I embrace. She says now COVID is a our teacher. It is bringing us deep pain and suffering as a human species. It is unveiling, revealing what delusions or illusions we have lived under for too long. Our lifestyle is killing us and the planet. It is also calling us to our deepest humanity.
Macy teaches about the web that reconnects even in the wretchedness. She calls us to deepest humanity. How we care for one another. We are all interconnected, earth and humans. Our future fate is woven together.
Recently I was on a call with the Pachamama Alliance. It is a worldwide movement to return to the Indigenous spirituality and worldview that has sustained a people who have lived through extermination. It is the only sane way forward. To remember that all our relatives are not just human. Our tribe is non-human as well.
We were split into breakout groups. From Ohio to New Mexico to Minnesota to Washington state, though we all had different politics and religious beliefs, what united us was the fact that we saw this Indigenous worldview as the way forward.
It is a powerful time to be alive. If we can tap into a vision that is both ancient and universal perhaps there is a breath of a chance for humanity—a vision that calls us beyond our own small fear of our demise to COVID.
No matter what culture, religion or color you are, we have all been colonized by the Western mindset.
I participated this summer 2020 in a 4 week Dismantling the Doctrine of DIscovery webinar, part of a coalition collaboration that I’ve been involved with for 10 years. We partnered with the people of the Iroquois nation/Haudenosaunee confederacy for content.
The “Doctrine of Discovery,” better described as the “Doctrine of Christian Discovery and World Domination,” established the worldview that not only brought devastation to the natural world, but also impaired the ability for human beings to live in proper relationship with the Earth. 15th century Papal Bulls, issued by the Vatican, justified the assault upon Indigenous Peoples as an artificial justification to take possession of their bodies, lands and resources in order to finance their New World Order. This worldview advanced the Age of Discovery as an extension of the Crusades, and was the conceptual framework behind the Protestant Reformation, the establishment of Nation States around the world, and later secularized to define colonialism, white supremacy and global capitalism.
Essentially, what defines Indigenous Peoples is their relationship with a living landscape that includes the soil, water, air, and all other non-human being co-inhabitants. This orientation to land is distinctly opposed to the European concept of owning land and the process of colonization. Indigenous scholars have discussed these two opposing orientations as being one of habitation and the other, of occupation. Although the violent seizure of Indigenous lands was initiated with “discovery,” corporations today, continue exploiting Indigenous Peoples and their land all over the world. The Doctrine of Discovery is the root of the problem, and the reason that it is discussed at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
This current pandemic and the escalating climate chaos clarify to everyone that there are consequences to the devastation humans have perpetrated upon the environment. As Oren Lyons has pointed out, Natural Law will reestablish balance, and these climate changes will not destroy the Earth, but will most likely destroy the human beings who abuse her. The earth will rebound in its own time. If we are to survive as a species, we must reorient to an Indigenous worldview acknowledging that we are first and foremost, co-inhabitants with this Earth—not in charge of it. These Indigenous values, along with the acceptance of traditional ecological knowledge, will transform future technological innovations possibly resulting in a viable future for our species. Religious concepts of imperial thinking urgently need to be re-imagined; messages from Indigenous Peoples need to be heeded; and environmental justice needs to be restored. Racist ideologies of conquest and domination are directly connected with domination of the Earth and other non-human beings.
This conference will connect the dots between our current pandemic, environmental devastation, the Doctrine of Discovery, and a way forward….