Monday, 9 January 2017

Repost - Not content, but context

Here's a ranty little piece from about a year ago, back when hardly anyone read this blog. New readers take note, I still feel this way - if anything more strongly than ever.

In the Native traditions, the plants, trees and sometimes even the mountains are referred to as the Standing People. The animals, too, are spoken of as Peoples. To speak this way about Creation is not anthropomorphism, not "elevating" non-humans to human status. These traditions acknowledge that Creation is alive and sentient in a thousand ways, some similar to, some different from ours, but all of them legitimate. "All our relations" is a newly popularized, yet ancient saying that expresses this traditional belief that we and Creation are family.

When we honour these standing people we honour their Creator, and ours.

There are as many ways to honour God as there are people. What Westerners forget - or perhaps never knew - is that there are many more people on this Earth than just the humans. As our individual human destinies play out they do so against what we see as the backdrop, or as we call it, the "environment". One we're often oblivious to, cocooned as we are in buildings and cars.

But Creation is more than a backdrop to our human existence, it is the context.

Now that even those who live with normally calm weather are discovering that the planet is responsive to human interference with its atmosphere, perhaps this is a chance for humans to see other ways that our relationship with nature is, to put it mildly, not going well.

I find it fascinating that science can understand that bacteria adapt to antibiotics, that insects and weeds adapt to the poisons we design in our war against them, yet they don't extrapolate from there that other creatures, indeed all creatures have an intelligence. All life is sentient, in ways that we certainly don't yet understand.

Wait, let me rephrase that. All life is sentient in ways that most of us do not understand. For you see, for those who insist on mathematics or chemistry or physics to understand nature, the only thing they might catch a glimpse of is content. They'll never get the context part.

You know, ordinary people who live ordinary lives, do understand context. It's our masters who try to hide it, and they're trying harder all the time.

I've learned recently that the province I live in is working towards making registration with a family doctor or medical clinic mandatory. This draconian measure is sold to us as caring for our health, when in fact it is a measure to gain complete control of us by "saving" us from cancer and heart disease and the latest threat, "mental illness". Is it merely a handy economic side effect that it will prop up the struggling health care industry? How many more people will be diagnosed and treated for illnesses they don't actually have? In a province that has also introduced doctor assisted suicide, I see very bad outcomes for anyone who submits to these new measures.


While the above is alarming to me, it's also not at all surprising. In a system that is so blind that it literally can't see the trees for the forest, human beings must be de-humanized. That has always been the goal. The rulers are the only human beings, all the rest of us are background. Forest, not trees.

This is the context of the society in which we are living. Like the forest, we are a resource to be exploited. When we are cut down, more of us will be planted (in rows), but the new ones, of course, are an improved variety, specially bred, growth carefully managed from seedling to harvest, to ensure the straighter grain needed for industrial purposes.

While the alternative media screams about the threat of population control I see far worse outcomes for those allowed to live than those who are not. The alternative media skirts the issue of what happens to those "entitled to live" entirely, and I believe in most cases this is deliberate. I see as much thought control there, possibly more, than what comes from the mainstream. At least we all know to take mainstream media with a grain of salt, but the likes of Alex Jones or Mike the Health Ranger are worshipped as gods, when in fact their grass-roots are so much astro turf. None of what they offer as information is real, it's more of the same from our masters. If an alternative system is a profit driven industry - and everything "alternative" makes a very healthy profit, don't think otherwise - it's not an alternative at all.

We're taught by both the mainstream and alternative systems that if something cannot be purified and packaged, it should be dismissed. Never mind the thousand years or ten thousand of traditional use, it cannot be trusted if cannot be synthesized for large scale production.

Never mind that something can be felt with the heart or spirit, that too is dismissed. "Woo", they call these things which cannot be measured; never mind that they have been part of our lived experience for most of the existence of humanity. Is that tragic or comical? I choose to see it as the latter.

Those who can't experience God or have a relationship with the other peoples of Creation feel threatened by those of us who can. Hence the witch burnings, hence the cultural genocides, hence the commercialization of the churches, hence the destruction of the intuitive powers of women through "feminism" .. etc.

I dare to suggest that Creation watches and responds to us, that it is Western thinkers who are at war with it, not it with us. I dare to suggest the system attempts to make us no more or less than resources for the economy, like so much forest. We have more in common with the trees than we do with the so-called humans who control the system. I dare to suggest that it is the intuitive awareness inherent in true human nature that unites us with the other peoples of Creation.

Those who don't have this awareness will soil their own nests, and we may as well let them, it may speed up their demise. Meanwhile, we're welcomed into the fold, back to the family, by Creation's other peoples. The Standing People know nothing but generosity. Mow the dandelion, it comes back. Cut down the aspen, another springs up to replace it. Creation's source is Spirit; those are deep roots.

I let go of what I was taught by the system, that only the measurable truths could be real. I fell back into the arms of Creation. That is the state of Grace this blog is about - not simply that plant x can be used for ailment y - but the generosity of all our relations. The proper way to bring due honour to them is by accepting their generosity. That is what I do, and try to teach, and in so doing, I honour their Creator, and mine.

We who understand this are the prodigal children, home again. Our siblings are jealous. It doesn't matter. The feast awaits us anyway.


  1. Twice as yummy the second time around.

  2. But is it really Western? I think it's Human. I think as humanity has "aged" this seems to happen as a natural state. Less respect for its own humanity. For its own self. No respect for its resources. Less respect for Creator. Particularly in the area of leadership with a big trickle down. However, Westerners seemed to have it perfected. But it seems to be prevalent all around the world.

    Loved the imagery of dandelions mowed down with the prodigal son analogy. That will be an image that always sticks in my mind.

    1. Right, Westerners have perfected it, and we live immersed in it, so I use the term because we recognize it, not because it is specific or accurate. I disagree that it is a natural state, just (currently) the dominant one. Humanity has aged all over the planet, and not all cultures have come to this lack of respect in the natural course of their history. Surrendered to it, perhaps. Seduced into it. Conquered.

      But in every culture there are some like the dandelions who just spring back up.

  3. When I first heard the name 'the standing people', it sounded so fitting. Somehow.
    Yesterday, I was at a close by park to be with them, and read below quote which was written on a plaque under a young tree standing happily:
    May his spirit live through this tree. Protecting and giving us breath so we can smile again."
    And then I took a DEEP breath.

    1. Oh wow. Powerful stuff, thanks for sharing that.

      I once came across an old cemetery that had been overgrown with young trees, and was entranced by the idea that the 'stuff' of the people buried there was now within the make-up of that forest.

      Not quite what the 'standing people' means of course, but a lovely thought nevertheless.

    2. It is a lovely thought. And a humbling one. Everything recycles in a closed system. One form to another.