Spirituality is not counted by how many yoga classes I attend. Spirituality is measured by how many moments during the day, I think about someone other than myself, and how many minutes of my day, I demonstrate- by action- love and service toward and for others... I came across the quote above years ago, and it seems more and more appropriate every day during this "pandemic", which I refer to as a modern plague. With the guidance of Creator, and the power of Google, I share the following excerpt with you. It comes from a book by Earnest Thompson, called "The Soul of the Redman." I'm Jewish, but I relate so much to Native American, aboriginal, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and other spiritual practices and ceremonies as well. I'm not interested in organized religion that tells anyone what they "must" do. I relate mostly to spiritual masters, who have shared what they have done, and invite others to do the same, if it resonates with them. I am inspired to always preface this when working with clients and talking about spiritual matters and recovery with people who are new to these principals and concepts. I have no right to determine what God is for anyone else except myself, and yet, today, if someone is interested, I'll stay up all night talking about how knowing, and serving God (the God I understand) has profoundly shaped my life.
THE SOUL OF THE REDMAN, by Earnest Thompson
The culture and civilization of the Whiteman are essentially material; his measure of success is, “How much property have I acquired for myself?” The culture of the Redman is fundamentally spiritual; his measure of success is, “How much service have I rendered to my people?”1 His mode of life, his thought, his every act are given spiritual significance, approached and colored with complete realization of the spirit world.
Garrick Mallery, the leading Smithsonian authority of his day, says: “The most surprising fact relating to the North American Indians, which until lately had not been realized, is that they habitually lived in and by religion to a degree comparable with that of the old Israelites under the theocracy. This was sometimes ignored, and sometimes denied in terms, by many of the early missionaries and explorers. The aboriginal religion was not their [the missionaries’] religion, and therefore was not recognized to have an existence or was pronounced to be satanic.”2
“Religion was the real life of the tribes, permeat ing all their activities and institutions.”
The Gospel of the Redman
“Religion was the real life of the tribes, permeating all their activities and institutions.”
John James, after living sixty years among the Choctaw Indians of Texas, writes: “I claim for the North American Indian the purest religion, and the loftiest conceptions of the Great Creator, of any non-Christian religion that has ever been known to this old world....
“The North American Indian has no priests, no idols, no sacrifices, but went direct to the Great Spirit and worshipped Him who was invisible, and seeing Him by faith, adored Him who seeketh such to worship Him in spirit and in truth, who is a Spirit and planted a simi lar spirit in His creatures, that there might be communion between the two.”4
Then if that is true,’ said our Chief, ‘we Indians are worshipping the same God that you are—only in a different way. When the Great Spirit, God, made the world, He gave the Indians one way to worship Him and He gave the Whitemen another way, because we are different people and our lives are different. The Indian should keep to his way and the Whiteman to his, and we should all work with one another for God and not against one another. The Indian does not try to tell you how you should worship God. We like to see you worship Him in your own way, because we know you understand that way.’