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Humanity’s Hope: Unity of the People, Earth, and Spirit

Every Heartbeat Needs A Home

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Hopi (Peace) Prophecy

A Hopi Elder speaks:

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour. Now you must go to them and tell them that this is the hour.

“We all must ask:

Where am I living?

What am I doing?

Am I in right relationship?

Where is my garden?

Where is my water?

“Know your garden. Create your community. Be good to each other. It is time to speak your truth. Do not look outside yourself for the leader.

“There is a great river flowing very swiftly. There will be those who are afraid, and they’ll try to hold onto the shore, suffering greatly, feeling that they are torn apart by the waters. But we must now let go of the shore and go to the middle of the river, with head above water and eyes open.  The river has its destination. See those in the river with you and celebrate. You are taken in the flow.

“In these times, we must take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. Whenever we do, our spiritual growth halts. Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. 

“The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

This prophecy is attributed to an unnamed Hopi Elder from Hopi nation, Oraiba, Arizona. It foretold of what would occur when human beings do not obey the original instructions, those laws of nature that we are part of: reciprocity, care for all of the relations — for every beating heart needs a home on this one earth.

A prophecy does not dictate the future; a prophecy allows us to understand what the results may be of not adhering to the laws of nature. 

There is great diversity amongst indigenous people; we are of different races (the Four Directions), traditions, language, ceremonies, medicines, and more. However, what unites us as indigenous people is staying in connection with Mother Earth and all her creatures, as our intimately connected relatives. In this Circle of Life — the Sacred Hoop — no one Earth relative is above another, for we are all equal; there is no hierarchy in our relationships with people, earth, water, animals, plants, and the skies.

We have been living a “great winter” in which Mother Earth has been suffering: her lungs are on fire in the Amazon, Australia, and the Congo, from pollution, carbon overload, forest destruction, and more. Her ice caps are melting; storms are intensifying; river shores and coastlines are flooding. Four-legged creatures and birds and fish and plants are becoming extinct because humans have forgotten how to live in harmony with each other and the immeasurable bounty of Earth. Today there are more environmental refugees than war refugees.

Global warming is a man-made process. We did it. And it will require all of us to reverse this death threat for our other species and our own species. We have forgotten our natural responsibility to use only what is needed, and to give back more to ensure life for the future. Our survival calls us to embrace the indigenous worldview that knows how interconnected we all are, grounded in eons of indigenous existence in harmony with our relatives: water, land, trees, air, fire. It is this indigenous worldview of Oneness that informs this generative way of life.

Indigenous people were the first scientists. For millennia, we’ve closely observed our surroundings and understood how the eco-system of our body, mind, and spirit is one with the larger eco-system of our planet. We pay attention to the strong yet delicate interconnection between all beating hearts. From an indigenous scientist’s view, everything and everyone has a sacred heartbeat. Everyone and everything needs and deserves a home.  

Our indigenous relatives and their ecologically harmonious ways of being and behaving are key to humanity’s hope. An impressive 80% of the most bio-diverse lands and waters remaining around the world are indigenous people’s territories, despite historical and current campaigns to take and destroy the biological integrity of those and waters. Research and resolutions of the United Nations and world-renowned scientists attest how essential it is that we work with, and learn from, indigenous peoples, asserting that the very future of humanity depends on it.

Hope in Action

Let’s look back to the Hopi prophecy for hope in these times, when we find ourselves suddenly fallen into a raging river. Many of us find ourselves in fear multiple times per day, but we mustn’t run away from those fears. Instead, we can listen to ourselves and to each other, so that we can heal and release the old wounds that have been triggered through fear. Hanging on to the shore — to old ways of over-consumption, unrelenting busy-ness, self-absorption, etc. — is precisely what inflicts suffering for ourselves, others, and the earth.

In this moment of social distancing, we are given the opportunity to let go of the shore — to get to know who we are and what we are, individually and collectively, as humans who are part of the earth. We can celebrate and give gratitude for those we are with, and those we love, and those we have not met who are far away. We can give gratitude for the air we breathe, the earth that provides nourishment, and for the skies that allow us to see the beauty of the stars and the sun. 

I delight in the response of indigenous people around the world who are filled with joy and loving commitment to our communities — despite having enormous challenges when it comes to access to medical care, clean water, adequate housing, and nutritious food sources. Indigenous people continue to give gratitude for being alive and for being part of Mother Earth. We sing our songs and share our ceremonies, in thanks for what we have.  

All our ancestors, of all cultures, have suffered greatly, prevailing despite horrific diseases, wars, hunger and hardship. When we remember their journey, we can see that this new virus gives us the opportunity to:

  • Re-examine y(our) world view. Is it one of separateness, focused on ourselves, or one of intimate interconnection? Are the organizations we’re creating and supporting doing good in the world — caring for people and Earth?
  • Observe how care and love of self is also care and love of our sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, earth, skies, and water near and far. We are choosing to unconditionally love each other by keeping our social distance so that we don’t spread the virus. During this social distancing period, we get to see that Mother Earth is having space to recover from the burden of our pollution and overuse. Indigenous and non-indigenous scientists, and even you, can witness and measure how quickly the earth herself, her waters, soil, skies, fish, and animals strive to restore health. And so, too, can our human family. 
  • Listen in the silence to discover how little we truly need to be happy. Happiness is not the result of more physical things, it is something we create inside ourselves and our communities, by being in healthy relationship and gratitude with all our relations.  We get to choose life — by caring for people, Earth, and Spirit. 

And so we find that it is our in our hope in action that we move into a generative world view — where there is a home for every heartbeat. This moment can be that gift.

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