I think that this was a great expression of the diversity of our nation. I personally appreciate, greatly, the perspective of Native American Spirituality and incorporate it into my own spirituality. While this man was obviously trying to give some context to what he was about to do, and understanding that he was not a “holy man,” I think he did a fantastic job!
Native American spirituality finds themselves part of the creation, relatives to all that exists: winged ones, four legged ones and two leggeds in this world. There is a connective reality inherent in their perspective that we all could all learn from and incorporate into our worldview. We are all part of each other, of the earth, of the other creatures with whom we share the earth.
I love to read the Tao Te Ching, spiritually I find many of its chapters to be something with which I have a great internal resonance. I have often felt as though our concepts of God are all too personified; I think we choose to view God this way because we are persons with being, so we naturally see all things from this vantage point. Deep down within me, though, there has honestly been a disconnect with that idea. I do not want to try to define God, nor personify God, but I appreciate searching for, encountering and wondering at what it is that connects with the physical world and the intangibilities of our spiritualities.
For that reason, I appreciate the unnamed connectedness that is spoken of in chapter 34.
Enjoy! I will render it from two different translated sources:
|This first translation is by Charles Muller
The Tao is like a great flooding river. How can it be directed to the left or the right?
The myriad of things rely on it for their life but do not distinguish it.
It brings to completion but cannot be said to exist.
It clothes and feeds all things without lording over them.
It is always desireless, so we call it “the small.”
The myriad things return to it and it doesn’t exact lordship
Thus it can be called “great.”
Till the end, it does not regard itself as Great.
Therefore it actualizes its greatness.
|This next translation of the same chapter is by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo.
Great tao overflows
To the left To the right.
All beings owe their life to it
And do not depart from it.
it acts without a name.
It clothes and nourishes all beings
But does not become their master.
Enduring without desire,
it may be called slight.
All beings return to it,
But it does not become their master.
It may be called immense.
By not making itself great,
It can do great things.
Now I haven’t ever been one who is prone to the winter gloomies, but I am especially feeling that way today. I just wish I could crawl back in bed and sleep. My house is a mess, I have a busy day, it is cold, cash flow is low, didn’t win the lotto and my back hurts: put an equal sign next to that and the summation is gloomies. Anyone else feeling that way? On days like today, best not to make any major decisions or to pay too much attention to the grey blah feelings.
thanks to my wife, I have become aware of a PRI (Public Radio International) radio program that consistently teaches me, encourages me, grows and challenges my faith. The Program Being, moderated by Krista Tippett is that show. I now listen to these interviews with great scientific, philosophic and religious thinkers weekly. You can download the podcasts for free in your Itunes.
I just listened to the interview with Xavier Le Pichon, the French geophysicist who discovered Tectonic plates and how they work. This devout and thoughtful man almost left science because he felt that he was focusing so much time on his research that he had become blind to all the suffering in this world. So he and his family, at the suggestion of a very wise priest, moved in at the L’Arche community, which is where mentally handicapped adults and others live in an intentional community supporting one another. Le Pichon’s interview, which is entitled The fragility of Humanity offers insights and clarity on how making room for human fragility is an important part of our evolution and that it is when we make room for and bring such people to the center of community and communities, that we discover some of the richest realities of what it means to be human.
This is worth the time you will spend listening to it. I have already listened to it 3 times and I intend to again.