We begin a new book today in NW, Nature’s Way: Native Wisdom for Living in Balance With the Earth by Ed McGaa (Eagle Man).
Each chapter uses simple observation of nature, describing an animal or plant that acts as a guide to Truth: the Eagle’s powers of observation, the Tiger’s struggle for freedom, the Bear’s knowledge of medicinal plants, the Lion’s gift for male and female balance, the Orca’s intuition, the Wolf’s wisdom – one among many, the Owl’s pursuit of truth, the cottonwood tree’s lesson of global warming, the deer – thinning of the ozone layer, the buffalo – mass extinctions, and the rat – overpopulation facing the planet.
“Eagle is the symbol of observation. The Sioux consider it to be the creature that best symbolizes immense wisdom. It learns from all that it sees. It is the eyes of the all-seeing Wakan Tanka , the Great Spirit, the mysterious unknown entity that created all things. When the Sioux see an eagle flying, they are reminded of Wakan Tanka’s observation of their actions - both what they do and what they don’t, both good deeds and bad.”
Ed says he rejects superstition and supernaturalism,
Satans, Devils and their various forms of associates, witches on brooms, werewolves (despite Papal Edicts), curses, conjurations, ‘holy orders’, ‘holier writs’, pigs that fly and let us not leave out the Abominable Snow Man or ‘Sasquatch’.
The white man’s “conjurations” offend the indigenous sensibility, which he says is reluctant to comment on the unobserved. Nonetheless, “a Great Higher Power, Great Mystery and/or Great Spirit exists and furthermore it is quite obviously, benevolent.” Quite obviously? Hmmm…
Note to STUDENTS: Remember, I’d like to know today your general midterm topic, & whether you’ll be doing a presentation or an essay. Also: today’s quiz invites your participation in identifying relevant questions from ch.2. Use the comments section to suggest them.