world and the Earth are two separate entities. The Earth is the
creation of a higher being, who we address as “Creator.” The
world is something that human beings have created, a layer over
top of the Earth – and this layer is endangering us all.
The Earth – Mother Earth – ws’tqamu (oo-SIT-ah-moo)
– this is where we live, along with all the rest of creation.
Every Nation has its Creation story; some have similarities
between Nations, while others are very different. No one Nation
has the whole story; instead, all Nations carry a piece of the
true sacred story, and only when all the pieces are brought
together will we fully understand it.
The Ancestors maintained a relationship with
the land. They did this by engaging all of their senses to
observe what was around them: they watched it, touched it,
smelled it, heard it, and tasted it. They also used a sixth
sense that we have all but lost, connecting with the land around
them in a spiritual manner.
The ancient Ancestors of every person on the
Earth today saw themselves as being part of the Earth – part of
the land around them. Today we think of these Ancestors as
primitive, superstitious pagans. Yet here we are, years later,
so they must have been doing something right to keep going,
generation upon generation, until we are here today.
The Earth will always be ws’tqamu. It will
continue to nourish the animals, the plant life, the insects,
the winged beings, the finned beings, and the tiny beings we
cannot see. However, today we have created another layer, that
we call “the world.” This layer is artificial, painted on over
the underlying Earth, but we have chosen to believe it is the
only aspect that matters. This allows us to create a totally
artificial life, based on unrestricted use of limited natural
resources. This “world” creates a sort of camouflage that does
not allow us to see the damage we are causing, because we have
removed ourselves so far from contact with nature. We surround
ourselves with a false understanding that all is well – and when
our attention is drawn to something that differs with that, we
turn our head and hide our eyes, so we do not have to see and
perhaps change our comfortable life. We trust the “Powers That
Be” to be good stewards of the land on our behalf, and by doing
this we give up our responsibility for our fellow creatures and
Unfortunately, the “Powers That Be” in “the
world” do not care about the Earth. Greed, power, jealousy, and
money are how they gain control, and thus feed their ego. That
is what they care about. They will continue to tell us that all
is well, so they can continue to maintain their control. They
will take advantage of our blindness, and our separation from
all that is around us.
So what happened? How did we become so
segregated or removed from being part of Mother Earth, and take
on the role of being superior to her? I think the first step in
taking ourselves out of nature came when we invented walls.
True, these walls protected us, allowing us to feel safe and
sheltered, but we have created a situation today where people
can live out their lives without ever having to go outside, and
that makes us feel isolated and apart from Nature. If you try to
envision a life without walls, I’ll bet it makes you
uncomfortable, but this was how life was for most of our
existence. Our Ancestors survived without such walls. They were
intimately connected with their surroundings, they felt it, they
knew it, they lived it… and they relied on it.
Over the last 500 years we have begun to
destroy everything around us. We have all participated in a huge
historical trauma… and we are still doing it today. We have lost
sight of the earliest wisdom. To change this, we must first heal
ourselves, and get back in touch with where we came from. All
the wisdom we need is readily available – a gift from our
Since the beginning of time, as our
Ancestors walked the Earth they were students. Their greatest
lessons were to respect and honour all living things, and to
maintain a certain humbleness, as we are no greater than any
other living being on Mother earth. Be it an ant or an eagle, we
are all related, for we are created – like everything else –
from the four sacred elements of Water, Air, Fire, and Earth.
Long before modern science created the complicated Periodic
Table of the Elements, these four elements were sufficient to
help us understand how we fit with the rest of the Earth:
We are Water. Water is the blood that
flows through our veins and fills our cells, and it is the
glue that holds all life together. No living creature on
this planet can survive with Water.
The Air is the breath of Mother Earth,
and the Air we breathe and exhale is a physical substance
that binds us together and links us with trees, plants,
animals, birds, worms… we share the Air with all other
We are Fire – the energy that runs
through and connects all living beings – and all of that
energy comes from the Sun, and allows all creatures to move,
to grow, and to reproduce.
Finally, we are Earth, for every bit of
nutrition that we consume originally comes from the soil,
and all creatures depend on that source of nutrition,
directly or indirectly.
When we take the time to walk in Nature, we
see and feel more clearly. Our senses are awakened. We see
natural colours. We smell the Earth. We feel the softness and
smoothness. We hear natural sounds. If we know enough about
Nature, we may even taste her bounty. We become in tune with our
surroundings, because we are being welcomed by the Earth - and
the spiritual connection is once again made. Even
though we have created all these layers upon layers, Earth still
recognizes us as a part of it.
Today, thankfully, we are beginning to
awaken. Concerned people are coming together everywhere as we
try to find a new direction, and bring together the next 500
years. We must all talk together – no more Red, Black, Yellow,
or White, just a gathering of the Five-Fingered Ones. We must
remember how we live within the circle of life, and we must
bring it out for our children, and for those beyond the seventh
generation. We must live it together – One Voice, One Song.
This post is a
synthesis of a number of notes and things I found amongst
Muin'iskw's writings. We frequently discussed the difference
between the Earth and the world between ourselves, and with our
friends in many Circles, and it even became the basis for
our song, "One Voice, One Song." We eventually recorded this
song, and it may be one of the most important songs we did. A
link to our YouTube video is below.