…it seems like people want to grab everything for themselves, they don’t care, they just destroy. There will be terrible things that are going to happen. We need to clean up the mess that we created. If we don’t, Mother Earth is going to shake us real hard. We are all breathing this air, which is a part of nature; every living thing on this Earth has to breathe in this air. We have no business destroying any other life. Right now we have terrible earthquakes, terrible wind, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions and now this flooding in Mississippi. And other things are going to happen soon. From now on, things are going to happen fast.” —Thomas Banyacya Hopi 1994
The Pandemic is a Time of Purification, says a Native Elder
Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse has words of warning for the West.
PUBLISHED: THE HILL: Changing America by Cyril Christo, Opinion Contributor June 1, 2020
What if we could awaken to a wider linguistic and conscious awareness, one older than the Western dominant mindset, an indigenous perspective, that in this very fragile coronavirus affected time, would allow a deeper horizon than the one modern civilization has been used to for centuries? Since the Enlightenment especially, Western languages have imposed a mindset of domination, dominion and subjugation over the organic world. We now face a decline ecologically and spiritually brought on by the pandemic.
What we need is an overhaul of our perspective and our narrow relationship to Earth and other species and this is why Tiokasin Ghosthorse, a Lakota Elder, once a computer programmer, is teaming up with a quantum physicist to show exactly what we have been missing all these years, all these centuries, all these millennia.
Our society has been driven by a short-term, quarterly return market mindset in which the subjugation of Earth for profit has created a global catastrophe in the making. We could be looking at the last semi-viable decade, let alone century. Looking short term, as opposed to seven generations down the line, is hardwired into our consumer asphyxiated civilization. We need a radical shift in perspective. The coronavirus, for all its tragedy, is forcing us down that path. We need a true, renewable and renewed relationship with the Earth as opposed to one that extracts, imposes industrial guidelines, conquers wilderness and releases waste back into the environment. The only other alternative is extinction, the human species included.
The world of domination and subjugation is the fourth world, what we have had in place for a long time now and as Tiokasin says, there won’t be many survivors coming out of it. As many native peoples know, we have already entered a new prophetic fifth world. “The Western way of thinking is killing the world,” says Tiokasin.
It is why the children have been speaking by the millions and marching around the world in an unprecedented way. It is why the green movement is taking on added urgency. If we wake up to the crisis upon us, there is no going back to the norm, because the norm was an aberration, a mechanically oriented trauma or an “overwhelming” as the native nations of North America would say. Native perception and language holds a wisdom few of us can ignore in this period in human history when society, financial structures and the future of life on earth are in the balance.