Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Look further ...
There are a few things to be aware of in this modern age. One is, you would not normally recognize the modern mixed breed of Native American who has either been cut off from the old style of native life, and the intermarriage of native Americans to Europeans does make it easier to hide among the English.
Many, have in fact, been separated by two or three generations with Eurpean names, and many do not understand the turmoil they must deal with in natural behavior of Traditional Indian Values verses European Industrial Values. Some adapt, and some become the butt of societies successful citizens when they are unable to cope, so they become alcoholics, and drug users who vanish into the failures of societies losers.
Given the change to adapt, the needs of the present being the important driving factor, and all of humanity having the natural instinctual drives that sometimes blind clear thought, or impair ones ability to correctly discern from what is proper behavior, verses instinctual behavior, even the European Industrial behavior candidates sometimes cannot function in their own society.
Could it be the spirits of ancient ancestors connecting to the modern souls of their 20th or 30th generation? Got me. That is an unproven connection of genetic coding and being able to access it in the living body, so as much as we prove genetic knowledge, there is no scientific evidence to date.
Yeah, there are sub clans that have been separated from the tribe, and only a few allow those who have assimulated into white society to return.
Being from a suburban community, between NY city and Philadelphia, there is little bigotry in this type of community so long as citizens maintain minimum obligations to educate children, pay taxes, and maintain a home in the traditional manner of the community ... Natives then become invisible. Kind of like most Aikido practitioners who live in most communities.
I just got back from a trip to Alaska, in June '02, and I saw the difference of the natives there, verses the natives on the east coast of North America, and the way they have adapted to the new standard of living in modern society. There were more simularities to the Old Japanese than the Natives of East Coast.
It was not only in the style of meeting house construction, but also in many of the native and natural beliefs, how they came about, and the meeting of settlers in the 1700s and 1800s.
The point of this story?
Well ... As much as it appears that the hairy Japanese were intermarried to the Asian population, it also appears that the some of these people settled in the West Coast of North America too, intermarriage to native population.
In the spiritual sense of creating a balance for the body by performing religious ceremonys, or acts of religious faith, there is a separation from acceptence of nature in the judeo/christian faith in that their Gods control and intercede in their behalf or overcome forces of nature, where the acceptence of nature, and working with the natural balance of nature is the way to internalize one's own balance.
In my experience, we are driven to overcome nature with technology, population, and development of infrastucture that comes from Manifest Destiny, verses the need to work for the present needs that allow one to live within the natural environment, working for the comfort that insures survival, acquireing the minimum needs, and securing the safety of ancestors for seven or more generations to come.
Most of the modern spirituality is changed to fit the modern needs to fit within society, but instead of connecting to family with genetic blood links which are contained in direct blood lines there is a dilution and separation into the modern European Industrial Society that becomes the normal economic need to survive. Hence, few people want, or care to live on the farm, and the few that do lose touch with the original connection to nature.
The Spirit seeks to reconnect to its source of balance. Sometimes, it is found with other religious pursuits, sometimes it is found in training in Martial Arts, but in the contrast of seeking to satisfy our need for balance, the prospect of monitary renumeration becomes the priority to buy balance, verses seeking it within our own balance of spirituality.
There is a wealth of information in studying the old legends of the North American Indians.
There is a wealth of knowledge in the lessons of Aikido, as there is in learning the basis of religions that influenced most martial arts, but finding the balance of your own spirit may require more than mere monetary renumeration.
Where I could not understand what O'Sensei was writing about in studying Japanese religion and legends, it became perfectly clear when I began to study to spiritual and native legends/myths that began to open my mind in terms that I could understand because of how and where I grew up.
There are many storys on line, but only about twenty percent of what is practiced, believed or taught to the children of recognized Native Americans is brought to the public eye, but what is available should add to your picture of finding balance in not only Aikido, but in your understanding of what is good for your life for seven generations to come.
Native born in the soil of this land, one who lives in America should become familiar with the things that connect them to the land, the spirits, and why they become the way they are.
I just thought my journey might help some of you who have become mixed up with the 'melting pot' of modern america ... the good ol' USA.