Tag Archives: environmentalists

Spirituality for America, Ed McGaa~Eagle Man

Spirituality For America may be our only hope. It is straight up raw truth.  A must read for everyone. Ed McGaa is a man of great insight and truth.  He points out that “Truth is truth which cannot be altered”.
This book is full of rich history about humans and Spirituality given in story form.  It draws one into what appears to be conversation.  It is about seeking knowledge and recognizing our duty to speak out and make a difference.  It’s about learning to think independently, and removing ourselves from contributing to a system of oppression. The need for truth and ceremonies are what is needed if we are to survivie. Becoming aware of every part of
Nature is a must if we are to be conductors of truth, and find answers to our world crisis.  Observing Nature may be our only saving grace. It is important to know yourself and what you are going to do concerning the environment.

Sandy Nail

Mitakuye Oyasin!
We are all related!

While I’m like many people who find politics and religion fascinating subjects, I don’t generally discuss either in public forums. All too often those discussions devolve into: “Anyone who disagrees with me is eeee-VIL!” and the name-calling and idiocy begins. Plus my tolerance for bigotry is extremely low–from all sides. (bigotry is a sign of a lazy, sloppy intellect and thus, irritates and bores the snot out of me)

That said, I’m going to blog anyway about a book that covers BOTH religion AND politics. What the hell. This is my blog and I think this book is worth reading.

Optimized-SforASeveral things make this book especially interesting.

The first is the author. Eagle Man is a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe and this book is autobiographical in many respects. He covers his military service (Marine combat pilot), his childhood, his world travels and his involvement in Lakota spiritual ceremonies: yuwipi (spirit calling), vision quests, sweat lodge and the Sioux Sun Dance (he participated in six!).

He writes about many fascinating people from history: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Genghis Khan, President Eisenhower, Black Elk and Custer. And people he has known: Ben Black Elk (who served as his father’s translator for Black Elk Speaks), Fools Crow and Bill Eagle Feather.

Throughout his position is that Organized Religion takes people away from their connection to the earth. Because of that, we’re facing environmental disaster. Earth will survive, but people may not. To reverse the trend and begin repairing some of the damage, he suggests a return to Natural Way Spirituality that acknowledges the Creator is a great mystery and people should learn to live together instead of trying to establish dominion over earth and other people.

What makes this book stand out from some others I have read about Native American spirituality is that it is NOT theoretical. The author has walked the walk and now talks the talk based on his personal observations, experiences and historical facts. I can’t say that I agree with all his conclusions, but I don’t fault his methodology. He sounds like somebody I could sit down and have a discussion with.

My only real complaint about the book is that is filled with references to other interesting sounding books and my list of “gotta read that, too” books has about doubled.

Available on Amazon.

T.C. Boyle: When The Killing’s Done

T. C. Boyle doesn’t write the rockin’ rollin’ genre fiction I usually devour. I do like his writing, though. His short stories are a treat. Practically three dimensional. His The Road to Wellville is one of my all-time favorites. I’m not too sure about When The Killing’s Done. The writing is magnificent, as always. There’s just so damned much of it. Now, I’m not complaining about a big, lush, complex novel. Sometimes that’s exactly what I’m craving. Crammed into this one novel are shipwrecks (several), animal rights activists, family tragedies (several), invasive species introduced into fragile habitats (several), sheep ranching, hog killing, government intervention, and history (a lot). Boyle examines each aspect of the story in depth.

“In fact, when the brown tree snake reached the island, it found itself in an ophidian paradise. The only other species of snake on Guam, an innocuous thing the size of an earthworm, was no competition at all, and there were no predators to limit its numbers. The food supply, consisting of some eighteen species of birds found nowhere else in the world, was rich and abundant, and the birds, in common with other insular species, suffered the sort of naivete to predation that had doomed the dodo and its ilk. Boiga irregularis lives in equilibrium with other species in its native environment, and isn’t particularly impressive or dangerous as a snakes go. For one thing, its venom, distributed through fangs located in the back of its throat, is relatively mild and only marginally a threat to humans. For another, it is nocturnal and thus rarely seen, and so reedy– no thicker around than a man’s finger until it reaches a length of three feet or so– as to pale in comparison with some of the snakes of the continental tropics, the cobras, boomslangs, mambas and water moccasins that slither through the herpetophobe’s nightmares.”

That’s how it goes through the entire novel, each aspect lovingly, exhaustively examined and described. I would have liked the book a lot more if it had been non-fiction instead of a novel. The non-fiction elements were a lot more interesting than the fictional characters, who, as per usual with Boyle’s work, were obsessed almost to the point of insanity, except for a few who were actually insane. I found myself growing impatient with the characters, wanting them to hurry up with their little dramas, so I could get back to the interesting stuff about rats and ecosystems and the history of the islands off the coast of California.

As a think-piece, this novel is a must-read. Boyle pulls out all the stops to show how people damage the environment not necessarily through maliciousness, but through carelessness, thoughtlessness and misplaced good intentions. The worst offenders can be those who believe they can fix the damage once it’s done.

When the Killing’s Done won’t end up on my favorites list. I do know some people who’ll find the subject matter fascinating, and a few others who’ll benefit from the message it contains. Just so everyone is clear this isn’t a rockin’ rollin’ strictly entertaining type of read.

 

 

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