Tag Archives: Earth

The Human Endeavor

Author Monty Joynes

By some genetic design, I was made a creative artist—a writer—and it was incumbent on me to document my psychological generation and to look back at my parents’ generation and to look forward to those of my children and grandchildren.  My role, as I matured into it, was to try to make some sense of the American journey from about 1917 onward.  At some point along the way, in my early forties, I realized that I was investigating the journey of humanity, not just the American experience, and that the historic drama that I was relating in my novels, plays, and poems was also a metaphysical search for the soul, the common essence that binds us together as living beings.

I do not know if my dedication to a meaningful literature will change social evolution or if the works will even be recognized or read.  I do know, however, that I am an agent for such change and that I am not alone in this mission.  In fact, I see evidence of my antecedents throughout literary history, both in fiction and non-fiction; and I recognize today others, like myself, who have been genetically charged to contribute to the psychological maturity of a human race—a race now run so fast and hard that it is in danger of spiritual heart failure.

To love the truth about life is a spiritual experience that supersedes intellect.  The deep felt awareness of the nature of being is available to everyone without benefit of books or clergy.  It is as available to individuals in the most remote primitive places as it is to philosophy graduate students at the most prestigious universities.

Photo by Pat Joynes

Peace occurs in life, not to life.  Inner peace is the highest state of consciousness.  There is no intellect above it.  No higher achievement.  First, there is inner peace, and then follows right action.  Accept inner peace, and then see what questions arise.  Is it profound enough?  Will it make me happy?  First, experience.  Will it end misery, and crime, and war?  First, experience.  How can I keep a job if I’m at peace all the time?  First, experience.  Will I find my perfect mate?  Will my children respect me?  First, experience.

NAKED INTO THE NIGHT

In my literature, I have attempted to illuminate the nature of the experience of inner peace in a contemporary culture.  In the Booker Series especially, I have attempted to show how an individual can live from the place of conscious awareness that yields inner peace and still function productively in a society that is at the effect of circumstances and egocentric fears.  If it is impossible for the individual to live from the reality of inner peace, then the evolution of the mind and all its concepts about God or anything else has been a failed experiment, and we, too, as a species will pass like dinosaurs from the Earth.  What then is now truly important to human endeavor?

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An Earth Day Question: Is It Possible to Walk in Beauty?

Earth Day was set as a time for human beings to reflect on their relationship to the natural world.  In my fifth Booker Series novel (as yet unpublished)  the character Booker summarizes what he has learned about the Earth Mother from Joseph, the Pueblo Indian Wisdom Keeper.  From Psalm Maker: The Journal of Booker Jones, herein is shared the lesson.

          If you take from Mother Earth, you need more than permission.  If you honor the relationship, you need to give back an offering.  There has got to be mutual consent and mutual exchange.  The act of honor must be central to awareness.  A potter takes clay and leaves something of value behind.  A painter takes pigments and leaves an offering.  A sculptor selects stone and removes it to his workplace, but he must leave behind something to fill the void.  He must balance one gift with another.  What will he put in place to honor the stone or the tree that he seeks to sculpt?  Will he sacrifice blue corn or his favorite shirt or blanket?  What will he give to be an honorable human being?

          How do we live with respect for all life so that all is safe and secure?  Who is responsible for the beauty of being?  Why must any people be made to beg for human rights?  When did respect fade from consciousness?  Power sacrifices respect to desire.  Respect is as gentle on the peoplescape as it is on the landscape.

         

          If everyone is aware, no one needs to shout.  Respect has a voice that speaks quietly.  When one culture, race, or religion dominates the Earth, respect for difference disappears, and within this loss is also the demise of humanity.

          What is indigenous should never be abrogated.  Do not remove dignity off the face of any people.  Dignity is the body language of respect.  A tree has dignity until it is chopped down.  A mountain has dignity until it is exploited.  A bear has dignity in its habitat.  A human being has dignity in the space of freedom.  Dignity is a right of natural law.  Where there is no dignity, nature itself has been violated.

         

Photo by Pat Joynes

     The man’s Indian brothers and sisters believe that the Earth is already in transition to another world, another great cycle of Earth habitation.  If the Earth is cleansed again, as the Hopi prophecies foretell, life will emerge into its fourth re-creation, the Fourth World.  For many people this bitter medicine is best taken with averted eyes and held breath.

         

          

         As Anglos, the writer’s people are perceived by the Indians as having no natural manners.  We have lost respect for our Earth Mother, and thus we cannot walk in beauty or in dignity.  All right behavior for Indians begins with honoring Creation in the metaphors of Father Sky and the Earth as Mother.

         

         There are Indian records that are sacred to Native Americans.  These documentary artifacts have been safeguarded and preserved for thousands of years, back to the dawn of consciousness.  These records say that human beings are star-born, that our origins are in a cluster of seven stars, the seven sisters. 

NASA Photo of the Pleiades

Eurocentric rational minds found this concept to be absurd, even contemptuous, so the Indians put their cosmic views back into the box.  In 21st century contemplation, the possibility does not seem so far fetched.  And yet, anthropologists and evolutionists continue to ignore the knowledge of indigenous, land-based peoples, pre-supposing their science to be superior to native superstitions.  The attitude allows them to walk in poverty among great treasures that they cannot see. 

        The Anglos ponder and speculate for their lifetimes on things that have been known to Indian medicine men for centuries. The Indians have waited patiently for the white men to ask serious questions, but Anglo pride has always prevented the humility required of wise men.  If a person comes in humility to an Indian holy man—a wisdom keeper—and demonstrates devotion to understanding, the knowledge of the ages will be shared.  This is the writer’s experience.  He, a white man, ignorant and without resources, defenseless in mind and purpose, came into the tribal circle and was given the great gifts of new sight and new hearing.

         

      

Photo by Pat Joynes

        To walk with awareness and insight in the natural world of Creation is the walk-in-beauty that Indians sing about.  Perhaps it was also the experience of Whitman and Emerson and the poets and psalm makers of history.  Certainly, no world teacher could be apart from the experience and still be able to demonstrate Truth.

          On this day, in this journal, this man wants to affirm that all people have the capacity to walk in beauty.  If a man like himself, born in pride and affluence, and trained to objectify Creation, can be re-created in one body over one lifetime, the same is possible for anyone.  The question, for this man, and for each individual, is whether or not we will surrender our sense of separate self in each and every moment of existence.

        In the kiva with Joseph, my Pueblo brother and mentor, there is no meeting of minds.  We do not connect through an association of ideas or concepts.  The practice is that we come together in the space of the quiet mind and enjoy communion on a level of awareness beyond the mind.  Vision is not dependent on magic.  Ritual and ceremony are only disciplines designed to disengage the mind so that true awareness is possible.  To meet in this holy place beyond the references of the conditioned mind is pure joy, pure satisfaction, pure love, pure release.  In this experience is sacred bonding and real relationship.  Peace is the original gift of Creation, and it is inherent within us all.

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Filed under Native American, Writing