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Classic vs Core Shamanism
Ethics of Spellcasting
Ethics of the Native Sacred Point of View
Following Others Discussion
Galactic Gateways
Harvesting the Fruits of Aging Discussion
Ley Lines & Vortexes
Mazes, Labyrinths & Spiral Discussion
Mother Earth
Praying Peace Discussion
Seeing through Soft Eyes
Soul Retrieval Discussion
Soul vs Spirit Discussion
Spirit Names & Their Medicine


Ethics of the Native Sacred Point of View
By CinnamonMoon

We're all familiar with the term 'ethical behavior' and it's something that each of us must define for ourselves…how we see it is what determines whether or not we can abide by our social standards or become deviant to them. In Native Society all individuals hold the Sacred Point of View as a way of life wherein all of life is a part of that view. Outside Native society we find many cases where someone wants to hold others to a higher standard than they do themselves. Many want to think they're the exception to the rule and lose sight of their own role focusing on others instead. Many individuals are greedy or lusting after personal gains. In Native culture that is the first thing one would look at…the self as we relate to the whole where the wealth and sustenance are shared equally. That said, I'd like to address an overview of the Native perspective on ethics which seem to be at question in this thread.

Ethical standards are built into the cultural heritage and at one with the paths individuals walk, the roles they play and the code of conduct they adhere to. In Native perception there is no difference between the spiritual and mundane, it's all One and the dimensions are layers of life. The spirit worlds are just as much a part of everyday life as the physical world is. You hear the term "All My Relations" constantly because the world is one big family in these cultural eyes and that includes spiritual entities as much as humans or other lifeforms. In that light, stepping from one dimensional realm to another is merely a shift of focus through higher conscious awareness. We look here or look there and see whatever it is we need to heed. We tune in and raise our awareness to another dimension when we need to hear the voice of guidance and seek counsel. In what we see and hear we respond to it with a greater depth of understanding because we see it as part of the Web of Life. It is often quoted: "What we do to the Web of Life we do to ourselves"…a statement that's along the same premise as the Golden Rule. Therefore, in life everything is sacred and to be honored.

Honor is the ethical code of conduct and if someone is not honorable they will be banished from the social structure of the tribe…or in today's standards as it applies outside of tribal society that would be banishment from the community. The laws of the Tribe/community are set within the premise of honoring all of life and our relationship to it. They take into consideration that we are the caretakers of Mother Earth and that we are responsible for Her well-being and health. We cannot own Her, nor the land where we reside, we are servants to Her and the environment as well as all its inhabitants. It is therefore our 'duty' to pass that caretaking on to the children and so in this way they are raised with the same ethical teachings and approaches following the guidance of their Elders. Even in Western society there is the old adage: "Mind your Elders" but in Western thinking that's not enforced nor is it given much respect these days, yet in tribal culture it's the norm. It is the Elders who set the standards based on their wisdom of experience and leadership by example. All who are younger than them will adhere without question or they will seek a Council of Elders to bring forth a grievance. To question an Elder is considered very disrespectful. To ignore an Elder is unethical conduct within the community and would be upheld by the community to enforce a banishment if the individual chose not to correct their behavior honorably.

Now environmentally it is taught the legacy we leave behind us carries over into the next 7 generations that will follow. Before we take anything from the Earth Mother there is the ethical duty of needing to preserve enough of what we seek to see to the well-being of those 7 generations and their needs. Cutting down a tree, seven trees would be passed before one could be taken so there would be enough for others who come behind us. Once that is seen to the needs of the moment can be met with honor. Honor and duty are part of the Native ethical composition of harvesting the sustenance we draw from Mother Earth in any given form that might take. A resource near depletion would be honored and tended rather than allowing it to go extinct. Nothing is harvested without first honoring the spirit of whatever it is we are seeking to nourish ourselves by. Be that an animal, mineral, or plant, each kill or harvest is taken with gratitude for the sacrifice of life that is made and the sustaining consumption. If the taking would deplete the supply then there would be no taking. The ‘taking’ is done ritually to honor that sacrifice and by that I mean that there is an offering made, permission sought, and gratitude through prayerful action in the process. Since lifeforms are involved the permission to harvest that life is requested of the lifeform or an offering made before a hunt. If the individual harvesting does not feel it is freely given through their sensory insights they will move to the next like source and ask again repeating the process until permission is received. They are functioning on an attuned sensory level connected to the spirits that inhabit life with them so they Know when that permission is granted. And they will continue until it is if it takes a great deal of effort then that is the expenditure required to honor the taking. Since everything that exists has a spirit that gives it a life force, if a plant is taken, an animal slain, or minerals extracted the life force is altered and/or sacrificed for the consumption of the individual or social group…it is taken only to sustain, not to serve greed. It is seen as deserving of honoring it’s life force. Wealth is seen in the wealth of the life force within the environment…the health of the community, and the greater good of the whole. The circle of life sustains itself but not without honor. Without honor and a sense of duty that circle becomes contaminated, toxic, and self-destructive to the point where all of life suffers and excessive consumption results in the extinction of that life force. We not only see this in our environments but in our social structures and cultural governments too. Character is walking in honor among Native People and therefore it is part of their ethical code of conduct as each individual holds strong pride in walking honorably. This is something we all have within us regardless of our cultural heritage but it is pronounced in the Native People. Pride is not seen as ego, it is seen in the conduct of the individual being honorable. Everything comes down to honor. The character of an individual goes beyond our outer personality to the principles we stand on and the convictions we uphold or put into practice through the actions we take. Ethical behavior in Native terms means that’s just what is adhered to…walking the face of the Earth Mother practicing respectful motivations and the right of all living beings (in whatever form they take or manner in which they walk) to co-exist in a harmonious state. It is said we are to ‘walk softly upon the Mother’ since this serves the whole. It is taught that All will benefit thus it becomes a code of ethical conduct to do this…softly with respect, firmly upheld through honoring our convictions through the Sacred Point of View. Let’s look at the ethical code of conduct and how that affects the human side of our nature.

Native People do have conflicts, issues that call for resolution do arise. When this happens they are taken to a tribunal council or at the very least to an Elder. It is the Elders who are considered to have the greatest wisdom within the community and it is their advice that is sought with great respect for that wisdom. The Elders are the ones who comprise the Tribal Council and they are often consulted individually depending on the size of the issue at hand, their knowledge and expertise, and whether it’s affecting an individual, perhaps a party of 2-3 individuals or the entire tribe. The Elder’s word is final and like the jurisdiction of the courts in modern society, a decision is obeyed without question. If the word of an Elder seems unreasonable it can go to the Council of Elders for a higher decision to be upheld. That Council will first hear the matter at hand, then they will consider the conclusion drawn by the original Elder before they enter the Silence to draw greater insight and each member will share afterward in a council to draw a unified conclusion of their own. To disrespect the decision of the Elder or the Council Fires of the Tribal Council is cause to be asked to leave the community. Their wisdom is revered as they have lived long and experienced much. Because they understand the foundations and principles of tribal ethics and how to enter into the Sacred Point of View they utilize that knowledge to come to a fair decision. To ask for such consideration and advice and then disrespect it because you don’t like what is offered is wasting their time and insulting their honor. That decision is not made in haste nor is it achieved without deep introspection. Therefore the disrespect is seen as dishonor to the individual that shuns the decision. There is a ritual way an Elder or Council of Elders will conduct themselves to come to a conclusion of the truth in any matter. By isolating themselves to set aside their daily work to serve the individual/s involved they will sit with the matter at hand. The first step is to focus on that issue as they enter the Silence and consult the Sacred Directions to gain a full perspective. They will not step out of the process until it is completed so to ask for this time and effort and not show respect is a grave insult. In the process all points of view are examined to see the root of the matter, to see the needs of those involved, and that all needs will be met fairly. What is sought is a course of action and through it the lessons that will bring about understanding and ethical conduct as a result of the experiences. The persons involved in that decision coming down do not question the discernment, they follow it and learn in the process. The Elder/s will not explain the decision, they will direct the course of action that is to be taken and through adherence to the decision the lesson/s unfold by experience. In this way the individual learns and chooses a right course of action based on the experience and in-sight gained by it. What are those lessons? Well, most often a course of action is determined to place one individual in the shoes of another so that they can understand that path walked and the needs it calls into play. In this perspectives start to change, an understanding and greater perspective brings on transformation, and it brings about a unified attitude.

Sometimes the advice given allows an individual to shed expectations and come to see that there are other ways desires can play out. For instance, a woman barren to conceiving a child might still nurture children through a role as a Healer or Storyteller or teaching them crafts. Given direction to do so for a time, which could be anywhere from days, Moons, or a full cycle of seasons, the individual need dictates it. Her need for a child of her own is replaced by the greater need of the children for what she has to offer and in that she has more than one child, she has many to love and nurture. In the decision the Elder/s come to the focus is on honor in character and motives are changed for the better with a resulting harmony and peace of the spirit within. With the experiences presented by the Elders an individual will come to honor the roles others play and the efforts they put into them. There is an increased ability to see the burdens people bear for the sake of the whole and to assist to lighten those burdens when our hands are free to do so. A willingness to contribute takes place and with that comes our ethical behavior and the respect for the course life is taking. We walk a little gentler on the Earth Mother, we care about a greater number than just the self, and we see how we can be a contributing factor to the betterment of our social community simply by doing the best we can. When we walk in good character and honorably we walk with Integrity. When we walk honoring and respecting life in all its multitude of forms and see a planetary family we walk with right Intent. When we give whatever we have to give in any moment and to the best of our ability we are walking with Impeccability. The 3-I’s serve well to walk through each day with all the challenges and blessings it holds. They serve to remind us of our ethical conduct and the actions we take then serve the greater whole. We see what needs doing and we do it with conviction because we approach life from a Sacred Point of View. It is the Sacred Point of View that determines our ethics…be we an individual, a community, a country or global populace. We have to choose to see this way, but it certainly serves to bring the best of light to matters and therefore the greatest clarity to any given issue or situation one is faced with. Whether one fully understands the scope of an action, by experience we will come to our validations and this approach validates in the results. We see where we stand, where others stand, and what in truth needs to be done. We see for ourselves, we uphold what we see, and we walk with conviction because we know it is right based on the balance within the whole. Our conduct becomes contributive based on our convictions and destructive based on the lack of knowing what they are or the disregard for our responsibility to be a contributor.

While it seems a very simple way to walk honorably and ethically to me, I know not everyone will embrace that but it is a simple and beautiful way to approach life, it’s how I walk my path. Now simple may seem easy but that’s not always the case. Sometimes simply doing what we see to be right is some of the hardest effort we’ll have to produce. Sometimes the right thing is to take a stand and follow what Spirit shows us through the Sacred Point of View and sometimes that means we are called to defend it.

To hold the ‘right’ or ‘true’ Sacred Point of View we have to be willing to set aside our personal bias and see the reality of what we’re dealing with. Only then can we witness the needs that must be met, and come to understand a willingness to do what must be done. Only then can we find the conviction of that Truth and uphold it. Others may not understand us, our methods of reaching that clarity, but the results of what we produce will bring the validations of the Truths we uphold. In serving the greater whole we must see the greater picture, even to the extent of going beyond our immediate community into the greater expanses that touches. Seeking the truth in things ethically and morally means we have to seek clarity and from as many perspectives as we can. We, as spiritual pathwalkers along Native paths are taught that we must look at all issues through the Seven Sacred Directions, then Dance the Wheel for more details if we need them. We do not just look at the ones that favor us as an individual, and we consult our Guides, the Ancient Ones, and Spirit to do this, and then respect what we are shown. That sometimes puts us in learning experiences too, but we grow and we serve better then – a humbled price to pay but a good one in the end. In holding to that teaching we see we must be responsible for doing that…for finding a way to enter the Silence, to sit with Spirit, and be shown and guided. In walking our paths and undergoing spiritual experiences we learn to trust in the guidance we are given for it validates itself. Those validations compliment the lessons and teachings we are given and we see for ourselves how we are drawn through tapestries in life. And this way we see it is up to us to choose to follow that guidance with conviction or ignore it and suffer our consequences. When guidance is at play the truth is always at the core. We are never led astray other than by our egos. If we need a lesson through experience then guidance will show us through it. If we do not honor guidance, like our Elders, we lose honor and we do not honor the path we walk…we end up talking our walk instead of walking our talk. Regardless of whether others understand that or not, we, those who follow the Native path, cannot let the opinions of others color what we know to be true in our hearts and spirits. Those who walk in a like-manner will understand and they are the ones we seek to keep company with. Walking in this way we uphold our ethics and in that we honor our path, Spirit, and All Our Relations. We walk un-swayed by others because we walk in a right manner. Walking in a right manner means we can see, think, and feel for ourselves what is right and contributing to the greater whole and then do what must be done by responding to it. It is not a weighted responsibility, it is merely the ability to see and respond, it is right to do so. When we hold a Sacred Point of View we see clearly where others must honor their own ability to respond. We see where there are those who walk in a Sacred Point of View and those who walk thinking of self, of feeding an ego, of not sustaining the whole and where greed is out to destroy. Sometimes that whole is sustained by one individual and sometimes by many, and we just might be the one to make a positive difference.

I have seen situations and individuals that need healing and I have been among them at times myself. I have learned in the process that it is Spirit that brings that through us, through our mistakes and lessons learned, through the Shadows into the Light of Truth and that it’s not always easy even if the method itself is simple.

I’ve seen those desperate for healing that are ignored or ridiculed or shunned in some manner by others who claim to be spiritual people. They are not seen for their cries are annoying and so others will shut them out. I’ve seen those who cry and will not respond to their own needs when it’s up to them to ask for help and apply themselves to their own healing, instead they are trapped in the pain and cannot move beyond it. Until they open to healing they cannot be healed, it is their choice, but I see those who try to comfort them and become drained in the efforts. And I see those who try to force them open, to pry them apart when they are clutching their wounds. Isn’t that what happens in all sorts of circumstances throughout the world? I see it all the time. I see this in individuals, communities, regions, countries, governments, and global issues. Ethics, honor, character, a Sacred Point of View and walking a path based in that conviction will allow each of us to contribute what we can where we can because it is the right thing to do. Each individual in their own way contributes to the well-being or destruction of the quality of life around them. It's up to each of us to choose to walk with a Sacred Point of View and guidance and to follow. I do all I can to honor what I’m shown so that my touch serves to make a difference. I may not always like what I’m asked to do but I will always follow guidance and do the best I can at any given moment. It is what works for me and while humbling experiences in clumsy actions at times come to pass I do grow from them and learn to embrace that I’m still human and need to grow. I can honor my lessons because the Sacred Point of View allows me to see them for what they are. Teamwork, leadership, governing bodies, what-have-you, this is how I would walk with any of them. Native teachings bring the ethical honoring of each individual and part of that means we need to respect the fact that they have lessons to learn just as we do and that means we need to exercise tolerance until those lessons arise. We are taught that we cannot force feed anyone, that if someone is not hungry for what we offer they will regurgitate it. We can see when someone does this, they begin to argue with us or turn away. This does not mean we are wrong to be following guidance or honoring it, it means they are closed to seeing that perspective. They must walk their path and where it is taking them and we need to honor that. We can certainly offer the Sacred Point of View to them, but it is their choice to embrace it or not. Most often, if they will open themselves to hearing it they will see the truth it holds but we can’t make someone do that. All we can do is honor them and ask their permission to speak it to them. After we've spoken we then we must honor their choice to embrace what we shared and discern their course of action. Ethically our own course of action comes from there. Sometimes to honor the path of another we need to stand on our conviction and watch them go or defend the environment if called to do so. That’s not easy, but the cause to respond is a simple one to conclude and that will dictate the actions we take. It is our duty to respond, but it is not our duty to carry the responsibility of others who are able to carry their own weight. We are to contribute to assist those who need our help and what we can give, but we are not to do their work for them. Because of this we must honor that they too strive to grow and wait for them to come to us and ask for our help. Then we are to discern through a Sacred Point of View and the guidance that brings what that help will be. In honoring the paths we all walk we walk our own with honor and ethically through our Sacred Point of View and by entering the Silence with Spirit and guidance


Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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