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Monday, January 19, 2015

RAD: Guest Post: Levi Eagle Feather Sr.

Part Two: RAD
by Levi Eagle Feather Sr.

"as long as he's not bleeding he's fine
its just that
there are so damn many ways to bleed
that at times he's not really sure.....
but what the fuck
he's still standing" 
John Trudell
         The Western narrative sucks for a lot of people. Due mostly to the fact that the actual living of it comes nowhere near the glory of its telling. Not even close!
         For those of us who are descended from the original caretakers of this land the facts of living this reality get pretty bad at times. The more we become aware and understand why they get even worse and sometimes legendarily so!
         By default, those of us who got adopted out, we play a role in all of this. Our role may not be living on a reservation or even living within an American Indian community like a lot of our relatives do. But wherever we live, whatever we have done and whatever we have achieved has been accomplished outside the safety and comfort of our cultural heritage, our birthright. Needless to say, in this we have had no input or choice in the matter.
         This we share in common with all other American Indians alive today. No matter the location or condition of our social status or living situation, we are living the consequence of that reality. We lack our cultural heritage, our birthright and choice in the matter. In my opinion we are not better off because of it!
         I have never accepted my piece of this consequence as being a good thing for me. I didn't then and I still don't. For me it was not only something shitty which happened to me, but was for a long time beyond my ability to comprehend. In real time people were allowed to fuck me over and get away with it. Without any repercussions for them or reparation to me and it was considered to be something good I was expected to appreciate. It sucked then and when it happens now, it still does! 
         I spent eleven years of my early years resenting this and fighting back the best I could the best I knew how. When I was old enough and fed up with it enough I ran. It happened and this is how I dealt with it!
         Nothing much changed on the front end of that equation. The only change has been on the back end of it. How I choose to deal with it today. I don't run as much as I used too.
         I realize not everyone had my kind of experience. This is a good thing. For those of you who did I would like to think it's gotten better for you by now. Not everyone reacted to their experience the same way that I did either. This also I think is a good thing! I'm glad you didn't. I'm not a person who could wish a bad experience on anyone. For those of you who had less than a stellar experience. I would like to think you're finding your way and are doing better now.
         Regardless of what I think or how I felt about it. I was still raised to fit in with the Western narrative. To follow along and feed my energy and effort into the confusion and madness of it's dominence and influence. I've never been successfull at it though. At least not willingly and definitely not with any grace or much finesse. 
         Yes, I went to different schools and got their paper. I even went into it's military, eventually learning some valuable skills, eventually picking up trade experience. I've had several different kinds of jobs and occupations because of this. I've even experienced family and belonging along the way in a variety of places, situations and settings. But overall I never really fit, never liked it or felt like it was me and I suffered because of this.
         This is how being westernized, affected me. I think, it affects a majority of us American Indian folk in this way to varying degrees. I think it affects us, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Not always in the same ways on the same levels or to the same degree necessarily, but I think it affects us all. Not so that we can fit in, but so we can't resist it.
         The roots of the suck we experience are not rooted in a race, an ethnicity, a religion, or a creed though. Nor is it rooted in the color of anyone's skin. In my opinion it is rooted in a skewed way of thinking. A skewed way of perceiving reality. We are taught to think this way and we learn it and adapt to it!
         John Trudell, a Dakota relative of mine, broke our malfunction down this way.

            I've come to the conclusion that there are two perceptions of reality.
There's a religious perception of reality and there's a spiritual perception of reality.
            The religious perception of reality is about guilt sin and blame and thats the trap. Thats the chain thats hold every citizen.
            Spiritual perception of reality, about the responsibility. We're all responsible. We're not guilty we're  responsible.
            And its trying to make our way through these two perceptions of reality. That seems to be the biggest problem we're confronted with as human beings on the planet right now! Cause the religious perception is about dominence its not about responsibility its about subserviance and male authoritarian figures. And the spiritual perception of reality is about life and respect and responsibility.
            I think that the new world order is marching on. To me, in my own mind, it comes closer and closer to that... and is very real... that even though Germany and the Axis lost  WWII. I don't think that the Nazi's did. I think that the Nazi's won WWII. And I think that thier authoritarian methods of behavioral control, mind manipulation, converting human spirit into energy so that they can feed the need for their technologies. I think all of this stuff is just moving right on down the line again.
            And I think that there really is no political solution or an economic solution that exists right now. And I think we need to get a clearer perception of reality and where we are in reality and take responsibility. And by using our intelligence intelligently. Create the solutions that we need to create. Because right now we're just more fuel.
            Somewhere under the religious perception of reality a decision was made that the earth was the dominion of man and man therefore could plunder the earth. That man could take whatever they wanted from the earth. But somewhere in the progress of this mindset man has forgotten that we are part of the earth. And just the way that this system of technologic man has devised to take the resources of the earth and turn them into fuel and energy. They've taken our spirit and they're turning it through the process, through their process of civilization. Taking our spirit and turning it into energy to run their system. We need to remember that what happens to the earth happens to us. I'm not advocating anyones politics or any of it. To me, I just think we've got to continue to do the best that we can do. And thats what I'm trying to do.

         Of course this suck didn't happen overnight. It started long ago. Feeding off of and compounding with violence, the fear and chaos which separation from knowing and understanding ones place in nature causes. This skewed way of thinking and percieving reality was well developed and deeply entrenched in the western mind long before it reached our lands.
         It didn't take long for it to take root in our land. It's grown and morphed becoming highly refined and firmly entrenched. It's civilized now! Just as deadly and just as abusive, but civilized. At least in the western mind it is.
         Due to it, the destruction of our nature based cultures has become normal operating procedure. Insulating and normalizing our grief and suffering. Each successive generation the grief and suffering has mounted. Until our generation where loss of belonging and tribal identity have become common place.
         I look at this part of our history as the incubating process for a collective reattachment disorder. Individually, and as a part of a collective, we suffer this disorder without a clear and coherent way of seeing it. Consequently, we have no way of being able to find our way clear of it.
         In addition to this conditioned state of being. Where reactive attachment disorder exists and has morphed becoming the foundation of nearly all our societal interactions. We suffer too from a collective amnesia.
         This amnesia of which I speak is rooted in our loss of knowledge and understanding of cultural heritage. A knowledge base and educational body as large and comprehensive as all of that which we have received throughout our westernization process. For folks like myself access to this knowledge is critical.
         A friend of mine, Steve Smith, whose profession happens to be in the psychological field offered his thoughts on this subject.

            "Often when children are placed in abusive situations....situations where they are not cherished they bond to the anger, to the violence or some other abnormal thing (to bond to). They used to tell us that this is a permanent condition....the RAD or being bonded to abnormal things....but we are learning all the time what the elders have known....the brain is plastic (jargon for flexible) people suffering stroke or brain injury learn to use other parts of the brain to perform basic functions. Those of us exposed to living in places where we were not cherished....or even wanted can and do learn to bond normally to the healthy aspects and of course to those we love. Culture and spirituality are amazing at facilitating this kind of healing as is proper nutrition and exercise." Steve Smith via Facebook

            In future segments I will offer more on this subject. It won't be for everyone, necessarily. That is up to the reader to decide. It won't be definitive because our cultures are not that way and never have been. For those who are interested I can say it will be interesting, because it always is. What is more important, however and what I would most like for people to understand. Especially, folk like myself, American Indian folk who mistrust and hurt and don't clearly understand why. Homogenous tribal and cultural lifestyles may be a thing of the past, but culturally based living is not.
         You can be educated, undereducated, employed, unemployed, single, married to another Indian, transracially married, divorced, gay or straight, it doesn't matter. At the core of who we are, tribally, non-tribally, fullblood, halfbreed or fingernail is the reality of human beings being human. Our ancestral ways our ancestral cultural ways were the roadmaps the methods and the systems that taught us this. They educated, guided and showed us the why's, what's and wherefore's of how to live. So that we would belong, be connected and know and understand our place and our relationships to all that is. So until next time brothers and sisters stay classy and don't sweat the small stuff!  Hau Mitakuye Oyasin!   


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