Recently this picture was posted in a group I am in. As a response a member asked (paraphrased) if the reason that people in the U.S. are emotionally and spiritually bereft due to what our Ancestors did to the Native Americans. This got me thinking on why people in the U.S. are so disconnected from Spirit. I am not discounting the history of our Ancestors. There is a lot of hurt and pain in their actions that we have to live with but ultimately I feel that there are several reasons that we are disconnected and here I will address a few of them.
1) We live and walk on concrete and asphalt. We wear rubber soles on our feet. We are surrounded by buildings and artificial light. We very seldom feel Pachamama (Earth) under our feet. We do not feel Her rhythm or heartbeat. We do not see the sun rise or set. We are disconnected from the very planet we live on.
2) We are always trying to obtain “more,” we are very seldom just satisfied with what we have and even less grateful.
3) We have no rituals from our homelands. We are disconnected from any ritualistic ways that our Ancestors may have had. The rituals we now have focus on work and obtainment not on the land and appeasing the Gods. Any rituals that our Ancestors had were destroyed by religions that did not want us to know about them. We find through archaeology some of the things that our Ancestors did by piecing the artifacts together but very few true rituals exist today unless we had a grandparent that carried them forward and few did!
4) We have no ceremonies. We celebrate holidays with an abundance of food and family but most ceremonies to honor are gone. The current ceremony is watching the game of whichever sporting event is on during the family get together. There is little honoring going on and most have forgotten what the meaning of the holiday is. If you are not a Christian then most of the holidays celebrated in the U.S. are not significant to you as the majority are based on the happenings of Jesus.
If you are pagan you know that the majority of these holidays were taken and changed to fit the story that is told by the church. There are many similarities but things have been changed enough that the ceremonies once practiced are no longer in full form so we recreate to honor our beliefs. As honorable as this is and as necessary as it is for those of us walking alternative paths we still miss the connection with our Ancestors because it was not their ways. We can only continue to work at the connection and follow their lead when we are creating ceremony to ensure that they are included.
5) Lack of prayer! Most people pray for things, for miracles, for money, for whatever item they feel they can’t live without today. Prayer has turned into a pleading rather than a conversation with Spirit. Any thankfulness is an after thought rather than a forethought.
The majority of people do not walk in prayer. Prayer is there to fulfill a need not to communicate with the Gods/Spirit.
I believe that our Ancestors walked in prayer. They believed they were at the mercy of the Gods and made offerings to stay in their good graces. They made offerings to the dead knowing that the dead were still available in their realm. They made offerings in thankfulness and in hopes that they would be blessed. They were blessed because they were thankful. Their offerings were given from the heart. Things that meant something to them. Not things that they ran to the store and bought!
Now, most bury their dead and forget about them. They don’t feel the connection to them because they do not honor them in anyway.
6) The disconnection of the land is profound. We no longer know where our food comes from let alone what is in it or how it is made.
Microwaves have replaced cooking.
Televisions have replaced dinner tables where families sat and shared their days.
Our Ancestors cooked their meals, they planted their food and killed their animals for meat, clothing, utensils and many other items they would use throughout the year.
7) We live in a disposable society. Nothing is made to last. We have significant waste. Something breaks and we buy a new one. We want for nothing. We buy food and don’t eat it so we throw it away. We are not invested in the production so we have no qualms in the tossing out of things.
8) Our survival is not dependent on others. We no longer depend on a tribe of people to survive or do their part. The majority feel that their survival depends on how much money they make and what they can afford. No longer do we have to depend on others to help us get through a rough winter or stock the cabinet with food to get us through the dark months of the year. Now we can go to the grocery store and buy what we need whenever we need it. Sick? You don’t need a Shaman and the Spirits to heal you, instead you go see a doctor.
9) We no longer see the person sitting next to us as connected to us. There is hatred and discrimination based on religion, color, sex – anything “different” than what we view as “us.”
We hate over politics.
We hate over religion.
We hate over social classes.
We hate over skin color.
We hate over what we call foreigners.
We hate over sexual preference.
We look at others as being “less than” and hate when someone is “needy.”
Hatred begets anger, anger begets hatred, it is a vicious cycle and all of it stems from judgment and a perspective of self against the world. If someone isn’t like us we hate, we judge, we don’t understand their ways so they have to be wrong.
10) Lack of communication – We live in an age of technology where we have the opportunity to reach millions yet we don’t know how to communicate.
We start with our own judgments and we voice our opinions based on our perspective at that moment in time. The problem comes in when someone disagrees with us. We do not keep an open heart and approach differing opinions with love and listening. Instead we take offense and immediately find that person offensive. We become angry and divisive. We have lost the ability to listen to others because the world revolves around “me” and “my opinion.”
We no longer lead with our hearts. We do not walk in compassion. Everything is based on logic and the brain and what we “think” we know. In turn no matter what the other is saying we can twist it to what we believe it to be. Our media does this daily and we follow suit.
None of these things happened over night. They have been years in the making. We are the only ones that can change our perspectives. We are the only ones that can create the change we are seeking. We start with our connection to Spirit/God/Goddess and we slowly build upon it. These are just a few things off of the top of my head that seem very obvious to me so I tend to find it surprising that so many don’t see them. Hopefully, something here struck a cord and your perspective has changed a bit by reading this.
Can you think of other ways we have become disconnected? I would love to hear your thoughts!
In Her Service,