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  • Writer's pictureLena Welker

Living In Relationship

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Imagine that you are never alone on your travels through this world. You are surrounded by beings that are listening and responding to your every mood. These beings do not require that you express your feelings or articulate your thoughts. They offer companionship, knowledge and sometimes feed you and help you to heal. This is the world of the indigenous peoples of this land. Our dominant culture tells us that we are the epitome of evolution and that “we think therefore we are”. Our religions tell us that we have dominion over the natural world. This mindset leads us to believe that the natural world is not sentient and that trees, rocks, animals are just commodities for our industrial complex. We have gone along our merry way destroying habitat and the very things that we need to survive – clean air, clean water and healthy food.

Lamar Belina

Which world do you choose to live in? Indigenous peoples had a reason that they believed that the plants were our older brothers and sisters. Their languages informed their world view. Many indigenous languages do not use male and female as the choices for “gender”. (gender being a grammatical term having nothing to do with sexual orientation) Gender in some indigenous languages is animate or inanimate. Animate beings have cognition and awareness. Trees, plants, stones, thunderbeings, etc are considered animate. We are able to communicate with them and they with us. Of course those communications take many forms – dreams, symbology, chemicals, electrical impulses, etc. Just imagine the mycelial web and the communications between trees over large land areas. We are not separate from the web of life. There are also many spirits including the spirits of land, water, air, fire. These spirits are also animate and aware. This world of the indigenous peoples of this land never disappeared. It has always been here. We have just lost the ability to listen and perceive. This world is full of relatives. You are never alone.

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