VIVIAN DELGADO COLUMN: Traditional knowledge and science: A new form of justice
Showing gratitude and respect for all of those who have, in one way or another, given thought followed by action toward the efforts for ecological and spiritual sustainability is something we can all do privately or publicly.
Many awakened Indigenous people and scientists have spoken in their traditional lands and to larger global lands in an attempt to make a difference in slowing down the inherent, unsatisfactory, qualities of climate change. We have all heard and or been exposed to the challenges that have been faced and continue to exist in reference to "great mother" earth.
Recently, I spent a considerable amount of time listening to traditional, territorial headsmen and scientists discuss the need to create a way to work with one another. I must say that not all scientists are comfortable with this idea, but most are willing to learn about Indigenous knowledge and environments and apply it to the western science knowledge in their fields of expertise.
Prophecy, past, and present Indigenous warnings are not esoteric and can no longer be ignored by the common people. Many global, Indigenous nations are coming out to proclaim that the injustices toward our ecological environments must be stopped. They include words from Ross River Dena Nation in Canada:
• There are dreams and visions where the indigenous "red people" were missing from the circle for the longest time because indigenous people were acknowledging earth's gifts but not what it was teaching us.
• Someday, the world as we know it will be no more.
• Vehicles will all end up in one place and rust because our consumption is unreal.
• We will need to drink water from under the ground.
• The animals we cherish will be no more.
• Every morning, we will wake up to a red sky because the earth will be burning from an explosion.
• Eventually there will only be two islands left on earth and the rest of the land will be under water.
Padmasambhava told other examples. He was an Eighth Century Tibetan whose prophecies are important here because they foretold of the character of man we see today and include:
• Imposters and frauds cheat the people; drunkards preach the path to salvation.
• The advice of sycophants is followed; loquacity and eloquence pass as wisdom; the butcher and murderer become leaders of men.
• Unscrupulous self-seekers rise to high position.
• Embodiments of malice and selfishness become revered teachers.
• Behavior that was previously anathema becomes tolerated.
• Ideals are established contrary to tradition; all good customs and habits are rejected and many disagreeable innovations corrupt the people; people will die of starvation even if there is food to eat.
• The food itself will become lifeless.
• And people will be bombarded with useless information that leads nowhere and distracted by meaningless pursuits.
Hanne Strong, founder of the Manitou Foundation and Earth Restoration Corps said, "If humanity has a future, which is doubtful, these are some key points of the drastic changes we will have to embark:"
• Every person must scale down on production, consumption and waste.
• Every soldier from every army around the world needs to lay down their weapons and help restore and reforest the planet utilizing trees local to that environment.
• An immediate ban must be placed on releasing the approximately 100,000 toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.
• All nuclear weapons must be destroyed.
• People must turn to a mainly vegetarian diet.
• Ocean dumping and over fishing must be banned.
• Major soil restoration efforts must be implemented worldwide.
• Major support must be given to small-scale organic farmers.
Many people have shared concerns about the survival of man and life on this earth. I have witnessed their concerns and know from their shared discussions that the threats to life are very real. I want to support an awakened consciousness that asks each of us to pay attention to the life around us and what that means to the coming generations. On the other hand, at least accept that you are ultimately responsible for the cause and effects in your lifetime. If knowledgeable leaders from very different cultures and worldviews can come together to discuss our spiritual, physical survival, then we as common people can certainly do this in a way that makes sense to our realities. Let us begin locally.