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Beautiful words, so simple and so true – and the antithesis of the American Way, where the idea, that we can overcome all odds by “correcting our way of our thinking” is – or WAS the American Ethos, as exemplified by the New Thought movement, which gripped America, for a century from he 1850s-1950s.

Although he is referring to Hopi prophecy (which is very similar to the “World Age Doctrines” of many Indigenous groups from the Americas, notably the Maya, as well as of the Hindu-Buddhist – and, surprisingly of the ancient Greeks and Romans), the speaker featured here is the recently-deceased Lakota Elder, Floyd Red Crow Westerman – he is NOT a Hopi elder, as the clip uploaded to YouTube describes. But, as I said, he was citing the Hoips because their views share commonalities with his people and of others, worldwide.

In 2010, I was lucky enough to travel to Hopiland and to learn about the vast divergence between Hopi ancient wisdom and American pop wisdom, during a an amazing series of philosophical discussions with a young Hopi priest, who intends to become as wise as the Elder portrayed in this clip.

In the Hopi culture, they seemed to be haunted by an array malevolent issues, both ancient and modern, of which the invasion of Europeans into their lands was just one. Primary, in their concern, when I was there was the non-stop defacements, they said were being committed regularly upon their ancient petroglyphic sites by their Navajo neighbors, who outnumber the Hopi by at least 100 to 1 and who also live by a vastly different code of ethics from the Hopi, as well – one that is closer to that of the Europeans. They also seemed to keenly remember the horror of the eruption of the Sunset Crater volcano, which erupted 900 years ago ad made life nearly impossible for them. The Hopi legends clearly stated, as well that nearby Meteor Crater (which I highly recommend as worthy of tourism) was a result of “stones which fell from the sky” – and not a volcano, as the Europeans assumed when they arrived – and believed until the turn of the last century.

The Hopi Elder in this video is not reserving his critique of the spiritual decadence of the European invaders of North America, exclusively.

His culture is rife with ancient myths about how previous versions of his own people (or possibly the whole of humanity) had been destroyed for angering the god who had created them.

Hopi legend tells that the current Earth is the Fourth World to be inhabited by the human creations of the Creator/Sun god, Tawa.

The story essentially states that in each previous world, the people, though originally happy, became disobedient and lived contrary to Tawa’s plan; they engaged in sexual promiscuity, fought one another and would not live in harmony.

Thus, the most obedient were led (usually by the goddess, Spider Grandmother) to the next higher world, with physical changes occurring both in the people in the course of their journey, and in the environment of the next world.

In most stories, these former worlds were then destroyed along with their wicked inhabitants.

The more prevalent version of how the people emerged into the current world, after its last destruction is that Spider Grandmother caused a hollow reed (or bamboo) to grow into the sky, and the people then climbed up the reed and emerged in the Fourth World at the location known today as the Grand Canyon.

The Hopi settled in their desert land in Arizona at the behest of the deity, Masauwu (Master of the Fourth World) so that they would have to depend upon the scanty rainfall which they must evoke with their power and prayer, and so preserve always that knowledge and faith in the supremacy of their Creator who had brought them to this Fourth World, after they had failed in three previous worlds.

Alexandra Bruce

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