Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thoughts From A Sleepless Soul

Oddly enough, I tend to do most of my thinking in the late hours of the night/earliest hours of the day. It is in these moments that my mind is most clear and I can set the world aside to pray and consider the events of the past day while pondering the possibilities of the day to come. This might also explain why I've been missing morning trainings, eh Sifu? At any rate, tonight this idea comes to mind, the world is a very intricate and beautiful thing. Complex to the core. The most beautiful thing about it is its uniqueness in the grand scheme of things. So far, there is no planet we know of that is like our planet. It was created specifically for us. Not sure what my fellow todais' beliefs are, but for myself, that just solidifies to me just how small I am in this universe, yet am loved specifically by its Creator! It's just so amazing to me. Especially since I don't deserve to even be a speck of His attention. To my fellow todais who are believers I say this, our God is amazing! He is risen! Praise God for His sacrifice. Never forget that :D
To my fellow todais who do not believe or are seeking or not, think about what the ramifications of this are. The Creator of the universe loves you specifically so much that He sent His Son to die for you so that He could show you He loves you and be with you. I mean talk about grand gestures...

It's important to know that I'm not forcing my beliefs on anyone. But, if you would like to discuss this with me. You are more than welcome to do so :) (and if you don't feel comfortable discussing this via the comments, by all means, email, text, Facebook, or talk to me in person. I'm always willing to talk)


  1. Oki Charlie... I appreciate your sense of sublimity, and I think that's what's important. For myself, I follow Blackfoot tradition, which is very much aligned with natural science. My wife and I take care of an ancient 'medicine bundle' for our community, which is said to have originated during the era of the first domesticated dog, and which is understood as the embodiment of the pact for coexistence between humans and other species in our particular watersheds (the upper Saskatchewan and Missouri). I recognize the life-giving power of our Sun and Moon, and respect all who cast shadows as fellows in life. I cannot speak for what is beyond, amidst the other stars, but I would be incredibly surprised to find our planet to be unique in hosting life. Either way, I see it as beyond my purpose to be concerned about such things. The unknown is vast. But the Sun is right here, and clearly gives us life, and is therefore as close to a god or creator as I recognize. For me, the beauty of this weekend is in the eggs. We don't feel it today, but in the past the first waterfowl eggs were a huge deal because they were the conclusion of winter starvation in the northern hemisphere. It is no fluke that egg hunting is associated with Easter, because this full moon after the equinox is always when the first eggs become available. You will see some video of our true egg hunts come up on the YouTube channel soon. The 'bunny' is simply the white rabbit seen in the Moon by many northern cultures, and is a nod to real time, turned to comical irony when the white rabbit is pictured as carrying a clock in fairy tales. In my understanding, and I definitely don't intend to offend here, as I know there are several followers of Christ within FMK... but to be honest, my understanding is that Emperor Constantine of Rome moved the Christ (Sun of God) death date from it's natural position at the solstice (when the Sun does rise in the same dead position on the horizon for four days) to the time of the celebration of first eggs and life renewal, in order to conquer pagan (naturalistic) knowledge. Those who follow and respond to nature are not very useful to the empire, who would rather we be rendered confused fuel cells for the machines of industry. Anyway, I'm starting to go off on political tangents. But this is part of what I recognize, so it's hard not to share when you set out such an invitation. Like I said to open though, the important thing is sublimity, recognizing how small we are in the large scheme, knowing we are a part of something larger, not merely the isolates our bodies and cultures would suggest

  2. Dang Charlie, you just kicked Ryan into PhD mode! LOL

  3. Hey Charlie, hope your silence isn't an indication that I've offended you by any of the above. My intent was not to debate beliefs or challenge anything, but more just to share my perspectives in response to your original inspired invitation for discussion. I appreciate learning where other Todai are coming from in terms of spiritual anchorage, and I like to share where I'm coming from, knowing that we're all in this to grow together

    1. Oh by no means! I published a reply on my phone the minute I saw your post but I guess it didn't go through. I really did appreciate you sharing your belief system with me! I have actually never known anyone who followed native american ideology or religion (if it can be called that, not sure). But there are many similarities from the natural science that you subscribe to and the following of Christ that I and others do. I firmly believe that science by no means disproves God. Let me put it this way, in life there are always 6 questions to ask, who, what, where, when, why and how. I firmly believe, and this is after much research, study and prayer, that science is the how of life. How things function and how they come into being. God in that would actually be the answer to who in the grand scale and the infinitely small scale. I feel that and the Bible would also continue this point, that God is involved in everything on every level of nature. When I do tai chi in the morning to the sun rise, I am usually praying in such a way that I clear my mind and allow Him to speak to me. Experiencing God on that level in that way is truly amazing! Most folks who claim to be Christian would subscribe to the "religious" aspect of it. Not that I am knocking them, I just know from experience and study that there is so much more to it. Our interaction with God is not a religion, a sequence of works and actions that are done because we feel we have to. No. I believe that everyone who believes has a uniquely specific relationship with God the Father, having Jesus Christ as our bridge and the Holy Spirit within us to spur us on in the spreading of the Word and the pursuit of God :) When you free yourself of doing things because you have to, and instead pursue life and God because you want to, everything becomes so much more amazing! So much more unique. Ryan, believe me when I say that I'm not offended by anything you have said. Honestly. If I was, as a russian, italian, polish half-jew, I would have been much more vocal to that effect ;)

    2. Hahaha... thanks, Charlie. I'm relieved now. Like you, I don't like the label 'religion' either, or even something like 'spirituality'. In the Blackfoot language, there's really no abstract concept like this, nor anything that places it in the realm of the mind like 'belief' or 'ideology'. What I call it in Blackfoot it either kippaitapiiyssinnoon (our way of life, referring to all understandings and approaches classically Blackfoot) or iiyaohkimiipaitapiiyssin (belonging to water way of life, referring to my particular discipline within kippaitapiiyssinnoon). I'll share with you a little bit about the prayer concept from my perspective. In this language, what people might translate as 'prayer' is called aatsimoyihkaan. The root of this word is aatsimi (to effect balance), and the suffix oyihkaan is by means of speech. There is also a partnered concept called aatsimihka'ssin, which is to effect balance by means of action. This latter can be a form of repenting. For instance, if I kill an animal to eat, then I recognize I've done something terrible to him and his family. I might use both aatsimoyihkaan and aatsimihka'ssin to make amends, expressing my gratitude in speech, but also finding a way to give back to his family, like offering them something to eat. Yet, it's not always repentance. It can also just be returning something to the natural order. In our way, we do not own anything, not even our own bodies. When something I'm using, say a shirt or jacket, gets worn out, then I am committed to return it to the life system, to the earth. One of my greatest moral dilemmas is knowing that it is currently illegal for me to arrange for the return of my physical body in the manner I know to be appropriate. In the mainstream, ruling culture, our bodies are considered biohazard, and there is a strange denial of death, a demand for permanence. So they have legislated our options for how we deal with the dead body, narrowing to two methods - entombment and flame. On the one hand, we are vaulting our biomaterial away behind steel and concrete. On the other, selfishly burning that energy. I wish my body to be returned, in the sense of aatsimihka'ssin, laid out in the open for the other animals to consume. That would be the most natural form of return for my body to the life system. And yet, it is not allowed. I encounter this quite often in my life, being blocked from fully expressing my way because others have created legal and social institutions founded on mere 'belief' that are contradictory to the needs of the life system I'm a part of

  4. I can't say I know what my opinion of what should happen to the body after death. I believe that there is life eternal after death. Our bodies are temporary but we will be given new bodies upon Christ's return. As for the ever growing limitations of government, that I can very much relate to you with. Increasingly, Christianity is being slowly outlawed by government and cast down by society because of generalizations made that are taken as fact. Take for example the issue of homosexuality. I speak for my church and true Christians when I say that while yes, God does say that homosexuality is wrong in numerous places of the Bible (1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 ESV come to mind off bat) we as humans who are not God, who are equally just as sinful, do not have the authority to condemn anyone for their sin. Jesus Himself said in Matthew chapter 7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." It is because of folks who misrepresent Christianity like those of the Westburo Baptist Church that I and those like me are now blocked from expressing our beliefs within the public school system and increasingly in public places. On that, I understand how you must feel.


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