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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > North American Indigenous Spirituality

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Old 03-11-2016, 05:32 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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The Tribal Custom

Namaste. Om Swastiyastu.

I'm making this thread on the heels of an epiphany regarding the role of the Tribe in Indigenous Spirituality.

I will admit to being a Hindu, but that's only just part of the whole religion I follow.

I am, at my core, Balinese and all that being Balinese entails. I was raised as a caucasian Australian, but I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Indonesia and Malaysia, so I 'identify' as being of the Balinese custom.

Hinduism in Bali is totally unlike any Hinduism in India or anywhere else (except for one small precinct in Nepal).

Hinduism isn't the Indigenous belief...Animism is and Buddhism came much later...but 'Balinese Hinduism' combines all the elements of the Hindu Agama tradition, Animism and Zen Buddhism - the perfect combination for me.

The Tribal Custom is very important for the elders to tell their stories, for the women to nurture family and earth, for the men to go and 'bring home the bacon'....everybody knows what their role is...everybody shares with everybody else...sharing new skills and expressing themselves within the tribal framework...it's the ultimate social experiment.

Somehow, over time, all this is getting lost as people migrate to large cities in search of a job/money or are killed by religious insurgence or diseases and grog/firewater the 'whitefella' bring.

In Bali, the number of Shamans has gone from thousands down to just a couple hundred in the past 30 years alone and the tribes are all splitting up and going their own way....family and extended family become the 'tribe' and not people just hanging out together to exist together like a peaceful satsanga...sharing stories, survival tips, unconditional love...helping the elderly and the sick by taking on the responsibility for them as a tribe.

Yeah, and I wonder why I don't fit in with the rest of humankind...the tribe is just too big, right? we can talk to people in other countries on the telephone...but at what price? The whole beliefs and customs of an indigenous folk...lost.

It wasn't until I made the re-connect with my own 'astral tribe' that I felt how much of this I missed from my childhood...sitting around bonfires on the beaches drumming and chanting praises to the 'Gods' under a trillion stars...I felt my soul was totally nurtured and protected by the tribe.

All this is fading...the old ways...the old customs and methods the 'ancient ones' used...it is seen as being 'backward' or 'simplistic'. Maybe the Great Spirit intended it to be that way.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:09 AM
Shaunc Shaunc is offline
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What you have said is pretty much true for a lot of S.E. Asia. My wife is from a small fishing village in the Philippines. She is probably related to most of the people in the village either through blood or marriage. Her sister was what the locals refer to as a witch doctor but what I would call a herbalist, first-aider, mid-wife. The local religion is Catholic but they also have a reverence for the sea, they look at the ocean as their mother. Also a huge belief in both karma, which is even acknowledged by the local Catholic priest and also a strong belief in the supernatural like ghosts and spirits etc. I have spent a lot of time in her village and it's a great lifestyle if you've got money but it's a hard life without it. It's good to romantisize about how beautiful it could be but the reality is that to survive in the world today you must have a certain amount of money.
My wife says that the big difference between Australia and the Philippines is that in Australia we're rich in money but poor in time and in the Philippines they've got plenty of time but not much money. If somehow I was smart enough to get the pendulum to stop swinging somewhere around half way it'd be ideal.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:28 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaunc
What you have said is pretty much true for a lot of S.E. Asia. My wife is from a small fishing village in the Philippines. She is probably related to most of the people in the village either through blood or marriage. Her sister was what the locals refer to as a witch doctor but what I would call a herbalist, first-aider, mid-wife. The local religion is Catholic but they also have a reverence for the sea, they look at the ocean as their mother. Also a huge belief in both karma, which is even acknowledged by the local Catholic priest and also a strong belief in the supernatural like ghosts and spirits etc. I have spent a lot of time in her village and it's a great lifestyle if you've got money but it's a hard life without it. It's good to romantisize about how beautiful it could be but the reality is that to survive in the world today you must have a certain amount of money.
My wife says that the big difference between Australia and the Philippines is that in Australia we're rich in money but poor in time and in the Philippines they've got plenty of time but not much money. If somehow I was smart enough to get the pendulum to stop swinging somewhere around half way it'd be ideal.
It is unfortunate one needs money to survive, isn't it? it kinda ruins everything.

We have a similar thing over here with our Koori folk in Western Australia and the government cutting off any funding to them because the Prime Minister (at the time) called Tribal living a "lifestyle choice" and not a "Birthright".

The argument flows in both directions.

I just know that whenever I feel the presence of the tribal 'ancestral spirits' I feel totally warm, secure and at total peace, like the universe is cradling me within Her arms.

It was they who wanted to share this...

...but yeah, so much knowledge gets lost...cures for diseases....ways to meditate....healing herbs....

Oh the joys I had in Fiji (my ex husband I was married to for 17 years was Fijii Indian) living among the villagers and taking part in their Kava drinking and fire walking ceremonies....that was awesome too!

...and nowhere is the spiritual carnage seen more than in India...where the Tantrik people (who have all the secrets to the Hindu religion) are seen as nothing more than soothsayers, fortune tellers and curse-providers...it's totally 'shake my head' time...

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:34 AM
acorn acorn is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 177
 
It's very sad.....and then I read your line

"Maybe the Great Spirit intends it to be that way".........

.that just stopped my thoughts instantly......it still feels sad though...but those words are wise...they can be so hard to remember at times

_______________________

I india has sent her seed across the seas... the 1880s India had masters who were destined to spread the ancient word of India's wealth of philosophy, religious texts... art...all of it.....to name a few Swami Vivikananda and Paramahamsa Yogananda .....In America, I think, many teachings have taken hold so to speak

Maybe this seed from Bali will germinate somewhere else..?....
maybe you should write a book..lol...I think you have one in you though.....really

Love
acorn
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2016, 11:11 PM
SerpentSun SerpentSun is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Ozarks/Shawnee Hills, United States
Posts: 441
 
The loss of native traditions, as well the death of the ecosystems they evolved with, are problems that greatly trouble me. I feel so bitter and angry toward humanity, toward myself for being a human. Especially a modern white American human. Every ethnicity has their empires and genocides, but the Europeans and their American descendants seem to do the most harm to other humans, other animals, all the plants, and the planet in general. I always feel like I was born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And so many people use "God's will" as an excuse. I really don't doubt that the Great Spirit intends this, because even the most horrible things happen for a reason. But humans use everything they can to justify their anthropocentric worldview. Earth is a low place that we must transcend, the death of Earth is just part of the New Age, humans evolved to dominate all other life, all our pollutants and electronics are natural because we're a part of nature....There are so many people who would twist those wise words into something toxic and ugly.

Who knows, maybe the dinosaurs stripped the planet of some nutrient that only billions of human corpses can replace. But no wise words or modern conveniences can make me feel okay with the Dakota Pipeline, set to pass through southern Illinois where my family lives. No single human life is worth over a dozen species going extinct each day. Sometimes I feel so much pain, so much helplessness and hopelessness deep in my heart, that I only want to avenge each bumblebee killed by our neurotoxic pesticides. It kinda sucks haha.

I don't know how I can help the planet or all the "found" tribes of the world. For those who are found are truly the lost ones, or losing each day that modern Western ideals keep spreading. The "lost" tribes of the Amazon and Pacific Islands are the luckiest ones. Only distantly affected by our disease of decadence, their simple natural tribal lifestyles are something I wish for the whole world. I'd travel north to Standing Rock, but I don't want to put my family at risk; I've already been in trouble for being too eco-friendly.

I hope the folks on North Sentinel Island are still doing okay....
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