I think that the antidote to hubris, false pride and an inflamed sense of ego, counter virtues that have seemingly created such a catastrophic world situation, could be humility. I’ve always thought that humility is simply to see things as they are. If we look at the reality of the world, we will notice that we do not exist alone, that we are in interrelationship with the whole world, the smallest ant to the great galaxies that shine at night are all, in some way, connected to us. To understand our place within the world is one of the base teachings given by First Nations’ traditionalists by means of the vision quest and moon lodge. These deeply introspective moments that also shine a light on the world around us, give one a wider perspective, a vision of the reality of things and then humility appears naturally. We could only be humble in front of such magnificence, such perfection in creation! Humility does not mean submission! Humility is profound awe and joy when we perceive the unlimited immensity of creation. I meet in these thoughts Weena who spoke of reverence yesterday. This vision always comes with the understanding that we are a part of this perfection, that we have a specific place and role in the ever expanding glory of creation. Understanding this place, this role, our mission in life, can then be accepted, assumed, respectfully in harmony. Humility allows us to stay in this place of ours and that allows for profound happiness, joy, ecstasy and bliss. Hubris and false pride will tends to hoist us up on a throne of power, importance and even glory, and there, not being in an appropriate place as we distance ourselves in this way from others that have their own place in creation, we will harvest envy, jealousy, hatred, violence, anger, and suffering and we will sow the seeds of destruction.
In my article on education, I spoke of the importance of the talking circle. The talking circle teaches us humility and one’s place within the circle. In the circle we learn to listen to what others have to say and to speak at the appropriate time in a good way. In First Nations’ community council circles and most all decisional assemblies of native people on all continents before their acculturation by the bulldozer of civilization, all decisions were taken with circle mind, in the spirit of consensus. For those who really understand how native people managed to remain in harmony with nature and the world, modern democracy of current Nations are institutions which always create disparities and corruption. Democracies often give rise to the seizing of power by those who thirst for power even if they are not the best ones to govern the nation (the current president of the USA is an excellent illustration of this) and how they all have the tendency to act out of hubris, false pride and inflated ego. We see this tendency to think that they are superior to others by the difficulty that all democratic governments have to apologize for the many errors they commit towards native people and the population in general. A democratic system will always commit innumerable mistakes and errors as they do not listen to the voices of reason but to those influenced by majority vote that can be easily influenced by media and by the use of power and money. I’ve explained the reasons for this in my book: THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE NATURE.
If we look at native councils where decisions are taken by consensus we notice that we almost always make the best decisions because there is no opposition, no competition, all work towards the same goal and each contender can continue to ask questions and hold on to his or her voice or vote as long as they have not received full satisfaction that the decision is the best for the community or nation. This decision-making circle also existed in national councils and assemblies of United Nations as the Iroquois and other confederacies of First Nations had such councils uniting several nations.
The circle teaches humility. I think that this is one of the answers to our quest for healing the earth. The circle, which begins with the individual, the couple, the family, the community, the nation and then extends all the way to the cosmos and universal mind, has to be reactivated and it has to extend all over the earth. All peoples have to relearn how to meet in the mindfulness of the circle, in councils and assemblies where decisions are taken by consensus. This would help us cultivate humility in all our leaders who would thus be a lot more respectful of the people whom they serve. They would know how to listen to the voices of the nation and represent these voices within the assembly of the nation and nations in a good way. Justice, harmony and peace would return on earth in a permanent way, as we would have honest, humble and respectful people in power. In a system where we elect our officials by consensus the elected members are always the best among the best, as it only takes a single voice of disapproval to prevent a person with bad intentions reaching places of power.
I have written a book dedicated to the circle. Le Cercle de Toute nos Relations. Not yet translated into English though, sorry. If I can find an English publisher I’d be very happy to translate this one also.
If you have other thoughts on this subject, questions or comments please do not hesitate to write them here. Its very important that we refine our thoughts together as its only together that we can find solutions to our current problems.
Light Peace Joy and Love to all