What is a Modern Indigen?
by Elektra Porzel
In Western societies, we have lost much of what our indigenous ancestors thought about the world and how they interacted with it. In studying present-day indigenous peoples, we can extrapolate that our indigenous ancestors were part of a connected relationship with each other, with the land and with nature. Those relationships included their access thru their bodies, their emotions, and their minds. Many of us have lost those regular connections. Our western focus is on activities that pull us into the mind which defines how things are different and not how they are the same, not how the other is connected to the ‘me’ and to the ‘us’, not how our bodies inform us and how our emotions inform us. Thus, the reality that we live within is one of separation. This is not a sustainable mind/body/spirit reality for humanity to build on for the future.
Many present-day humans are seeking to reestablish these connections with their body, their emotions and their minds. They are seeking to be differently in their relationships to each other, to the land and to nature. We are seeking to recreate a reality of unity with all life, so that our children, our grandchildren, and the coming generations will have access to a world where there is a place for everyone and everything. A world where everyone can be supported in bringing their unique gifts to the community. A world where the people hold the common good in their actions and thinking. That’s my version of a Modern Indigen.
How do we relearn some of the ways our indigenous ancestors thought and how they interrelated with the world?
Each of us are the descendants of some indigenous people. Some are still active in that lineage while many of us are dozens to hundreds of generations away from our indigenous lineage. Though we can’t go back in time, we can look at how the indigenous peoples of the present-day think and act together. That viewing can give us a more vivid comprehension of what it means to be in connection with the land and nature. To be in the wholeness of thinking of and with, of acting within the whole.
In ‘SandTalk’ by Tyson Yunkaporta, the author describes and explores different ways that his aboriginal ancestors (and his present day indigenous community) connected as individuals and as a group; how they thought and how they acted together while in relationship with the whole.
This is a living example of whole system thinking where we examine the whole as one actively in connection with others. There is no examining one piece at a time as we have done in our western thinking. This is a wider, deeper, higher way of holding the other while in a dynamic connection. It feels to me that if we take the time to dive deeper, we can ‘get it in our bones’ and thus come to comprehend how we might think and act differently.
Yunkaporta offers to the reader the opportunity to listen to the activity in its placement within a whole culture. What would it mean to live in the wholeness of such an activity in the western culture, in our larger friend/families or kin groupings? How can we teach ourselves and our children to move into practices of whole system thinking and acting? Will such a move give our children and grandchildren a future that is sustainable for generations upon generations?
I hope that this intrigues you, interests you. I am offering all of us an opportunity to delve deeply into these ideas in ‘Sandtalk’ with a program called Becoming a Modern Indigen.
Starting on March 15th, I will be leading a book discussion/immersion group where, for each call, we will discuss not only the ideas put forth in a chapter, but also we will explore how to live that concept/practice in our lives. For those of us who write the Creation Exercises, we will write a Creation Exercise on a term or idea from that chapter.
I sense that this book needed a deeper look than just a one time reading. I want to create a better future for my descendants and yours. Only in the deeper wider thinking can we try on these practices in ways that might work in the present. This is a deeper dive. Hopefully we will be integrating these new ways of thinking about and being with others into our daily lives.
My plan is for the group to meet every two weeks starting on March 15th at 9amPT.
Want to take this deeper dive with me?
First, register for the program ( https://www.loc-institute.com/product/becoming-a-modern-indigen-using-sandtalk-by-t-yunkaporta-and-the-creation-templates/ );
Second, buy the book and read Chapter 1 before our first class.
From March thru early June, we will meet every two weeks. Then we will take the time to let all that whole system thinking and acting settle into our systems. Starting in September we will return to the book discussion/immersion looking at Chapters 8-14.
When I first read this book, I listened to it because Yunkaporta’s voice provided the sound frequencies of his truth. Then I used a Kindle version and a paperback version to let my mind track his connections more deeply. I recommend all these versions for you to use in your deepening into the more of what we humans can be and do.
Be with me in this deeper dive of exploration and application to our lives!
Starts: Wednesday March 15th. Runs for 7 calls for Chap 1-7
Time: 9amPT -10:30amPT