Monday, July 02, 2007
Alignment (Shadows of Sacred Stones)
©Copyright 2007, Turtle Heart
Why was the summer solstice so important to ancient people? Why did they labor at such great length to understand the precise moment of celestial events? Their labors of precision and complexity go well beyond simple agricultural needs. Why is this information, that was so important then, nearly unimportant now?
The very act of having to work so hard to have something makes it precious. Something that is precious has strong thoughts and many moments of time in the minds of those to whom it is so important. The ancient people knew something about the earth that we have forgotten. Though not so many people know about this place, Chaco Canyon in western New Mexico has some of the most advanced celestial alignments of any culture on earth. The basis of all their calculations is a sophisticated calculation device made of 3 large slabs of stone leaning against a bigger rock. It is absolute perfection of science laughing in the face of every machine ever made.
We know that nearly every pre-christian society had detailed information about the heavenly objects and alignments with stars and moments in time. Sophisticated movements of planets and stars. What was it about the Christian movement that made getting this knowledge out of people’s minds so important to them? All the early Christian nations were supported by aggressive armies and policies of intolerance for other religions. People forget that it was not only the old “pagan” religions that were suppressed and outlawed, but the symbols and knowledge they had acquired were erased as often as they could be found. What purpose does hiding something have in your mind? Do you destroy something because you don’t need it anymore? History tends to just treat these matters as “progress”, which only shows one of the great weaknesses of a society compelled to write its own history. The real facts can be discovered but you have to be prepared to go deep and think long. Who has time for that?
Today nearly one half of the world’s 6 billion people live in urban space. Alignment in urban space is all about business time, rather than natural time. Business time really means nothing so much as the time for making money and spending money. Most dates in the modern world have little to do with the natural world. There is a sort of nodding recognition of the orbit of the earth around the sun (year), day and night and the month is loosely, very loosely a half-assed awareness of the moon.
The internet has now become a new factor in business time as it is not limited by schedules at all and goes all day and all night. However, now billions of people are regulated by the hours and schedules of the working man’s week. Guess the solstice means nothing to these guys. It is getting harder and harder to find calendars, especially free business calendars that even list the quarters of the moon. This used to be information on just about every calendar you would see. Most newspapers seem to still have the little almanac page which shows quarters, and tides and sometimes other important events. If you ever go to a good newsstand, many still sell the Farmers Almanac. This is a great little book to keep in the toilet and thumb through whenever you can. It shows the rich history of what and when people used to line up with in nature, in the seasons, winds and rains.
We have shifted from a complex gathering of societies that monitored with great passion and interest the natural time to one regulated by the commerce needs of business. Why has business time replaced natural time?
I try to always do a good ceremony on the days of the natural earth, like the solstice of summer. In my work I call the equinox and solstice “gateways”. I see them as doors that open for a moment, a few breaths, and then close. I have always believed that these gateways are activated at those precise moments: and all you have to do is pass through. You do not have to look for the door. You are the door. I have heard some elders talk about the four directions as the four gates. This idea is worth some thought. The idea that particular moments in time may harmonize, or align, with opportunities in consciousness is typical of the thinking of the old indians.
I was made at one time into a keeper of sacred pipes. I have learned that really this means I am the keeper of a moment in time when the people are together. It is the moment of time that is where the work takes place. The moment in time is where the opportunity rests. A good ceremony is about a proper moment in time, not about the personality of a teacher or person. If the teacher is correct, if the students are correct, then the idealized moment is made possible. This advanced alignment is a very ancient and sacred way to think. Alignment might also be termed elevation. As in thinking. The discipline of the circle and the moment shared in a formal way, this energy elevates consciousness. Maybe only a few degrees, but sometimes great progress is possible. No matter how correct and good the ceremony and the ceremonial leader is, that is only half way. The others have the responsibility to know how and be pepared to come the other half of that journey. The subtle and quiet forces which are behind this idea are possibly beyond language to explain very well.
Like most real things in the educational system, this idea has been ignored. This question about alignments has never really been tested. People talk about being “connected” but this is not the same thing.
The old indians may have felt that from within the ceremonial life, the effort made to be in alignment with multiple points of the cycles of nature and time produced results. Usually great devotion from large groups of people to shared ideas is something that happens because it works.
Navigation still relies upon points and moments in nature. If you want to go somewhere in the universe, you have to know about the alignments and orbits of everything around you. We know that matter itself is arranged to be constantly in just the right alignments for harmonious cohesion of the universal quantum to even exist. In nature, even opposing forces can be productive because the alignments are so precise.
For some reason (business), the forces that have guided the development of modern civilizations have abandoned nature in favor of arbitrary schedules of automationism, that is, industrial society and business. Why have we allowed this to happen? At what point did we all agree that business schedules would be become the rule of society and nature would be ignored as much as possible? How many of you, knowing nothing about trees, think you are (however) smarter than a tree?
Automationism has allowed us to accomplish what appear to be astonishing achievements. But gadgets and fancy machines have not taken us very far. Society remains generally impoverished, selfish, plagued with illness and starvation, and of course relentless violence and judgement, mostly between religious cultures.
Something happened which turned future generations of people away from the very idea of alignment with nature. That something appears to be the church. It is not easy to look back and figure out where and when this great divide took place. We also know that in this world there are countless numbers of people who would do anything, say anything to make money and have personal power. Have these people, the punks of the universe become the bosses because we were just to busy to notice? Social custom and accepted social norms are conditional reflexes that guide society in many ways, but which are automated responses coming from the least developed area of our psyche. It is like letting the craziest person in the room define the agenda.
In the end it comes down to what this may mean to you and what you can do about it. At the present moment in historical time, many people have the power and the opportunity to educate themselves in new ways. There is enough evidence and technology to examine the evidence of the past and see the differences. More than ever I encourage people to search for and seek alternative educational paths. We are overlooking answers contained in some simple subjects that we just refuse to study collectively: like dreaming, solstice and moon movements. Alignment, like old indian dreaming, is something done best by being together with other people. Dreaming is something we do together, but no one remembers this anymore. Alignment with multiple geometries and celestial mechanics is a way for the group to receive something from the natural forces. How do you receive a blessing from the mystery life? Doesn’t it make sense that if you do something very precisely, then something very precise may result. The ancient ceremonies all took place in collective social (ceremonial)situations. They were never the privilege of the isolated chosen few. The ceremonies don’t work at all, so to speak, if you try and do them by yourself. Real knowledge of the universe cannot be held by one mind alone. Real alignment is likewise something that it is impossible to do alone.
You don’t hear about famous prophets, kings, and mythical gods with dramatic names in tribal culture. Some people point to this as an absence of culture and history. The church sure looked at it that way. These people have written no books or formed no governments so they must be empty of their souls!! What people miss in looking at tribal culture is the massive calculation of natural mathematics that went into the complex ceremonial dances, rituals, objects and organization into specialized clans and societies. You don’t hear about these great leaders because indian people were well informed. They could all sing and dance and work and teach themselves what they needed to know. They had no fascination to put one person above another. In indian culture your most famous teacher would be you.
Ancient tribal people lived diverse social experiences. There were many tribes, essentially from several great language and ceremonial groupings and of course a handful of exceptions to that general rule. Some tribes lived in very small, moving bands. Some tribes built structures for homes. Some tribes built no structures for homes but many for rituals. They lived together in small groups usually. There were only rare occasions were huge numbers of indian people were all present together. The largest cyclic gather places were the Mojave Desert and Chaco Canyon. Some tribes had simple needs and so reflected simplicity in ceremonial life. Other tribes became quite large and developed complex layers and sub layers of societies and clans which continued generation after generation. We make an impressive nod towards Buddhism, for example, with its 15th and 16th generation teachers and teachings. Some tribal teachings may go back 1,000 generations or even more. Society is not ready at all to know how very interesting these ancient old indians really were. Everyone would realize what a mistake it was to allow outraged, hysterical armies controlled by the church kill and smash everything in sight. Ooops. Maybe these people had something going on.
If you look at a treaty map of the USA showing the names and locations of the tribes you see more than 500 different names on that map. If you draw the same map showing the distribution of the tribes by the method of their ceremonies, you get about eight different names.
Multi Generational Alignment
I have a stone object in my group of ceremonial objects. It is very beautiful. It was made sometime in the stone age. It was made before there were any kind of metal tools. The stone is impossibly hard and the actual method of sculpture very refined. The best ideas about this object indicate it may have taken up to 100 years to make it. Think of that. We live in an age where complex gadgets are made in seconds. Here is something one group of people wanted and were willing to work together over a period of generations to make it happen. What stories and teachings and secrets did they say to each other as the work was passed from hand to hand, old to young?
We know that many of the ancient stone structures of the old civilizations took more than one lifetime to make. One of the reasons I think we do not understand the nature of stonehenge, the great pyramid and so forth is that we have no experience at all in moving so slowly and calculated and we have no experience thinking much past the end of the day, much less 7 generations ahead.
In their directed consciousness, modern people may have a greater investment in automationism than in nature, which requires direct consciousness. This is particularly true of people who live in modern cities. This amounts to billions of people with an automated mind set and habit of behavior. Quite a formidable force for one human person looking for the truth to find their way. Inside this atmosphere of automationism, each individual in theory has a possibility that we call “free will”. Contemporary western thought has not evolved or changed significantly since it was formed, several thousand years now. However, generation by generation we are further and further away from nature. We are people with gadgets and free will and opportunity, but the same old people we have been all along.
I have learned from the old indians that ancient people do not have this same thought process, do not assimilate and present ideas in the typical western model. The contents of their subconscious are entirely different. One of the important secrets in understanding the study of the sacred pipe has to do with shifting the way in which you think about the details of life. If, when you are there, you think about things the way you do in New York City, when you are on the lands of the mystery life, you will learn and see nothing. This is true even in New York City.
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