Monday, March 21, 2016

Genius of the Old Indians : 8-Sided Character


©2016 Turtle Heart : Sleeping in the Bed We Made


Interlude: A Spring Equinox : 0530 20 March 2016 CET

the sky gate opens
just before the sun can rise
sacred water flows in 8 directions
I have found dreams in that water
with songs rising up from the middle

just before the sun can rise
the silence of the moonlight
falls across an ancient drum, drumming
into the sacred night

the enchanted door opens again
for seven heart-beats
one long breath that comes in
and goes back out
all of its work, all of its potential
all of its hope in just that moment

there is a rhythm that opens
from the heart of the mother earth
i heard the old indian say

when sky gate is open you can pass through
with that song you made
when you were in the middle
drumming into the night
into the sacred night


Genius : The Old Indians
Editorial Opinion : © 2016 Turtle Heart

2016 : Right Here :

I use the term “old Indians”, my own term I believe, as a term of Art. It is intended as an honorarium that identifies those people who remember, and act upon, what we called “the original instructions”. The condition of normal from inside their own history, past and future. It was a time that actually existed for the North American Indians. A condition of their cultures that produced a balanced society and empowered individuals…of movement onto 8 planes of consciousness, for example. A good situation whose history, to the modern world, is very poorly understood even within those few circles of interest that care at all, about the American Indians.

This American Indian internet narrative was the actual and very first narrative on the American Indian to appear on the Internet. Via MIT circa 1988-1991. The American Indian Computer Art Project, 1986 (AICAP).

We see the rays of our most important star as having 8 rays. We Ojibwe like the number 8. Our sweat lodge has 8 poles (8 arches and 4 rings). We think an important leader should have, for all to see, an 8-sided character. 8 sides to our drums. 8 sacred ceremonies disguised as 8, since one of them is a twin of the other. 8 degrees of initiation into our most important society. (Sometimes called The House of Dreamers).

Every good question has 8 good answers.

At some levels of consciousness, there may exist no negative conclusions, no doubt, no disagreement. A careful consideration of the 8 answers produces a solution, an answer, called a “correction”. No compromise required, only agreement. I have seen it happen that way.

The 8-sided life is a journey from ignorance to wisdom. From noise and screams to silence. From selfishness to compassion. This journey passes from pure light to sincere darkness and back again into the light. There is no posturing. No adjustment of positions. No secret agreements made in smoky rooms. The 8-sided life is honest. No one, perhaps, knows what real honesty is in this modern age. One need only look at the American GOP, the so-called Republicans, to see how little facts and truth are important to the actual leaders of the country. In dictatorships and totalitarian regimes we are used to, we even expect that the leadership will not tell the truth. In a functioning democracy, there is always, every day, the expectation of transparency. The expectation that facts will prevail. Under the decades long rise of the GOP this expectation has been shattered. It is easy to see the consequences. From a political machine that cares nothing about the truth on any level we see what we have gotten. Under a US President, GW Bush, we changed the world, the entire world, into a far more dangerous place based upon lies, based upon an absolute emptiness of character.

The present political race being conducted by the Republicans, from Ted Cruz, to Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, all the way up to one Donald Trump reveals with alarming clarity what the world looks like when put forward, and allow to prevail, men without character.

As a much younger man I listened to the lessons of the old Indians. I observed with my own eyes the character and nature of their lives. Though many lived in poverty and simplicity unknown to most Americans, it was easy enough to see their polished and sterling souls reflected in their choices, in their behaviour, in their legacy. It was easy enough to compare what they were teaching me, there on the humble earth, with what I was learning on TV, in American textbooks, and in listening to American political leadership. The difference was staggering, sobering. That difference was why I devoted my adult life to being on the side of those old Indians.

Narratives about the real truth, about our real hope for an honest future, are often not as dramatic, as entertaining as the hyperbole and sizzle of liars like Donald Trump or George Bush. The plain truth is often boring in its simplicity. Yet the plain truth remains our most valuable treasure and the only key that can unlock a noble future.

Mean-spirited people dominate our leadership. Everywhere. In politics. In business. In religion. Gentleness seems impossible and that quality is among the eight sides of honour. The Gentlemen of the Honourable Opposition are hardly gentlemen. Meaner things could be said about them. Leadership in the modern age is no longer defined at all by character, but by a much more shallow measure. I wish I could look somewhere and offer an example of fine eight-sided character. I cannot. President Obama comes close, but he also comes up short. He has failed to stand up to the mean-spirited dead world minions of the political right…often making calculated moves to appease them. His recent appointment to the vacancy on the SCOTUS is a clear example of this defect.

Fiction. Fantasies. Hero stories in our literature retain the crumbs and lingering threads of our hope and understanding about leadership with real character. In reality, such hopes seem futile. Yet, for me, starting as a young man listening to the teachers and ideas of the world, I was moved to change my life to support those old American Indians who, possessed of absolute clarity, revealed to me this idea: The Eight-Sided Character.

The sad truth we must face right now; that such men and women, where they exist, are in hiding. The people we most desire to assume leadership refuse to subject themselves to the process. That leaves us Donald Trump.


This is just an idea. Something to think about as we approach Easter.

Turtle Heart 
Ojibwe Artist
Pantelleria Italy






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