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The resilience of the Lakota Nation in the face of brutal oppression inspires us even as the continued suffering of these people breaks our hearts.

Dallas Chief Eagle joins us as our conversation starter this Monday for a very special Cafe Call.  Dallas and Occupy Cafe regular Mushin are working together with others to launch Friends of Lakota, an initiative that will create "a clearing for learning" between the Lakota and the world.

Transforming the human presence on this planet, many believe, requires the spreading of "New Stories," including stories about integrating the ancient wisdom still carried forth by indigenous peoples with the modern understanding of man's capacities for manipulating the material world.  Another dimension to this exchange is the need for healing, coming from a place of deep listening to the painful and devastating legacy of the oppression that has been deeply intertwined with the building of the modern world.  As Alex White Plume, a 60-year-old Oglala Lakota activist states in National Geographic magazine's cover story on the Lakota this month:

“They tried extermination, they tried assimilation, they broke every single treaty they ever made with us,” White Plume said. “They took away our horses. They outlawed our language. Our ceremonies were forbidden.” White Plume is insistent about the depth and breadth of the policies and laws by which the U.S. government sought to quash Native Americans, but his delivery is uncomplainingly matter-of-fact. “Our holy leaders had to go underground for nearly a century.” It wasn’t until Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, in 1978, that any interference in native spiritual practices was made a crime. “And yet our ceremonies survived, our language survived."

Chief Frank Fools Crow (pictured above) famously addressed the US Congress in 1976 to insist on the return of the Black Hills to his people:

I would like to ask you why when we speak you do not listen, and when you listen, you do not hear, and when you hear us, you do not choose to understand what we say.

We come together with Dallas Chief Eagle this Monday to listen, to hear and to choose to understand.  As always, we also invite you to begin the conversation right now on this forum, and to continue it here once our call is complete.  We can start with this question:

What might you want to explore in "a clearing for learning" as a Friend of Lakota?

On our call today, we take inspiration from the experience of the Pachamama Alliance's work with the indigenous Achuar people of the Ecuadorian rainforest.  An Achuar elder famously told these US activists:

If you are coming to help us, you are  wasting your time. But if you are coming because your liberation is bound up with ours.....then let us work together.

Mushin and his colleagues are considering the idea of forming a group within the Cafe to steward a new regular conversation series as part of the larger Friends of Lakota initiative. If this occurred, what might the focus of our "clearing for learning" be?  Put another way (and this will be our main question on the call today): "what question, if answered, might make the difference in our ability to work together for liberation?"

Photo of Chief Frank Fools Crow

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Dyck, (good trigger)

First of all I truly appreciate your engaging in this conversation.  My view is simple in regards to the sacred masculinity in our world.  Since the industrial revolution and globalization of the planet in the world, sacred masculine initiatory practices have been broken and fractured in every unit of our humanity.  Boys are lost because the sacred wisdom in elder's has been silenced in the communication networks that have arisen in power in the mass manufactured media of "Get Money or Eat Dirt."  

We sacred beings (Homo sapiens amans ~ wise-sing up social loving animals) all come from the same womb of creation and it's a pure biological experience and autopoietic autonomous cognitive realization in living.  In the womb there is no initial gender distinction, and as the Lakota wisdom continuum points to all beings are sacred. There is no world for children rather sacred beings and all are valued in their individuation in a social wisdom of continuum. There notion of sacred is an oral languaging and manner of human dignity based in an ancient social wisdom continuum, not a conceptual religious or indoctrinated belief system of western civilization.  Most conversations and written materials of indigenous peoples are proposed by anthropological observers that are writing through the lenses of "Dominant Notions of Sacred, God, First Cause, Religion" and I submit the Lakota are social beings viewing life and living with an entire radically alien set of "eyes" where the notion of "ownership" is nonsensical to the deep rooted heart felt social experience and wisdom continuum happening at the altar of social enactive embodied family relations embracing the entire web of life, including the Milky Way Galaxy.  

I offer this comment regarding the Men's Movement in the world as a participating observer and facilitator of healing of men happening in silence and confidentiality.  The men's movement throughout the world started during the Viet Nam era where hundreds of men would gather together to "feel" and "release" the experience of being boys who were traumatized by arrogant aggression on the leadership's adolescent arrested immature behaviors in the world.  Men held each other, cried and weeped for hours in the shame and humiliation and violence directly experienced in war.  There was no PTSD diagnose, support or opening in society for these men to recover from the invisible inner wounds of battle. This was deep authentic vulnerable fragile men recovering the innocent boy "pulling themselves up by the bootstraps creating a new brotherhood in the world where boys are valued, honored and celebrated for crying and releasing the deep wounds in a world gone crazy."  

We (USA) lost over 50,000 soldiers in Viet Nam and it's easily estimated that over 150,000 soldiers committed suicide within 36 months.  Our cities across America still have homeless Viet Nam Vets littering the street corners and if we actually included the number's imprisoned, in mental institutions, and those who died from  alcohol, drugs and homicide we could begin to see the cost of war in the social reality as Americans.  Today with the privatization of our militaristic global complex of deceptive coercive arrogant aggression 20% of suicides today are going to be active American veterans ending the violence by taking their lives.  

We boys are in serious deep shit and since March 2000, after losing my business opportunity to American Family Insurance Company Bad Faith and Civil Conspiracy in governance,  I have participated in the International ManKind Project and witnessed and assisted as a facilitator all kinds of men who have faced off in the inner human heart battle with demons and ghosts and recovered the human dignity of being innocent boys, and started caring for building a repository for the sacred masculine in modernity.  No easy chore while masculinity has been reduced to the primary target of suicidal militaristic competitive arrogant growth without restraint, a culture of death, and sitcoms reduce masculinity to metro bumbling idiots.  And MKP has totally embraced gay men's rights.  I submit boys need elder men to be real and authentic with them.  Dallas Chief Eagle's sharing of his meeting with 70 young males last week is an example of an wise elder opening a safe place and space (splace) for authentic inquiry and dialog.  

As an observer and facilitator attempting to "build a generative bridge in a clearing for learning between the Lakota Wisdom Continuum and the modern world" it's really a sad commentary today that Dallas Chief Eagle's courageous contribution to authentic speech acts is reduced to a gender battlefield of male versus female relationships.  Dallas is my kola (brother) and we are the same age and both of us are veterans, grandfathers, and his final remark about working to get the "7th Calvary" out of his body needs to be respected by men, women and children in a historic sense of the arrogance in American notions of Exceptionalism.  The end of war, arrogance and aggression is a battle arising inside the human heart felt wisdom of being boys, remembering the love, security, safety and wholeness in the womb from which we arose.  We treasure our mother's more than anything in the world.  Who among you wants to live in a world without a son's caring protection willing to confront injustice and give his life to preserve dignity, freedom of speech and rule of agreed upon standards in community?  Imagine a social global society without any law today where you load up "Road Warriors with Military Assault Weapons" and run through our villages in arrogant aggressive subjective relativism and murder for survival, fame and reactionary hatred for life.  Woops, we have witnessed two events just in the last couple weeks.  Are you concerned?  As Larry Davis (90 WWII vet) said at the beginning of the NatGat conference "we are a few seconds away from WWIII and I am the first world class citizen since 1953 declaring a stance behind the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and this is the solution to our current breakdowns." (Paraphrased) 

We men, woman and children who are awakening to being biological Homo sapiens amans need encouragement, hearing, emotional understanding, and a clearing for learning where the matters of the deep dark living heart are validated as acceptable human utterances in legitimacy~in~coexistence.  Not ontological arguments of every imaginable indoctrinated belief system and opinionated divisive intellectual bullshit to look good, be right or acquire the upper hand in power.  The pain point in our collective human conditional situation is nothing less than a total absolute crying party about to happen everywhere.  Until we are ready to feel what we do, when we do, the things we do to one another in this swept along cultural historic matrix of bullshit, we are stuck in collective denial  In my honest assessment it's going to kill everyone of us and the entire web of life. And as a grandfather with a 3 year old grand daughter I have had enough and over my dead body. I refuse to live another minute in denial of the swept along historic cultural mistake.  I do not own a gun nor do I watch TV with all this horse shit of killing and mayhem.  The only thing I have left is my own voice and god dammit the mute button has been ripped out on my throat knowing the Lakota people.  I got arrows flying at my voice from every conceivable direction.  And one thing you can all go to the bank on, I stand with the Lakota people as a Nation and their right to self organize is going to happen come hell or high water.

I for one am not going to send "great great grandmothers" into the street to fight this battle to bring forth justice in human affairs.  I am willing today to die to protect and defend the grandmother's wisdom in womb of creation and bring forth a new beginning as a man among men that cares, feeds and nurtures the "water of life at the root on my own existence" and design a future world together for the "sacred beings of tomorrow."  Opinions are like assholes and everyone has one and it's starting stink up human existence.  Everyone needs to wipe their own ass and clean this up and there are no saviors.  This requires becoming responsible for what proceeds from the mouth.  Just because recently I nearly cried in front of this cafe, doesn't mean I have lost the fierceness for justice, peace and equality for our humanity.  I have very few friends (kolas) and Dallas Chief Eagle is one of the best I know.  

A "CLEARING FOR LEARNING" is a distinction in human conversations that from the very inception on the notion is declaring we don't know what we don't know nor where we are going.  The notion is totally built on gathering dignity in human trust person to person and through appreciative inquiry and dialog strategy arises in walking together in primary knowing love for one another.  I submit it's an authentic embracing within our body, emotions, mind and spirit to unearth, discover and reveal the "blind spot" operating as an "observer error" (mistaken behaviors) in current swept along historic cultural drifts in modernity about to crash like locomotive doing a million miles an hour off a precipice of consumptive growth without restraint in any domain of human conversation. 

To close here is a little post of Dallas Chief Eagle's words in January 2012.  The courage of this one man's voice is not some personal egoic grandiose western notion of self importance or violent reactionary victim.  No it's much more serious, profound and a determinant voice arising in the spine of a 'spiritual warrior' speaking openly for an ancestral innocence thousands of years old that is committing to end the valley of tears and resurrecting the social reality of being Lakota ~ Wolakota ~ Homo sapiens amans.  

Indigenous Men's Oyate

“Those who live for one another learn that love is the bond of perfect unity."

Fools Crow

Since the killing of Custer at Little Big Horn (1876) the participants  (men, women and children) of the battle have been hunted, murdered, arrested, driven into Canada and the Native men have been isolated, shamed, humiliated causing an internal hidden feeling of pain, anger, hopelessness, helplessness.  If we were to share those honest feeling in the current system of care providers that are appointed to provide for our needs, we would be put into further danger.  As a result Indian men’s intergenerational trauma has created a deep rooted emotional poverty, a bottled up frustrated anger, a distrust of the world, and fragmented dysfunctional social relationships suffering in addicted behaviors, tribal treatment programs, prison incarceration, mental institutions, and meaningless meetings, gatherings and ceremonies that never solve the underlying angst of the Native Man’s Dignity to be liberated. As a result Indian men were stripped of being caring providers, caretakers, protectors and wise common men that previously were adorned by everyone.  Now we live in alcohol, drugs, violence, and 80% unemployment as a way of living. 

This pattern of existence made the Indian a political prisoner where men’s values were castrated by external political power for over one hundred years. The American Indian Movement took a stand at Wounded Knee in 1973 and broke through those political boundaries that almost choked our village to death. These men led the initial charge and opened up our legitimacy as landlords of turtle island to assume our rights in natural law.

The Order of Earth Maka Si Tomni is both ancient and presence in our lives through natural law.  Indian Men are gathering at Maka Si Tomni retreat center weekly building the hunter of tomorrow at the altar within.  We are emptying the tears of a man’s broken heart in sacred circles.  We journey together now in non violence where it is safe to uncork the intergenerational emotional abusive poverty in our condition and recover the emotional ancestral billionaire experience in our situation as unified Indian men living in our manner of dignity once again.  Our life is holiday everyday by being plain old Indians.

Gathering as Indian men together we recover being whole, mature and transforming the deviant addictive patterns in our behavior once and for all.  Let us together reclaim our power as Indians and reconstruct our village as new hunters, uniting in peace and friendship, and bring home the big game for the children of tomorrow.  It’s time for us to stop living in distrust, confusion, resignation, resentment, despair we call emotional poverty. It’s time for Indian Men to recover the joyful songs of heart felt existence in a trusted mutual interactions of living commitments again,, sing a song everyone can hear “O Mitakuye Oyasin” thriving in the sacred sphere of life emotionally, spiritually, physically as a mentally charged man in a mood of joyful concern, no longer burdened. 

Maka Si Tomni Men’s Oyate empowers direct experience of the wounded healer within a non-violent caring to ALL living beings in the sacred web of life.  Prepare for the NEXT BIG GAME in OUR VILLAGE, caring for the children of the future. 

All Men intending to heal are invited to our camp! Wolakota!

"This is an arrow of sanity awakening a clearing for learning and as Dallas Chief Eagle shared yesterday in our meeting "the Occupy Cafe was a good beginning."  Let's stop for a moment, breathe deeply into the heart of the matter before us, suspend our panic of righteous indignation for one another, open a space and place for the tears to wash away "the mistakes of the cultural observer errors" in generational violent aggressive arrogance in governance and religion and cultural blind matrix of power operating in our human affairs and permanent domains of human concerns.  Let us together find a new territory and landscape in appreciative inquiry and dialog where the innocence of our primordial ancestries unite in knowing love that constitute, sustain and maintain the living universe in which we are a strand as brothers and sisters in the web of life.  Let us forgive ourselves for the mistake, apologize in compassion to the fragile heart of our own humanity, and wipe away each other's tears in authenticity, and commit harnessing the trust to building the earth in justice, peace and caring concern for the sacred beings of tomorrow." 

Thank you for hearing and your participation in "Friends of Lakota."  I intend to launch the "Friends of Lakota Group" in Occupy Cafe and deepen my commitment to appreciative inquiry in this regard.  Each of you are invited because there is a host of speakers coming to participate in this appreciative inquiry.  You may be one who wants to present and please do so!   It takes courage to break the glass ceiling of power notions in our world.  The Lakota language has no utterances of profanity.  I apologize to my elder's friends that are offended by my linguistic utterances of outrage and indignation. Please forgive me.  In the American lexicon "Bullshit" and "God Dammit" have become technical scientific terms to insight breakdowns in meaningless "Horse Shit" happening in daily living in governance and corporate greed.  

Latter Mushin

Mushin, this has got to be a record length comment.  And I took the time to read and digest it (except for when you copied a quote of another).  It is sadness and I want to hear you and your story.  It is because you've called on something in me to HEAR and care about your story.  I wonder if I would be capable of the compassion to be with you and engage you for 8 hours like the Latota's do with their young men.  I'd like to do this.  You deserve it and I deserve it.  I mean it.

Dyck,

Yes, yes, yes!  I love what you are calling forth is face to face engagement and what Jitendra is pointing to that transcends initial appreciative inquiry and dialog.  In the end we desire passionately more than quick sex on the Internet.  There is cognitive research today that is qualifying that the social networking happening is a shallow beginning and what we really desire is to draw together in the presence of one another in heart felt manner eating, praying, passing feather, singing and dancing in knowing one another.  Let's take a step together and design a gathering in your community for the "Friends of Lakota" and you may be surprised at the experience and the hoop dancing that occurs in movement creating liberation in a clearing for learning in our new story.  I loved Isabel's commenting on Cainan's integrity concerning being stuck in stories.  The medium of the cafe opens a window and yes I tend to enjoy writing because I can be explicit about the implications being experienced in a conversation.  Today we live in a world where if you can't reduce an insight into a 140 characters in the Twittering Universe your considered verbose.  So be it!  I assume my audience are serious people interested in creating a transformational community in appreciative inquiry and dialog specifying the domain of conversation in inquiry, and being vigilant in not collapsing opinions and personal experience.  Yet, as you point to what we also desire is to know one other authentically and spontaneously in love, caring, and sharing our stories, how, where, when and who we are in our this emergent conditional situation we want to change.  I assess that is pretty cool stuff between elders and children today.  Dallas has that elder response in his body by hoop dancing for years as an intern in schools yearly.  The praxis he enactively embodied in the past is now showing new fruit in his gatherings and the "Friends of Lakota" is really about understanding our mutual liberation in the "Tree of Life" he articulated in presencing himself and how the hoop included the entire 360 degrees in the horizon surrounding him in natural law.  What is most interesting about the Lakota people in my assessment is they have a fierceness in reality of natural law while also having the greatest sense of humor in the conditional situation that is constantly opening a clearing for learning with one another in a manner of human dignity.  I call that balance and am a beginner in this regard and look forward to laughing together soon.  Dyck my sadness is only a momentary reflection that arises out of love for peace, justice and human dignity.  Feeling the sour fruit on the tree of experience opens the capacity to feel the sweetness of being alive and our nearness to one another, and the meaning of friendship. In cognitive science we now know that all languages arose from Homo sapiens amans passionate desire to draw closer to one another not arrogance, aggressive and coercive patterns.  Patriarchy is a cultural pattern and observer error (mistake) we created and we can change easily by observing what we do, when do, the things we do.  

What is the next step you propose in this regard?  I still remember the list you shared at the GatCafe and it was authentic to the moment.  I submit our pain, sadness and losses are the best part of who we are and birth's elder wisdom at any age.  

Dallas Chief Eagle mentioned that foundations wanted to see evidence of collaboration.  As our understanding of collaboration deepens, many are now focusing on the power of networking, which essentially means community weaving, tending to the web of life.  I thought folks might be interested in this reference.

Network weavers develop healthy, well-functioning systems (Plastrik & Taylor, 2006):

*  WWeavers help weave connections within and outside the networkeavers help bring cohesion among members and articulate the value proposition of the whole.

*WeaWeavers help connect unconnected entities.

Weavers help operate the network and cope with management issues.

Weavers help monitor and evaluate the network’s development

At this point in time, my energy is focused on weaving together the wisdom from all traditions.  As Paula Underwood would say, "wisdom is wisdom, it cannot matter the source."

Stephanie,

I agree and have the same desire as the founder of The Order of Earth 10 years old.  As Dallas offered "one man at a time healing the emotional impoverishment" I submit the notion is equally applicable to wisdom's one language at a time.  The trap I have experienced in my journey is collapsing the weaving with the weavers in communications where everything and all distinctions mean the same thing, and end up meaning nothing.  For instance indigenous people have distinctions in oral utterances that actually are explicit understandings of the implicit wisdom in ancestral enactive social relationships in a timelessness.  The utterance of wolakota is an invitation into a voluminous experience to embody in social experience in friendship that essentially requires  visiting one another's daily lives like eating together not fixing anything.  I appreciated how Dallas spoke to the fixer's, government programs, health, education, judicial breakdowns of programs that simply don't work and never have.  I don't care about the why?  Rather, what does work for them as a self organizing unit of our humanity?  It appears that allowing them to have dignity in their language and culture is all they are asking for.  Sounds good to me and in the clearing I am learning something about these called "savages" in reality.  The real savage is one who demands obedience to see a certain way and negates the freedom of the other to express a different view, such as to be an American you must speak English.  Really!

"The Sacred Sphere" (2012) by Paul Burley is an interesting offering that intersects the weaving of the Lakota wisdom iconic continuum of symbols with the universal pathways throughout human history.  The Lakota did this without ever writing a word.  I find that stunning and worthy of attention in learning something about who I may possibly be as a human being?  

I submit that in the end the weaving of the weavers is the meeting together in unity at the universal altar in the human heart felt senses of our humanness in solidarity as a specie.  "All that rises must converge" and many are one, and one is many, and each specific unit of our humanity is a golden thread in our new garment being revealed in wholeness, maturity and transcendence of this industrial age.  

As shared early on in this conversation the Lakota refuse to settle in regards to the Black Hills of South Dakota.  I submit that is not an ownership treaty breakdown rather a spiritual declaration that is the truth of being for this unit of our humanity.  How can anyone take it from them?  When in fact it is thousands of years embedded in an ancient social reality in their embodied experience as a culture?  My stance as a friend is the "Discovery Doctrine of the Papal Bulls" is what created this current breakdown for the Lakota people and current Wall Street notions of ownership in globalization, and correcting mistakes require's facing the truth in our historical swept along cultural drift.  I do not consider it a legal material issue of just a broken promise, rather a spiritual issue concerning the Declaration of Human Rights and Justice for any of the original stewards who were living on a holiday before colonialism and imperialism set forth to occupy the America's and created poverty, injustice and patriarchal wars with Kings and Queens.  

Dallas's statements concerning the "glitter" as the essential distraction in the current fragmented dysfunctional behaviors in his village is interesting.  How much do we really need to be happy?  De~growth is not even a political conversation in this 2012 election.  I am concerned because what we are growing into is a suicidal homicidal pact to kill the planet in the next few years. What he claimed was very little is needed when the "inner glitter" is coming from an inner altar in social relations having dignity in the web of life!  I agree, and this is an opening for weavers to weave around as friends of Lakota and create the well functioning integrated healthy systems I know you are committed to in your professional life.  

My assessment is you have a tremendous skill set in this emergent conversation and caring concern for heath and well being of all people.  You are truly beautiful in caring and one of the major initiatives happening is how to get the social financial entitlements for "Child and Family Welfare" from the Federal level of government mandates in law out of any State control and directly administered by tribes in America?  Imagine an interactive designed system where traditional elder's apply "what owns them in the wisdom continuum" in a self organizing manner and recovering the holiday they previously knew so well before the "glitter" virus infected them.  

Dallas is a visionary and the Bush Foundation (3M) thinks he is alone when in fact he is connecting seven council fires in a bigger game from inside where the real "glitter" is and I submit this movement eventually has impact on all original tribal right to recover thriving languages and cultures.  And one way you can participate is become a part of the endeavor as an NGO friend in the "Maka Si Tomni Clearinghouse."   

Let's continue to weave together as "Friends of Lakota" and the next presenter(s) may really light up the fire in your belly and stimulate expansive creative intelligence in future weaving collaborative efforts!  I would love to speak with by Skype if attention permits, orderofearth_patric, I want to introduce you to a few others interested in the weaving in an effective manner.

Thanks 

Mushin,

I've been away from computers at a Youth Peace Summit.  Youth are what give me hope for the future ....

From the perspective of my Apache teacher, when you take away someone else's right to be, you give up your own.  My teacher's grandfather rode with Geronimo.  After many broken treaties, Geronimo saw clearly that the government would not allow him to be, so our government gave up their own right to be.  He decided he'd rather be dead than try to work with such an untrustworthy partner.

What I believe we want to put forward from this tradition is that everyone has a basic right to be ... and that includes a right to be different and to disagree with other opinions.  We also have a right to love, growth and to gain wisdom.

I had adopted indian wisdoms into my life and my work for over a decade when I discovered family links to indian history.  My mother's side is choctaw and english based on the trail of tears to Oklahoma.  This heritage was hidden as the family chose to 'pass for white' early on.  On the other side, my great grandfather, an immigrant from famine in Switzerland, survived the Sioux uprising in Minnesota in 1862.  So our sad history lives in me from all sides.

I'm committed to healing the past by bringing native wisdom into today.  A group at Harvard studied governance on reservations and discovered that those applying old ways are doing a better job.  They concluded that all reservations should do so.  That's great for as far as it goes, but I have news.  ALL governing bodies should apply these wisdoms.

Sounds to me like you are on the path to making that happen.  You mention Child and Family Welfare.  I am a social worker by training and have worked with many social service agencies as a consultant.  How might I contribute to making the change in social financial entitlements?

I've been connected to 3M in the past.  They helped our hospital become one of the first in the country to adopt total quality management.  Dallas mentioned that they want to see evidence of collaboration.  I'm guessing I could help in that regard if I understand the nature of what they want to see.

I will check out the book.  I believe there is a sacred geometry to wisdom .....

Yes, let's set up a time for a skype conversation.  More to unfold!

S

Mushin, I disagree with the thought that you attribute to Dallas Chief Eagle, that, "...if America falls the chaos in the world would be unending."

The United States is the cause of most of the chaos in the world. If the future of the Lakota is tied to the future of the US, the future of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela, and many other countries depend of the fall of the US empire or they will become nothing but large reservations amidst radioactive rubble.

The kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Qatar recently brought to the United Nations a motion to support the US, Israel, and Al Quedah in the attempt to oust Bashar Assad and dominate Syria. Although it got a majority of votes, the nations who opposed it make up almost half the world's population.

The concept that people are basically reasonable and that things can always be resolved nonviolently is false. Drone bombs aren't peaceful and you can't talk to them--or to the people commanding them. Empires establish police states so that their owners won't have to be disturbed by the pleas or agonies of those they are killing, and won't have to listen to dissent.

Here are my questions:

If we are seeking liberation, does it mean that we are not free?

If we are not free, why are we not free?

What is it that we might want to work together to gain liberation FROM? Patriarchy? Capitalism? Imperialism? Government?

If we cannot agree that we are not free, and we cannot agree on why we are not free and what it is that we are seeking liberation from, how can we discuss working together for liberation?

I accept you opinion and it has truth as well.  What i see is I am free and make choices every moment.  I am actually content and don't live in fear, and minding my own business not everyone else.  At the same time am open to appreciative dialog and basically refrain from politics, religion, and prejudicial absolutes.  Liberation in my assessment is an interior freedom not necessarily reflected in external conditional situations.  My interest in this appreciative conversation is mutual liberation in the angst we share.  Your questioning of why and assertions are limited beliefs in my assessment and closes down any speculations of things to do together, as well as invalidates my experience and others (like many Lakota people) as veterans.  I offer this agreement between you and I (we) (us) trust is created in actions not intellectual arguments "I invite. request/offer X by Y and I promise X by Y."  Here is where all the rubber hits the road and Mark your identity and narrative is created with others.  You control this in freedom and have the right to say "no" to whatever interactions you invent today.  What are going to do and what commitments do you have today in service?  Getting to work even if it's volunteering normally helps solve the fixations on why pretty quickly in my assessment.

I stand with my fellow veterans and totally oppose the imperial coercive deceptions operating in the political wars occurring since 911.  I am especially concerned with King George's criminal conduct and lack of any serious accountability in American citizenry for loss of public trust that has followed.  If we can not reflect on a decade in a meaningful appreciative inquiry in a civil manner of discourse, it appears an impossibility to reflect on the bigger picture in hundreds and thousands of years.

Thanks    

I wonder if a little context might be helpful.  I was blessed with a native teacher who was given the task of translating a 10,000 year old oral history from her people into a written format that could be read by westerners.  Her father trained her by having her practice saying something from a native point of view standing on one foot and then shifting to the other foot and saying the same thing as a westerner.

One challenge is the westerners view paradox as an either/or choice.  right or wrong... republican or democrat.  and those who want to explore or compromise pay the price.  Natives view paradox as a way to achieve balance around the wheel.  Taking responsibility for you and your family in the north.  Taking care of the community in the south.  Both are needed to balance each other.  it's not a choice.  It's not about right or wrong.  It's about what works and doesn't.


In Iroquois traditions, Men and women both played powerful and unique roles.  Men could decide to form a war party, but the women decided whether they would be given food for the journey (in other words, if they viewed the effort as fool hardy, no resources were given).  Men sat on the governing council but clan mothers had the power to remove them if they no longer represented the interests of the people (warriors took care of this task for them).

I encourage us to be curious about how we have all landed to the beliefs we hold so that we can learn from each other.  Let's express our beliefs as a chance to have others help us explore our thinking and vice versa.  I have been humbled by how quickly my beliefs can change when I'm accompanied by a learning partner.

blessings to all

Yes, such eloquence Stephanie.  You've reached your hand deeply to within me.  I've been intriqued with supposed opposites for a while...  they may as well turn out to be on ends of a same contuinum as context changes.  Dyck

I so appreciate this circle's willingness to witness and honor our pain-full past.  All the roles being played are sorely needed.  For me, my mind turns to the practical.  I believe in caterpillar strategies - finding resources from the present to bridge into the future.  Where might we find resources to fund Dallas Chief Eagle's miraculous healing work and other projects designed to heal and bridge our cultures?  Our futures are shared.  I wonder, in materials designed to get indian votes for Obama, it mentions that he has dedicated money to helping indians restore their health and ancient ways.  Does anyone have connections that would help us locate this resource?

Decision making tools were requested.  I'm attaching one - The Chicken Scratch Path.  It would tell us that our choices have gotten us way out in one direction.  We can't just jet speed our way back to a healthier, co-creative place.  It will happen just one decision at a time.  Yet history is full of stories that played out over generations .... like Chaco Canyon in New Mexico ... let's retrieve that patience and commitment.

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Clay Forsberg posted a blog post

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Fifteen years ago, I ran across a book, "100 Most Influential People in History," during one of my dalliances to my local Marin County bookstore. "Influential People" was one man's assessment on exactly that. But how he determined his rankings was the interesting part. They weren't always the reasons you would think. But after thinking about it, they made complete sense. For example:George Washington was ranked in the top 40 of all time. Understandable. But the reason why ... not so much. You…See More
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Leadership Ecology

When a Leadership Ecology occurs, a web of relationships emerges revealing each person’s authentic leadership qualities through the transfer of their power to others. When done in a conscious way – a shared collaborative awakening happens.See More
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