By Abbey Mikha
Harmony manifested within the Aboriginal peoples spirituality and spirituality was intertwined with every aspect of their being. Harmony was therefore omnipresent in the Aboriginal way of life. The ancient Aboriginal peoples understood that to be in harmony with all things was not only the most divine way to live, but for them the only way to live. Their sacrament was one of being in harmony.
Harmony was the vine at the centre of their circle which is life that branched out and touched many aspects of their existence, shaping the ways in which they interacted and related to nature with compassion, creating balance within their autonomous non-hierarchical social organization and embodied within their respect for the individual identity of their children.
Harmony shaped the ways in which the Aboriginal peoples interacted with and related to nature with compassion. They had a deep, close, spiritual connections to their land, to the extent that it was tied to their own identity.
In the article Bkejwanong it said that the Aboriginal peoples wanted to protect their land, their Mother Earth, which they believe to be their soul. It also said that Aboriginal peoples retained values, traditions, and knowledge that are inspired by the principle of living in harmony with the natural world. This being a primary ethic in their civilization embodied within their love for the earth and all its creations. If one crop was not available for them, others were used and they never over exploited one specific resource because they believed that the Creator held them responsible for the natural world. A Cree Proverb describing these preservationist attitudes states:
“Only when the last tree is cut; only when the last river is polluted; only when the last fish is caught; only then will they realize that you cannot eat money.”
The Aboriginal peoples valued nature more than the accumulation of riches. In the article Bkejwanong it also said that they believe, “We are spiritual beings, as such, our sources of life are all around us – the four elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire.” These elements were sacred and respected by the Aboriginal peoples who lived life compassionately at one with them.
The autonomous non-hierarchical social organization of the Aboriginal peoples was balanced because humans were at the centre of all things, rule was communal, and women had high degree of status and were allowed to take part in decision-making. Like for example the sister of Joseph Grant Mohawk who had a lot of power and influence in the Iroquois society. In the article Bkejwanong it said that a strong feature of the Aboriginal culture was that emphasis on community, on sharing resources through good and bad times, and on group decision-making through consensus. When the masculine and female psyches and essences were animate in such an atmosphere harmony was mediating.
Harmony was additionally embodied within the Aboriginal peoples respect for the individual identity of their children. In Eleanor Leacock’s article Le Jeune noted that, “Aboriginals cannot endure in the least those who seem desirous of assuming superiority over others and that they place all virtue in a certain gentleness or apathy.”
He also stated that, “Aboriginals cannot bear to have their children punished or even scolded.” These sentiments are interrelated with Aboriginals child rearing ways since they did not practise corporal punishment. Other societies use this sort of punishment because they want to shape the identity of their children by forcing them into submission restricting the child’s identity and personality. This contributes to a climate of violence, leaves a negative impression on children who are the most sensitive beings of all humankind and implies that society approves of their physical violation. Aboriginals instinctively knew this to be unhealthy and unnecessary to shape the psyches of their children in such a way. This lack of need for control of their childrens identities and superiority over them, speaks of confidence the Aboriginal peoples had in their identity as a nation and in the potential identity of their children within that nation. They knew their children’s individuality would shape themselves naturally more positively without their unnecessary intimidating interferences. A child after all is an innocent being and should be treated with benevolence.
In a society where generosity is of the highest value harmony cannot but be a pre-eminent melody and for the Aboriginal peoples harmony was as much a part of life as wind is a part of spring. Balance within the Aboriginals autonomous non-hierarchical social organization was achieved through an incarnation of harmony within the equality between genders in a community where rule was communal. Aboriginal peoples were part of the cycle of the earth. They lived life in love with nature and in that love abided harmony. Harmony was also found within the respect the Aboriginal peoples had for the individual identity of the most defenceless of souls, their children. These variables all gave witness to an advanced consciousness that embraces the ethos of equality for all.
In modern days it is a great achievement when an ethos is made into law. For the Aboriginal peoples the ethos of equality did not need to be made into law, it existed, as surely as birds own no castles other than the wilderness but one can still hear compassion in their voices when they sing for all of humankind. Authority and culture for the Aboriginal peoples was not based on gender, or even age, but also good will, civility, humanity, and harmony is at peace in such values...
Eleanor Leacock’s, Montagnais Women and the Jesuit Program for Colonization. An article from a class about Aboriginals.
Jacob Deans, Bkejwanong The Place Where the Waters Divide. An article from a class on Aboriginals of Canada.
Add your email to Abbey's list to get more info. Thank you!
Abbey is a writer and blogger interested in humanitarian issues...
All articles at the Assyrian Thinker website are the copyright (©) 2016 Abbey Mikha