It’s been more than 10 years since writing one of these. Today rat haus reality is traversing its twentieth revolution around Father Sun. As I begin to write this, snow is falling in pre-dawn light, world still and soft and slumbering in Winter’s sleep.
A feeling of deep gratitude fills heart and mind, seeing more of the infinite mystery Life contains and expresses through all our relations. Last month I drank in a recording of the spoken word that re-aligned and extended my perception of reality in the way I had been more attentive to prior to the new millenium.
A year can be defined as the time it takes for Mother Earth to go around Father Sun. Launched in September, 1995, this ratitor’s corner begins a celebration of rat haus reality’s twentieth year. At its center is a 15 March 2001 transcript of John Trudell’s expression of “What It Means To Be A Human Being” that has been broadcast on Maria Gilardin’s exemplary radio program, Time of Useful Consciousness.
I am always searching for a more accurate and holistic understanding of the way things are, and, by extension, the way the past has resulted in this moment. When I hear something that resonates it expands and deepens the meaning and understanding of what is.
This transcript has been crafted with the vital and essential help of rebecca lord. rebecca is the co-founder of rat haus reality. To a significant degree, it is because of her life path and relations that ratical encompasses the range of intelligence and wisdom contained within.
John Trudell’s speaking and thinking covers a magnificent, wide dimension of ground. There is a wealth of understanding and insight to explore and consider about what he expresses. I will synchronize with this for a long time.
An essential point to keep in mind is that this expression comes from the oral tradition. The written word is different. The spoken word transmits awareness and understanding in a more comprehensive and integrated form. While the transcript is there, the most thorough way of taking this in is to listen. (Links to the two half-hour recordings comprising the event are included near the top of that page.)
Further, the way John Trudell speaks is compelling. The modulation and intonation of his voice—the way what he says is combined with how he says it—I find deeply fascinating and engaging. Hearing how his thoughts develop and progress and the way he works through what he wants to communicate weaves a rich, multi-dimensional tapestry of meaning and intelligence.
Some of what is said amplifies and expands prior awareness: about responsibility and how we choose, in every moment, to interpret what we perceive in precisely the way we choose to interpret it. Much more of what is expressed deepens further appreciation and fuller understanding of what it means to be a human being. A primary focal point is the following:
... because ... we come from where we come from, every one of us is the descendant of a tribe. Every person in this room is a descendant of a tribe at some point in our ancestral evolution. Common, collective, genetic memory that’s in there, you know, that’s encoded, like I say, in the DNA.
There is a vital need to activate remembering that we are borrowing today from the past as well as the future. So much forgetting makes possible the incoherent, life-destroying processes and activities that beset the world. This started a long time ago. John Trudell expresses his understanding of how, within the techno-logic perceptional reality, one of the civilizing processes is to erase memories; memory of who we are and what we are, memory of identity and self-reality.
In her introduction to the 15 March 2001 recording, Maria Gilardin recounts a little about the speaker.
John Trudell is a poet, musician, and an advocate for Native American rights. He did not set out to be a writer. His poetic gift developed out of the remarkable, sometimes horrifying circumstances of his life.
Included in his spoken word is poetry (some of which is published in the 2008 book, Lines from a Mined Mind) expressing understanding that includes how we perceive what each us experiences as reality; that reality is based upon our perception of reality. Further, “how we see what we see” is based on the way we choose to interpret what we see and experience.
In the reality
There is a song recording of this poem called “These Memories.” Remembering how we are part of the memories of evolution re-roots our awareness of our origins and place in uni verse. Letting this understanding sink in, go deep, can liberate a wealth of postive, Life -respecting and -serving energy.
Last fall I started thinking about how, going back 10,000 years, every human being today is descended from indigenous forebearers. This is equivalent to about 3,000 human generations. Today many human beings have forgotten what our collective ancestry signifies. Remembering who we are, and especially who our ancestors were and the fact that we are their descendants, can serve to reconnect our steps on the journey with what preceded us and what that means.
It is useful to review what the word meaning means. David Bohm was a physicist who made many contributions to science and philosophy. In a seminar on dialogue and the nature of thought he explores the three meanings of the word meaning.
[M]eaning is not just abstract. You see, behind the abstraction is something concrete—the concrete reality of the very thought process itself—or more generally, of the overall mind process. And underlying this is meaning. In an elementary case it is thought which has a certain meaning, words which have a certain meaning; but there may be more subtle meanings....
In these 19-plus revolutions around Father Sun, I’ve found tremendous meaning building the different sections of rat haus reality that reflect various phases along the journey. From the work with Dr. John Gofman & Egan O’Connor, to studying with Mary Lou Williams, its contents represent aspects of existence and history that have engaged my attention, curiosity, and focus for a long time.
There is a tremendous amount of incoherent energy—both in thought and physical activity—being actively expressed and expended in our world. Suspending for a moment, the rationalizations and justifications for how “we” needed to complete creating the first atomic bomb—even after it was confirmed that Hitler would not succeed in making one (listen to Parts One and Two of “From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima,” by Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, speaking at the Nuke Free Now Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 4 Aug 2012)—a prime example is the energy employed to build nuclear power plants and weapons that express, by the radiation they generate, a death wish for all life on Earth.
Everything is about energy. Everything that ever goes on in this dimension of reality that we are in is about energy. This whole idea of the great programming, I think that this has got to do with the planetary industrial ruling class. The programming has got to do with how they channel our energy, the energy of being, being human, to feed their technological needs. The programming takes place in how we’re civilized, educated, to see reality. Programming is about how to get our energy.
And from Heather Rae’s 2005 documentary, “Trudell,” (borrow from a library, watch on youtube, buy from an independent bookstore, and do not cooperate with amazon) insight is expressed concerning the great lie about this techno-logic perceptional reality.
[starting at 04:28]
Along with erasing memory, John Trudell explains how a primary purpose of the industrial profit machine that is spreading itself over the planet—along with mining the minerals of the Earth—is mining the energy of the human being. In order to countervail this mining process each of us can choose and consciously decide to activate and employ our intelligence that was given to us by our Creator and use it as intelligently and coherently as we can, as often as we can.
... life is a gift. Our intelligence is the gift that makes this life possible for us. Our intelligence is a very sacred power. It is power, our creative imaginations. Human beings, being spirit, being energy, the human carries the being in a physical sense and in an energy sense the being carries the human. The human part of us has intelligence.
Recognizing the intelligence we have been given by our Creator and using it as clearly and coherently as we possibly can is the antidote to the entire techno-logic perceptional reality that is based upon death. The eventual, inevitable outcome of such reality is oblivion and annihilation. It is our responsibility as human beings to see and acknowledge this and then act upon this understanding.
Because this thing about life and death – you know, this techno-logic reality has been around for 3 or 4,000 years – I don’t know however long it’s been around, you know. But its whole reality is based upon death so therefore, at some point it must die. Our whole objective as human beings is to stay alive. Do you get it? I mean really alive. Not surviving and existing, I’m talking about alive. Connected to life and living. See, we have to outlast it because we can’t outfight it because its violence and its aggressive mindset, alright?, is beyond parallel.
Such seeing and understanding is of supreme value and significance. It reawakens memory of who we truly are and what we are here for. In the world we find ourselves living in there is virtually no sense of vital, life-affirming purpose being proffered by the techno-logic mindset reality. Certain periods in the past altered the perceptional reality we find ourselves in today.
... we know there was an inquisition. And this inquisition went on for 4 or 500 years in Europe. The purpose of the inquisition was to alter the perceptional reality of the descendants of the tribes of Europe. To make them believe and see reality the way the church wanted them to believe and see reality.
The perceptional change that occurred through events such as the inquisition caused a primary break and division to occur in how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to nature and the world that gives us life and meaning. The result has been that we have become divorced and separated from the genuine source of Life’s value and purpose. It is possible to restore the connection to all our relations and to once again ride the balance that was the original basis of being and participation in the circle of Life.
I’ve never been able to envision gods or goddesses. I can’t imagine the Creator in a human form.... And I think our road, our path to trouble started when we started to do it that way.... but I don’t go with god because I know that’s a limited perceptional reality. See, they forced it on us. But the trouble came see, when, when we decided that the Creator entity had a human form. See because then, that, that rationalized and justified mistreating the rest of the natural world.
In his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Carl Jung articulated his understanding about how we are composed of our ancestral components and whether they find an elementary gratification in our lives, or whether they are repelled.
Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors. The “newness” in the individual psyche is an endlessly varied recombination of age-old components. Body and soul therefore have an intensely historical character and find no proper place in what is new, in things that have just come into being. That is to say, our ancestral components are only partly at home in such things. We are very far from having finished completely with the Middle Ages, classical antiquity, and primitivity, as our modern psyches pretend. Nevertheless, we have plunged down a cataract of progress which sweeps us on into the future with ever wilder violence the farther it takes us from our roots. Once the past has been breached, it is usually annihilated, and there is no stopping the forward motion. But it is precisely the loss of connection with the past, our uprootedness, which has given rise to the “discontents” of civilization and to such a flurry and haste that we live more in the future and its chimerical promises of a golden age than in the present, with which our whole evolutionary background has not yet caught up. We rush impetuously into novelty, driven by a mounting sense of insufficiency, dissatisfaction, and restlessness. We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the light of the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise. We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of greater freedom is canceled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose us. The less we understand of what our fathers and forefathers sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Nietzsche called the spirit of gravity.
The roots of our historical family are grounded in the life-giving perception of reality that is synchronized and wholly integrated with nature. The reason for being is to keep the balance. We have the ability—the response ability—to re-align ourselves with this purpose if we so choose to walk this path. It is for each of us to decide how we will direct our course. John Trudell submits that responsibility is the liberator’s word, “because then we are taking direct action with our intelligence.” To honor and serve Life’s needs contains and expresses profound significance, value, and purpose.
In this revolution around Father Sun there will be further explorations into such concerns as:
For the Earth, the children, and all that follow us here, I feel gratitude and appreciation to you for taking the time to read and ponder what John Trudell gives voice to and the implications of what he shares.