While reading Houston Smith’s biography, I couldn’t help identify with what he said in this quote:
I always felt happier at Native American gatherings than at meetings of the American Academy of Religion or, for that matter, at the universities where I taught for fifty years.
Perhaps it’s because primal people see the objects of this world not (or not only) as solid but as open windows to their divine source.
We moderns have severed the connection.
But for Native-Americans, material things grow out of their spiritual roots, and appearance always has another side.
And here is where I connect wholeheartedly.
For it best expresses what I experience in the woods, mountains and deserts.
Houston Smith went on to say:
As the Native-American Black Elk Speaks puts it:
It is often difficult for those who look on the tradition of the Red Man from the outside or through the “educated” mind to understand that no object is what it appears to be, but it is simply the pale shadow of a Reality.
It is for this reason that every created object is holy and has a power according to the loftiness of the spiritual reality it reflects.
When I spend time with Native-Americans, I feel somewhat as I do when I travel in the other India. . . I always found myself light-hearted there. A sense of holiness is in the air, as it is with the Native-Americans, in a way not known on the streets of New York or San Francisco.
And I experience the “holiness that is in the air” every morning on my hikes.
I couldn’t help sharing it this evening.