Sunday, August 12, 2012

Facing Death in a Good way

Facing Death in a Good way

I would like to talk about death. But I want to give some background.

I used to think that I had some wisdom long ago. But then my world crashed down around me with severe illness first for me,
then for my wife. Her leukemia floored me for a while. I honestly felt angry with the Creator/ God for allowing all this, even
though I know that I am not a perfect man. During my illness, I actually had messed up brain chemistry so that I had attacked my family who I loved. I really hated myself for this. I don't really have answers for why all this is allowed to fall on us.
Oh, I had turned from following Native American spirituality that I was taught by the Lakotas (I am Cherokee.) to following Jesus because I had a vision that that was what I was supposed to do. And please don't anyone take this as putting what I have learned over the Lakota elders spiritual ways that they teach. It was a great honor to have been taught by elders who some would be very honored to learn from.

I find that I am about as perfect as a piece of cloth that is sewn wrong. I have so many things that I feel that I know must pain the Creator because Creator knows our thoughts that sometimes I am embarrassed to ask for anything from Creator.

Then my mother died in July. I had many thoughts running through my head from the past.
My sister called and said that she was too emotional to handle the eulogy and my brother is very sick and we don't know how much longer he has. My mom had also requested that we sing at her funeral. But my sister was too upset for that.
So it all came upon me.

I thought about what I could write. My mom was raised under tough circumstances. Her dad was abusive to her mom and my mom, aunt, and uncles when they were kids. He also ran around with other women. He kept the family so poor and tore up that
when my uncles got old enough, they kicked him out and told him to never bother my grandma again. But grandma had her own problems. She had obsessions and violent ways of her own. God only knows what she went through that caused her and my aunt
to leave North Carolina. I want no one to take this as a condemnation of any group please. These are just facts.
Native American people have had to live through extreme circumstances that have really caused mental problems for many of us.
Rape and murder of children and women by various groups who were supposed to be helping us like priests and other clergy.
And many of us thought that the white man's god was a god of death, until we found out that those doing these atrocities were in no way following the REAL Jesus. As a matter of fact from the time of Constantine, the church began to be more about politics than spirituality. There are and have been notable exceptions to the corruption of the white man's church. And they shine like stars.
But the majority are just using religion to control the masses. They will take a few issues like abortion and gay marriage to focus on and forget the Bible's mandate to help the needy and poor among you. And lest anyone try to make this exclusively about individual mandates to help the poor, I suggest they read the many parts of the Bible that mandate the governing person or body to help them also. I will not find these for you. I suggest that you read them for yourselves.

Most of what I have read in the Bible is just what Native American kids are taught from childhood. The REAL Jesus' spiritual way is so very close to ours that the only difference that I have in my prayers and life right now is to do everything in Jesus' name.
Other than that, the teachings about caring for the Earth, your fellow humans animals and all creations are almost the same.

I have to laugh at some of these so called Christians who run around on their wives, make policies in government that hurt so many people by cutting off assistance programs that their own forefathers put in place, then say they are they are the real followers of Jesus. They hate and want to kill people, including our current president who they have made veiled threats about assassinating.
They call other races lazy, stupid, stereotype them, hate them, want them dead and promote hatred on their cable news programs.
Then they want follow this heartless version of spirituality or be drowned out in their waves of hate propaganda. And I will be honest I can not vote for the current Republican candidate because the policies that he and his VP are endorsing will hurt many people.
And I reject their claiming to be spiritual people and still implement these policies that would hurt so many people. That is a false Jesus who would tell them to do things like that. I have no tolerance for folks who tell handicapped people, poor folks struggling to survive, sick people and those who Jesus called "the least of these" to pick themselves up by their own bootstraps. Then they quote a few instances of abuse of the system to justify wiping out whole programs and requiring voter IDs of elderly people, handicapped or sick people who can't get out to get one and don't have anyone eligible to go get one for them. All this amounts to
is making it harder to vote and rigging the vote so that fewer come out.
. I fully am prepared to be called a communist/ Marxist for my views which are really ancient Native American in origin. You see anyone who opposes their oppression will be tagged with these false name. I don't agree what so ever with all the teachings of socialists, communists or Marxists because they want no Creator to exist and I know Creator does exist, but not the false one taught in many churches now days. And now many of you know how we feel. Welcome to rez folks we're all "American Indians" now.

So, I know why Indigenous People want no part of being "Christian," because what is presented as "mainstream" now days is sick and perverted and is an evil spiritual way.

So there are/ were those who condemned my mother because she was abusive to us kids. And my dad was always gone to school somewhere so he didn't have to deal with it. But, as I got older, I very much understood what had infected her because it had infected me and countless others. And as I made out her eulogy I began to understand that there was not just bad but a lot of good that she had taught me. She taught me to love music. She used to play her keyboard at home and sing spiritual songs.
She used to sing spiritual songs when she worked. I tried it and found my work easier and I seemed to be more energized afterward. My mother combined her old way teaching with the REAL Jesus she had found. And they were not all that different.
And she apologized later in life for being so rough on me as a kid. I told her there was nothing to forgive. She had grown as a person and had a lot to overcome. She did the best she could with what she had. I told her I loved her and we both hugged and cried.
That was years ago before the Alzheimers had taken her health and mind.

When I left that funeral something in me had changed. My mind began to see that folks we can not fight evil totally with our physical ways. No, we must make sure that we use everything the Creator taught us first and foremost.

We must not hate the person. We must hate evil, not with human hate, but with strong spiritual disdain. And pray for it to be taken out of that person. We must return evil with prayer and try to keep our minds on a good path.

I am 64 now. And maybe I will grow up soon because before this I was a real spiritual baby.
There are a lot of spiritual babies out there and many in leadership positions.
With all the fakes out there it is no wonder that our kids want nothing to do with spirituality.
They don't want to believe in the evil god of money and power an control. I don't blame them.

It took me a long time to find the starting point for the path to being truly spiritual. And I am no Holy Man or leader. I am just a fellow traveler on this path.
But I took another step in the right direction at my mom's funeral. I am sorry my mom is gone. I love her and always will.
But I thank the Creator and her for using it to help me grow as a person.

So I now look at all these people who everyone fears and hates and some follow blindly. But you know they will all face death one day. And what is the legacy they will leave? Will it better the human race? Will people be helped to grow spiritually from their evil? What will be learned at their funerals that will help people grow? What is their legacy? Will it be love? Will it be hate, murder (because their evil propaganda causes some to act out violence, like killing people while they pray in a Sikh temple or while they watch a movie.)? Or do they present a delusion, a false spiritual way that will cause people not to grow?
What are you and I going to leave behind for seven generations? All these and more questions need to be answered.

My mom and dad taught me that all Creation and every person is important. And to never run from evil, to pray your way through it.
And the Creator will show you what to do. And they taught me many, many other things to make me a caring, helpful, respectful and above all loving person.

And the truth is, one day death will take me and you like it took my mom and dad. I only hope that I leave someone the good things that they left me.


Dave Kitchen

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