rain splash by tj worthington
Started reading GERONIMO: His Own Story. I like about it that it is in Geronimo's words, translated. The translation and the writing of it in English was originally published 1906. I'm so glad it was not written in 19th century American written language. I say this because I have seen a great difference between how somebody thinks who has Geronimo's experience and somebody whose experience is schooling and white people urban. Very different ways of thinking and seeing oneself. I like the straight-forward thinking of the American Indians. They lived by the wisdom of generations of first hand spiritual experience. They had shamans who knew the spirit world. They understood that this world runs in line with the spirit world. They understand there is more going on in this life than money. They understood flow. I skipped the lengthy introduction, because I'm not interested in a white man's analysis of someone no white man can understand. I want to go straight to Geronimo's own words, his own way of putting a story together. I like how he started with the Apache creation story. He was a shaman who kept it from white people. They didn't know what that meant anyway. Witch doctor, as they would call it in that time, is so far from what a shaman is, that it has no meaning at all. Like the white men did not understand the spiritual in the Indians, the Indians did not understand the absence of the spiritual in white men.
My admiration for Geronimo is along the lines of admiration for Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Cochise. These are men who struggled for their people to the very last possible moment. None was afraid of dying. Every one a great warrior. Sitting Bull also a shaman. Crazy Horse was known to have a psychic sense. In childhood I identified with the Indians. I believe it is because of several lifetimes in the past among American Indian tribes. I've come to suspect that people who become "Civil War buffs" were in the Civil War a few lifetimes back. I've been an Indian Wars buff all my life from the Indian side. In the neighborhood as a child, the other boys wanted to play cowboys or cavalry. I was the Indian. All of them against me. When I'd get shot, I fell down and died, got up and was another Indian. I could never play white man; it would have been betrayal of my true people. White man was the enemy. I liked that arrows, spears and tomahawks are silent. I don't recall the age I was, and I don't remember where I first started hearing about Indians. Kids played cowboys and Indians. Possibly it's from automatically being drawn to the Indian side that I took an interest in Indians. Boy Scout interest in Indians I couldn't go with. It was seen from the side of the white man, from the cavalry. Some years ago I bought a book about the Indian Wars, started reading it and found its perspective was from the side of the US Army. Stopped reading. I didn't care about what was behind what they did.
Sherman was as ruthless in the Indian War as he was in the Civil War. My only feeling about Sherman is the shame for humanity that his mother did not have an abortion. He's one of the figures in history I truly revile with what seems to me good reason. Several years ago, in the Nineties, visiting Atlanta, a Vedanta monk from southern California was visiting a friend of mine there, another Vedanta monk. Over lunch we had a pleasant conversation. At one point he mentioned his great grandfather was General Sherman. I fell into shock and could only say, "Don't tell anybody else. This is Atlanta. I wish you hadn't told me." Despite knowing this guy had been in a monastery thirty to forty years and didn't get out much, that he had nothing whatsoever to do with the Indian War or the Civil War, something snapped inside and I couldn't hardly face him anymore. I wouldn't want to be held accountable for any of my great grandfathers' minds. I knew then what I know now, that what he said was no more than an aside. It had nothing to do with him having William Tecumseh's experience or even very much of his blood. But it still got to me and I couldn't stop it. Something flooded over me that was deeper than I was aware of. In Atlanta of all places.
I like about Geronimo's account of his story that he speaks of experience. He didn't get foggy in abstractions, generalizations, ideas, conclusions. He talks like the old mountain people who told their stories by experiences. He is not constrained by denial nor making a good impression. The man asked for his story, here it is. He opened his story with the tale of the beginning of Apache. It is quite a good story. It has an understanding from the spirit world perspective. I'm inclined to take the "myth" for literally how it happened, though from the perspective of spirit world. How it manifests on earth in people and culture is quite different, yet follows the same flow. Like where we are now in Western Civ is in the time of the Revelation near the end of the story. The story is full of devils, dragons, demons, angels and visions. It's the same with the Apache story. It's their story told in the spirit. The Indians were tapped into the spirit world that was shut out in early Old Testament times, all the way back then in the progression we call civilization. The only way I can let go of my regret to be a part of the people that committed genocide with intent is to see it as process in God's unknown ways of raising collective human consciousness. I don't know whose consciousness was raised. I've come to see that in God's view death is the blink of an eye. It's time for souls to change clothes, learn the scientific method, get on with discoveries on the earth, in space and within. Looking at it through God's eye makes even the slaughter of the buffalo something I can come to terms with.