[I have recently been reading some of Evan Pritchard’s writing and discovered this excerpt about “Sacred” in an interview that he did with New York Spirit magazine in 2006. Evan is part Celtic and part Mi’kmaq and has studied extensively with Algonquin and other elders. This is very profound thinking on the various types of “Sacred”. This is something that could take lifetimes to digest. Would be a very fun weekend retreat workshop to focus on also… ideas…! ;~) ]
What exactly is “sacred” for the Native American?
All life? The whole manifestation? Perhaps the
question is, what is not?
In my use of this word “sacred,” I refer to that which is
eternal, that which is beyond human improvement, that
which should not be changed. I chose stories that were not
sacred stories per se—not to be interpreted or changed—but
those that referred to the sacred: everyday, fun stories.
However, the Algonquin elders say that everywhere you
stand is sacred, and every day is sacred—in fact, that all life
is sacred. I also believe this, and feel that everything that
lives has a place in the sacred hoop of life.
Nature is sacred in a different way—not exactly eternal,
not exactly beyond human improvement. Part of our purpose
is to interact with nature, to be a part of it, to “comb
the mother’s hair” by collecting fallen branches for our
hearth fires, to collect acorns, and to keep the deer and
beaver population in balance. However, we are not to dig
out or remove whole sections of the earth, or destroy any
species of local plant or animal. All holes should be refilled
eventually—even subway holes, in the long run.
Human life is sacred in a third way. Its sacredness lies in
the four gifts that are always changing and growing: our
name, which tells us of our mission in life (about which we
are always learning more), our free will (which changes its
mode of expression every day), our language (which we
should be free to use creatively), and our peace of heart and
mind (which we must regain every day).
Note: The entire article from New York Spirit magazine is in the preceding series of blog entries. Some very brilliant and powerful thinking there…
The whole article can be downloaded from Evan’s website on the home page.