Skye Thomas

Skye Thomas
Writer, Rebel, and Soapbox Ranter

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ancient prophecy is modern reality

This was forwarded to me via email....

Ancient prophecy is modern reality
Posted: July 28, 2005
by: Editors Report / Indian Country Today

Christians don't have a monopoly on prophecies that
tell of an ''end of times'' or an end of an ''era.''
Many tribal nations, significantly the Hopi and the
Haudenosaunee, but including many others such as Cree
and Lakota in the North and Maya, Lokono and
Maquiritari in the South, have prophecies within their
spiritual traditions that describe an ''end of
times,'' an era very similar to our present times and
depicting or describing prophetic signs apparent to
those who watch for such things. The signs, according
to each culture and prophecy, reveal that major
changes are afoot.

The Christian tradition is compelling in that it
dictates a clear scenario for believers that accepts,
on faith, the belief in the resurrection of Jesus'
physical body from death itself. The resurrection myth
propels to an end-tale with the return of the living
Jesus. This ''Second Coming'' is to gather those who
had believed in him as the only way to salvation.
These would, in fact, be resurrected and ascended into
heaven to live in eternal grace with their Lord.
Everyone else, unfortunately, ends up in hell for
torture and pain throughout eternity.

There are those who say that the Second Coming, which
is also described as ''the Rapture,'' is already
guiding American foreign policy. Certainly, it appears
that the true believers within the present circle of
U.S. policy makers and of many media outlets are
steering toward connecting the worldly events in their
various fields and departments to the sign of the
coming Rapture. No doubt, many fully expect to be
among those who board the celestial ship to life
eternal. These analysts, mostly but not exclusively on
Christian radio and television shows, conjecture for
millions of Americans that propelling Israel as a
major super military power in the Middle East and
invading and occupying a whole country - Iraq - at the
''cradle of civilization,'' portends the acceleration
of the struggle between ''good and evil,'' expectedly
toward Armageddon, the final mother of all battles,
after which comes the return of the living body of
Jesus Christ.

Perhaps this is so, or perhaps it overstates the
Christian case; but no one can deny we live in the age
of terrific religious fervor, when more and more of
humanity attaches itself to essential or elemental
stories that are the basis of whole religions, whose
dictates and strictures can often clash and expand
into dangerous areas - including that of
self-fulfilling prophecy. We are also in an era when
the resources of the Earth that have fueled and
supported industrial lifestyles are quickly
diminishing. This is where some of the Indian
prophecies come in.

John Mohawk, Seneca historian and Indian Country Today
columnist, recalled not long ago the mutual visits by
Hopi and Haudenosaunee traditionalists as early as
1948, where a prophetic tradition, popularly referred
to as ''the purification,'' was exchanged. This was
way before the ecology movement, before ''New Age''
and even before the ''energy crisis.'' The elder
Indian spiritualists from the Hopi of that time not
only had prophecies of meeting ''Indians from the
East,'' they actually fulfilled their own tradition
and traveled east to meet and tell the Haudenosaunee
about it. The sincere exchange of views that followed
saw these and other Native peoples review and renew
their prophetic traditions and this dialogue, largely
unrecorded, has gone on for more than a half a century
after the 1948 visit.

Unlike the faith-based Christian liturgy, what the
Hopi tradition warned about involved patterns of human
activity on Mother Earth that had profound and
predictable consequences. They expressed, as have most
Indian traditionalists to this day, that the greed for
material possessions and technological gadgetry had
the potential to severely affect the systems of the
earth and that this was in fact happening within
Western civilization, which they were witnessing, and
that they had been told they should warn all peoples
about the impending changes and disasters.

No one listened then and too few are listening now, as
the ancient Indian warning is diluted by modern
economic and political concerns, but the message does
resonate with observers of our current energy crisis
who tell us of major and very difficult changes ahead
for most of humanity.

The American ''way of life'' predicated on the wanton
consumption of cheap oil is in its last throes.
Quantitative reality points to severe developing
problems with industrial civilization and its
dependent systems. We are entering what a
well-researched book recently excerpted in Rolling
Stone magazine terms the ''end of the
cheap-fossil-fuel era.'' (''The Long Emergency'' by
James Howard Kunstler, Rolling Stone, March 24, 2005.)

The term ''global oil-production peak'' is very
important in this context. This is the ''turning
point,'' when global production will generate ''the
most oil it will ever produce in a given year,'' after
which annual production can only decline. U.S. oil
production peaked in 1970 at 11 million barrels per
day. Currently some 20 million barrels a day are
consumed just in the United States, which produces 5
million and imports the rest.

There is now developing consensus that the global
oil-production peak, expected by 2010, is happening
now - in 2005. The remaining half of the world's oil
deposits is in large measure unextractable; that which
is extractable is increasingly difficult and costly to
extract, of poorer quality and located mostly in
places hostile to the United States. The industrial
world's principal source of energy, which underwrites
everything about the international and particularly
the industrial economies - from transportation to heat
to food to the hugely integrated range of most other
production - is drying up fast.

The new energy crisis is permanent. The cheap energy,
cheap food and cheap living produced by cheap oil has
no detectable replacement that can sustain the current
industrial lifestyle. And not only oil, but natural
gas is also declining (by five percent a year), with
steeper declines expected. Most power plants built
after 1980 and half the homes in America run on gas.
Nuclear energy, touted by some once again, comes from
plants such as Three Mile Island and has many serious
unsolved problems, in long-term radioactivity control
and waste storage, which generate intense opposition
in the population.

It gets worse: clean water is also diminishing fast.
Already, globally, more than a billion people don't
have safe drinking water. About 15 million children
under the age of 5 die miserably each year from
drinking polluted water. (See: ''With a Push From the
U.N., Water Reveals Its Secrets,'' William J. Broad,
The New York Times, July 26, 2005.)

The news on declining oil and water, and on costly
extreme weather disasters, is sobering. The
convergence of forces now seen as permanent reveals
trends that will severely change life as we know it,
limiting Western technological society and altering
the familiar economics and social planning of the 20th

Large-scale social change could help. But while these
threats compound, the American media and major news
channels grow shrill while losing the ability to tell
schlock from substantive and useful information.
Socially asleep at the wheel and led by the easy
profits of ''reality'' shows, infotainment of bizarre
cases and celebrity gawking, most basic reporting is
replaced by hackneyed pundits repeating their spin on
channel after channel. Public trust and doctrines of
fairness are now hostage to profit incentives. No
major idea or power in the current society is likely
to be challenged, investigated and analyzed for fear
of losing its corporate or governmental support.

Breaking through this wall of disregard for natural
reality was the intent of the elders who came out of
their remote communities to tell their prophecies and
perceptions in the mid-20th century. Because they did
not call for miracles over life and death, because
they did not request we ''act on faith,'' their
admonitions merit attention more than ever today: they
said that the new way of using up the earth will have
dire consequences; indeed, the new reality is of a
world where the promise of industrial progress is much

The elder Indians spoke of food self-sufficiency and
of fighting tenaciously for your lands as the basis of
tribal survival. They urged the younger generation to
stay close to the earth, aware of the sources of good
water and land for growing useful plants and animals
as the ''real economy.'' They spoke of staying
physically active and the people striving to work
together in harmony. Even back then, they warned the
leaders to prepare for a future of great uncertainty.
''Prepare from the ground up,'' they said. ''Community
by community and family by family, learn to do these
things for yourselves.''

Given the callous disregard for these life-threatening
issues by America's current political and media
leadership, the elders' advice - to do for ourselves
and to prepare to meet all conditions - might be as
good as we are likely to get.

take care,

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