It seems appropriate to editorialize a bit here on just what did I learn and what is the purpose of this adventure.
When I went out to NY, I knew the story of the Peacemaker, and his compatriots, Hayenwentha and Jikohnsaseh, but I had no idea what was important about it and why I was doing all this. I loved the stories because of the miracles. I knew it was a guideline but how? It did not make sense that the world goes running to the Haudenosaunee to become one. But I did not know what to focus on.... what was the importance of this all? Well, after seven months, I sat with Midge Woods as we taped a showing for firstname.lastname@example.org on the Treasure Valley TV and she point blank asked me, "Marcine, what is this all about? Why is it important?"
I opened my mouth and the words flowed out. And this is what I learned that I had learned from all of this.
First and foremost is the lessons from the story of the Great Law or as we have taken to calling it: The Epic Legends of the Peacemaker's Journey. When the Peacemaker healed the cannibal's mind, he told him to forget the past. What he did with his life now that he had the Good Mind, is what counted.... to do good.... to give back ...... Restorative Justice. So the first is to Forgive yourself. Second is to leave the past in the past. Third is to make amends.Fourth In the story, the people gather around Adodarhonh , a man who has caused great misery to them all. At first the Evil Wizard thought that he should be killed as he looked around and saw that he stood alone... all others had joined the Great Peace. The people had a right to be angry and to hate this man and to kill him.... and yet.... they had learned to Forgive Others as they surrounded Adodarhonh, sang the Peace Song, let their forgiveness heal his mind and his body. He becomes the Tadadaho and faithful defender of the Good Message for the Good Mind.
The story is about Peace and Love. "The Word that I bring is that all peoples shall love one another and live together in Peace." The key to this as demonstrated by the story, is FORGIVENESS.
When one is full of anger, hurt, pain, it is impossible to love anyone or anything not even oneself. One wants to strike out to hurt another. And of course we have this "right" to do this. We have this "right" to hang on to old hurts and pain. But this "right" does not make it good for us. To keep oneself in this attitude and energy of hate and anger is to do more harm to yourself spiritually, and physically... than you can do to the one who has perpetrated the wrong. These negative feelings sit in the pit of your stomach eating away at you, turning your heart to stone, separating you even further from your god, your spiritual self. You have to get that energy out of YOUR beingness. And that prescription is Forgiveness.
For years, the Onkwehoweh had returned a death for a death, a quarrel for a quarrel, in their blood feuds but the more they fought the less happy they were and the more they suffered. When the Peacemaker brought his message, and Hayenwentha had experienced the healing power of forgiveness, they joined with a Matriarch, Jikohnsaseh, to teach the people to FORGIVE so they could LOVE: and only in Love can we have Peace.
It is impossible to love anyone we harbor hard feelings toward. I have experienced that myself so I know it is true. Someone wrongs me, real or imagined, my feelings for that person goes dead inside.
I believe that the greatest teaching that Jesus brought to earth was forgiveness. Up until that time, the Mosaic Law ruled: an eye for an eye. But as Jesus hung on the cross, in dreadful physical pain, an innocent between two guilty men, he uttered the words "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do." This is paramount to healing. This is paramount to Love. This is paramount to Peace.
He showed us the way and too many of us forget, caught up in the energy of the situation and the games of ego...... The Macho Attitude, the Redneck Philosophy, the Cowboy Mentality. We all do it from time to time.
I am reminded of a story from the Book of Mormon taken from Hill Commorah, just 15 miles from the possible grave of the Jikohnsaseh. The Lamanites were laying siege to the Nephites. The Nephites so desired Peace that the Lamanites met no resistance. The Nephites were slaughtered until the Lamanites got tired of the easy kills, and it changed them. They dropped their swords and war clubs and fell on their knees asking for forgiveness from Creator God and their victims.
I wonder what strength, what convictions, to be able to do such a thing, to withhold the sword at the peril of your very physical life.
When you try to apply this to our world today, things seem to go a rye. 60,000 people genocide in the Sudan, and one wonders when they will get tired of the slaughter. At times it seems that force is the only answer.
But I recall the words of the Tadadaho Leon Shenandoah. He said, "We are the spiritual energy that is thousands of times stronger than nuclear energy. Our energy is in the combined will of all the people with the Spirit of the Natural World, to be of one body, one heart and one mind for Peace."
This is where the true power is... in the spiritual energy of forgiveness. It established Peace for the Onkwehoweh, and it can establish Peace in our time.
I am yet reminded of Naomi Tutu as she spoke of the efforts to repatriate her South African Country. She said they gave amnesty to anyone who would confess their crimes. She thought it not punishment enough. She wanted harsher penalties. But she sat in on the trials. She said that the people who confessed, sobbed their wrong doings, coming to a point of self-realization much as the cannibal after seeing the reflection of the Peacemaker in the water. These people, walked out of there with a new commitment to heal the nation and have become part of the solution, while those who lied, who could not come to terms with what they had done, are still stuck in their denial, separated from the energy of the new nation.
One wonders what would have happened if instead of retaliating for the Twin Towers bombing, we would have said, "we forgive you for doing this." If we would have shown that we desired Peace. The World Prayed with us. A First since creation. Would it really have inspired more terrorists because we are "weak"? From what I have seen the path of Peace takes stronger likes than soldiers, and tyrants. Much stronger to hold your tongue, withdraw the fist. Would there be 100,000 Iraqis still alive? Would there be 1500 of our children still living?
What if, in that moment, we could have swung our World and our Universe into the 5 th Dimension, the Time of Peace, the Golden Age of Learning, the Time of the Human Being. What if we would have offered forgiveness instead of the sword....
We might have changed the World......