Vi Waln: Lakota philosophy prepares us to face everything

Last week people were abuzz about the rapture. Some thought it meant the end of the world. But I awoke on Sunday and the world was still intact. I haven’t heard of anyone mysteriously disappearing or of any resurrections from the local cemeteries.

In my opinion, Harold Camping and his cohorts are simply fear mongers. How sad that they feel the need to preach terror to the people. Fear is very dangerous as it can provoke people into doing all kinds of stupid things. Camping should preach love rather than fear.

I visited Camping’s website and want to share with you some of the fearful propaganda printed there. He wrote:

“On May 21, 2011 two events will occur. These events could not be more opposite in nature, the one more wonderful than can be imagined; the other more horrific than can be imagined. A great earthquake will occur the Bible describes it as ‘such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.’ This earthquake will be so powerful it will throw open all graves. The remains of the all the believers who have ever lived will be instantly transformed into glorified spiritual bodies to be forever with God.

“On the other hand the bodies of all unsaved people will be thrown out upon the ground to be shamed. The inhabitants who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until October 21, 2011 when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants…

“What if May 21 ends and nothing occurs? The Biblical evidence is too overwhelming and specific to be wrong. Christ's people can look with great confidence to this date because God promises His ‘beloved’ He will not come upon them as a thief in the night. God in His mercy has revealed the vital information needed to know the day. Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 will occur because the bible declares it. Anyone whom God has not saved will arrive at that day with no hope for salvation. God warns simply the ‘door will be shut…’

“What do you say to those who insist we cannot know the precise date of Judgment Day? For one to object to May 21st, 2011 one must have BIBLICAL AUTHORITY to do so. Objections cannot be based upon consensus, traditions or fear. God has given far too many biblical proofs for anyone to disregard May 21 simply because he or she does not like it.”

I read the bible from time to time and view it as a guide. Many people say the bible is the word of God. I say it is a book written by men who interpreted the word of God according to the filters within their own human minds.

We were each given a mind, body and spirit to use on this earth. Some religious leaders are very skilled at manipulating people into following them. They stand in their pulpit and preach the word of God. An articulate speaker can convince listeners of most anything. Beware the preacher who intertwines your faith in God with a donation to his church!

I have always admired the being known as Jesus Christ. I think his words in the bible are the most profound. But I really do not believe he will float down on a cloud to save the faithful righteous. That would be way too easy.

We must use our mind, body and spirit to save ourselves. Many people say we should fear God. I say why should we fear? When one has done the inner work to cleanse the mind, body and spirit then there is no fear.

We all witnessed a huge amount of fear last week in regard to the judgment day supposedly scheduled for May 21st. Since the day has come and gone, now the fearful anticipation will be for October 21st as this is Camping’s next projected day when our world will end.

I have my own personal opinion about the concept of sin. But this is not the column to address what I believe about sin. Still, I view this one man’s spreading of fear about judgment day and the end of the world as manipulation. Only the wasicu preach fear about death.

In Lakota ceremony our prayer is simply Mitakuye Oyasin. This phrase is uttered as a prayer for everything in our universe to live. We celebrate life every chance we get.

Sundance season is upon us bringing another chance to pray for the living beings of Mother Earth. Lakota philosophy is not to pray for death or for bad things to happen. So the philosophy of this one man is the opposite of what the Lakota believe.

I know about fear. I have faced much fear in my life and it has only made me a stronger human being. It is never too late to heal. When you release fears you become skilled at facing things in your life that once caused you to feel very afraid. One of the benefits of working on your self is the building of an inner foundation. You become very strong.

When you clear yourself of all the fears and emotional baggage you carry, you open yourself to true integrity. It becomes natural for you to walk your talk. You can no longer fool yourself. When you know yourself better than you know anyone else, there is no need for self-deception. To make peace with yourself is to make peace with your God.

Our Lakota ancestors felt any day was a good day to die. I believe they felt like this because they were always ready. Thus, the philosophy and spiritual practices of the Lakota Oyate are such that we are ready for anything, including death. I have done my work and have no fear. Bring it on because I am ready for anything.

Vi Waln is Sicangu Lakota and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Her columns were awarded first place in the South Dakota Newspaper Association 2010 contest. She is Editor of the Lakota Country Times and can be reached through email at vi@lakotacountrytimes.com.

Related Stories:
Vi Waln: Bullies can be any age, even on our reservations (5/16)
Vi Waln: Indian people survived terrorism for centuries in US (5/9)
Vi Waln: Respect, love and help your mother while you can (5/2)
Vi Waln: Take time to remember Mother Earth with prayer (4/25)
Vi Waln: Educator Myrl Smith fell in love with his students (4/18)
Vi Waln: Protecting Indian women and children from violence (4/11)
Vi Waln: Exclude yourself from the Cobell trust fund settlement (4/4)
Vi Waln: Internet Indians perpetuate the victimhood mentality (3/28)
Vi Waln: It's starting to feel like spring at Rosebud Reservation (3/21)
Vi Waln: Tribes should trade daylight saving time for Indian Time (3/14)
Vi Waln: Yankton Sioux Tribe fights state to protect reservation (3/7)
Vi Waln: Questions remain about $3.4B Indian trust settlement (2/28)
Vi Waln: Native Americans still dealing with media insensitivity (2/21)
Vi Waln: Settlement in Indian trust fund case benefits just handful (2/7)
Vi Waln: Women form the backbone of Lakota society and culture (1/31)
Vi Waln: Holding Indian Health Service accountable to its patients (1/24)
Vi Waln: Ignorance rears its head with posting about 'ugly' prayer (1/17)
Vi Waln: Don't believe everything in the media about reservation (1/10)
Vi Waln: Tribal identification cards deserve recognition everywhere (1/3)
Vi Waln: December a difficult month for tribes in the Great Plains (12/21)
Vi Waln: Mexico's Indigenous people aim to protect sacred sites (12/13)
Vi Waln: Indian Country must look within to address youth suicide (12/6)
Vi Waln: Lakota people encounter threats to their water source (11/29)
Vi Waln: Lakota of South Dakota remain invisible in many ways (11/24)

Join the Conversation