Welcome to the first article of my Journal. Or, as the Tongva, the First People of Los Angeles, say in greeting, Nachochan! That means literally “My eyes see your eyes, my hands are open.”
I’ve updated and reposted this article in celebration of having just published my novelette, The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening. It’s now available on my website, at Amazon.com in both print and Kindle, and very soon will be in many mobile e-stores like Apple, Sony, and more. This Journal blog is also visible now on my pages at the Goodreads and Smashwords websites.
First, to clarify, I am not of Native American descent. I had grandparents on one side who were Spanish/Mexican from Los Angeles, and on the other Russian/East European from New York. My website page, About the Author, describes how I first became interested in the Native American Indian culture as a child.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve begun writing about subjects here relating to the book that are of great interest to me and, I hope, will be to you as well. A few of these include Native American spirituality, culture, and building bridges of understanding between Native and non-Native individuals. I’d welcome comments on these subjects from readers.
One special interest of mine is in showing how people have innate common spiritual qualities and abilities, no matter their specific background, religious or philosophical beliefs. These qualities are sacred in several senses of the word. What I mean is that, if anything about humanity is sacred and valuable, it is our inborn or native qualities and abilities, which I believe have their source in our spiritual nature. They are then expressed through our human identity. Lots of these qualities are everyday things most people might not even describe as spiritual.
One of my reasons for writing my book, The Way of the Eagle, has been to make Native American viewpoints and beliefs better known to non-Natives. Understanding is the basis of all progress and improved relations between people of good will. I hope to bring alive one narrow slice of the original Southern Californian Tongvan way of life and make it easier to imagine and understand what they may have thought, felt, understood, and experienced…and the spiritual knowledge and abilities they may have possessed.
Fortunately the current American and European cultures have largely moved beyond automatically considering all native cultures “primitive,” as was almost universal in the 19th century and before. The amazing and profound speeches and statements of great Native American chiefs, leaders and orators show, in contrast, how enlightened and advanced their thought and beliefs were.
Therefore, in this website, I will find excerpts of great American Indian orators of the past and present that are legally OK to quote, so that others can begin to understand the beautiful way of life, thought and expression that preceded our own here in America. There is a huge amount we can learn from them, admire, and add to our own lives to make them better.
I’d love to hear from you via the comments box on my website Journal page, or my website Guestbook. Please check back often to catch future Journal entries (or subscribe to receive the Journal via email by filling in the “Subscribe” window).
My best until next time!