15 November 2016
- Every now and then an event happens in our world that captures my imagination, touching something really deep within me. The Native American protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) at Standing Rock, North Dakota is just such an event. This has the feeling of a truly seminal, historic event in which we are all invited to participate. The peaceful protests by what are known as the “water protectors” against a multi-billion dollar corporation putting an oil pipeline through what the Native Americans consider sacred land, endangering the source of their water—i.e., of life itself—is a deeply symbolic event with real life consequences. In a very real sense, the protest is itself a sacred ceremony being performed on the world stage, being done on behalf of all of humanity – which is to say, all of us.
As if a formless archetypal process is taking on form and materializing in front of our eyes, a deeper universal conflict that exists within the unconscious psyche of humanity is becoming visible at Standing Rock. At these protests there is a meeting—a confrontation—of two opposite edges of the universe, an encounter of two completely polarized world-views and ways of life. On the one hand, there is the indigenous perspective that honors all life, living in conscious relationship with the earth. On the other hand is industrial civilization, which sees the earth as some “thing”—an inanimate object—to be used for profit, a perspective which is actually destroying the biosphere, the very life support system of the planet. Two more opposed world-views are hard to imagine.
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