Monday, June 30, 2008

Black Elk On the Center of the Heart

"I am blind and do not see things of this world, but when the Light comes from Above, it enlightens my heart and I can see, for the Eye of my heart sees everything. The heart is a sanctuary at the center of which there is a little space, wherein the Great Spirit dwells, and this is the Eye. This is the Eye of the Great Spirit by which He sees all things and through which we can see Him. If the heart is not pure, the Great Spirit cannot be seen, and if you should die in this ignorance, your soul cannot return immediately to the Great Spirit, but it must be purified by wandering about in the world. In order to know the center of the heart where the Great Spirit dwells you must be pure and good, and live in the manner that the Great Spirit has taught us. The man who is thus pure contains the Universe in the pocket of his heart."
-Black Elk


Bhakta Dave said...

Wow! What a great bhakta Black Elk is! It sounds as if he is quoting straight from the Bhagavad-gita.

My question is this: Where do Native American cultures get their knowledge from? Do they have an equivalent text to the Bible, Koran, Torah, or Bhagavad-gita? Maybe you cannot speak of all Native American cultures, but if you have some information on Black Elk specifically, that would be appreciated.

Bhakta Dave said...

Someone was too lazy to post a response here (cough, cough, Bala Gopal!, cough, cough), so I thought I'd answer my own question.

Black Elk, and other Native Americans, received knowledge that was passed down via spoken word. There is no written work equivalent to the Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita, etc. This is similar to disciplic succession, although as time passed and man became more and more forgetful, it became necessary to write down this knowledge.