On Dec 06, Standing Rock Vets Do what US Govt Never Had the Courage to
Do — Apologize to Native Americans.
December 6, 2016:
There wasn't a dry eye in the room
they say. This is a great change of our moving to higher frequencies, no
human on the planet has nothing to apologize for as a result of living
in 3D duality, no one. It's about getting out of mind - and using the
heart, the higher heart, wonderful start. Only in this understanding can
we enter the door to New Earth.
Victory for Standing Rock: DAPL Easement Not Granted
Victory: The Dakota Access
Corporation was not granted the easement needed for construction under
Lake Oahe; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moves to prepare an
Environmental Impact Statement for alternative routes.
Read Report Here:
11-04-16: Dear Ones,
this is Nancy. I feel that this is very pertinent to the kind of thing
that has to take place around the world. It reminds me of the message in
The Moses Code, I Am That, I Am. We all have to treat each other as
ourselves because that's who we are within ourselves. I've posted it
here on the 'Tree' with gratitude to Charles Eisenstein, and a dear
friend, S.A.M. who sent to to me.
Standing Rock: A
Change of Heart
Posted on Dec 2, 2016
Author and Speaker
I am told by Native
American friends active at Standing Rock that the elders are counseling
the Water Protectors to undertake each action prayerfully and to stay
off the warpath.
I would like to explain why this advice is not only spiritually sound,
but politically astute as well. I would like to translate it into a
strategic compass for anyone who is going to Standing Rock or supporting
the Water Protectors from afar. I also want to explain how it contains a
recipe for the kind of miracles that we need for the healing of our
Let me explain what I mean here by a miracle. A miracle is a kind of a
gift, an occurrence that is beyond our capacity to make happen. It is
something beyond the normal rules of cause and effect as we have
understood them. These include the rules of political and economic power
that determine what is practical and “realistic.”
The halting of the Dakota Access Pipeline would be miraculous simply
because of the array of powerful ruling interests that are committed to
building it. Not only has Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) already spent
hundreds of millions of dollars on the pipeline, but a who’s-who of
global banks has committed over $10 billion in lines of credit to ETP
and other involved entities. Those banks, many of whom are facing
financial stress of their own, are counting on the profits from the
loans at a time when credit-worthy capital investments are hard to come
by. Finally, the United States government has (in its estimation) a
geopolitical interest in increasing domestic oil production to reduce
the economic power of Russia and the Middle East. To hope to halt the
pipeline in the face of such powers is in a certain sense unrealistic.
Since when has a Native American people successfully thwarted
large-scale plans of mining, energy, or agricultural interests? The
usual pattern has been one land grab after another in which resistance
is at best futile and at worst suicidal. But at Standing Rock, something
different is possible. It is not because the Dakota Sioux have finally
acquired more guns or money than the pro-pipeline forces. It is because
we are ready collectively for a change of heart.
That would be good news not only for the people directly affected by the
pipeline, because the whole planet is in need of similar miracles on a
massive scale. Around the globe, powerful interests are destroying
ecosystems and landscapes, clearcutting, stripmining, and polluting. In
every case, the destroyers have more military, political, and financial
power than those who would resist them. If this planet and our
civilization is to heal, it cannot be through winning a contest of
force. When you have a chance of overcoming an opponent by force, then
fighting is a reasonable option. Absent that condition, victory has to
come some other way: through the exercise of a kind of power that makes
guns, money, and other kinds of coercive force irrelevant. Dare we call
this power love?
Before I go on, let me convey to you my awareness of the injustice and
suffering that the Water Protectors have endured. Many of my friends
have witnessed them first hand. These things must be taken into account
if a philosophy of nonviolence is to be relevant to the real world.
Furthermore, I am no armchair philosopher in this matter. My own son is
at Standing Rock as I write this.
OK then, love. I am not talking about shying away from confrontation and
hoping to stop the pipeline by loving the police or energy company from
afar. Standing Rock has given us many examples of love in action that
offer a hint of the miracle that is possible.
I heard about one incident in which a group of Water Protectors went to
talk to the sheriff about the water cannons. They were met with police
who began to arrest them. While she was being arrested, one of the women
began to sing a native prayer song; soon all of the group were singing
in unison. The police began to look uncomfortable; one of them even
started crying. Another, who looked like he might have Native heritage
himself, started to take off his helmet but thought better of it when he
saw none of the other police were doing it.
There have been many actions like this at Standing Rock involving song,
prayer, ceremony, and nonviolent resistance. To a great extent the
urging of the elders has been heeded, and as the above incident
demonstrates, these actions have an effect on the police. They disrupt
the narratives that legitimize the forceful suppression of the Water
Protectors, narratives about violent extremists, criminal elements,
protecting the public, and so forth. This has already born fruit: if not
for the resolute nonviolence of the resistance, the government would
surely have forcefully evicted the Water Protectors by now, justifying
violence with violence.
If the Water Protectors go onto the warpath and see and treat the police
as enemies, they play into the narratives that legitimize state
violence. Consider this report from an army veteran, Harlan Wallner, who
wrote to me after spending some time at Standing Rock: “I witnessed
people on the shore shouting that the police were fat donut-eating pigs,
cowards, etc., that they should be ashamed of themselves, that they have
no honor. I heard one man shout that a curse was being placed on them
and all of their descendants. I saw one man throw a rock at police in a
boat and then be shot in the leg with one of their bean-bag bullets. On
two occasions when the anger got particularly fevered I shouted ‘It’s
still important to be kind! It’s still important to be kind!’ and the
second time I was nearly attacked. ‘Fuck you! Fuck that, it’s way beyond
time for that!’ one man nearly growled at me. I shut up after that.”
Now put yourself in the shoes of the police officers. Nothing creates
solidarity in the ranks like a common threat. Slurs like “donut-eating
pigs” eliminate any possibility that the police will sympathize with the
protestors. They play into the very narratives that justify police
action to begin with: maintaining law and order in the face of violent
extremists. In other words, by engaging in this kind of verbal violence
against the police, the militants comply with their own demonization.
They put themselves in a position where the only kind of victory
possible is a victory by force.
That kind of victory is unlikely. Worse, even if it is achieved, it
creates the conditions for an eventual defeat. What are the deep
conditions that give rise to the desecration of indigenous peoples and
destruction of nature? In the case of indigenous peoples, their
oppression is invariably facilitated by their dehumanization or even
demonization. This is the deep template of genocide, the primary
prerequisite. By demonizing the police or ETP executives, one
contributes to the field of dehumanization. One upholds the basic
premise that some people are less fully human than others, that they are
contemptible, abhorrent… deplorable. That is the essence of racism and
the enabler of war.
The dehumanization of the Other that happens in war, racism, and
genocide is no different from any reduction of the sacred to the
profane. It is the same mentality that informs the reduction of nature
from a sacred, living intelligence into a collection of insensate
things: mere resources to be exploited or an enemy to be conquered. The
reduction of humans to enemies or to subhuman caricatures like greedy
executives and donut-eating police pigs is the same mentality that makes
it OK to threaten a river with catastrophic oil spills. Invoking the
principle of morphic resonance, by entering into war mentality we
strengthen the field of war, including the reduction and domination of
nature. That is why victories in war so often lead to just more war. The
war is won, but the ideals for which it was fought remain as distant as
ever. So it has been for five thousand years.
In other words, if we seek to win a fight using the tactics of
dehumanization, we are contributing to the sacrilege that is at the root
of the problem. No pipelines would be built if we loved the river like a
When the elders ask us to proceed prayerfully, what do they mean? To be
prayerful is to be in awareness of the sacred. We too easily forget the
sacred, whether in relationship to human beings or to other-than-human
beings like trees, soil, and rivers. If prayer is sacred speech, then to
act prayerfully is to be reverent in action as well as speech. The
dehumanization that leads us onto the warpath is the opposite of
It is not easy to stay off the warpath. Each new atrocity and outrage
renews the invitation into hatred. Lord knows we’ve received many such
invitations onto the warpath. The attack dogs, the pepper spraying, the
water cannons, the woman whose face was shattered by a rubber bullet,
the news that the police will start carrying live ammunition, the state
government’s fines for those bringing supplies to Standing Rock, the
fact that ETP’s drilling is currently illegal, the historical robbery of
native lands and the breaking of every treaty… there are any number of
reasons to adopt a good-versus-evil view. As tempting as it is for me,
all the more for people at Standing Rock who have been subjected to
violence personally or witnessed it first hand. To counsel forgiveness
or nonviolence from afar seems almost arrogant, were it not echoing the
elders and so many others on site.
Each of these invitations onto the warpath also presents an opportunity
to defy the enabling narratives of violence and to take a step toward
victory without fighting. It is an opportunity to employ what Gandhi
called “soul force.” Meeting violence with nonviolence invites the other
into nonviolence as well. Refusing the invitation onto the warpath
automatically extends a counter-invitation to the enemy to cease being
an enemy. That is why it is so important to remember that the purpose of
nonviolent action is not to make the other side look bad. That would be
a kind of attack, a kind of violence, and a tactic of war. No, the
purpose is to invite the other side and onlookers alike to join you in
courage. Of course, they may decline the invitation, but it grows more
powerful with each escalation of violence.
Each time you refuse the invitation onto the warpath, you become more
powerful. Those who can stay peaceful in the face of any terror or
threat become virtual miracle-workers. I am reminded of an Afghan woman
I know named Sakena. She does peace and education work in Kabul,
including the education of girls. This is a dangerous line of work in a
place where religious fundamentalists believe that educating girls
should be punishable by death, and indeed Sakena receives her share of
death threats – something to be taken seriously in that place.
One day Sakena was in a car with her driver, two staff people, and her
unarmed bodyguard. Suddenly the driver stopped. A makeshift roadblock
was ahead of them, manned by twenty or so young men dressed in
fundamentalist garb and armed with rifles, which were pointed at the
car. “Tell Sakena to get out,” they shouted.
Bravely, the driver said, “You’ve got the wrong car. There’s no one by
that name here.”
“Oh yes there is,” they replied. “We know she’s in there. We’ve been
Sakena got out of the car and strode up to the young men. “I’m Sakena,”
she declared. “What do you want?”
For the next half hour, the four people in the car watched as Sakena
talked to the young men. Finally she returned to the car and said, “OK,
we can go now.” Astonished, her staffers asked what happened. She told
them that the young men had decided that they wanted to be educated too,
just like the girls, and had arranged to meet her again the next week
outside a certain mosque.
Such is the potential power of staying off the warpath. Even with guns
pointed at her, Sakena refused to see the young men as anything less
than divine human beings. She refused to reduce them in her vision to
crazed terrorists or subhuman “fundamentalists.” She saw them as
promising young men who of course wanted an education. Her fearlessness
and goodwill exerted an invitation so compelling that the men were
nearly helpless to refuse it.
The way we see and treat someone is a powerful invitation for them to be
as we see them. See someone as deplorable, and even their peace
overtures will look like cynical ploys. Distrust generates
untrustworthiness. On the other hand, when we are able to see beyond
conventional roles and categories, we become able to invite others into
previously unmanifest potentials. This cannot be done in ignorance of
the subjective reality of another’s situation; to the contrary, it
depends on an empathic understanding of their situation. It starts with
the question that defines compassion: What is it like to be you?
That question is anathema to the militant and the warmonger, because it
rehumanizes those that they would dehumanize. Broach it, and they will
call you soft, naïve, a fool or a traitor.
What it is like to be a police at Standing Rock? Or what it is like to
be an ETP executive? Can you bring yourself into the knowledge that they
are our brothers here on earth, doing their best under the circumstances
they have been given? I imagine myself in the ETP executive suite. The
stress level is high. The board of directors are freaking out. The banks
are threatening to pull their funding. We’ve spent tens of millions
leasing capital equipment. Maybe we have bond payments due. Business is
tough enough as it is, and now these protestors come in who don’t
realize that pipelines are safer than rail tankers. They use gasoline
too, the hypocrites! And they’re making us into the bad guys! And look
how hate-filled they are! Yup, it’s obvious who the good guys are.
I am not endorsing this viewpoint. I am merely trying to understand it.
One product of that understanding that is uncomfortable for the ego of
the militant is that it would take courage for the ETP executives to
halt the project — to do so would require sacrificing their
self-interest as they understand it. Similarly, it might take courage
for a policeman to defy orders or disbelieve propaganda or break ranks.
In a way, we are all in the same boat; we are all facing situations that
invite us to choose love over fear, to listen to the heart when it feels
unsafe to do so. We need to help each other obey that call. In that, we
are allies. We can be allies in calling each other to our highest
Another friend described his encounters with pepper-spraying police at
Standing Rock. He noticed that in each instance, it was only one or two
police who were doing most of the violence. The others were standing
around looking uncomfortable, probably wishing they were somewhere else.
What would activist tactics look like if they were based on the
conviction, “Most of the police don’t really want to be doing this”?
What would it look like to express in word and deed an underlying
certainty that each of them is here on earth to carry out a sacred
mission of service to life? How would it feel to them to be told, “I am
sorry you are being put in this position. I am sorry you are under such
pressure to contravene your heart. But it is not too late. We forgive
you and welcome you to join us in service to life.”
As I write this, the first of two thousand U.S. military veterans are
entering the camps at Standing Rock. They have vowed to stand with and
protect the Water Protectors with their own bodies. They are not
bringing weapons. Many of them are leaving jobs and families in order to
help protect the water. If they too can keep peaceful hearts, they will
magnify the invitation to the government, the company, and particularly
the police to make the courageous choice themselves.
Victory at Standing Rock will have far-reaching consequences. It may
seem inconsequential in the macro view if the pipeline is merely
rerouted or replaced with rail tankers (which are even worse than
pipelines). On a deeper level though, a victory will establish a
precedent: if it can happen at Standing Rock, why not globally? If a
pipeline can be stopped against great odds in one place, similar
violations can be stopped in every place. It will shift our view of what
is possible. That’s one reason why I agree with the Sioux elders’
preference to keep the movement focused on the water and not let it be
hijacked by climate change activists. Climate change is the result of a
million insults to a million places on earth. Honoring the place of
Standing Rock establishes a principle of honor to all places.
Writ large, the situation at Standing Rock is the situation of our whole
planet: everywhere, dominating forces seek to exploit what remains of
the treasures of earth and sea. They cannot be defeated by force. We
must instead invite a change of heart by being in a place of
heartfulness ourselves – of courage, empathy, and compassion. If the
Water Protectors at Standing Rock can stay strong in that invitation,
they will demonstrate an unstoppable power and win a miraculous victory,
inspiring the rest of us to follow their example.
What if I am wrong? Not every nonviolent action succeeds in its explicit
aims; not every invitation, no matter how powerful, is accepted. Yet
even if the pipeline goes through, if the Water Protectors stay off the
warpath another kind of victory will be won – the creation of a psychic
template for the future. With each choice we face, we are being asked
what kind of world we want to live in. The more courage required to make
that choice, the more powerful the prayer, because Whoever listens to
prayers knows we really mean it. Therefore, when we choose love in the
face of enormous temptation to hate, we are issuing a powerful prayer
for a world of love. When we refuse to dehumanize in the face of
atrocity, we issue a prayer for universal dignity. When thousands of
people sacrifice their safety and comfort to protect the water, a
powerful prayer issues from their gathering. Some day, in some form, it
will be answered.
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