Book Review- "My Name is Chellis & I'm in Recovery From Western Civilization" by: Chellis Glendinning
This is another excellent book! Another book whose praises I can't sing enough. Chellis explores how through our disconnect we suffer some of the most horrid abuses that man has experienced on earth and explores how that is manifested in our ancestral lines as well. She emphasizes the importance of healing ourselves to heal the earth and how reconnected with the earth is an important part of this process. I would like to simply leave you with a few thoughts from the book.
Here's an Anishinabe (Ojibway) prayer in the book:
Look at our brokenness.
We know that in all creation
Only the human family
Has strayed from the Sacred Way.
We know that we are the ones
Who are divided
And we are the ones
Who must come together
To walk in the Sacred Way.
Teach us love, compassion, and honor
That we may heal the earth
And heal each other.
A quote directly from Chellis:
"Suddenly I grasped the situation from a fresh and rather stark angle: western civilization had robbed me of the central experience human beings have shared for 99 percent of our time on this earth."
Here's a Kogi message that she shares (Kogi= a tribe in South America that is relatively untouched by western civilization; Mamas= those who keep relationship with the earth for the Kogi; this was given to a BBC reporter to get there message to the world):
From the beginning in Colombia
everything, everything remained as it always was among us,
the native people;
the same belief,
the same mask,
the same dance.
Everything was well organized,
a terrace for every animal.
But Younger brother came from another country
and immediately he saw gold
and immediately he began to rob.
There was golden images,
The Mama prophesied with golden bowls,
he had a golden tuma,
he had everything
and Younger Brother took it all to another country.
Now Mama grows sad,
he feels weak.
He says the earth is decaying.
The earth is losing its strength
because they have taken away much petrol, coal,
So the earth today catches diseases of all kinds.
The animals die.
The trees dry up.
People fall ill.
Many illnesses will appear,
and there will be no cure for them.
Because Younger Brother is among us,
Younger Brother is violating
the basic foundation of the world's law.
A total violation.
extracting petrol, minerals.
So the Mamas say,
no one else should come here,
no more ransacking
because the earth wants to collapse,
the earth grows weak,
we must protect it,
we must respect it,
because he does not respect the earth,
because he does not respect it.
The earth feels.
They take out the petrol,
it feels pain there.
So the earth sends out sickness.
There will be many medicines,
but in the end the drugs will not be of any use,
neither will the medicine be of any use.
The Mamas say that this tale must be learnt by the Younger brother."
And now I leave you with the final quote from this reading:
"You call it wild, but it wasn't really wild, it was free." Leon Shenandoah, quoted in Wisdomkeepers
This is truly a rich book with much to offer.
May you walk in beauty!