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Ancient prophecy is modern reality

Ancient prophecy is modern reality © Indian Country Today July 28, 2005. All Rights Reserved
Posted: July 28, 2005 by: Editors Report / Indian Country

Today Christians don't have a monopoly on prophecies that tell of an
''end of times'' or an end of an ''era.'' Many tribal nations,
significantly the Hopi and the Haudenosaunee, but including many
others such as Cree and Lakota in the North and Maya, Lokono and
Maquiritari in the South, have prophecies within their spiritual
traditions that describe an ''end of times,'' an era very similar to
our present times and depicting or describing prophetic signs apparent
to those who watch for such things. The signs, according to each
culture and prophecy, reveal that major changes are afoot.

The Christian tradition is compelling in that it dictates a clear
scenario for believers that accepts, on faith, the belief in the
resurrection of Jesus' physical body from death itself. The
resurrection myth propels to an end-tale with the return of the living
Jesus. This ''Second Coming'' is to gather those who had believed in
him as the only way to salvation. These would, in fact, be resurrected
and ascended into heaven to live in eternal grace with their Lord.
Everyone else, unfortunately, ends up in hell for torture and pain
throughout eternity.

There are those who say that the Second Coming, which is also
described as ''the Rapture,'' is already guiding American foreign
policy. Certainly, it appears that the true believers within the
present circle of U.S. policy makers and of many media outlets are
steering toward connecting the worldly events in their various fields
and departments to the sign of the coming Rapture. No doubt, many
fully expect to be among those who board the celestial ship to life
eternal. These analysts, mostly but not exclusively on Christian radio
and television shows, conjecture for millions of Americans that
propelling Israel as a major super military power in the Middle East
and invading and occupying a whole country - Iraq - at the ''cradle of
civilization,'' portends the acceleration of the struggle between
''good and evil,'' expectedly toward Armageddon, the final mother of
all battles, after which comes the return of the living body of Jesus

Perhaps this is so, or perhaps it overstates the Christian case; but
no one can deny we live in the age of terrific religious fervor, when
more and more of humanity attaches itself to essential or elemental
stories that are the basis of whole religions, whose dictates and
strictures can often clash and expand into dangerous areas - including
that of self-fulfilling prophecy. We are also in an era when the
resources of the Earth that have fueled and supported industrial
lifestyles are quickly diminishing. This is where some of the Indian
prophecies come in.

John Mohawk, Seneca historian and Indian Country Today columnist,
recalled not long ago the mutual visits by Hopi and Haudenosaunee
traditionalists as early as 1948, where a prophetic tradition,
popularly referred to as ''the purification,'' was exchanged. This was
way before the ecology movement, before ''New Age'' and even before
the ''energy crisis.'' The elder Indian spiritualists from the Hopi of
that time not only had prophecies of meeting ''Indians from the
East,'' they actually fulfilled their own tradition and traveled east
to meet and tell the Haudenosaunee about it. The sincere exchange of
views that followed saw these and other Native peoples review and
renew their prophetic traditions and this dialogue, largely
unrecorded, has gone on for more than a half a century after the 1948

Unlike the faith-based Christian liturgy, what the Hopi tradition
warned about involved patterns of human activity on Mother Earth that
had profound and predictable consequences. They expressed, as have
most Indian traditionalists to this day, that the greed for material
possessions and technological gadgetry had the potential to severely
affect the systems of the earth and that this was in fact happening
within Western civilization, which they were witnessing, and that they
had been told they should warn all peoples about the impending changes
and disasters.

No one listened then and too few are listening now, as the ancient
Indian warning is diluted by modern economic and political concerns,
but the message does resonate with observers of our current energy
crisis who tell us of major and very difficult changes ahead for most
of humanity.

The American ''way of life'' predicated on the wanton consumption of
cheap oil is in its last throes. Quantitative reality points to severe
developing problems with industrial civilization and its dependent
systems. We are entering what a well-researched book recently
excerpted in Rolling Stone magazine terms the ''end of the
cheap-fossil-fuel era.'' (''The Long Emergency'' by James Howard
Kunstler, Rolling Stone,