I just finished writing a holiday newsletter for persons not in the training who sent me holiday greetings and keep in touch. I always appreciate the personal notes written in them and usually reply in a personal way. This year, there were so many and I have so many irons in the fire, that I decided to write a holiday letter summing up the year. All in all, the whole thing was a very powerful process for me and I realized that there is good reason why I dragged to the end of 2014, tired, exhausted and feeling spent – 2014 was an intense year. I personally lost a lot of people last year – some very close to me.
In general, I was very grateful for having been raised as a Cherokee and taught that death is not a tragedy and is a part of life. Death happens to us all and is a part of the cycles of living. And I grieve for myself and acknowledge my loss when someone dies. The person who died is just fine, can have a time to gather themselves together and give life another try to learn what they need to learn, especially if they did not get the really big lessons this time around. I rejoice with them for the possibility of a new opportunity, to build on the mistakes and learning in this life just ended, and being available for more healing, learning, and deep spiritual growth. So, death for me, is not a tragedy – or need not be if the person continues to grow and learn. The real tragedy is if no growth, learning or healing takes place and that person looks like they will continue in the same old circles.
I truly believe that we have given the best possible gift we have to give to persons dead or living if we do not buy into and facilitate their 1) illusions about themselves, 2) their cons, or 3) their distorted thinking. If we truly love someone, we embrace them as imperfect (because they and we are human) and we also rejoice in their being.
Native people have always been suspicious of worship of any kind and usually do not worship anyone or anything, especially human beings.
Worship is a particularly Western Culture thing. For example, I have heard many Western Culture people say that Native People worship the earth or the sun. This “worship” is just not true. In my experience, Native People are very wise and appropriate in their appreciation and gratitude for what they are given by the earth and the sun and they DO NOT WORSHIP THEM.
Nor is it appropriate to worship another human being because we humans, by definition, are imperfect and have to learn. That is why we are here.
Respect, love, and appreciate yes – worship – not a good idea.
It is strange how often a struggling human suddenly becomes a saint upon death. I have seen it happen many times and, for me, this is disrespectful of the person who just died. If we need them to be a saint for us to worship them after death, we are doing them (and ourselves) a great disservice.
Living, accepting and rejoicing in the wholeness of who that person was, is much more respectful for us all.