Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
Throughout oral and written history, mention of visionaries and prophets feature in the religious or spiritual chronicles of a society. Often, their messages are not heeded during their own lifetimes. It is only after events they predicted have come about, that people may appreciate what they were saying, painting, writing in advance of what was/is to come. They may present their warnings in symbols which are not understood until many years later.
Last week I wrote about a well known Lakota prophet and messenger named Hehaka Sapa, or in English - Black Elk (1853-1950). This week I will include a man originally from the British Isles, who lived before Black Elk and before the civil and world wars but who wrote, painted and spoke of what came about in America and Europe after his life ended. He was a writer, painter, print maker, composer, poet, visionary, called a mystic; who was born in London in 1757, and died without ever having traveled outside London, in 1827. In addition I include a short piece on a "prophet", healer, carver and leader of the Maori in New Zealand who lived from 1869 to 1937, continents apart from Black Elk and William Blake but warning of the same events which would adversely affect their people. These three men's destinies intertwined. Their "sight" related to what they foresaw and forewarned about - war and the destruction of the natural world.
We have many phrases and images in our media and in our contemporary culture which are directly taken from William Blake's work. J. R Tolkein's work takes his label and description of the "Orcs" from William Blake, for example. Think of some memes and pithy poster texts such as: "I was angry with my friend. I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe. I told it not my wrath did grow." or "To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour". "Doors of perception..." is from a longer poem as are the phrases: "hours of folly", "he who binds himself to joy..." and "the eye altering, alters all" and so forth: www.brighthubeducation.com/homework-help-literature/61628-famous-william-blake-quotes/
William Blake was called "insane", "hideous", "haughty" and labeled as a "liar" throughout his life. He spoke and drew angels he "saw in trees" when he was ten years old. He had to be protected from beatings because of his "visions". His mother did not believe him but she did not want to see him suffer physically so she shielded him when she could. William Blake was denigrated as a "heretic", "seditious", "a fraud" in his British society. When he heard of the French and American revolutions he became a sympathizer with their aims and calls for reform. Blake was criticized in reviews, swindled out of money and recognition, people plagiarized his works and some tried to "cure him of his unprofitable enthusiasms". People were afraid and shunned him for large parts of his life, but fortunately his one profound love was his wife who supported and stood by him from the day she met him until her death. He taught her how to read and write. They had no children. Scans of a few of Blake's original paintings and watercolors as well as a portrait are inserted below.
William Blake's metaphorical description of the birth, the rise and the death of America are vibrant though intense reading. There is a recording of one section from "America a Prophesy" I am linking here. The actor reading the verse keeps the tone, pace, accent and meter of the time in her performance. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfiiYtnWJZw
What William Blake describes in poetry, Black Elk/Hehaka Sapa, says outright. The Lakota society valued Hehaka Sapa. Across the globe the tohungas, Te Kooti and Rua Kenana, proclaim in songs (waiatas) and verse their visions, but the British inspired (pakeha) government persecuted them. A tohunga (roughly translated into English) is comparable to a high priest, medicine man, "clever" man, a mystic with skills in healing, divination, sacred rites. He or she is respected for their gifts and their counsel is sought after in their communities, tribes and even internationally.
"Prophecy was an accepted part of Maori life, being practiced by tohunga and indeed by anyone who might possess the power of foresight. Tohunga acted as intermediaries between atua and people in their reading of the divine will. The more political function of the leader was performed by the rangatira or ariki but very often these figures combined the roles of priest and political leader. Therefore the roles of the Hebraic prophet-figure had their counterpart in the functionaries of Maori society. When religious movements arose in response to the need of the people, the charismatic figures and prophets who arose to lead them had their models in both systems – being relatable to the former tohunga and also to the Judaic prophets (pp. 88-89)." From the paper by Byron Rangwai, "Māori Prophetic Movements as Sites of Political Resistance: A Critical Analysis" /C:/Users/Lenovo/Downloads/160-Article%20Text-284-1-10-20171103%20(1).pdf
Māori prophetic leaders such as Papahurihia, Te Ua, Te Kooti and Rua Kenana, and many others, were considered by their followers to be forecasters for their people but the non Maori (pakeha) saw them as "dangerous" especially when Rua spoke against Maori and New Zealand (Aotearoa) joining with England in the two world wars which he foresaw.
'In 1907, the Tohunga Suppression Act was passed by the New Zealand parliment which targeted Rua Kenana and other tohungas."
In 1915, Rua Kenana was charged with illicitly selling alcohol. "Concerned about his opposition to Tūhoe men enlisting for military service, the government seized this opportunity to punish him. After Rua failed to appear before a magistrate when summoned in January 1916, Police Commissioner John Cullen instigated an armed police expedition to Maungapōhatu. In an exchange of gunfire probably begun by the police, two Māori were killed, including Rua’s son Toko. Rua and others were arrested on charges ranging from resisting arrest to treason, and taken to Auckland for trial. Rua was sentenced to 12 months’ hard labour followed by 18 months’ imprisonment". (see photo below)
The activist, artist, writer, performer, counselor Tame Iti of Aotearoa (New Zealand) is a visionary in a different way and has issued warnings to both Maori and pakeha (non Maori) for decades. He was unjustly arrested and imprisoned in his own country. He is still alive, (born in 1952) uses social media -including twitter- can you image prophets and visionaries from other times being able to "tweet" their messages globally...Wild..and he has done a Tedx talk. I had the privilege of meeting Tame Iti more than once at different events when I worked for Te Mate-Tama Huata at Kahurangi and Te Wananga Whare Tapere O Takitimu in the 1990s, in Hastings, New Zealand. Of course he is controversial. Most strong people who take a strong stand are during their lifetime. www.ngaituhoe.com/Folders/Tameiti.html
After a personally traumatic experience or life threatening illness, sometimes gifts of "sight", healing and extra sensory discernment appear in an individual This changes them and their life path. A more contemporary example of this is the poet, Native American activist, US Navy veteran John Trudell. Poets and painters often have the gift of foresight but also the curse of Cassandra. They speak truth but are not believed until maybe after the events they predict.
John Trudell has a tragic life story. He was born into a Santee Sioux family in 1946, and grew up on the reservation. He joined the US Navy in 1963. He married and lived on the Shoshone Paiute reservation and soon became active in Native American rights movements. Here is a rare video of him speaking to the press in 1970 during the occupation of Alcatraz. diva.sfsu.edu/collections/sfbatv/bundles/187785 John Trudell was a powerful, civil, articulate leader and the FBI targeted him in one of their more nefarious operations against citizens of the United States-COINTEL PRO. His entire immediate family was burned to death in an arson event on the reservation, while he was away. His pregnant wife, their three children, his mother-in-law.
A Senate Committee chaired by Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) issued a damning report on FBI abuses of power that should be mandatory reading for anyone who believes the bureau deserves deference today. "In 1975, against the American Indian Movement in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the FBI COINTELPRO conducted a full-fledged counterinsurgency war - complete with death squads, disappearances & assassinations - not dissimilar to those conducted in third world countries such as El Salvador & Guatemala." It is important to note that other countries and organizations adversarial to the United States and the US Republic, are using documents and history released in Senate hearings for their propaganda online and in their indoctrination methodologies. (see Nation of Islam/ noi/ site linked below)
The US government and it's agencies have not yet apologized for their actions and activities during the COINTEL PRO era. The media (especially Hollywood) was used from early on to demonize and lump all Native Americans/stereotypes together. This helped push their agenda against Native American rights to most American citizens. Native American rights were perceived as less deserving than other civil rights movements such as the "African American/Black Civil Rights"the Japanese or Hispanic/Latino movements. Documents are still being unearthed from that period in US history. While the US Federal government recognizes the month of November as "Native American History" month, very minimal efforts are made at correcting and adding to the actual history of the more than 570 official "tribal nations" within the United States.
see links below
There are many more reports and articles available now under the Freedom of Information Act if you want to dig deeper or understand the newer programs refined after the exposure by the Senate Committee of COINTEL PRO. However this is a side note to the main theme of my post this week. I include John Trudell since his poetry as well as his last talks before his death in December 2015, were described as "prophetic, lone wolf in the spirit of Crazy Horse". (see my blog post of November 20, 2018: "Sympathetic Resonances" for more on Tsunka Witko/Crazy Horse) John Trudell called himself "an agitator" and he used his self taught skills in writing and music to express his political, economic, philosophical, personal and spiritual messages. John Trudell's speech 2013, about "globalization", the 1,000 year Reich, how the 'Patriot Act' has changed the character of our country, the natural disasters to come, was recorded shortly before his death:
Please take a few minutes to watch/listen to him in the links I have included. Peruse the books I have inserted of Native American visionaries in the slide show below. These writers have contributed to the body of history and literature of America.
Joy Harjo is still living. Joy is a poet, Native American musician, professor/teacher/performer/mother and activist. She is a member of the Muscogee/Creek tribe, born in Oklahoma in 1951, as Joy Foster. She immortalizes some of the activists targeted by the FBI, especially MicMac teacher/mother/writer and activist Anna Mae Aquash in her poem " For Anna Mae Pictou Aquash" in the volume "In Mad Love and War", one of my favorite contemporary books of poetry. She worked and performed with John Trudell when he was alive. A sampling of both of their books, albums and photos are included below. Have a look and search further if you are interested. Their work is inspiring, stimulating and prophetic.
Throughout history those trying to bring the message of what is to come are often denigrated, targeted and killed. There are human beings in different parts of the world from a number of cultures/traditions trying to warn us. Listen, read, discern.
"Don't shoot the messengers!"
By the time you read this I will be in the mountains of a country which does not permit google products - maybe they are smarter than the rest of the world in this regard-but they do implement project Dragonfly (see my post "ESCHELONs" October 2, 2018 for more info). I am not sure if I will be able to use weebly there, so if not, I hope to return to the States in April 2019, before my next postings overseas. You will have to contact me via comments or my hotmail email which should work there.
Thank you for your support. Enjoy all the freedoms you have, on the net and in life, while you can. 'Fight' for them to be preserved-please-for you and the next generations. The poet warriors, warrior societies have been battling for us for hundreds of years. Take up the torch, there is no time to waste. This is my warning to you.
Best to you and yours in the upcoming holidays!
Hau Mitakuye Oyasin - We are all related.
How Hollywood Stereotyped Native Americans:
Media using COINTEL PRO examples: