vendredi 16 octobre 2015



When you are with Indigenous people, you begin to understand intuitively, myth, history, symbolism. Claude Levi-Strauss recognized this 80 years ago when he worked with the Indians in Brazil.
When I was introduced to Yogic Philosophy by my good friend MC in KL, I was amazed at the similarity of the philosophy of Yoga Sutra of Patanjali and the oral traditions of American Indians.
Later when I got to know the Buddhist traditions in Myanmar, once again the similarities stood out rather than the differences.
Here is a sentence from Swami Sivananda:

Worry has caused new deadlier  disease like blood-pressure, heart-trouble, nervous breakdown, etc.  Fear checks the flow of blood, and even poisons the blood.  Laughter and cheerfulness increase the circulation of blood.  They are blood-tonics.
-- Sri Swami Sivananda
and I follow this up with words by Lame Deer, a Lakota Indian

"Laughter - that is something very sacred, especially for us Indians."
-- John (Fire) Lame Deer, ROSEBUD LAKOTA
Here is the commentary on that:

Laughter is mental, laughter is emotional, laughter is physical, and laughter is spiritual. Laughter helps us find balance. If we get too angry, laughter will turn that emotion in a balanced direction. If we have a mental picture of someone who is too strong, laughter will help ease the tension. If the body is stressed, laughter will release natural relaxants into our muscles and our nervous system. Laughter often changes our attitude. We need to lighten up and laugh more.  ( American Indian Elder Wisdom )
Nobody would argue now that the tools and behaviour and compartimiento of yours that brings you happiness would also lead to Health. Of course, the cynical logic of the western mind ( Oh Descartes?) would question the qualitative nature of these statements.
Sooner or Later Science catches up.
Elizabeth Blackburn, an Australian Scientist working in the USA won Nobel Prize in Medicine for her work with Telomeres
Now we know that stress would shorten telomerre length, how to avoid the shortening ?
Laughter of course.
Back to the Indians!
Among the Native Indians there is a concept which I would call SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, it is your part in the welfare of the Universe that includes your family and tribe and animals and birds and trees.. in short your environment. 
The Jewish equivalent of it would be TIKKUN OLAM, healing of the UNIVERSE , in fact the world OLAM, which often appears in Jewish prayers has a more elaborate meaning in Hebrew, rather than WORLD as it is commonly translated.
Hebrew words used for space are also used for time. The Hebrew word qedem means "east" but is also the same word for the "past." The Hebrew word olam literally means "beyond the horizon." When looking off in the far distance it is difficult to make out any details and what is beyond that horizon cannot be seen. This concept is the olam. The word olam is also used for time for the distant past or the distant future as a time that is difficult to know or perceive. This word is frequently translated as "eternity" meaning a continual span of time that never ends. In the Hebrew mind it is simply what is at or beyond the horizon, a very distant time. A common phrase in the Hebrew is "l'olam va'ed" and is usually translated as "forever and ever," but in the Hebrew it means "to the distant horizon and again" meaning "a very distant time and even further."

For me, the Social Responsibility of the Native Indians (which includes Relationship, Mitakuye Oyasin, We are all related) and the concept of Tikkun Olam resonate well.