Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Chief Oren Lyons - photo: Michelle Gabel

I don't know how you know the truth but I know it when hearing it brings tears to my eyes and something inside me compels me to act.

PLEASE listen to the compelling words of Oren Lyons speaking last year at the MOTHER EARTH conference at the American Indian Museum.

[note: at the linked page you must click on "Chief Oren Lyons" in the left-hand column.]

Oren Lyons has been one of my main sources of inspiration. Listening to a tape of one of his speeches back in 1983 is what compelled me to take a stand for Oregon's Bald Mountain and devote much of my life to defending forests and their peoples.

In the early 1990's I finally met Chief Lyons at an environmental conference. I told him that listening to one of his speeches had changed my life. In typical Indian style, he laughed and responded, "If you listen to me, you're going to get into a lot of trouble."

Yup, Chief Lyons is a prophet -- and that's the truth.


Cliff said...

With respect for the native elders speaking on behalf of what they see as our collective situation in regards to climate change, their ideas for change are reasonable if their vision is true.

Value change for survival is an answer to a specific vision of what the world is.

A vision of what life is, is the real issue for me. Their ideas make sense according to their vision of what life is.

I have a different vision of life, and so a different idea about all of it.

I'm not walking into the future behind the idea of the destruction of the natural world leading to our deaths.

Lou Gold said...


Please share more about your vision.

BTW, check out the next post for the voices of a range of powerful women activists.


Cliff said...

Articulating my vision will be a bit of work, but I can see that it would be valuable for me to do so. Not to convince anyone else, but to clarify for myself the feelings I have about life. In sharing their vision I feel like the elders out there are being heartfelt and honest about their concerns. I'm sure they mean well, and when their speaking about how sacred life is and why we should change our behavior to honor and live in harmony with it, are being true to a spiritual vision arising from their traditions, culture and personal experience of the beauty of the natural world.

I don't disagree with living in the world in a way that reflects through our behaviors that life is sacred. I do feel though that the body is not the right model for what's happening, or for what life is. If we derive our vision of the world by reflecting our perspective of the physical body as the home of our self and being, it's reasonable to arrive where we are with our concerns.

I don't accept that the body is the home of my self and being. That doesn't mean I'm going to disregard it or treat it poorly, only that it will not tell me what life is, what it's purpose is, or what my life and purpose are. I am not only my body. Neither is the world only the physical aspects we see and dance with.