Sunday, July 31, 2016

This weeks blog is on the Elements and the San Bushmen Hunter-Gatherers  

In order to survive in the Kalahari wasteland the Bushmen have to be closely related to and dependent on the elements. One can survive three minutes without air (or oxygen,) three days without water, three weeks without food and three months without connection to other humans or love.
Air is readily available, water not so much so that they have had to develop ingenious method of finding and conserving it. Shelter is essential for survival and this is provided by the Earth Mother element. They also sleep on Her crust close to the fire. Fire is required not only for warmth but for cooking and protection from African predators. Love is not a challenge for the clan - there is an abundance of it. 
When one is so close to the elements there is an intimate connection with not only Nature but also the spirit world and the Great Spirit. To be a hunter-gatherer means relating to Nature and all its elements beyond the five senses and they are constantly receiving intuitive feedback from the bush and "spirit" to help them survive. Attending to their most basic needs leads to a profound spirituality that makes it possible for them to travel out of body into the spirit world with their trance dance. Here they converse with the ancestors for vital information and then bring back healing energy with hands on techniques to the clan.
Hence it is not surprising that the Ancestors say...

By emulating the Bushman experience as closely as possible and not separating ourselves from the elements we can nurture ourselves and others. The closer we get to the Still beings, the Growing Beings and the Wild Beings  the more are Nature's secrets revealed.

Fire is a virtual miracle, testifying to our survival as a species . It makes us remember who we and our ancestors were eons ago.

Bushmen making Fire in a primal way

Sipping water with a hollow reed out of a hollow tree trunk after the rains and spitting into into an empty ostrich egg for storage. There is no natural water in the Kalahari and not so long ago the only other methods of obtaining water were from a specific root, bitter melons or sucking it out of sip wells in the sand with the same technique as above.
There is an old cowboy saying that people will fight over oil but kill for water. Lets hope the way things are going with climate change it doesn't come to that. 

Luther Standing Bear was correct when he said...

We have lost our oneness with the element and the other "Beings."

The creation story as drawn for me on an extended visit to the Kalahari Kua San Bushmen in 1987, shows the Earth Mother as a pregnant woman. Her belly ruptures giving forth all that Nature can provide. The hunter with his bow provides the male element and one can also see a child, the fire, the sun, moon and stars (with Bisi the Creator invisibly presiding.) Simple but profound.

1987 was a small window in time when one could still experience, with the fast disappearing clans in the remote Kalahari what life was like for our ancestor hunter-gatherers.

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