By David Little Elk
The Lakota expression “Mitakuye Oyas’in” means “we are all related”. It also means that “the universe within each of us is interconnected as we are connected to universe around us”. Lakota Society places focus on the present because the present thought patterns decide what will happen in the future. When one is able to view their future and does not like that view, all he/she has to do is to change his/her thought patterns.
By dwelling in the present, one is able to be in several places at the same time within one’s life-span. This helps to heal emotional wounds and presents opportunities for healthy self-growth. Thus, Lakota people are considered non-linear thinkers. Time for us does not necessarily move in a straight line. The Lakota perspective is a survivor perspective based on compassion & free-will.
Western society is an abusive & addictive society because it attempts to separate everything into two opposing extremes which say to each other: “If you do not agree with me, then you are wrong.” This creates a dualism in which focusing an unhealthy amount of attention to one side creates a temptation (tension) to go the other side. Dualism is based on fear & control, which are both illusions. Dualism also creates an oppressor/victim-perspective in which sadly each component needs the other to exist; thus, creating a cycle of constant abuse inevitably leading to death and little (if any) soul-development.
Western society perceives time as a straight line moving in one direction only. People subscribing to this thought process are often not in the present moment. Their main concern is about trying to predict their future by focusing on past thought patterns. This shows a disrespect to all of creation because it does not acknowledge that each member of creation has a soul, emotions, mental abilities & the will to change. When one chooses to subscribe to a linear thought process, the universe within that person becomes a type of western society. Thus, that person becomes his/her own oppressor which results in one feeling alone & separated from everything.
Because of free-will & compassion, we can choose contentment. We can choose to survive by dwelling in the present and by establishing and maintaining our 7th Directions. Life is just what we make it.
Excerpt from Wicoh’an Otehike (The Difficult Path) 2001, by David Little Elk, page 150.