DEB showed me a link of a web page and blog where 80% of the writings were actually copied from my stuff. At first it hurt. I couldn’t understand why someone would want to profit off of someone else’s words and journey. On the other hand, KT said: “It’s a huge compliment and it shows that these people see abundance and beauty through what you’re offering.” She seemed to say that despite their deception I still managed to stay true to my objectives and my vision.
I realize that it always boils down to how you reason things out in the end. Isn’t that the medicine or the wisdom of the 11th Moon of our Sacred Circle? I could look at this situation as a compliment or I could be angry, upset, sad, discouraged or thrown completely in doubt. All perspectives share a dimension of this particular story and all are valid within their own right. What I often see in people is that they dive into an emotion and they personalize it. It becomes them rather than just being a perspective. I always try to remind myself that a perception is simply a piece of the whole reality and not the reality itself.
When I read through CF’s web page I was a bit caught aback by the fact that these people charged money for the teachings and 15$ for chats. I’m not against exchange as many of you know. I even believe it’s necessary to put a price so to speak on what we need in our lives. “Without exchange” I’ve often said “there’s no real manifestation.” Yet, there is a difference between profiting on the teachings and giving people the potential to create within their own personal wheels. Again it’s a question of perspective and nuances in perspective. If anything this particular ordeal has been a teaching on the Medicine Wheel.
Since 1996 when we first had the call to come to internet and unconditionally and freely share teachings on Indigenous Dreaming and the way of the Sacred Circle – we trusted the dreaming. JA and I both wanted to find others who were journeying as Dreamers and who were questing for community, guidance and most of all change. JA and I put a lot of emphasis on the fact that we were students of the dreaming. If at some point we were called to teach we would never forget our role as initiates…We met lots of people along the way who didn’t share our vision and lots of others who did…
This is the way life is!
There is shadow and there’s light.
Finding the balance between both isn’t easy.
Ironically what disturbed me the most out of this whole incident was how these people state in their opening page that “whatever is shared or written on their site becomes the propriety of the web page.” There was a time when people didn’t allow themselves to be taken in photography because they feared loosing their soul. One of the greatest issues in traditional teachings right now is “should we share outside our own community and should we do anything in writing because we come from an oral tradition?” I have to admit that statements such as these as well as this kind of thievery makes me second guess myself a bit…
Lots of people believe that because of the emancipation of First Nation people it is impossible to find authentic traditional teachers anymore. Some will go as far as to state that First Nation people no longer have access to the old traditions and to the old religion. I’ve unfortunately met people who abuse of these perceptions and even profit from them but at the same time, I’ve met people who continue walking the Red road and who continue to believe that Spirit leads the way.
“How can anyone own the territory of someone else?” I wonder. Our First Nation ancestors have been telling us for centuries that the Earth does not belong to us. We are its guardians. I tend to believe the same applies of the teachings. And yet, along the way, the teachings do get tangled up in our stories. There are parts of us in tradition and parts of tradition in us. Does this attempt to tell us that in the end – even us humans are a detail in the grand scheme of Creation and individualism is yet one more illusion that we need to shed to understand it all?
When GP and I came up with contemporary words to describes the Moons of the Wheel to allow modern people to adopt this tool to help them with today’s issues and life challenges, we did hope that we would find our work spoken by many people. The Medicine Wheel is a self-originated ceremony and it is meant to inspire us. It’s meant to awaken in us endless possibilities. The way I see it if “we don’t empower ourselves with our personal potential and we don’t empower others by stimulating their personal potential then it is not sacredness.” I was taught to always honour the stories of others.
• Ask permission to share their stories.
• State their names.
• Give gratitude to the fact that they shared their stories and the teachings within them with you.
• Don’t own what is not yours to own.
Integrity is a big word and it’s one that isn’t easy to cultivate in daily living. I’ve decided to look at this whole incident from different perspectives. There’s what I accept; what I learn; what I heal; what I change; what I can’t condone; what I wish for; and where it leads me… I’m devoted and committed to this path. I plan to continue doing what I’ve been called to do. Yet, I’ll be honest I’m worried about what I should and should not share. Is this avenue the best tool for what I’ve been called to do? Is this the way “we” should do it – to find others of a common mind, body and spirit?
Countless ancestral stories all over our Planet show that persecution, robbery, and the profit and exploitation of others have destroyed too many of mankind’s treasures. It looks like these stories repeat and that we have yet to move out of them… Should we explore them together so we can find a way towards healing? Or should we hide? What does it mean to be a Guardian of the Earth, of the Teachings, of the Dead, of the New Born, of the Names and Laws etc….? Do we continue to explore this and many other teachings of the Wheel and journey together here on internet?
Finally, I did send an e-mail to the creators of CF’s web page and blog in hope to discuss the matter with them but they refused to respond.