Talking Stick Circle LO13976

Ray Evans Harrell (mcore@IDT.NET)
Mon, 16 Jun 1997 20:38:32 -0700

Replying to LO13958 --

To the List:

A correction from a post that I sent last night: Sometimes I think
something and the words just aren't typed. What I meant was "(NOT) to do"
so: see below:

(end of paragraph two)
When a traveler (like the woman on the Lewis & Clark expedition) carried
such an object, everyone paid respect to that symbol. (NOT) To do so
would be to break the most basic agreement between all native peoples
for thousands of years. The agreement of relationship.


In the meantime I accessed a couple of things from the "Talking Stick"
web site:

George Por said:
"The American Indian regarded the circle as the principal symbol
for understanding life's mysteries, for he observed that it was
impressed everywhere throughout Nature. Man looked out on the
physical world through the eye, which is circular. The Earth was
round, and so were the Sun, Moon and planets. The rising and
setting of the Sun followed a circular motion. The seasons formed
a circle. Birds build their nests in circles. Animals marked their
territories in circles. In the old days, tribes lived in circular homes
called tipis and their communities were arranged with the tipis in a
circle. Indeed, to the Indian, the whole of life appeared to operate
in circular patterns." [1]

REH said:

Very poetic.

The connection to tradition is very strong with our people. We read the
world as a series of relationships that travel as threads from the past
into the manifestation of the future. That makes us respectful of
tradition but demands that we live in this world and create a future
where all of the consciousnesses that were given by the Creator can

To sit in a sacred place is a great privilege. It is not something that
can be used indiscriminately. And most certainly the issue of cash or
capital is a very suspect one. Cash, capital and other forms of
objectification have a way of killing relationships. That is why the
relationship between the people in the Casinos and the state governments
and the peoples of the states are so important.

Indian people have always had trade and conducted business. Native
business, like Wall Street Business cycles begin in the South, the place
of war, expansion and learning. In the South the businessmen were
called Pochtecas. To my people they were called ani-aliidisdis and we
were so good at it that the English brought in a group of Scottish
traders to do business with us. We ended up marrying them to keep the
business in the family.

The only way the Americans succeeded in business with us was to surround
our country and make trade a monopoly run through their government at
outrageous prices to run up the bills then takeover our land to settle
the debts. Thomas Jefferson even put this strategy down on paper. I
have it somewhere and will find it if anyone wants it.

But a circle is only as powerful as the reader.

BUSINESS CYCLES: Alternate expansion and contraction in overall business
activity, evidenced by fluctuations in measures of aggregate economic
activity, such as the gross national product, the index of industrial
production, and employment and income.

A business cycle may be divided into four phases; EXPANSION(summer,
South), during which business activity is successively reaching new high
points; LEVELING OUT(autumn, West), during which business activity
reaches a high point and remains at that level for a short period of
time; CONTRACTION (winter,North), during which business volume recedes
from the peak level for a sustained period until the bottom is reached;
RECOVERY(spring, East), during which business activity resumes after the
low point has been reached and continues to rise to the previous high
mark. (Vogel) parenthesis mine REH

George Por said:
"[The stick] should serve as an invitation and encouragement to
speak from the most undefended place in one's self." [6]

REH responds:
Undefended is an interesting thought, I don't think that I believe that.
I was always taught that it must be the truth. Long term, not short
term truth. Or as Ayn Rand said, I believe in "Atlas Shrugged," "there
is only one selfishness and that is long term." In order to know that,
you have to know the Gestalt(circle). As the economists Heilbrun and
Gray put it in analyzing the basis of consumer choice that is at the
root of the ideal of the free market: "Consumers try to spend their
income in such a way as to get the greatest possible TOTAL satisfaction
from it." TOTAL brings us back to Rand's thought about selfishness (the
auroboros) starting out to be short term, but finding that "short term"
is not "selfish" but "selfless." Like the hero who dies in the war,
for himself the end is short and "selfless." The one who lives and
continues must be truly long term in his thought or his life becomes an
extended death. No TOTAL satisfaction there! No total UTILITY either.

Only moving to the West and community and the issues of expression can
be truly fulfilling thus ultimately selfish or Utilitarian. Or in
economic terms "Utility Maximizers." Ain't this fun? The Auroboros,
the circle, the beginning is the end is a spiral.

Do you know where those double spiral mounds are? In France of course.
The home of the true "Utility Maximizers." God bless 'em!

George Por continues:
"Three rules: speak honestly and truthfully from the heart; be brief;
and listen attentively." [2]


Two out of three doesn't do it. If I am "brief' then I am not
open(circles again) but linear. That is not the point of the "talking
stick" from any place that I was ever taught. Brevity is the
requirement of the leader. But the leader may not leave out anything,
i.e., be linear. The "Talking Stick" demands something of both the
speaker and the listener. "Complete Attention." Just like those
Italian orchestra conductors. If you can't "cut it" you aren't reliable
and you don't work in Italy.

Cut to the point! You have to do it perfectly! And then make a
deliberate mistake where it will do no harm.

You have these same rules in Europe. You just have to know where to look.
The answer is within both yourself and the group.

Ray Evans Harrell, artistic director
The Magic Circle Chamber Opera of New York


Ray Evans Harrell <mcore@IDT.NET>

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