John Trudell , I’m crazy ?


Remembering the Life and Legacy of John Trudell

John Trudell – Power, Authority and Tribal Genocide from 1994!

John Trudell, noted activist, poet and Native thinker, walked on this morning after a lengthy bout with cancer. His family included some of his last messages to Ijohn-trudell-matika-wilburndian country in a press release. Among them: “I want people to remember me as they remember me.”

John Trudell was a Santee Dakota activist, artist, actor, and poet, who led a life dedicated to indigenous human rights, land and language issues. He helped spark a spoken word movement that is a continuation of Native American oral traditions. He walked on December 8 at the age of 69.

Born on February 15, 1946 in Omaha, he spent his early years living on the Santee Reservation in northern Nebraska. His father was Santee and his mother was of Mexican Indian heritage. He had a normal life until his mother died at age 6, and the new rock and roll music resonated with him from ages 9-12. He said high school was not good for him and would enlist in the U.S. Navy from 1963 until 1967, to get away. He married Fenicia “Lou” Ordonez in 1968 in California, briefly attended college, thinking he would go into radio and broadcasting.

Everything changed in 1969 when Native American students and organizers, Trudell among them, occupied Alcatraz Island from November 20, 1969 to June 11, 1970. That group became “Indians of All Tribes,” and they issued the manifesto, We Hold the Rock, and eventually the book, Alcatraz is Not an Island. The Alcatraz Occupation became an incubator for the nascent Native American rights movement, including the American Indian Movement (AIM) in Minneapolis. The legal basis for this occupation was the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868, which said that any abandoned federal property would revert to the Indian Nations. This treaty’s legality would also inspire many more actions across Indian country. Trudell has always maintained that all these political actions were not just moral, ethical issues but were legal issues, according to Native treaty rights and federal trust responsibilities.

Trudell used his broadcasting experience on the airwaves of “Radio Free Alcatraz” (a clip from the program can be heard on the 2005 documentary Trudell). His marriage would end during this period as he become a leading Native spokesman attracting national attention. The negotiations over Alcatraz, the proposed Indian Center and the occupation itself fell apart in 1971, but so many names of Native activists, organizers, artists, writers and actors from that time would become prominent in the ensuing struggles, movement and documentation. Continued…….

Events would cascade from actions related to the Raymond Yellow Thunder beating in 1972, to the nationally organized cross-country caravan Trail of Broken Treaties in 1972 that ended with the occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington, D.C. and the issuance of The 20 Points Manifesto. The scattering of activists after the BIA take-over led to AIM actions at the Custer County Courthouse, followed by the 1973 Liberation/Occupation of Wounded Knee village by AIM and the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization. In 1973, Trudell became the national spokesperson for AIM, a position that he held until 1979.

Everybody seemed to have a personal relationship with Trudell, even if you met him only once. Some folks who never met him still have that same feeling that he knew their story because they could hear it resonate in his songs, poetry, and movies. While poetry editor at Akwesasne Notes, I reviewed Trudell’s first poetry chapbook, “Living in Reality: Songs Called Poems” (1982). It was a simple chapbook produced straight from “Indian country,” on Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis. My review basically stated, don’t worry that it didn’t sound like “modern” poetry, Trudell had found a voice and had tapped into the collective consciousness; that no matter how well this collection of poems sold, Trudell’s voice would be big, listened to and embraced. What he had to say was that good, it was that needed. Nowadays we must come up with descriptions TO define his voice and presence, words like empowering, authentic, intelligent, inspirational and necessary. He believed in the Spoken Word, that it had power. He didn’t think we should call our music and poetry “political or protest,” as those were labels from those in control. He called them cultural realities and artistic statements: “We are speaking our truth, bringing our energy. Music is its own energy, it’s good and positive in strengthening our communities.” Continued…….


Are you part of the problem or part of the Solution?



A short film explaining the importance of streetwise spiritualism, placing into perspective establishment power, our role in the status quo and the way forward based upon a theory as to the purpose of the human experience.

“The spiritual journey does not consist in arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one’s own ignorance concerning one’s self and life, and the gradual growth of that understanding which begins the spiritual awakening. The finding of God is a coming to one’s self.” Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)

As one of thousands ‘awaking’ in recent years I have become indubitably aware of our ‘reality’, on a global and personal basis. A fascinating journey, from which there is no return, can empower a ‘growing up’ process to comprehend as conscious beings, that what one seeks externally in life is, and always has been within, simply awaiting discovery. Differentiating awareness and consciousness and their alchemic derivative in quotidian life plays a pivotal role in this unfoldment.

Awareness is at its core, intellectual understanding. Although closely ‘related’ to knowledge it’s more evolved. Having knowledge does not guarantee awareness whilst awareness does require knowledge, as well as an all important dose of personal experience.

Greater awareness requires open minded skepticism, i.e. having the ability to take on new information (data) whilst remaining skeptical to its content. In your own self development skeptism should be a well sharpened instrument in your tool box.

Being told by some so and so ‘that it is so’’ does not necessarily mean it is ! Only personal experience can help us come to such conclusions. Converting either yours or ‘their’ beliefs into truth is a fundamental process in personal growth. When you have arrived to a ‘truth’ staying open minded to new data, whether experiential or theoretical, remains important. The trick here is to be sufficiently open minded as to allow data in whilst avoiding your brain falling out !

Another ingredient for awareness is intuition. The dictionary definition of intuition is ‘the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning’ . Could this be misleading? Could it be more aptly defined as ‘the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for intellectual reasoning?

There are some persons with greater intuition than others with no ‘logical’ reason as to why. A more esoteric explanation is that such persons are, as a result of repeated incarnations, older more evolved souls. Others might say ‘it’s in the genes’, or simply that some of us got a bigger dollop than others somewhere down the line.

For this exercise it doesn’t really matter, as my theory simply requires intuition to be nurtured through greater awareness and higher consciousness. ‘Stop’! I hear some say. ‘That’s a flawed statement’. If awareness requires intuition in the first place how can it then ‘feed it’ ? Well like the proverbial chicken and the egg conundrum, they evolved together.

In resume we can not be aware of what is beyond our awareness. We can however increase our awareness by being open to learning new things which as a consequence will help us better understand the nature of our reality.

The polar opposite to awareness is obviously ignorance. Ignorance is like an odorless gas – to be avoided like a broken gas heater ! The problem with ignorance is that you don’t know what you don’t know, therefore the metaphoric carbon monoxide might literally take away your livelihood (or worse) whilst you sleep snugly in an ignorant ‘fog of bliss’. So how do we avoid this?

Getting off the sofa and searching out new experiences is a good start, followed by watching out what goes into our stomachs, respecting our health generally, going the extra mile, living and loving life and everyone in it to the full, persistently looking to increase knowledge whilst washing it all down with lashings of open minded skepticism.

So why is greater awareness so important in the 21st century? There are those that might say the world is so irreversible skewed up that ignorance is indeed bliss. Although that might have a certain sweet twang on a bad day I’d suggest such folk, as well as ‘New Age Positive Thinkers’, install the gas sensors as their lives are possibly going to change for the worse, and the change may come while they slumber!

Before having too many of my own experiences, intuition told me as a young tear away that people in positions of authority and / or power did not necessary give them automatic entrance into the realm of being right, or indeed have my best interests at heart. Those around me not sharing such a theorem – family, teachers, the law etc. – initially decided I was disruptive and eventually just damn right anti establishment ! As a result one could say I had an eventful, albeit very happy, childhood!

So as I waded through my early years did this ‘immature’ childish guerrero convert into a mature thought provoking adult . Damn right he did simply confirming what my intuition told me at eight!

The most important thing to be aware of in 2015, apart from the global fiat, usury, fractional ponzi financial system, is that those nice people elected and chosen to public office do not necessarily have at heart the best intentions or interests of the man in the street, i.e. you and me, and will lie, deceive and often worse, to achieve their (or the real makers and shakers) objectives. The problem is that even if they did want to do things ‘right’ they simply can’t. The current system controlled by an all powerful establishment, corrupted and often vile at its pinnacle, simply doesn’t give them that room. The dice being definitely loaded in favour of the big money boys namely – financial institutions and multi national cooperation’s who’s ‘rigged’ capitalistic modal imparts dividends of unlimited power and influence.

It has become abundantly clear that those with the real political power (whoever they really are) have deduced the constitutions upon which our century’s old democracies are founded simply don’t ‘work’ in a future they excogitate. The most basic principals are simply ignored or circumvented via decrees & executive orders, using a ‘unifying the people’ theme or  National Security ‘fear card’ to trump all decent or transparency

So does this mean all elected (and unelected, come to that) public servants are icky soles? No, most of them are normal folk who either live in a conditioned denial, consciously choose ignorance as a way of life, have not yet awoken, are close to retirement, or discover, after idealistic beginnings, the whole system they bought into is heavily tipped in favour of a manipulating few that simply cannot loose. Their ‘victory’ being consummated by ‘betting’ on all political runners whilst conjuring up an illusion of choice for the unenlightened voter.

Upon the realisation of this truth our public servents can either acquiesce, i.e. carrying on ‘playing the game’, albeit now consciously, or look to jump ship. Problem here is that these mere souls after years of toil, dragging themselves through the ranks, suffering 25 hour days with streams of sweat and no lack of tears have acquired all the material benefits that go with the terrain, and just in case they had thought of getting out, their lives are probably leveraged to the hilts with lashings of debt.

With a prospect like that the water below becomes ‘Titanticly’ cold!

Then there are the career politicians, (we’ll leave out the bankers and multi national cooperate CEO’s for the moment), who’s decisions are often focalised around personal ego and financial gain within a political / corporate revolving door mise en scéne. Devoid of transparency their motivations and actions speak louder about their quality of being than any pre rehearsed ‘ad hoc sincerity’ freshly purged by their spin masters.

I haven’t worked out yet if these folk are born with psychopathic tendencies or they simply germinate once in position. I don’t mean they necessarily revel in having people illiminated, though with some you have to wonder, I refer to their greatest angst, the fear of being caught in what ever they, or their henchmen are perfidiously implementing ! Anyone with this psychopathic symptom has one common flaw, they lie and lie and if necessary lie a bit more! Hey Tony ?

Very occasionally even one of these ‘high flyers’ contemplate ‘a noisy’ jumping of ship, automatically triggering into action their very own secret agencies. Agencies busy setting up honey traps, and spreading lies, particularly on the internet, about whichever individuals they seem fit to target, including you and me if we ‘step over their line’. Swearing allegiance to their own four D agenda, Deny – Disrupt – Degrade – Deceive, any high flying decenter may want to re access their ‘conscience’ before going AWOL.

I get the feeling that the 21st century establishment with their hierarchical structures, consequent paradigms, and spawning tentacles that know no boarders, encourage a certain type of person into positions of high power whilst the lower echelons of elected and unelected public servants subsequently fall into a type of institutionalised subornation to be preserved at all costs as to avoid the icy Atlantic or worse!.

Within this political back drop we are experiencing a loss of liberty and consequent privacy, an ever increasing social divide, degeneration of public services, deterioration of mental & general health, frankenstein food production,  record debt, along with the destruction of the worlds resources. Cooperation’s, bankers and their lobbyists have gained control of our public servants and global organisations, ensuring laws, wars, and global migration are based on their own engrossment & not the greater good of the electorate and their habitat.

Lastly but not ‘leastly’ let’s not forget our mainstream media outlets owned by delightfully charming gents such as Rupert Murdoch, or Disney’s ABC news network, regurgitating a narrative 24/7 so twisted and distorted that the truth has become a simple inconvenience camouflaged within a meleé of information and mis information leaving even the most ‘enlightened’, confused. Sadly our minds have been hijacked by this perception deception, in fact we’re ‘luvin it’, believing politicians bullshit, multi national propaganda, media ‘pantomine‘ & worshiping celebrity meritocracy. After all Mickey Mouse wouldn’t skew us, would he ?

Being aware of this illusory ‘reality’ is fundamental for our long term well being. Hopefully your own experiential journey of awakening will be fast and not too vexatious, as once you see through this illusion, and care, you start becoming the solution.

Okay, so there are many negative facets responsible for the problems we face. By ascribing problems to – this – that – and the other i.e. third parties, we are on a hiding to nothing, albeit it does serve as a great ‘softener’ on a bad day! Change starts with ourselves, our habits, and own ability to respond – i.e. responsibility, after all  what we see in the world is a reflection of ourselves !

 The past century has seen a shift from requiring our basic needs,  which are now taken for granted, to demanding our ‘desires’. As a result we often treat others based on greed, obsession of ‘ownership’ and  subsequent fear of forgoing whatever we have ‘fought’  to acquire. This lifestyle shift from need to desire in which consumerism has become a new religion, and debt an acceptable method of funding it, means our own unconscious servitude and egoistical demeanor has greatly reduced our ability to respond and create change.

Bellyaching about influential shakers, whether financial or political, leveraging power for their own gain, ain’t the answer either . Although todays  plutocracy consummated via a pseudo type capitalism is a reality. Our conversion to ‘victimism’ simply devours our power and distorts the mind. I suggest we start looking at our own behaviour and cultural habits, and recognise  a culture of ‘doing’ because we can, and not because it’s right has developed.

Our successful growth is about commom-unity, working together, educating our children, sharing, caring about our neighbour & doing what’s right and not simply what’s right for you. This latter selfish egoistic trend, fueled by a slick subliminal media narrative promoting the all important self eventually reflects in the quality of public servants we have been graced to ‘choose’ from. How can we expect to find the truth if we are in denial ourselves?

Of coarse the biggest dilemma with denial is exactly that, denial. So, are we being taken on an oblique global journey to shine light on all this ? A form of universal experience requiring ‘group therapy’ for awakening and resulting ultimately in the collapse of the ‘old’ and the birth of the new from the metaphorical ashes?

So, what of consciousness and what does that have to do with a world falling apart?

Mainstream science would have us conclude that consciousness is generated by the brain. i.e. no brain no consciousness. Fortunately this reductionist idiocy is slowly being overturned by more enlightened scientific souls, but in the meantime whole industries and educational syllabuses are still established on such fallacy.

Ironically modern day objective science, born from the scientific renaissance as an alternative to dogmatic 16th century Catholicism, has since morphed itself into its very own religion – dogma and all. This is particularly evident from its perspective on Newtonian causality and the presumption that – if you can’t measure something i.e. its not accessible to the five senses, it simply does not exist, or if it does it has no importance as we can have no interaction with it. This obviously does not mean Newton was wrong but simply that his science has become a subset to a new reality that mankind has become aware of since his own hard slog.

Even for a scientific dimwit like myself who flunked miserably all science at school I can categorically say todays dogma is hogwash and can give three quick examples as to why.

One : The double spilt experiment first carried out almost one hundred years ago and repeated hundreds of time since proves beyond doubt ( using their own trusted scientific method) that outcome can be determined by observation. i.e. when you change the way you look at things the things you look at change !

Two: In Terrance Mckenna’s famous words about science he said :-

“Give us one free miracle and we’ll explain the rest.”

The one free miracle being the appearance of all matter and energy in the universe and all the laws that govern it from nothing in that single instant, i.e. the big bang. Thereafter everything else can be explained by cause and effect!

Three: And my favourite; despite the requirement for something – anything – to be real it must first be measurable using the ‘Scientific Method’. This method is used to determine all mainstream scientific theories. In the case of medicine however it insists on the placebo effect being taken into account before making any trial valid!! How crazy is that ? This is the same placebo effect that science itself can not explain!

Trillions are invested in such scientific hypocritical falsehood.

Our forefathers talked of working towards a better future for their children and their children’s children. The last 200 years of exponential growth in population, technology, science, economics, food supply, money supply, debt, etc. and the consequent exploitation of our natural resources ensure that the decisions we make today will literally determine our tomorrow i.e. our immediate futures. What is lacking is the all important exponential shift in human consciousness required to understand how we can thrive in this intriguing new world.

Whilst the ‘old school’ dwell on old truths, new indisputable evidence about our own evolution and the universe has been discovered which mainstream science, historians i.e. the ‘establishment’ refuse to recognise. As a result we are trying to solve new problems based upon ‘old truths’.

The massive flaws in 21st century mainstream science means that it can not yet be counted upon to provide answers to the so far un answered mysteries of the universe. For the biggest question i,e, ‘What is the purpose of the human experience‘ we simple need to work it out ourselves by going beyond the five senses . My own gnostic knowing  tells me it’s a game of understanding. A game we come into with no written rules, and who’s lessons consist of 99.99% ‘on the job training’! Often tough and even inhuman it should be played with discipline along with large helpings of laughter and fun!

I have come to realise the game is not a race, parade nor a competition, and that it is an experiential journey custom designed by our free will to increase consciousness and evolve spiritual being within a physical matter reality, person by person, generation by generation.

We are at a crossroads in this process. A crossroads we had to arrive at. We are in effect, exactly where we had to be, both on a macro (nations) and micro (personal) basis. The earth is going nowhere, the question is what will it look like at the end of this century, & will we still be around? After hundreds of generations our own experiential solutions have never been so important if we are to evolve to a level that does not involve stroking mankind’s self destruct button.

To really understand consciousness you have to feel it, and here comes the crutch of the matter. If awareness uses the intellect, i.e. the brain, consciousness is about feeling it – feeling it in the heart. Physically a short distance from awareness but a massive journey in understanding!

Understanding this in certain languages has an added difficulty in that the same word is used from awareness as it is for consciousness. Spanish is a good example!

So if awareness is an intellectual knowing, an understanding, why when we are aware of negative behaviour, don’t we change it?

Now that’s a complicated question, ask any addict. The mother of answers to this conundrum is that we have not felt the true depths of the problem in our hearts. Our heart is no doubt our ‘wisest’ organ. When we act from it we become the answer, the solution, and we stop ‘being’ the problem. Being conscious is therefore a knowing, deep from within the heart.

This is somewhat ironic bearing in mind we relate consciousness to the brain. I suggest that consciousness is what connects us all within a unified field, who’s ‘signal’ is received by the brain and message is felt in the heart.

assay3 Unfortunately such subjective ‘theories’ are ‘relegated’ at best to the realms of spiritualiality, and whilst science is moving forward its dogma is pulling the reigns back, keeping us firmly entrenched in 20th century paradigms. If this imbroglio does not transcend, and quickly, we have quite a predicament on our hands in the 21st Century!

So in resume : It’s physically a short trip – brain awareness to heart consciousness – it just seems a bloody long way!! In fact many of us go to the grave without completing this short journey! This needs to change, and change is coming. Holding us back is our obsession with the material being as opposed to the comprehension of our spiritual being.

So what is the solution to our 21st century problems ? Our awakening to all these matters has passed a point of no return. Greater awareness as to who yields power and its consequent effects can not be suppressed. Its time to embrace streetwise spiritualism to find answers as a species as opposed to nations. A quantum leap in mankind’s evolution of self actualisation awaits. Many know, from their hearts, that love does indeed conquer all, and that the true answers we pursue await our discovery in the subjective. However they also know that traction comes with action and are prepared to expose the cancerous plague that has gained power of our nations with such devastating effects. This army of ‘alchemistic’ activists is growing and nothing is going to stop it.

‘A streetwise spiritualist understands mankind’s ability to overcome adversity, realising that to understand the truth, they don’t have to hammer on to somebody, their task is to refine their message into an understandable form and then let the dynamics of intellectual competition decide what is the best model to follow.’

With the status quo of mankind’s ‘immature’ state of consciousness, the advent of genetic engineering, robotics, A.I. and the subsequent moment of singularity , avoiding mans own apparent self destruction is, I suggest, a process that is moving exponentially towards its tipping point. If we are to improve our ability to thrive, improve sustainably with harmonious compatibility we must become the change we want to see in the world, changing our negative habits by first being aware of them and secondly by being truly conscious of their consequences, nation by nation, company by company, heart by heart.

Stephen Griffin

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