Same Path by Kaze
Borg: “All religions have a path to the same place but that place is not heaven or the afterlife, it is to the sacred as we each experience it.”
This quote has shaped my consciousness. When I lived with the Australian Aborigines, or the indigenous in Hong Kong, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Zambia, Peru, Jamaica, Japan, and Korea, I focused first on the social and economic issues. As I worked at digging water wells, building schools, making roads, and teaching concepts, I found that I missed something fundamental. At first, I thought it was motivation, or cultural differences.
Now, I see something else. Everyone I encountered had been touched by something deep that pulled them into a different level of purpose. Everyone I meet has a glimmer of something profound that can guide them into new habits, beliefs and practices. Often that reflective urge can be squelched.
In 1969, I lived in Northern Territory, Australia with an Aboriginal family at Coker Island. Sally and I talked on the porch, listening to the distant sounds of the digeridoo and clapping sticks. Finally, she says, “Why do others think we are incapable of governing our own people and training our own children? They call us primitive.” She falls silent.
I mutter something about different cultures judging by technology and economic success.
Sally asks, “How do you judge us?”
I thought about this a long time. “Since I first met your people, I perceive an intense understanding of the importance of the land and of your values. When I sit here in the village, I feel surrounded with a sense of mystery and bottomless meaning. I find myself fascinated by the way you dance your stories. I don’t know what it means. I just feel awesome being here.” I give a silly laugh, not knowing what to say.
Now in 2017, 48 years later, I know what I wanted to say.
I lived among a people who told stories about the sacred in every event and landmark. I didn’t realize that is why I was so attracted to their stories and style. I was drawn to their path to the sacred.