'When mob governs, man is ruled by ignorance; when the church governs, he is ruled by superstition; and when the state governs, he is ruled by fear.
Before men can live together in harmony and understanding, ignorance must be transmuted into wisdom, superstition into illuminated faith, and fear into love'.
For thousands of years Australia was a timeless land where things stood still and very little change took place. The Aboriginal people were cut off from the rest of the world, unaware of all the things going on around the globe. Time had passed them by, whilst in other places, great civilisations built up, and great civilisations were built up on the ruins of other civilisations.
It was a world of good and evil. Great and wonderful things were happening as humanity strived towards greater knowledge and understanding. Scholars traveled all over the world seeking knowledge in other lands, exchange of cultures and ideas were taking place, it was an exciting world of new discoveries and inventions as mankind pressed ever forward. It was also a world of great and terrible things, as large armies clashed and wars swept continents.
Civilisation as we have it today, did not come easily to mankind, for there was a price to pay. The price paid, was the blood, sweat, and tears of the people of the ages. Cultures clashed with cultures, there was religious intolerance, and whole races of people became wiped out from the face of the earth.
Food production also had its price, as it was built up on the slave labor of peoples. Small ships braved the winds and storms at sea to bring foodstuffs, from other lands to their shores, and the seas took its toll in lives. Food also has its history, when you eat that slice of bread, don't think that it was a white man invention, they were baking loaves of bread in Egypt thousands of years ago. That cup of tea you drink is not English, the people of India and China were drinking tea, while the people of Britain were still living a stone age existence.
All races of the world have contributed something to this civilisation of which we have today. Do you know that just over two thousand years ago, the people of Britain were just no different to any other tribal existence, roaming the land, hunting and fishing, the women gathering the things to eat which nature had to offer. They painted their bodies blue, and had their own spiritual beliefs and culture. They also resented the intrusion of the civilised world, they stood on the cliffs of Dover, hurling down rocks and spears at the Roman Invaders, driving them away from their shores. But later still, the Romans returned, and this time beat the tribesmen back, taking over their land. Civilisation had come to the British Isles, Britain had become part of the Roman Empire. The Iceni Tribe would not give up, and continually rebelled, until at last they were wiped out by the Roman legions.
As the British people became civilised, so Christianity came to Britain, under the church of Rome, and as Christianity took a hold, so the Britons that wished to keep to their old ways of life and spiritual beliefs, fled from the civilised areas to live on the heaths (an open tract of waste-land). The word 'Heathen' came into being, and the Christians would hunt them down, killing them off, and burning their spiritual leaders at the stake. 'Witch' is a corruption of the ancient British word 'Wicca', which was a clever-woman. She was a midwife, healer, and spiritual teacher, for the Britons were a Matriarchal society, and women had great respect. The Christians gave the Wicca a bad name, and witch hunts took place almost up to this present age.
All these things were going on in that outside world, and the Aboriginals were unaware of them.
Civilizations in those bygone days, was much more barbaric than it is today. Religion was one of the main power bases of by which peoples of the nations were indoctrinated and controlled by the powers to be. Religion has nothing to do with God, although the name of God is continually used, religion is only a form of earthly power. Religion has destroyed cultures and spiritual beliefs, and some of the greatest spiritual knowledge has become lost, due to religion and the quest of empires. The greatest religions of this world today, have reached where they are, with the blood of peoples on their hands.
Christianity over the ages has found that it has had to compromise, that is why there is so many brands of Christianity all over the world. Christianity has had to modify itself, but not Christianity alone, other religions have had to modify themselves also, but all in all, religions have not reached a full spiritual awareness, and are still only groping in the dark. How could they, with their histories such as they are?
Religion no matter what it is, aims to come to terms with evils and misfortune, and it does this by rites and ceremonies with symbolic meanings. The symbolic washing away of sin by the blood, sacrifices, the casting of sins upon a scape-goat. I do not like symbolisim, it is not real, I do not like the word 'religion' it conjures up in my mind all the terrible things of the past. I do not like to see peoples cultures and spiritual beliefs destroyed and engulfed by powerful religions.
Spiritual knowledge belongs to ALL PEOPLE, as the sun, the wind, and the rain does. It does not matter where the spiritual knowledge comes from, as long as it is reasonable and true, and helps people to understand the things beyond this earthly existence, and that it changes peoples lives towards a better way of living.
To ask people to deny their spiritual beliefs and culture, is to ask those people to deny the greater part of themselves. Aboriginals must hold on tightly to the best of their spiritual beliefs and culture, but must also realise that culture must grow, for if it does not, it will only stagnate and die. Spiritual beliefs and culture only grows by the discovery of new knowledge, and these discoveries of new knowledge makes the culture stronger and determines that it shall survive.
What keeps a people together as a nation, is the common history and spiritual beliefs of the people, and once these become lost or destroyed, the people have nothing to preserve their identity, and have to adopt some one else's spiritual beliefs and culture, this makes them just hangers on to some other culture and peoples of that culture.
Aboriginals do not want a Christianity or any other religion with an added Aboriginal flavour, They want their own Aboriginal spirituality to grow into a greater spirituality, and to become something which is going to carry them into the future.
No longer are Aboriginals estranged from one another by the barriers of different tribal languages, the English language has become one of the major uniting factors. No longer do the vast distances of this land keep the people apart, the distance barrier has become broken down, through modern transport and the telephone. Aboriginals can now write their own books and preserve the things they hold sacred, they can accumulate new knowledge and wisdom, the world is now open to them. The Aboriginals have become one people, and now seek a greater unity under their own God 'Baiame'.
Could it be that 'Baiame' in his wisdom, allowed this to happen, that you the Aboriginal people, his people, would become a 'One People', and a strong people. Australia had its humble beginnings, but now is the time that all must work together to make this nation of ours strong and encourage all nations of this globe to stand strong.
Now is the time for all races to look outward, and say to the other peoples of the world, We want to come to know you, and learn more about you, and we want you to come to know us and learn more about us....
Book of Wisdom- Boomba Djunebun 1988
Copyright The Baiame Cultural and Spiritual Advancement Association Inc
Permission Granted by Baiame Cultural and Spritual Acvancement Association thanks to Aunt Minnie (Lenore) Mace
Please watch this short video - A shared responsibility - Rochelle Patten
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Indigenous Elder, Wiruungga Dunggiirr talks about Building Community, Bush Tucker, Permaculture and Dreamtime Stories