Nature's Way: Native Wisdom for Living in Balance with the Earth

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9780060514563: Nature's Way: Native Wisdom for Living in Balance with the Earth

I do not expect you to trade your set of beliefs for mine. I do not have all the answers. But in my tradition, we ask more questions and we share our honest observations. Hopefully, once you have completed reading this book, you will know what I know, and I am fairly sure you will see how a spiritual path that honors Nature is the only way out of the serious crises facing our planet. I call that path Nature's Way.

Sioux tribal leader Ed McGaa, known as Eagle Man, sounds a call for spiritual awakening. He explains how we can create a new global culture based not on domi-nance over nature for economic and political gain, but on values that endure for all times and all people. Nature's Way explores Native American belief systems, oppres-sion of Native Americans by the dominant society, the desacralization of Nature, and the complicity of institutional religion.

Taking on religion, politics, and culture, McGaa provides a template for readers -- a path designed by Nature that anyone can follow. Using the lessons of the eagle, bear, lion, wolf, orca, owl, tiger, buffalo, rat, deer, and even the cottonwood tree, Nature's Way teaches all of us how we can overcome religious intolerance, treat women and men equally, preserve our environment, and live in peace.

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Review:

Ed McGaa, an Oglala Sioux also called Eagle Man, here presents an environmental, personal, and global philosophy of balance. Using traditional Native American spirituality as a framework, Nature's Way is a call for a major change in the way people relate to the world. McGaa, who has studied under Sioux holy men Chief Eagle Feather and Chief Fool's Crow, begins each chapter by describing the qualities of an animal or plant that represents a particular value, such as the wolf ("one among many") or the eagle ("observation"). Personal anecdotes, tribal legends, and stories from around the world support each idea, and the book's somewhat rambling structure is very conversational. McGaa's ideas are not new, but they are well-presented. If we begin to live by the principles that are demonstrated by the world itself, he writes, we will then be in harmony with the world, rather than taking from it destructively. The book's final chapters outline problems such as global warming and overpopulation, which threaten the survival of life on earth. Nature's Way will appeal to readers seeking a hopeful spiritual approach for dealing with seemingly insurmountable problems. --Therese Littleton

About the Author:

Ed McGaa, J.D., was born on the Oglala Sioux reservation in South Dakota and is a registered tribal member. He served in Korea as a Marine Corporal before earning an undergraduate degree at St. John's University in Minnesota. He then rejoined the Marine Corps to become a Phantom F4 fighter pilot in Vietnam, where he flew in more than a hundred combat missions. Upon his return McGaa danced in six annual Sioux Sun Dances. The Sun Dance led him to the seven Mother Earth ceremonies under the tutelage of Chief Eagle Feather and Chief Fools Crow, two Sioux holy men. Eagle Man holds a law degree from the University of South Dakota and is the author of Red Cloud: Biography of an Indian Chief; Mother Earth Spirituality: Healing Ourselves and Our World; Rainbow Tribe: Ordinary People Journeying on the Red Road; Native Wisdom: Perceptions of the Natural Way; and the novel Eagle Vision: Return of the Hoop.

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