19 March 2012

We Are Square

Staring at a computer screen for 4 hours, and my head feels like the David Bowie song. It's chilly outside, so when I get up from the screen I walk around the house, trying to find something to do that will help my brain and eyes relax. But everywhere I look I see this:

(I only wish my room looked like this)

Does your head hurt yet?

Notice a common theme?

Is it any wonder I feel so...caged in? Cornered?

Sometimes it's all I can do not to call this guy up:

(Meet a cop who plays a building inspector who writes up house plans that have no right angles!!)

Basically our world still looks like this...

...Not this

Yet notice the shape of the human head (in which, of course, the brain is housed):

Doesn't its shape look alien compared to all the framing in the background/perimeter?

Think there might be a correlation?

Why do we subject ourselves to live in such an unnaturally shaped world? It hurts!

The Native Americans couldn't understand it either.

Meet Black Elk, one of the last of the free Lakota medicine men. He fought for the freedom of his people all his life only to witness their massacre at Wounded Knee and the containment of the rest to hellish reservations. He recounts what was perhaps one of the greatest struggle for these displaced people when they were forced to adopt the white man's ways:

"You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation, and so long as the hoop was unbroken, the people flourished...

"Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls...The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. 

"Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is with everything where power moves. 

"Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.

Try feeling boxed in in one of these!

"But the Wasichus [white men] have put us in these square boxes. Our power is gone and we are dying, for the power is not in us anymore. You can look at our boys and see how it is with us. When we were living by the power of the circle in the way we should, boys were men at twelve or thirteen years of age. But now it takes them very much longer to mature...

"We made these little gray houses of logs that you see, and they are square. It is a bad way to live, for there can be no power in a square."

The Indians blamed the white man's square houses, wagons, etc.—their incessant corners—for their insatiable lust for more land, more power, more room. "Civilized" man had boxed himself in and must constantly lash out for freedom.

Makes sense, doesn't it? We lost a world of wisdom in our frenzied rush for manifest destiny.

And we're still suffering the effects. 

Is there hope?

Well, we're making progress.


  1. Cassidy you are a genius! I love it! It all makes sense now!

  2. You're so sweet! Thank you! I can't take credit for it though, it's Black Elk's theory :) Native American belief is so fascinating!

  3. Ooo, I love this! Such a wonderful way to look at the world. (Incidentally, this reminds me of the Round Church in Richmond, Vermont, supposedly built that way so "the devil couldn't hide in any corners": http://oldroundchurch.com/)

  4. No way! That church is awesome! What would it be like to go to church there? Wise people :)


Share your musings!