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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/20/20

Self-Triage in a Catastrophic World (A Decolonizing Perspective)

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I took the information and began Googling away. I learned an SUV of 5 was considered serious. I learned that when lymphoma comes back, it comes back strong and that two spontaneous remissions in a row seemed never been recorded. Once again, the hypnosis of colonial hegemony took hold for a moment. "Maybe I should do the damn chemo now" I thought. I could get through it I knew. Then again, I thought, if I did it once, why couldn't I do it again?! After all, I did let up on what worked.

I am writing this piece on April 20, 2020. I have resumed the priorities that make the most sense to me. I'm still alive, surfing almost daily, being fortunate enough to be on a private beach near the best long-board surfing in Mexico, while all the surrounding public beaches are closed owing to Covid-19. I am writing more than ever, mostly to help bring attention to how the colonized mind based on the misguided dominant worldview that has been operating for thousands of years is the cause of the pandemic and how we must stop ignoring this fact. However, while doing the work I have returned to a more diligent practice of Indigenous worldview-based ways of being in the world. The tumor is still there, but does not seem to be growing. I am trusting the universe and meeting it halfway with my actions, staying in dialogue with the Spirit World via ceremony almost daily. Although I have a sense of urgency in behalf of future generations with my teaching, presentations and articles, my belief that we are spirits inhabiting a living body, whether human, plant or other animal, as we have done before and will again allows my urgency to be without stress.

My message is for all to wake up to whom we really are so we might have a chance to curb the pandemics, wars, extinction rates and climate change for the 7th generation. This will require decolonizing our triage strategy in the meantime. I briefly close with a way to do this via "The CAT-FAWN Connection that can be studied in more depth via my books, including Primal Awareness, Point of Departure and Teaching Truly and R. M. Fisher's text, Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows. CAT stands for "Concentration-Activated Transformation." Ultimately, most of our thinking, feeling and actions stem from trance-based learning, either intentional or otherwise. Ceremony is a way to take control of it, as is self-hypnosis coupled with honest meta-cognition. FAWN represents the four forces (Fear, Authority, Words and Nature) that we must self-explore to determine why we make the assumptions we make. If we assume a colonized perspective for each instead of our original Indigenous one, trance-based learning will lead to imbalance. If we understand these four forces with decolonized thinking and use intentional trance-based learning to reprogram ourselves, we can heal and return things to relative harmony.

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Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) is a professor at Fielding Graduate University. Former Director of Education at Oglala Lakota College, he is a made-relative of the Oglala and a Sun Dancer. Selected by AERO for their text Turning Points as one of 27 (more...)
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