“The less I need, the freer I am. Freedom brings alongside the lightness of the spirit”, told me an old and wise shaman of the Native People of the Red Path seated by a fire in the evening of the Potlatch. Starry Song, as he became known after having discovered his gift of lighting up the path of the people from his tribe through the word, in chant or not, as a bow light that shows the waves on the way, patiently explained to me the ceremony that would take place the following day, when each member would give an object that was of value to them.
The detachment from material possessions is a good exercise to help renew ideas and concepts that, outdated, hamper our journey. This ritual helps people realize and understand the need for self-renewal, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually. By giving something that is dear to us, we learn to transform feelings and thoughts that we have and that, because they are useless, become a burden and hamper our progress. We come to understand that things may be different. Life requires lightness.
To move forward in the infinite and fantastic road of life, we must understand its flow never to interrupt it. Otherwise, we will become bitter by realizing other people move on while we are stuck in the net of unimportant necessities.
“Contributing an object that is not, in fact, treasured is to stain one’s own dignity, is defrauding the ritual and life itself. It is like faking a feeling. One can cheat a brother, but we will never cheat the Universe, which, in response, will deny us permission to move forward until the error is undone. To live is to learn, transform, share and move on. Sharing the best of what you have is the only way to prepare yourself for the wealth the world is yet to bestow you “.
Being prepared to get rid of an object you treasure is to prepare the transformation of how you look at things. Aligning the primary desires of the self with the subtle needs of the soul require detachment and courage; wisdom and love. It is sheer light.
“Our real treasure is what we share. One cannot give what one does not have, and the desire to accumulate things reflects the fear of the eternal generosity and the unconditional love of the Great Mystery. We do our best, and we place tomorrow in Its hands, just as we take for granted that the sun will shine in the day that follows”, told me the wise old man while smoking his cast-stone bowl pipe.
Perhaps realizing my gaze lost in the flames of the fire that crackled and made the night warm, Starry Song kept on, with his soothing talk, explaining that the Potlatch also teaches that the single thing we actually possess is love. “It is essential, to meet the purpose of the ceremony, that the object is given with generosity. You either give love, or you will not be giving anything that is actually yours. All material assets are loaned by the Great Spirit to be used as tools for the evolution of all people. They were already here, and here they will remain, under the care of other brothers when we leave with the wind to ride with our ancestors. Only the love you share can be taken in your sacred bag. All the rest is secondary”.
Sacred bag? I have never heard that expression. “The sacred bag that you carry in your chest and rolls as a drum”, Starry Song explained, to conclude after a short pause “is your heart”.
“I am not saying material support is irrelevant. On the contrary, it is important”, the old man continued “because who is cold longs for a blanket. But any brother on Earth who is beset by the cold wind of abandon needs, even more, to be bundled up by the divine cloak of the loving embrace of a fellow brother. Spiritual compassion is infinitely more profound and valuable than the material one “.
“Only then we will be able to Stride in Beauty”, concluded the old and wise man while we saw the night slowly turning into day.