Thursday, January 17, 2013

Black Elk and Me: Spiritually Inspired and Questioning

Today, I've decided to write about an issue that comes up during my readings on spirituality (for me, specifically these have been Folk Catholic practice, witchcraft, Spiritualism and Espiritismo).

This issue is about being inspired by someone and then finding out that they later converted to another religion.
The questions I ask and I'm sure that many others do, too are:

  • Am I being misled?
  • Can I still draw inspiration from this person's teachings?
  • Am I even on the right path?
I've decided that even if that person has decided to take that path and has found fulfilment then there is nothing that I can really say to negate that person even if I disagree with their direction (as we seem to be along the same path).
I can still take inspiration from that person, as both they and I are connected to God, the Source (Brahman, Ain Sof, the Godhead, etc.) And for me obviously, spirituality is an inner journey, about finding out what I connect to.

The title of this post refers to Black Elk, author with John Neihardt of Black Elk Speaks. Black Elk has been quoted many times for his original American Indian/Native American spirituality. I am sure that many people do not realise the conversion he undertook towards the end of his life (to Catholicism). This does not take away from the fact that we can be inspired by his teachings but we should still be aware of his total religious journey. I've been inspired by several people who've later taken faith in Catholicism or Islam.

Further information:
Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt:
Black Elk on Wikipedia:

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