forces of nature — lighting, wind, water, fire and frost — are regarded with awe asspiritual powers, but always secondary and intermediate in character. We believe thatthe spirit pervades all creation and that every creature possess a soul in some degree,though not necessarily a soul of conscious itself. The tree, the waterfall, the grizzlybear, each is an embodied Force, and as such an object of reverence.
POVERTY AND SIMPLICITY
We original Americans have generally been despised by our white conquerors of ourpoverty and simplicity. They forget, perhaps, that our religion forbade theaccumulation of wealth and the enjoyment of luxury. To us, as to other spiritually-minded people in every age and race, the love of possessions is a snare, and theburdens of a complex society a source of needless peril and temptation… It is simpletruth that we Indians did not, so long as our native philosophy held sway over ourminds, either envy or desire to imitate the splendid achievements of the white race. Inour own thought we rose superior to them! We scorned them, even as a lofty spiritabsorbed in its own task rejects the soft beds, the luxurious food, the pleasure-worshipping dalliance of a rich neighbor. It was clear to us that virtue and happinessare independent of these things, if not incompatible with them… Furthermore, it wasthe rule of our life to share the fruits of our skill and success with our less fortunatebrothers and sisters. Thus we kept our spirits free from the clog of pride, avarice, orenvy, and carried out, as we believed, the divine decree — a matter of profoundimportance to us.
NATURE AND SOLITUDE
As children of nature, we have always looked upon the concentration of population asthe prolific mother of all evils, moral no less than physical. It was not, then, whollyfrom ignorance or improvidence that we failed to establish permanent towns and todevelop a material civilization. We have always believed that food is good, whilesurfeit kills; that love is good, but lust destroys; and not less dreaded than thepestilence following upon crowded and unsanitary dwellings is the loss of spiritualpower inseparable from too close contact with one’s fellow men.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
Prayer — the daily recognition of the Unseen and the Eternal — is our one inevitableduty… We Indian people have traditionally divided mind into two parts — thespiritual mind and the physical mind. The first — the spiritual mind — is concernedonly with the essence of things, and it is this we seek to strengthen by spiritual prayer,during which the body is subdued by fasting and hardship. In this type of prayer thereis no beseeching of favor or help… The second, or physical mind, is lower. It isconcerned with all personal or selfish matters, like success in hunting or warfare,relief from sickness, or the sparing of a beloved life. All ceremonies, charms, or other