by HFH Reuvers


In the socalled 'primitive' religions there's much more respect for 'mother earth' than in the socalled 'civilized' religions who seem to think they are allowed to milk out mother earth. The conscienceless production of meat and plastic, which has become quite common in the rich countries, is contrary to the feelings of the Bushmen, Papuan and Red Indians.
Another remarkable fact is that these 'uncivilized' used to feel rather clearly there is one and only one God who created the cosmos. The Algonquin Indians, for example, knew God as the 'Great Manitou', the Australians knew Him as 'Nuralie', the early Indo-Europeans knew Him as 'Dyâus Pitâ' (that is: Deus Pater, God the Father). Nowadays, all natural peoples are more or less 'civilized'.

I don't want to idealize the old Red Indians. Sometimes they were very cruel. But they considered mother earth with much more intelligence than the pale faces do. As an example, here are a few quotations out of an address delivered by chief Seattle (1854):
"The great chief in Washington has spoken: he wants to buy our land. The great chief also spoke words of friendship and peace. That is very good of him, because we know he doesn't need our friendship. But we will ponder your offer, because we know, if we don't sell our land, the white man will come with his rifles and take it ..."
"How can anybody sell or buy the air, the warmth of the land? It's difficult for us to imagine that. If we can't possess the stimulation of the air and the rippling of the water, how can you buy it from us? The air is precious for the red man, because everything is sharing the same air: the animals, the trees, the people ..."
"Man hasn't woven the web of life. He 's only one thread of it. Whatever he does with the web, he does with himself ..."