August 28, 2016
Valerie Luna Serrels
Perhaps like many of you this week, I’ve been riveted by stories of the alliance of various indigenous tribes coming together to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion project which will run through sacred ancestral land in the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Seeing photos and video of 60 different native American tribes standing together in solidarity on the banks of the Cannonball River gives me hope, but it also brings me back to another time in the not-so-distant past when white colonial powers first expropriated land and destroyed an entire civilization for our own use and profit. Not much has changed in our imperialistic mindsets, pointing to the hard truth that we seem to have a knack for not learning from our past sins and failures. The greed and subjugation that defined our nation’s founding remains unchanged generation after generation, showing up in different scenarios and contexts, but repeating the same pattern of disconnection.
Of course, this knack for not learning from our history is not limited to the United States, but seems to be a universal theme. Throughout human history, underneath this unchanging orientation toward imperialism and domination is a system of economics, based on a philosophy of mind that values profit and advancement for the few over relationship and the common good for all. And at the heart of this system are human beings who have become so disconnected within, from one another, and from the Earth, that we now face cataclysmic unintended consequences.
CALL TO JOURNEY:
This morning I’d like to talk about this connection between the state of our world right now, the greed that drives the injustice of our dominant systems, and our unexamined, unintegrated psyches. Perhaps we’ll get a glimpse into why our patterns of greed and domination seem to be stuck on repeat. And maybe we’ll see a way to liberate ourselves from the demands of these old patterns. Looking at these connections requires us to take a journey. Not to a foreign land, not with a passport, but with courage and a roadmap to our own psyche, to integrate what Depth Psychology founder, Carl Jung described as our Shadow. This path is not linear, but has many windy turns, ups and downs. It’s actually more of a descent, to the underneath of the soul. It is a journey at the core of our faith and at the core of being fully human, fully alive, fully connected with God and all things. It is the path of individuation – this quest for wholeness.