It is good to have a reminder of death before us, for it helps us to understand the impermanence of life on this earth, and this understanding may aid us in preparing for our own death.
Black Elk [Heȟáka Sápa]
That World Which Is Real
Topic: Life Beyond Death & the Spirit World
It is good to have a reminder of death before us, for it helps us to understand the impermanence of life on this earth, and this understanding may aid us in preparing for our own death. He who is well prepared is he who knows that he is nothing compared with Wakan Tanka, who is everything; then he knows that world which is real.
Black Elk [Heȟáka Sápa]. Born in the sprawling vistas of South Dakota in 1863, Heháka Sápa, or Black Elk (1863-1950), emerged as an integral spiritual figure among his people, the Oglala Lakota (Sioux). Second cousin to the notable Crazy Horse, Black Elk's lineage traced back to a legacy steeped in wisdom and strength, a foundation that would guide him on his path as a wičháša wakáŋ - a holy and medicine man. Amid the backdrop of wind-swept grasslands and the majestic Black Hills, Black Elk found his life purpose, not in the throes of conflict, but in the pursuit of spiritual harmony and healing.
Even as a child, Black Elk was endowed with exceptional spiritual insight, receiving prophetic visions that would guide him throughout his life. The Great Spirit, an embodiment of the divine in Lakota theology, gifted him with these profound experiences, fueling his dedication to healing his people and maintaining their spiritual welfare. These visions, seen not with the eyes but through the heart, served as Black Elk's compass. He fervently believed that "the heart is a sanctuary at the center of which there is a little space, wherein the Great Spirit dwells," a concept that guided his service as a spiritual leader and healer.
Black Elk’s story transcends the limits of time and space, reaching into the heart of humanity's quest for spiritual enlightenment. As a wičháša wakáŋ, he worked tirelessly to ensure the wellbeing of his people, serving not just as a healer of physical ailments, but of the soul. His commitment to purity and goodness, living in the manner that the Great Spirit taught, stands as a testament to his belief that those who are pure "contain the Universe in the pocket of their heart." Black Elk's spiritual journey and enduring dedication to his people reflect the profound depth of his faith and the power of his love for the Great Spirit.
The Sacred Pipe
Black Elk [Heȟáka Sápa], and Joseph Epes Brown. The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of Oglala Sioux. University of Oklahoma Press, 1953.
Black Elk [Heȟáka Sápa]
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