Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again (Paperback)
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To recreate a whole and sacred America, it is important to piece together the forgotten fragments of history that are currently keeping the country divided. Just as a traditional Native American potter begins a new pot with shards of old pots—honoring the ancestors, bringing the energies of the past into the present—Original Politics re-constellates the nation as a whole out of the seemingly disparate shards from our origins. The most significant forgotten piece is the profound effect Native America had on the founding values of this nation. Original Politics convincingly demonstrates how the best aspects of the founding vision of America were inspired, or directly appropriated, from living, Native American cultures: concepts such as natural rights, liberty, and egalitarian justice. Further, Parry traces the influence of Native America not only on the founding fathers, but on the ‘founding mothers’ of the 19th century women’s movement; as well as the 19th century abolitionist and modern ecological movements. Native America has inspired what Parry sees as the sacred purpose of the nation: bringing all the world’s peoples together on one soil in a harmonious cultural mosaic of unity in diversity. While there have been periodic setbacks (devolution) in our nation’s history, including today, these only serve as catalysts reigniting our sacred purpose. America is creating a new melting pot, and like the original vision, it will be a creation from the many into the one—only this time it must not leave anyone out. This includes the natural world. Original Politics is ultimately about respecting all forms of life and all forms of political expression as different aspects of one whole. It is a reclamation project that brings people, land, and nation together as one. The overall effect of the book is profoundly healing.
About the Author
Glenn Aparicio Parry, PhD, is also the author of the Nautilus award-winning book, Original Thinking: A Radical Revisioning of Time, Humanity, and Nature (North Atlantic Books, 2015), and an educator, ecopsychologist, and political philosopher whose passion is to reform thinking and society into a coherent, cohesive, whole. The founder and past president of the SEED Institute, Parry is currently the director of a grass-roots think tank, the Circle for Original Thinking. He earned his BA in Psychology from Allegheny College and went on to earn both his MA in East-West Psychology and his PhD in Humanities with a concentration in Transformative Learning from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Parry organized and participated in the groundbreaking Language of Spirit conferences from 1999-2011, moderated by Leroy Little Bear, that brought together Native American and Western scientists in dialogue. He has appeared in several documentary films, including Journey to Turtle Island by Spanish film maker Miryam Servet and SEEDing Change: A Retrospective of the Language of Spirit Dialogues, directed by Joyce Anastasia and produced by the Foundation for Global Humanity. Parry is a member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the Theosophical Society as part of a life-long interest in bridging the arts and sciences. His first career was as a rock and roll booking agent in Woodstock, NY. He has lived in northern New Mexico since 1994.
“For peace and harmony to prevail, the truth must be told. We are instructed never to take hope from the people.” —Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation Author of Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations, and the US Constitution
“Parry’s richly-textured book holds out hope and guidance for this moment of political conflict over diversity amid fear for the continuation of life on the planet. Inviting us to see how this challenge is the stimulus to transform the conflict into unity of purpose, the author provides us with a roadmap for how to do it through a new worldview that reestablishes an Indigenous connection with the natural world. This worldview privileges place over time, relationship over product, and revalues the feminine, enabling us to rebalance culturally and ensure the survival of life on the planet.”—Sally Roesch Wagner, Founding director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation Author of Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee Influence on Early American Feminists and The Women’s Suffrage Movement
“Thank you, thank you, Niawen (in Mohawk), K’olabal (in Maya Tzotzil), muchas gracias, merci beaucoup, to you. If all ‘white’ people held such a deep consciousness for Natives as you do, the world would already be truly blessed and sacred. There is no way one can stay neutral when reading you, I’m crying, I’m touched, shaking and totally stirred up!!! This is all so good in spirit.”—Ohki Simine Forest (Canadian Mohawk), Author of Dreaming the Council Ways, is a vision-holder and spiritual teacher
“Some people are aware of the impact Native cultures had on the development of the US. The vast majority are not. Original Politics finds a unique way of telling the true story.” —Harlan McKosato(Sac and Fox Nation), Former long-time host of the nationally syndicated radio show Native America Calling
“In a fractured time when a rude politics of nationalism rides in the high saddle as the climate crisis and many other environmental problems demand effective international co-operation, the world needs Glenn Aparicio Parry’s Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again. Engagingly written, mixing the best of the past and present, the indigenous and immigrant, appreciating everyone’s beauty: that is how we forge a sustainable future. Parry traces a path. Life on Earth will be better if everyone— everyone, regardless of race, religion, and class—re-learns what many indigenous ancestors call “the original instructions.” Read this book, enjoy it, and pass the word: we cooperate, or we face a hot, miserable future world squabbling over toxic crumbs.” —Bruce E. Johansen, Author of Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shape Democracy and The Iroquois: The History and Culture of Native Americans
“In a brilliant historical retelling, Original Politics makes clear that America’s sacred legacy—while appearing to have fallen in the ditch of a crude and phony populism—is destined to be a thriving pluralistic democracy and a sanctuary of ecological values.” —James O’Dea, Former president of The Institute of Noetic Sciences, author of Cultivating Peace and The Conscious Activist
“Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again is an important and timely book for helping the United States move beyond its current crisis. Parry’s writing flows beautifully and thoughtfully, as he shows how returning to the nation’s mix of Native and European roots can effectively meet its current problems and heal its divisions.” —Stephen Sachs, Author of Honoring the Circle: Ongoing Learning from American Indians on Politics and Society, with Bruce Johansen, Betty Booth Donohue, Donald Grinde, et al.
“In Original Politics, Parry draws on his lifetime of work in association with Native scholars and teachers as the lens through which he considers both the current polarized and dysfunctional American political situation and the coming global environmental catastrophe. Parry gently suggests that our public business, our politics, can only change when we return to the spiritual, caring values that characterize the way Native people see their purpose in life regarding nature: as guardians and caretakers, not as masters, users or exploiters. These concepts were inherent in the principles the founding fathers appropriated from Native American tribes whom they lived and worked with . . . principles from which we have allowed ourselves to stray from at our peril.” —Senator GeraldP. “Jerry” Ortiz y Pino, New Mexico Legislature
“Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again points the way for the nation to recover its spiritual heritage by summarizing the Indigenous precepts informing the western hemisphere at Contact. I highly recommend this book to persons desiring a synopsis of Native epistemology in order to rediscover the sacred nature of the earth and its peoples. Original Politics is a timely and thoughtful approach to solving America’s political and social problems.” —Betty Booth Donohue (Cherokee Nation), Author of Bradford’s Indian Book
“The arrival of Original Politics into our current tormented and divisive U.S. political field is an exceptional gift. Glenn Aparicio Parry offers us a way through the maze, untangling the tight knots of dread, fear and outrage along the way by illuminating the larger and deeper vision of America’s political life in the context of its destiny to embody ‘unity within diversity.’” —Thanissara Mary Weinberg, Author of Time to Stand Up: A Buddhist Manifesto for Our Times, North Atlantic Books