June 24, 2007

Mother’s gold

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 7:18 am


When I ran across the quote from Mikel Dunham’s book on the Tibet resistance forces and CIA, I was reminded first of Smohalla’s vision:

You ask me to plough the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother’s breast? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to dig for stone. Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again. You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it and be rich like white men. But how dare I cut off my mothers hair?

It was in searching for that text that I stumbled across the quote from Milton – which, since it speaks specifically of gold, seems to be a better “pairing” with the quote from Tibet.

Yet the point is the same, whether it be found in Milton, Tibet, or the visionary of the Nez Perce: we might be better off if the seams of gold to be found in the earth were never mined. And this notion, so much the reverse of the great idea (Milton correctly identifies it as Mammon) which mines the Witwatersraand to provide us with currency and ornament, is most easily understood when thinking of the earth as mother.

What, to paraphrase the gospel saying, shall it profit humankind if we gain the whole treasure of our world-mother — and lose her soul?


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