At Mesa Verde we talked of belief systems. Of the old native concepts of animated nature. Of souls in the rocks and trees, in the very land itself. Of the meeting of Father Sky and Mother Earth to create life on the connecting horizons; ghosts and spirits and remembering; sipapus and catholic rosaries. Of symbolism and its importance. Of kivas and churches, mosques and synagogues, their spiritual and societal importance.
We talked of the need to believe in befores and beyonds. To feel the strength of past becoming future. Of cycles and seasons, connections and heritage, the need for protocols and traditions. Of nurturing and sustaining, loving what has passed as well as what is passing now. Of the need for eternal life and hope.
We talked of the impossibility of defining a belief system, each one an ephemeral collection of thoughts and feelings. Of a society’s mores and standards. Of individual dreams and longings, loves and fears that are not really expressible in words.
We discussed the connection between belief systems and religion. That religion is only one expression of a society’s beliefs developed from a distinct gathering of people to form a distinct culture of their own. How each reflects a connection with its own place in time, where it is situated on earth, what it considers its own special world. How each, never the less, is remarkably like all others in its basic forms and ideals. How each is a constant reminder of the core oneness of mankind and of all life.
How all have rituals. All are symbolic. All dwell on morality. That they all create a basis for hope. Hope of betterment for the individual self, a nurturing society, a fully sustaining earth. For life and goodness beyond anything we have ever known.