In clearing out more of the immense, intense, multicultural and east/west philosophical library I inherited from my omnivorous late husband Jeff Joel, I came across a remarkable book, Rolling Thunder, by Doug Boyd, about a Cherokee/Shoshone Medicine Man.
Not only are the teachings astonishing, and very very “Indian,” so is this author’s immersion into the Native culture required to grok the teachings. And, in his case, to write down the subtleties and dramatic incidents of daily events that prompted his learning, with great beauty and concision.
This book reminds me of the Don Juan/Carlos Casteneda books, though there’s no question that this shaman is real, his narrator an exceptional story teller, and the teachings therein for the ages, especially for our age, where everything comes in rat-tat-tat, one tiny ephemeral bit after another, with no real way to make sense of the whole or even to keep up with what just happened! Even the effort to stay centered within the roiling chaos takes huge, concentrated, focused effort.
Rolling Thunder’s teachings, of our inherent connection and oneness with Nature, take us beneath this increasingly agitated flux of surface phenomena to the Great Spirit that fills and powers the living universe. And along the way, of course, we are astonished by what we, in our “rational” culture that is so utterly disconnected from Nature, think of as magic and miracle, but instead, is simply, natural.
I’m half way through the book. I do not want it to end.
Rolling Thunder: “Somebody asked me, isn’t there any good thing that you like about this country?” I said, “Yes, the parts that they stole, including land, women, children — and our way of life, even their Constitution comes from our Iroquois Nation.”
Uploaded on Aug 25, 2010
NOTE: This is an excerpt from the full 90-minute DVD.
The Indian way of life is a life in harmony with nature. In this far ranging talk, Rolling Thunder contrasts this with the notion of mankind as dominator over nature. He describes the natural powers of native peoples which emerge from an attunement with nature. These include the ability to communicate with plants and animals, telepathic interactions with each other, and the ability to make rain. He describes his role as a healer using shamanistic methods and also describes his journeys to the worlds of spirits.
At the time of this program Rolling Thunder was visiting the San Francisco Bay Area to perform rain ceremonies to help end a drought. Two evenings before the interview he performed a lightning dance. That night, the entire region was surprised by thunder and lightning storm lasting for several hours — an event which occurs only rarely in the San Francisco area.
Rolling Thunder, a native Cherokee Indian, is an inter-tribal medicine man. He is the subject of a book titled Rolling Thunder by Doug Boyd. He has been an inspiration and influence to such cultural figures as Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead.