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“Religion is for people who're afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who've already been there.”
Vine Deloria Jr.
“Never has America lost a war ... But name, if you can, the last peace the United States won. Victory yes, but this country has never made a successful peace because peace requires exchanging ideas, concepts, thoughts, and recognizing the fact that two distinct systems of life can exist together without conflict. Consider how quickly America seems to be facing its allies of one war as new enemies.”
Vine Deloria Jr., Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto
“When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white men came, an Indian said simply "Ours.”
Vine Deloria Jr.
“These Indians are fierce, they wear feathers and grunt. Most of us dont fit this idealized figure since we grunt only when overeating”
Vine Deloria Jr.
“Until America begins to build a moral record in her dealings with the Indian people she should not try to fool the rest of the world about her intentions on other continents. America has always been a militantly imperialistic world power eagerly grasping for economic control over weaker nations.”
Vine Deloria Jr.
“Some years back Richard Nixon warned the American people
that Russia was bad because she had not kept any treaty or
agreement signed with her. You can trust the Communists, the
saying went, to be Communists.
Indian people laugh themselves sick when they hear these
statements. America has yet to keep one Indian treaty or agreement
despite the fact that the United States government signed
over four hundred such treaties and agreements with Indian
tribes. It would take Russia another century to make and break
as many treaties as the United States has already violated.”
Vine Deloria Jr.
“Before the white man can relate to others he must forego the pleasure of defining them. The white man must learn to stop viewing history as a plot against himself.”
Vine Deloria Jr., Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto
“But there was no question in Jung’s mind that psychology had replaced theology. Indeed, he believed that twentieth-century man had devised a psychology precisely because theology no longer provided any explanation of the world or any comfort for the soul. Jung”
Vine Deloria Jr., C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions
“The first and great difference between primitive religious thought and the world religions, therefore, is that primitive peoples maintain a sense of mystery through their bond with nature; the world religions sever the relationship and attempt to establish a new, more comprehensible one. Foremost”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“New Swedens, New Frances, and New Englands flourished, and one glance at the map of New England will indicate how thoroughly the new settlers wished to relive their former lives in familiar places. No comprehensive theory of human existence, no profound religious insights, and no universal political ideas came to these shores initially. Rather the ideas that came with the first settlers were the perverted ideas that had failed in Europe; the psychological walking wounded brought with them an irrational fear of the unknown that was slightly less emotional than the fear of extinction that they had known in Europe. All”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“Religion, as I have experienced it, is not the recitation of beliefs but a way of helping to understand our lives. It must, I think, have an intimate connection with the world in which we live, and any religion that promotes other places—heaven and so on—in favor of what we have in the physical world is a delusion, a mere control device to allow us to be manipulated.”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“One little, two little, three little Indians” is not simply a familiar children’s nursery rhyme, it is also a celebration of North American genocide. This little ditty, many Indian militants argue, captures in lyrical form the belief held during the last century by most in­formed Americans that Indians were vanishing from the face of the earth. This view was popularly symbolized earlier in this century by a small figurine showing an exhausted warrior on horseback, head slumped over and bowed, entitled “End of the Trail,” which adorned the mantlepiece of many white homes. The”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“Western science, following Roger Bacon, believed man could force nature to reveal its secrets; the Sioux simply petitioned nature for friendship. — Vine Deloria, Jr.”
Vine Deloria Jr., C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions
“The argument between nature and our species is certainly not restricted to measurements of the physical universe. It includes the great variety of possible human reactions and responses to nature that the social sciences and humanities have also described. The manner in which the argument is now being conducted is less a struggle for control and more a desire for participation. Western peoples have previously believed that scientific knowledge could indefinitely provide them with techniques to control and understand nature. They partially accomplished this goal by reducing the phenomena of nature to objects valuable only because they could be measured and modified. Even while technological progress continues, scientists are retreating from an absolute stance that purports to explain everything in theoretical terms. “The primary significance of modern physics lies not in any disclosure of the fundamental nature of reality,” Ian Barbour writes, “but in the recognition of the limitations of science.”31 If we have knowledge of nature at all, we must conceive it as a “modest, sharply delimited sector of, and extract from, the multiplicity of phenomena observed by our senses,”32 Heisenberg argued. Complete knowledge of the world, either in the scientific or philosophical sense, would require the reintroduction of factors previously omitted from consideration. The metaphysical task that brings together all facets of human knowledge”
Jr., Vine Deloria, Metaphysics of Modern Existence
“I strongly doubt that American Christianity has the foresight or flexibility to embark on new paths of action. It has always been torn between being good and being real and generally chosen to be good.”
Vine Deloria Jr., Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto
“discovery and settlement of the New World resulted in: “a dietary revolution unparalleled in history save possibly for the first application of fire to the cooking of edibles.” He continued, “Picture the long centuries when the Old World existed without white and sweet potatoes, tomatoes, corn and the many varieties of beans, and you have some notion of the extraordinary gastronomic advance. Add, for good measure, such dishes as pumpkins, squashes, turkeys, cranberries, maple syrup,”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“The argument, therefore, that the Europeans brought the great conception of civilization, conceived as a sedentary agricultural enterprise, to the New World is absurd on its face. That”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“Preconceived standards of conduct are unimportant and the assumption of the innate sinfulness of human is impossible, for the individual is judged instantaneously by his or her fellows as as useful or useless according to his or her degree of participation in community affairs.
-God is Red”
Vine Deloria Jr.
“in one major synthesis would seem to be the next major step in understanding that our species must take.”
Jr., Vine Deloria, Metaphysics of Modern Existence
“THE PROCESS OF LIFE The Greek conception of the kosmos was not simply that of a world of atoms, metaphysical ideas and numbers, and random energies. It also consisted of plants and animals, the life-forms of the biological world, including the human species, considered as observable phenomena. We would be remiss if we based any critique of culture and civilization on the discoveries and theories of modern physics alone. Of more importance to the layman are the principles that seem to describe and govern activities in the world of which they are a part. Therefore we must investigate other fields of knowledge to see if some of contemporary interpretations of the world can be made compatible with the discoveries in the field of physics, thereby extending the possibility of our metaphysical search into a broader perspective. The”
Jr., Vine Deloria, Metaphysics of Modern Existence
“Second, a large portion of the first generations of settlers were the criminal element of England who had a choice between immediate execution or exile in the wilderness of America. Georgia was a penal colony of the British crown and the first families of Georgia for many generations were descendants of whores and footpads of the Old World. There was not, therefore, an inbred respect for the law or human rights that we today attribute to the Founding Fathers. A”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“A significant proportion, then and now, was from the beginning devoted to the violation of laws, the disregard of rights of any kind, and the casual murder or rape of those who resisted them. Something in the neighborhood of fifty thousand convicts were transported to the New World in an effort to provide law and order in the Old.3 Third, a substantial number of immigrants arrived in the New World with their foreseeable future years already mortgaged to pay for their passage over. “Redemptioners” or “free-willers” booked passage for America and on their arrival were auctioned off by the ship captain to the highest bidder. Many English merchants specialized in this trade and fraudulent practices in recruiting were commonplace. The immigrants were packed aboard like sardines, and a mortality of more than 50 percent during a trip to the New World was not unusual. These”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“The intensive cultivation methods of European farming were finally abandoned by the immigrants and they moved swiftly to the other extreme, farming soils to exhaustion and abandoning them to move on to new fields. American genius in agriculture until the dust bowl years has really never been its cleverness but its inexhaustible supply of land that could be carelessly exploited and abandoned. Southern planters controlled thousands of acres and ruthlessly exploited labor and land and then sought more land. By the Revolution “the older tobacco areas along the Chesapeake and the great rivers”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“syrup, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, crab apples, chest-nuts and peanuts.”7 Schlesinger concludes, “In the four and a half centuries since Columbus blundered into the Western Hemisphere the American has not developed a single indigenous staple beyond those he derived from the Indians. Today, it is estimated, four-sevenths of the country’s agricultural output consists of plants (including tobacco and a native species of cotton) which were discovered with the New World.”8”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“When this conglomerate of ideologies hit the American shores and filtered among the criminals, religious fanatics, and indentured servants, it appealed to the worst of their instincts, because it was basically a European doctrinal complex transported to a world in which the physical and political and indeed even the religious boundaries of Europe did not exist. Scattered efforts were made to reincorporate the old baronial holdings of Europe into the new continent. Francis”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“Feyerabend’s work is critically important for non-Western and post-Western peoples because he stands within the Western tradition yet has mastered many of its social and political barriers so that he can speak meaningfully and critically to its less intelligent proponents.”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“Indeed, as important as the prospect of physical bodily changes, he saw the immigrant psyche changing as it gradually adopted the psychology of the aboriginal peoples. Despite the best efforts of American whites, fragments of an American Indian soul were constantly appearing in their dreams and fantasies. “The American presents a strange picture,” Jung said, “a European with Negro behavior and an Indian soul. He shares the fate of all usurpers of foreign soil.”18”
Vine Deloria Jr., C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions
“Wilma P. Mankiller No writer has more clearly articulated the unspoken emotions, dreams, and lifeways of contemporary Native people than Vine Deloria. This collection of Deloria’s works takes the reader on a fascinating journey through Indian country as Deloria responds to some of the most important issues of the last three decades. Deloria’s literary gift is amply demonstrated in pieces that are a mix of logic, humor, irreverence, and spirituality. But it is his clarity of thought and stunning ability to express complex concepts in a simple, straightforward manner that captivate the reader. One of the most compelling pieces in the collection, “If You Think About It, You Will See That It Is True,” reminded me of the phrase coined by Alice Walker, “looking backward toward the future.” With flawless logic and adroit use of language, Deloria examines the way many traditional Native people look at the universe, the connectedness of all living things, and our own insignificance in the totality of things compared to the objective, segmented way scientists in the academy view the universe. Deloria points out that “everything that humans experience has value and instructs in some aspect of life. . . . The”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“Indian country is a means of forecasting where the larger society may be headed. The bicentennial inspired much enthusiasm for recapturing individual ethnic heritage, and the intense desire of non-Indians to have some Indian ancestry or activity may be a part of that movement. Unfortunately, we do not seem to have the patience to find both our own heritage and the place in which heritage can make a positive contribution to the larger society. We are in the process of establishing a new kind of American identity, apart from the Pilgrim tradition, and it is a very painful process of sorting out values. We must not take any easy or superficial answers.”
Vine Deloria Jr., Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader
“In evoking the figures of the devil and the divine, Jung interpreted the trickster figure in comparative terms that made sense to European psychologists and scholars, but which had little to do with American Indians. His misreading should caution us about the dangers of this kind of comparative work. Indeed, having laid this base in Western theology, Jung found it hard to stop, and he found himself arguing that the trickster is: a forerunner of the saviour, and, like him, God, man and animal at once. He is both subhuman and superhuman, a bestial and divine being, whose chief and most alarming characteristic is his unconsciousness.23”
Vine Deloria Jr., C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions

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