Ray: Many Native Americans are concerned about the appropriation and exploitation of Indian philosophies by non-natives. Should Indians share native philosophies with non-Indians at all?
Jamie: Every Native American person who has the courage to share the beauty and simple goodness of what they have been taught by their elders is creating a bridge between cultures. The same is true of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, different European spiritual traditions, and others. The more we experience life as experienced by different cultures, the more we can stop hatred.
According to Seneca tradition, we are at the end of the fourth world of separation and the beginning of the fifth world of peace and illumination. Each of us who embrace humanity and all our relations are responsible for letting love, peace, and illumination flow by living that path.
Ray: What’s the message at the core of your own work, Jamie?
Jamie: Trust your heart, and use common sense. Don’t give your authority away — not to me, not to some teacher down the road, not to a group of people who say that it should only be one way. Know that you are the ultimate authority about what’s going on in your life.