Let Every Step You Take Upon the Earth Be As a Prayer
At the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit. And that center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.
I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.
We should understand well that all things are the work of the Great Spirit. We should know the Great Spirit is within all things: the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, and the four-legged and winged peoples; and even more important, we should understand that the Great Spirit is also above all these things and peoples. When we do understand all this deeply in our hearts, then we will fear, and love, and know the Great Spirit, and then we will be and act and live as the Spirit intends.
The Universe is circles within circles, and everything is one circle, and all the circles are connected to each other. Each family is a circle, and those family circles connect together and make a community, and the community makes its circle where it lives on the Earth. It (the community) cares for that part (of the Earth) but cares for it as a circle - which is to say in a cooperative and egalitarian way, where everybody is cared for, and everybody is respected.
Any man who is attached to things of this world is one who lives in ignorance and is being consumed by the snakes of his own passions.
Peace will come to the hearts of men when they realize their oneness with the universe. It is everywhere.
Everywhere is the center of the world. Everything is sacred.
Let every step you take upon the Earth be as a prayer.
- Black Elk