Our goal is to be able to adapt to the following circumstances, and treat the conditions that result from our work.
The work we've done, and the value of the material we create is useless if we cannot continue to use it to help each other - even by constructive criticism. If we are separated by the identities we create rather than brought together, we cannot verify the results of our work, or rely upon the results we find independently by any means, and we will be returned to the delusions that separate us once again.
When Black Elk was nine years old, he was suddenly taken ill and left prone and unresponsive for several days. During this time he had a great vision in which he was visited by the Thunder Beings (Wakinyan), and taken to the Grandfathers — spiritual representatives of the six sacred directions: west, east, north, south, above, and below.
Black Elk had learned many things in his vision to help heal his people. He had come from a line long of medicine men and healers in his family; his father was a medicine man as were his paternal uncles.
In his vision, Black Elk is taken to the center of the earth, and to the central mountain of the world.
As Black Elk related: "While I stood there I saw more than I can tell and 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 the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy."
"Hear me, four quarters of the world - a relative am I! Give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is! Give me the eyes to see and the strength to understand, that I may be like you.
Only with your power can I face the winds. Great Spirit, Great Spirit, my Grandfather!
All over the earth the faces of living things are all alike. With tenderness have these come up out of the ground. Look upon these faces of children without number and with children in their arms, that they may face the wind and walk the good road to the day of quiet. This is my prayer; hear me now!"