A Quick Note on Power

In Linda Hogan’s, “Power”, the tribal court system judged Ama to be spiritually at fault and as such charged her with banishment. This was the punishment for seeking to gain spiritual power over her own tribe. To have concealed the tribe’s revealed weaknesses from them was a powerful act in itself, and the crime wasn’t necessarily as shallow as the other court (where she was found innocent) made it out to be. In this story, Ama acted with some sort of divine guidance with total disregard for her tribes wishes. She did this so that she may somehow protect her tribe from its own pride, so as to not be exposed to their diminished place in the world. This denial of spiritual understanding from her of the tribe was seen as a grievous offense in which Ama recklessly acted with intent to stifle the spirit of the tribe by concealing its sickly personification in the panther. Instead of engaging her tribe in facing this revelation together, she enabled the tribe to continue in their perceived self-destructive efforts without empowering an intervention. In doing so, Ama denied them their claimed right to even know this, further denying the tribe the ability to make the observation for themselves as to whether or not their actions had lead them down a path of ruin. This sabotage was seen as an unforgivable spiritual act, in that it empowered Ama to face and kill the weakness on behalf of and at the spiritual expense of the tribe. None of this is generally regarded as even being able to be judged at the spiritual level to an extent that is punishable here on Earth in a Judaeo-Christian belief system. In a Judaeo-Chrisitan belief system, the spiritual judgment is largely left for God in the afterlife for practicioners. This generally allows people to walk free during their life here on Earth historically, but to some extent this void has been filled with the legal system. Judaeo-Christian folks will readily believe that it’s God’s domain to judge one spiritually, but there still must be some form of dominion over the people transgressing and doing things that mostly nobody wants them to do here in this life. As such we’ve a legal system that’s a mixture of arbitrary and democratic laws. The book is making the fundamental statement that there’s no singular judgment day or judge in the belief system presented, as there is in Judaeo Christian beliefs. In its place is a human mechanism that does this. This relates to divinity because while both cultures and belief systems they follow undoubtedly see divinity in nature, the approach toward seeing it is very different in that divinity is a gift of God’s time who alone can judge what you personally did was right or wrong here, whereas in contrast to this it is the job of mortal human beings to pass spiritual judgments based on observed divine guidance in ones life here in the Indigenous belief system presented.

2 thoughts on “A Quick Note on Power

  1. Beth

    Wow Jason. What is this class again? Definitely a very indepth class as how we in different cultures believe. But , I believe as your conclusions/opinion, God does decide whether we did or didn’t do the right thing here on earth.

  2. jason Post author

    Well that’s not what the folks running the Taiga tribal court chose, in the story. They do these kinds of things, but these conclusions aren’t my own, this is what was written in the book – all I did was to understand the story. My own conclusion I didn’t really write much on that, here.


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