At the Marae

Do you think that there’s any chance there may truly be a unifying essence or ground of being that is shared by all mankind?  You know, something buried deep within our psyches that we’ve somehow lost track of these days when divisiveness seems so prevalent.

I was thinking back recently to a time a few years ago when I was among the Maori people in Aotearoa (the long white cloud) which is the name the Maori have for the islands of New Zealand.  Before these folks were inundated with western materialism and capitalistic pursuits (not to mention Christianity) they basked in the natural beauty and mana (what they call spiritual power) around them.

The mana the people inherited from their revered ancestors extended to Tangaroa (the sea) and Tane (the forest) and all of nature in a beautiful Cosmic Unity.  As long as tapu was respected everything went along pretty well.

Tapu is spiritual power like mana that everyone has and some objects and places have but some people and places have more tapu then others.  Everyone understands that when strong tapu is encountered it is important to act with deference so as to keep you spiritually strong and not upset the delicate cosmic balance.

While in Aotearoa I was allowed to visit a Marae, which is a sacred meeting place were tapu is particularly strong.  Upon entering tribute was paid to the ancestral spirits in recognition of the origins of the mana or life force shared by everyone in the iwi (all the people).

So, after thinking about it, I’m just wondering, if we’ve lost track of the mana around and within all of us and the tapu of our neighbors and acquaintances, maybe we should be searching for a sacred place where we can all come together and find our common ground.


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