No Man’s Folk Music or No Man’s Folk
photo credit, Creative Commons photo credit The Telegraph
Rooted in the story of the 1914 Christmas Truce, No Man’s Folk Music or No Man’s Folk, invites you into a circle in the No Man’s Land of right relationship with the Earth and cosmos that is beyond cultural divisions.
In 2014, while on a pilgrimage to Ypres and Messines, Belgium, to honor the centenary of what is called, La Treve de Noel, in French, I wrote a re-newed Call to No Man’s Land:
For 4.3 billion years now, Earth has been “Our Mother”, the source and teacher of life. Imagined as “Grandmother”, she has modeled all the cherished virtues of humanity: integrity, generosity, wisdom, love, creativity, authenticity, healing, harmony, truth…no single human faith or ideology has any claim, text, or ritual that entitles its followers to privilege. The virtues, like the Earth that spread before me, are possessed by no one – our entire planet belongs to all, not just human beings — in that sense, I had an insight: The starting point for peace on Earth returns again each year with the announcement that all Creation is no man’s land.
The No Man’s Land of No Man’s Folk is called de-colonizing in ethical space, by Battiste, Third Space and hybridity, by Bhabha Ethnoautobiography, by Kremer, the Participatory Turn, by Ferrer, and the Braided Way, by Olin-Hitt.
Around the Great Lakes, it is the dream, the creativity and circle from which the Ojibway/Chippewa First Song emerged, it is the space that is invoked by the wampum belt of the Great Peace of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Iroquois), the community of the Underground Railroad, and it is the central tenet of the Recovery and Environmental Movements, that our own soul’s health is best served when we are in loving relationship for the good of others.
ONLY THE WOUNDED SINGER SINGS
Singers of No Man’s Folk sing best after having gone through psychological death and re-birth experiences, in mind, body, and spirit. It is, therefore, helpful to be educated both in mind and in experience in the psychology of life after death, near-death experiences, life between lives, rites of birth, passage, elderhood, death, and reincarnation.
In a universe of 13,82 billion years and in a culture where many children are being born who remember past lives, our Purpose is in proportion to the time we have.
During these crucial years called, the approach to the ecological age, by Thomas Berry, the Great Turning, by Joanna Macy, the Preparation for the Time of the 8th Fire by the Ojibway/Chippewa Prophecies, the Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken, the Great Awakening, by Christopher Bache, and the Magnification, by F. Christopher Reynolds, there are 2 entrenched world-views that hold us hostage.
Folding Western Culture Forward
The 2 world-views or main trenches that divide us are the trench of modern science-based (pre-quantum physics) on the ideas of Isaac Newton which isolates human consciousness inside our individual brains and the trench of monotheistic world religious that hold that the transcendent world beyond or world to come is more valuable than the immanent Earth and cosmos of the here and now.
Both trenches suffer from a form of monistic materialism or literalism – seeing with only one eye – which can be symbolized by the Cyclops, Polyphemus, described in the Odyssey.
In our mythology, it was Odysseus, who called himself, No Man, who got the cyclops drunk on the wine of Apollo, pierced the bubble of the giant’s eye and escaped with his crew.
Here he is in the Odyssey:
Cyclops, thou askest me of my glorious name, and I will tell it thee; and do thou give me a stranger’s gift, even as thou didst promise. Noman is my name, Noman do they call me — my mother and my father, and all my comrades as well.
Apollo’s wine is symbolic language for the harmony, sacred number, geometry, cosmology, prophecy and consciousness expressed with music.
I described No Man’s Folk in my 2018 book called, Remembrance of the 1914 Christmas Truce: It’s Our Turn Now:
Singing under the starry heavens, I wondered, is it our songs that make the difference? There is a famous rabbi who said, “Good wins out in the end, but not by much.” Do the songs that unite us through compassion, even for our enemies, tip the balance? (p.13, in Reynolds, Remembrance of the 1914 Christmas Truce)