Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Daoist In A Pickle

 By Ken Cohen 高漢

I still have a newspaper article from 1980 that discusses the 142 year old Daoist (also spelled "Taoist") Wu Yunqing 吳云青 who had lived most of his life in a cave, but with a wooden floor to keep out the damp. He was a practitioner of Nei Dan (Interior Alchemy), and his advice for longevity is great and classically Daoist:

Wu Yunqing's Lifestyle
Early each morning he practices Taiji Quan.
He gardens and rides his bicycle each day.
He eats small vegetarian meals (no meat or fish), with his main meal of the day at lunch.
LIke many other centenarians in China, in addition to fruit and vegetables, his starches are rice, corn, and sweet potatoes.
No tobacco or alcohol.
Drinks mostly broths, little water.
He sleeps soundly and takes several brief naps each day from a meditative posture.
And perhaps most important of all is his advice about mental health:
"You must be open minded and optimistic in your outlook. Avoid petty squabbles with others, be friendly and try to help others when you can."

Summary of Key Points
Practice Taiji Quan (also spelled Tai Chi)
Exercise in nature
Small vegetarian meals, main meal early in the day
No recreational tobacco or alcohol
Sound sleep
Be open minded, optimistic, and of service.

When did this "Immortal" (Xian Ren) die? 1998, at which time, according to his disciples, he was 160 years old. Is it true? I know you would like to believe this. But I must report that he died at the documented, young age of 102. And that's not so bad.

It is common for Daoists to exaggerate their age and abilities, so please always keep your skepticals on. I know a Daoist priest who tells students he was born 24 years before the date of birth on his passport. Once, more than 25 years ago, during an enthusiastic conversation with a Chinese Daoist colleague, when asked my age I mistakenly said, "Liu Shi San" (63). I think that he was about to ask to become my disciple, when I immediately corrected myself and said, "Sorry, I meant to say San Shi Liu (36)." I remember the look of disappointment.

The latest chapter in this story occurred just last April (2015), when Wu Yunqing's undecaying body, in seated meditation posture, was put on display in a crystal display case with seams sealed with cement. Tourists and monks visit or venerate this miraculously preserved corpse in Lingquan Monastery, Anyang, Henan Province, China. He is stylishly wrapped in a golden cloak and wears a mala (Buddhist prayer bead necklace). His skin is a shiny reddish brown.

There are many stories of Buddhist and Daoist saints who became Rou Shen Xian 肉身仙, Flesh Body Immortals, or Rou Shen Fo 肉身佛, Flesh Body Buddhas, the technical term for this self-mummification. The theory is that their bodies are so cleansed of physical and spiritual impurities during their lifetimes, that their bodies do not rot after death. Is this another example of the religious propensity for exaggeration? Maybe. In the case of Wu Yunqing, experts at the Henan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine believe that the body was preserved with formaldehyde, a chemical that destroys the enzymes that cause decay. Essentially, the Immortal was skillfully pickled and dried.

It is an interesting custom that may encourage some to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Yet, I cannot help feeling that the attempt to preserve the body after death, whether chemically or spiritually, goes against the basic tenets of both Buddhism and Daoism. The Buddha taught anicca, impermanence. We suffer because we greedily attach to phenomena or try to capture in a bucket the flowing and ever-changing river of life. The Daoist philosopher Zhuang Zi (3rd Century BCE) tells the story of a sage who chastises his disciples when they wail against his immanent death. The sage is content to surrender to the "transformation of things." "Who knows what the Creator will make of me next?" he wonders, "Will S/He turn me into a rat's liver, a bug's arm?" After all, shouldn't Daoists recycle? Including their own bodies!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy New Year of the Goat!

Happy Chinese New Year of the Wood Goat (Yi Wei)

In 2015, Chinese New Year begins February 19. Because the Goat is related to Earth (among the Five Elements), this is a Wood Earth Year. The first element symbolizes heaven and spirituality. The second element, earth, symbolizes the physical world, especially the environment and economy. Elements may be either in harmony or conflict. This year the elements are in conflict. Wood breaks earth, like a tree pushing up through the ground. This means that in a Wood Goat year spirituality has the potential to feel at odds with your physical, earthly existence. For example you may feel that your work or living environment does not nurture your spirit, or that economic pressures don't give you the leisure and worry-free time you need to cultivate your spirituality.

The Year of the Goat in general is a good year for the arts, for relationship and marriage, and to, yes, for climbing mountains, which can mean both setting noble goals and making good environmental/ecological decisions.

The conflict between wood and earth may foretell earthquakes.

San Sha-- "Three Killing Forces" For every year, there is a direction of bad luck (San Sha)-- including disasters, accidents, and financial loss. This year the killing forces are in the West. That means it is best not to travel west, or do home renovation in the west side of your home, or disturb the ground by digging holes in the west side of your property. The latter would disturb the Lords of the Soil (Tu Di Gong and his wife, Tu Di Po), who influence prosperity and the well being of ancestral spirits. It is best not to sit in the west side of a home or office. Do not buy or move into a house this year with a west facing main door. In general, be careful regarding any phenomena associated with the west. You can neutralize the san sha by placing 3 bamboo plants or representations of bamboo plants (paintings or sculptures) in the western part of your home, and, if your door faces west, placing a bagua mirror on or above it.

The Southwest is also inauspicious this year as it is associated with the unlucky star Tai Sui, the "Great Year Star" also called the Grand Duke of Jupiter.

Wu Huang "The Five Yellow Sick Forces" This year illness is associated with the West. West is thus doubly inauspicious this year as it is the direction of the Three Killing Forces and the Five Sick Forces. Again, it is best not to travel west, add a new western section to your home, spend a great deal of time in the western section of your home, etc. Neutralize the wu huang with a small altar in the western part of your home. Place symbols of your spirituality-- a statue, a holy book, candles, flowers—on the altar and offer prayers for peace and health.

Tai Sui- the Great Year Star, also called Grand Duke of Jupiter, is a spirit that is different each year, appointed to oversee the energies of the year and the world’s affairs. He can cause misfortune or protect people against it. In 2015, Tai Sui has the potential to especially obstruct those born in year of Ox, but can also cause problems for those born in the years of the Goat, Dragon, or Dog. If you were born in one of those years, it is best to perform a An Tai Sui (Pacifying Tai Sui) Animal Year Ritual on Chinese New Years Day and, for extra protection, on every new and full moon of the year.

Instructions for the Pacifying Tai Sui Ritual: Use a clean, clear table to create an altar with flowers, candles, tea, fruit, incense. Use a special pre-made Tai Sui talisman or make your own by writing your name on a piece of paper, along with a simple prayer for good fortune. Fold the paper and sandwich it  inside gold and silver talisman paper (available at feng shui shops). Circle the talisman respectfully three times through the incense smoke. Then place it in a fireproof container either outdoors or in a safe area indoors. Burn it while asking that negative forces be dispersed and that you and family receive blessings for health, prosperity, longevity, success, and protection from misfortune.

Auspicious Direction for Wealth and general good luck: North

Other Auspicious Directions (for travel, education, wealth, romance, and general good luck): Northeast, East, Northeast


On Chinese New Years Eve, seal in the good energy by fixing sayings or words that suggest good fortune on or around your door. For example the photo on this page is a typical New Year Blessing which says, "Enter and Leave in Peace,  Flowers Open Bestowing Wealth."

On Chinese New Year's Day: Open your door early in the morning. Dawn is best. Set off firecrackers (if permitted) or play sacred instruments (such as a temple gong) to scare away any remaining unneeded qi (energy) from the previous year.  Opening the doors also lets in the new energy of the year. Light incense and offer flowers and fruit on your altar. Give "lucky money" in red envelopes to friends and family. If you are a student of Chinese cultural arts (such as qigong, martial arts, painting, music, Taoism), and if your teacher follows the old customs, call to find out if you can visit your teacher to offer incense on his/her altar and to present a New Years gift. Avoid using the number 4 (for example offering $4 lucky money or giving 4 gifts or ordering 4 dishes in a restaurant). The word 4 in Chinese (si) sounds like the word for death. Rather, 3, 6, and 8 are lucky numbers. 3 means Heaven, Earth, Human. 6 means Flow (both pronounced Liu). 8 means Wealth (8 in Chinese sounds like Fa Cai, Wealth). In general, be positive and use positive words. Here's an example. If something falls and breaks, don't say, "It broke." In Chinese, one might say Xiao Le "It laughed." Your behavior on New Years Day helps set the energy and tone for the year.

On New Years Eve and New Years Day, eat chicken and fish for luck and prosperity. Avoid duck. Do Tai Chi and other harmonious healing exercises. Avoid strong martial arts and weaponry practice (to not "cut" the good fortune). Drink your best Chinese Tea to start your year with good health and powerful cha qi (tea energy and life force). Please see the catalog of fine Chinese tea on this website: www.qigonghealing.com

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Climate Change and Your Health

I find it incredible that there are still some people who deny that climate change is absolutely proven and accepted by the world’s scientists.
This is not a matter of pessimism or “gloom and doom” from self-appointed experts. Rather science confirms what indigenous people have been prophesying and warning for a very long time. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just released its latest report on the effects of climate change on human health. This report, like previous ones on the effects of climate change on planetary health, went through an extraordinary peer review process: more than 300 authors whose work was subjected to four rounds of peer-review and fact-checking by scientists appointed by member-state governments. Among the climate-change based predictions for the near future are: “greater risk of injury, disease and death due to more intense heat waves and fires, increased risk of under-nutrition resulting from diminished food production in poor regions, increased risks of food- and water-borne diseases and vector-borne (animal and insect caused) diseases.” And these risks do not even include the effects of climate-altering pollutants. The primary recommendations of the Panel are familiar to us: a need for cleaner energy sources and more efficient technologies, shift towards vegetarianism especially in high meat-consumption societies (the meat industry is a major contributor to Greenhouse Effect), improved transport systems and reduced use of motor vehicles. More than 200 years ago, the Seneca spiritual leader and prophet Handsome Lake warned that a time would come when waters would be polluted and fire would destroy the world if the Creator’s natural laws and ethics were violated.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What's In A Name?

Carlisle Indian School, 1900
What’s In A Name?
©Kenneth Cohen

Native American prayers sometimes begin with a simple statement of one’s name--“My name is... I send a voice to you, Great Spirit.” I say my name because my words are a matter of honor; I take responsibility for what I say. Spirits and the Great Spirit recognize me by my name, especially by my sacred name, the name that I received in vision. Some names are public and may be shared. Others are secret, not spoken aloud, a kind of password by which one is recognized in the spirit world. To know a person’s sacred name is both a responsibility and a commitment. “Someone who knows my true name,” a Cherokee medicine man once confided, “will stand by my side in any storm. He will run through a hail of bullets if need be.” Words are a combination of breath and vibration or energy, the two most fundamental elements of life. A name is an expression of who a person is and is thus an especially powerful word. It must be used with care and respect. Among the many abuses inflicted on Native Americans by the residential schools were the cutting of children’s hair, the prohibition of Native languages, and the changing or denigration of names.

Native American jokes are often in the form of stories that convey deep truths. Below is one that illustrates cultural differences between indigenous and Euro-American, especially regarding names.

When the missionaries came to Native villages in the Pacific Northwest, they had many odd customs. They believed that truth could be found in books and put more worth in what other people said a long time ago rather than what they said now. They worshipped in buildings rather than in nature. They didn’t talk about dreams. They wanted people to dress in clothes that were made from animals they did not recognize. They demanded communication in a language with little song or poetry and disconnected from the land. The only sign language they knew was an insult: “the sign of the cross” they called it as they drew a vertical line crossed by a horizontal line, which to the Native people meant “Take down your home and get out of here!”

But two of the strangest customs of all had to do with names and diet. Missionaries would take tribal members to the river, dunk them in it and say, “Your name is no longer ‘Good Road’ but John. I don’t want to ever hear the name ‘Good Road’ again. Your name is not ‘Beautiful Wind Woman’ but Sarah. Your name is not ‘Bear Who Protects the People’ but Matthew.” And so on. They also required that all good Christians eat only fish on Fridays, even if the salmon were not running and deer were plentiful.

One Friday afternoon the priest was walking through the village, when he smelled something odd. “Seems like someone is cooking meat.” The scent was coming from the cedar hut of the Chief. The priest knocked on the door, announced himself, and then heard a scrambling noise inside. The Chief answered the door and asked, “How can I help you Father Luke?” “I thought I smelled meat cooking.” “Oh no,” the Chief replied, “We are good Indians. It’s Friday, and we only eat fish.” Satisfied, the priest wandered off. Next week, on the same day, the priest was again taking a walk, and as he passed the Chief’s home, he smelled something suspicious. He knocked, “Chief, I’d like to speak with you.” The priest heard a metallic sound, like the clicking of pots and pans, and after short time, the Chief opened the door. The priest could clearly see a fish on a large frying pan, and several tribal members sitting around a small table. “It’s nothing,” the priest said, and he continued on his way. A week later, again, the priest decides to check on his parishioners. This time there was no mistaking the aroma of roasting meat. Instead of knocking, he throws open the Chief’s cedar door and sees him grilling a side of venison. Outraged, the priest demands, “What is the meaning of this! You know the rules. Only fish on Fridays!” The Chief calmly declared, “Yes, we know the rules.” “Well what do you call that?” the priest demanded, pointing accusingly at the meat. The Chief continued, “We took the deer to the river, dunked it in and named it ‘Salmon.’”

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Is Life A Random Event?

Is Life A Random Event?
©Kenneth Cohen

Chan Si Gong may be translated Coiling Silk or Reeling Silk Qigong. The term refers to the slow turning of a silk cocoon (produced by the silkworm caterpillar) as one pulls the silk thread. By analogy, in Coiling Silk Qigong when parts of the body turn slowly on an axis, energy knots dissolve and qi flows. At the start of a recent Coiling Silk workshop in British Columbia, Canada, a group of ravens suddenly began to perform a concert of croaks, gurgles, caws, and some unusual melodious songs (which they probably learned from other birds that ravens are known to mimic). A beautiful affirmation from a bird sacred to the First Nations people of that area. Then, when the songs were over, a caterpillar suddenly dropped from the roof to the exact center of the teaching space, a relative of the Asian silkworm! A random event? I don’t think so.

Many qigong students have noted that the more they progress in qigong, the more inexplicable, meaningful coincidences (synchronicities) occur. You practice the Deer Animal Frolic in a meadow, and a deer wanders out of the forest to observe you. You learn a new qigong method, and without knowing about this, a friend gives you a book on the subject. You think, “I would love to meet that Tai Chi teacher people have been talking about,” and you realize you are standing next to her in the bookstore. In the Chinese language, such destined meetings are called yuan fen, a term that I like to translate as “karmic affinity.” The Swiss psychiatrist and author, Carl Jung had a great explanation for synchronicity based his theory of “archetypes”: images that arise from the depths of the collective unconscious. When archetypes are activated because of personal insight, powerful dreams, or a lesson that the universe intends to give you, these archetypes constellate to themselves meaningfully related events. The deer inside you draws the deer out of the woods. The wise elder in you attracts the elder you wish to meet, and so on.

The connections between synchronous events are not a result of cause and effect; they are thus “acausal.”  Synchronicity reminds us that causality is only one way of understanding connections between phenomena, and a very limited one at that, as it requires narrowing the field of vision and ignoring mysterious interconnections that exist between all phenomena (think of the Hollywood movie “Groundhog Day”). Rather than causality, perhaps events and phenomena are connected by “correspondence.” Spring flowers, hummingbirds, green color, the rising sun, the east direction, and the feeling of inspiration and new beginnings are all interconnected, but not because one causes the other. To put it simply, life is based on relationship not dissection or the meaningless movement that occurs when one billiard ball hits another. As Einstein said, “God does not play dice with the universe.”

Friday, May 10, 2013

Heaven & Earth in a Tea Cup

 Heaven & Earth in a Tea Cup
©2013 Kenneth S. Cohen

The Art of Tea, San Diego Chinese History Museum

From 1976 until his passing in 1999, I was the principle apprentice to Daoist (also spelled “Taoist”) Abbot Huang Gengshi (born 1910). In addition to his training in Daoism, Dr. Huang was an acupuncturist, qigong master, and martial artist. He had been a student of the famed Tiger-Crane Martial Arts Master Lam Sai Wing, who had learned from Wong Fei Hong. Dr. Huang was used to hard training and knew how to make the bone strengthening tonic wines as well as the tie da yao liniments necessary to treat martial injuries. But his real secret to health was in the little plastic bag he carried everywhere he went. If we were having lunch in a restaurant, he would order hot water, then take out his bag, and add the tea leaves in it to the cup. His favorite tea was a mixture of Pu-erh tea with Chinese dried chrysanthemum flowers. According to Chinese medicine, Pu-erh aids digestion and prevents bad cholesterol from accumulating in the arteries; chrysanthemum helps the liver spread qi, life force, throughout the body. Pu-erh is slightly yang and warming, chrysanthemum slightly yin and cooling—a perfect balance. But he drank other teas as well. From ancient times to the present, tea has been an important facet of every aspect of Chinese culture: cuisine, medicine, martial arts, poetry, and painting. There is a beautiful Chinese saying “The greatness of Heaven and Earth are in my tea. The longevity of the sun and moon are in my teapot.”

Today, scientific research confirms the extraordinary healing benefits of Chinese tea, whether white, green, oolong, black, or Pu-erh (all from the same plant camellia sinensis). Here are some recent reports:

An article published in The British Medical Journal in January 2013 analyzed black tea consumption in 50 countries and found that the more tea people drank, the less diabetes. See http://www.naturalnews.com/038667_black_tea_diabetes_flavonoids.html

A doctoral student from Curtin University, a leading university in Perth and Sydney, Australia, confirmed a reduction of ovarian cancer risk among women who drink green, oolong, or black tea. This study, from December 2012, is similar to many earlier studies that also show significant anti-cancer effects of tea.  http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20121112-23908.html

A study published March 6, 2013 in the peer-reviewed journal Plos/One showed that a combination of epigallocatechingallate derived from green tea, vitamin C, and the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine worked synergistically to effectively combat mesothelioma, a deadly cancer associated with asbestos exposure. The powerful combination was found effective in both human cell cultures and in laboratory mice infected with the disease. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0058051

Research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on February 5, 2013 shows that tea can prevent or slow the progress of Alzheimer's. One of the main chemicals in green tea prevents amyloid proteins from clumping and sticking to neurons (brain cells). This protein causes degeneration and death of brain cells, which leads to Alzheimer's. An abstract of the published paper may be found at http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2013/02/05/jbc.M112.400358.abstract?sid=32c84dd4-36eb-4ca9-9ca2-c2946a34b2d3 

(Similarly, in 2006, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published “Green Tea Consumption and Cognitive Function” Among 1,003 subjects over age 70, an inverse relation was found between degree of cognitive impairment and consumption of green tea, with the highest effect at 4-6 cups/day.)

The medical industry and mainstream media (whose job is to guard the status quo) sometimes spin information about tea in an effort to keep pharmaceutical companies happy. For example in late March newspapers and websites blasted warnings like this one from the Los Angeles Times “Warning” Excessive Tea Drinking Can Be Hazardous to Your Health.” http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-tea-skeletal-fluorosis-20130322,0,4719810.story The article admits that the information is based on a New England Journal of Medicine study that found that a woman who drank the equivalent of 100- 150 cups/day had brittle teeth. So warn all your friends who are drinking 100 cups per day to cut back!

Here’s a Mexico-China connection from an unusual source. A study published in March, 2013 in Stroke: The Journal of the American Heart Association found that both coffee and tea have significant effects preventing stroke. But before you start drinking the two or mixing them into a rather unsavory brew, it is important to note that previous studies have “shown inconsistent connections between coffee and stroke risk.” (WebMD March 15, 2013)

Tea and sex seem unlikely bedfellows. After all, tea makes the mind calm and meditative, but sex only has this effect when it is over (at least for some men). Yet research published in January 2013 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that the enzyme that causes ED (erectile dysfunction) weakens tea’s ability to suppress cancer. This would also suggest its opposite: the capacity to have an erection makes tea more likely to prevent cancer. In addition, both men and women benefit from the way sex promotes production of endorphins, the “good mood chemicals” that also stimulate the immune system. The bottom line: drink tea and enjoy the union of yin and yang!

There are many reasons why I believe that tea contributes to a healthy lifestyle. In addition to the well-researched benefits, tea encourages an attitude of relaxation, leisure, and grace. Learn more about tea on my website.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ancient American-Polynesian Connections

Ancient American-Polynesian Connections

Text and Photo By Kenneth Cohen

O Ke Au O Makali’i Ka Po
When the Pleiades was seen at night…
--from the Kumulipo, Creation Teaching/Chant of Hawai’i

On April 1, 2013 the scientific journal Nature published an article “DNA study links indigenous Brazilians to Polynesians.” (http://www.nature.com/news/dna-study-links-indigenous-brazilians-to-polynesians-1.12710) By analyzing the remains of indigenous Brazilians from the 1800s, researchers found “some support for the possibility that Pacific islanders traded with South America thousands of years ago.” Of course the scientists never think to use indigenous oral traditions as supporting evidence or to take their ancient knowledge as a starting point for scientific inquiry. If they had bothered to ask the elders, they might have saved a lot of time and expense. I wonder, also, if local indigenous people had given permission to hack up the bones of their ancestors?

The study reminded me of differences between original peoples and colonizers in anthropological research methods and values. To put it simply, colonizers rarely ask what I consider a fundamental question, “Is the research necessary, compassionate, and kind, that is, conducive to greater mutual respect and a better way of life?” Lest I be declared naïve, uneducated, or savage (from silva “a person of the woods”), let me elaborate.

Colonizers’ research is often based on what I call “entitlement inquiry.” This is a conscious or unconscious attempt to validate “Old World” (Euro-Asian) origins. When such origins are not found, there is often an apologetic tone to conclusions. For example, researchers delight at a discovery that aspects of American culture came from Europe or Asia, whether across the ocean or by way of the Bering Straits. By contrast, original peoples are often happy to find connections that demonstrate we are all related. Fact: Mayans and Chinese both practiced acupuncture. Chinese scientist: “We taught you.” Mayan scientist, “How wonderful that we discovered the same thing! And isn’t this natural? Since we are both human beings, with similar bodies and minds, ancient healers must have discovered the same truths.” After more than forty years of looking at origin theories, I have yet to find a boat that can go in only one direction or a one-way sign on the “land bridge.” Since charts and graphs prove one is smart, I humbly offer the following:

                                                 Research Perspectives

Original Peoples                                                Colonizers
Prioritize oral traditions                                      Oral traditions discounted
Research valued for community benefit             Research valued for itself
Ancestors are still “family”                                Ancestors treated as inanimate objects
Emphasis on connections                                   Entitlement Inquiry

Now, let’s return to the matter of Polynesian-American connections. I have met indigenous people from both sides of the ocean who spoke of ancient contact. Pre-Maori indigenous people from New Zealand may have been in contact with Salish and other original people in the Pacific Northwest (of the U.S. and Canada). Hawaiian colleagues describe Native people from Baja California in some genealogical chants. I learned of an extraordinary connection many years ago from the kahuna lapa’au (traditional healer) Kahiliopua, who was also my adoptive aunt. She told me that the Hawaiians had met the Cherokee in ancient times. She was familiar with the Cherokee word Elohi, which in Cherokee may mean the oral history of the Cherokee or it can mean the original sacred island home of the Cherokee. Pua said that Elohi was also an ancient word for Hawai’i. Many Cherokee say that they migrated to North America from an island, accompanied by Polynesians, and, before that, came from the Pleiades. Some Hawaiian elders also say that they came from the Pleiades. Certainly the Pleiades, Makali’i in Hawaiian, have an important role in the Hawaiian creation chant, the Kumulipo.

There may also be evidence for a Cherokee-Hawai’i connection from the name of one of the seven clans of the Cherokee, the Ani Gilohi, Long Hairs, Twisters or Twisted Hairs Clan. Is it possible that Gilo refers to Hilo? Hilo, in addition to being an area on the Big Island of Hawai’i, means twisted or braided. It is also the name of a Polynesian navigator. The Gilo-Hilo connection is controversial and by no means proven. However, when I spoke with various Cherokee elders about this, they commented that the Cherokee language has a rich vocabulary relating to the ocean, as one would expect from a sea-faring culture (which is not the academic view of the Cherokee). They also spoke about various clans of the Cherokee that were lost at sea during their travels from Elohi, possibly mingling with peoples in other areas.

From my viewpoint, the importance of these connections is not to suggest any one culture as the origin of another. Rather it is to point out that ancient peoples had far more contact with each other than previously assumed. Knowledge was shared for mutual benefit—a far more humanistic, holistic, and wise epistemology than we find in today’s hallowed and hollow halls of academia.