Native and South American tribes teach their young ones that when they are born, they carry within them a “Sacred knowledge bundle.” This bundle holds all that they are (essence), all they can be (potential), and all their ways of knowing, being and doing (wisdom). All people have sacred knowledge bundles. So do all other beings. Trees have them. Animals have them. Every being, created by the Sacred Spirit, carries within it unique gifts needed in the world.
Those with Sacred knowledge bundles are responsible for sharing their gifts with the community. The Western mind struggles to understand this idea. We tend to see the world through the lens of individual ownership. We say things like “I am in possession of this knowledge,” or “I have gained this understanding…” treating wisdom as an individual pursuit for individual enlightenment.
The indigenous teachers stress that we are all part of a kinship system with all other beings. Our lives are in service to the community, not the individual. In this way, they also remind us that a healthy worldview is not anthropomorphic. Humans are not the most important characters in the story of creation. Instead, we are equal contributors and members. All of creation serves itself in balance, and all beings serve one another in relationship.
The Apostle Paul hints at this in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 when he explains the role of the Holy Spirit. He writes to the church in Corinth, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
Do you hear it?
To each is given a unique sacred knowledge bundle. They all come from the same Sacred Source (Holy Spirit), but they are as varied as the ones who hold them. These are given to each of us for the common good.
Here is a practice we might use to discover the gifts each of us brings. Rather than just asking people to introduce themselves by their names and where they are from, consider asking, “What gift do you bring to us? What gift can you offer into this space?”
I wonder how you might answer that question within yourself. What is in your Sacred knowledge bundle? What unique gifts has God seeded within you for the betterment of the whole world? What a marvelous thing to ponder..!
We are in this together,
Rev. Cameron Trimble
Author of Searching for the Sacred: Meditations on Faith, Hope and Love