Native American religions are diverse as they were developed in isolated tribes spread across the North American continent over the course of thousands of years or more. Native American religions have evolved from a close intimate relationship to the land in which the tribes dwelt. Supernatural aspects within all the Native American religions are a common thread that binds them. These supernatural aspects include the belief in an invisible and omnipresent universal force found in all things, visions, belief in spirits, shamans and taboo. Communal ceremonies are also important to native Americans as they share both a cultural and religious significance.
An intimate inter-connectivity with daily life, the importance put on personal spirituality along with the connection between the spiritual and natural worlds is the main emphasis found in Native American religious belief systems. Much had been misunderstood about the Native Americans over the centuries regarding how their religions were organized. They are not institutional, but personal and experimentally rooted. Typically the religious view of religion to a Native American is that life is more liken to a journey than what is typically seen as a religion to Western cultures. The relationship with the creator or life force is reflected through the interactions with nature, animals and people in a person’s daily life.
This differs from Western religious practices where religion is privately experienced first, then integrated gradually into a person’s public life. For Native Americans a religious institution or building is not required to approach God or the universal force. The creator or universal force is in all things, to interact with trees, animals, rocks and everything in our lives which are all part of creation, this is the way in which Native Americans interact with God. All things are respected because all things have the universal force within them and this force to Native Americans is believed to be God.
Many Americans are finding that they share some basic principles found in Native American religions. More and more people are finding that their search for God or for a universal force has taken them on a personal journey. Such journeys have lead many Americans to think outside of their church’s doctrine to come to a realization that we as humans are all connected somehow to each other, and to all things.
Like traditional Native American Indians, many Americans from all walks of life are finding their experiences in their personal spiritual journeys to be more than just a religion, they see the interaction with all people and things as an integral part of their lives. This understanding and inter-connectivity with all things becomes a living relationship with the universal force or God as believed by Native American religions.
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