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Black Elk quotes

Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.

There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.

Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.

Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice.

And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.

And when I breathed, my breath was lightning.

The boys of my people began very young to learn the ways of men, and no one taught us; we just learned by doing what we saw, and we were warriors at a time when boys now are like girls.

My friend, I am going to tell you the story of my life, as you wish; and if it were only the story of my life I think I would not tell it; for what is one man that he should make much of his winters, even when they bend him like a heavy snow?

I was four years old then, and I think it must have been the next summer that I first heard the voices.

After the horse dance was over, it seemed that I was above the ground and did not touch it when I walked.

A good nation I will make live.

And as he spoke of understanding, I looked up and saw the rainbow leap with flames of many colors over me.

I cured with the power that came through me.

I looked below and saw my people there, and all were well and happy except one, and he was lying like the dead - and that one was myself.

I had a vision with which I might have saved my people, but I had not the strength to do it.

If you will read again what is written, you will see how it was.

So I took the bright red stick and at the center of the nation's hoop I thrust it in the earth.

To use the power of the bison, I had to perform that part of my vision for the people to see.

And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.

I think I have told you, but if I have not, you must have understood, that a man who has a vision is not able to use the power of it until after he has performed the vision on earth for the people to see.