Talk:Great Spirit

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Tone and style of article[edit]

Just a passerby and not a wikipedia editor per se. However, I felt compelled to leavea comment regarding the tone and style of the article: it suffer from sounding very personal, and has a tone of what one would expect a non-scholar explaining something in emphatic language. (the overabundance of quotation marks is one symptom, but there are other, such as the "for the benefit of Europeans", which takes away from the neutral tone an encyclopedic article.) I'm not an expert on the subject (in fact I know very little about it, which is why I came here), but even to me it would be better if the page instead sourced a number of published treatises/works on the subject instead of going into a quasi-emotional and ambiguous personal essay-style on the subject. It sounds to me like the article attempts to unite the various concepts and make it as culturally vague and generalized and "acceptable" (as in, lacking cultural, ritual and mythical specifics that would make different versions more characterized) as possible - and this makes the article sounds a little - dare I say - "New Agey". (for lack of a better term.) I think more people would appreciate more specific mythic instances and rituals that specifically dealt with the Great Spirit/Mystery (and also those that established important differences between various views on the subject, as one would expect from proper research) - if those are available - as opposed to the currently rather watered-out explanation.

As this is a very interesting subject, I'm looking forward to seeing how the article develops. :) Best of luck. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:C440:20:11BC:ED0E:64EF:AE06:E5AD (talk) 00:44, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Christian bias?[edit]

This article (with all its flaws) appears to have a strange notion of Native American (and First Nation) religions. Firstly, there are many tribes throughout North America and one religion can't be an example for a whole continent of religions. For example, the idea that the "...Great Spirit was a syncretist conception of God" is simply not true for most if not all Precolumbian and Pre-Christian natives. The article also uses "he" to refer the Great Spirit. Apparently animism was thrown in there without any real knowledge of this important term. For the Sioux, Wakan Tanka doesn't translate to "God" but instead refers to the sacredness in all existence. (However, modern Sioux Christians readily use the term to describe the Christian god.) Perhaps animism and monotheism or Precolumbian and Modern religion should be discussed seperately in relation to the Great Spirit? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rqp1975 (talkcontribs) 21:55, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I'd have to agree that there's a serious problem of over-Christianizing, and of over-consolidating peoples that sometimes hate(d) each other (Navajos and Hopis, Sioux and Ojibwa and Iroquois--not on friendly terms for most of recorded history), but I'd also question whether the Sioux are really animistic. All the actually reliable sources (anthro monographs and the like, I mean, not New Age bookstore fare), that I've seen, suggest to me that the Sioux religion is not unlike Platonism, which could imply emanationist pantheism or panentheism, but probably not animism.
I actually question whether the word "animism" really means anything, since all the religions I can think of that are usually described as animist (Shinto, shamanism), usually turn out, on closer inspection, to merely be polytheistic with a very large roster of tutelary gods.
All told, this article is simplistic on a number of levels, and in crying need of assistance from an expert. Unfortunately I only know much about (or can find sources on) the Navajo, Hopi, and Apache, none of whom really have a concept terribly analogous to Great Spirit (don't know what word they mistranslated as Great Spirit in this article's quote from that Hopi, but Hopi religious ideas are nothing like that...and they don't have chiefs, per se, they have village headmen and elders). Nagakura shin8 (talk) 15:26, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
The Great Spirit is the meaning to all living things, even what we stand on right now. Simply to understand. There is a spirit in everything that is here. Except what man makes of course. The Great Spirit has no desire to punish you, just to walk with you towards a happy, peaceful, loving life. To live in balance with what he has put here to help us live. Of all my years here I have never come across a book of words on how to live with the Great Spirit as your God. Not anything written by a true native person anyway. As a native person, I was given the teachings of the Great Spirit by my Grandfathers, Grandmothers and watching the way things are done for life, all life. The Great Spirit has no desire for money, gold, houses, cars, etc. His desire is life for you here and with him after you past from here. As a little boy I use to listen to my Grandfather talk about the ways of life for here. That was to respect all of it, and to help your relations. We were all made by the same hands.
We all give thanks to the same being, we just make it diffcult to understand the true meaning to it all. <unknown.>

I brazenly deleted the non-sequitur in the article with the narrowly focussed Christian theological perspective and replaced it with three living examples with verifiable traditional sources and sensible comparisons and contrasts. I hope many more examples from many more Turtle Island nations are added and those existing expounded upon as needed.