Do you know what we have not done for a while? We have not gone lunting. The other day I had my pipe out, and I am beginning to wonder and think about the tobacco plant itself. Anyone who knows me knows that I used the pipe for deep thought situations and relaxation purposes.
There is something about tobacco that makes it the sacred leaf. You know tobacco has been used for what is estimated to be around 8000 years.
Most likely beginning in Mesoamerica around the same time that the agriculture of maize was being developed.
The Native Americans used tobacco for spiritual purposes as well as medicinal purposes. Most tribes of Native Americans had selected groups of people whose sole job was to cultivate the tobacco.
A lot went into the art of growing it, and in many traditions, it was required that you had a good attitude and good thoughts while cultivating the plant. And this knowledge stopped me in my tracks. But first, grab your pipe and your tobacco and let us go for a walk.
On The Walk
What happens so often on my walks, I let my mind wander. With the taste of the tobacco and the smoke wafting around my head, so little else matters in that moment, other than where I am stepping. It is, after all, snake season in Mississippi. But as I light my pipe and I’m going over this history lesson in my head, the practice of cultivating only with good attitudes and good thoughts popped into my mind. I think they were onto something.
Oftentimes while smoking a pipe, my mind drifts over the events of the day or the recent week, and one of the things that I often dwell on was what attitude I have carried throughout the week.
I think about rather I was good to people or I was rude to people, and often times the reflection in the mirror is not one that I like. One of the uses of tobacco by Native Americans traditionally was to promote the well-being of your spiritual and emotional selves. They believed that the smoke from burned tobacco would carry prayers to the creator. They also believe that the smoke from tobacco could be used to purify things from evil.
Respect The leaf
Great care and respect were given to the tobacco plant as well as to the pipe that was used to smoke it. This is not unlike a lot of pipe smokers today, myself included. For one, I treat tobacco with a lot of respect. It has been an old faithful friend of mine for many years. It has helped focus me on my problems I create solutions. It has helped relax me after a stressful day. And it by far makes taking a walk so much more enjoyable.
I understand the negative health effects of tobacco, and a great majority of that is not due to the leaf itself, but the fact that we have in modern times defiled the tobacco leaf by adding chemicals to it. Chemicals to create an addiction and create repeat customers for business.
We have also learned that we can inhale the smoke to help solidify those addictions. And as I walk And I see the new neighborhood going up and what used to be acres of Woods, And I see the power lines cutting trails through the forests. I smell diesel from the truck that just passed by. I hear the angry yelling of the neighborhood drunk. And all I can think of is our society’s ability to take something sacred and ruin it for the sake of progress.
For anyone that really knows me, I advocate for a much simpler life. I am very self-sustaining, live on my farm, raising grow my food. I am right now doing research and providing my own electricity. And this is a need that every person on this planet has; food, shelter, and water, but we have taken what is sacred for thousands of years and made it unholy for the sake of progress.
I am known by many in real life as a conservative hippie. It is a nickname that I wear with pride. I enjoy God’s creation the way God created it, and in that respect, I guess I am a tree hugger. At the same time, I hold very conservative values and beliefs. I hold very much too my Bible and guns and my American way of life.
Blending And Balance
As I am smoking, I get a taste for another one of my tobacco’s in this smoke. And if you smoke a pipe, you know this phenomenon is known as ghosting. It’s where a previous tobacco residue intertwines with the one you’re currently smoking, altering the taste.
The tobacco I am smoking now has a rum topping that is perfect for the summer heat, but what is coming through is a hint of vanilla from the Cavendish I smoked the other day. And it reminds me of being a conservative hippie. It is a combination of ideologies That I believe incorporate the most of who I am. Like blending these two flavors, make up the two most common tobaccos I smoke in this pipe.
So, while many or most did not agree with me, many or most did not enjoy the ghosting of a pipe either. It is something that I’m fine with, and it’s something rather unique that I enjoy about myself, like a rum topping tobacco with a hint of vanilla. I encourage every one of you to take a good look at yourself and your attitude and really determine who you are.
Once you know, embrace it, and live the life that God made you to live for.
Because we are not guaranteed tomorrow, the stresses of yesterday will not matter once we visit the grave.
And a very serious question I have for you, for the sake of your own progress, have you defiled something in you that was once sacred?
Be honest with yourself, and you may not like the answer. Cleanse what you have defiled and make it sacred once again, you will grow closer to your creator once more.
James 4:8-10 “Draw near unto God, and he will draw near unto you. Cleanse your hands, you sinner, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
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