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The Choctaw Indians
The Choctaw Indians is a tribe of Musksgean stock .The Choctaws were once part of a larger tribe that included the Greeks and Seminoles and are considered one of the five civilized tribes (Cherokees , Greeks, Choctaws , Seminoles, and Chickasaws) . At one time Choctaw territory extended from Mississippi to Georgia, but by the time Europeans began to arrive in North America they were primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana.
The Choctaw Indians were into cultivation , they hunted and raised corn along with a host of other crops. One of their chief religious ceremonies was a harvest celebration called , The green corn dance. According to one legend, the Choctaw were created at a sacred mound called Nanih Waiya, near Noxapater ,Mississippi.
In 1540, the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto led the first European expedition through Choctaw territory. Fighting broke out after the Choctaw refused to supply the Spaniards with a guide and transportation. The Spaniards were in the wrong because the Choctaw Indians were friendly especially with the French and allied with them during the intercolonial wars between France and England . Some Choctaws fought with Jackson at New Orleans against the British.
In 1830, the United States Government passed the Indian removal Act. This act called for Eastern Indians to be moved West to make room for white settlers. The Government then forced the Choctaw to sign the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.
The Treaty exchanged the Tribes Eastern land for an area in the Indian territory, in what is now Oklahoma. About 14,000 Choctaws moved there in several groups during the early 1830s . About a fourth of the Indians died on the journey .About 5,000 Choctaw remained in Mississippi .
According to the 1990 Census, there are about 82,000 Choctaw in existence now. About 43,000 live in Oklahoma, and about 5,300 live in Mississippi as a separate tribe. Many Choctaws are farmers or foresters .
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Buddhism And Death
Does Anything Survive Death? The Buddha, already enlightened and therefore
having reached the state of Nirvana, taught and explained many concepts and
principles to his students. He was released from the life cycle, which every
individual should seek to escape. He said that in order to be released from the
torture of reincarnation, one must cease to desire, for it is the failure to
fulfill ones desires that causes ones misery. He also explained that
possessions and material things are all a delusion. Since people are not born
with belongings and do not die with them, they are not really belongings, but
only burdens. Even the body itself is not owned by the mind inhabiting it,
because it dies and decomposes as the soul goes on. The body could be looked at
as the prison of illness, because there is a very fine line between health and
sickness. The mind however is eternal, with thoughts and feelings. In modern
society, the mind is not developed; it is polluted and requires training. Once
one attains control of the mind, one also attains control of the body and
speech. Then, the truth will become apparent. What becomes apparent is ones
true essence. Ones true essence is Buddha: everyone has the potential to
become Buddha. In the present state of ignorance, however, people have developed
a false sense of self. According to the teachings of the Buddha, the idea of
self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it
produces harmful thoughts of me and mine, selfish desire, craving,
attachment, pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities, and
problems(Seven Dilemmas in World Religion) It is these unconscious
assumptions and false information about reality that cause people to become
selfish and self centered, therefore neglecting the fact that all people are
actually pure energy and pure awareness. People need to realize that they are
living in a state of constant mental evolution and should focus on achieving
egolessness. With the withdrawal from the normal concerns of worldly existence
and the elimination of I comes enlightenment, which is the ultimate goal
of every Buddhist. Buddhists believe there is no life and no death, however,
there is duality. When the body dies, the mind goes on. Consciousness, which is
always enlightenment, also survives the physical death. Everything is an
illusion and is going to disappear, whereas impermanence is reality. Ones
true identity is Buddha. Buddha is a state of mind that has no obscuration of
the truth. Buddhists tend to visualize the process of reincarnation, or the
life cycle itself as either a river or an ocean of birth and death. This river
is the unexplored aspect of life, which needs to be crossed in order to reach
the incomparably wonderful(The Hungry Tigress) enlightenment. The Buddha
is the vehicle by which this river is crossed. It transports one from dukkha, or
suffering to the other side endowed with hundreds of virtues, full of such
qualities as trance and wisdom, immaculate, free from all substrata, changeless
and without sorrow.(The Hungry Tigress) Since Buddhism stemmed from
Hinduism, the beliefs of the two religions concerning the cycle of life and
death are very similar. Hindus also look at the cycle of samsara as a river.
Hindus believe that when one reaches the river, one admits that there are some
things that are not yet understood. In contrast, a Buddhist says, we dare to
go where others do not go, upon reaching the river. Buddhists believe that it
is where people are afraid to go, is what suffering comes from. People are the
cause of their own suffering; however, they can control and manipulate their
karma. Hindus, on the other hand, accept karma as a given. Since it is both good
and bad karma that determines the quality of the next incarnation, this is an
important difference in the two belief systems. However, both Buddhists and
Hindus agree on the belief that the last thought at the moment of death
determines the character of the next incarnation. Buddhists and Hindus agree
that individuals who have lived virtuous lives will achieve Nirvana and
individuals who have developed a karmic pull will be drawn again to rebirth. An
opposite perspective on life and death can be found in Christianity as in most
other western religions. The belief in God as a creator and maintainer of human
life does not allow for reincarnation. Since God is also a judge, He is the one
who looks at ones good and bad deeds and judges accordingly. With the
possibility of ... more
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