Paula Underwood


As they search through life

Hawk, of his nature sees Mouse

And plunges earthward

To be rewarded for this accuracy

Eagle, of her nature sees the Whole

In that Whole she sees movement

And plunges earthward

To discover Mouse

Which is the greater hunter?

Which is the Keeper of greater Wisdom?

Which has better Vision?

And to which should we carefully listen?

I tell you now that each

Holds part of the full Perception

For Hawk sees Mouse

And discovers the Whole

While Eagle watches the Whole

Discovering Mouse therein

And Life is like that

Those who see the separation

See part of the truth

Those who watch the changing patterns

See the rest

One . . . and the other . . . Unified

Give us that Wisdom

The People need to survive

So listen to Hawk

Watch her ride the wind

And plunge to find

What her vision already shows her

And listen to Eagle

Watch him touch the clouds

And search through changing patterns

To find what is necessary to Life

Hawk and Eagle

Both are Singing

And their Song marks our path

To sustenance and Wisdom

As part of the Native American training I received from my father, one of the aspects of perception that I was asked to understand was the distinction between Hawk and Eagle, between the way Hawk perceives and the way Eagle perceives. In this tradition, you gain the appreciation by what is considered to be direct experience.

When hunting, Hawk sees Mouse . . . and dives directly for it.

When hunting, Eagle sees the whole pattern . . . sees movement in the general pattern . . .

and dives for the movement, learning only later that it is Mouse.

What we are talking about here is Specificity and Wholeness. Western science deals from the specific to generalities about the whole. Indigenous science begins with an apprehension of the Whole, only very carefully and on close inspection reaching tentative conclusions about any Specificity.