Excerpt from The Bushman Way of Tracking God

by  Bradford Keeney

Whereas most explorers have roamed the world looking for diamonds, emeralds, gold, and silver, different treasure is found beneath the deep sand of the oldest wisdom tradition. This book presents the recent discovery of some of the most remarkable spiritual treasure ever uncovered. It has been my life’s mission to search for the original way of finding God, and I found it in the Kalahari.

There, in the Kalahari Desert of Namibia and Botswana, a small number of Bushman elders hold our most ancient wisdom. These individuals grew up at a time when there was little to no contact with technologically developed outsiders. Up until their early adulthood, they were hunter -gatherers. They chased giraffes, elands, and kudu while fighting off mambas, lions, and leopards. Living in grass huts, they made arrows out of bone and used ostrich eggs to hold their drinking water. Of all the amazing accounts about these first people, the Bushmen are most famous for their uncanny and mind-boggling tracking skills. If you want to find a lost person or locate any animal in the Kalahari, a Bushman can track it down for you.

What few people know is that the Kalahari Bushmen are also able to track God. These practitioners of the oldest way find their path to the divine in the same manner that they hunt for any other living presence. Long before there were Tibetans, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans, Pagans, Siberians, Mayans, and Zen Buddhists, the Bushmen were walking directly into the heavens. The world’s most enduring culture has been the custodian of the original way of making connection with the sacred. They have asked me to share their straightforward means of finding and entering eternity.

In the beginning of the human race, so the Bushmen say, the Creator gave them what there is to know about spiritual living. Since that time, they have conserved and embodied the original sacred mysteries, particularly when dancing on the Kalahari sand. When the Ice Age ended, the sub-Saharan land became too dry, and some of the original ancestors dispersed throughout the rest of the world. The subsequent, alleged advances of these later developed cultures generally involved taming the wild. First the plants were tamed by agriculture. Then the animals were domesticated, followed by the subjugation of women.

Along the way, complex experience was tamed with words and rational understanding, with the consequence that many human beings were left thirsting for whatever states of awe and mystery they’d had in the beginning. This encapsulation and taming of the wild fractured our connection with the divine. As we broke the bonds of relationship and interdependency with one another and disrupted our ecological matrix, our link to the divine mysteries became all but lost.

Most highly literate spiritual teachers argue that abstract philosophies and theologies represent an evolution of spirituality over the “primitives” who danced around a fire rather than sitting to read and discuss a book. The Bushmen have a different story. They believe that language, ideas, theories, and abstract thinking too easily deceive. With language games, we are led away from how our heart can be fully awakened to bridge with eternal wisdom and guidance. The Bushmen see today’s world as lost and disconnected from the original mysteries given by the Creator.

The Bushman way does not require books or institutionalized religions. It invites you to find the tracks that can lead you directly to the spiritual universe. Here, the spiritual tracks, called “the ropes to God,” are valued over libraries, schools, and ritualized teaching. In the Kalahari, the oldest way to God is found through experiencing a journey that immerses us in the original mysteries. The oldest spiritual tradition asks us to immediately stop the pretension of pretending that we can receive wisdom through rational means. The alternative is an invitation to follow the highest bliss and joy, going past the limitations of small mind into the limitless heart and soul of Creation.


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