A place of health, happiness, love, peace, and harmony among all people did truly exist on earth, many years ago. The reason why Hawaii has always been known as “paradise” on earth is rooted in its ancient history: A time when all people of the islands did indeed enjoy a life of complete health, happiness, peace and harmony. There were no psychologists, coaches, or consultants.. Life just was the way it was, because all people just naturally and intuitively followed the spirit of guidance within them.
In the next couple of weeks while I am in my native Hawaii with my ohana (family and friends) I am researching the ancient Hawaiian ways that created true health, harmony and well-being in people. (Of course, there will also be a lot of snorkeling, feasting, and talk-story as well.)
Paradise existed in the islands for hundreds of years prior to 750 AD. A highly balanced system of life existed naturally. Balance was the key: Balance of mind (higher conscious, conscious, and subconscious), body, emotions, and spirit. Respect for everyone was also key. However, a movement began to sweep the world around 325 AD which began to destroy the true essence of all the worlds religions, which has given the very term “religion” a bad name to this day. Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and many other religious cultures began to be corrupted by what we now call politics. In Hawaii the corruption arrived after 750 AD with the arrival to the islands of a warrior, Kahana Pa’ao who overtook the peaceful Hawaiians, and established his political order (Kapu). The European missionaries have long been blamed for the initial corruption of the Hawaiian culture in 1820; but it began many hundreds of years earlier.
What existed prior to the bans on Hawaiian cultural/spiritual/societal practices that were responsible for the health and well-being enjoyed by this peaceable, loving people was Aloha. Aloha is actually a coded word, representing many words and concepts. Codes, chants, and movements (hula) were the only ways that the Hawaiians had of secretly preserving the culture that made them such a uniquely loving people. It has only been since 1979 that Hawaiians have been allowed to openly practice certain aspects of their unique culture (the Native American Religious Freedom Act). Prior to that year, people in Hawaii were still being arrested for publicly practicing some of their innocuous cultural traditions, such as reciting a Hawaiian chant. Hula, and many songs survived, at least after the early missionary rule of the 1800’s, due to the fact that those were not perceived to be a threat to the status quo. The word Aloha survived all of the eras of suppression.
Aloha is actually a spirit that exists in the essence of a person’s being and, according the ancient Hawaiian culture also in the very land (aina). Each letter of the word Aloha stands for other words which hold the code to the beauty which exists in the person who lives Aloha.
A stands for the word Ao which means light. We behave in ways that lead ourselves and others toward light and enlightenment. Look with your eyes as well as your spirit at the environment and the people around you to see what ways you can spread light to them.
L stands for Lokahi, or oneness. All is one. Respect and honor all of creation, even if they do not appear to be as evolved or as enlightened as you belive yourself to be.
O stands for the word Oiaio, or truth. Be open and honest, and demonstrate integrity in all that you say and do in relation to others and to the aina, while remembering to be respectful.
H stands for Ha’aha’a, or humility. You are not to place yourself above anyone else, or above nature. All are one, and deserve respect and honor.
A stands for Aloha, or absolute, all-encompassing true love. A vital aspect of this pure love is a total absence of judgment of another person.
Aloha: Spread light; Respect all as one; Speak only truth; Be humble; Love intensely.
Aloha captures the essence of the orientation to life that created a magical world of physical and mental health, spiritual fulfilment, happiness, harmony, love and peace. Try living Aloha in your own life. Maybe you will create a world of health and harmony within you and around you.
Christopher Knippers, Ph.D. (Kikila) October 12, 2016