Terry Cross

Lesson 4 – The Creator and his brother the Tormenter

Goal: Listen to the Story of Creator and his Brother the Tormenter and find understanding in healing domestic violence.

Activity: Terry Cross shares the story of Creator and his brother, the Tormenter that helps heal from domestic violence.

“Sometimes the Creator is called ‘Good Mind’ and his brother is called the ‘Twisted Mind’.” Terry Cross

We call that being the Creator. We are even taught that you shouldn’t use other names, because if you want to serve the highest spiritual authority, you serve the Creator and so since there is only one spiritual entity with the power to create, we direct our prayers to the Creator. And, the Creator has a brother who is known as the Tormenter. Sometimes the Creator is called the ‘Good Mind’ and his brother is called the ‘Twisted Mind’. There are other references -- but, these teachings really shape concepts of the world and how things operate. So in our creation story, the Creator went around, creating everything in the world. The Creator made the roses to be beautiful, and have a nice scent and his brother came along and put thorns on the roses so we poke ourselves. Creator made all of the animals to be furry and soft, and the brother came along and gave some of them sharp teeth and sharp claws and covetousness of flesh and caused them to eat one another. So the Creator made, we are canoe people, so the Creator made all of the streams and rivers to flow two directions and his brother came along and threw up mountains and caused earthquakes and caused all of the water to flow in one direction, so it makes it harder for us to get around. And all of this was played out through all of creation. So the teaching really is that anything that is created can be corrupted. And, that as human beings, we are given the responsibility or the choice to be part of the creative energy or part of the corruptive energy. And so if you are -- as you adhere to these teachings, you realize that you were taught that creation didn’t happen in seven days and got done with and that the Creator is still at work. That each moment of every day creation unfolds before us, so it’s a sense of the movement of time is actually the unfolding of creation, and that we are part of that. That we create, we hope, when we serve the Creator we are, with our words and our thoughts, establishing what will be. And if we serve the Tormenter, we are adding to the corruption of what is unfolding. And so it means that we have to conduct ourselves in a certain kind of way. It also means that we have a lot of power to make our lives be good or that how we think about things, how we respond to things, how we can understand those things in these larger patterns. That our -- this ‘Twisted Mind’ way of thinking, of being, is very seductive, because the ‘Twisted Mind’, the Tormenter likes things like rumor and gossip, and getting people upset, jealousy. And that it’s our human tendency to be vulnerable to all of those negativities and that if we allow those to happen, in our own lives or the environment around us and if we participate in these things, it’ll mess us up spiritually, I mean. If we however to choose to surround ourselves with the positive thought, high regard for others, fulfilling obligations to family, generosity and humility, and to the well-being of others and we keep that focus and don’t get caught up in what somebody didn’t do, or what’s somebody’s got that we don’t have and that we’ll actually have a much happier life. The son says you got to serve somebody, you know that. It’s really kind of personal to this and I see it as a whole cosmology. If your life is oriented to this type of cosmology, then you are making choices, spiritually, each and every day, about keeping that ‘Good Mind’ ever present. So it’s being mindful and intentional.

The Twisted Mind and Corruptive Energy

And it suddenly struck me, because I am a social worker -- I work with families, I worked in the area of child abuse and neglect all my life, walked into horrendous situations, to protect children and terrible things happened to children. And as I sat there, thinking about my life as a social worker, I realized that the work that I do as a social worker is almost entirely dedicated to undoing the working of the ‘Twisted Mind’. That all of these things, these horrendous things, that innocent people like children, experience, in terms of traumas in their life, have their origins in this ‘Twisted Mind’ energy. That it’s -- in our teachings, we are born perfect. It’s only by coming into this world that we get out of balance. When people do injury to one another, it comes from this corruptive -- that anything that is beautiful can be corrupted.

And so things like domestic violence, or child abuse and neglect, or trauma in families and other kinds, particularly sexual abuse, this is that corruptive energy. And as a person who is dedicated my life to undoing that work, I have to expend a certain kind of energy to do that work. That it’s really, and I think of it, as a similar kind of energy that the warrior has to expend in protecting people. That you come into a --, it’s a sense of battle, embattlement on a pretty constant basis.

I realize [that] I have got to have balance in my life. I got to be able to do both. I have got to, I also knew, that I was going to at that moment, I knew I was going to enjoy retirement because there would be a time when I -- as you emerge into elder hood, you turn over this work, this warriors work to younger people because it takes a younger type of energy to do that work all the time. And, that I would need to shift to this creative work and that this -- and that that shift, some of that would be about carving, but some of it would also be about teaching and mentoring, and writing and helping other people, learn how to do that, that other work. And I hope that illustrates how this, when I say, that basic cosmology, that basic teaching about how the world works, is so alive and present for me in my understanding of what my place is in the world and how I relate to the world and how I do  my work on a day to day basis. That it’s hard to think about culture as being in any way separate from myself. And that is just, I think, one illustration. There is, I give you an example, there is, -- one of the things that I have really gotten to do in this work that I do, is about stories and storytelling.

Questions to think about:

Twisted Mind

  1. 1. Who is the twisted mind?
  1. 2. What is twisted mind energy?
  1. 3. Do you believe that there is an energy that is of the twisted mind?
  1. 4. Does the term “Tormentor” have anything to do with domestic violence and abuse? Is there any tormenting that exists for those whom abuse or whom have been abused?

Good Mind

  1. 1. Who is the good mind?
  1. 2. What is the good mind energy?
  1. 3. Do you believe that there is an energy that is of the good mind?
  1. 4. Does the good mind energy bring healing to domestic violence and abuse?  If so, how?

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