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October 1996


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 Huna Article



by Kihonua

Much of what is taught as Hawaiian Huna can hardly be considered as a genuine reflection of the true teachings. Even a cursory reading of the current books available on Huna will show the extent to which other spiritual teachings from different cultures have influenced the present day understanding of what Huna is exactly. The influence of the Theosophical version of the ancient Indian spiritual teachings is very clearly evident. It is interesting to note that the Theosophists had a large teaching centre located at what is now Kauai's Hindu temple ( The Temple of San Marga, 107 Kaholalele Road, Wailua Homesteads ). Even the western magical traditions based to a great degree on the Kabbalistic mystical teachings have had their effect on Huna teaching today. It is understandable that any teacher of Huna in this day and age will draw upon their full experience of spiritual and mystical teachings to hopefully clarify some of the Huna teachings but the danger is that these other teachings become identifiable as Huna. This is an insult to the real Huna teaching and to the origins of these other teachings. Huna is unique and distinct from any other spiritual teaching. Sadly, I notice that even some native Hawaiian teachers are also teaching a westernized version of Huna.

Any oral tradition, as Huna was, is incredibly vulnerable to distortion and loss over years of teaching. However, much of the original teaching can be rediscovered through a detailed study of such chants as the Kumilipo and others that were transcribed during the last century. Even here though there is a problem as once again your own background of spiritual teaching is going to make you find the specific version of Huna that you want to. The degree to which our pre-existing attitudes and beliefs influence any such investigation of the ancient chants must be born carefully in mind. One of the other difficulties of translation is the same problem that faces translators of western alchemical treatises written in the middle ages and that is one of understanding accurately the specific intent of the word symbols used to cloak the real truth from the spiritually unprepared. The Hawaiian language is incredibly rich in words that have two or more meanings and the Hawaiians loved plays on words, puns and the use of poetic metaphor and allegory.

In our own teaching of Huna these are issues that we constantly bear in mind and we seek to avoid undue contamination of the original teachings. So the message is "student beware!" The Huna teaching you are getting may simply be NLP, Polarity, New Thought, The Seth teachings, general New Age philosophy, Theosophical and Western Magical teachings disguised as Hawaiian Huna. The real Huna teaching has a bitter, piquant flavour that some find hard to swallow let alone digest. PAU!

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