Message: Let Goodness Take Its Place
by Larry Merculieff
recorded and transcribed Address by Larry Merculieff
to the Athabascan people in a remote village in
Alaska (reprinted with permission)
"You are the second group of people that have invited me to talk on something that is very special. I have been asked to give you some messages from the spiritual leaders of the Hopi and [also the] Maori people from New Zealand. When I went up to Canada one and 1/2 years ago, I went there to be with the Stony Elders. They invited me to go there. While I was there, the Hopi and Maori sent a messenger to meet me. I do not know why me, but they gave me some messages to bring back here to Alaska. They must have known things that I do not know or can not see yet. And this is one of the things that I think they knew: that I was going to be invited to speak in places like this.
"One thing you need to know before I start. The people who are here today are here for a reason. It is no accident that you are going to be here to hear this message, and it is up to you whether or not you want to use this message of wisdom that has been given by the Hopi and Maori. If you do not use it, I would ask you pass it along to others.
"I used to write my speeches, you know, when I left the University. They train you to write everything down. As Commissioner, you have to write everything down for the public record. I stopped doing that when an Athabascan Elder, Howard Luke, and I were exchanging tape recordings with each other. He sent me this tape and said, "Anybody that gets up in front of a crowd of people and has to read from a piece of paper has no business being up there!"
"So for the first time in my 43 years, today, I say "OK, the papers are going to be put away." I will speak from the heart. There is a great deal of wisdom in speaking from the heart instead from a paper. It was a relearning for me. I learned it very well, I think. When I have to speak before a group, I never know what I am going to say. The only thing I can do is clear my mind; clear my body, and pray for the messages given from the people that I have been sent here to give the messages for. And I pray to the Creator to help.
When I came here, I also prayed for the help of the Spirit of the land; The Spirits of your ancestors; The Spirit of the river; The Spirit of the animals; The Spirit of the trees; and The Spirit of the wind , because each area of the world has their own guardian. Even this group now has it's own guardians. They are here now sitting with us, and so, I ask for their help when I talk.
"The Hopi and Maori sent a messenger, her name was Beverly, to meet me when I was up in Canada . The messages come from the Hopi, Maori and the Stony Elders, who are part of the great Sioux Nation in Alberta , also from the White Bison Society. I will explain what this is.
"What the Hopi [and the] Maori wanted us to know here in Alaska and all the villages, is that we are moving into what they call the World of the 5th Hoop. The Navajo called it moving into the 5th World. Maybe amongst some of the elders of the Athabascan people there are similar things that are being said about this time. It is a message of hope. They know of the sicknesses that creates suffering in our communities. They know of the fights that have been going on between the organization and the villages. They know of the struggle between villages and within regions and between regions. They know about the alcohol abuse and accidental deaths due to alcohol, the suicides, the high blood pressure, failing health, heart problems, all these things that our people in Alaska have been facing. In my years working for my people, I have traveled all over the State. And it is pretty much the same everywhere... the kind of problems we are experiencing.
"That is not what this message is about. They know about our issues in the villages. This message is a message of hope. They say that moving into this time, of the World of the 5th Hoop, is a time when all the four sacred colors are going to be reconnected. They are the red-white-black-yellow. They wanted me to know that, among the Hopi, they are the keepers of the sacred stone tablets for the sacred Red color - that includes all of us. They wanted me to know that they have the sacred stone tablets in Tibet, in the mountains, kept by the Tibetan Monks, in the same way that the Tibetans have their sacred stone tablet with the Hopi.
"There are four sacred stone tablets that were given. The sacred Black color has theirs in a small village in Africa. They cannot exchange it with the sacred White color because they lost theirs. But the Hopi wisdom keepers say that they are soon to find this stone—very soon in this time. If you look at the maps where the people of Hopi live and Tibetans live, [it] is exactly on opposite parts of the world of the Mother Earth. The Hopi word for love is the Tibetan word for hate and the Tibetan word for love is the Hopi word for hate. The same words—but, exactly opposite meaning. They say that this is necessary to help keep the balance of Mother Earth. And that there are keepers of this balance that are like us around the world.
"In moving into this time of the World of the 5th Hoop, it is going to be a time of great healing. There is going to be great healing that is going to start, and the Hopi say that it is going to start in the North. I have learned just recently that it is going to start in Alaska .
"The Hopi told me that this time of great healing is going to be shown by several signs. One is when a hoop of a hundred eagle feathers is completed. I have met the person from the White Bison Society in Colorado, who are the keepers of this hoop. I met the person while I was in Anchorage. While we were having dinner, a lady came in from Kodiak and she had an eagle feather in her hand. She said, "I know this had to go to some special place, and I guess it is you." And [she] gave it to this guy who was sitting there, Don Coyhis. His mouth dropped open. He could hardly speak. He said that this was the eagle feather that was to be the axle-- the center point in this hoop of 100 eagles that was described to him exactly by the wisdom keepers. The eagle feathers numbered 57 at that time. "Since that time, two more [feathers] have come from Alaska. One, from an all white eagle. This white eagle had called to this man. (This is true, as I am a witness.) He was a white man. He calls me up and he says, "I do not know why I am calling, but this morning I looked up in my yard and there were 13 ravens in a circle. And in the middle of the circle was an eagle." He said he knew that was pretty weird. He had never seen anything like it. The people in the village had never seen anything like this. This was just about a month and a half ago. He said that he had heard the story of the hoop of the 100 eagle feathers. He said, "That night the tribal chief delivered to me the dead eagle." That morning he saw the eagle alive, surrounded by 13 ravens, [but] that evening, it was delivered to the camp. He did not know why. So he heard of the story and knew that, if he asked permission properly, one of these eagle feathers was to be delivered to this hoop. And so it was. A person, who was on his way down to Colorado, delivered the white eagle feather or the feather from a white eagle. So now there were two feathers delivered from Alaska.
"In this time of healing, the message of hope from the Hopi, Maori, and the Stoney Elders, I was invited to Sacred Ceremony by the Stoney Elders. The youngest was 77 and the oldest was 106. No one spoke any English during the whole time I was in the Sacred Ceremony, which lasted 3 hours. They spoke English one in the middle, and the person who spoke said "I am speaking English for the benefit of our friend from Alaska. We know that your people in Alaska, in many villages, believe that they have lost their culture, the cultural wisdom and their ways. We are praying to the Creator. We want you to know of the message that has been given to us so that you would take it back to Alaska''.
"The message that they received for us is that our cultures and spiritual ways are not dead. All the wisdom that has been collected in our cultures, since time immemorial, is being kept for us, waiting for us, to awaken in our spirits. We will awaken our spirits again. When that happens, things will be revealed of the old wisdoms. Things that have been forgotten for a long time are going to be brought back; Art- Music- Song- Dance- Storytelling- Spiritual- Wisdom- knowledge, and the wisdom of how to work with Mother Earth, will all be restored.
'They also want us to know that among the Hopi and Maori there are people who do nothing but pray 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, every year of their lives. That is all they do. In rotation, they pray around the clock for other people. In this prayer is where they have seen some of these things that are about to happen. The healing that is going to take place, the advice that has been given to us, is "Seek not to fight evil-- do not fight it—let goodness take its place." So when we see bad things happen and when we fight those bad things, what we do hurts everybody. Fighting evil has spiritual energies that go to the ends of universe, affects everybody in the community.
"'When I come into any community, I can feel the energies that are created. We are all affected by it. You know, sometimes you watch little kids when a stranger walks into the room [and], all of a sudden, the child just cries. Sometimes this happens, or, they love the stranger. What they are doing is taking their God-given, Creator-given, way of talents, skills, gifts, to feel the spirit of the other person, because everybody gives out these energies. So we have to, they say, be very careful. This is part of the wisdom amongst the great Athabascan People and most indigenous people throughout the world. We must take care of how we think-- how we feel.
"'The signs of this time of healing that is to start are: When the children bring back the drum to the village the cultures will be restored; when the young start speaking with the wisdom of the elders; when the leadership energies start shifting to the feminine side; when this hoop of the 100 eagles feathers gets completed; And when the White Bison shows up. These are all the signs of the movement from the 4th to the 5th Hoop.
"'Now, I know that some of this is in language that you may have not heard in your lifetime. But I know inside, you will recognize these words to be true. Your intuition is going to tell you what I am saying is true. The world for the last 4,000 or so years has been stuck in the male energy side. The male energy is thinking from the brain. It is a management from the top down. It is more aggressive. It does not use intuition or feelings from the heart. It is a different kind of energy. It is not a bad energy. It is just different than the female energy. Female energy is healing, nurturing, loving, caring, touching, and sharing. And that the world spiritual leaders know now that these energies have been unbalanced on the male side and now have shifted to the female side.
'The center of the top of the energy entrance to the Earth Mother is here through Alaska. The spiritual leaders say that hosts of angels are coming through Alaska-- spreading out throughout the world for this healing to take place.
"'I see what is happening to our young people. I spent most of my life thinking I was a leader, for 25 years working for my people. I realized, when I finally woke up, I was not a leader because I was stuck in the same place with the same kind of sickness they had.
"'Harold Napoleon, who wrote the book, The Way of the Human Being, talks about the Great Death. Why, people ask, are we suffering like this today? Why are our kids this way? Why are we having this alcohol problem? It is easy to understand when you get back in touch with your heart. Harold Napoleon talks about the time of the Great Death. My people faced it. Eighty percent of our people were wiped out in 50 years. We still have stories of those times. How many men can a musket ball kill? The Russians were betting about the Aleuts, so they lined them up back to back, shot point blank, and the answer is 9. There is one community where the Russians went to take all the women and girls for their sex slaves. The women and girls said, "No, this will be a violation of our spirit!" And they all got on top of a cliff and jumped, in mass, and died. There is a story in a village in Akutan, where it used to take a year to build meat boats from hide. It was one of the most sophisticated kayaks in the world. It took a year to build because it had to be dependable. They had to go out on the high seas for weeks on end. They knew this, and the Russians knew this. The fur traders, who were greedy, went into the village at night and destroyed all the boats. The village starved to death. There was one old woman who survived out of 300 people.
"'So we have these stories. The first people who were killed among my people were the shamans and their apprentices. Because of their religion, or way of life of spirituality, the Russians did not understand, so they destroyed it. They thought it was a threat. Can you imagine our people who are survivors-- we are survivors here today, having gone through that time-- experiencing for 50 years, 8 out of 10 people dying in a horrible way? Your loved ones—your grandchildren; your children; your mother; your wives; your husbands; [All] dying by horrible ways for 50 years? Year after year, seeing horrible death. And being subjected to all this? The American doctors have a name for this now, they call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD].
'"The Vietnam Vets have also experienced this syndrome. Veterans, when they came back from Vietnam, were depressed. They took drugs. They took alcohol. They withdrew from their relationships. They could not be close to people because it hurt too much. They did anything to escape their feeling and what they were thinking and remembering. When they did that, they separated from their spiritual side. When this happened, the depression started. So they experienced this in Vietnam after 2 or 3 years. Sometimes people had 4 trips over there. Our people experienced it for generations. Not only did we not have the support that the Vietnam Vets had, [but] they still had their culture intact when they came back.
'"Our cultures were eliminated, or attempted to be destroyed—so that the survivors, who had survived, were without hope. Having gone through such misery and pain, the only thing they could do to defend themselves, the only way they knew how to defend themselves, was not to feel.
'"I know and I understand it. Harold Napoleon understood it. Many of you understand it. Because as a child, like many of our people, [I] grew up in a family the abused alcohol. And the first thing that I did as a child to defend myself was to shut off my feelings. They were shut off for over 20 years. And when that happened, it is a state of constant depression and addiction. Addictions can be cigarettes - alcohol - TV - noise; big loud music, and even thoughts could be an addiction. Anything to take us away from feeling right now, the way we feel. We try to run away from it. That is what happening when you see a kid walk down the street with big earphones blasting and they are not hearing anything else because they do not want to be here.
'"The wisdom keepers say that the only place to find the power of the Creator is to be present in this moment. If we have fears, we are projecting them into the future. Into a future time that does not even exist. If we have guilt, we are living in the past, for the past things we did. We are not living now. All the spiritual keepers, of all groups in the world, be they Buddhists, be they Islamic, be they on the Red Path, be it on the Medicine Path-- you name it-- say [that] the only way to find the power that has been given to us from the Creator is to be here, now. Not to escape.
"'So you see, this addiction that has happened from the Great Death, the survivors are separated from their feelings. Can you imagine the kind of children they raised? It was hard for them to love and be close to another because they were afraid. "If I became too close and love somebody, they would be destroyed, and I would suffer the pain all over again. So, they stayed away from that feeling. Those kids grew up and had their own kids, and from generations to generation to generation, until today, we have the legacy, the inheritance of this spiritual sickness that was given to us a long time ago. And so the answer from the wisdom keepers is to work at being present and that will be the first key [to healing].
"'The spiritual keepers also say that the first step towards healing yourself, before you can heal others or help heal others, is to love that which we may hate or who may hate me. We may hate ourselves. We may hate an organization. We may hate the people from outside who have interfered. We may hate somebody. The first step towards this healing is to stop the hate and turn it into love. And it will transform everything. This spiritual sickness that we have is going to move now. It is going to change.
"'There are some predictions in the sacred stone tablets among the wisdom keepers about what is going to happen here in this World of the 5th Hoop. Not only are we going to have this healing but the Earth Mother is going to shake, in a way that it has never shook before. It is going to move in a way it has never done before. There is going to be a lot of fear because of this, and the wisdom keepers want me to convey that, when this happens, we should not be afraid. Because, what is happening is that the Earth Mother is trying to help us remove the stuff that we have stuck in our bodies, inherited from the spiritual sickness of generations and generations out. This is why there is going to be time for healers.
"'Healers are being called from all over. Women are now taking their place as the original healers around the world and some of the strongest original healers are starting here in Alaska. Not only [will there be] the shift to the feminine side of leadership, but the women are going to start taking their place as healers. I think this is an exciting time. The Dalai Lama went down to Yakutan during the last change of the moon, with all the spiritual leaders, to pray for this time of the shift, this time of healing. And he has 'chosen'-- and this is the words that they use, which are hard to understand-- he has chosen to take the spiritual energies that they have been keeping in Tibet and move them from Tibet and bring them here to Alaska, which they did a few weeks ago. The reason they did this is because the Chinese are wiping out the Tibetan Monks and destroying all the temples. So the Dalai Lama moved its spiritual energy here to Alaska, because this is the place where the healing is going to start. And this is the place where all the Angels are coming in by hosts. This is the place where the hoop of a hundred eagle feathers will be finished. And, interestingly enough, some of the healing ways are being revived from all the cultures. People are being woken up.
"How do we start this healing? When you are quiet within yourself and you sit next to the river-- ask. Do not be afraid to ask. Ask the Creator. Ask whoever you feel is your higher power, "Please help me find the way because I do not know how to heal." "Make me your history." And when you ask that, with humility in your heart, you will get it. You will find it. And it will be given to you, you will see this healing starting to spread like wild fire. It is just exciting—exciting to see. And the key to it is staying here, now.
"'Now, last thing I am going to say: I ran the village corporation in St. Paul for 10 years. I was city manager for 4 years. We started from no economy out there. In 1983 the government pulled out. That was our only economy. They pulled out and we lost 80% of our jobs. That year we had 100 suicide attempts out of 600 people. We had 4 people who killed themselves. We had 3 who were murdered—things that had not happened in our village for 150 years! There was only one person ever murdered in our village in 150 years. And it all happened in this one year. Big shaking up. And we thought, the leadership thought—including me—that, if we worked to bring the economy back so that everybody got a good paying job, our kids would return to our village. And that it would solve our problems. We had a growing alcohol problem, 60% of population [were] alcoholic and 1/3 of our kids have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We had suicide attempts all the time. I have been to 44 funerals here in 4 years—44 funerals! Goodness sakes.
"So what we learned from this and what I want to share with you is what happened when we got our economy [back]. We have the strongest rural economy in the State of Alaska right now. Our per capita income is $33,000.00--$34,000.00 per person! That is what was accomplished in 10 years. But did it solve our problems? No. The spiritual sickness is still going on. The money only feeds the addiction. We have a community that is already addicted in some way because of the spiritual sickness. We have inherited this sickness from the time of the Great Death.
'"Bringing money in, in large numbers, will fuel the addictions just like gasoline to fire. It will make it worse. Bigger, better. Because, it is what we do with the money. Look at St. Paul. We are buying cars. Everybody has a car now. We bought, maybe, 300 cars in the last 3 years. Everybody has 1 or 2 TV sets—big ones. Everybody has 4-wheelers. Everybody has a boat. Everybody has nice clothes. Everybody has nice houses. Things. Everybody has things. But yet they are saying, "We are not happy. What is wrong?" What is wrong is [that] we were looking outside for feeding a hunger inside—a hunger that we did not understand. And that hunger is the hunger of the spirit.
"'When we have addictions, it is a hunger to fill the spirit. It is like a big stomach inside you that wants to feed all the time. And no matter how much we feed it with these addictions, [it] is never enough. And it just goes down and down and we get so depressed that we feel we cannot get out of it. At that point, you die either physically or you die spiritually. Hopefully, many people will not have to go through that.
"'So, that is the message that I have brought to you. This is a message of hope and a message of good wisdom. Remember, our cultures are not lost. The wisdom of it is already here with us. We just do not know it yet, because we are spiritually sleeping."
Eagle background features stone carving by Inuit artist Sam Kavik. eagle carving