Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
"We have to learn the True Way. It's not something you're going to get in school. And you wouldn't get it from your family either. People love their family and friends too much, too close to really give them the truth, because the truth hurts more than anything else. The truth is the only way real way to live." www.asdn.org/wp-content/uploads/Peter_John.pdf. (See above photo of Peter John Athabascan elder in Alaska).
"In the old days people knew how to survive. The people I'm talking about killed bears with a spear. They were so fast they could club a fox with a stick. They hunted with a bow and arrow. I saw people who could run down a moose in the summertime. Hardy people. All this not for sport but because their life depended on it. Our great grandfathers used to paddle all over these rivers.
The important part to understand is that Native people in those days never said that they believed in God the Father Almighty. But the way they lived was true to the Christian life. The mission people didn't see that."
(photo of St. Sophia Russian Orthodox church near me in Bethel, Alaska November 2020 and the entrance to the tundra beyond at sunrise)
While most of the media worldwide will be buzzing about deconstructing the USA elections; I wanted to pause and write about timeless truisms and how they will (hopefully) inform the next steps in our governance, and in our/my personal life path. As the days grow shorter, the temperatures plunge and forced solitude is part of life during the relentlessly imposed "quarantine" and "level red" plandemic policies; there is more time for contemplation, reflection and re-direction. In this sense, I am grateful for the imposed cloister-like life I am leading here in remote Alaska. I also have more time to read for pleasure and guidance.
The transcribed stories and biographies of Alaskan native elders are part of my reading this month. Peter John, an elder or shaman not of the Yu'pik/Cu'pik people where I live and work, but of the larger Athabascan people, is who I quote at the beginning of this post. His straightforward observations after a life of struggle, tragedy and purpose, are ones particularly poignant to me.
The other new author I was introduced to is the late John O'Donohue. He was an Irish Catholic priest who left the priesthood, married, wrote, lectured and died in his sleep away from Ireland - in Avignon, France in 2008. At the age of 52, John O'Donohue left us a legacy of poetry, Celtic wisdom, theology, philosophy and linguistic wealth in the ancient Gaelic language. He was fluent in Irish/Gaelic, English and Latin. He saw the world through his unique senses always with the hand of the divine to guide him.
There are similarities in both men-Peter John and John O'Donohue-they both emphasize the continued search for truth and the courage needed to pursue truth especially with those close to you. How true!
On a macro scale, the United States government including the Department of Justice, the FBI, the intel agencies, law enforcement, the press, media, politicians at the local and state level have lied, deceived, intentionally manipulated their own people for decades, probably for centuries. Only recently has the depth of deception been revealed by courageous "outsiders" and brave "insiders". If you haven't seen the documentary for free (on Amazon) I urge you to watch: THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT-here is a trailer for this powerful film-www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOMzzbukNhM
On a personal level, being in a position to know the plans about to be implemented on my colleagues and community but being required to withhold information or even "pretend" I don't know what is to come...is an environment of deceit and actual mistrust. The leadership here deciding not to trust that other professional people are somehow not "capable" of handling the truth or "bad news", then letting them believe a situation will not continue (and to plan on all levels for that eventuality) when indeed it will...is also an abuse of power and cruel.
By dragging out "remote" learning, not allowing any gatherings for celebrations, passages, sports or recreation; power is used to restrict the possibilities of resistance, congregation and counter planning to an extent. The entire village communities are weakened in body, mind and spirit and much is and will be left undone with the excuse of Covid 19.
As the shaman and elder Peter John stated, sometimes family and friends are too close to each other - they cannot handle the truth. This could be the truth of historical events in your own family, of your own experiences they have no point of reference for, or about others in the family or circle of trust they have put on pedestals over time. They do not want to believe those in authority, those who they love or felt love from, those who have had leverage over them-may be corrupt, may have lied for their own advantage or may have crept out of responsibilities.
The more heinous the lie or actions, the harder the truth to hear, to be revealed, to bear in the short term. However, in the long term for the integrity, strength and honor of a couple, a family, a community or a society - exposing truths is vital for a righteous path. Truth is essential for trust, as love and trust need to be partners.
As both Peter John and John O'Donohue and many other wise people have proclaimed through thousands of years of writings from all over our planet...only truth will set you "free" will allow you to live a conscious life no matter what religion or spiritual belief you choose to follow.
It takes great courage to live a life in truth and to be brave enough to answer important questions honestly to your family, your friends, your colleagues, your adversaries and your self. However, facing the "fear" of telling the truth and accepting shame or blame for deceptions and dishonest dealings-is integral to redemption and "salvation" both before and after death-in both traditions-the ancient Athabascan and the more contemporary Christian doctrine.
Ending today as the snow and ice glisten, with a "hot" R&B (rhythm and blues) song called, "Don't you lie to me" sung by Mike Whellans (harmonica & vocals) performing with the Battlefield Band, some of whom wear kilts with pride at Glasgow Pavilion back in 1984.
By the way, do you know or remember what are characterized in most traditional and religious belief systems as the "Seven Deadly Sins" and the cardinal virtues?
We are all full of the contradictions which make us human and thus fallible, but we are also all capable of adapting, changing and redemption once truth is acknowledged.
Whatever happens this week in the USA, stay alert and keep on the "right" path. Never stop searching for the truth...
Best from Bethel,