Posts Tagged ‘Ilarion Merculieff’

In Conversation With Ilarion Merculieff

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Mind And Morality: Where Do They Meet? An Essay by Larry Merculieff

I have had a traditional Aleut (Unungan) upbringing in the Bering Sea which guides me in writing
this essay
My people were in the Bering Sea for over 10,000 years, and we are still there.
From an indigenous person’s perspective, I find the question to be critical in terms of the
violence around the world today in all its forms and the continuing decline of life support
systems of Mother Earth. The questions we ask about our plight as human beings are central
to where we go from here. Alaska Native Elders say that we must look at the root causes of
our challenges and not at the symptoms. The root cause of our plight is disconnection from
our hearts—which inform our minds, and our minds then direct what we do.

In today’s society, we are focused on how the brain works and what it produces.
The qualities of mind, according to The Free Dictionary, deal with “thought, perception,
memory and decision.” Merriam-Webster defines mind as “the organized conscious and
unconscious adaptive mental activity of an organism.” If this is the case, where is the heart?
The “heart” I am talking about is the inexplicable aspect of us that is in connection with
the divine and guides us impeccably. “Heart” is the source of correct thinking and being.
Einstein is quoted saying,
“we cannot solve the problem with the same consciousness that created the problem.”
I would argue that the consciousness of the mind, as we define it,
is the consciousness that created all the problems faced by humans today.

When veterans returned from Vietnam, thousands came back with a peculiar disorder that the
doctors had to deal with. It was invisible until they put a name to it:
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The vets took to addictions and other behaviors: drinking alcohol, taking drugs,
watching TV for seventeen hours a day, and even isolating themselves in the wilderness or in other ways.
Most of these veterans had depression. They used these coping behaviors to try to escape from their
reality of remembering the horrors of war. To escape required detaching from the present moment
because it was too painful. One definition of an addiction is a strategy to escape the present moment.
These veterans used this strategy to detach, as much as possible, from the heart.
Native Elders say that this is like creating a big stomach that is always hungry and is never filled;
the result is addictions.
The Elders also say that when we swallow feelings we create a stagnant pool inside ourselves
and these stagnant pools create depression. The addictive behaviors were passed along from generation
to generation for coping with anything that hurt one’s spirit, and these behaviors remain with us today.
The addictions, one can argue, are society-wide wherever we take without thought to the consequences
and do harm to others and to Mother Earth.

Prior to the “beginning of time,” all people had an internal guide for how to behave and how to think.
Time began when we focused on guilt, shame, remorse, anger, rage, jealousy, and like feelings; or fear,
which is a projection into the future of something that has not happened yet.
Time began when we focused anywhere except the present moment where the “heart” can be found.
Instead, we simply replaced the present with feelings of the past or future, and so we live there today.
Someone once said, “God can be found in the silence between one’s thoughts” and,
according the Depak Chopra, “the point of power is in the present moment.”
Native Americans say that one who lives in the present moment
is the “real human being”: one who is whole, who knows their place in the world.
In the names they gave themselves as a people and cultures, Alaska Native peoples call themselves
the “human being” or the “real human being.” They understand that human laws and the study of morality
are creations of those who live outside of the present, necessitating that these things be memorialized
and made into laws and fields of study because they have forgotten how to be integrated into life as
real human beings. In the time before time began, we never had prisons. Why? We never had to deal with
human-caused things like warfare, felony, and climate change—the destruction of the life support systems
of the planet.
Why? We never invented the term “sustainability” as a concept to guide how we interact with the earth.
Why? Simply put, the Indigenous Elders say these society-wide struggles stem from a memory lapse:
we have forgotten how to be “real human beings” guided by divinely-inspired laws for living.

We need to listen to these Elders who know. They say that “nothing is created outside [of us]
until it is created inside first.” We are in conflict outside because we are in conflict inside.
We judge others because we judge ourselves first. We criticize and find fault in others because
we are finding fault inside of ourselves first. And we trash the environment outside because
we trash the environment inside. As long as this kind of consciousness exists,
we will never create anything truly new, inside or out.

So, where do the mind and morality meet? The answer is the heart, which directs our individual thoughts,
feelings, and actions if we have the “ears” to listen to what it is saying in any given circumstance.
It is the only aspect of us that guides without doubt or hesitation, and it guides us perfectly.
How do we get back to being heart-guided people? The Elders say that the model for our cultures
should be a two-year-old child. The two-year-old cries when she feels like crying; she laughs in the moment.
When she is angry, she deals with it in the moment, and then she is fine.
Two-year-olds are masters of moving energy.
We need to remember how to move energy to be real human beings’.

Quoted  from Humans And Nature

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Illarion Merculieff: The Gifts Of The Four Directions

The gifts from the four directions

by Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff Posted May 20 2004 on:

Four years ago, the Bering Sea Council of Elders was formed to focus on the health of the Bering Sea ecosystem and the viability of the coastal and river cultures dependent on it. The Council is often referred to as the WisdomKeepers of the North. The Council is composed of some of the most revered elders in seven culturally distinct regions of Alaska. As the coordinator for the Council, I have the privilege of implementing the Council’s instructions and making connections with Wisdomkeepers from many indigenous traditions in the Western Hemisphere.

During the course of my work, I have been given many messages, stories, and prophecies, and have found that many are related or similar. One of the prophecies involves what I call The Gifts from the Four Directions. There are many iterations of this prophecy as it is interpreted through cultural lenses. The Hopi Wisdomkeepers talk about the World of the Fifth Hoop where the four sacred colors will reconnect. The Navajo call this time the Fifth World. This version is one I synthesized from the stories of several cultures, taking care to ensure that the integrity of the messages is maintained.

Many stories talk about how there has been a pendulum effect in which the world shifts back and forth between masculine and feminine imbalance over many millennia. The current cycle, which began thousands of years ago, is a time of masculine imbalance. Spiritual leaders throughout the world knew that this time was coming—a time when all things feminine would be exploited, smashed, and destroyed, including all Mother Earth-based cultures, feminine-based spirituality, and women. The spiritual leaders around the world communicated with one another through the original language created from an intimate connection with Creation. They decided to hide the sacred and secret teachings because they knew that the two-leggeds (people) would abuse and misuse the teachings. There were many ingenious ways the teachings were hidden—in common words of different cultures, in story, in song, in art, and geometric patterns woven in cloth and garments. In many cases, specific parts of the teachings were intentionally forgotten. The spiritual leaders knew that the sacred and secret teachings would only be made whole again when the two-leggeds heal enough to open their hearts and thus reconnect with their brothers and sisters from the different directions and colors around the world. In doing so, they would share their sacred ways with others until the sacred and secret teachings are fully restored.

It is said that there will be a time when the gifts of the four sacred colors, red, white, black, and yellow, will come together from the Four Directions and combine to create something new that has not been seen since the beginning of time.

It is said that only when humans are open enough in the heart will there be the deep reconnection that allows a true sharing of the sacred and secret teachings. These teachings from the Four Directions come in the form of the four sacred elements—earth, air, fire, and water.

The sacred yellow color brings the gift of air from the East. The Eastern traditions understand and are masters of the use of air through breath and how breath combines with chants and sounds to create powerful healing and connection to Divine Silence.

The sacred black color brings the gift of water from the South. The African traditions understand and are masters of the use of motion and rhythm that is in complete harmony with the movement and rhythm of the Universe, through dances and complex drumming to help human beings harmonize with Creation.

The sacred red color brings the gift of earth from the West. Indigenous traditions throughout the world understand and are masters in the use of knowledge in communications with, and the nurturing and healing of, Mother Earth.

The sacred white color brings the gift of fire from the North. The people of the sacred white color understand and are masters in the use and application of energy in technology, like the spark plug, rocket engine, and the like.

The combining of these gifts will occur only when the humans have learned the true wisdom that comes from open-heartedness born of love, compassion, silence, and truth. Indeed, real sharing- cannot occur without these four qualities. With these four qualities, and with conscious intent and action to combine the gifts of the four sacred colors, one can only speculate as to what immense beauty will be created.

It is also said that women will be restored to their place as the original healers, and when this occurs they shall lead the way. The role of the men as the spiritual warriors in this new time is to protect the sacred space of women so they can do their work. When these things are done, the pendulum of imbalance will stop for the first time since the beginning of time.

This journey has already begun as Eastern meditation traditions and breath mastery are shared throughout the world, as technology of the West spreads, as African dance and drumming is shared in every corner of the world and melded with other musical traditions, and as people throughout the world seek indigenous wisdom to learn how to live on and with Mother Earth.

World religions are beginning to find common ground as spiritual leaders engage in dialogue. Science-, in such areas as quantum physics, quantum mechanics, biology, and astrophysics, is beginning to converge with spirituality and metaphysics as they seek answers to how the Universe works. Indig-enous teachings are found on the Internet and in large numbers of published works, and indigenous spiritual leaders and elders are gathering around the world to share their ways with greater and greater frequency. Conventional medicine is slowly beginning to explore the healing ways of other traditions. Women are actively seeking their own healing and creating the new ways of leadership that heal separation in its myriad of forms throughout the world.

Much of the world has yet to see the incredible new possibilities that can come from spiritual intent to share consciously and combine knowledge and wisdom from the four sacred colors, but it is beginning to happen. The Elders say, “nothing is created outside until it is created inside first.”

If we stay the course in healing separation within and without, it is only a question of time until the sacred Gifts from the Four Directions––the four sacred colors––come together for the purpose of creating a new world.

Ilarion Larry Merculieff is an Aleut, born and raised in the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. He serves as the coordinator of the Bering Sea Council of Elders. You can contact him at or 1610 Woo Boulevard, Anchorage, Alaska 99515.

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Ilarion Merculieff: Going to the Heart of Sustainability. sponser Kalliopeia Foundation

Published on 2 Jul 2012 by Kalliopeia Foundation

Indigenous peoples who have intimate and sustained contact with their lands and waters and who have maintained the spiritual basis for relating to everything in their environment have a profound understanding of what “sustainability” really means even though that is not the word that they would use. Western concepts of sustainability generally are used out of meaningful context, limiting the depth to which we can go collectively and as a society in restoring harmony in our relationship with Mother Earth. Indigenous elders world-wide say that one day the world will look to indigenous peoples for the wisdom in caring for our Earth Mother, and many feel the time is NOW as her life supporting systems are being pushed to the edge of viability.
Ilarion Merculieff is a traditional Aleut messenger dedicated to sharing Indigenous elder wisdom and the messages of Indigenous spiritual leaders with the world. He has nearly four decades of experience serving his people, the Aleuts of the Pribilof Islands and other Indigenous Peoples, in a number of capacities, locally to internationally. Larry is a passionate advocate for Indigenous rights/wisdom, and harmonious relationship with the Earth.
Close to Merculieff’s heart are issues related to cultural and community wellness, traditional ways of living, Elder wisdom, and the environment. Having had a traditional upbringing, Merculieff has been, and continues to be, a strong voice advocating the meaningful application of traditional knowledge and wisdom obtained from Elders in Alaska and throughout the world when dealing with modern day challenges. As the Coordinator for the Bering Sea Council of Elders, Merculieff works with some of the most revered Elders from seven regions throughout Alaska focusing on the health of the Bering Sea ecosystem and the viability and health of the coastal and river cultures dependent on it. Merculieff has shared Elder wisdom locally, nationally, and internationally, and his writings and interviews have appeared in such publications as the Winds of Change, YES, Red Ink, Alaska Geographic, Smithsonian, National Geographic, and Kindred Spirits. Larry Merculieff was featured in National Wildlife magazine as an “American Hero”, having called national and international attention to industrialized overfishing and major adverse changes in the Bering Sea ecosystem.

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Illarion Merculieff: The Natural Way

Illarion /Larry Merculieff an Aluet Elder talks about his traditional upbringing on St Paul Island in the Bearing Sea and the important work that women need to do at this time with out which nothing new can be born at this time.

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