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Michael Spisak - Full Circle Interview
Your novel, Full Circle, is a very thought provoking book for me. Although the work is historical fiction it validates the fact that historical trauma is a live energy and that recognition of it brings it to the light where it can be healed. Thank you for your contribution.
You’re welcome. I appreciate you taking your time and reading my work. I would also like to thank you for your intelligent and insightful review. Obviously Full Circle affected you, deeply. This is why I wrote the novel - to impact each person who reads it, individually. Everyone has responded to something, whether positively or negatively. This I think is the best compliment an author could receive; knowing their work is creating an effect.
Your book is inspirational for those working to create healing practices that transmutes the horrific effects of historical trauma among Indigenous societies into a power that changes the world. How did you come about creating Full Circle?
Writing Full Circle - what a strange trip that was.
I had this idea, wouldn’t it be interesting to hold accountable the descendants of those who caused the most damage to the original First Nations People of this country? I’m not referring to the US or Canada separately but as a whole. The boundary between the two is nothing more than an imaginary line created by the greedy as they were dividing their spoils. With that thought, and an understanding that the history of both countries has been intentionally obfuscated, the idea bounced around in my head for several years.
During that time I spent years over fires with Elders and recognized Spiritual Leaders. I was trying to learn, about myself, about the People who I am descended from. I guess I saw too much.
I witnessed first-hand the state of affairs within Indian Country. Not the love and light, let’s all hold hands Hollywood version depicted so insidiously all over the world. No, I saw how Natives treat their own. I witnessed the predatory nature that appears to be prevalent everywhere.
I witnessed the effect government control and corporate greed have had on the communities. I became aware of how that greed has infected the Nations, permeated the elected Councils.
Too many times I saw how those with title and position use their position to beat into submission all who dared defy them. Those who use the Sacred for personal gain.
Adding to this is the cadre of urban confused who follow the charlatans and imposters. Those who wouldn’t know the Sacred if it came to life and bit them on the “expletive deleted.” Those so convinced they know it all and are all too willing to shove all they think they know down the throats of those who do. I witnessed the back stabbing, the rumor mongering, the attacks on good people. I reached a point where enough was enough. Someone had to say something. Do something. When my frustrations reached a boiling point, when I just couldn’t take it anymore, I wrote Full Circle.
I have learned that the backbone of any spiritual healing work is forgiveness. Is Full Circle an angry book? Why or why not?
I wouldn’t categorize Full Circle as an “angry book,” however it was written to incite anger. As well as a plethora of emotions. It is my opinion people need to get angry. Apathy kills as effectively as a bullet, only slower. It becomes a contagion passed through generations until despair becomes acceptable. And it should never be acceptable. No one should ever accept abject poverty, a loss of self, of culture, of existence.
In less than three hundred years, everything that was is almost gone. Children are taught the morals and values of the invaders. Their religion is practiced, their false gods are worshipped. Their destructive practices of greed and corruption are held as something to aspire to. Even the flag of the oppressor is flown, reminding all of their status as nothing more than slaves to the self-proclaimed elite.
Is there any wonder why the children are suicidal, drug addicted? Who would want to be First Nations? How can a child be proud of their identity when they are taught to be ashamed of their identity?
By inciting an emotional response, including anger, my intent is to encourage the individual to dig deeper. Why are they angry? Why are they sad, depressed, discouraged? When those questions are answered, the next question, I believe, is what can they do about it? How can they fix it?
I really appreciate the spiritual content in the book. Was much research required and what is your experience with the Sundance?
The only research I did was live it. I experienced these things, was a part of these things. In the process I came to see how it is all corrupted. How so many were given so much yet have forgotten that what was given was done to assist the People, not the person. I have personally witnessed the corruption of altars and the desecration of the Sacred. Geed, arrogance and self-preservation have replaced altruism and self -sacrifice.
I accepted willingly the responsibility of Sundance. In my mind, from my personal experience, the ordeal makes sense to me. The ultimate altruistic act, done not for me but for all others. In my opinion, the ultimate act of love. Could their possibly be anything more beautiful?
However, this too is corrupted, and accepted as such. In my understanding, given to me by true Elders, no one should ever dance unless instructed by the Ancients to do so. Only through dream and vision should anyone ever enter the Sundance circle. This today isn’t the case. Now so many dance not out of love, but arrogance. To say “look what I did.”
I believe it is a further degeneration of all that was so beautiful and right. I am proud to be a Sundancer. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to give so much of myself. But, it breaks my heart to see how something of such beauty has been contaminated. How those who have given so much no longer command the respect they are due. But then again, why would they be given that respect? Most didn’t dance for any other reason other than self, and the vast majority never should have been in the circle in the first place. To witness the blatant disregard for anything Sacred. It is a horrid state of affairs and continues to fuel the destruction of the Indigenous First Nations.
By calling attention to these inconsistencies my hope is they will cease and these Sacred gatherings will return to what they should be and not the three ring circuses they have become. I am well aware these words will anger many, yet I offer no apology. It is my opinion that it is well past time somebody said something. That someone finally put to rest this ”expletive deleted” image of First Nations People and tells it like it is.
There are some in the Native community who share visions of forming nonprofit organizations committed to the promotion of physical health and spiritual well-being of Native people. It was mentioned in the book that if all nonprofit organizations came together under one banner then maybe they could effect change. Can you elaborate, please?
Sure. Look, I tried it. Did the whole nonprofit thing. Tried to do it the right way. And failed miserably.
So many want to do this. So many want to help. Unfortunately, most don’t want to listen. They aren’t interested in what the People need, they instead tell the People what they want. Most are self-serving, egotistical and want the world to see just how special they are. Adding to it few, if any, have absolutely no understanding of First Nations culture.
Everyone wants to be the Chief, the leader, the top dog. In traditional society, no one wanted those positions. It meant sacrificing their lives for the People. Leaders weren’t the head of society, they were the bottom. They had the least, lived with less than everyone else.
Dominant society teaches the corporate structure, based on a religious perspective. One guy at the top with a group of assistants beneath him. Then a larger group of intermediaries beneath him and finally the People. That isn’t traditional society. Traditionally it’s reversed.
Adding to this, most fight each other. So many want to be seen as the one who provides the most. How is this helping anyone but themselves? They give to who they think is deserving and those who need the most get left out in the cold. While they wage war against each other, attacking and destroying everything they are trying to build.
The mix blood community in the US is vast. As it stands now, a little goes here, a few pennies there and nothing is accomplished. However, what if all that is generated is collected in one hat? Instead of a few hundred here, a few thousand there, we could have millions in one place. A pooling of all the resources in one place to be distributed where it’s needed. The People, helping each other, as one. Instead of several competing entities all at the same time.
The trick of course would be to have this overseen by the right people. That kind of money would corrupt a person, real quick.
Thank you for an enlightening interview. Peace and Blessings to you, brother.
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