A History and Commentary on the Tree of Life

The Announcement of Mike’s Passing (08/18/04)

August 18th, 2004 (revised 11/17/2004)

Dear cherished circle of Friends,

On the morning of August 15th, mid-morning, on the fourth and last day of the Sacred Sundance in Arizona, our beloved brother, father (“papa” to many) and friend, Michael Murphy passed over to that “other side” he always spoke of so vividly. Mike left us the way he always was with us…serving others with his heart and mind on the love of God.

Many have come to know and love Michael from many different places. He was a resident of Harlem, NY and Huntington, West Virginia. He taught regularly on the streets of Union Square and Fulton Market. Mike’s life was a Sundance and we find it quite fitting that he literally passed in the shadow of the sacred arbor (the Tree of Life), at the Sundance Ceremony in Pinon, Arizona. It was the third year of the ceremony (of four)…and Michael has left us all to complete his Sundance (his work bearing the light of God in these darkest of times).

He was with approximately 30 friends and relatives – grandkids, daughters, and dear friends – that he led in a “journey to remember” across America in a ten-day caravan visiting the sacred sites of this country until reaching the Sundance ceremony, the four-day sacrificial dance to the Tree of Life, hosted by the Navajo (and Sioux) nation in northern Arizona. Mike collapsed of heart failure and passed over in the midst of the prayers of his family and those gathered – warriors, dancers, Chiefs, medicine and holy men and women and supporters – at the Sundance. His last words were “Nan, Nan”…. Nan, as many know, was Michael’s wife of 47 years who left this earth on September 11, 1990. Michael longed to be reunited with his eternal love and we are celebrating his liberation to new life and reunion with his Beloved. We are saddened and grievous by the loss of this giant among us… this light. Michael was a great teacher of love and commitment. He shared that the depth of the Mystery of Christ was, in essence, the “being a living sacrifice”. As the warriors were preparing to make the piercing on the fourth day of the Sundance (the piercing is a metaphoric display of the sacrifice we are making in order to bring about the new age of humanity)…Mike essentially made the living sacrifice. The following is a poem we found in his bag at the Sundance. By no means are we proposing that Mike consciously put himself at risk, we just see how fitting it all turned out to be. This was a poem we know he was writing to Nan.

Another like it now is tied around the sacred tree.
A marriage vow renewed and sealed between earth and me and heaven thee.
This decent I’m sure is over now. The service was a quiet one .
I hope “I know” you saw me there. I’ve been there….
I hope “I know ” you saw me there.
Tis, Gravity the force of love …me  below and you above.
The wedding was a quiet one

I hope “I know” you saw me there.
The Sun Dance is not quite complete. The decent however (my work), I’m sure it is.
There’s still the piercing round (the living sacrifice). The ladder is found.

“Greater love hath no soul than this, that one lay down their life for their friends…”(John 15:13)

Michael chose to teach and be with people on the streets. Often people would ask where they could come to study, or what church they could attend. Michael always said the street was the classroom and our very hearts were the church. You could often find him at Union Square during the months of March to November, especially during the High Holy Days in September.

Mike’s message was simple…”Come out of her my people and be not partakers of her sins”. He cried in the wilderness for Americans (and people everywhere) to awaken to the work that God is working in our day. He came to teach that there is a light being born in the midst of the darkness of this age. He cried for peace, he taught peace, he lived peace. He never laid any of his burdens on others but always kept them quietly to himself. He listened to all peoples, learned from all faiths, loved all races and brought forth an understanding of all the world’s sacred traditions as interconnected. Thus, all of humanity shares in the family of being human.

For those of you who have been studying with Michael over the years, his work will be continuing within the growing circle of close friends and family who are called to bring the Spirit of the Remnant into the world.

Please stay in contact with us. You can reach Michael Duff at (917) 538-6586 or mihulseamus@yahoo.com

Vickey Baker at shoefitter@comcast.net

or contact Timothy Murphy at tmurphy@westnet.com.

poem from a friend

Click here for a link to some video and audio of Mike.


“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven,
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” –Mathew 5: 2-12


Thank you all for your love and prayers.
With love,
The Murphy’s, Baker’s, Triska’s, Lucero’s and all Mike’s friends and family.


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