Decisions about engaging our true purpose are rarely acts of circumstance. Spirituality is about our intentional becoming more of what we instinctively and intuitively feel called to be. It is a distinctly different response than the more impulsive reactivity to fear. Indeed, it is just the opposite – where we are encountering fear and exploring our unconscious into consciousness. When a person does this they ascend into greater awareness. Increasing awareness is what allows us to expand understanding and increase complexity by integrating multiplr perspectives? When groups of people do this, they ascend into more mature agreements and systems of mutual and interdependent well being. When entire cultures do this, they promote the social and spiritual evolution of the coexistence of life.
All of this is pedicated upon individual spiritual impulse being encouraged and adopted by groups, accepted into cultural practices and integrated into evolutionary social change. Societies seek to promote vitality and progress, cultures seek to address conflicts and promote harmony, communities seek leadership to teach wisdom, individuals seek truth to integrate wisdom and promote freedom (which is to say, live above fear and align with personal and communal purpose).
There are various ways of thinking about this. The following three charts are only samples of hundreds of ways to catagorize consciousness.
The idea in each of them, however, is the same: to ascend or evlolve in our awareness, to use our awareness to serve some sense of harmony and interdependence in life.
Everyone on this trip signed up for more than adventure… More than personal appreciation of the beautiful or exotic. Without even knowing exactly how, each person seeks the chance to be part of change – both personal and, through integrating wisdom and modeling leadership, cultural change.
I’m thinking of Ricardo who has been organizing thes trips since 2005. He has seen these encounters with the Andean wisdom change people’s lives – including his own. He’s seen it change relationships with nature and self and with people.
Like Carlita Elizabeth – from Tiajuana, Mexico. 33 yrs old. Went to Chitzanitza and came away fascinated with the ways a culture could weave together architecture, social customs, spirituality and a reverence for nature. From then on she vowed to continue her exploration with a trip to Machu Picchu.
And Shirley – Ricardo’s sister – born with an innate sense of connection and communication – one of three – triplets. Born in the area around Lima, always wanting to come to Machu Picchu but felt like there was too much to learn. Now, living in Virginia with her daughter and teaching Zumba, she is beginning to imagine the world and life her daughter will inherit and that is a powerful spiritual motivator.
Ella is 54 on July 26. She is my roommate for this trip and she has been a wonderful connection. Career military who experienced a series of life-changing accidents, her track toward recovery led her into studying the healing arts as a response to what felt like the limitations and arrogance of Western medicine. From Ohio and living in Maryland, she came because of someone who came on a previous tour and for the synchronicity of what she’s been exploring in her and what the group is exploring.
Phillip is 47. Having married a woman from Peru (as did his brother) he began exploring Indian cosmology and learning Inkan ways. He met Ricardo while doing research and attended his monthly Native American Spirituality group. His wife is currently in Lima with her parents acclimating their daughter enough to be staying with her grandparents. His wife will leave their daughter in Lima to join us on the remainder of the tour.
Vanessa – 34 – is one of our guides. She is a native of Cuzco and leads all kinds of tours all year round – at Machu Picchu, the Incan trail, and many of the Andean archeological sites. She and Ricardo have worked together from the beginning. “Every time is nice,” she says. “When I finish these tours I feel light as a feather and with nice energy. It’s because we’ve exchanged ideas and connections. Practiced the Inkan religion. There is no more beautiful place than Mach Picchu. I Love my city. For me being in a strong connection with a place is essential.”
Evaristo – is our Shaman. Well versed in native Inca roots… His Grand fathers on both his mother and fathers side are full blooded Chechyan speakers. They have lived the Andean ways and taught them to Evaristo. He just came from Argentina where his mother was and she told them that “now that you’ve done this for 7 years you have to do this for a living.” Mother told him he’d been brought to Cusco when he was only a month old. Grandfather taught him the symbols and what they mean. The symbols are there but its hard to find the meaning. When tahe Spanish came in and conquered the Inca culture, they intentionally killed all the spiritual leaders and tried to destroy the Inca symbols. They recognized that the symbols had power and felt the Inca elders could secretly communicate in ways that were not understood. Evaristo has uncovered the meanings of symbols on manyndiffernt levels – Physical, spiritual, mental… “Symbols used to confuse me – I was trained as nutritionist by science and it felt sometimes that they were saying different things. That conflict ended when there was an earthquake when I was working in a hospital. It became clear it was time for a new path. Another thing that brought more meaning is studying electronics and also a hiking guide.” And his Andean knowledge. He started teaching Chechyan and the Andean ways. There are many books and perspectives but they don’t honor the native perspective. When he was little and his grandfather showed him a picture of the rock (with 12 points),
his grandfather told him he would know more about that rock than anyone. After some study, he came In 1978 to Cuzco in a higher consciousness. He went to the square and cried. After that experience in the plaza went with a group to Machu Picchu. Even though it was his first time he found he knew all about the place. He took guides to places He had never been but he knew they where there and what they meant. There was some wisdom and knowledge inside him but he didn’t know how. The culture is trying to study Chechyan now… He goes and does presentations on the Andean ways. He presented about the grammar and phonetics of the language.
In that conference, he had reservations and feared he would be rejected because natives where often oppressed – but it was the opposite. He was embraced. It was one of the moments where he felt sure he was being called to be a teacher. There was no way back once He started. Before he went to conference he stopped by his community of elders and they stopped him and told him it was time for him to take on the role of teacher. It is one of the reasons why he feels he is supposed to do this. He is also tai chi and Kung fu master and knows defense moves from the Inkan perspective.
I said that I would begin to explore the insight and meaning that is woven into the symbol of the twelve pointed rock… But the twelve pointed rock is all about spiritual ascension and to really make sense of how it applies to our lives, it was better for me introduce our group of Spiritual Ascenders.