FROM SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
(click on images to enlarge)
Final Word: All You Need Is Love (Beatles, 1967)
SCOTTSDALE, July 13, 2008 - I went to Peru as an ordinary "Gringo" with an open mind and no expectations. The only thing I was hoping to achieve was to communicate directly with the mountain spirits and to receive some valuable teachings from them. I got that and much more. I returned home last night a newly-minted shaman, having received the Rites of Passage from the mountain spirits at the 16,300 ft Kolka Cruz pass. I was one of the first 35 people from the West EVER to have been bestowed with such an honor, symbolized by two "kullas" (stones) - initiated by Apu Ausangate (Apu = mountain spirit in Quechua, the Inka language). They are now a part of my shamanic "mesa" (see the right photo; click here for detailed descriptions).
For the uninitiated, think of the "mesa" as a PDA or a PC through which a shaman can contact and communicate directly with the mountain spirits - the "servers" of the Creator's "mainframe."
"You are now hardwired into the lineage of the Holy Mountains," explained Jose Luis Herrera, the leader of our expedition and an accomplished shaman himself, answering my question about what it all meant during our return journey to the base camp (at 15,500 ft) on July 9.
Nevertheless, I do feel very inadequate as a shaman, and was frankly surprised to be awarded such an honor on this trip. True, the tests leading up to the Rites of Passage were very grueling, both physically and spiritually. And I did end up first among the 35 "gringos" in most physical tests (climbing, hiking, swimming in icy water). The only person who was a little ahead of me in mountain climbing was our leader, Jose Luis.
“You are quite a mountain goat,” he complimented me when we reached the 16,300 ft-Kolka Cruz pass well ahead of the pack (see right photo). “So are you,” I replied. “It takes one to know one,” he said with a smile.
Still, I didn’t expect to become a shaman, and still don’t feel as if I really deserve to be called one. So much more to learn…
Meanwhile, my girlfriend back home, who has been keeping up with our adventures by e-mail, put a smile on my face when she fretted on Thursday night about me perhaps being a changed man like Moses, after coming down from the mountain and an encounter with the Creator, and wouldn't have time for her.
There are some similarities, of course. We all had some amazing encounters with the mountain spirits on this trip. And I have personally received some profound guidance from them. But there are some important differences, too. "If you are willing to join me on this spiritual journey, and go through the necessary personal transformation yourself," I told her, "what happened to me on this journey should only strengthen our relationship."
Why? Because the bottom line of all messages that I am taking from the mountains and mountain spirits can be summed up in five words: "All You Need Is Love" (also the title of a 1967 Beatles hit song). Unconditional "love is all you need" in order to become aligned with the forces of the universe and receive the blessings and support from the mountain spirits and the Creator.
Of course, that's easier said than done. Which is why billions of people keep on having to come back in successive lifetimes to try again and again to get rid of their karma (i.e., ego). For, that's what is necessary before they can be united with the Spirit and become angels themselves. But those who are willing to get rid of their egos and open their hearts to celestial love and guidance, have a chance for immortality and eternal bliss.
Now, that's something I have read and heard about before from other sources. So it's not exactly headline news for students of ancient mysteries. But it is one thing to learn that from third parties, fallible humans like myself who leave room for at least some doubt. It is an entirely different matter to hear that directly from the spirits - the Creator's agents in the luminous world who exist only in the fourth dimension. When they tell you that, one gets overwhelmed with powerful emotions that swell up and spill over your body like a desert wash in a summertime storm.
Apart from other celestial experiences about which I do not want to write here in the "public" section of the web site, I have found out something pretty amazing about myself. I would have never believed it possible that one can love 35 people whom you have just met, and with whom you have spent 11 very intensive days, almost 24/7, under some incredibly challenging circumstances, both physically and emotionally. Yet that’s exactly what happened. As I looked around the circle of my shamanic friends – now my new brothers and sisters – on July 8, during a Celestial Despacio ceremony, I realized I loved each and every one of them without any reservations and resentments whatsoever (see APPENDIX B, my July 12 letter to them).
When we were all congratulating, hugging and kissing each other at the top of the Kolka Cruz pass, following our July 9 “graduation” (after receiving the Rites of Passage - see left photo), ALL of my new shamanic friends also expressed their love and appreciation to me. Using different words and with varying emotional intensity, they said that I had “a huge heart” that helped carry some of them through great difficulties. “You were always there for me to pick me up (emotionally) when I was starting to fall apart,” several of them said, both male and female.
To me, the above was the most gratifying experience of the entire trip. Apu Huankaran (mountain spirit of the tallest mountain in Peruvian Andes) told us on July 4 that, "after this sacred journey you will find joy and happiness." He was right. That's exactly how I feel right now, and have felt ever since the three nights of our last week's "conversations with spirits." Physical hardships at high elevations seem to fade when your heart is filled with love and compassion.
So, "all you need is love." Try to remember that as you go on with your daily life and chores. Nor are these just some trite lyrics from an old Beatles ditty. These five words are a key to immortality. It's up to you and me to take them seriously and weave them into our everyday lives.
Or not. For, "teach (children) with love (about love), but do not force it," another mountain spirit told us on July 5. So the choice is ours. And it is a CHOICE.
P.S. And now with the preceding as my "final word" after coming down from the mountains, stand by for my usual day-by-day travelogues from where I left off before the start of our "shamanic boot camp" on June 30.
1. Beer bottle cap popped that was from the inside by the Apu Ausangate spirit on July 3; it hit Bob's hand; 2. Red coral birthstone; 3. Tourmaline birthstone; 4.-5. Two "kullas" received from mountain spirits during the July 9 Rites of Passage ceremony at the Kolka Cruz pass; 6. A quartz stone with crystals that Bob found on July 10, during a trip back to Cusco from Mt. Ausangate; 7. A stone from Mt. Pachatusan/Okuroro; 8. A stone from Mt. Waikay Willa; 9. A stone from Machu Picchu; 10: A stone from Mt. Ausangate, given to Bob by Jose Luis; 11.-14. Four stones from Camelback Mtn, picked up in April 2008; 15.-18. Four stones from Djurdjevic Mtn in Montenegro, picked up in May 2008; 19.-22. Four stones from McDowell Mtns, picked up in April 2008.