A QUESTION ABOUT THE LESSONS LEARNED THROUGHOUT THE WAY: Does Natem take us into our darkness?
RUYMÁN: I wouldn’t say that Natem leads us into our darkness: I’d rather say that Natem immerses us into the Spirit’s depths, and as we reach the Spirit, we see those dark tendencies, the ones that we feed daily; we can feel their misery and their dark veil. We see them as they are, and how they grows within us. But if we didn’t do that, Natem's trance would be just the sheer radiance of the Spirit: pure light and beauty, just as Life itself.
QUESTION: Well, when Natem shows me those dark parts of myself, I start to feel nauseous. I feel like I need to flee from that darkness, I don’t want to go to that place.
RUYMÁN: H on the contrary: you have to look very curiously, with no fear. When the light comes on, when everything is clear and you can see all the misery that you feed regularly, all the misery that you let it grow inside yourself and let it rot, you really have to look at it with curiosity, and ask yourself: Let's see… What’s that? Why do I have that thing inside me? What part of my mind is so sick that it was able to feed that crap? So you start to investigate and understand, and of course you’ll feel nauseous. And what really happens is that you don’t want to see it. You don’t want that to be discovered. You don’t want it to be seen. The shadow that rots your flesh is so horrifying that you feel a total rejection for it. And many times that happens because you want to free yourself from it, but it can also happen just because you want to stop the intensity of that vision, so you don’t have to go deeper into that. But, nevertheless, you have to look! You have to look at that wision, and arrive to it, and try hard until you can really see it in front of you, and then find an explanation to it: "ah, that's why I do it ... this is what I do". And then you say to yourself: "God, why didn’t I notice it before?" And that's why so many people are afraid to look. Shamanism is not a pleasant way. It’s a true act of healing. It’s a true awakening of consciousness. When you turn on the light, in a room, you often say: "I'd better turn it off." You are before the truth: that’s why this is one of the most arduous jobs that a human being must face in his lifetime. You might get that awakening… or maybe not. Maybe you should assume that you're a coward and that you should run away.
When I was studying at the university, I knew that if I wrote down what was written in the books, I would probably pass the exam. If you study the book that’s been recommended by the teacher, you’ll read it completely and answer the test appropriately. You know that you’ll probably pass the examination. Even if many times you don’t even understand what you are reading. When I was young, as I was learning the path of shamanism, I asked myself: will I learn, one day, what my elders are teaching me? Will I reach that peace, that depth, that union with existence they have? Because I see it today and I’m not so sure about it. I want to achieve that knowledge, but I don’t know if I can! Anyway: I want to get it! But I can’t! Am I wasting my time? Will I die in the same state of mind they had? Fear, uncertainty and the question: what do I do? It’s the torture caused by the self. By encouraging myself to do it, and to look, I’ll probably feel nauseous: because I see those shadows, I see what I have inside me, I see those mistakes I’ve made. But I also feel the strength of wounded pride, and to be compelled to modify those mistakes makes me angry. Then I get defensive and react badly. It’s always the same vortex of self-destruction.
But do you know what? I’ve lived a normal life for many years. I've seen enough the way my elders, and the people around me, threw away their lives. I knew I didn’t want to end up like that. I knew that real happiness was not there. I also knew that if I closed my eyes, I couldn’t feel the peace that I saw in my teachers, because they were healthy and strong, and they knew what they taught. And they knew how to heal their disciples. And then I said to myself: I want this. So with a little bit of will, with a bit of faith - I don’t like that word very much, although sometimes it has a beautiful connotation -, I could see that everything that’d been transmitted from old to young, so many times, in Shuar Shamanism , was true. And that for some good reason this knowledge had survived hundreds or thousands of years. And I could check it personally. I could apply it to myself.
QUESTION ABOUT INTERPRETATION: There were clock hands in my visions, what meaning can that have? As I was navigating the cosmos, I saw a cosmic ship, a spaceship. I was approaching the entrance door of that ship, so I entered through the window –it was very clean-and there I started to see the clock hands, which looked large at first, and then they went smaller. They went from a greater to a lesser size.
RUYMÁN: Let's see. He was in the cosmos, with his solid identity, and he was entering a machine that was made to navigate the cosmos. Then he began to see the mechanics of that rigid machine. Through the crystal of Life he saw the clock that began to dissolve in smaller pieces, showing its mechanical nature, until he reached the engine, the very soul of that machine. As if he was going towards its essence. From something of a bit rigid start, from that ego that travels in a machine through the universe -without the total freedom of light, which shines with its brilliance towards the stars, among all that blackness of space that gives consciousness to the galaxies-, he began to dissolve that machine in its small parts. It was a decomposition process, typical of the Yaji leaves, within the strong intensity of the deep Natem. So, then it was a process of decomposition, until everything disappears, and you get to the parts of the machine.
A QUESTION ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF VISIONS: I have attended several ceremonies, and I feel that in my first ceremony I started to see a story, and that story was developed, more and more in detail, in the subsequent ceremonies. For example, in the first ceremony there was a very beautiful puma. In later ceremonies I saw that puma again, with more and more detail. Is it a story which is evolving in parts?
RUYMÁN: no, no. The ceremony is a way to let go in an eternal marriage with Arutam. It's a way to stay melted with the whole existence, without making any effort, in the dark taste of enlightening enchantments of the Ayahuasca. It is a way of knowing when we are wrong in our lives, when we are hurting ourselves. Your mind is still mechanical, linear, ordinary. A mind that enslaves time in its resistance, to conceal, painfully, the reality of its eternity. Maybe you are understanding some things, little by little. Anyway, I see a positive evolution in you. And I think you're going to continue. Better and better all the time. You have to start to make an effort, to let go a little more, and forget about the references. Look from an identity, to find more spaces of ease and light in your life. I'm sure you're going to get it.
QUESTION: I have also had other experiences to which I have been completely delivered. What can that mean?
RUYMÁN: the time will come when experience is a total relationship with existence. As long as the ordinary mind is abandoned and you lose the desire - and the faith in that desire - to keep it alive. One also gets bored, and decides to stay in the light of Life, just to shine indefinitely, like animals in the jungle.
Well, let's rest for a little while. Let's check the tobacco leaves.