Spending one week in the jungle, near Macas, within a Shuar community has given me an incredible experience to see the world in a different light (To see photos click here). My Shuar friend Herman Shakai took me the place in jungle where he was raised along with his 12 siblings. We visited his mother and fathers place and then went down the river by dugout to visit other comunities, finally ending up in community of about of around 50 people called Sant, named after the Shaman. We visited many of the homes here and in the surrounding area. We drank lots of Jungle Beer (a fermented brew of the Yucca plant). "The Shuar are the second largest and one of the most studied Amazonian groups. They have a long history of survival and defense against outsiders, and have long had a reputation as headhunters and savages. They live in the southeastern part of Ecuador between the Pastaza and Marañón Rivers, east of the present city of Cuenca along the contested border region with Peru".
In a nightime ritual in Sant, the Shaman guided us during an Ayahuasca ceremony where we drank a foul tasting combination of the liquid from two plants cooked together over an open fire.
I saw how the word "TO", as in; why is this happening to me?, implies being a victim and not responsible for ones life and the word "FOR", as in; why is this happening for me, implies gratitude and appreciation for everything that happens and being responsible for ones life.
We saw the devastation being wrought by a road being built nearby to the frontier border with Peru. In general the people were the happiest and healthiest of any group I´ve ever had the pleasure to meet. The children played together in freedom and their smiles were truly contagious. The people of the jungle don´t need so called civilization. IMHO, those of us in the so called "Modern World" need more of the simplicity in which they live their lives. These people are "Spiritual" in the best sense of the word. These people fiercely hold onto their land despite every attempt by the interests of so called "Progress and Development" to get them to sell off there land and be assimilated to more modern ways. These peole provide an anditote to a world of material affluence that has become disconnected from the world of spirit. I believe that the Shamans in the rainforest understand that the reason the rainforrest is being destroyed is this loss of connection to the spirit world. Giving our power over to something outside ourselves such as a priest or political leader. A great number of people in the west are asleep to their own power. Allowing themselves to be programmed from the outside to support the stupidity of war and violence in any form. It´s important to wake up to our own power so that we can protect the last remaining wild places of the earth so that human kind does not go the way of the dinosoaur. The Shamans stand waiting for us to ask for their help.
Listen to a youtube piece on reestablishing our connection to the world of spirit from an interview on Coast to Coast with Graham Hancock.