Patrick James Hennessey, Contributor
Do you believe that our individual and collective thoughts and prayers create our “reality”? In the Sierra Nevada Mountains along the Caribbean ocean in Colombia lives an indigenous tribe who believe that their thoughts, deep meditations and prayers literally hold the world together. They understand Earth as a living being and people as its children.
They also believe that the outside “developed” world, who they call “little brother”, is destroying Mother Earth and bringing on our own destruction.
The Kogi Tribes People – Guardians of the World?
Recently a friend of mine suggested I learn more about the “Kogi” tribespeople before traveling to Santa Marta, Colombia, which encroaches into what the Kogi call “the heart of the world”. Their world is a very biodiverse microcosm of the entire world. It ranges from the warm equatorial Caribbean coast to the snowcapped mountains of the Sierra Nevadas de Santa Marta. There they live largely as they have for hundreds of years before the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the 1500s. They pray and perform rituals regularly to preserve and heal not only their world but the entire planet.
In the late 1980s the Kogi, having noticed adverse changes in their natural lands, reached out to the outside world to warn the world, populated by the wayward “little brother”, that they were killing the living earth.
The Kogi warn the World.
Intrigued by the Kogi invitation, a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) filmmaker Alan Ereira was escorted into their lands to record their warning. They also expressed their desire that no other outsiders come to visit or intrude into their lands. The movie, “From the Heart of the World, the Elder Brothers’ Warning” was released in 1990. It can be viewed for free, here:
However, since the movie’s release the destruction and disruption of the natural world has continued and the resultant consequences like natural disasters and disease have only grown.
My girlfriend and I watched this documentary upon landing into Santa Marta, one of the oldest cities in South America founded by Spanish colonizers in the 1500s. From our balcony on the 14th floor of the concrete apartment tower we rented, we could see the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains where the Kogi still live after taking refuge from the murderous Spanish invaders. Under our feet and all the concrete was the shoreline and beach, once held sacred by the Kogi.
From the documentary I learned that the Kogi avoided contact with the colonized world. From their remote mountain views they watched Santa Marta grow over the centuries like a concrete tumor as it slowly encroached into their world. I was now a part of this tumor.
Years ago, when I largely believed in my modern programing of scientific materialism, I would have dismissed the Kogi as superstitious and primitive people living in isolation, full of themselves from chewing cocoa leaves all day. But these days I see it differently.
Our thoughts create our world.
The change to our natural environments, no matter what you think is causing it, is deadly serious and contributing to mass species extinction. Even science has come to understand what people like the Kogi intuited around the world years ago – that matter is largely an illusion and thoughts or consciousness create and shape the physical world out of energy.
This view can be found in cultures around the world. In the far off islands of Hawaii the first principle of the native Huna philosophy is that “the world is what you think it is” and that “energy flows where attention goes.”
In Western tradition the Bible says that in the beginning there was the “Word”. And from the Word came creation. Or as I understand it – creation comes from the conscious thought of the mind of “God”, or if you prefer – “cosmic consciousness”.
So can we, like the Kogi, shape our world with our thoughts and prayers? And whose thoughts, which sometimes compete, will prevail in the world?
When the American Indians experienced the loss of their lands, buffalo and their way of life as the whites pushed West, they performed the “Ghost Dance” ceremonies in a desperate attempt to roll back the whites and restore the buffalo.
One only need drive across the once great plains of North America and see the monotonous rows of mono-cropped fields and factory farm feedlots to see whose dream prevailed. In the old Kogi lands in “the heart of the world”, the dream of the developers, farmers and loggers have also largely prevailed.
But hopeful signs are also evident. The Colombian people and their government are becoming more respectful of the Kogi and their wisdom. The popular and beautiful Tayrona Park, along the coast near Santa Marta, was closed for a month during our stay so the Kogi could make ceremony and prayer offerings to the ocean where they had done so for centuries.
However, the Colombian government continues to support many of the most disruptive industrial developments that the Kogi have actively protested against.
“Little Brother”, as the Kogi call outsiders who have lost their connection to Earth, are coming to see the consequences of their actions and are starting to take “elder brother’s” warning more seriously. But the Kogi realize that their prayers alone can’t determine the entire fate of the world. Other people through out the world need to change their dream of what the world can be.
The Eagle and Condor Prophecy – Two Worlds Reunited
So how can “little brother” and “big brother” come together with a shared vision of a sustainable world? How can the spirit of living in harmony and connection with Mother Earth work in a world of seven billion largely urban people?
At one time all people were indigenous and living in connection with nature before they were colonized. I think of my ancient Celtic Irish ancestors who were wild and wed to the earth before being colonized by the Romans and British. Virtually all people of the world have a similar history. So how do we all rediscover and embrace this deep connection to our true selves?
Surely we can’t all go back to being hunter gathers, right? Then what is the way forward and the dream that will sustain us all in a healthy way?
Perhaps there is inspiration for this new dream in the old indigenous prophecy of the day when the “Eagle and Condor” fly together and the world is whole and harmonious. So what do the eagle and condor represent?
Traditionally the condor, whose habitat is South America, represents South America, while the “eagle” of the North represents North America. According to the prophecy the world split into two paths long ago: that of the eagle and the condor. The path of the condor is the path of heart, intuition, and the feminine. The path of the eagle is the path of the mind, the industrial, and the masculine.
It was prophesied that these two cultures would conflict beginning around five hundred years ago. As we know from history, this occurred around 1490 with the discovery of the “new American lands” and the invasion of Western culture. The culture of the eagle or mind nearly drove the culture of the condor or heart to extinction in many areas.
The prophecy predicted that 500 years later (right about now) the eagle and condor would reunite and fly together in harmony. Imagine a world in which the brilliance of the modern mind and its technology was guided by the wisdom of the heart and spirit? Imagine how high we could all soar – North, South – East and West.
Hearts Awakened and Minds Liberated
Those who’ve followed a spiritual path may know this as “the journey from the head to the heart”, which some call the longest journey in the world. Once harmonized and connected the mind and heart can create inspired beauty and poetry.
The poets Rumi and Hafiz wrote beautifully from their hearts after experiencing great heartbreak and discovering the depths of their broken open hearts. Their awakened hearts spoke deep truth that became heartfelt poetry.
Throughout this world hearts are awakening and deprogramed minds are listening.
I believe these powerful medicines are healing the rift between the “little brother”, who has lost connection with Mother Earth and his true nature, and “older brother” who has retained those connections.
For many like myself, plant medicine ceremonies have helped shed dysfunctional and destructive cultural programing. It’s helped me rediscover my true nature and connection with Mother Earth and the whole cosmos.
Plant medicine ceremonies like ayahuasca are increasingly being brought to the western world by South American shamans from the rainforest jungles in the hopes of awakening those lost in the trance of materialism.
To hear a beautiful and inspired brief video description of the eagle and condor prophecy by John Perkins (once “economic hit man” turned long time environmental activist) watch, here:
The Pachamama Alliance – Two Worlds, One Future
The reunification of the eagle and condor can also be seen in the emergence of the Pachamama Alliance in the late 1990’s. Faced with pending destruction and loss of their ancestral lands to oil exploration in their Ecuadorian rainforest, the Achuar Indians reached out to North America and the Western World to seek help in stopping the oil drilling. They also sought to encourage people of the North to see the consequence of their materialistic and consumeristic way of life and consciousness.
The Achuar people were also encouraged by their understanding of the ancient eagle condor prophecy, which predicted the reunification of the North and South in a shared heart and mind consciousness.
In 1995, a group of people, including John Perkins, and Bill and Lynne Twist, traveled to the rainforest at the invitation of Achuar leaders to learn more. They committed to a partnership with the Achuar and upon returning to the United States, Bill and Lynne Twist co-founded the San Francisco based Pachamama Alliance to carry out that commitment.
The Pachamama Alliance has grown into a worldwide movement and has supported the Achuar in gaining full title to nearly 1.8 million acres of rainforest. The Pachamama Alliance has expanded to work with other indigenous groups in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia.
Their work with Ecuador has been a profound success and the Pachamama Alliance continues to explore how to make a widespread impact to “change the dream.” In 2005, they launched their suite of transformative learning workshops with the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium.
People gather at Symposiums around the world to discover the value of ancient wisdom in addressing our modern crises and their personal role in birthing an “environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet”.
Symposiums have been held in at least 78 countries in 13 languages, with more than 4,000 volunteers hosting. Pachamama expanded the reach of the Symposium through a partnership with Gaia TV to offer DVD and online versions.
To learn more about Pachamama and participate in this global movement visit www.pachamama.org
Wake Up and Change the Dream
The alarm bells have been sounding in the “Heart of the World” and beyond. It’s time for all of us to wake up and activate. It begins with each of us waking up from our dream and illusion of endless material consumption and reconnecting to our place in nature.
Once awake, we can dream a new reality that the Pachamama Alliance describes in its mission as “creating an environmentally sustainable, socially just, spiritually fulfilling world where all beings can thrive.”
I invite you to join me in “changing the dream” by participating in an “Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream” symposium. They are hosted in locations throughout the world and online at Gaia Tv.com To learn more about the Symposium view a seven minute video, here:
About the Author
Patrick James Hennessey is an adventurer and founder of LovEvolution.