by Jessie E. Ayani, Ph.D.
The Andean view of the cosmos is one of interacting light filaments. All things belong to a universal matrix of light, a cosmic grid of God-consciousness (I recommend that people take a look at Alex Grey's art in the book Sacred Mirrors to visualize this light matrix and how we fit into it). When Native elders speak of spirit moving in all things, they speak of this matrix of consciousness. It is light, energy, all that is. We are composed of our own aspect of this light grid: a dazzling array of filaments meticulously assembled to afford us a "view" of reality.
Our personal filaments are a complex set of core beliefs that serve to stabilize our world. We have adopted these core beliefs over time, but a considerable number of them were transferred to us in childhood by parents, siblings, neighbors, and media. They can be rigid and unyielding until we begin to see some potential for change. When we change core beliefs, we let go of those old filaments that no longer serve us and draw to us different filaments, new beliefs, more appropriate to who we are now.
When we do this, our reality shifts because our array of filaments reorganizes and its assemblage point is new. We move away from family-held values and begin formulating our own reality. There are myriad ways to reassemble our world at all levels of consciousness. One important exercise is naming the core beliefs and identifying their origin. When we do this, we bring them from our unconscious mind to our conscious mind, where we can develop alternatives. This is a part of good therapy, whether individual or group. In addition, the shaman will journey with you into the unconscious to make sure that the filaments are severed there as well.
Other ways in which this can happen are less mental and more energetic. We can have a sudden and complete shift of realities just by sitting on sacred ground, being with people who hold a strong vibration we yearn to share, or by shamanic journey into places of higher consciousness that hold a very high frequency. The latter is comparable to a near-death experience, where one is held in the light of God and cannot return to the reality formerly held. The energetic shift of the assemblage point generally makes it impossible to return to states of consciousness that no longer serve us. This is how the shaman helps you to elevate your consciousness.
Because our reality is defined by the assemblage of these filaments, so too are our relationships with partners, friends, colleagues, community, and Mother Earth. In the Andean concept of reality, all of these filamentous exchanges must be in right relationship. This means that we don't use our filaments to put emotional hooks in others and we don't allow them to do that to us. If these conditions exist, we use energetic exercises to return to balance. Relationships should be clear and clean, without agenda, in order to be in balance. If they are out of balance, someone is getting hurt, manipulated, or fooled. There isn't any room for these energies when you are living in the light of higher consciousness.
Take for example, a scene at the office. I work with women and like to use a common example that comes up often in discussion. A group of women at work are engaging in patterns of gossip, cattiness, and character assassination. This is almost always directed toward other women; the behavior comes from collectively held feminine beliefs that were reassembled for us in a radical way during the Inquisition. The unconscious woman engages in this behavior, not understanding that it holds all women in a powerless state.
When one of the women begins the journey toward higher consciousness, she is repulsed by this behavior and separates herself from the group. If she were tracking her energy, she would see that she had withdrawn her filaments and had gone into separation. This is necessary to reassemble her own reality, but it isn't an endpoint. She may become the subject of the groups gossip for a while, which challenges her ability to stay in balance in the face of criticism in other words, to hold her new assemblage point. Eventually, she is ready to shift her reality again to an even more powerful place.
By breaking core beliefs she developed to extract herself from the group in the first place which likely contained judgment about the group and beliefs about being superior she moves to a new level of consciousness. The woman returns to the group, ready to work with the group energy. When women in the group begin gossiping about another woman, she begins praising that woman instead. If she can do this from a place of non-judgment, it is compassion. Now her filaments are extending higher frequency into the group, for she sees the God in all things and all people. This is God-realization, enlightened living. That is a simple example of mastery, someone shifting the assemblage point to the ascended state.
There is a principle in Andean shamanism that helps us to guide the balance of energy exchange from higher consciousness. It is called Ayni (I-nee), a term best translated as "reciprocity." To have good Ayni is to be in right relationship with something or someone. It means that a steady flow of energy exists: no hooks, no agendas, just pure energy. When you go to a massage therapist, she performs a service for you and you pay her. Energy has exchanged and all is in balance. If you think she overcharged you, would you continue to go to her without challenging that? If so, you are not in Ayni. If she undercharged you, would you find something to do for her, like sending referrals? If you sent many referrals, would she decide to see you without charge every once in awhile? If so, you and she have Ayni.
To be in Ayni requires that we be on our toes, paying attention to how energy is moving in our lives. Where do we spend our money? If we are striving for higher consciousness, do we put it in unconscious places? If we want a reality of light, we must support the light. It is not a complicated concept, but it is very deep. I have found, over the years, that good Ayni is the operating principle of higher consciousness.
Think about relationships. How often do we feel the imbalance between our partner and ourselves? For women, a typical imbalance results from the core belief that we have to caretake to fulfill our role in partnership. How many men have the time and energy to balance a caretaker? Not many. Instead, they allow the caretaking, and the woman begins to feel depleted of energy, resentful and angry. You can see the imbalance that she has created through her core beliefs and her partner's complacency. There is no Ayni. There is suffering and hurt feelings instead. If we work with core beliefs around respect and independence in relationship, this reality can be changed, and Ayni can be present.
Take Ayni further, to the level of community and government. Do we have right relationship there? Are we receiving in ways equal to our giving? It has been proposed to our community that if those members who are conscious of Y2K (year 2000 computer glitch) are prepared themselves, when shortages and failures become a reality, they will be in a position to help others. This was proposed as a protection against violence. Something did not feel right to me about this, and I began to track the energy. The proposal is based upon fear, which is dense energy and, if closely scrutinized, there is no Ayni.
If we are to live in a place of balance, peace and higher consciousness, we need to begin looking at things in different ways. Try applying Ayni to the federal government for a real exercise in futility. Our deepest wound as a people right now is our lack of Ayni with Mother Earth. We are so out of balance the Native elders feel it is hopeless. I disagree. I believe we can embrace this concept and I see the Y2K dilemma as a perfect opportunity to shift our collective assemblage point accordingly. I liken it to being struck by lightning or a near-death experience: it could make shamans of all of us.
Jessie is the author of Kintui, Vision of the Incas and The Lineage of the Codes of Light. She will be appearing at the Whole Life Expo in Portland December 4-6, at New Renaissance Bookshop December 12, and begins a women's training in Portland January 9-10. Call Jane at (503) 293-0338 or Jessie at (530) 926-1496. E-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org> or <www.shastaspirit.com/heartofthesun>.