Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Journey through the 11:11 Doorway (Part Five)

Aranwa spa resort in Huayllabamba, Sacred Valley of the Incas (Svetlana Zubareva)
My private lounge which, alas, nobody visited as they all had their own cozy nooks

Ornate icon in the lounge
The Aranwa Spa Resort turned out to be just the right setting for the group to settle into becoming the One Being. Magnificently landscaped and furnished in grand hacienda style with beautiful iconic art in every room, the sprawling grounds were enlivened by a resident menagerie consisting of peacocks, brilliantly colored macaws, and a family of alpacas (goat-like woolly camelids related to llamas). 

However, the super-luxurious trappings were marred by some very basic design flaws. A couple of days before the ceremony, it rained so heavily part of the conference room was flooded. Sebastian the heroic and indefatigable coordinator spent 45 minutes sweeping water back into the drains and managed to save Omashar’s sound system from possible damage. The carpet smelt of wet dog for several days afterwards. 

Lushly landscaped grounds (Svetlana Zubareva)

Other quirky details made our sojourn even more unforgettable: for instance, somebody had forgotten to incline the shower floor in my bathroom so that water could drain quickly. As a result I was forced to use the long bath with its built-in jacuzzi (good fun, but I still prefer the natural ones around my home). And Solara twice reported that she found a worm in her room. Although every room supposedly had wi-fi, the connection was so feeble and unstable it cured me, at least temporarily, of my low opinion of Streamyx.

Our master chefs at Aranwa
But what touched us all deeply was the incredible hotel staff who were friendly and cheerful all the time – and visibly delighted to serve such an unusual bunch of guests. We got to know many of them by name and held a poignant thank-you ceremony with all the kitchen and restaurant staff where Solara presented them with a generous tip collected from all the participants. I have never in my life encountered such heart-centered hotel staff – except possibly in Bali - and the Peruvian people have much in common with the Balinese, especially when it comes to expertise in agricultural terracing - and also the Nepalese in their practical approach to spirituality.

Road to Urubamba, adobe house, the Andes
Schoolkids at Machu Picchu: the girl on the left smiled at me all the way on the bus

A Quecha bambina
I only spent a few hours in a budget hotel in Lima, but that’s a city of 10 million with all the problems monster cities face. It was smoggy and cold and not particularly enchanting. I was glad to see the blue sky and feel the intense sun on arrival in Cusco, gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

The Urubamba Valley is mostly scenic, with endless acres of potato and corn fields, and colorfully dressed native Quechas going about their business. The houses are mostly made of adobe which lends them an entirely earthy aura. There are many local tribes that did not assimilate genetically with the Spaniards – their features echo the Nepalese and the Maya. You can tell from the luminous eyes of the children that these highland tribes are still very much connected to their souls.

Many of them remain farmers but some are from artisan families with highly developed jewellery making skills. Peruvian food has subtle flavors and is quite easy to adapt to – especially the variety of excellent breads made from assorted grains. As we spent most of the 10-day session comfortably embedded in our splendid resort, there wasn’t much opportunity to play tourist – except for those who extended their stay and continued exploring before or after the ceremony. I was content to wander around the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo and check out a few cafes. I did make an attempt at scaling Pinkuylluna, the nearest peak to my guesthouse - but after 20 minutes I decided to just stop and admire the view. The thin air (and my thinning hair) made climbing extremely strenuous - and I wished I had visited Peru 10 years earlier. Anyhow it was delightful to keep bumping into others from the 11th Gate who were still around. It felt like a neverending family reunion.

Ollantaytambo plaza at dawn
Morning mist over Ollantaytambo

Aguas Caliente is a tourist trap where the trainline stops
and you walk or take a bus to Machu Picchu
I hadn’t made any plans to visit Machu Picchu but when I learnt that Ollantaytambo was only a couple of hours away by train and bus, I decided to go – even if the excursion cost a lot more than I expected ($115 for the train, $17 for the bus, plus $43 for the entrance fee).

Machu Picchu is a major revenue earner for Peru and they even set a daily limit on the number of tourists. It was a little disconcerting to see the long lines of day-trippers waiting to go in, many gabbing away loudly the whole time, totally insensitive to the awesome sight of the towering mountains and the inscrutable gaze of the Apus (mountain spirits). Why would anyone spend so much money visiting this spectacular site, only to photograph each other with handphones and then brag about having been there? 

Vertiginous terraces of Machu Picchu; the Urubamba River flows below
First glimpse of the Inca ruins as you enter Machu Picchu
Restoration is ongoing, just as at Angkor Wat, another UNESCO World Heritage site
I couldn't take my eyes off the monumental peaks. The Apus are still around!

It is simply a jaw-dropping sight, despite the thousands of noisy tourists crawling around. I managed to find a few quiet nooks where, at least for 15 minutes at a time, I could imagine life in this fortress temple complex as it used to be, and commune with the Apus. There were many discreet niches everywhere, ideal meditation spots – which suggested that the beings who inhabited this place were lofty minded and cognizant of both terrestrial and celestial forces.

View of Machu Picchu in 1911 (Hiram Bingham)

Trapezoidal windows and inwardly inclined
walls designed to withstand tremors
I was surprised to learn that Machu Picchu remained a lost city until 1911 when Hiram Bingham, who lectured in history at Yale University, announced his astounding discovery (he was led to the spot by an 11-year-old Quecha boy named Pablito Alvarez). A hundred years later, Machu Picchu has seen extensive restoration as a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are uniformed guards everywhere who will stop you from being too curious about roped-off areas, which spoils the mystery somewhat. 

My intuition informs me that there is a great deal as yet undiscovered about the Incas – who they were and where they originated. Near a cave glittering with tiny quartz crystals I spotted the entrance of a hobbit-sized tunnel. Friends mentioned the possible existence of crystal cities deep within these rugged peaks and I kept visualizing 20-foot tall humanoids peering out the trapezoidal windows which normal-sized humans would have to climb ladders to reach.

Ponchos and chullos are perfect for the Andean climate
The sight of me in my rainbow poncho and chullo (Peruvian wool hat) triggered a great deal of excitement, especially among the Japanese tour groups. They must have assumed I was part of the exhibit, since I appeared to be the only visitor not dressed like a tourist but like a Peruvian shaman. 

I greatly look forward to the day fresh discoveries are announced that may reveal the deep secrets of the Andes: how these mountains were formed and who built these monumental ruins that have survived serious earthquakes and Conquistadors.

Bronze statue of Pachacutec in Aguas Caliente 

Machu Picchu, according to mainstream historians, was built in the 1400s by the great Incas, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui and Tupac Inca Yupanqui. The cyclopean rock structures, I strongly suspect, date back much farther in time. It’s entirely possible that the 15th century Incas merely restored and extended the original structures, less than a century before the Spanish conquest.

12-angled stone in Sacsayhuaman (Håkan Svensson)
The problem with academic historians is that they are vigorously discouraged from arriving at conclusions that don’t fit in with the orthodox view of linear evolution, even when the evidence is rock solid in every Inca ruin

In Machu Picchu massive boulders weighing up to 50 tons fit neatly and asymmetrically together without the use of mortar to seal the joints, which are generally so precise you couldn’t slip in a human hair, much less a razor blade. I read that the Inca walls in Sacsayhuaman, outside Cusco, feature gigantic stones, some weighing over 125 tons. I seriously doubt any contemporary engineering methods exist that can come close to constructing such colossal structures, designed to blend with the terrain and withstand major earthquakes.

One of the awe-inspiring terraced depressions in Moray

The entire Master Cylinder went on an excursion to Moray, a mysterious archaeological site (described by academics as an agricultural research station) located 11,500 feet above sea level, about 40 minutes by bus from Huayllabamba. Several terraced depressions, the largest nearly 100 feet deep, spread over hundreds of acres, present an awesome spectacle. 

Echoes of far-off memories in Moray
(Thilo Vasanael Vierhuff)
The air is exceptionally thin up here and I found breathing difficult – almost as if I were suddenly transported to a different planet. Solara had gone through a good deal of red-tape a year earlier when she conducted a Silent Watcher ceremony at Moray with a small group. When she made arrangements for more than 120 of us to visit Moray, the officials worriedly asked if she was doing another ceremony – because if she was, they would have to obtain special clearance from headquarters – so she assured them we were just visiting as tourists. 

When we got there, it just so happened that we thought it would be amusing to spread ourselves around the amphitheater-like terraced depression with people on every level. Having been briefed about our non-ceremony at Moray, nobody was to perform any mudras - but if we felt like it we could do a bit of synchronized stretching. 

As it turned out, our non-ceremony at Moray was supercharged – everybody seemed totally focused and energized as we performed our synchronized “stretching” exercises. It would have been a magnificent sight to record on video, but every one of us was involved in the non-ceremony so the only videos that might exist would have been shot by a handful of other tourists who happened to stumble upon our spectacular non-ceremony. 

A segment of our lovable One Being at Moray (Virginia Ball)

My first impression of the huge terraced pits was that this area was where an enormous spaceship landed - the circular depressions indicating where its landing gear impacted the earth. Perhaps many centuries later, the Incas had the bright idea to smooth out the terraces for agricultural experiments.

Rainbow seen from the Aranwa resort (Emanáku Ku)

In Peru it’s impossible not to have UFOs on your mind. The Andean peaks visible in almost every direction and the elevation make you acutely aware of the firmament. I did keep an eye on the night skies while we were preparing for the Activation – but nothing unusual happened, apart from a vivid rainbow appearing over the Sacred Valley one evening; and then around the midday Sun for two consecutive days, interspersed with a brilliant halo around the Moon on the night of the Activation ceremony.

The Eye of AN formed by the midday Sun
There were countless poignant moments throughout the 25-hour ceremony but the moment that remains indelibly imprinted in my soul occurred just as we completed the final Starry Processional dance. Many of us felt torn between joy and sorrow. Joyful, knowing we had kept our promise and performed a very special service to our beloved planet the full significance of which will not be understood for perhaps another couple of generations. 

25 hours of starry dances and 11:11 mudras, witnessed by the Apus

Sorrowful, because the beautiful 11:11 family we had bonded with for more than a week would soon disperse, and there was every possibility we might never again see the others – at least not on this planet or in our human bodies. 

Anyway, on the second day of the ceremony, a few village kids had wandered into the Activation site and were observed trying to imitate our mudras. A couple of them even stood in as Guardians for a while, just for fun. Among them was a girl of perhaps 10 or 11 and I found out her name was Libertado – which means “liberated” in English. Omashar performed a haunting song to close the ceremony and as he played the final chord we were surprised to hear the voice of Libertado wafting a capella over the speakers – a pure angelic voice singing praises to Pachamama in Spanish – and I bet there wasn’t a single dry eye among us. It was unmistakably the Voice of the New Aeon.

After that we collected our stuff and made our way to where mini-buses were waiting to take us back to the hotel. Halfway along the path I paused to light a cigarette and decided to take another look at the beautiful sight of the radiant Sun in the West and a luminous crescent Moon in the East. 

In Peru, the symbol of the Sun and Moon uniting as one is the equivalent of the Chinese Yang and Yin. And that, according to Solara, is what the frequency of AN represents – the reunification of all polarities – the male and female merged in dynamic balance. 

As I gazed at the Moon, a brilliant moving light suddenly appeared right next to her in the afternoon sky. Could it be a plane? Just as I asked the question, the light paused, then reversed direction, before doing an elegant jig and vanishing behind the nearest cloud. Only three people in my immediate vicinity spotted this mysterious light. It was the perfect vision to take away from the ceremony. I felt a powerful surge of optimism and reassurance.

On the previous day Solara had spotted a condor flying over the Activation site. Apparently, condors have rarely been seen in the area for years, even decades. She was greatly cheered because the condor represents the Spirit of the Andes, just as the eagle represents the Spirit of the Rockies in North America. I missed seeing the condor but felt amply rewarded spotting the Light Ship. It was an unmistakable sighting – I’ve had quite a few over the years – and these glimpses of other dimensions interpenetrating with our own are immensely fortifying.  

Most certainly part of what Solara calls the Ultra Greater Reality.

Photos by Antares except where otherwise credited