Toltecs of the New Millennium (Anglais) Broché – 31 juillet 1996
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Although the second book by Victor, following on from The Teachings of Don Carlos, it gives background and spirit to where Victor experienced and learned what he teaches, and therefore this provides an ideal starting place where you can get a sense of the mood and ethos behind the techniques and tools of the first book.
While the largest portion of the book is Victor's personal story of journeying to Humun' Kulluaby and the ascent of and ritual on La' Unarre, there are many insights and a couple of related conversations and stories regarding various things including the views of the Wirrarika on missionaries who have tried to "convert" and "save" them, through to some views "anti-anthropology" and explanations of what indigenous cultures, such as the Wirrarika, actually believe regarding multiple Gods and the Great Spirit.
The comments Victor makes about Western culture "putting ourselves at the center of everything" and viewing the "worship of nature" as primitive are I feel important concepts to reflect on (for those of us with a Western heritage) as it is indeed arrogance of this kind which I believe is a limiting factor for us in our own personal evolution.
A fragment of a conversation between Victor and a Wirrarika marakame relating a conversation he had with a pastor who insisted that the tales of Christ and the bible 'made sense' compared with the very organic beliefs of the Indians, to me sums up their wisdom. "But nobody tells me about Tatei Urianaka (the Earth), I see her every day! And every day I receive her fruits, corn, water, and beans. I can touch, walk, and live on her! And Tau (the Sun). Daily I receive his heat and his nierika (light, knowledge, vision, teaching). I don't have to do anything but look up and there he is." This, to me, is the beauty of a system which embraces the natural world (rather than 'separating' it). Learning is direct and experiential, through observation and interaction.
Overall this is a powerful and moving tale of a magical journey. Reading of Victor Sanchez's experiences provides inspiration for anyone who truly wants to discover and follow their own magical path.
Saying that, I have no doubt that for centuries, the persistent and nearly catastrophic persecution of indigenous cultures and peoples by the established church in the name of civilizing them has resulted in almost total suppression of ancient knowledge that is our birthright as a people living on this planet. We have lost that which is most precious - our own true selves and our relationship to the living planet that keeps us and our greater relationship to the whole of existence.. Let's please don't forget that even whites have suffered under the established control seized by churches along with governments.
Also don't forget that before the church took over, that shamanism was practiced throughout Europe until it was made illegal and inaccessible to most people through threat of death. The Inquisition was just one nasty part of the whole centuries long effort to wipe out competing ancient knowledge that would keep the power over their own lives in the hands of the people instead of handing the reigns to a governing entity of a religion and/or a royal hierarchy. It is still practiced in more remote regions such as the Soyots of Tuva in Siberia, and the Sami or "Lapp" people of northern Scandinavia.
If you want a more expansive and inclusive read for Shamanism and practicing it, I suggest Michael Harner's Cave and Cosmos.
Having said that, this is an exciting experience in learning about these particular Indians that Mr. Sanchez studied and lived with and most especially his own experiences, and will only enrich your life in reading it.