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Sunny Beaches

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Shamans of the Amazon jungle speak of three spiritual worlds. The lower world mimics life on earth. It is filled with natural geography and planetary animals without the hustle and bustle of modern day civilization. Shamans travel to the underworld through passages on earth that lead underground like caves, the roots of a tree or volcanoes. Traveling to the underworld is a spiritual experience and travelers often find guidance and wisdom from spirit helpers that reside in the lower world.

“I traveled to the beach on the day of ascension. All the couples cuddled happily, enjoying their vacation. I was accompanied by my dearest cousin, Carlos. He wandered away from me and slipped into an opening in the sand; soon his whole body was enveloped and he was gone. I ran after him to the spot where he disappeared but no trace of him is left.

I needed to find out if I am dreaming so I stayed all night in vigil. I knew if it was real life it would happen again. I scanned the beach to find the exact place where the ground released and allowed Carlos to travel below. My father was a fisherman and taught me how use the stars and horizon to find schools of fish. I traced a triangle between the North Star, the orange sunset and the earth. I marked the spot with a stone.

I stayed for three more days. Everyone moved by in a blur of motion, ignoring me. I stayed rooted, invisible to the world. I noticed something that no one else could in the frenzy of their motion, the sand was stirring slowly. So slow, that it was only perceptible over the course of days. The sand moved with the tide, in harmony with the pulse of the earth.

Months passed. I lost hope of ever seeing my dearest Carlos ever again. I watched other people travel through the sand from the same spot as Carlos. Without drawing notice I peered into the opening in the sand and noticed that there was no water or humidity. I was looking into another world.

I moved down below and was on a beach with people and fish, just like the world above. I knew that the owners of this world would banish me if they found me. Only people they knew could stay.

“What are you doing here?” my cousin asked me. “You can’t just come in and out of this world. The owners will expel you. Only teachers can move between both worlds. You must prove that you have a place in this realm of life.”

I wanted to stay in this world to be with Carlos so I became an honest worker. I carried water in a pale and fished…”
My grandfather motions with small tremors in his hands for water. His voice is raspy and weak. His bald head is reminiscent of a baby; he is swaddled in layers of blankets. He needs nourishment and support of others. He cannot live without his family. The circle of life has never been clearer.

Just before my grandfather falls asleep for the last time he tells me, “…I wanted to learn more about this world but I didn’t have time because my dream ended.”



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