I had had a medical check-up, as I was used to do, and the result of one of the exams had not been good. It was a silent disease, asymptomatic, that when you realise there was nothing you could do. Life wanted me to know in time to intervene. I consulted two specialists and their opinions coincided. Clinical treatment or surgery. In both cases there were unpleasant aspects to consider. Medicines would not be able to cure me; the disease would only be administered, but I would not succumb to it, although it would affect my health and generate physical limitations as the years went by. Furthermore, I would have to take strong medication indefinitely and live with very unpleasant side effects; this would become part of my routine for a long time. The surgery involved a huge risk of death due to several details and difficulties. Very few cases had been successful, with most patients dying. However, if it was successful, I would be definitely cured. It was up to me to choose.
It was a difficult moment. There are times when facts seem to conspire against the tranquillity of our days. As if everything and everyone were rising up as obstacles to extinguish the inner light that animates us and gives clarity to our gaze. It is indispensable to fight with ourselves so that the darkness that settles in the heart doesn’t cloud the mind. The reach of our gaze is established by the steps that the consciousness has climbed and the degree of virtues we attained. Wisdom and love in infinite symbiosis; the lack of one hinders the application of the other. The portals of the Way, the eternal road of evolution towards the light, are guarded by loyal guardians who impede the advance of the walkers who are still not ready. They do not do so out of malice, but out of care. What are the consequences of allowing an illiterate person to attend a university? Or to give someone a permit to exercise an activity for which they are not yet qualified? Discouragement and hopelessness in the first hypothesis; disasters and damages in the next. Therefore, when the guardians deny passage to someone, they do so out of wisdom and love. Be ready and they will open the door. The countless existential cycles that make up life are no different. Each cycle has one or more lessons. To close a cycle and begin another it is necessary to be ready, and it is up to the walker, in order to proceed, to show that he has learned the lessons. Each step becomes a right resulting from an achievement, of which we are tested to demonstrate the acquired capacity.
I remember myself about these basic topics every time I find myself facing an existential difficulty, since I should never forget about them. “Every problem presents a master to teach me something I do not yet know, or a gatekeeper to allow me to show some ability I believe I possess. So, will I move forward or not,” I muttered to myself. Alone in the car, I drove up the mountainside towards a small town located on the border of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. I listened to native songs that I had brought in Sedona the last time I visited Starry Song, the shaman who had the gift of perpetuating the ancestral philosophy of his people. The songs serenaded the heart; the calmness ordered the mind. Stillness is fundamental to the luminous flow of ideas.
I had talked about the health dilemma with my girlfriend, daughters and very close friends, whom I call brothers from the stars due to the cosmic harmony they have with me. The advice differed among them all. Everyone was being honest, but each had an outlook. I understood that the differences of opinion at that moment were as if life was having an enormous patience with me and returning to me the responsibility of such an angular and decisive choice. Unconsciously, in a first impulse, I had shied away from commitment in an attempt to transfer to others a decision that was vital and final for me. However, the opinions were divided. It was as if the gatekeepers had given me back the power to decide and said: “Only those who walk with their own feet really walk”. They were showing their infinite love and immeasurable wisdom once again.
It is fundamental that we know how to dispel the clouds and prevent them from becoming an internal storm. However, there is no way to act on external factors, since they are independent of our will. But if the rain comes, may I not be afraid to get wet and know how to dance with it at the great dance of life. I have no way of preventing the arrival of difficult times, however, keeping the light on at the altar of my sacred temple is a personal choice, a power that I learn to use and that will be tested, to different degrees, almost every day. I thought about this as I parked the car in front of the hotel where I would be staying.
The power to stay in control of our own life comes with improving our gaze. Yes, always the gaze. We must definitely understand its importance and strength. Heaven and hell are near or far, in direct proportion to the clarity of my gaze. The mind needs to be serene, nourished by a tranquil heart, not allowing the confusions and contradictions of the world, the influences of shadows and the unusualness of existence to cloud the sight. Everything that happens in my life is for my own good, says one of the beautiful stories of Kabbalah. It is only necessary to have a refined perception to find the love and wisdom hidden behind each moment we live.
This is the individual power in the occurrence of strong storms or on sunny mornings in the gardens of our being. On those days, heavy clouds were looming on the horizon. There was no way to stop the storm, but I had a way not to drown in it. It was a choice not to allow the darkness of events to extinguish my light. I was consecrated to it; but maintaining the validity of this commitment is necessary every day. At some times it is far more difficult than at others.
We must learn how to deal with reality, without subterfuge, shortcuts or lies. What is reality? That was the question I asked myself when I left my backpack in my room and went out for a walk on the mountain. I needed to distance myself from the world to be able to get closer to myself. Just like everyone else, I had the answer I so desperately needed, but I wasn’t being able to hear it.
It was a very nice village. The local residents worked on small grain and vegetable farms or made their own cheese and honey. There were a few bars and restaurants. A good flow of tourists frequented the village at weekends. Some handicraft shops were owned by people who moved there because they could not adapt to the routine of the big cities.
In one of the shops it was possible to do an astrological map and consult the tarot. I was tempted to look for an easy answer, when I noticed on the door a sign saying that the person in charge was travelling and would only return in a few days. I laughed at myself. Not that I disdain the stars or the cards, on the contrary, I recognize the value and have respect in relation to the infinite mysteries that I do not know. I smiled because I realized that, once again, the Universe was giving me back the responsibility for my destiny. It was as if it were repeating: “Man, decide for yourself. Remember, it is your life; the consequences will also be yours. Seize the opportunity”.
I was hungry. I went into a bar, sat down at a table outside to enjoy the quiet movement of the place and ordered a sandwich with a big mug of coffee. As it was a Tuesday, there were no tourists. Hardly anyone on the streets or in the little square across from me. My thoughts wandered away, pondering the various aspects that weighed on the decision I would make, when a man approached me, sat down at the next table and begin a conversation. For some reason that at that moment I could not identify, his presence bothered me. I believed it was because he interrupted my much-needed reflections. At first, he talked about prosaic subjects, such as the peaceful life of the place and the beauty of the mountains. With kindness, I answered his remarks succinctly, trying not to prolong any subject. Until he commented that the people who came to the village during the week were different from the tourists who came only to walk around and rest. Just like me, they came in search of answers about their own lives. Surprise at this statement made me remain silent. The man said he could help me. Without waiting for any manifestation from me, he took from his pocket a pair of dice, placed them on the table and said: “Allow the Universe to help you. Trust and entrust your destiny to it. Ask an objective question. If the sum of the dice is odd, the answer is yes; if the result is even, the answer is no.” With the manner of someone who exudes confidence, he gave an enigmatic smile and left.
I finished my sandwich and ordered another mug of coffee. Without touching them, I looked at the dices left on the table, at the same time wondering: who was that man? Was that the answer I so desperately sought? Had the Universe sent me a messenger?
I stayed there for a time that I cannot specify. Until I decided to pay the bill and walk along a trail that would take me to a beautiful and quiet waterfall. Before leaving, I took the dices and put them in the pocket of my shorts. I walked for over an hour. The place was a sanctuary. A long and beautiful waterfall formed a beautiful lake before turning again into a stream, as if it were the altar of an unusual church. Although icy cold, the water was crystal clear and, all around, huge trees and colourful flowers adorned this wonderful cathedral. The singing of birds composed the melody of the ceremony. There was no one else, just me and the unspeakable telluric vibrations. I put my watch, wallet and dice in a corner. I took off my boots and deliciously sank my feet in the soft sand near the shallow part of the bank, with the water at ankle height. I leaned back against a rock and allowed myself to become part of that sacred place. I allowed every intermolecular void to be filled by the present energies. At first, I just let myself be integrated and blessed.
Gradually the thoughts were being built up again by the conscious. I was directing them to where I wanted to go, when the idea came to me, stronger and stronger, to throw the dices. I have never had any doubt that the Universe sends us signals all the time, an incessant and guiding dialogue. To make the exact reading is part of the art of gaze.
Yes, it would be the perfect place and time for the definitive answer that I so much sought. The connection with the Universe vibrated in me, I thought. Decided, I turned to pick up the dice and got scared. A spider, streaked in black and coral colours, was over them. On instinct, I retracted my hand. Without delay, the spider was gone and disappeared among the stones, as if it just wanted to make itself noticed. I smiled at the charm of the situation, picked up the dices, closed my eyes and asked the question that had been haunting me for days. Odd would be yes, if the result was even the answer was no. I opened my eyes to cast them on the sand at my feet and came across the same spider, now on a rock on the other side of where I first saw it. With similar reaction, the spider seemed to watch me for a split second and dodged before my eyes, disappearing among the rocks. That’s when I had the sensation of hearing in the distance the two-sided drum roll of Starry Song. Effects of my imagination, I said to myself, though the sound was clear to me. I knew that song; it was the chords of Land Of Promise. I closed my eyes, avoided rationalising and let the music envelop me. Then the shaman’s voice whispered inside my mind, “The spider is the weaver of reality.”
Faced with my astonishment, he spoke again: “Everyone is involved in the Great Mystery; everything is summed up in wisdom and love. The Creator is not a fairground magician having fun playing dices with creatures.”
The words spoken by Starry Song were so clear that I even turned my head sideways in the vain hope of finding him. There was no one there, of course. I heard nothing else either. I understood that from then on it was me with myself. This is the infinite journey.
I put the dice back on the stones. The first sensation was of shame for the childishness of trying to escape the responsibility of exercising one of the most incredible powers we have: to decide our own destiny in the face of the imponderable that presents itself. Although I had learned that there are no shortcuts on the Way, I was about to resort to naive methods to escape the effort of seeking the answers and making the choices indispensable to my evolution. Life sends signals, guides, teaches, educates, corrects, but never offers the answer. If it did so there would be no growth. Each answer is like an equation that needs clear reasoning, firm will and good feelings for its correct result.
I closed my eyes and remembered the afternoons in Sedona, on the veranda of Starry Song’s house, learning about Animal Medicine, the characteristics of the most different species that serve as tools in the construction of personal destinies. They are also ordering energies of the universe. The shaman once said: “Reality is like a web. Each person weaves his own”.
The words of the shaman resounded in my memory: “Weaving one’s own life, this is the healing that the spider teaches us. The length, resilience and texture of the threads define the ability to weave the web. Short and fragile threads, though coarse, provide one kind of web; long and resilient threads, though delicate, provide another. Levels of love and wisdom establish the quality of the yarn and the weave of the web.”
“Each insect caught in the web is the metaphor of the transformation indispensable to evolution” were the last words I remembered. My attention was riveted to the fact that the drum melody had ceased. No sound. The cool breeze did not shake the leaves of the trees; perched on the branches, the birds ended their songs and flights. From one instant to the next, only absolute silence. I closed my eyes again. Silence is the road on which soul’s love and wisdom travel. Silence has many voices.
The first that arrive are the voices of the shadows, telling us of our fears, of our unmentionable mistakes, of our unforgivable grievances. This is why many people do not like quietness and solitude; this is why so many others need sleeping pills as a method of escaping from these tormenting voices because nobody has taught us how to deal with them. By instinct, we banish them from our minds; by rebellion and need for healing, they return. Then, not knowing what to do, we create ways to numb the mind and heart; we numb ideas and feelings. Increasingly, we are a generation of automatons between routine for survival and moments of ephemeral euphoria.
However, those voices which are so fast, insistent and frightening, although on the surface and unpleasant, have enormous importance. Don’t chase them away, on the contrary, welcome them with affection. They are part of who we are, they tell our story, mistakes, show the need to overcome things, the wounds that need treatment, what bothers us and has not yet been healed. They show us who we are; they also indicate who we no longer want to be. Painful at a first moment, but wonderful the next, because they signal the road to evolution. Yes, we will have to walk each of these paths. Do not panic or be frightened. The steps need to be slow so that they can be safe. We are not prepared to deal with many of these issues. That’s the way it is. Take care of those that you feel you are ready to face. At first, only these. Gradually prepare yourself for the others and rejoice with each achievement and healing. Be kind to yourself, because we are all apprentices in a long practical process of mistakes and successes. However, let this not serve as irresponsibility for the same mistakes or a too prolonged postponement. In these cases, the suffering will become worse. It is not a question of punishment or something similar as many believe because they live under the axis of fear and guilt, but of the consciousness itself agonizing over repeated failed escapes and poisoning by high doses of stagnation.
Serenading these surface voices does not mean having all the difficulties solved or the wounds healed; it represents that they are harmonised and balanced because they are no longer ignored or repressed. They know that they will be dealt with in due course. Thus, they allow me to return to silence, the path that will take me to a deeper layer of myself. Only then will I be able to hear my soul; in it, all the love and wisdom of the Universe in the form of a seed. Then, the possibility of new threads, webs, plots and, consequently, another reality.
I quietened my mind and heart and let the silence envelop me. Like an ethereal ocean, silence presents itself, expands and welcomes us. Then it invites you to navigate in its infinite and immeasurable emptiness. Unlike the existential abysses arising from the estrangement from one’s own essence and essentials, such as personal gifts and dreams, silence brings us the emptiness of creation. As an indispensable instrument for the art of life, it hands us a blank sheet of paper and says: “You can write a new story from now on. All you have to do is believe in your simplest truth, in your purest beauty and in the infinite power of life. All you have to do is believe in yourself.”
Like a gentle current, silence leads us to the deepest layers of our being, in the core of who I am, hidden by endless existential walls. There will be the truth (which translates into the limit of my consciousness) presented without the bonds of existence and suffering, in all its purity and simplicity. This allows me to broaden reality (the frontiers of the world from the point of view of the observer). Then everything is modified and new places are glimpsed. The creature creates its own creation. The spider weaves its web. Various plots, different realities.
However, we cannot reach the soul without navigating the seas of silence.
I don’t know exactly how long I remained sat by the lake. When I returned to the surface, the sky was enveloped by a blanket of stars. The doubt had disappeared; the answer was as clear as the waters lapping at my feet. There was in me the distinct feeling that I had always known what the best choice was, but something, also in me, had prevented me from taking possession of it. Silence made me break through that wall so that I could meet my truth.
Illuminated by the moon, I put on my boots, picked up my wallet and my watch. As for the dices, I buried them in the sand; I wouldn’t need them. “Not all messengers are of the Light,” I muttered. That’s when I noticed the same spider on the stones; it seemed to be watching me. I bowed sincerely in gratitude for its valuable lesson. I thanked the silence and all the light vibrations present for helping me to go where I needed to go. I smiled with joy and returned to the inn enveloped by an indescribable lightness. There was no doubt or fear in me.
The next day I returned home. I knew exactly what to do. The spider was beginning to weave a new web.
Translated by Cazmilian Zórdic.