Starry Song was seated at the entrance of his tent. He was smoking his unfailing stone-bowl pipe. It was that hour at which the day turns into night. The sun was gone, but the moon was yet to arrive. I felt tired; I had just got into town, and was quite upset because of some personal problems. For days I had been in a foul mood. “Sometimes I feel like disappearing”, I regretted my circumstances when I passed by the shaman. “Escaping from the world will not make you escape from life”, he retorted with an ironic smile. I shut up and tried to move on. I wanted to take a bath and sleep, but he asked me to sit. “Today I will teach you about the Southern Door”, he said, handing his pipe over to me, so that I smoked with him, a sign of trust and respect. He got his two-sided drum to provide the rhythm of a heartfelt native song. I closed my eyes and let myself be enraptured by that environment of peace. “In the Red Path Tradition, the Wheel of Life, or Wheel of Healing, as life is but an infinite spirit-healing process according to the precise measure of its evolution, has four gateways, represented by the magnetic directions of the planet. I generally like to start at the East, where my forbearers who have learned how to ride with the wind live. With you, however, I will begin at the South”, he said. Before I had the chance to ask why, he explained. “There is an urgent need for you to peel off the character you have created within yourself, that deludes you into believing you will be protected from everything and everyone. Where you try to deceive by pretending to be strong lies your weakness. This led you to give your actual power up. All that is not part of ourselves hampers because it is unsuitable”.
I claimed, almost hurt, that I was authentic and generous. Starry Song gave me a compassionate smile and some good words: “If you don’t find the essence within yourself, you will never put to use all the gifts and talents life gave you. If we can be whole, why be content in being half?” I lowered my head, and he kept on: “To be a good person is extremely important, but it isn’t enough. You must take a step forward so that the best within us blossoms. To do that, you must meet someone very important”. I frowned with curiosity, wondering with whom that meeting would be. “With yourself”, he explained, sedately.
Unhurried, he took the pipe, puffed it, blew the smoke to the wind, closed his eyes and moved on. “Forget the delusional self-image you have created to protect yourself from the world and be admired by all. In general, what embellishes the most hides the most. Oftentimes, the essential is not in what people show, but in what they hide. That is a pity”. He probably noticed my bewilderment and, with extreme patience, made himself clearer. “One must lose the moorings of pre-established ways of behaving. Every being is unique, and in this lies his beauty”.
I told him that I understood his words, but it would be very hard to free myself from attitudes and ideas that, because they were so old, were embedded in my soul, and led me to think and act mechanically, without realizing what I was doing. The shaman replied in a coarse voice: “No one said it was easy, only that it was necessary. To do so, you must go through the Journey of the Little Ones, through the trails of happiness, humbleness, trust, creativity, and purity”.
In the days that followed, I took part in a number of rituals with different people of the tribe, who gave me the token of their experience and the true understanding of children’s typical virtues. At the end of each stage, they sent me to talk to Starry Song.
– Happiness was about the lightness a child has in laughing about himself; of the easiness of not taking myself so seriously and not to be pointlessly concerned with situations that bear no importance. One’s ability to make fun of one’s own shortcomings and difficulties is a good exercise so that, in addition to demystifying them, helps one realize how ridiculous pride and vanity are, which, deep down, everybody uses as shields with the pretense of protection. “This peels off all the masks you have been wearing for years, and have come to accept them as real because they are so old. Find yourself and be amazed. Only then you will find the best of the world”.
– Humility reminded me of the simplicity of a child who is not yet able to do the same things an adult does, but who is capable of doing anything if he is willing to learn, always. Humility is the virtue of the eternal apprentice that must live within you. To Learn, Transform, Share and Move on. Forever and ever. Humility is in the core of your best choices, and each one writes their own history through them. “Pay attention to your choices, they can either harm or heal. With each decision you disclose what you carry in your sacred bag, your heart. When the shine lures you, thank it but refuse the invitation. Make your choices out of love, always. Humbly understand that only love hones and strengthens you, makes your choice sacred and open the gateways to wisdom and new gifts”.
– A child trusts the protection the parents provide, as we believe the Cosmic Intelligence will provide each one with the essential conditions for that moment in life. “It is impossible to be happy without trust. Even though a father or mother will not give up the task of educating a child and correcting their course, more or less strictly, depending also on the child’s stubbornness, they love their child unconditionally and will never turn their back on him, if he needs them. Similarly, the Great Mystery with its infinite wisdom and love delivers to each one the perfect instrument capable of playing in the Universe’s Great Symphony and, therefore, leverage their evolution. Accept that difficulties are masters in disguise, providing you with valuable lessons. This is understanding the Path, and not giving up on it is called Faith”.
– Do you know when a child destroys a toy and with the broken pieces builds a different one, with which he will have new possibilities for amusement? He is only letting his creativity surface, to open the possibilities of joy. To break old patterns and to reinvent life is a healthy attitude that we must practice every day. Only then we will give room for the new to emerge and amaze us with its infinite and fantastic adventures. “Creativity is nothing other than the magic connected to the creation and transformation of our lives, and, therefore, of the world. We are all Children of Creation. Thus, you have this power in the core of your soul. Use it and be amazed!”
– Just like in that well-known tale, it is a boy that reveals that the king is naked. Only with the purity of a boy, without malice and without meanness, we will be able to reach the core of being and see through the veils of the world. “The most important day of your life is the day you meet with yourself. Only when we have pure mind and heart we can see the outline of our being without the smoke of mundane illusions. We will thus be able to gauge the distance that separates the part from the whole. Then, the time has come to put into action the skills we have, that make us capable of aligning the ego with the soul, in the fullness of the whole being. You meeting your essence is what we call Healing Through the Truth”.
On the last day, a beautiful and magical closing ceremony took place, with the entire tribe in attendance. Late at night, I found Starry Song seated before the fire, the flames reflecting in his eyes. He played a nice and slow rhythm song in his two-sided drum, and he sang it in his native tongue as if seeking the poetry at the bottom of the heart. “I sing to pay tribute to those who went to the other side, and tell them that one day we will meet. It will be a beautiful party”, he said when he saw me seated next to him. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart for all the opportunities and teachings he and his people lovingly gave me. I joked by saying that the Journey of the Little Ones had made me big. The shaman gave a good laugh, made fun of my lack of humility, but loved the joke. “This is a good sign. I think you have started to learn, and I like this flippancy of yours. Enlightened spirits are committed to good mood”, he said. “Perhaps in a few centuries you will be ready”, he joked back. We laughed together. I told him I was feeling oddly light. “You set in motion one rim of the Wheel of Life, Yoskhaz. When you met with yourself, you came to understand how the Cure Through the Truth works. Now, the most important is to never forget to exercise it, forever, in yourself”.
We kept silent for I don’t know how long, until dawn.
Kindly translated by Carlos André Oighenstein.