I have spent some periods of my life close to Starry Song, shaman of the Red Path native people, from whom I have learned a lot. Once, it was the Old Man himself, the oldest monk of our Order, who suggested I should go for a visit. The reason was that I was often quarreling with other monks at the monastery, or with the shop owners of the small town close by, or even with friends and family members. “When we feel he world hampers our dreams, is because something is quite wrong within ourselves”, he said to explain why I should breathe a different air.
I was received with the usual joy by the shaman, but it did not take long – a couple of days, in fact – for me to start quarreling with some members of the tribe. Of course I was unhappy with myself, I saw some situations in a blurred way; in particular, I always blamed someone for my misery. On one hand, I did not realize it; on the other, I lacked the courage to admit to myself my own difficulties that bothered me so much and caused those many small conflicts. Starry Song observed me for some days without saying a word, until one night he invited me to sit by his side in front of a camp-fire. There were just the two of us. I watched his movements while he unhurriedly filled the rock bowl of his pipe with tobacco, with the Milky Way as a work of art hanging on the wall of the Infinite. It was still early at night. I wanted to know why he always called me to talk in front of the flames. “The Great Mystery uses the power of the four elements – water, air, earth and fire – to purify and feed the planet. I feel at ease before the power of the fire that lights, warms and burns old forms”, he said with the first puff. I interrupted him to ask what he meant by ‘old forms’. “These are feelings and ideas that are no longer good to us, and, for our own good, because they are outdated, should be transmuted. Life needs room for the new, always, whether on the planet or within ourselves”, he explained. Next, he passed me the pipe, his eyes looking at mine, as the customary sign of friendship and respect. I saw the fire reflecting in his pupils while he spoke: “It is about time for us to talk about the Star Hunter”. Before I could ask him what was that all about, he explained: “Anyone who travels through the Golden Path of Illumination”.
Prompted by my great curiosity and impatience, I interrupted him again to know the meaning or reach of the word ‘illumination’, as it is used by all traditions, from the East to the West. He arched his lips in a light smile and told me: “Illumination is the ability to see beyond the mundane, of finding sense in chaos, beauty in everything and everyone despite the downs of life. It is one’s building, by oneself, the true home of peace, with the bricks of wisdom and the mortar of love”. He puffed his pipe and continued: “Peace is within your heart. You will find it in no other place”.
We puffed the pipe a few times, in absolute silence, and then he asked me, jokingly, if he could go on with the explanations or if I had other questions to ask. We left and I signaled with my head that he should continue. Starry Song closed his eyes, as if retrieving the best idea in his soul, and said: “The Star Hunter is anyone who travels the tracks of existence in search of the Light. He does not blame anyone for the mistakes he makes in the difficulties he has to overcome. He is aware of both, his purposes and his value. He knows that mistakes are challenges one must overcome to enhance one’s gifts and skills, and, more and more, to become a master in the battle to light up the shadows that dwell within. The difficulties, in turn, are hidden lessons that present themselves to enhance one’s being and leverage one’s evolution. Therefore, the Star Hunter is thankful for all persons and situations that appear, even the inconvenient ones”.
“He is aware that blaming others for his own problems is running away from the great battle he has been destined to fight; it is wasting the opportunity to learn, transform himself, share and move on; it is like being stuck in a stage of life as a prisoner in a cell without bars; it is denying freedom”.
Starry Song gave his pipe another puff, watched me for a moment, and continued: “Differently from what we may believe, when we transfer the responsibility we do not get rid of it. The person will be stuck in a cycle of life that will be endlessly repeated until one is aware of it, and brave enough to face and overcome the problems. One must learn the lesson for the cycle to end. Two cycles do not coexist; the old one must end for a new one to begin. The Great Mystery requires each one to understand the Path according to their pace; only then we will move a rim up in the Wheel of Life. When we blame another for our misery, we only show the primitive stage of our awareness, by refusing the inner transformation that life demands and, at the same time, is offering at that moment”.
Starry Song used his two-sided drum to provide the rhythm of a heartfelt native song whose lyrics say that our heart must beat in synch with the pulse of the planet, so that we are one. I closed my eyes and arched my lips, as if thanking him for that lesson. We let ourselves float for I don’t know how long a time. Later, I asked him to explain why ‘Star Hunter’. He answered with his soft and yet coarse voice: “The stars are the sources of light of the physical universe; the dwelling of love and wisdom in the spiritual sphere. Just like our ancestors hunted for survival, moving towards the Light dignifies life and nourishes the soul”.
Once again we became silent for quite some time, lost in our thoughts, until he brought me back: “I want to tell you a bit more about the Star Hunter. In order to fulfill his mission, he must pass through three portals. The first is about gifts and skills. Everyone, no exceptions made, have them. They are the tools the Universe makes available for one to understand and cross the Path. Each one has their own. The skills make one unique and grant the magic of lightness through the intrinsic difficulties of the journey. One must develop the mastery to use these tools. Furthermore, they should be used with creativity and boldness, as everything can be different, and better. The gifts and skills of each one are capable of pollinating the gardens of humankind”.
“The second is the healing portal. Life is but an endless healing process. I am referring to the wounds of the soul: the sorrows, the painful memories that sadden us and generate dangerous shadows such as anger, envy, jealousy, among other low-vibrational feelings. Therefore, the Star Hunter needs wisdom to admit having them, understand how harmful they are, and that only love, in its many manifestations, such as forgiveness, patience and compassion, has the ability of ultimate healing. In this portal he will find that the most important battles are fought where peace is hidden: in your heart”.
“The third portal is the one of exchange. We are not our discourse, we are our choices. They reveal and better us. The only stage available for us to exercise our spirituality is social relationships. There is no other. Only by dealing with all people we can learn and teach, find out who we are, start over and transform ourselves. Therefore, the best within us will blossom in the light of every star we reach. This is the magic of the Path”.
Dawn was about to come, and the first traces of light could be seen on the horizon. We had smoked all the tobacco in the pipe, and the fire was about to extinguish. Starry Song looked at me with his immense kindness, and added: “You should be thankful to everything and everyone that cross your path, even if apparently they brought you misery, as they bring the necessary transformation in the way we see and experience things. It is not the others who have to change to suit our wishes, but it is us who must transmute the old forms still ingrained in us, so that nothing or no one is capable of taking the Peace out of our hearts. Do not grant this power to anyone. The true Star Hunter has an unshakable spirit”.
Kindly translated by Carlos André Oighenstein.