by Roman Hanis | Repost from paititi-institute.org
With a rekindled interest in earth-based spirituality and indigenous healing practices, something forgotten since the dark ages is resurfacing into humanity’s collective consciousness. It’s fascinating how some of the most “rational” people I’ve met are among the most superstitious, showing that society’s prevalent religion (empirical modern science) isn’t without its limitations. Despite considerable technological progress, the human psyche remains a mystery and many of life’s experiences are unexplainable by linear logic and reason alone.
These days, I increasingly meet well-educated westerners seeking guidance on fear surrounding paradoxical experiences. Emotional intelligence entails the skillful navigation between thoughts, feelings and states of mind within all life situations and is typically the underrated missing link.
In the Peruvian Amazon’s indigenous culture, where I’ve lived alongside the native population since 2001, witchcraft remains prevalent. Even Peru’s national soccer team employs its own brujo/sorcerer to protect against black magic and bring good fortune.
The spectrum between logic and superstition
Healing and apprenticing with Amazonian individuals known to possess extrasensory abilities to both cure and harm perplexed me initially. The indigenous rites of passage entailed journeying through obscure labyrinths of mystical forces and externalized phantasmagorical entities, all based on a primordial archetypal language encoded with emotional intelligence. While some indigenous people still understand this language inherited genetically and intuitively from the ancestors, the western mentality has become further disconnected from it. The lack of daily mystery and ordinary miracles in the modern world seems responsible for this resurgence of interest in what was long considered a ‘primitive belief system’. It’s understandable, too. Everyday life is pretty boring when everything’s already figured out, all the paths well-trodden and predetermined…
Yet it’s common for people to go from one extreme to another. The rational mind gets altogether abandoned in favor of a mystical, superstitious outlook that’s dangerously unbalanced. The absence of intuitive relatedness to the spirit realm from early childhood plus a lack of inter-generational guidance is a recipe for a nervous breakdown. While generic imitation is modern society’s forté, ancient mystery initiation schools necessitate a very different approach.
In my personal journey, the cultivation of individual awareness has been instrumental in bridging this worldview with my life and upbringing. After all, what purpose does the mystery serve if it just perpetuates a fear-based mentality and a disempowered, purposeless victimhood?
Black magic: Not just a self-fulfilling prophecy
Interestingly enough, in the Amazonian witchcraft tradition the consensus is that people who don’t believe in black magic are especially easy to influence. Examples include those who either completely deny or perhaps approach religion and spiritual practices in general as a new age fashion or a superficial bypass.
My introduction into Emotional Intelligence was an essential rite of passage during the third year apprenticeship in Amazonian healing arts, when I had to directly encounter several black magicians. Facing people who had both the desire and the means to harm me meant I had to face hidden faults and personal shortcomings. I had to become realistic about my practically non-existent-at-that-time degree of self mastery. Beyond hypothetical or intellectual conclusions, this life-or-death encounter unraveled practical insights that deeply affected how I perceive inner reality and the journey of realization.
It started when some of the “healers” I met displayed blatant moral distortion. I simply had to intervene when witnessing attempts to sexually manipulate women during ceremonies that are supposed to be sacred, or people desperate for healing being taken advantage of. Unfortunately, many westerners hold the view that if a healer is native or indigenous, it automatically means they’re pure and wise. Sadly, this isn’t the case, since these descendants of ancient lineages are just as susceptible to the corruption of superficial materialism as everyone else.
Such confrontations often resulted in the exposed individual rejected by their native community and harboring a grudge towards me. During this phase of apprenticeship, three of the strongest and most vindictive individuals I’d confronted got together and began conjuring to harm me.
On the receiving end of black magic
Over a short period of time, it felt like a dark cloud descended over me and I’d undergone a barrage of accidents, diseases and misfortunes culminating in a continuous haze of anxious confusion. I learned of their plan to kill, or at least seriously harm me, from local friends.
My then-mentors explained this was the final exam and, since I’d manifested the situation, I had to face it alone. I reasoned that it was three powerful black magicians banding together against just one poor me, to which my teachers replied that it usually takes seven strong black magicians to kill one good healer. Since I was just beginning my path, they told me that three was a challenge I had a chance of surviving…
My initial reaction to the aggressive psychic attack was a primal fear of being caged by an incomprehensible situation. Cultivating presence in solitary retreat, the truth dawned on me. Rather than focusing on what or who was afflicting me, I began honing in on the affliction itself. For example, the fear of unexplained experiences resulting in the anger I projected at those black magicians was a habit I kept feeding with justifying excuses. Those unconscious personality tendencies were the real culprits.
With life, body, mind and emotions in complete turmoil, a month long retreat of total seclusion helped facilitate the necessary resolution. Not to say it’s the only approach. The point is to withdraw from the daily routine which perpetuates the afflictions while taking the time to deeply reflect on how to take responsibility for the circumstances one faces. While these people actively tried to injure me, they did so by merely amplifying my existing habitual disturbances and underdeveloped emotional intelligence. Breaking the black spell of personality habits brought a cessation to the onslaught and prevented further harm. I was left however with the task of cleaning the messy aftermath. It took an additional 1.5 years to fully recover, making for an extended reminder that helped integrate that invaluable lesson.
This solitary vision quest culminated in an intuitive recognition of the organism’s energetic blueprint; life-force initially expressed in a more crude, abrasive manner, is gradually sublimated, becoming the building blocks of creativity. The lower animalistic, instinctual and survival levels give way to the more humane states of emotional accountability making empathy and tolerance accessible. Beyond that, I saw that same life-force potential culminating in a steady fearless revelation. This vision provided a direct glimpse into the capacity of awareness to transform afflictions into liberating insights of shared humanity.
What black magic really is
Black magic is simply the overloading of an organism with so much crude energy, that only an emotionally savvy individual can work through it efficiently. Hence the view that non-believers in black magic are affected most. People who don’t have a practice of working through personal issues often make excuses for irrational denial under the guise of “logic” and “reason”. Resolving black magic is not a matter of belief. It’s about consciously facing oneself by assuming full responsibility for disturbing states, unruly attitudes and egocentric reactive behaviors.
In that sense, anyone not consciously dealing with these afflicting states is under a black spell, perpetuating suffering in the world.
Of course, there are more obvious examples such as these individuals who cause suffering more intentionally. Intentional or not, a malignant attitude is a symptom of being at odds with inner peace; a sign of infantile emotional intelligence. With all this inner conflict projected outwards, Earth’s current state of affairs isn’t so surprising.
Practical steps to resolve a curse
This series of realizations brought to light how I was unknowingly contributing to the world’s black magic crisis. Here’s how the curse turned into a blessing:
The first step to resolve the black magic attack was to fully take responsibility for what was happening and renounce self-victimhood. This meant not only that could I no longer blame these black magicians, but I couldn’t even judge, hate or fear them. They were operating from that same basic ignorance and miserable affliction that, although to a less magnified degree, was also in me. My participation in that ignorance made it easy for them to launch their “virotes” – a native name for energetic missiles of disturbing psychic vibrations.
The second step was to disentangle myself from these reactive tendencies by applying the wisdom of impartial love to the dis-ease of fear-based mentality. The more I did that, the more I was shielded from the attack.
My teachers later confirmed that I passed the Great Spirit’s exam by realizing the essence of Arkana – an Amazonian word for a magical shield originally based on complete openness. Closing down and contracting requires a tremendous effort to resist the assault of outside pressure. With an open natural loving state however, the experience is like a radiant sun of heart-centered consciousness shining effortlessly; the best protection against negativity.
While easier said than done, the third step involved buckling down and catching myself every time the habitual tendencies took me back into that labyrinth of despair. What dissolves a vicious curse cycle is the continuous effort to sustain awareness, which becomes like a candle flame that dissipates darkness accumulated over millennia.
The light at the end of the labyrinth
Many years have passed since that memorable event, and these lessons are more relevant to me than ever. Just as modern technology is seen by indigenous tribes as magic, yet is easily explained by initiated minds, “magic”can also be recognized as the science of consciousness. Bad science that seeks biased results is tantamount to black magic’s selfish manipulations. Whether facing fear in mystical indigenous ceremonies or avoidance and self gratification to distract from the clutches of the mundane, the cultivation of awareness in the face of the unknown remains vital.
How I see it, the evolution of humanity is neither about eliminating nor getting lost in the mystery, but developing a fearless loving presence in the face of life’s relentless uncertainty. With Emotional Intelligence even black magic, the epitome of ignorance, becomes a catalyst of heart-opening, victorious truth over all adversities.