Commentary, Customs, Food Culture

The Problem of Knowledge in the Andes

¿Who are you and What are you looking for?

Who are you and what do you seek?

This classic question is at the heart of much in Cuzco. For now, it is enough to notice that sometimes you are not prepared to know truths. Many ask questions long before they are ready for the answers and it is better t olive until you are ready to know. Sometimes answers can be very uncomfortable.

Knowledge is well protected here and sometimes carefully concealed because it is like a key that opens other dimensions.

A few weeks ago I visited the community called Ccorcca, especially a mountain that is its Apu (the divinity that protects the community) named Mama Simona. A group of friends and I left the city and began our journey. We took a collective bus towards the place. There we got to know the driver who was a person who gave us confidence, confianza in Spanish, a word that simply does not translate the trust and new openness the word carries in Peru.

He told us all about the various attraction of Ccorcca and surroundings, as well as other things. I had a question and wanted to know more about the myths of the place, or maybe about the Apu. So, I asked him.

Inside I knew that was not the right was to do it, asking directly. But I had no other way to know because this would be the only chance I might have to see him and it.

You could quickly see the change in him when he answered me. He looked at me a bit fiercely and said he could not tell me and that he did not know them because they are secrets.

So we changed the topic of conversation immediately to reestablish the confidence. At the end of our trip we found out that he was the president of the community and he invited us to visit it for its anniversary (its feast day), June 24th.

Throughout the Andes, knowledge is closely kept and these secrets are not revealed to just anyone.

The lakes by the snow covered mountains fill with water that comes from the sky. These are mountains that hold information carefully kept. We live only our own dimensions and they are only forms of comprehension as well as challenges.

What we now call shamanism is a form of restructuring the mind so that you can learn to know other dimensions. It has been practiced in our Andes from ancient times. Our Andean priests, as we also call them, are the ones who practice rituals and maintain knowledge about our Mother Earth.

For them, silence is golden. Knowledge is closely held and not dispensed easily. Furthermore, words are not adequate to express knowledge. You need more. If you want to know about humanity, you first have to have accomplished that level of being.

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