Working the Three Uppermost Ñawis

Recently I was emailing with a student of the tradition and he asked about the three mystical eye imagistic compressed Pixabay -1228968_1920uppermost ñawis, or mystical eyes, saying that these were the three ñawis he least understood how to use. Our discussion prompted this post. However, I alert readers that this material is advanced knowledge and will only make sense if you have taken the training through don Juan Nuñez del Prado and his lineage or from his well-trained students, and only if you have had the Ñawi K’ichay and Chunpi Away karpay. Also, I recently emailed with don Juan about this and I will quote from him directly, as you are better off hearing the teaching from him when you get the chance than from me!

Before I get into this, let me call out the Quechua words so I don’t have to keep interrupting the flow of sentences to translate and define. Qanchis means seven, soqta means six, and pisqa means five. Phaña/paña means right and lloq’e means left. Yachay is knowledge, munay love under your will, and llank’ay the ability to take action. Chunpi is a belt of power, of which there are four, and ñawi is a mystical eye, of which there are seven. Poq’po is your energy body, the bubble of energy around and interpenetrating your physical body. A saiwa is a column of energy and a seqe is a cord or stream of energy. Yanantin refers to the dichotomous or complementary nature of “dissimilar” energies, such as light and heavy, sun and moon, up and down, etc. A hapu/japu is the perfect harmonization of yanantin energies.

So let us now get to the three eyes. The three uppermost mystical eyes are the seventh eye in the middle of your forehead, called the qanchis ñawis, and the two physical eyes (right, or paña ñawi, and the left, or lloq’e ñawi ). Juan explains that the seventh eye “perceives the metaphysical world: visions, visualizations, dreams, imaginations, nature spirits, supernatural beings, bubbles [poq’pos], saiwas, seqes” and more. The two physical eyes perceive the material world, but each through the lens of one specific human power. The right eye is considered the sixth eye and, as Juan says, “perceives physical reality, but from the perspective of its rationality (yachay).”  The fifth eye is the left eye, which also “perceives physical reality, but from the perspective of its practicality (llank’ay).”

The capacity of the seventh eye is qaway, or mystical vision, but I also have come to think of qaway as the synthesized perception we achieve by using these three eyes together. If we can see through all three upper eyes simultaneously, we can develop the abilities of the seer, the one who views both worlds as a yanantin, as the complementarity of these two different aspects of reality (the energetic and the material).

If you are “working” only one view—the purely energetic or the purely physical—you are leaving half of yourself unexplored and undeveloped. As a matter of fact, each of us is receiving input all the time through all three eyes, but we tend to process the signals separately. Most of us predominantly process input from the fifth and sixth (physical) eyes, and only occasionally, perhaps during ceremony or while using an energy technique, are aware of input from the seventh eye. But if you can simultaneously process the input from all three eyes, you can eventually achieve a japu, a perfect harmonization of the two views of reality.

You are already “wired” to do so. Each of these three uppermost ñawis has an energetic cord, or seqe, that runs from it back into the skull, joining together into a single seqe in the middle inside of the head. That single seqe then runs into the top of the spinal column, joining these three eyes as a unit with your nervous system and linking them to all the other ñawis. So you have the capacity wired into you to see holistically by taking in and processing input from all three eyes at once.

In Rumi’s poem “Wetness and Water,” he writes, “Your boundaries are your quest.” How true! How are we bound by lack of clear-seeing? What do we miss when we develop only one aspect of our processing capacities, overemphasizing the physical senses at the expense of our metaphysical senses? To begin to develop the integration of the views provided by our three uppermost eyes, we have to know our kaypay—our stage of development of personal power at the current moment. We have to know, clearly and deliberately, our starting point. That means, as I always stress to my students, as you do energy work you have start from right where you are and in the exact psychological and energetic condition you are right now. Wishful thinking about your capacity to use your powers gets you nowhere. So, it is wise to be realistic about how well you are using your personal power, the three human powers, your ñawis, and your other mystical and energetic capacities. When you find room for improvement, the solution is to diligently practice your energy techniques.

Don Juan explains, “Your basic powers are munay, yachay, and llank’ay. Other powers are phaña (right), lloq’e (left), and chaupi (middle)—these are the three [uppermost] eyes. These basic human powers are ways of tuning energy: the right side through knowledge, the left through action, and the middle through love—with the seventh eye as the chaupi.” The seventh eye as chaupi is the integration point, where we synthesize our powers and perceptions.

However, we tend to be like the three bears in the kids’ story: we are “too big” (overdeveloped) in one capacity, just right in another, and “too small” (underdeveloped) in a third. The same goes for our qaway. Most of us are overdeveloped in seeing the physical world using our five senses, with an emphasis for most of us on sight/the visual. We tend to be undeveloped in sensing or perceiving the energetic aspect of our world. Or, if we are sensing through our seventh eye, we can be distorting what we see because of our projection of story, belief, judgment, ego, wishful thinking, and so on. That’s why I believe a sober self-assessment is necessary and beneficial. When we understand our own state of development, we will better know which ñawis and which of our powers need our Toward Digital thoughtattention and work.

To my mind, the attainment of qaway by integrating the perceptual views of the three uppermost eyes is like discovering the “Theory of Everything” that physicists are on the hunt for—the harmonization of Newtonian and quantum physics. There is some “third” reality that is the complement of the differences (a japu) of our yanantin energetic and physical reality. This is the reality known by the “seer,” or the qawaq.

Our training in the three aspects of the path—the paña, chaupi, and lloq’e work—provides us the means of taking action toward this harmonization of the self, with particular attention paid to the left-side practices. As don Juan reminds us, the three uppermost eyes are “cleaned and activated deeply by the initiation of the left side [don Melchor’s work] that includes a water initiation (Unu Karpay) and a succession of seven saminchakuys that are accompanied by a series of power actions [involving the exercises we do] with qaway, rimay, kanay, munay, tusuy, atiy and tarpuy.” After these seven practices, we conclude the left-side work with “four saiwachakuys, which are plastic manifestations of the kawsay—living energy; this involves working with the mallki, qanchis poq’po, tawantin and amaru. Plastic manifestation refers to modeling kawsay by intention and giving it a specific [energetic] form, for example as a mallki—a tree.  Sometimes the plastic [energetic] manifestation can be seen not only by the practitioner, but by other people.”

Some of our chaupi work also is especially relevant to the development of our qaway ability. I had asked don Juan specifically about the energy tuning practice of looping energy through the inside of the head (work we learn to do in the chaupi section of training, which is the work of don Andres Espinosa). He had previously mentioned to me that this looping process can provide a deep release of hucha. And that we can specifically deeply release hucha from our personal past while doing it! When I asked him to explain more, he offered the following explanation.

“It seems that around the head there is a small circular energy field—a little poq’po inside the [overall larger] poq’po. The energy is very concentrated there, and if one focuses his intention, he can use it as a kind of motor for the [looping] exercise. When this happens, the small field rotates as a kind of mill that extracts hucha. Of course this hucha comes primarily from the head of the practitioner, but by intention it can be made to be of the whole body, or of the [personal] present or of the [personal] past, or of the three eyes that are in the head [ the two physical eyes and the seventh eye]. But it depends on the intention of the operator. One consequence [meaning, one effect] is the property of the small field, but another is the will of the operator.  You can intend to move the energy in many ways through this looping flow: between two people, to clean your three upper eyes, to clean the energy of a client’s poq’po or body, to clean your personal past, and so on.”

I predominantly use the looping energy flow to tune energy, especially for healing. So I was surprised and delighted to learn about this “small circular energy field” around the head and how to use it. After more than twenty years on this path, I am always learning more . . . and I am happy to pass on this information to you.

Yet beyond this kind of specific information, don Juan’s explanation reminds us that as a paqo you are like an artist, applying your knowledge in artful ways to achieve Abstract Red Yellow Fractal Flowersyour desired goal. The same practice that helps you develop your qaway ability, to deeply cleanse the three eyes so you can more fully and comprehensively “see” reality as it really is, also can be used for many other ends. With each conversation I have with don Juan, and with his son don Ivan, I marvel at how my understanding of our work deepens, and I further appreciate how it is indeed a sacred art. While this post has focused on the three upper eyes, the information applies to how we work with our entire poq’po and use each of our practices. Speaking only for myself, practicing in an “artful” way deepens my absorption in the practice and, usually, improves the result I achieve. The same can be true for you.

Update on the Chunpis and Ñawis

Whenever I spend time with my primary teacher, don Juan Núñez del Prado, I always learn something new or refine my knowledge of our practices and cosmovision. When last with him in Peru, we talked about the energetic anatomy, particularly the chunpis and ñawis (the energetic belts and the mystical eyes), and I am now updating my past students, and others interested in this subject.

Below, I am going to call out the important clarifications for past students, providing refinements to the points we talked about in class.

  The chunpis, or energetic belts, are temporary unless you continually work with them, but they do not interpenetrate the physical body. They are on the surface of the poq’po, or energy body, and are not considered part of the energetic anatomy. The ñawis, in contrast, are a permanent part of our energetic anatomy. They do penetrate from the poq’po through the physical body. You know that each is a three-dimensional structure, shaped like a sideways cone, with the opening or eye at the surface of the poq’po and the root or point of the cone touching the physical body (the spine for all but the siki ñawi, where the root touches the inside of the pubic bone at the front of the body).

  As you know, we perform the Chunpi Away karpay to weave the belts into place and to awaken the mystical eyes, the ñawis, which is the Ñawi K’ichay karpay. However, the deeper purpose of weaving the belts is that they connect or “wire” up the ñawis so that they are all linked. This turns what were isolated perceptual centers/eyes into an interconnected system. This is the primary importance of the chunpis, as linking fields of energy so that your perception through the ñawis, if you refine it, can be more holistic and systemic.

  The capacities such as atiy, khuyay, rimay and qaway are associated with the the ñawis, not with the chunpis.

  Once you have linked up the ñawis by weaving the belts, you are able to move energy in more efficient and direct ways that can improve your ability to handle that energy, to increase your perceptual awareness, and to evolve your own consciousness more easily. For example, where previously (before weaving the belts and thus connecting up the mystical eyes) if you felt the sudden punch of an impulsive energy, you would have had to deal with it only in the realm of one eye, say the siki ñawi, which would have limited your range of possible perceptions and actions. Once you have linked up the eyes by weaving the belts, however, that impulse can be moved up through one or more of the other ñawis, thereby refining your possible responses.

Let me provide an example. Let’s say someone says something to you that triggers an unconscious response and you feel an immediate and impulsive charge to lash out verbally at the other person. If your ñawis are not connected by weaving the chunpis, then that impulse stays in the area of the lower eye and you have only the resources available at the siki ñawi to modulate your response. But if you can move that energy up to the sonqo ñawi, because the ñawis are now all wired up together and so there is a pathway through which that energy can move up, you can modulate your response through your feelings, especially through munay, the choice for love. As the energy of the impulse rises to the sonqo ñawi and you give yourself a few milliseconds to realize that you can have some control (make a choice) about how to respond to the punch of the impulse’s energy, you can use the perception of this ñawi to refine your response. Instead of lashing out verbally, in an eye-for-an-eye kind of energy (no pun intended!) toward the person you feel has verbally offended you, you can choose to bring a measure of love, peace, and calm to your response. This prevents the creation of hucha.

You can move the energy up further, from the sonqo ñawi to the kunka ñawi at the throat and put rimay into play, choosing now to actually reply verbally with less rancor and more reason, in a way that won’t cause hucha. You can even choose to not use this rimay capacity: to let the impulse to lash out pass and not respond verbally at all.

As you can see, by having a perceptual system that is fully wired together, you have all kinds of perceptual options and actions available to you that you do not have when your ñawis remain more isolated or unconnected.

  The pukyu not only is the point at which your spirit and soul leave your body upon physical death, but is the energy point through which you are always connected to Taytanchis (God) and the flow of kawsay. Kawsay/Sami is always flowing into you through the pukyu and down to our Inka Seed, empowering you.

♦  The teqse apukuna (universal spirit beings) are not associated with the chunpis themselves, but with the ñawis. They are not elements, but universal spirit beings.

  There are a few refinements to the Chunpi Away and Ñawi K’ichay karpays, but this is not the place to try to detail them. Generally however, the chunpi paqo does most of the work. When I teach online, I have students participate more fully to more deeply engage them in the process since we not physically together to experience the karpays. However, one point I do want to stress is that when you move from weaving one belt to the next, you pull a seqe (cord) of the energy of the lower belt up to the higher center. Then you change the khuya, and it is the khuya itself that is emitting the color/energy to make the next belt.

For example, after making the yana chunpi (black belt), you would move the “two” khuya (yanantin khuya) up to the qosqo, but as you do, you pull up a stream of the black energy to the the qosqo ñawi. Then you change to the “three” khuya (kinsantin khuya) and that khuya itself is emitting the energy (color/frequency) by which you as chunpi paqo weave the belt. So the “three” khuya would be placed on the qosqo ñawi, emitting the red energy, and you would use that red energy to weave the puka chunpi (red belt). And so on with the same type of process to weave the remaining belts.

I suggest that those of you who have studied with me make notes on your handouts to reflect these important refinements to your knowledge.

A Poem for Paqos

This poem was sent to me by a former student, Denise Covarrubias, who also sent her sensitive and thoughtful translation. However, I have edited that translation using my own judgment and understanding, and with the help of Spanish translation Andean old woman compressed and cropped indigenous-609479_1920software. There is no known title, nor is the author known. (The line breaks may differ depending on how you are viewing it.)

This is a poem of teaching that I believe all paqos will find enlightening and restorative. In our way of walking the path, we know, however, that we must learn to do this healing work ourselves, rather than rely on others, even a wise old woman. Still, this is a beautiful message to launch us into the new year, and I hope it touches you heart and soul.

The wise old woman said:

If you come to me as a victim, I will not support you.
But I will have the courage to walk with you through the pain you are suffering.
I will put you to the fire, I will strip you, and I will sit you on the earth.
I will bathe you with herbs, purge you, and vomit the anger and darkness inside you.
I will strike your body with healing herbs, and place you on the grass, looking up to the sky.
I will blow into your forehead to scare away the thoughts that cloud your vision.
I will blow into your throat to untie the knot that won’t let you speak.
I will blow into your heart to chase away the fear, so that it goes so far away it can never again find you.
I will blow into your solar plexus to extinguish the hell-fire within you, and you will
know peace.
I will blow with fire into your belly to burn away attachments, the love that was not.
I will blow away the lovers who left you, the children that never were.
I will blow into your heart to warm you, to rekindle your desire to feel, create, and begin again.
I will blow with force into your energy centers to clean the sexual door of your soul.
I will throw away the garbage you collected trying to love what did not want to be loved.
I will use a broom, sponge, and rag to safely clean all the bitterness inside you.
I will blow on your hands to destroy the bonds that prevent you from creating.
I will blow on your feet to remove the dust and erase the memories of the tracks, so that you can never return to that bad place.
I will turn your body over so your face will kiss the earth.
I will blow on your spinal column from root to neck to increase your strength and
help you walk upright.
And I will let you rest.
After this you will cry, and after crying you will sleep.
And you will dream beautiful and meaningful dreams.
And when you wake up, I will be waiting for you.
I will smile at you, and you will smile back.
I will offer you food, and you will eat with pleasure, savoring life, and I will thank you.
Because what I am offering you today, I was once offered, when the darkness lived
in me.
And after I was healed, I felt the darkness leave,
And I cried.

Message of the Chakanas

Four is the sacred number of the Andean mystical system, and the most sacred representation of this sacred number is the Andean cross—the chakana. It, in turn, is Island of the Sun compresseda symbol of the most sacred energy dynamic of the Andean mystical tradition— the tawantin. The tawantin represents four factors that are harmonized, thus creating wholeness. The chakana is the Peruvian version of a mandala, a sacred geometrical symbol found the world over in wisdom traditions. The mandala image always has four “gates” that lead to a center—often a circle, which represents the integration of the energy that comes through the four gates into one of wholeness. The chakana shown here, from a temple on the Island of the Moon in Lake Titicaca, shows the four-armed mandala-like chakana.

Stepping one category of meaning down in symbolism, the chakana also has a “threeness” to it. Each of the four arms of the cross has three “steps” on it. There are a plethora of meaningful associations, but two of the most important are the three worlds and the three human powers. The three worlds are the hanaqpacha (upper world), kaypacha (this material, physical world), and the ukhupacha (the lower or inner world). The three human powers are yachay (thought, reason, intellect, perception), munay (feelings, love under your will), and llank’ay (action). Interestingly, these three human powers are really a tawantin, as llank’ay can be broken down into two powers: khuyay (passion, focused engagement in the world) and atiy (measuring your personal power, timing action, bringing your impulses under your will).

Finally, all Andean wakas (repositories of the sacred, most often a carved stone formation) and spirit beings, and particular symbols such as the chakana, are seen as being either male or female. The chakana is considered a female energy.

What’s interesting is that when you see chakanas built or carved into the stone walls in Andean temples, they are not always full chakanas. Sometimes they are halved and facing in different directions. What’s that about? Is there any significance to this kind of representation? As you can guess, there is. The direction the half chakana is facing tells us as paqos what kind of work to do at that temple or waka.

There are specific kinds of practices at particular temples and wakas that I can’t go into here—such as the series of practices to activate the hummingbird energy at Machu Picchu—but from the direction of the half chakana you will be able to know what the general intended type of work is. (Note: The four images that immediately follow are all rotations—adjusted for illustrative purposes—of a single left-facing half chakana from a temple wall at Ollantaytambo, the Temple of the Wind.)

A downward-facing half chakana indicates that the work is a form of saminchakuy. Saminchakuy is a downward flow of the light living energy called sami (the practice half chakana cropped down facing cropped compressedmight not necessarily involve hucha release). So, the work you might do here would involve pulling sami down from the hanaqpacha, the  cosmos or the Pachamama (as the material universe), or from an apu or waka to the self or through the self. You might work with that flow of sami to empower yourself, to do an actual hucha-releasing full saminchakuy practice, to support or cleanse one or more of your mystical eyes (ñawis), to connect with your Inka Seed, or to empower or cleanse one or more of your chunpis (energetic belts) if you have woven them into your poq’po (energy body). You might also be pulling sami down from one or more of the teqse apukuna (univeral spirit beings), such as the sun, wind, rain, or moon. Using this energy, you can stimulate the capacities of specific ñawis that are associated with that teqse apukuna, such as the energy of the sun (Tayta Into) to the heart/sonqo or the energy of the wind (Tayta Wayra) to the ñawi of the neck. You also can be working masintin and/or yanantin energies (similar or dissimilar energies) to create a specific aspect of energetic harmony within the self. If you have “built” the four energetic staffs (red, gold, black and silver) within, you might work with the sami and one or more of the staffs.

The upward-facing half chakana indicates that the work is a form of saiwachakuy. Inhalf chakana cropped up facing compressed saiwa work, we pull sami up from the earth or from a nearby waka to the self or through the self for empowerment. You might intend to support or empower one or more of your ñawis, your Inka Seed, or to fill and empower one or more of your chunpis if you have woven them into your poq’po. The work here can also be a masintin or yanantin practice, or, as in the saminchakuy work, integrating energy with one or more of the energetic staffs.

A left-facing half chakana indicates a form of lloq’e practice—working the left side of the path. Perhaps that will be work with the eight helpers, the chunpis, or the staffs if you have made them. It might be a healing practice, since healing is considered half chakana cropped left facing compressed.jpgworking the left-side of the misha (mesa) and path. It helps to understand the ancient use and meaning of the entire sacred site—or the specific temple—at which the chakana is located, as this will help you determine the specific practice to do or the purpose of the practices you do there. But generally lloq’e work involves llank’ay—taking action, supporting and empowering your ability to take right and proper action in the world, which means you have to be empowered to do so. Intention to act is not enough. You have to have accumulated the personal power to successfully complete your intended action. That’s the focus of the left-side of the path, whether talking about clarity of intentions and then the expression of  those thought, words, or actions.

The right facing half chakana indicates that the work is a form of paña practice, which is the right side of the path. The right-side practices focus on energetic half chakana cropped right facing compressed.jpgperception, cleansing, harmonizing, communicating, group work, and such. So perhaps the work will involve saminchakuy (empowering by drawing in the sami of the waka while releasing your hucha to the earth). Or it might involve working the sami to empower your sonqo (feelings and heart) or your Inka Seed. It might be establishing connections with or integrating energies from spirit beings, working in one or all of the three worlds, or working in ayni (reciprocity) through the misha or despachos. Again, it helps to understand the ancient use and meaning of the entire sacred site or specific temple at which the chakana is located, as this also will help you determine the type of practice to do there.

Here is an example of the work you might do at an actual site with a half-chakana. This photo is of a part of the Temple of the Three Windows at Machu Picchu. Let’s look at all the information that is available to us just by looking at these two side-by-half chakana temple of three windows cropped compressedside wakas—the upward-facing half chakana and the tall columnar stone.

There are two clues here that this is a site at which we will do saiwa work: the upward-facing half chakana directs you to pull sami up from the earth. The column is itself literally a saiwa in stone. (Saiwa means “column,” although a saiwa can also take the form of a cord of energy, called a seqe.) So both wakas indicate saiwa work. Then we notice that we are dealing with a pairing of energies: the chakana is considered female and the stone saiwa male. That is a good clue that the work will involve making a yanantin energy (the harmonizing of dissimilar energies, in this case male and female). This leads us to one of the actual saiwa practices we do here, which is to pull the feminine sami energy of this upward-facing half chakana up through the waka, to us and into our poq’po. Maintaining that connection, we turn our attention and intention to the  columnar stone waka with its male energy and we pull that male energy from the waka to us and into our poq’po. We then harmonize or integrate the two energies to form a yanantin within.

We’ll look at one more example. This is a picture of a water “fountain” or “bath”—The Bath of the Princess—at Ollantaytambo, the Temple of the Wind. Even though the general work of the entire sanctuary, as its name makes clear, is to work with Tayta Wayra, Father Wind, there is other work to be done here. There are manyBath of Princess chakana Ollantaytambo compressed fountains scattered throughout the temple grounds. So both these pieces of information provide a clue as what to do here.

The entire temple is dedicated to Tayta Wayra, Father Wind, who is a male spirit being (a teqse apu, or universal spirit being). Water wakas, like this bath or fountain, are almost always considered ñust’as, or princesses, and are female energetically. It’s a safe bet then that a lot of masintin and yanantin work is done at this sacred site. You can work specifically with the wind. You can work specifically with the water (ñust’as). Depending on your gender, that work would be masintin or yanantin (i.e., a man working with the wind = masintin; a woman working with the wind = yanantin). So there are all kinds of personal masintin and yanantin practices that could be done here. Or you could work more holistically with the entire site, working both waka energies (wind and water) as a yanantin in relation to each other.

Moving from the general meaning of the sanctuary to the specific wakas within it, we can then do work at the individual wakas (baths) according to the clues they provide. The Bath of the Princess shown in the photo above is carved with an upward-facing chakana. This indicates saiwa work, pulling the energy of the ñust’a up from the depths of the water and then into the self and your poq’po. This can be the work of empowerment. Or perhaps of clarifying perception and communication with the spirit of the waka, establishing a connection with the ñust’a. But you also know from your work as a paqo that water is one of the great eaters of hucha. So in an ayni exchange, you could then send your hucha back down a seqe and into the water, cleansing your poq’po.

As you can see, the sacred sites are not just beautifully carved stone temples and wakas. Through their design they are communicating with us paqos, alerting us to the type of work we might be expected to do at that sanctuary.

Space, Time and the Three Worlds

Andeans spatially position time differently than we do in Western Judeo-Christian cultures, and this blog post examines the Andean conception of future and past in relation to the Upper World (hanaqpacha) and Lower World (ukhupacha).

Generally speaking in our culture, we think of the Upper World—sometimes as a heaven—as representing the future. After all, we won’t go there until after we physically die and its most common characteristic is that of redemption, something we may not be worthy of in the current time but may attain or be blessed with in the future. The Upper World is a perfected world and a place beckoning us through future possibility and even potential reward. It presumes a future state we might attain. On a more personal level, in terms of our body and spatial positioning, we locate the future in front of us: we are walking into our future, creating it moment by moment. It is unformed until we form it through how we live. It is full of potential because we can improve how we live and thus impact our future for the better.

In contrast, generally speaking our conception of the Lower World is of the past. It is the place we may go once we die because of the conditions of our past—the quality of our past character, the thoughts and actions of our recently ended life. Spatially, the past generally and our personal past more specifically is behind us: they are comprised of our collective or personal completed thoughts, words, actions, and so on. We are walking away from our past toward our future, but our future is conditioned by the consequences of our past.

Andeans see things differently.

Let me start with the Upper World, the hanaqpacha. It is associated with the past, which Andeans call the ñaupa pacha. In terms of its characteristics, the Upper World is eternal and perfected. What was now is and forever will be. It is the abode of the Past Present And Future Signpost Showing Evolution Destiny Or AgingMystery, or whatever you want to call God, who is unchanging. According to anthropologist Jan Szemínski and his collection of oral testimonies of indigenous Andeans, the Upper World’s chief characteristics are stability, permanence, duration, in front (spatially), and past (chronologically). He also reports that Andeans associate it, in terms of the direction of left or right, with the right (paña). In the Andean mystical tradition, the right-side work is that of yachay and perception—of knowledge. The Upper World is the place of those who know or who have perfected their perceptions (qaway). It is the place of perfect ayni, and hence occupied by God and those beings who practiced ayni well during their lifetime (their past).

In terms of each of us as humans, we have a personal hanaqpacha, which encodes our true and eternal self—our ñaupa pacha, or past. It is our inner heaven, where we are revealed for who we really are—drops of the Mystery/God, already enlightened and perfected, although as beings in human bodies in this material world our past as an aspect of Gods is something we have forgotten and must recover. Thus, enlightenment is held in potential in our Inka Seed, and on this material plane we must grow into who we really are. Anthropologist Constance Classen, in her book Inca Cosmology and the Human Body, confirms this association of the past with divine time and eternal space. She reports that Andeans correlate the Upper World and the past with the moment of creation, when “Viraqocha sets the body of the cosmos in motion with his animating breath . . .”

In terms of spatial position in the physical world, the hanaqpacha is above us. But in terms of its association with the past in relation to the human body, both the mystical eye imagistic compressed Pixabay -1228968_1920mystical tradition and the indigenous peoples of the Andes place the past in front of us. We know it, we have seen it, and we have experienced it. It is in full view for us. In terms of our personal poq’po (energy body), we can have a striking clarity about our past because we have six mystical eyes (ñawis) in the front of our poq’po looking at it. These are the qosqo ñawi at the belly, the sonqo ñawi at the chest, the kunka ñawi at the neck, the two physical eyes, and the qanchis ñawi in the  middle of the forehead. This mystical vision can provide deep insight into our past, which can be liberating; or it can cause us to become fixated on our past, as so many Westerners do through our psychological and analytical propensities.

But we also have a personal hanaqpacha inside of our poq’po. It is located in the space between the top of our head and the upper inside of our poq’po. This mystical knowledge is supported by anthropological knowledge, as Classen tells us that for Andeans the hanaqpacha is said to be located not only in the upper part of the world but also around the upper part and top of the head. Mystically, this is the place of the three eyes (the two physical eyes and the qanchis ñawi). Our two physical eyes provide the vision to see ourselves as we have been in this human life whereas our seventh eye provides the mystical vision to see beyond this world—to our eternal past and our original perfected, enlightened selves.

In contrast, the ukhupacha, or Lower World, is associated chronologically with the future (called kaya pacha) and spatially is situated behind us. The ukhupacha in Andean cosmology is not a place of punishment or damnation but of regeneration. It is the place of potential—of the future self. Those who occupy it did not live their lives in ayni, and now they are in the Lower World to learn ayni and, thus, to improve themselves. They are being given an opportunity for personal transformation and growth. If they succeed, they can rise up to the hanaqpacha.Unfolding of Self

According to Classen, the ukhupacha symbolically is the place of the “dark, fluid future.” Szemínski confirms this information: he reports from his discussions with hundreds of Andeans that the Lower World is associated with future time, with a spatial position in back of or behind us, and with the main characteristics of change and creation. He also says Andeans place it in a position/direction of the left. This makes sense, since in the Andean tradition the left-side work (lloq’e) is the place of action, which is certainly what the people in the Lower World are undertaking on their path of regeneration.

As already mentioned, in terms of the body the future is located behind you, which has an important connection to the mystical eyes, the ñawis. Classen reports that for most Andeans “the future . . . is not something one can walk ahead into, but rather, is something that one has to turn oneself around . . . to reach.” This may not be a literal turning. It may instead refer to the single ñawi that is in the back of the body/poq’po. Remember that you can see your past with clarity because you have six mystical eyes in the front of your body/poq’po looking at it. But you can’t easily see your future—or potential future, since it is not set but is a field of potentialities—because you have only one eye, the siki ñawi, at the base of your spine looking at it.

Classes also points out that in terms of the human body, the Lower World is associated with the feet and is considered a place of transition. This correlates perfectly with the mystical tradition, where the personal ukhupacha is located within your poq’po in the space between the bottom of your feet and the lower inside of your poq’po. It is your place of personal inner regeneration and transformation, where you undertake the work of realizing your potential.

There is much more I could say about the Upper and Lower Worlds and their time and space relations, but let me end Healing Hands Ayni Compresssed Dollarphotoclub_67573261by mentioning the Middle World, or the kaypacha. The kaypacha is this world—our material, human world. According to Szemínski, the kaypacha results from the interaction of the two other worlds. The hanapacha and ukhupacha energies, the past and the future, meet in the now to create your personal kaypacha. We can turn to psychology to help explain more about this process. The Lower World can be associated with our unconscious and conscious selves, and the Upper World with our divine and Higher Self. We become whole in this life, in our kaypacha, when we bring our unconscious impulses under our will and integrate our unconscious and conscious selves to express our Higher Self. Our inner Lower World/ukhupacha expands and moves upward while our inner Upper World/hanaqpacha expands and moves downward, with the two coalescing into a more perfected personal human world or kaypacha.