If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.
The word “integrity” has several meanings within the Andean tradition as passed on through the lineage of Juan Nuñez del Prado. The core meaning of integrity as a paqo means being in energetic coherence, in the sense that the streams of kawsay that flow through and within your bubble do so harmoniously. When you divest your bubble of hucha through practices such as saminchakuy and hucha miqhuy, you increase your bubble’s level of sami, which is the life-creating and life-sustaining energy of the cosmos. Less hucha and more sami means your poq’po is closer to its original, natural state.
When you are in energetic integrity, kawsay flows through you unimpeded, so you are in a greater state of unity with the cosmos, Thus, your capacity to make more refined ayni exchanges is heightened. As more sami flows and energetic integrity increases, you also activate your Inka Seed, which is your divine self. It’s you as a Drop of the Mystery. Your Inka Seed encodes your true nature and fully realized self. Thus, it is the repository of your fullest and grandest capacities and gifts. But your Inka Seed grows best when the ground state of your poq’po is one of coherence.
Integrity as coherence also means you are not split within. You don’t act as often from your superego, which acts according to feedback such as approval and acceptance that comes from outside the self, or from your undirected passions and impulses. You are more aware of who you really are, and so you can more easily divest yourself of illusions, contradictions, projections, and such. Doing so releases hucha and increases sami so that you can act with the integrity of a unified self. You are not torn emotionally between your head and your heart. Between your desires and your best interests. Between your intentions and your actions. When you are in energetic integrity your thoughts, actions, words, intentions, desires, and such are more integrated. The consequence as a human being is that you are in “right relationship” with yourself and with others. You are more compassionate, confident, trustworthy, joyful, truthful, patient, and a host of other qualities that arise from inner coherence. In short, you are more “real” in the union of yourself as human being and spirit being.
Integrity also means to act with munay, with a love grounded in will. Munay is not sentimental; it is not a feeling that is subject to the whim of circumstance or emotion. Munay is a choice. It is grounded in clear-seeing—in qaway—and so is subject to your will. Munay is beyond the needs of the self yet within the purview of self-control.
Munay expresses itself in myriad ways: it is evident when you choose to speak kindly to someone with whom you have deep differences; it displays as compassion for someone whom you judge as suffering due to his or her own choices and actions; it does not condemn; it is not about preaching; it is not holier-than-thou, although it also is not devoid of opinion, ethics and morality. But munay always extends the benefit of the doubt. It errs on the side of kindness, charity and empathy. Because munay is love grounded in will (choice), it is not so much a feeling as it is action. Even if you do not feel loving toward another person, you act with loving–kindness. Ideally, however, munay is the perfect coherence of both feeling and action. It is, like Christian agape, the model for humanity.
Integrity encompasses each of these meanings and others. Bringing integrity—coherence—to your poq’po is a fundamental practice of a paqo. When in energetic integrity, you can live more fully and truly as a paqo who fosters joy and well-being for yourself and those around you.