Continuing with the interviews with don Juan and don Ivan about healing, this third and final discussion covers topics ranging from healing by a fifth-level person to dealing with mental and psychological ailments to working with animals. You will see that this interview, coming as it does at the end of the series, is peppered with my bracketed “Notes” so that people who may not have read the first two interviews will understand what is being discussed and to remind people who have read the first two interviews of important points of understanding or explanation.
Christina and Joan: For people who are healers, the mind may be a major obstacle in their clients, because people can use illness to meet their unconscious needs. They may not really want to heal, because their illness serves them in some way. But you have said healers cannot override another person’s will. We can only enhance a client’s capacity for self-healing. Yet a fifth-level healer is an infallible healer. He or she always heals, every time. So, what is the fifth level about, what is so special about it that a person at this level can heal people in spite of someone’s [unconscious] will or unconscious desire to not heal?
Don Juan: The mind is not an obstacle. This teaching is not my teaching. It is don Andres Espinosa’s. Because in the beginning, I believed that [the mind was a factor.] This is today a prejudice of the New Age way of thinking: you need to use your mind and decide to heal. Maybe we put too much stock in this belief! Maybe that’s why they [Andeans] arrived at the fifth level and we [non-Andeans] didn’t. So, maybe first you need to detach from that way of thinking.
The first year I was learning this path, I was committed to putting aside all my [Westernized] theories, all my knowledge, psyche, etc. I was very proud of that. I went to don Andres and I told him that. He said, “You’re a fool.” I asked why. He said before studying with us you had half [of a certain kind of human knowledge, the Western scientific/psychological view] and now you are jumping to the other half [the Andean, mystical view], but if you keep both you have the whole!
Christina: I get that on my end as a healer. But what about clients who unconsciously want to stay sick because they maybe get some kind of benefit from it in their lives? There are clients like that.
Don Juan: In reality, nobody wants to stay sick.
Don Ivan: But what you say happens. I think it comes from a way of behaving: that if they are healed, then they will not get the compassion or attention they want from other people. So, it is a normal way for them, a state of consciousness, that allows them to retrieve energy from other people by attracting their pity. They take some sami from other people: good will, compassion, attention and things like that. Some people learned that in their life.
Joan: Would you say then that the fifth-level healer—the level of the infallible healer—is not just healing the body, but the psyche, the mind? He or she is healing the other person’s whole self, so that kind of unconscious need is no longer active or a problem?
Don Ivan: The Dalai Lama says one thing relevant here: your mind is the main tool to end suffering in the world. Take it like that. A very important part of our work as teachers is to retrain the mind of our students to use this spiritual path, to not generate hucha. To show them the value of that. That’s one of the big ideas of this kind of spiritual path. So, some of it is a mental training. But you also have to ask: How do you define healthy or not healthy? We would say ayni. Ayni is action. Unhealthy is more or less about lack of ayni.
But when you are on the fifth level, you are not going to use talking. You are just going to touch the person and return that person [to health] through your energy! You are resetting the person in the right direction. That’s the fifth level. Healing is a resetting, reconnecting the people with the action of ayni and the source of life.
Don Juan: The fifth level is when you are in such deep connection with the earth that when you touch somebody, you retune or reset that person with the proper energy of life.
The first thing is survival. When people come to you for healing but they really don’t want to heal, our most powerful driving force is instinctive—it is for survival. Anything that is in the way of survival, especially disease, is what is against that. We all want to survive. The idea, then, is just to be able to follow the person’s will to survive, and help the person reconnect with that will. Focus on the survival impulse. When you are at the fifth level, you have such a deep connection with the black light [willka energy], the source of life, that if you touch that person you will reorganize them. [Note: The healing love energy, called hampi munay, and the black light energy, willka, are both generated by tuning energy and adding in cosmic and earthly energy, then integrating them inside the human body].
To do that, you need support. As a fifth-level person, you have the amazing support of all the energy of Father Cosmos and all the energy of Mother Earth. If you receive the support of Father Cosmos and Mother Earth, who is going to stop you? Who can stop you? They are the main sources of energy, and of information to process within yourself to help you to develop to the highest level. You have the whole! This is the idea. You don’t need anything else outside yourself. You focus on your Inka Seed and these two main energies [Father Cosmos and Mother Earth].
Joan: What about energetically working on mental health problems, depression, anger issues. We have “talk therapy” in Western medicine, but is there some equivalent to that in the Andes, practices other than energy techniques like saminchakuy?
[Note: In Part 1 of this series of interviews, don Juan and don Ivan make clear that some types of illness or health problems must be dealt with first by trained allopathic medical professionals, and in this case by mental health professionals. They explain that a problem may not be for the “hand” of a paqo. The following discussion is rooted in their belief that a paqo focuses on the soul and energy, and so may be helpful. But the Andean paqo view is that anyone with an illness use both aspects of medicine, allopathic and energetic, even though for most of their modern history it was very difficult for the native Andean people to access conventional medical resources.]
Don Juan: That kind of problem has a name in Quechua, which is wak’a. [Note: Not waka or huaca, as in a sacred site or sacred item; here don Juan is using a different word (spelling is with as apostrophe after the k, also spelled waq’a) that means mental illness, although on a literal level, if you look in a dictionary, it is defined as mad, crazy, alienated, and paranoid, reflecting outdated and stereotypical colloquialisms.] The way it is viewed energetically is that if someone is wak’a, it means he is not able to connect with Mother Earth or he is not open to receiving the flow of the light living energy.
In [healing] you can do more or less good things. But to do that you need to develop your rapport with your client first. I will connect this do Dr. Carl Jung, and he said if you are a doctor and you are going to work with mental illness you are going to take the responsibility of doing it, because in the relationship the client is going to transfer to you his mental disease, and it’s going to be yours and you need to learn how to deal with that in yourself.
From the Andean perspective, many psychological diseases are diseases of the soul and you must be the expert in that [paqos work with the energies, with the soul]. In this case, someone who is emotionally sick [may be] a hucha sapa, he has a huge amount of heavy energy and he cannot release it. [Note” Don Juan has said in a previous interview that hucha does not cause illness. But it can influence it because it depletes our energy and ability to deal with our problems.] You help the person to release that hucha. For that, the most important knowledge is of the Inka Seed. You need to connect with the Inka Seed of the person, because the seed is totally whole no matter how the person is [physically or psychologically]. If you awaken the seed of the person, the seed is going to help the person.
Don Ivan: You also mentioned depression. Depression from an Andean energy view is having a weak bubble [poq’po]. When you have a weak bubble, you are not receiving your saminchakuy and saiwachuy [sami/light living energy from the cosmos or earth], and then the energy of the environment inside you can begin to crush you. That’s what we call depression. Anger is an overcompensation: when you feel small and try to make yourself bigger, through aggression you try to make more room for yourself because you don’t feel the connection with the ground [earth]. We always come back to the energy and the concepts of the tradition, of the Inka Seed, which is the most important one, and then from there to the state of your poq’po and whether you have enough energy or not. So, it’s the relationship of your bubble with the environment and it’s the [quality] of the flows of energy. Then you can figure out what the solution or the support for that problem may be.
There are paqos who work energetically with people once a week, like therapy. If you work with clients you are going to know immediately that there are clients where you cannot help fix things in one try. And then you will have to meet with them many times, returning back to the same point, and build little by little, which is a long process. This is also [important in relation to] the work of a paqo, for the paqo’s ayni. The most important thing is to be able to see. If you see progress with the person, see change, then your ayni is in alignment to continue working with that person. But if you don’t see progress, then you have to see if maybe this person and this problem are not for your hands and you will need to refer that person to someone else.
Joan: Before we end, let me ask about animals. Many of my and Christina’s students ask about how to work with their animals, like their pet dogs and cats, or a horse. Any advice?
Don Ivan: You don’t need to heal them in the way we traditionally think about healing. Animals only have sami. No hucha. But they can have more sami or less, a lot or a little. When an animal is sick or wounded, the amount of sami energy the animal is flowing becomes smaller. It is reduced. If you want to help an animal who is ill, pull on their bubble [poq’po]. Pulling on their bubble makes more sami flow in. It’s like blowing on a fire and you make it stronger. The flame flares up, stronger, brighter. It’s that kind of saminchakuy. [Note: Saminchakuy can mean two different things in practice: a hucha release “cleansing” practice, or simply working with pulling sami to you or sending it to someone else, with no hucha release involved. The latter is what don Ivan is discussing above in relation to working with animals, who have no hucha and therefore don’t need a standard saminchakuy “cleansing.”]
Don Juan: Animals are totally open to receiving. If you pull on their living energy [their poq’po], they are going to increase their sami faster. You are going to increase the amount of sami energy that is flowing through the animal.
Don Ivan: They flow with nature, so we consider that they don’t have hucha. They learn. If they get wounded or something, that’s an experience and they learn from it. They avoid that [behavior or situation] later. They learn to respond to dangers and that kind of thing. They are not heavy. But they can respond to our hucha. They copy us, our ways of being. If they have a neurotic owner, they will feel that and act in response to that. It is a response. But they don’t have their own hucha. Their owner does. They are just trying to follow that person.