Two Ways to Understand Hucha

In a recent conversation with don Juan and don Ivan, they elaborated on the topic of hucha, and, as always, I gained a deeper appreciation for the energy dynamics of the Andean tradition. But I was also surprised by some new information they mentioned during the discussion: there is hucha in nature! I had always heard from them that nature is comprised only of sami. That’s what I learned, and that’s what I teach. But they went into a nuance that clarifies the nature of hucha. This short blog post explains.

Our discussion was about sami and hucha as a spectrum of the movement of kawsay. Kawsay’s nature is to move, and sami represents the top of the spectrum, the light living energy. Sami is kawsay moving in its most refined and unimpeded form. Sami as light living energy refers not to visible light, but to density, to a lightness of substance, a weightlessness. The explanatory term the paqos used to describe sami was llanthu kawsay, and llanthu means “shadow.” So “light” living energy—sami—is like a shadow in that it is absolutely weightless. The spectrum then moves down in motion (getting slower) and in density (gaining weightiness or becoming heavier) to hucha. Hucha is sami, just in a slower, denser, and heavier form. So sami and hucha are not oppositional concepts or energy dynamics, but relative.

When we talk about hucha, we usually—and until now only—referred to it in relation to human beings. We are the only creatures to create hucha. We artificially, if you will, impact the flow of sami to slow it down. Hucha is a consequence of young corn plants Pixabay-4803128_1920the lack of integrity and congruity in our three human powers, and especially is a consequence of our emotions, particularly our unconscious, “shadow” impulses. But don Juan and don Ivan explained that hucha also is, in fact, an aspect of nature as part of the natural cycle of life. Here’s what they mean.

Nature is comprised only of sami, yet there is a natural cycle of life during which the life-force energy declines, or slows, until it ceases. That’s what we call death. The cycle is one of life arising, persisting for a period, then withering, and finally dying. This is a descending or diminishing energy process, according to don Benito, that can be thought of as an increaseRipe corn-Pixabay 917354_1920 of hucha. Hucha increases as sami decreases, as life moves through the natural cycle of arising and ceasing. (We can say the same is true of human life in terms of our physical bodies, of course, but how we understand hucha in relation to human beings also differs qualitatively, as I will soon explain.)

Don Juan said that to explain this aspect of hucha, don Benito used the example of a cornstalk. It grows, flourishes and produces ears of corn, and then it yellows, withers, and dies. This process is one of the slowing of the animating kawsay, or the lightness of sami. Seen in the converse, it is an increase in hucha. Hucha, then, is part of the natural cycle of life and death. I had never heard of hucha used in this context before, and it added a beautiful depth to mynew plant among dying corn plants-Pixabay 3696980_1920 understanding of sami and hucha as expressions of kawsay.

When we humans do saminchakuy, we give our hucha to the earth. This is exactly what happens in this natural process as well. Ayni is still operative, because what dies disintegrates into the earth, and Mother Earth composts it back into something life-giving: fertile soil in which new plants can thrive, food for ants and insects, etc. Mama Allpa transforms that hucha back into sami: she speeds the slow sami back up to its most refined form. What was static is again in motion.

Hucha, though, is understood differently in relation to the energy dynamics of human beings, and only human beings. We are self-aware, we use choice and will, we can both be in ayni and out of ayni. It’s when we are out of ayni that we create hucha. We are the only creatures who can create hucha, who can purposefully (although often unconsciously) slow down or block sami.  The emphasis is on the word “create.” We—through our lack of ayni, our incoherent and unconscious emotions, the loss of integrity in our three human powers, and our lack of clarity of intent—block or slow sami to create hucha for ourselves (and potentially for others). We create it through our personal energy dynamics where it didn’t exist before and where it doesn’t “need” to be. This hucha is not something we just touch in nature, we generate it. In this way, our hucha upsets the harmony of nature. It is, in this sense, outside of nature.

Seeing hucha in these two ways not only deepens our understanding of hucha, but it can help us to better understand how we both fit into the natural energetic cycle and how we are above or beyond it because we can create hucha where none existed—which is why it is so useful for us to do saminchakuy on a regular basis. I am reminded of something Samuel Beckett once wrote: “The creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day.” That’s true both in nature and in ourselves.

Free Access Extended to May 9: Global Shamanic Dreamkeepers Summit

Shamanic Dreamkeepers Copy 2 (1)

The Shamanic Dreamkeepers Summit is a free online event featuring 30+ extraordinary presenters – from ancient indigenous wisdom to evolving new approaches, powerful inspiration, tools and practices from healers with diverse traditions and backgrounds.

I’m delighted to be part of this lineup! 

It has been a treat to share a message of how to dream in a world using tools, practices, wisdom, and power that have worked for thousands of years… for your transformation and healing… and for the planet.

Registrations continued to flow in even late into the evening yesterday.

In response, my event co-hosts (Linda Fitch and Renee Baribeau) are excited to share that the free viewing period has been extended through Sunday night, May 9th. That gives you the entire weekend to register if you haven’t, and experience all the rich, wisdom and messages from the amazing and generous speakers.

Again, if you haven’t already, please REGISTER NOW and get immediate access to ALL four days of the Shamanic Dreamkeepers Summit presentations and bonuses through midnight PST on Sunday, May 9.

Registration link:

I look forward to sharing my message with you.
Joan Parisi Wilcox

PS: And don’t worry if you don’t have time to watch it all. Right now, for a super reasonable price, you can purchase a recording of the full summit program, including audio and videos and ALL the bonus material each presenter so graciously shared. Then you can binge watch or listen when it is convenient for you!


Interview about Willka: Part 2

Joan: Continuing our discussion of willka. . . As a metaphor, other traditions focus on the white light, on radiating the energy of all visible light frequencies, which results in radiating white light. But for me the power of the Andean tradition is that it is focused on the exact opposite energy dynamic. Before you can radiate all frequencies, you have to be able to freely absorb all frequencies—without blocking anything. The Andean focus is on being a perfect absorber of energy.

Don Ivan: Absolutely.

Joan: Well, the perfect absorption of all the frequencies of visible light, again using the visible light spectrum as a Joan's mullu chunpismetaphor, is the color black. For us, that is the black light energy, or willka. It moves down our spines and creates the yana chunpi [black energy belt], filling the siki ñawi [mystical eye] at the root of the body. Talk more about actually working the willka energy of the siki, moving it up on what we said previously was like an evolutionary scale.

Don Ivan: We use the mullu khuyas [stones used for weaving the four chunpis] in the Chunpi Away karpay. We use those khuyas as our raw material [for weaving the chunpis]. Then by pulling up the energy [from the siki ñawi/yana chunpi] and making all of the other chunpis, you are going to be developing that energy, tuning it, making it rise higher and higher.

Don Juan: Higher and more vertical.

Don Ivan: You start at the ground, which is the base for everything, and then you go higher. The two most important parts of your psyche are your feelings and your thoughts, but they are not possible if you don’t have a body. So that’s the scale. Feelings and thoughts are the top energies, but our Andean scale is upside down in terms of power. The very top [of the energy power hierarchy] is at the siki ñawi, and the willka that is there is the lowest frequency of energy but the most powerful.

Don Juan: We [understood all of this] basically as a result of practice, of weaving the belts of hundreds of people. After doing that, sometimes you discover you have the whole thing as a protocol. How do you start? What do you do [in the karpay of weaving the chunpis]? You start at the top [of the body/head] and pull in the cosmic energy and then you come down the spine using material cords—the spine is the material. You have connected the metaphysical with human matter. Then you absorb the grounding power of green [earth energy] and pull it up, and you merge them [cosmic and earth energies] together. You are merging the top and bottom. You are becoming the absorber. You are, we could say, becoming the black cord. Then you start to come up again [create the chunpis] at the front of the body. This black belt connects you to the power of your base part, then you move up.

Don Ivan: It’s important that you can tune with this black energy [willka]. It’s the potential state of the absolute absorption of reality—receiving everything directly inside. But this energy can be found outside, too.

Joan: So, according to this process, is that why once you, don Juan, told me that willka is of nature but not in nature? Because we create it?

New Apu wilkanusta VeronicaDon Juan: In a certain way it a phenomenon, an emergence of. There are things that are going to manifest that are not already here. Energies can change and emerge. One of these processes is the emergence of willka inside human beings. But willka as sacred energy is found, for example, in some of the sanctuaries. You can make a connection to a waka [sacred object or place, including the sacred sanctuaries] that is associated with willka and pull it to you, and that will help awaken you. As examples, Waqay Willka [an apu] or Willka Ñust’a [Urubamba/Vilcanota river, also called the Willka Mayu], or more specifically in the left side of the path there is Willka Uta, an apu of the left side that is in the south of Peru. This is the House of Willka, an apu in the south of Peru. [Uta means “house” in Aymara.]

I like to ground these things. So, let us ground this speculation, because the Andean spiritual tradition is always grounded. I talked with a friend, another anthropologist, (Jean-Jacques Decoster, a professor at the university in Cusco) and he has a very interesting statement on the tradition: he says that the Andean tradition is geodesic. He told me about his theory of Andean geodesic spirituality. By this he means that for the Andean people the spiritual power is always grounded in a specific place on the surface of the earth.

If you take a look at the Hatun Karpay Lloq’e of don Melchor Desa, [a formal cycle of rituals and energy work], one of the places we work is Machu Picchu, which is the most sophisticated creation of Pachakuti Inka. It is surrounded by the Willka Ñust’a, the sacred river [known variously as the Urubamba, Vilcanota, and Willka Mayu]. If you follow the course of the river upstream and to the south, you will reach La Raya, which is the point of the watershed between the sacred valley and Lake Titikaka. To the east of the watershed and just above it is the snow-capped mountain Willka Ñust’a, from where the river of the same name goes to Cusco and another river called Pukara is born and goes to Lake Titicaca, making a connection with this. Pucara means “fortress” but this is not a fortress with walls. It is a fortress of energy, a source of power! It is a source of power creating protection around you. If you continue along the shore of the lake towards the south, near the border with Bolivia, you will find the sacred place called Willka Uta, which in Aymara means the house or abode of willka, which is the last sacred place in the southern direction of the Don Melchor ritual itinerary.

In this place there is a vertical rock, whose surface has been carved in a flat square canvas of about four meters on a Lord of the Staffsside, and on the center of the lower side of the square, the negative silhouette of a head that emerges from the ground has been sculpted and the two vertical sides are flanked by cylindrical cavities that resemble two rods, also negative. It is one of the largest representations of the Andean sacred character known as The Lord of the Rods, whose head emerges from the earth [also called the Lord of the Staffs].

So there is a connection between the House of Willka [Apu Willka Uta]and the original image of God, which is represented by the carving of the Lord of the Rods. This is related to the Inkas but also with the more ancient civilization of Tiahuanaco, in the south of Peru.

Joan: So, you are saying that really the whole Inka empire—no, not just the empire, the whole civilization—was connected and surrounded by willka, by this creative and protective energy—and still is!

Don Juan: Yes. For the Inkas, the name of the Creator God is Wiraqocha. The Lord of the Rods in the tradition of Tiahuanaco is called Wiraqocha. But there is a more ancient name for God in the Tiahuanaco civilization and that is Thunupa.

Also at Titicaca Lake, Thunupa created Inkari and Qollari [also called Manqo Capac and Mama Oqllo]. But Thunupa is said to have travelled from Titicaca Lake to Cuzco. He went many other places, and he was seen as a white man with a beard who was dressed all in white. He eventually disappeared, his whereabouts unknown. But the point is that from this geodesic point of view, everything is sacred  and is related with the surface of the earth. And what is the surface of the earth? It’s the meeting of the power of Wiraqocha and Pachamama [the cosmic and earthly], the point of creation on the surface of the earth [which is what willka is].

Don Ivan: I am thinking of the relationship between us and the earth, with places of power and so on. For me, this is our projection, as those places are going to stimulate some part of our psyche. They also will be symbols, many timesFran another despacho archetypal structures from the outside that represent the energies inside, or that are projected from inside yourself to the outside. And also, with the work that we do with our body and bubble [poq’po]—all of the energies we create can be thought of as inner projections of yourself outwardly. In a certain way what happens is that we somatize certain aspects of our mind on our body. Those are our ñawis: your psyche, your psychic self, creates a universe from within your body. Parts of it will represent aspects of your mind. There may also be links to physical parts of our brain, of our neurological system, so it’s a whole. You are working with those power places that are related with those energies like willka, and you also at some level may be working with energies that are inside yourself and projected outward onto the place. But you are actually dealing with your inner world and energy. It’s like a big despacho, the world is like a big despacho, and you are relating with the parts and adjusting them, and these energies are going to organize the self.

Joan: This is such a beautiful interpretation and translation of the tradition, one from the fourth-level view. You need to write this down—to include this in the book you are writing to preserve it!

Don Juan: Do you know—this is your fault! We are writing a book with your help, and we are thinking and putting together things. The process with you is reminding us of things. We are generating an overview that was not there for us five or six years ago.

Joan: And I, too, am thinking in new ways and learning so much in the process of these discussions. You have no idea! So, thank you. And I am sure my blog readers thank you, too.

Interview about Willka: Part I

In this long discussion with don Juan Nuñez del Prado and his son don Ivan, we discuss willka in great detail. I have broken the discussion into a two-part interview, with this first part addressing willka more generally and then taking a deeper dive in the second part of the interview, which I will post in about a month. I have added explanations, context, and definitions when necessary in square brackets.

Joan: Willka is so central to us, especially since it runs down our spines and creates the yana chunpi. It’s black light energy, and it is said to be the most sacred and most powerful energy. In one of our previous conversations, you said that willka and indeed human energy are different from kawsay. That’s confusing to me, since everything is kawsay.

Don Juan: Human energy is a kind of living energy. A specific kind. Just like the sun is different from the moon, human energy is different from both kawsay and willka. Yes, kawsay is everything, but human energy is just one kind of Illustration of woman and man with aura, chakras and healing energykawsay. This is the runa kawsay pacha, the world of human living energy. [Runa means people or human being.] In that term, human energy is emphasized as a specific part of the kawsay pacha—the energy specifically related with humans.

Don Ivan: Kawsay is the energy of everything. And human energy is just part of that. It’s one frequency or vibration of kawsay.

Don Juan: Now, the willka—how does the willka energy emerge? It is not naturally in your siki ñawi. It is created when, for example during the Chunpi Away karpay [karpay for weaving the chunpis, or energetic belts], when you pull down the gold and silver cosmic energy along your spine and then you pull up the green earth energy, and you merge them. Together they form willka inside the human body. The whole process is happening inside the human bubble [poq’po]. This is the condition of the emergence of willka, I think. You must realize that this is not something that was explicitly explained by the masters.  

Joan: Ok, and when we talk about the progression of energy—munay, hampi munay,  willka, tawantin—willka is high in the hierarchy.

Don Juan: Hampi munay is close to munay and not yet willka. Willka is the full development of munay.

Joan: What is the difference in quality or effect, if any, between touching munay or hampi munay energy versus touching willka energy?

Don Juan: Hampi munay, which is healing love, is very kind. It’s a tender energy. Willka is very raw, amazingly strong. When you perceive willka, how it moves, you can be smashed! This is the feeling: that there is a raw power sleeping there, that can be awakened in willka. This is my experience. Objectively, we don’t know. This is not something the masters taught, so I am speculating from my subjective experience. The truth is that I don’t know. We have to grasp its meaning, how to work with it, because the masters didn’t teach about it. We have our own experience with it, and we can make assumptions based on our thinking deeply about it. It may be that the mastery of using the willka relates to the fifth level. But we don’t know about the fifth level, because it has not manifested yet.

Joan: You did tell me about one way of working with willka energy, which I won’t mention publicly in case someone tries it, and it was overpowering, it was beyond your ability to handle. It felt like the energy of a steam locomotive, really overpowering. Maybe that’s what the fifth-level energy is like.

Don Juan: When you touch willka, you can feel that force. To drive that energy is probably like learning to how to drive a locomotive! It is something powerful and complex, and you have to be able to handle a huge power. Willka in a certain way is the power of life and death.

Joan: Well. I certainly want to hear more about that!

Don Ivan: Let’s talk about how create willka in our exercises, in our work on the path. It’s a connection of the energy of the earth, which we say is green living energy, and cosmic energy, which is the gold and silver energy you pull down during the Chunpi Away karpay. You merge them inside of yourself. So, let’s ask: What is the energy of the earth? It’s all the power of the material, the power of material things, places, nature. What is the cosmic energy? It’s when we bring down the power of God—it’s like the drink of life. It’s like a trigger of life.

Joan: Creator energy.

Don Ivan: Yes, the Creator is the one who can take matter as it is and make it into a living thing or being. Through the grace of God there is life. So, what you are building with willka, bringing down the cosmic energy into the energy of matter, of the earth, is like using the energy of creation. This is the contact between the two: of the greatest spirit of God with matter. When you create willka you are doing that under the power of your will, by choice. You have that ability! It’s like making this quality of energy in a laboratory! But it doesn’t mean we are the only ones who can do that. Willka is everywhere. It is reality! Many times when we are working with energy, for example when we make hampi munay in the Hampi Munay Muyu practice in our chaupi work, people report seeing the black light! We make hampi munay by bringing down the cosmic energy and pulling up earth energy and running it through ourselves. Similar to how we create willka, and people see the black light sometimes!

Our master said the willka power can take you to the fifth level. That’s because this kind of energy is healing. It is related to munay, because in the Hampi Munay Muyu practice you are choosing, under your will, to take energy in the direction of healing power. This again is the recognition of the creative power. The power of willka can reset your body in a way that you can create yourself again, be healthy again, heal what needs healing at any level of the self.

Joan: The willka energy—we are so full of it! It is the energy of the entire yana chunpi, and in the Master Class we fill our Inka Seed with willka and then imprint that willka energy in all the interior pachas and ñawis. It’s prominent in so much of our work. So, is that like infusing the creative potential throughout our poq’po and body, and directing it toward our growth, our potential enlightenment?

Don Ivan: Yes, it’s like tuning yourself with willka.

Joan: So through willka, we are getting a huge input of creative, evolutionary energy within the self.

Don Ivan: Yes, and in the training many times you will find that you have to be able to tune yourself with something in order to be to keep it. You tune with an energy for a moment, then you relax and that connection goes away. To be able to hold it, to keep the connection in place, to stay at that frequency, that’s the very realization of the fifth level! Again, the masters did not teach this, but we have some experience with working with willka. It is an energy of the lowest frequency but very high power. You shouldn’t take it for granted or play around with it. It is serious. A power that you cannot handle might hurt you or even kill you if you cannot tune and use it. But this is speculation.

Joan: It’s important that people reading this make the distinction between what we know, or what the masters taught, and what we speculate about, so thank you for continually pointing that out. It certainly is very interesting speculation! I think we have enough to do with working with the willka we have after weaving the chunpis. With this form of willka alone we can re-create or reset ourselves, advance our conscious evolution. We will leave working with willka in other ways to the masters . . .  

Interview about Hucha and Power

Here is another excerpt from my discussions with don Juan Nuñez del Prado and don Ivan. I often wondered how seemingly hucha-filled people, especially national leaders, could rise to power. Doesn’t having a lot of hucha reduce your karpay, your personal power? Doesn’t having less power mean that you would lack influence? Actually, no, it’s Politicsdoesn’t mean that at all, as this intriguing conversation makes clear. The first part of this conversation is intellectual, referring as it does to several theories from academics. I add comments and explanations in square brackets to help readers follow along and understand better. Later in the conversation, things lighten up as bit as we ground the knowledge in the practicality of the Andean tradition.

Joan: So you have heard my question, basically setting up the equation that the more hucha you have, the less power and influence you have. Hucha reduces well-being, reduces personal power, and so on, right? So how can seemingly hucha-filled people—let’s take Hitler as an example—wield such power?

Don Juan: This is a fairly complex problem, which I also faced at one time. I will share the way in which I solved it in a somewhat complex and quite intellectual way. But first, it must be remembered that in the Andean tradition, hucha is not negative: it is energy that is simply heavy. And power is simply the ability to harness energy to do work.

In times of crisis, people are looking for a savior, that is, someone to solve the situation for them. The key to clarifying your question about hucha and power is by noting the difference between personal power and impersonal power. Personal power is a power that does not depend on circumstances. It is what German sociologist Max Weber calls “charismatic” authority. Charismatic power is fully self-contained [within the person] and cannot be missed [it is very noticeable to others]. It is basically a [person’s] intrinsic ability to do things, but it is not ordinary [or common]. Impersonal power, on the other hand, depends on the circumstances, such as social or political position, or on money, property, possession of means of destruction, etc. It is an extrinsic ability to do ordinary things, that is, to repeat an existing formula.

Joan: Ok, so far so good. That’s an important point: impersonal power that is not so much dependent on the qualities inherent in the person but on that person’s status or circumstance versus personal power that is intrinsic to the person, to their abilities.

Don Juan: Now let’s look at personality types and conditions of crisis. The historian Arnold Toynbee says that there are basically two classes of personalities that manifest themselves in a time of crisis: Creative personalities and Mimetic personalities. The Creative personalities are equivalent to the charismatic personalities of Weber I just mentioned and the Mimetic personalities to the routine personalities of the sociologist Erik Fromm. In Fromm’s book Fear of Freedom, he says us that most of the people, as long as they do not assume responsibility, are willing to hand over their power to another, provided that the other is the one who takes over the responsibility. [The thesis of the book Fear of Freedom “is that modern man, freed from the bonds of pre-individualistic society, which simultaneously gave him security and limited him, has not gained freedom in the positive sense of the realisation of his individual self.” This quotation is from the website] Toynbee speaks of two classes of saviors corresponding to the two classes of personality: The Creative personality type is associated with the type of savior called the Messianic Savior, who works through the transfiguration of the situation. That is, this type of savior is someone who, by being above the circumstances, is capable of reorganizing the existing forces in a new, more harmonious way. But he does not try to impose his solution; he only proposes the way to solve the problem and hopes that people will take it freely.

For the Mimetic personality type, the associated savior type is savior by the sword, or what is called the Caesarist. This is the solution of the routine: returning to some archaic form that once served to solve a similar problem. This type of savior believes that his solution is the solution, and he tries to impose it on others. Generally, he chooses a path based on force or violence.

The Creative type of people are always a minority, even if their solutions are the most efficient and definitive in the long run, and there are few people capable of understanding and following them. The Mimetic type of people, in contrast, are in the majority, and if a leader resolutely takes one direction, they follow almost automatically. It is theOn the crossroads herd mentality, and it is based on a kind of neurotic psychological contagion. In short, then, there is no contradiction between being full of hucha and having power. But this power, the Mimetic type of power, either leads to routine behaviors or destructive behaviors.

Joan:  That was quite an enlightening explanation! But I would like to bring this down to a more practical and less intellectual level. My judgment is that these heavy types of leaders are lower down on the scale of consciousness [the Andean, and other, traditions identify seven levels of consciousness]. If that is true, despite all the theory you just shared, doesn’t it mean they would not have a lot of personal power, or at least not a lot of influence? Because of their hucha, they would only have the power to influence a small group, and not a nation? How does a hucha-filled person of a lower level of consciousness, from a purely energetic point of view, and not a psychological or sociological point of view, wield so much power?  I am still missing something here.

Don Juan: Have you ever read Carl Jung? He has a key concept that applies here—the concept of consciousness inflation.

Don Ivan: It’s a very specific term: the conviction that you are bigger than you really are. From our point of view, this ego inflation is the only real risk of spiritual development.

Joan: I agree, but we’re back to psychology. My thought, and I am asking if it’s reasonable or not, is that someone might have an inflated ego but still not have a lot of personal power if he or she is hucha filled.

Don Juan: No, it’s power—just zero-level personal power [on the scale of the seven levels of consciousness]. At that level, you surrender to the lower aspects of yourself—to your impulses. You become something like an animal, undeveloped. But what happens to the people around you? If they really identify with that lower level of a human being [leader] than you [the leader] can connect at the lower levels with hundreds of people.

Don Ivan: Personal development is always like a pyramid. There are a vast number of people on the lower levels of consciousness and the [numbers] grow smaller and smaller as you go up. Normally we have the most developed people as our leaders. But in certain very unfortunate circumstances we lose the developed leaders, and the ones at the lower level [of consciousness] can become the ones who others, who are also at that level, constellate around.

These people still have energy. There is power there! It’s just a lower level of consciousness. When we don’t have a high-level leader, someone who is at least at the third level of consciousness, or even at the second level, then people just choose anyone who they think is better than them. In unfortunate circumstances, like what happened in the Second World War, you get someone like Hitler. He was a lower-level person, what we call a fetishist [using philosopher of religion Huston Smith’s term], which is at the first level of consciousness. He constellated his power through attracting zero- and first-level people, because no one else was there at moment for people to follow. It was just a really unlucky moment in history.

Don Juan: Take a look . . . you need to see this [Hitler’s rise] in a historical framework. The first thing [influence] was not the Second World War, it was the First World War. What was going on there? The US and USSR were both born [elevated] through the First World War. What happened then, as a consequence? A new kind of people, the Socialist, were arising and expressing their power. All the ancient powers become excited. . . What happened with the Europeans who had been ruling the world for the whole time? They were not able to accept that [see what was happening, that these “ancient” energies were activating and in a struggle]. The assassination of the Austrian was the trigger of a struggle between the new and the ancient regimes, of these two energies. Of course, the action of the new regime was violent. And this was the mistake, and triggered the violence of the time. But then the forces of the ancient regime were defeated. Back to the US and USSR: the victory was half achieved by the Russians, who had their revolution, and the other half was achieved by the North Americans. What happened? Even though it was defeated, the ancient regime did not die. Its power was resurrected by Franco in Spain, by Mussolini in Italy, and by Stalin in Russia. The three of them were man of a lower level of consciousness.

brain chained resized square-3446307_1920What is this a lower level [of consciousness]? Carl Sagan talked about the development of the human brain: the reptile brain, the mammal brain, the limbic zone, the right and the left hemispheres. . . You can take a look at that in Andean terms as the development of atiy (impulses), khuyay (passions, attachments, emotional intelligence), yachay (thoughts, reason) and munay (love under your will). The human powers. But the lower energy is that of the reptile brain, which makes you a person of the first level. When someone identifies with that, when he allows the lower part of the brain to drive him [the primal impulses], he expresses himself with the lower, least developed aspects of being a human. Other people then identify with that. . . It’s difficult to identify with people who are higher than you in consciousness. You identify with people at your own level or lower.

Yes, you are correct that your level of consciousness expands your impact. But your power attracts those at the same level, and there is power at any level. Part of the characteristic of the zero-level of consciousness is the mob or herd [energy dynamics]. At the first level, to use Hustom Smith’s term, there is the power of the fetish. This can be an individual, like a leader, who people invest their power in. A first-level person can be heavy in and they can have mob mentality too, but they transfer, or invest, their power outside themselves. [That can be onto someone with a lower level of consciousness who they elevate to leadership. That leader is like their living fetish.]

Joan: I can see that happening. It has here in the United States, at least according to some of us. It is happening in Europe, Central and South America, other places. There’s a lot of hucha!

Don Juan: Yes, but hucha is only heavy living energy. It’s survival energy, but very basic. You revert back to being a human of the beginning of our history [like early humans, evolutionarily one step above the apes, driven by survival impulses]. This energy is not evil—it’s hucha. Hucha is hucha! It’s heavy energy.

Don Ivan: You move things with energy, including with hucha energy. You can drive people with hucha. It is just energy. Normally, there are people who express that lower-level consciousness and their hucha to society, and, normally, other people, at higher levels, call them crazy! But in certain unfortunate moments we make them our leaders. They express their hucha and people of the same level identify with that and follow them.

Power is the capacity to do something. In terms of energy, you can use hucha or sami. And you will do it. When you grow on the path of consciousness, you reduce your hucha because you release the heaviness of past mistakes and other things, and that raises the level of your sami. Then your actions will be more elevated. But you can do things with hucha. It’s not a moral judgment. Energy as energy is beyond moral judgment. [Although, what you do as a human being within society is not beyond moral judgement.]

Joan: It’s a challenge to get beyond judgement, especially when a leader’s policies hurt people, cause massive suffering and even death. And when truth and justice fall victim to propaganda, disinformation, and even lies. It seems like politically, at least, we are devolving instead of evolving.

Don Juan: You know what was driving Hitler and others? It was the survival impulse. That is atiy. They want to survive—but in the old-fashioned way, according to the ancient power structures. They were trying to restore a regime that was finished. They were attempting a kind of psychological resurrection. In some places, this is happening again today. There is a big struggle between the old and the new.

Take a look at the book Energy and Structure: A Theory of Social Power by Richard Newbold. He is talking about energy as natural resources, but it applies to how we are talking about metaphysics, about hucha as a kind of energy and power.

But remember, you only can receive what you are capable of receiving. The system of seven levels of consciousness allows you to know what you are capable of receiving in every step. You are not going to go two steps forward, only one—we go one step at a time. And everybody starts at the zero level, remember that. We all do. And at each level what is real for the people there is totally real to them. We cannot argue with that [with what they think is real].

Don Ivan: At the basic level of life for all of us is survival—the will to survive. This is the basic will of the siki ñawi. It doesn’t have to be heavy. In fact, I think it is the energy that triggers every possible thing that can happen or be expressed through or by a human being, starting with our impulses: sex, protecting our territory and our family, all the survival mechanisms. We start there. Then we can grow, if we choose to. We don’t have to. Remember, you can be happy at any level of consciousness. But eventually, because of the energy of our Inka Seed, we feel the pull in the highest direction, what we can say is the search for God, for the numinous. It is not a certainty, but only a possibility, that people will feel that pull and follow it.

Don Juan: Let’s review and approach the problem from the Andean perspective: Kawsay is simply living energy, and energy produces work. Kawsay is [a spectrum from] sami to hucha. They are simply light living energy and heavy living energy. If the action is produced by hucha, it is a heavy action. If it is produced by sami, it is a light action. As an example, a caress and a slap are both totally possible actions, both expressing power. One is the result of the application of sami and the other of the application of hucha. Whether one or the other occurs depends on the quality and intention of the person who executes it.

Joan: Yes, getting back to basics always helps! I feel that both the weighty intellectual discussion and the more practical and simpler discussion have helped me sort through my confusion about hucha and the availability of or ability to wield power. I really get how hucha is power: not a reduction of power as I first thought, but a different expression of power. It’s not as simple an equation as I thought, and, as always, I see how the Andean tradition is applicable to many ways of looking at an issue. Thank you!