Revival in Tierra de Vera Cruz
Adorning this spectre of paradise and its ultimate destruction in the inferno of hell in the countries of Latin America, are two others. From El Salvador - the Savior, famous for its clandestine death squads, to Brazil, christened by its discoverer Cabral Tierra de Vera Cruz - "Land of the True Cross", equally famous for killing every man, woman and child of the millennial movement at Canudos to erase it from the nation's memory and for the annulment of the conviction of Darly Alves da Silva for ordering the assassination of Chico Mendes, environmental campaigner and rubber tapper advocate, the only one among hundreds of such political murders since the 1970s to be effectively brought to trial.
Julio Cañari Alvarado with blue Virgin on the Cristo Rey. A lone Catholic among many born-again evangelists on board.
Complementing this macho tradition of vigilante abrogation of justice is the spectre of many forms of Christianity, from the deeply pagan manifestations of Catholicism, with its Marian processions, accompanied by deafening fireworks and idolatrous statues adorned with the gold of the Incas, a thin veneer for the undying affection for the ancient virgin sachamama, Mother Earth, anaconda of the founding Ashkanika, still honoured in the indigenous undercurrents. The many missionary stations relentlessly converting diverse Indian peoples from their ancient ways into a meek subservience to civilization. The strange Amazonian theological sects and those merging Qechua and Jewish beliefs. The union vegetale nominally Christian but imbibing the vine of the soul. The burgeoning tide of evangelisticas born again in Jesu Cristo, exhorting in the plazas and mercados with loudspeakers, drawing in the trusting and vulnerable with the baptism of rebirth, celebrated in indoctrinations large and small, from two or three gathered in video preaching parlours to en-mass baptisms in football stadiums.
The savannah and forest islands contain many flowering plants including brilliant yellow and purple flowering trees.
On the Conquista almost everyone is in the throes of a Christian
revival which is blowing in the wind across Latin America. Several
of the crew are born again - amicable but committed to spreading
the word that Jesus saves. Many people sing religious hymns loudly.
Everyone wants to know what denomination you come from. A woman
is studiously leafing through Biblical Apokalypsis beside me as
I write. A more intellectual looking man is reading "Hermenutica".
Another young man is poring over a Portuguese comic of the New
Testament. Direct simplicity of belief conveyed in Jesus saves,
Christ loves you. Christ is coming soon! - Jesu salvae. Cristo
te ama. Cristo viene pronto! - scrawled in white paint on the
rock faces of the mountain passes out of La Paz. The question
that continues to smoulder as I move through the Amazonas is "Can
this ocean of spiritual belief, the historical endowment of the
Western cultural tradition to the Garden, corpus Christianity
as a social movement of transformative love, be tapped to seed
a renewal of humanity's relationship with nature?"
To those that would decry the intrusion into the ecological arena of an old style religion which has rejected evolution, treats nature as abhorrent and diabolical and opts for a naive divine creation of a universe only a few thousand years old, I reply that where the great gardens of Earth's living diversity lie are also populations following major world religions, that saving life's diversity is not just a scientific or even rational question, because the Earth stands before us much like an artist's palette, that because the church and religion generally is a river to her people, infiltrating every town and village far into the jungle, given a wind of change to fulfil the destiny of the tree of life, she too can become a flood tide for renewal of life's diversity, by appealing to human altruism and love in a way which science never can on logical grounds alone.
There is no logical or scientific way alone to save the ecology of the planet. Indeed, Bertrand Russel has pointed out that science itself preaches that life is meaningless in a universe of utterly immense violent forces and that only the cosmic heat death awaits those intrepid ones who would venture into the black hole of intellectual honesty. This dilemma of science - that it has no net ethical content - means that science can be used equally for healing our planet's ecology or reducing it to a fragile genetically-engineered nightmare - for every committed ecologist there is an unscrupulous corporate genetic engineer. The choices are creative and have to do with love and inspiration not simply scientific logic.
Butterfly species in the savannah Beni Biological Reserve.
Although the evolutionary process will be with us as long as
there is life on Earth and humanity may pass away through accident
or misadventure long beforehand, we have gained such powers to
alter the living face of the planet that is its now only through
our love and creative vision that the planet will, in the short
term become whole again. This is a creative process of free choice
which goes far beyond the rational and scientific. In so far as
love and social justice have a meaning, they are also the key
to the future of life's diversity. Great social movements, the
Christian church and the paths of the book included, have a key
part to play because in their redemption, they can give people
the will, love and ethical commitment to share and protect Earth's
living resources for the greater good.
The Iquitos Naming
from The Three Halves of Ino Moxo by Caesar Calvo
Inner Traditions ISBN 0-89281-519-1
Read at Iquitos 10th October 1999 in respect of the tradition of the curandero, the living sacraments, as a warning of the immense loss to the welfare viability and natural experience of future generations in pronouncement of renewal of Biodiversity in proclaiming the epoch of the Tree of Life - Arbol de Vitae.
The Iquitos Namings of the Species
In Genesis Adam named the creatures in defining the diversity of life. He we follow the shamanistic tradition portrayed in "The Three Halves of Ino Moxo" by Caesar Calvo himself a son of Iquitos.
Reading the namings of Ino Moxo
"Look at the jungle. If you try to listen to the sounds
of the jungle what do you hear?" And as if he had just caught
himself, as if he himself were both the blowgun and the dart and
the hunter and the prey and the burning wood waiting in the kitchen,
Ino Moxo raised his voice: "Not only the scream of the alert
monkeys, not only the humming of the mosquitoes, of the arambasa,
which is the darkest and fiercest bee, of the chinchelejo, which
you call dragonfly, of the chushpi, which infects you as it bites,
of the charachyupaúsa which bleeds without warning, you
not only hear the ronsapa hissing in the wind, and the mantablanca
, which drinks your hair, and the quilluavispa of yellow flights,
and the papási, which is born of worms, but is not a worm,
and the wairanga, which never touches the ground.
Not only do you hear the flute bird, the firirín, which can't fly and has wings, nor the ushún nor the tabaquerillo, nor the shánsho nor the piuirí nor the grayish timelo, nor the white white tibe, nor the taráwi, which eats snails and is too black, nor the sharára, which knows how to live under water very well, and even better above the wind, nor the blue zui-zúi, nor the great yungurúru, whose eggs are of the zui-zui colour, nor that giant red and white stork called tuyúyu. Not only will you listen to the all-knowing urkutútu. Nor the quichagarza, loose in excrement. Nor the ucuashéro , nor the tiwakuru, which only eats ants and sings in the top of the wimbras, nor the páwcar, which imitates the all songs of the other birds, with its yellow and black plumage, nor the unchala, the same as a wine-red dove, nor the paujil, which you may have tasted with flesh more flavourful than that of the makisapa monkeys, more flavourful than the meat from the small white lizards, more pleasant than the plum from the tageribá, nor the tatatáo, which is a bird of prey that some call virakocha. You not only hear the maraquiña duck, the locrero, the pinsha, the montete, which in certain places is called trumpetero, the tuhuáyu, the pipite, the panguana, which always lays five eggs and then dies, those blue macaws thay call marakána, nor the carnivorous wapapa (surely you have seen it on the Mapuya river), not only do your hear its cousin the wankáwi giving the alarm when a human being approaches, nor the chinwakullin, nor the korokóro nor the ayamáman, which weeps like an abandoned child, nor the camúnguy, nor that man-sized stork with grey feathers called mansháku, so many birds ...
Not only do youhear the fat clouds of insects, chirping out after dusk deep into the labyrinth of the jungle. Not only does the distrustful snake sound out, the túnchi forecasting a death, the sly quiet otorongo seeking warm flesh, nor the sticky ronsoco in the yuca patches, nor the huge fish with big heads in tricky nets.
Not only do you hear fish: the akarawasú, the gamitana, the tamborero, the paiche three metres long with a bony tongue, which lays creatures, not eggs, the peje-torre, which inflates itself with air and floats like a buoy, the dorado which has a single spine, the chállualagarto, the kunchi, the añashúa, the eel that kills you with just one electric discharge, the manitóa, the shitári, the doncella, framed in black fringes, the chullakaqla, orphan without scales, the tiríri, the fasácuy in the bottom of lakes, the shirúi, the maparate, the shiripira, the bujúrqui the makána which looks like a sword with three edges, the shuyu, which knows how to walk on land, a fish of the road, and the canero, which enters your anus and eats your guts, and the demento-chállua, which almost flies through the air, almost, and more incredible, the saltón, that giant fish that jumps several yards above the surface, weighs more than two hundred pounds and measures over two metres long.
Not to speak of the paña , which you know about as piraña which consumes you in a few moments without reluctance. And the kawára huge, and the palometa, tasting almost like a desert and the bujéo also called the river dolphin, the female being more delicious in love than a woman, more tasty according to the fishermen who have tried it, and it has a vagina and breasts like a woman, and delivers its yong like a woman. Cutting out the labia of a female bujéo and curing them, some shimimpiáre make infallible bracelets for the love affairs of rejected lovers, as is well known. And you also hear the great carachama with a stone mouth, which lives out of the water for a week or more , and which comes from long ago , from before the deluge, before the tiger came and dispersed our first Ashkaníka ancestors, so many fish ...
Not only do you hear snakes, the innocent afanínga, harmless among the pastures, barely defending itself by swishing its tail, and the aguaje-rnachácuy, which breathes in the water and has skin like the surface of the fruit of the palm, and the deadly small naka-naka stalking in the rivers, and the mantona with its useless length of ten metres, harmless to anyone with its ten yards of strident colours, pure naive ornament, and the poisonous five meter long chushúpe biting its prey several times, and the yanaboa reaching fifteen metres in length, as thick as a man, whom it first hypnotizes and the devours, and the sachamáma boa with ears, different from the yakumama, which lives only in the water. The sachamáma is a land boa, it inadvertently undergoes mimesis: grass grows freely on its body. The jergón instead undegoes mimesis but with a purpose: As it grows its skin turns to a reddish colour, mottled like brilliant leaves, and you can spot it by its aura, by that brilliance, that the jergón leaves in the places through which it will pass, as a signal, as a soul.
You hear so many existences, so many silent wisdoms, when you hear the jungle. And that is even without being able to hear any longer the song of the fishes which once brightened the waters of Pangoa, the Tambo and the Ucayali rivers, muscial animals that foresaw the arrival of the great black otorongo, and fled days before its arrival and were saved. You must know that the otorongo, with its giant paws produced an avalanche of rocks that killed the life in the rivers. Only those singing fish, which in their songs spoke and listened to the future, could survive the mud of those paws. Even though today they may no longer know how to sing, or perhaps if they still know how to sing they must do so in secret, with sounds our ears are not accustomed to perhaps in another dimension ...
Floating markets Iquitos
You should know that everyone, even human beings when they are very young, can hear the future, just as fish could do before the deluge, as so many present day animals can do. So many lives that know what will happen and cannot speak to us, warn us. Children in general, have nine senses, not five, and I have seen some that have access to eleven. As they grow, their bodies gradually become poisoned with foods and with miseries, and as their souls become home to stained thoughts and dreams, the bodies and the thoughts of men lose their senses, their forces. That is why the sorcerors, the great shirimpiure,in order to fully exercise thepowers of air, to fully develop the powers of seeing use the spirits of children, souls like new little families, occupying the abodes of their body, the ruinous dwellings ...
Not only do you hear animals, the awíwa, the worm one can eat like the zúri, another tasty worm of many colours, and the noisy toad that weighs more than a kilogram and is called wálo and the bocholócho, which knows how to sing , and in its song knows only how to say its own name, bocholóchoooo, calling always to itself from afar, and the manacarácuy, a fighter, invincible among birds, and the cupisu, a small water turtle, whichy eats its own eggs and flesh, and the firece wangána, wild pigs that live in herds of savage fangs, and the tokón, that monkey with a huge hairy tail and the allpacomejeen an ant sentenced to live in the ground, and the bayuca, poisonous worm covered with blue, yelow, red and green hairs, and the large ant without poison that feeds on mushrooms and is called curuínce, and the añuje, almost like a hare of some size, and the isango, which we can't see and bites us, getting into our flesh like a punishment, and theanañawi, the eye of the dead, which others call the firefly or glowworm, and the achúni, sought after because it has a bony phallus, which when powdered is used to season the potions usd by impotent men , and the other wild boar with coarse hair and a snowy collar named sajino , and the ronsoco, perhaps the largest rodent in nature one metre long and one hundred kilos in weight, and the apashira, whose name is used by villagers as a synonym for a womans sexual parts. The sounds come from so many animals that you've seen, that you haven't seen, that no one will ever see - creatures that learn how to think and converse just as human beings do ...
Predicted state of the Amazon by 2020 New Scientist 15 Oct 2005 35-39.
The sounds also come from plants, from vegetables: the katáwa, with poisnous sap, the chambira which lends its leaves to make rope, the breadfruit tree, which they call pandisho the tall makambo, with big leavesandafruit resembling a man's head, the spiny ñejilla, which grows in the lowlands, the rugged pashako the machimango, with impossible odors, the chimicúa , whose branches tear with the slightest breeze, the wakapú with harder heartwood than the bloodwood, the itininga, the witino, the itahúba, the winkungu, with its black spines, and the straight treee called espintana, which when fallen is good to sit on and talk, and the wakapurána, better for firewood, and the chonta, heart-of-palm, from waseai, cinámi, pijuáyu and hunguruáhui, palms. And the hunguráhui from whose fruit flows an oil which makes hair grow. And the creeping wayúsa whose leaves contain a powerful tonic to erase weakness, and the sapote with a fruit the color of green shade. And the very hard tawarí. And the shiringa, the rubber tree that unwittingly brought us disgrace. And the quinilla and the tamaráo, and the shapája of oily fruits and the wiririma and the giant shebón, offering leaves to thatch rooves with, and the vegetable marble we call tágua, and the sitúlli, that rarest banana with great red flowers and the wingu, a bush whose fruit becomes a cup to hold drinks and is called tutúmo and the pitajáy , the black andhard pona.and the giant aguaje, and the andiroba, and the caimito, with furits like a virgin's breasts, and the waqrapona, waisted palm and the delicious anona, and the cashú, which is almond on the outrside, and on the inside more sweet and juicy, and the apasharáma, with a leather-curing sap, and the barbasco, with a poison root, and the citrus camucámu, semiaquatic, and the capirona, matchless as firewood and charcoal, and the aripasa, with its small green-gray round fruit not to be eaten and the curmala, and the punga and the cumaréba and the cashirimuwéna, and the ashúri, which protects teeth from caries, and the catiríma, whose fruits are fought over to the death by some fish, and the beautiful cocona, and that tuber eaten raw, called ashipa and the pucaquiro with very hard red heart wood and the leafy punqúyu under whose shadow nothinbg can live because it expells venom from its branches and the leafier parinári, with a large red fruit called súpay-oqóte, devils ass, and the lupuna in the river banks, with its immobile wings red on white, just above the ground, thebiggest of trees in all of Amazonia. And the other one that rains like a winter roof. And the other one that inflates and explodes worse than a hundred bullets in the night, deep in the forest. and the renaco, growing more than forests without leaves and without flowers and the garabatokasha, whichcures several types of cancers and dissolves the torpor of the aging joints, and the tamshi, which distances you from the cold and the coca used with ayawashka for divination, and the kamalonga is used also for diagnosis, and the renaquílla entertains the lame, and the wankawisacha cures alcoholics forever, and the chamáiro helps in chewing coca, and the blackscrew floating beneath water, halfway down thin rivers which betray better than the juice of tohé when the moon is green and the time is good to cut cedars without splitting their bark, and the paka, which also sounds like a tunnel along vanished rivers, and the zarsaparilla cures syphilis, and the green papaya eliminates the mange and the bad breath and its leaaves cover the toughest meats and turn the juice of the flowers of tohé. And the tohé which makes you see the worlds of today and the worlds of tomorrow that form those of today,and the para-pára, better known as the as the hipporcúru . That leaf never loses its shape, as if it returns to the original shape in the branch , always returns to how it was, to its size, to the size and form of its two births. And it is not for that reason but for the powers that flow from afart hat the leaf of the hipporcúru knows how to return sexual youthfullness to men and the quinoquina, which centuries ago learned how to wash rotting wounds, And the vine of the dead ayawaskha sacred, the Mother of the Voice in the Ear. With ayawaskha, with oni xuma, if you deserve it, you can pass from dreams to reality, without leaving the dream ... So many, so many plants all producing sounds. The abuta - pay attention - the abuta, a medium height tree whose reddish root is boiled and when the liquid is drunk, in a few days the sugar in the blood is erased, diabetic no longer suffer. And the mariquita, half lover, half flower, which knows how to open only in the purest shade. And the tzangapilla, orange and large, an only daughter, a flower warmer than a feverish forehead. All of them, all of them produce sound as the stones do.
And above all, you hear the sounds of the steps of the animals one has been before being human, the steps of the stones and the vegetables, and the things every human has previously been. And also what he has heard before. before all that you can hear at night in the jungle.. Inside each one of us hears throughout life, dances and fifes and promises and lies and fears and confessions and war shouts and moans of love. Voices of the dying that one has been or that one has only heard.. True stories, stories of tomorrow. Because everything that one will hear, all of that sounds in the middle of the night, in the jungle. It is in the jungle that sounds in the middle of the night. Memory is much, much more, do you know? The truthful memory also remembers what is to be - and what will never come about, it also retains that.. Imagine. Just imagine. Who could hear everything? What could hear everything at once and believe it?
The Rio Redemption of the Tree of Life
I'm coming here to Rio to pronounce something about the millennium,
and its about the destruction of biodiversity in the Amazon and
I come on this vigil to Rio because the Rio biodiversity convention happened in 1992 and essentially all those good promises have been abandoned, that the rate of clearing of rainforest in the Amazon basin has increased by perhaps thirty percent. The last burning season in Bolivia was an atrocious example just as the fires in Sumatra in 1997 and 1998 with el Niño were atrocious, of absolutely wanton destruction promoted by many factors - promoted by national governments to make rapid gains, because of corruption; promoted by transnational corporations; promoted by the world bank, who are trying to amend their track record, but their track record is atrocious, promoted by hacienda owners who manage to get large swathes of land by owning cattle, and in final turn by small scale settlers who don't know any better, because of the examples that are set - massive destruction of hell fire throughout the hot spots of genetic diversity on this planet.
Now the religious tradition stands accountable, particularly
Christianity and the Judaic tradition assuming dominion over nature
in the very genesis, in assuming dominion in the Eden story by
the sweat of our brow to conquer nature, in a failure of engagement,
in a confrontation with the natural in which woman was cursed,
the snake was cursed, nature was cursed and by the sweat of our
brow we set out to dominate nature and that has been an excuse
ever since for civilization to dominate nature in the name of
And what we find now looking back on this whole epoch is that it is really a stream of consciousness account of the fall of humanity in patriarchal urban civilization from integration and attunement with nature. And we now stand as the dawning of cosmic humanity looking at ourselves and the universe, and this is the real apocalypse, this is the unveiling of our true nature as cosmological entities biologically in space-time.
The aim of Jesus' mission was to bring about the return of the tree of life and that was the sense in which he was trying to undo the original mistake that people perceived to have been made in Eden. Now the mistake that was made in Eden was to forsake the continuity of immortal life and the prophecy at the end of the Bible is that of the return of the tree of life, which is "things hidden since the foundation of the world". The tree of life was hidden and withdrawn by God lest we have both immortal life and knowledge.
Now to care for the planet in cosmological time we need now
to have the tree of life back. And there is a phenomenal contrast
between the destruction of the Amazon forest by fire by what is
inferno and the destruction of all the great forests of the world
by logging by fire by chainsaw by bulldozer, but particularly
by fire because inferno is the word for hell and paradise is couched
in terms in every artistic representation of the diversity of
the animals, Adam naming the animals, the diversity of the animals
and plants, and the creation of the cosmos in its diversity and
we stand responsible in cosmic time.
Shortly after Jesus was crucified, there were over a million people reputedly killed in the siege of Jerusalem and there was a diaspora of Israel so there's a real sense that the ends of days that was prophesied by the Jewish apocalyptists in a political sense actually did come about, but the mission of Jesus and the timing of the mission stands very temporary in human political terms by comparison with the sort of crisis we are perpetration on the world in evolutionary time through the destruction of biodiversity and by genetic engineering our food plants.
And the damage that is being done now in the Amazon and that damage that will be done of companies like Monsanto are allowed to engineer the food plants that are grown across the vast productive areas of the planet and not protect the natural diversity of our food plants is absolutely huge and will be a detriment and a famine to humanity which could last fifty million years, at least ten million years.
We are facing a situation that between a third and two thirds of our genetic diversity will be lost now you cannot regain that ever.