Guatemalan Odyssey 2: Lies That Speak the Truth

Tata asked us not to twist his words, passing on an obligation he feels to his ancestors. If we embroider, we lie. For him the issue is straightforward: even intellectually brilliant work like Calleman’s is fabrication. I think of a Western teacher, Jacques Lacan, who said ‘I always tell the truth but the truth I tell is not always the truth I think I am telling.’ Lacan would not have been thought of as spiritual but as a psychoanalyst he knew how the conscious mind can be overridden by influences from ‘the unconscious’.

Psychologists explain this phenomenon in terms of subtle outbreaks of emotion that has been repressed due to its painful associations. Spiritual people know that ‘normal’ consciousness can also be disturbed by inspiration coming from yet other levels of awareness. Artists know that pain and inspiration are often closely linked and that, by disowning our pain, we may also disavow our greatest gifts.

The reason for this is also said to be straightforward: when we are hurt, we tend to avoid behaviours and circumstances that led to this. We become wary and lose our spontaneity, sticking instead to what is expected or required. We screen out painful memories of original hurt, which fades into the background. Non-spontaneity thus becomes our un-natural, ‘normal’ disposition.

This order of ‘normal’ consciousness takes shape around imperatives of conformity and regulation. Behind it lie buried gifts of spontaneity that never got a chance to be declared. The only way they can now be expressed is if they break free of the unconscious to which they have been consigned – in dreams, fantasies, creativity or acting out, for example.

We are liable to feel threatened or shamed by these expressions because they tell us things about ourselves which we have been cultured to forget. They invite us to embrace another order of truth and to change. But we are wary of change because we still unconsciously fear repetition of pain we have long tried to suppress.

We disown our dreams and with them forgotten gifts that always press for recognition behind our façade. And if our ‘normal’ consciousness has been shaped in an order of culture where the spiritual nature of humanity and existence has been forgotten, then the deep truth of our inherently spiritual nature will also be repressed, distorted and forgotten.

Forgotten, that is, until something happens that inspires us to remember: an encounter with some person, book or film that reactivates suppressed awareness of long-buried potential. This process reflects the same intrinsic yearning for fulfilment that causes us to register night dreams which we forget again by day, until something happens to remind us.

These reminders challenge us to break the hold of self-administered repression, particularly in spiritually inert societies, where dreams are likely to signal potentials for truth and expression that are of a higher order than those observed by mainstream consciousness. Such dreams can easily be dismissed as ‘lies’. Unfortunately, they can’t just focus on gifts and potentials.

They must also acknowledge pain which has been covered over by repression. Dreams which would free our potential must also reflect parts of our make-up which block its realisation, as well as scenarios of inner conflict which this creates. We must face such challenges before we can access the rewards of a greater life.


If, on the other hand, we have been brought up in a culture which recognises the spiritual nature of existence and operates an educational system designed to bring us to awareness of who we are and what we are for, then effects of repression will be less widespread and severe. In such cultures, it is possible to honour Tradition as a means to inspiration rather than the bulwark of oppression that cynical moderns project.

I realised this when I heard Tata explain that he had no wish to lie by pretending to know more than he did. Tradition underpins the source of his authority, not personal ingenuity. This attitude contrasts sharply with norms in the academic environments I used to frequent. Indeed, it is generally believed by moderns that Tradition suffocates the urge to innovate, especially if this tends to undermine existing structures.

The usual response is ‘Why would anyone want to undermine a structure that already promotes truth and fulfilling expression?’ A counter-response might be ‘Because evolution demands novelty and change.’ A required balance is evoked by the ancient Chinese Tao Te Ching: ‘Woe to one who innovates while ignorant of the Constant.’

The Constant is that which doesn’t change but it would be mistaken to assume on this account that it is static. Why so? St. Teresa of Avila says ‘the way to Heaven is already Heaven.’ She knew that this ‘way’ is the Constant, the ultimate framework of our lives which unfolds as we evolve within it. In order not to lose this ‘way’, we must remember who we are and what we are for. Indigenous people can remind us here, notwithstanding effects of colonisation.

They retain depths of memory that modernity lost in its unbalanced zeal to progress. For them, Tradition preserves an awareness of origins that is secured by direct transmission and overseen by elders who have been shaped to embody its wisdom. Such wisdom is cumulative. It builds on the knowing of past elders. First people live in the consciousness of their ancestors, allowing a depth and continuity of experience that we moderns can scarcely imagine.

The Maya have held firmly to their Constant despite centuries of exploitation. Their fortitude in preserving a vision of human origins and potential, along with that of other First Peoples, serves now as a beacon for cultures which forgot their Constant in the scramble to ‘develop’. Many were wounded in this scramble, perhaps all. Our question is: now that it has happened, what options remain for societies that have lost their way?

We can’t all become Mayans but we can learn from them. We must seek to restore our sense of Constancy by whatever means are available to us. Our problem is two-fold: 1) we have lost the clarity and continuity of culture which might have linked us to an authentic sense of human origins and destiny; and 2) our efforts to overcome this loss are invariably distorted by the imprints of our wounding, individual and collective.

We cannot simply speak our truth when the truth our consciousness has been shaped to speak is a product of emotional repression, political misinformation and spiritual amnesia. Such truth is not Truth. It doesn’t serve the Constant. Protesting, our unconscious overwhelms and undermines as anxiety, depression and a range of psychosomatic ailments. Externally, this phenomenon manifests as famine, warfare and other ecological disasters.


Tata’s remembering is secured by the continuity and depth of a cultural tradition that has been heroically maintained by the elders of successive generations. Modern people whose cultures lack depth, continuity and elders must remember by other means. We must bring forth our truth from quagmires of blockage, confusion and forgetting. As we do this, we gradually retrieve our true Dreaming.

All movement towards Truth that we ignore in ourselves is reflected in worlds that we create. To counter this, we must allow our dreams to surface beyond pain and attend to them without attachment. Only then will we see what moves us to authentic action. An authentic action is one we can commit whole-heartedly. What moves us to such action is what excites and inspires us from within.

We can’t control this process. We can only yield to it. This distinguishes it from the ‘twisting’ that Don Alejandro rightly fears. Our souls don’t lie but to access their capacity for truth we must be prepared to face the wounds which history has imposed upon them without fear and without attachment. This is as true of the Maya as the Irish.

Failing it, we can’t relate as equals. Someone will always need to be a Master, which requires others to continue playing a role as slave, student or otherwise disempowered foil. True freedom is found in our ability to participate equally in relationship. This is something that can only happen beyond the shadows cast by pain.

We must admit our pain to shed it and gain access to new gifts of truth. This process must be realised in stages. Too much too soon can’t be integrated. The soul regulates our dreaming and knows this. It will never overwhelm if we pay attention and respond. Feeling the pain of blocked emotion to a point of release allows us to live more from Heart, the centre of our felt awareness.

Living from Heart, beyond attachment even to our wounds, we are most open to what Soul is always waiting to disclose. The more deeply we permit disclosure, the deeper we are drawn into Soul. We pass through levels of wounding – personal and collective – eventually to arrive at a point where we engage energies of Source inside us. Then we are both moving and still, aligned to the Constant while evolving consciously within it.

As a species, we need to innovate while mindful of the Constant. This is what it means to evolve consciously and realise our godly powers of creative, truthful dreaming. God/dess longs for this return of creative, truthful dreaming now because, by virtue of it, great changes can be wrought by peaceful means. Such creativity is the birthright of all. Its promise has been obscured by dogma, coercion and forgetting.

Integral indigenous communities reflect for modern people images of human potential and relatedness in ways that many of us now yearn to remember. They live in the memory of their sacred landscape, which includes the memory of their ancestors. They derive inspiration and meaning from this. They honour the Constant by preserving stories of their origin (relationship to Source) and purpose.

This knowledge is part of a lived reality. It is not abstract but immediately felt. It permits a sense of alignment and belonging which modern people can scarcely comprehend. Despite this, primal stories are rejuvenating for us too. Tata’s ‘creation’ story holds modern audiences spellbound. It reminds us that we too are expressions of Great Mystery.

It also raises fundamental questions (Who am I? Where am I from?) without subordinating them to answers. Our resonance with the questions establishes them as vehicles of a wondrous realisation that there is more, much more, than we were ever told.

I rewrote Tata’s story as ‘Dream of the First People’ in a bid to clarify my relationship to it. More than an impiety of ‘twisting’ emerged as I remembered that even we moderns already are the knowing we have been programmed to seek outside ourselves. See


Primal stories spark self-recognition, accelerating latent tendencies towards remembering and whole-hearted expression that are rising in us anyway at this time. The Maya know this well, since their sacred calendar ordains that Earth is now moving into a major transformation that will trigger rapid changes in consciousness.

More pragmatic indices in our ‘developed’ world also point towards this conclusion: the depletion of fossil fuels, for example, indicates a coming upheaval in the order of civilisation. Similarly, climate change portends dramatic upheaval in the conditions of life on Earth. From a spiritual perspective, both portend dramatic transformation of Earth’s consciousness.

Mayan prophecy foresees ‘End Times’ that are now imminent, during which Earth will be plunged into ‘three days’ of darkness, out of which a new Sun (of consciousness) will be born. The mythic resonances of this ‘death and resurrection’ are apparent but now a whole planet, including all her creatures, will be undergoing the change.

For this reason the Maya are now asked by their tradition to share its wisdom with the world, although it has been guarded in secrecy since invasion devastated the culture centuries ago. To open after such wounding requires courage and resolution. The same is also asked of other First Peoples at this time. Together they have a mandate to assist us through coming changes, however destructive these may seem.

I say ‘seem’ because every evolutionary transition is fundamentally creative, be it an identity crisis or mortal illness. Even death is a creative transformation that releases consciousness from a spent phase of its development into a new, less limiting one. The core of any spiritual worldview is knowing that Reality is One, as Consciousness is. Spirituality is simply a realisation of connectedness across and beyond boundaries of space-time. Connectedness here refers to an inner architecture of Oneness.

Despite impressions of internal fracture that arise, there can be no separation. There is nothing outside Consciousness/Reality to which its inherent dynamism can be relative. It is therefore Constant: moving and still. Deviation is impossible within this process. Everything happens as it must. Even wars and invasions are creative. They bring diverse groups together, obliging us to find better ways of dealing with each other until we recognise that we really are all One. There is no scope for blame in this often sad affair.

All our encounters represent moments in an ongoing realisation of the Mayan principle of ‘Im lak’ech’. Spirit plays the role of Chinese and Tibetan, Inquisitor and Witch, Shaman and Conquistador. There is no separation apart from our illusory identification with the roles we play in this dream. We are all called to awaken now and REALISE (not just preach or understand) our Oneness, First People as well as errant moderns.

It is not just that First People were virtuous in holding to the Constant while others did evil by invading their lands. This had to happen in order to reveal that there are no ‘others’. All human expressions of God have needed to connect to begin our long, slow dance towards this remembering, thus stimulating growth towards a fifth sun of new consciousness. The same principle is currently being extended to encompass extra-terrestrial domains.

In this unfolding of what has to be in service of What Is, the generic gift of First Peoples has been to hold a memory of human origins, identity and purpose. They remind us how we can make Home, on Earth and in Cosmos. A gift of modernity, paradoxically, has been to register in experience the unsustainable burden of dreaming that human reality could ever be maintained as separate from Oneness and its enveloping Mystery of Creation.

Moderns who are fortunate enough to make contact with elders really get this, such has been the urgency of our need. Also, because we have sought to atone for the devastating impact of our cultures’ alienated practices, we also provide First People with opportunities to test the healing of their wounds. Above all, such meetings provide opportunities to encounter Self in guises of apparent Otherness.

We are all expressions of One Self. We all mirror potentials for each other: paths our souls might have followed but don’t need to if reports can be filed by other means. Conversely, every judgment we project marks an issue that holds us in illusion. Reflecting, absorbing, un-masking in this way, we enact a Unity that fosters the birth of our new Sun. We can then bring our sacred lands into alignment with each other and the order of Cosmos.


The runaway yang tendencies of modernity unleashed a torrent of dissociated creativity that was prolific and debased. It was debased because it was produced in separation: divorced from awareness of various levels of context that support and constrain it, ranging from the natural environment of our planet to the spiritual context of Creation. Our creativity had to be prolific to compensate the lack that separation opened in us.

Dangerously unbalanced, we exported unacknowledged craziness and grief. Our creativity became addictive, banal, dysfunctional, unsustainable and un-regenerate. Without awareness of the Constant, our lust for innovation led to woe. But it also engendered something daring, fearless, ambitious and imaginative. What might be managed if this protean, visionary aspect of our species’ potential could be brought (back) into right relationship with the Constant?

The Constant is never static. It is an intrinsically ordered, dynamic flow described by mystics of all traditions and evoked by the structure of the Mayan calendar. Human creativity proper expresses the Flow of Creation. If the rampant, alienated creativity of our modern world could be successfully married with honouring of the Constant as maintained by ancient-indigenous peoples, realignment would promptly be achieved and a newly integral humanity born of it.

Conscious evolution requires memory and progression. There is no growth of consciousness without inclusion and transcendence of all we have been. The memory of ancient-indigenous peoples stretches back to the time of Calleman’s Regional Underworld. They are our spiritual ancestors in this respect. They honoured the Constant while we rode whirlwinds of change, particularly after the late 15th century.

If we can shed the lop-sided obsession with mastery which this induced and balance the creative impulse it freed in us with the Constant observances of our elder kin, something beautiful and new might yet be accomplished. To achieve this, we must learn to relate as equals, with full integrity on both sides until we remember that there are no sides.


We never left Home but our experience has long been of exile. The condition of our exile has been a forgetting that we are equal parts of God. Recollecting this supreme identity brings with it a responsibility to exercise inherent powers of divine creativity in service to Earth’s evolution. Our Mother has sustained us through long periods of forgetting. Now, as we are remembering, we acquire a freedom to do something beautiful and new by singing her through her time of great change.

All this and more we can do if we act together, out of genuine Unity consciousness that we are all equal parts of God implicated in a singular design. This goes beyond current notions of tribal elders just telling everyone what must be done, according to prophecies that have long since been laid down. As Rumi says: ‘Straying maps the Path’, especially with regard to innovation. First People have held firmly to the Constant. This has been their service to all.

We have strayed and gotten badly lost. This too was an expression of Divine Creativity. It helped us map a way towards a level of Unity/Consciousness that has yet to be achieved. Now, awakening to memories of Home, we align our lust for innovation with First People’s adherence to the Constant. The fruit of this alignment would be something new: a realisation of the Way of Heaven as consciously self-creating.


In addition to New Children and high avatars, there are two primary streams of reincarnation at play in our current unfolding. The first involves souls who reincarnate in specific cultures, typically indigenous. Their soul history encompasses the entire body of ancestral awareness associated with their people. Don Alejandro impressed me as a striking example of this type.

The second type involves equally ancient souls whose incarnations spread across a range of human groups, including native peoples but also others who have figured as initiators of colonial expansion. Such souls are given to universal compassion at this time of remembering and yearn for experiences of belonging carried by native cultures, even in the wake of colonisation. I strike me as an example of this type.

This second stream surfaces in modern cultures as New Age pioneers who are driven to make contact with First People at exactly the same time as their traditions tell them they must open once again. We are also inspired to visit sacred sites all over Earth, re-knitting them and integrating diverse strands of our variegated soul histories as we go. We bring healing to these places, and they to us.

Connecting with their human keepers, we co-create templates for new possibilities of human encounter, based on love. This process clarifies our consciousness, leaving us better able to facilitate a clearing of Earth’s sacred places so that they become active again, communicating with each other and the stars. Earth’s Light Body resurrects as this happens. She becomes once more a vibrant member of the Cosmic community, ready to ascend in peace. Mastery is only found in peace.

Comments are closed.