We've survived many catastrophes. According to legends, we people are in our fifth creation -- destroyed four times before. Each time it has been the Shapeshifter -- what you might call `sorcerer' or `prophet' -- who led us out of the abyss." --Vieja Itza, Mayan healer-shaman
The shamans believe that we are one with everything, including the mountains, the trees, and the jaguars. Therefore, if we are to look at the idea of true peace we must look at a much bigger concept than human existence. We must look for peace in all things.
If we only talk about peace among humans, then we are not truly talking about peace. If peace among humans means increasing populations and increasing wealth and misuse of the world's resources, then that spells disaster among the creatures of the sea, the plants and trees of the forest, the insects, and all other life forms on this earth. In the eyes of the shaman, "other life forms" also includes the lakes, the rivers, the oceans, the mountains, and the rocks.
"What will it take, your Holiness, for us to have peace?" And he said, "Well, you know, we cannot have peace until we have taken action that reflects our compassion, and our willingness to take responsibility." He said further, "Peace can only come from taking responsibility for all forms of life...all sentient beings, including the insects."
"The world is as you dream it, " he said at last. "Your people dreamed of huge factories, tall buildings, as many cars as there are raindrops in this river. Now you begin to see that your dream is a nightmare." He bent to pick up a stone. "The problem is your country is like this pebble." He threw it far out into the river. "Everything you do ripples across the Mother. -- Numi, Shuar Shaman
"You have lost touch with the Mother," he said. He stood up, held out his arms, and turned in a slow circle. He clenched his hands into fists and drew them to his heart. "Now it begins to hurt." "Yes." Incidents from my own life came to mind. "I sometimes think that all we care about is money and dominating things. Other people, other countries. Nature. That we've lost the ability to love." His eyes met mine, a stern look. "You haven't lost the ability." -- Numi, Shuar Shaman
"How can I change, Don Alberto? How can my people change this terrible situation we've created?" "That's simple," he replied. "All you have to do is change the dream." It sounded so easy. "How long will it take?" He glanced once more down the river. "It can be accomplished in a generation. You need only plant a different seed, teach your children to dream new dreams." --Numi, Shuar Shaman