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Tiwanaku: Eleusis of the Andes

Leonard George, Ph.D.

On January 21, 2006, Bolivian President Evo Morales called the old gods to bless his inauguration from the top of a pyramid in Tiwanaku. With this act, he tapped the site’s ancient meaning and power. The Incas revered Tiwanaku as the womb of humanity. Spanish priests damned the place as a hive of devils. Independence fighters proclaimed it a beacon of national freedom. Mormons held that the city is mentioned in The Book of Mormon as an antediluvian seaport. But long before the coming of the Incas, Tiwanaku was a magnet for pilgrims from across the Andean world, akin to the antique Mediterranean mystery centers.

 

Sun and Sky - Earth and Stone

Mystery Architecture of Peru

Steve Bass, M.A.

Peru has been home to a series of cultures beginning many thousands of years ago. By 2500 BCE, settled civilization was underway and monumental urban structures started to be built, contemporary with the civilizations of India, Egypt, Mesopotamia and megalithic Europe. This presentation surveys the range of structures the ancient Peruvians left to us, following their development from early times through to the 16th century Incas. Many questions remain: Just what were the functions of these structures? How were they built, with either enormous volumes of earth or gigantic megalithic stones?  Were they astronomically oriented? Where does Peruvian civilization fit into the more substantial development of humankind? Architect Steve Bass will engage with these and other long-standing mysteries of Peruvian architecture.

 

Yanantin and Masintin

Juan Carlos Machicado Figueroa

These two important Quechua words are related to the complementarity between the masculine and the feminine, and offer a doorway to discuss the search for genuine solutions to our global social problems.  In this workshop, we will go deeper into the nature of Inca society and will compare it with our own in the present day. What were its core differences from contemporary Western society, and what do Andean values have to contribute to the resurgence of respect for each other and our growing awareness of our interdependence with the Earth and the Stars? Our quest will be for this profound wisdom.

 

The Andean Legacy

Theo Paredes, Ph.D.

The Andean cultures historically have been viewed through a lens that has not acknowledged their true holistic dimensions in which they link human beings and the environment as an indissoluble unit. Fortunately, a new vision and understanding based on information and principles left by these ancestors are finally allowing us to have a different perception of them and their way of preserving their wisdom teachings. This authentic Andean legacy still offers powerful guidance in developing a wiser relationship with our planet and cosmos.

 

The Hidden Jews of Peru: Refugees from the Inquisition

Mirabai Starr

There were Jewish families from Spain who pretended to convert to Christianity and slipped away on the expeditions to the New World to escape the Inquisition.  Some of these Jews landed in Peru and intermarried with indigenous people, eventually embracing a blend of Judaism, Christianity and Indigenous Incan beliefs and practices.  In this workshop, we will explore the phenomenon of syncretism, using the presence of Jews in Peru as an example of inter-spiritual vigor and how this can serve as an inspiration for us to incorporate the wisdom of multiple spiritual traditions today.

 

The Mysterious Quest of Colonel Fawcett

Malcolm Kennard, Ph.D.

In 1925, Colonel Percy Fawcett journeyed into the uncharted depths of the Amazonian jungle in search of an ancient lost city, only to vanish without a trace. Why did this English gentleman leave his comfortable life to head into the wilderness? Was he moved by the recent exploits of Hiram Bingham, the first modern explorer to discover Machu Picchu? Had tales of El Dorado and an old story of a stone metropolis driven him? Or, inspired by the writings of Blavatsky and other esoteric authors, was he seeking forgotten spiritual secrets? Many searched for him and vanished too, and his fate is a lingering mystery. However, recent satellite imagery appears to validate the existence of a lost, sophisticated civilization in the Amazon.

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