I have never been to a talk by an Inca spiritual messenger. Normally, attending such an event wouldn’t be high on my list of things to experience in life, but my “I have never...” sub-goal of experiencing unknown elements of the world’s religion has left me open to new ideas and perspectives in faith as my year of new experiences has progressed. As a result, I found myself intrigued by the idea of attending a talk by Willaru Huayta when I became aware the globally known Inca spiritual messenger would be visiting my hometown of Madison. At minimum, I figured such an event would give me a look at a belief system that was entirely foreign to me, and I recognized there was likely something to be gained from exposure to such an experience. As a result, I committed to attending the lecture by Willaru Huayta this evening at Mimosa Books in hopes the decision would yield some valuable insights.
|Mimosa... Sounds like a good place.|
When I arrived at Mimosa Books this evening, I was surprised to find the lecture was being held in a small room above the store. In the room, tightly packed rows of chairs lined the half of the confined space, facing a narrow pocket of open carpet against a series of frostbitten windows. Realizing the limited scope of the seating for the event, I promptly found a chair when I arrived and shuffled through soma materials on the event as the room filled up around me. Eventually, that led one of the organizers of the event to acknowledge it was time to begin, which prompted her to greet the audience and provide a brief introduction for Willaru Huayta.
Following his introduction, Willaru appeared from behind a divider tucked into one corner of the room and took his position before the gathering of people. Speaking softly, he introduced himself and explained that his efforts to speak about faith and spiritualism were not any form of channeling or other claimed skills. Rather, he explained, his guidance came from study on world religions, from elements of his Peruvian roots, and years of meditation designed to help him achieve a higher state of consciousness. As he spoke, he made many references to the idea of a Father Wisdom and a Mother Love, which corresponded to touches on his forehead and sternum, respectively. As he spoke of them, he was clear to explain the ideas were rooted in Incan religious beliefs, but that the message was universal among all prophets and Gods in all religions. Although it was clear his views and messages were heavily influenced by aspects of Incan faith, the universality of the principles across all forms of religion provided an enlightening approach to spirituality.
Delving deeper into the intention and purpose of his message, Willaru took these basic concepts and tied them into a concept of an internal God that exists in all people. Speaking specifically to the commonly known seven deadly sins, he stated the idea of externalizing God and faith ignored the role individual decisions and personal betterment play in fulfilling life’s purpose and achieving spiritual enlightenment. He summarized this concept with a simple remark that had a meaningful impact on my perspective. “The idea that God is out there is wrong,” Willaru said, raising his hands toward the ceiling, “God is inside everyone and everything. It is our responsibility to find that and move closer to it through meditation and enlightenment.”
The thought was not entirely unfamiliar to me, but the perspective on what it meant was something new and different. The concept bound all the fundamental principles of all of the world’s faiths together and provided a personalized view of the idea of God, which was very different than the external views of God I have encountered in my experiences with Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Instead of seeing God as an entity looking down from some unknown place, Willaru saw God as a guiding light and a physical trait inside all people and living things. He sought to live up to God’s will through internal reflection guided by his Father Wisdom and Mother Love. He wasn’t living up to an idea of heaven or the afterlife. He was living to create those concepts in his mind and in the world around him. The approach was equally unique and admirable, and it gave me a lot to think about as the event moved into its final phases.
|The post-class gathering|
During a question and answer session that followed the core of the lesson, Willaru guided the class through the concept of enlightenment and the steps needed to achieve a higher state of consciousness. Acknowledging he too had plenty of work to do to achieve this ultimate objective, Willaru used Inca symbolism to demonstrate the three steps necessary to achieve true spiritual enlightenment. Recalling early comments, he spoke specifically to the disconnection of the human tendencies to the seven deadly sins, deepening the bond to wisdom and love and permitting the mind to become intertwined with God. The ideas were simple in concept but notably challenging when considering them in practice. That alone was telling, but it provided me a new outlook on how I can strive to be better for myself and for others. The takeaway wasn’t about living and doing to live up to the expectations of some distant God, it was about finding the idea of God within and using that to affect the world around us. That concept had power and meaning, and it left me with plenty to ponder as the event with Willaru drew to a close.