Inca Garden, a corner of peace on the land of Finca Sagrada in southern Ecuador.
Kati in the Inca Garden.
River from the mountains above Finca Sagrada.
Sun and Moon mural on a wall in Vilcabamba.
Music corner of the common kitchen at Finca Sagrada.
Village church in Tumianuma.
The village of Vilcabamba.
Some years ago I awakened from the night's sleep with the words, 'Rather than exert power, emanate presence.'
This morning the feeling of the words welled up within me, without effort. I felt what it means to love — not something or someone, but to beam love from the self-existent unbounded source of love. This, my highest ideal, is attainable yet not by exerting power, making effort or even having it as an aim. I can only face what prevents me from beaming love as a constant, let it go, and surrender the differentiated persona to non-differentiated love.
Climbing Mount Everest might be less challenging. The stone walls I face are hardened anger, bitterness, resentment, resistance, jealousy and judgment, a mountain within that generates its own storms. I have sought to ascend it for more than 45 years. I felt the sunlight on the mountaintop this morning, but the warm, expanded feeling of beaming love cooled and was distant as soon as I engaged with my surroundings.
If my theories have any validity, the foundation of existence in science and philosophy is the radiation of universal love from the one being of pure consciousness. Perceiving such love by the senses after it has trickled through layers of density and distortion is something like perceiving a never seen ocean of aliveness from a drop of water deadened by pollution. There is however, perception beyond the senses and no quest could be more noble. Even touching the pure love of Source with a human hand is well worth a lifetime of endeavor or rather letting go and surrendering.
This week an e-newsletter spoke to me. It was from Phil and Suzanne of Canción del Corazón  near Vilcabamba, Ecuador. The dialog which ensued follows.
Hola from Vilcabamba !
Our retreat season is fast approaching, and we’ve just published a new video that you might enjoy viewing. The video highlights a retreat we’re offering in mid-december, but it also serves as an update on what we’ve got underway here, and it captures some interesting aspects of our way of life and some very beautiful and inspiring footage (shown at the end of this post.)
If it invokes a stirring of excitement about the opportunity it presents you, we’d truly love to share this enriching adventure with you, and would be more than happy to hear from you to dialogue about the possibilities.
may your autumn days be blessed with beauty and nourishment, and your heart be full with smiling kindness…
Phil & Suzannah
Hola Phil and Suzannah,
There is a melody in your words to which my soul responds.
Did we meet you at Finca Sagrada?
Our intention was to move to Ecuador on that visit. We let go of possessions in the States and had extended visas. We left Ecuador early and I can go more into the reasons if that becomes helpful. Our interest in Canción del Corazón would be for long-term residency. Dialoguing about the possibilities is an excellent place to start.
We are very much aligned with the vision and purpose of Canción del Corazón, such as 'We craft and embody an integrated lifestyle that nourishes health, evolves consciousness, and honors our interdependence with the natural world. We devote to stewarding the earth in a way that regenerates its fertility, diversity, beauty, and abundance.'
Embodying is a key. I have worked out theory about consciousness in my head, and now emphasize embodying it. However, I am still up for philosophical discussion — such as, does consciousness evolve? Or is the one being of pure consciousness the self-existent source, the unmoved mover, the great observer, which empowers the laws and forces of Nature. Does the Origin evolve or does it simply radiate its own qualities of Being, and it is the intelligence of Nature which evolves?
I would say that human awareness is expanded by consciousness rather than consciousness evolves, but am always flexible to learn, and not fixed on my ideas or way of conveying them. How do I know my human awareness is expanded by consciousness? It is only by my actions and response to life, my embodiment of the qualities of consciousness which emanate from universal love such as kindness, compassion, equanimity, presence and caring for the whole. I value the transformation of resistance towards humanity and earth life into compassion and border-less love more than the alchemy of lead into gold.
Our artwork and writings are on the Emanate Presence and Whole Human sites. They do not reflect all the changes we feel inside us. Still, sites are also a place to start to get to know each other.
The following words from Phil are interspersed with my response.
Thanks, Gary. Yes there’s much resonance between our perspectives. I’m not sure when we met you, did you perhaps pay us a brief visit? We must have gotten your email somehow. Are you planning a return to Vilcabamba? Any kind of long-term residency here would begin with an eye to eye, heart to heart conversation.
Phil, my memory is that you visited Finca Sagrada when Kati and I were there on a trial basis to consider long-term residency. I remember feeling I'd like to know you. It makes sense that long-term possibilities would begin with an eye to eye, heart to heart conversation. I do not know what the future holds, but imagine that another long distance move would require a high degree of certainty that the envisioned residency would happen. That certainty could be reached in my mind by having open and honest dialog over a period of time.
Yes, philosophical contemplation can be interesting and inspiring, but embodiment is the true measure of our “spiritual realization”, realization implies “reality” which implies “experiential” , so what we actualize calibrates the extent to which we actually apply, and thus have integrated, and then can have a direct experience of, whatever higher truth we aspire to align with.
Yes. Can you give any input on how to align with higher truth experientially?
With the evolution question, I would say, and this applies to nearly every philosophical question, that “it depends”. The first thing it depends on is the definition of consciousness being used, as it can call up something slightly different to each person. I tend to use it as a general catch-all for any aspect of awareness that can intend, perceive, interpret, envision, remember, exert will, etc.
Yes, so long as all who are party to the conversation agree with the meaning of the word, we can define them as we choose and will communicate with each other. For my own clarity, I like to distinguish between the various bubbles of awareness and consciousness. I wonder if awareness exerts will. As I see it, pure consciousness simply is. It radiates its qualities of being. From such radiating, the laws and forces and intelligence of Nature have evolved. Nature could be said to have a will, not as humans perceive it, but at least in its determination to expand and diversify what is and return it from chaos to order and balance.
In the case of evolution of human consciousness, it depends on what layer of our reality we speak of, i.e., there are at least 3 answers: For the human rational mind / personality / ego, which is what distinguishes us from animals and angels and generally has a big role in directing our will, consciousness clearly evolves from a mere seed at birth, through to the sophisticated cognition of adulthood, and for the occasional optimal case, to a clear channel for fully enlightened genius and wisdom.
Yes, I usually call this human awareness or local consciousness. According to 'Athene's Theory of Everything,' it is generated by neural networks.
For the manifest realms, that which is co-created, perceived, and interpreted by human consciousness, the expression of nature, and our very bodies, evolves. Yet for human consciousness at the level of pure spiritual awareness, evolution is not an adequate descriptor, for evolution implies a sequence of development through time, but pure awareness exists in the eternal now.
This pure awareness is what I call the self-existent one being or pure consciousness to distinguish it from localized awareness.
Cultural consciousness also can be seen to evolve, and this is at the crux of collective destiny, yet it is a composite of our individual contributions to it, so it is some six and half billion times more complex and inertial than our individuated person-minds, and thus evolves glacially relative to what is possible individually.
When we look at human history, has there been an evolution of mass consciousness? Certainly we see technological advances. And, there are pockets of conscious choices towards the earth and each other. But overall, has cultural consciousness evolved or devolved? With each glance towards a headline, I wonder.
Yet each “I” is a mere fractal of the “we", and as we self-develop and impulse the mass consciousness “upwardly”, it is generally impulsing us “downwardly”, especially given the presence of parasitic globalization efforts that exist in part to prevent human liberation, and whose influence breeds “pathological evolution”, which however unfortunate it appears to be, is what incentivizes us most powerfully to evolve in the first place. We swim in a muddy pond, at least until we find our wings and fly.
The parasitic effect may account in part for the devolution or stagnation of mass consciousness, which I perceive as disturbed. Human liberation has been thwarted until now. It is refreshing to encounter another soul who still can say, 'until we find our wings and fly.'
There are vastly more perspectives that “it depends” implies, for instance if we further tease apart the human mind-scape and consider emotional consciousness, intuitive consciousness, instinctive consciousness, trans-migrational consciousness, etc, some evolve and some simply exist in the moment and are either accessed by awareness or not.
For my use, such as writing blog posts, I like the word 'awareness' for all variations in transient human experience such as emotional awareness or emotional intelligence. I write 'consciousness' primarily to refer to the universal and eternal source of life which originates, sustains, in-dwells and observes all that is.
And yes, intentions are virtual and causal, words are vibrational and subtle, and actions are visceral and manifest. Authentic actions are pre-determined by the first 2, and thus demonstrate the true unified correlation of all 3. Otherwise, our intentions, words, and deeds might be completely contradictory, and therefore something must be phony.
What means have you found to be most effective, for living authentically and in alignment with what we know in our hearts to be true?
Kindness to you,
Phil responded to the question, 'Can you give any input on how to align with higher truth experientially?'
We have a little formula, which we call the “eternaculture compass”. (Its a 3 pointed compass, we find that contemplating “trinities" is helpful to soften dualistic tendencies and help with orienting toward “unity” , so we work with a process we call “trinity awareness practice”, which in itself is also helpful in clarifying our deeper currents so that we can use them as a basis for manifestation within our day to day. Its a bit too much of a project for me to write much more about it, it takes the form of a faciltiated group contemplation during many of our retreats.)
The points of the “eternaculture compass” are: Inspiration - Activation - Evolution . Its a simple formula, easy to relate to and use in the moment. The idea is to first discern among the inner voices and “motivators” that arise for us, seeking out those that are the voice of “inspiration”. This word has its root in “spirit”, and so what we’re seeking is the whispering of our own "higher mind", our ultimate spiritual identity, and it is our inner voice of universal truth, our innate source of spiritual guidance.
Some questions to help filter it out from the various other self-talk (voices of reason, emotion, cultural duty, etc) are “does this serve the greater good of all”, “does this make my soul laugh with ecstatic joy”, and “does this offer an infinity of refined energy toward its manifestation”.
Others might have different words of contemplation, whatever helps one to summon and discern the thoughts and ideas that align with our soul’s purpose and that are intrinsic to the currents of creation, which often carry the vibration of “revelation” or feel like an “aha” moment, when we feel a delicious surge of energy well up and we involuntarily do a little dance or click our heels in the air.
So over time we gather these precious jewels of inspiration, which already may be vivid experiences in their own right, and then these provide our basis for Activation, for which we seek ways to bring these inward realizations into some kind of expression; we impulse our world somehow, we birth it into our day to day, we use it as a catalyst for our own direct experience and perhaps invoke it to serve in a like manner for others, we pave a path of light for others to follow.
By being inspired, and activating, we become inspiring. And so by activating on our inspirations, we create greater possibilities for ourselves and the human family, we generate an updraft in consciousness and we Evolve. So we use this little tool as a handy reminder to stay true to the fullness of our destiny, so that our process of becoming, our evolution, is based on actualizing the imperatives delivered to us through refined inner guidance.
The sides of the compass are Wholistic Wellness - Interdependence - Integral Awareness. Each of these need a whole book really, too much to go into here, but they represent fundamental vectors of the eternaculture compass, some critically important areas of life to activate our inspirations upon, they are spheres of becoming that are ripe for evolution.