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On this page summaries from some of the books I read. Some of the books I read are just interesting novels, but some others are more than that; I read a number of works based on my scientific interest, and more recently I also started reading books related to spiritual matters.. From my scientific training I am a "hardcore" scientist, the kind that has no "magical" explanation for paranormal or spiritual phenomena. I was also raised as an atheist, and I realize that the religious phenomena could be explained by down to earth science, evolution and psychology. My opinion in this regard has not really changed, but science has. Science has always had it's limitations; and the research of paranormal or mystical phenomena is an area where science has failed quite miserably.. On the one hand there was the idea amongst many scientists of "the clockwork universe"; a universe where everything was (pre)determined by cause and effect. These scientists denied the existence of virtually anything they could not explain. On the opposite of those were people and scientist who admitted there could be things going on they do not understand, such as paranormal phenomena. At the moment a few scientific theories are starting to emerge that could explain how some of these "impossible" phenomena can occur in real life. They are, off course, based on quantum physics, where is is clear from "hardcore" scientific experiments that strange things can happen, for instance that information can be transmitted instantly from one particle to another. Also; information can occur somewhere without a clear cause, avoiding the "clockwork universe" when a particle converts from a "quantum state", of two shapes at once, to a normal state of just one shape. In the brain, our brain cells are filled with a network of protein structures which can isolate themselves, go to a quantum state, and convert to a normal stage, where information enters these proteins. It is impossible to track where this information comes from, since it does not come from a causal phenomena. Therefore it is possible for us to get a feeling that someone is about to call us, and than that person actually calls..

“LAND WITHOUT EVIL”

 

Matthew J. Pallamary

 

This is a credible fiction novel. The novel follows a boy, Ava-tape as he is taught to become a pai; a powerful shaman, like his father. Unfortunately for him his education becomes more urgent, as his people seek his and his father’s guidance now that the old ways of his people cannot continue because the white men have invaded the land. Ava-tape has studied the ways of the white men at the nearby mission, wanting to be the first to find the magic of the white man’s god, as many of his people have. Unfortunately he finds this god is silent, and does not speak to him the way his own gods and the spirits of the forest do.  This becomes even more apparent when the illness and thundersticks of the white people reveal their dark ways.. Ava-tape and his father start to lead his people on a long journey to escape certain death or enslavement by reaching the land without evil which has been promised in visions.

The journey of this people and the one of Ava-tape to his maturity as a shaman is well written and makes for a very interesting novel. For me the spiritual development of Ava-tape as he learns to hear the voices of the spirits of the forest and sees the visions of his god, instructing him and his father to lead their people to the land without evil is especially interesting. It makes me wonder about the true power of their gods and spirits the same way Ave-tapa wondered about the magic of the god of the white people. Like him, I found the western god a silent one, his words and images only in books and churches, never speaking to the people. The spirits of the forest led Ava-tape to find medicine for the illnesses that his people suffered at times and brought greater understanding of the illnesses that the white people brought with them and their ways of life. The guidance from visions to take the people to the land without evil induces a long voyage in which many of his people die. The strongest of his people finally arrive at the great waters where they build a dance house to dance and sing to their god so that they will be taken by their gods to the land without evil. This is off course where a western author can hardly be accurate; in the book Ava-tape has another vision during the dance of his god, Tupa. Tupa tells him that he and his father are strong and pure enough to go to the land without evil, but the rest of their people are all quite pure enough.. After Ava-tape and his father return to the woods to purify themselves, and let their people also purify themselves for another dance, they found their people slaughtered by another tribe. Disillusioned and saddened Ava-tape went with his father back to the woods. His father wants to find other tribes of his people to lead them to the land without evil, but ava-tape silently resents the thought of possibly leading others into death. After some time they meet a hunter of their people who announces they too will have a dance that evening. Ava-tape and his father dance and while the others stood awestruck by the power of their dance,  Ava-tapes father dances and releases his spirit to the heavens in the form of a luminous bird coming from his chest and flying to the heavens, leaving his body behind as an empty shell. Moments later Ava-tape finds that the girl he took as his woman was just brought to the event by a hunting party that found her. After hearing her story Ava-tape is asked to be the pai of this tribe.

 

The author has made a mostly credible tale of one boy and his tribe. The vivid descriptions of the visions and the voices of the spirits of the forest as well as the more natural attitude towards these spiritual things speak of a closer connectedness to some higher level of power. During the book I even wondered  if Tupa might not be a representation of an alien life form that is more in tune with the supernatural and has the ability to move an entire tribe to a “land without evil” that lies beyond the great waters. Some of the events described here I heard more often and I even have a possible scientific explanation for them in the “quantum consciousness” theory. The more common visions that are described, such as leaving one’s body and finding a few tribe members who were separated have been documented in many more cases, most recently I even saw a documentary on the Discovery channel of psychics working for the CIA doing similar “remote viewing” experiments. The great voyage to “the land without evil” speaks of  men changing their bodies into spirit forms and leaving life without dying. This is how the tribe was supposed to travel to the land without evil, guided in dance and song by Ava-tape and his father.

The people of the Guarini are still facing the struggles of survival, although some of them may have traveled to the land without evil, it is certain that many have died a normal death. This tale has been inspired by tales of the shaman-prophet Nimbiarapony, who led a similar voyage. The author frequently visits the rain forests of Yucatan and Chiapas for his studies of shamanism.

 

Review by Rudolf Penninkhof.

 

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