untitled gouache by Pablo Amaringo
| Artist's Statement|
The átun-runas (from the Quechua átun = giant and runa = people) appear in the coming and going of chromatic colors above the branches of the ficus tree. Their common habitat is below the ficus, which serves them as a temple and sacred meeting place, where they can evaluate their purity, dexterity, and organizational capacity for the work they undertake within the universe. They sponsor and help the shamans by means of their teachings with regard to healing and defending oneself against any danger or unforeseen occurrence.
These beings showed me that they are the ones who construct the growth of these plants and make them in the best way possible, especially if they want to live in them as a castle, palace, or temple. For this reason, the shamans, while they are in a trance state, situate ficus trees in the most special places. As one can see in this painting, the shamans occupy the golden circular table with the vessel containing the ayahuasca drink. It is here that one finds the spiritual, sensorial nucleus of the plant.
At night, these spiritual beings gather with other beings who come from other worlds to dance, celebrate, converse, hold ceremonies, have assemblies, etc. Here, the great teachers of magical arts teach the shamans many techniques of weighing the forces of good and evil in order to achieve an equitable balance.
These átun-runas inhabit a world free of danger and privations. Their safety is due to the fact that they live in accord with the cosmic spiritual laws. These beings know that the world can be safe if humanity discovers that universal laws of spiritual power rule the earth.
By the same token, if humanity does not spoil the workings of the ecosystem, not only will it attain a long life in this world and enjoy the good health that nature provides, but it also will come to know hidden things that can be found in the vegetation of the Amazon jungle that the àtun-runas reveal through their teaching. They taught me as well that humanity lives with virtually no spiritual direction (a primary need) and also without the benefits of nature (another important need). They say that, because of this, humanity is deprived of spiritual protection. With their visions, they showed me that we have two hands that act as conduits to receive blessings and to give blessings to others when we extend them openly, because, from them, come powers that entire the spiritual feature in our brains that functions to give us our protective bearings. The átun-runas show that our baths of sun and earth next to water provide good treatment for the body, in conjunction with the shaman's raised hands and, above all, the plants that are nature's pure remedies to which we have access. They told me that we should address the animals, the herbs, the green leaves, the plants, the trees, the air plants, the epiphytes, etc., because we truly depend on nature, and these plants can teach us how to keep our health and ward off pain.
In these teachings, I understand how humanity, the animals, the vegetal world and the things in their totality fulfill the circular law of every nucleus as a means of preserving life functions in their entirety. For this reason, everything functions on the basis of circles, beginning with the universe, celestial bodies, planets, etc., the movements of which are circular. Then there are atoms, cells, and other microorganisms. The mystery of physical life resides in the greenness of the plant kingdom that can be found on land and in water, without which nothing would be able to live - first because plants regulate the atmosphere and provide oxygen and second because they are the basis of all nutrition.
The átun-runas showed me that the great mystery of circular movement can be found in the greenness of the vegetation's leaves during the process of transformation of things, because it provides substances that are necessary for the development, growth, and constant combustion of the body from which come strength, energy, movement, and heat.
In these wise visions I saw how this vegetation helps humanity purify itself internally and externally, freeing us of illness and discomforts, and giving us the health that is the greatest happiness.
Pablo C. Amaringo
Pucallpa, Peru 1997
Translated by Dr. Steven White