“A man who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.”
Time is a bitch, it makes you old, but Time is also a memory of the Golden Age. We understand time often too linear, it is something that happens as you take your breath as an infant and give up your last breath to Earth and Death. But Time was, and can still be, a state, and modern man rarely reflects upon this aspect of time as pure movement.
Modern man holds on his shoulders the spirit of ambition. The spirit of ambition is a democratic monster that tells you that you can be whatever you want to be, that you can take whatever you feel you deserve. In ambition we find sentimentalism. This sentimentalism is not about memory and how memory sheds light on the steps yet not taken, but about a flashlight empowered by everything we choose to be blind for in order to light up the way ahead.
In ambition we find no notion of being worthy, nor of being granted welcome even if you fell to be worthy of receiving what you seek to hold, all in the name of ambition. Ambition do not hold hand with worth, ambition holds hands with usurpers and the spirit of Hubris.
I’ve been there, I did that, and that is why I write about it...
I remember when I went to Cuba in the early 90’s to become a Tata Nganga. I was clueless about my worth to receive what I set out to receive. If my Tata’s had found me unworthy I would have rebelled, because, I came with a clear purpose, to receive something. If it was mine to hold or not was simply not a part of the process.
I was clueless about the social divide and I was clueless about anything but my own solipsist drive towards what I felt as a calling from spirit. It was easy for me, because spirit welcomed me, my calling was correct. But even being welcomed, I was faced with a great work ahead of me in understanding the reasons for the welcome. Surely, I was well settled as my quest reached fulfilment, but the greater work of understanding tapestry and spider webs surrounding my calling was of equal importance.
I was received in a world apart from my own – and for me it called upon a need for understanding how this Norseman could be embraced so easily by the decedents of an African and Native culture in Cuba.
Looking back from where I stand I see myself filled to the brim with the Western colonial vanity and social dictums born from democratic ideals that tells us that you can be whatever you want – but I was also humble. I believe my humility was my salvation.
In our modern world of lost ambition where people gain power by stepping on the heads of their neighbours and friends it is not anymore about worth, nor about study, not even about making yourself qualified to receive a power.
In the spirit of the colonizers Western Man straddles into the world as it is his oyster and demands to be given what he feels is his or her right. But feelings can deceive and spirits do lie...
And so it goes, a person feeling an affinity with a witchcraft family can become insistent on his or her right to make part of this power he or she see as resonating with itself, neglecting the family component and neglecting the wish of the family to receive the errant journeyman or woman.
I had people writing me to tell that they are simply coming to stay with me, because they want to learn things. No building of relationship on beforehand, no notion of family, no notion about anything outside the desire to gain power, because the soul lies in such seductive ways that such faults and errors manifest.
I had people writing me to tell that Exu Mor accepted them for initiation in Quimbanda, while my Exu Mor says, don’t touch this person with a ten foot pole, and stating this discrepancy generates confusion, because if Spirit accepts, Family should accept. It is not that easy. Family is Family, acceptance is acceptance and I am sure that most people, if they just make room for some contemplation, will realize that there is a difference between a singular entity accepting you and a Family embracing you.
Western men and Woman are cocky. We think that as long as we are more or less honest in our search doors should be opened. But quite often Western man and Woman is no Ali Baba with the magic ‘sesame, sesame, open up’ – and when it happens scoundrels invites and we have the countless stories of Sages, Houngans, Baba’s and what not taking the insistent searcher for a ride in the spirit of ambition, gain and greed. What you see is what you get...
Traditional societies are not motivated by ambition, but by truth. Truth is a virgin whispering softly from the bottom of a well. It is the voice of reason and of protection.
Western man and woman have lost touch of this Beauty that reveals in Truth and further on reveals in a closed gate. For me a good pilgrim and a good guest is he or she who makes a bed at my gate waiting for notice and words. It is not about the one that breaches boundaries and insists to belong - because in this act alone Hubris speaks louder than a thousand falling stars.
We should walk the world gently; we should be like dew and honey. We should be the sweetness that makes us tolerate and understand the bitterness, but, alas, so few understand this simple dynamic when the foot of venom is the hand that gives medicine. But I met you who knew how to do this and because of this bitter hands and sweet feet give you an invitation to stay at my gate. And if we are meant to meet I will see you and my spirits will embrace you as yours will embrace mine...