Friday, April 1, 2016

Notes on the Urubamba River - Machu Picchu - Extraterrestrials

Maggie Marbry, Photo of Urubamba River,
Top of the Peruvian Andes, 2000

"My friend Maggie Marbry took this photograph of the Urubamba River from the top of the Peruvian Andes. On that trip I learned that the Urubamba’s name in the Quechua language is 'Willkamayu,'..."

Notes on the Urubamba River - Machu Picchu - Extraterrestrials

My friend Maggie Marbry took this photograph of the Urubamba River from the top of the Peruvian Andes. On that trip I learned that the Urubamba’s name in the Quechua language is “Willkamayu,” which translates to “sacred river.” This designation sheds light on the reason Inca architects located the citadel of Machu Picchu 2000 feet directly above the river.

Machu Picchu in Peru. Image by Pedro Szekely

Looking at Maggie’s image brings to mind Pablo Neruda’s 1945 poem “The Heights of Machu Picchu,” in which descriptions of ascent to the ruins are conflated with allusions to an interior search. Among the poem’s disparate associations are the site’s astronomically aligned stone-architecture, its human builders, and the vultures that circle its craggy peaks, my translation by Nathaniel Tarn: “Mother of stone and sperm of condors, High reef of the human dawn.”

Come up with me, American love
Kiss these secret stones with me
The torrential silver of the Urubamba
makes the pollen fly to its golden cup.

I knocked back a lot of beer in Peru, I was especially drawn to the brand Pilsen Callao.

Its archaeological sites attracted me to Peru, but even more so, I wanted opportunities to
discuss extraterrestrial sightings with Peruvians. Nobody gets worked-up about UFOs in Peru. There, UFOs and extraterrestrial phenomenon are daily occurrences and not considered weird. 

Peruvians are warm and friendly people. I invited them to be my guest for beer and tell me about UFOs. Some told me the ships come out of the lake, and go up in the sky, a narrative aligned with the ancient Andean mythology surrounding the creator-god Viracocha who made the earth, sky, and stars, and pulled the sun and moon out of an island in Lake Titicaca. In a local market I bought a beer-top opener with the image of Viracocha.

One memorable story came from a Peruvian archaeologist who had an abduction-type experience when he camped overnight near an archaeological site. He told me he saw a ship with lights, and woke the next morning to find himself quite a distance from the spot in which he had fallen asleep. Why did the extraterrestrials come, and why did they move him? He wasn't sure, but believed, “they wanted to teach me certain things, and they did not want me to remember they had come to do that.”

Extraterrestrial phenomenon is the most important thing happening on the planet. We don't yet know what it is. Some believe answers will ultimately be found in the subatomic dark matter that occupies most of the universe, and in the multiple dimensions of reality that physicists believe wind through ours. Others regard this as a solely psychic and mythical phenomenon.

There is room in fact for both viewpoints, because if parallel dimensions unrestricted by time-space properties do indeed fold through ours, to encounter them would be so foreign to human understanding, we would naturally perceive them as mythical. These distinctions don’t really matter. If the UFO experience expands our understanding of who we are, and how we fit into the immense cosmos, the experience is profoundly transformative.

I have no conscious recollection of seeing UFOs, but they come in my dreams. I am alone in a street watching an enormous UFO rotate above. "Come out," I scream in frustration at people hiding afraid in their houses. "Come out. This reality is as important as what's in your churches." The descending craft becomes smaller and smaller, and is the size of a pin-head by the time it lands on the tip of my finger. It caused slight pressure, and 
went inside my skin, leaving a tiny drop of blood. And I wake up wondering if the dream revealed my cosmic nature.

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