“Amaru Shungo (Heart of the Cosmic Serpent)”

by Pablo Amaringo

Painting Dated: 02-15-05
Measurements: 56x77 cm

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Pablo Amaringo's Description of his painting "Amaru Shungo"

Lea la Descripción de Pablo de la Pintura


The heart of the serpent (Amaru) is like a tabernacle where things of great value for life are kept; that is, it is the root of the physical body’s functioning, the prototype of bodily function which makes human, vegetable, or other organisms work. It is not the heart, or central organ of the circulatory system which pumps blood, but rather, in the Quechua language the word shungo does not only refer to the heart but also the stomach. For this reason, to speak of “the shungo of the serpent” is to say “the stomach of the serpent,” and this resembles a house within the serpent.

Ayahuasca made me see that this house, or stomach, works like a factory to produce food: I saw how the golden bowl, which is the stomach, and the silver strings, the intestines, work. I saw the mill, making sound, and this was the heart. I also saw men, guardians of the house; these were a person’s arms with which he works to keep himself going and maintain his house. I also men of vital energy, these are a person’s legs… and so forth, everything that functions related to the stomach.

And so I was left astonished at seeing how the human stomach works, with so much mastery and skill, doing it better than any motorized machine. With that it left me speechless, I just stayed there, mouth open, full of admiration and completely without strength.

Then later, it so happened that I got up and started to sing and praise the beings that created these living machines, I was taught many Ícaros to sing when one is dealing with people who are reasonable, just, moderate, and patient, who express consideration, who reasonably examine the facts of the matter, because these spiritual beings have this distinctive feature of spiritual wisdom and I was taught that a person who is to be a shaman must have this quality, to be reasonable with himself when he deals with others, and in his focus on healing those who are gravely sick, because some sick people are not conscious of their actions and attitudes, they are accustomed to dishonesty, laziness and other defects.

Ayahuasca teaches us to respect and love good manners with all people of the world, it teaches us that the stomach is the source from which speech and reasoning emanate. Since speech emanates from the stomach, much care must be taken in using it, because it could be spiritually poisonous for oneself or for others. Unbridled speech can be influenced by destructive forces and bring about so much evil as to contaminate one’s entire life, or that of one’s neighbor.

In this vision they taught me that I must use speech calmly. This represents a tree of life, which is the state of activity, the duration of existence, or rather: growth produced by metabolism, reproduction, and the ability to adapt to variations in the physical and spiritual environment. To understand human speech for what it truly is, as the spark of perception that lights the spirit of general humanity to come to be the spoken word. Human speech is a secret; it is a divine gift, a miracle. The language of humans and of animals requires an atmosphere, which makes possible the vibrations and waves of sound which are necessary for human speech. The language of spirit beings obviously is beyond the concepts and capacities of humans. For this reason, when they speak to us they do so with human language.

The circles around the house —stomach— show the infinite variations of speech or movement, articulating the formation of human speech with its many signs.

Whoever uses the drink of ayahuasca must know how to diet in order to receive the healing in his stomach; this is the foundation for the strengthening of health and proper functioning of the body. It is very, very good to meditate while looking at this painting; in this manner you will hear the roidash (spiritual message.)

By Pablo C. Amaringo Shuño
Pucallpa, 05-19-07

Translated by Denali DeGraf
Dungeness 06-12-07

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