elaine teo

Why it’s time to go:

Musings on Teotihucan, Whale Sharks and a little Quantum Physics

There’s a place in Mexico called Teotihuacan. To some it’s known as the place where man becomes God.

That the ancient site with its two pyramids affects visitors can’t be denied. I’ve been there at least a half dozen times and it always leads to some sense of transformation. My first trip changed me forever. The group I joined was being led by Victoria Allen, an elder steeped in the Toltec traditions as taught by don Miguel Ruiz. How I discovered her and the trip is another story and included in the anthology by Sonia Marsh, My Gutsy Story. All I knew is that that I had to leave. Its time to go.

What I experienced can’t be fully expressed.

The lucid details faded quickly, the memory hasn’t. There was an experience of personal divinity but personal doesn’t work either – there was a boundary-less awareness and sense of omnipresence. It was a gloriously expansive perception that passed within a day but I’ve returned to Teo many times knowing that the power center will always rekindle my spirit and heart.

Power centers exist around the world.

What makes them powerful fills tomes of religious and philosophical tracts. Why do we seek them and travel? What is it that draws us away from family, friends, work and everything familiar to step off planes, buses, trains into startling new places full of strange smells, sounds and tastes?

There may be as many reasons to travel as travelers and every trip has its own spur, but I think travel makes us feel more alive. All our senses are engaged in the act of moving through a new space. We leave all the frittering, electronic and demanding concerns behind us when we venture far from home. That alone brings us into the present more fully.

Merely our presence also affects those places we visit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne concrete example is happening right now in the Philippines. On the island of Cebu in a small, fishing village new homes are being built, soon schools and a better infrastructure will follow. What is the source of this new abundance? The massive, gentle Whale Sharks that feed in the bay. They’ve been coming for centuries to feed on the plankton and shrimp which mass in the waters.

The fishermen launch their catamarans at night with lanterns whose light draws shrimp to the surface. First one then another of the giant Whale Sharks appears to feed near the boats. In a short time a new alliance formed. The fishermen, once they’d filled their nets, began to scoop shrimp into the massive mouths of the waiting sharks. There was plenty for all. See the article and pictures from Reuters here.

Soon the internet scattered pictures and blogs  across the world.  Visitors came to the village to watch the feeding and to snorkel in the water next to the huge creatures. With the tourists dollars life has become easier for the fishermen but all is not well.

Controversy has followed in the wake of the whales.

There are ecological groups worried that the learned behavior of the whales will alter their natural feeding habits, that disease may be transferred more easily from human to fish or due to the massing of the usually solitary pelagics. Others say that the whales are being sheltered from deadly ‘finning’ as they become a more profitable commodity alive than may be earned from a one-time harvest of their appendages. What is best remains to be seen.

The act of observing a place, an atom, an object affects the observed, if I may mangle one of the tenets of Quantum physics. As we step onto new soil, look out across vistas that are virgin to our eyes, as new air fills our lungs with possibility, the world witnesses. The planet stirs a bit more into being.

We have a breathing partnership with earth, now more than ever before as shuddering or silent changes shift land, water and weather. Its time to go.