Peabiru

From within to the ocean: The Peabiru

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Between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic lies a huge mass of land with many inhabitants. The people who walk this continent today can only imagine the enormous extent of the land under their feet. If you wish to reach a point further from the mainland, you can do it by using cars and roads that have been designed for this purpose. If the wish is to leave the continent to reach another continent, it can be done by means of ships or airplanes. All of this is quite natural. It would be strange to consider the ocean as a point of arrival and not as a simple way of reaching another continent. In fact, people are not fish: they would not survive in the depths of the ocean. We need a place to set our feet on. This is probably why we see the ocean as something that separates continents, rarely noticing the obvious fact that continents also separate the ocean.

The ancestral inhabitants of the American continent had equal interest in exploring the territory, but since they did not have automobiles that required the opening of roads, they would use open foot trails inside the forest. Some were made by themselves and others have unknown origin. Among the paths of unknown origin, there was one that impresses by its extension and spiritual meaning: the Peabiru, which crosses a great part of South America. The denomination “Peabiru” has a controversial translation, but is more often understood as "Crumpled grass path" or "Path of the Mountains of the Sun". Considering the traces that exist today, it can be inferred that the Peabiru began on the southern coast of Brazil, where currently the State of Santa Catarina is, passing through the States of São Paulo and Paraná, followed by Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and ending on the coast of Chile. It is also estimated that it was opened in the east-west direction and it is known that many native people, including the Guaranis (the largest native population in Brazil today), have held the path as sacred.

This last piece of information indicates that the Peabiru was not limited to a trade route or a means to maintain communication between the natives. In fact, Rosana Bond, author of the book “História do Caminho de Peabiru” (History of the Path of Peabiru), believes that the path relates to the route the sun makes in the sky. Perhaps the hope of reaching the place where the sun disappeared encouraged the natives in different places of South America to open a path which led there. Over the centuries, the bonding and finishing of small roads in different parts of the continent may have shaped the famous Peabiru: a line over the land linking two parts of the immense ocean. Some inscriptions left on certain parts of the way also help in understanding its spiritual significance. They pointed out the direction of Iwi Maraê to the wanderers, or the Land without Evil.

For those who went through the Peabiru filled with a mystical feeling seeking Iwi Maraê, or the nest of the sun, a shocking realization must have been imposed on their spirits: the end of the trip is not the inland. By leaving the ocean, they reached the ocean. The water still separated them from the solar star and a “land without evil” was nowhere to be found. Perhaps this is why the Peabiru is better understood as a metaphor for something else, a symbol of an inner path. This conclusion can be drawn from the teachings of the Guarani people, for whom, as previously noted, the Peabiru was a sacred path because it accompanies the movement of the sun.

A path connecting two oceans, which are actually one. The path that leads to the land without evil, whose location is not on any map. Based on the spiritual traditions of humanity, the magazine “Ecos da Alma Brasileira” (Echoes of the Brazilian Soul), issued by the Civitas Solis Institute, makes a statement about our mysterious earth:

“[...] this Land without Evil is not reduced to spatial conception or a heavenly place, but it is mostly a state of being. Therefore, it is also said that it is possible to achieve it by making the body lighter or subtle. [...] it was possible for any native to become like the gods, a divine being, overcoming cultural limitations and achieving a transcendental condition.”

Over the ocean that surrounds continents, which is the Peabiru's point of departure and arrival, it is remarkable how it synthesizes the spiritual journey of the human being: its goal must be to reach the origins. Often used as a symbol of wholeness (ocean of life, ocean of mercy), the ocean is the destination of rivers, and is like a whole, formed by countless drops of water, as it is said to be similar to God regarding his infinite creatures.

The contemplation of grand things is one of the openings through which the feeling of the sublime awakens in the human being. The vastness of the ocean, the immensity of the forests, of the sky, the sun and the moon were many sources of the sublime available to the South American natives. Although today the Peabiru does not exist as a concrete fact, since there are only remains of certain sections of the path, the image we conceive of it is grand enough to awaken the feeling of the sublime in us, allowing a projection of the path and its ideal to arise in our consciences.

But what does the present inhabitant of this continent share with its ancestors? To a certain extent, they share the earth and its history, but in such a minor degree that one cannot speak of a common identity between them based on these factors alone. However, the idea of an identity in common is so irresistible that we are forced to take a step forward and take the risk: they share a longing arising from the core of the soul, directed to the source of all being. They share a destination, expressed by the image of the sun hovering over the ocean. They share a path, drawn and marked in the matter itself, and also imprinted in their hearts.

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