“Nando looked mr in the eye and said, ”Carlitos, I want to eat the pilot.’”
–Carlitos Baez, from the documentary, “I Am Alive” airing tonight, October 20, at 9 PM EDT on the History Channel
“…what is without question the finest survival documentary I have ever seen on TV.”
LInda Stasi, TV Critic, New York Post
On Friday, the 13th of October, 1972, a charter plane carrying 45 passengers, including a college rugby team, vanished over the desolate, snow-covered Andes Mountains. For 72 days, the world thought they were dead. But for 16 survivors, including 20 year-old Nando Parrado, what they experienced was worse than death. (the text in blue, here and below is from the AMS website)
When my brother, Andrew Streitfeld, told me he was making a documentary on Nando Parrado, I was reading Drunvalo Melchizedek’s Serpent of Light which relates a new mythology of the Earth’s kundalini axis shifting from the Himalayas to the Andeas. I was intrigued, to put it mildly, that my brother, who never subscribed to my father’s mysticism, would be embarking on a documentary in the Andean Mountains, home to my father’s first guru, the Andean mystic Oscar Ichazo, founder of Arica.
The base chakra is precisely what was activated in the tale of survival in the Andes. Which is what the documentary reveals. The power of the survival instinct and the communal spirit made tangible in the physical ingestion of the body as the group (Aquarius) contributing to the individual (Leo) heroic journey.
“I Am Alive” is, therefore, the story of the self-devouring Ouroboros made real, revealing a quantum leap into a multidimensional reality.
Nando Parrado, who rescued his fellow survivors through a miraculous ten day trek in his rugby shoes over the Andes, wrote a 2006 autobiography Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home that brings us up to date on the lives of the survivors.
Trapped in the sub-zero degree temperatures for over 72 days, the survivors faced circumstances that no human should ever have to endure. Fighting just to stay alive, hope was a cruel mirage in a landscape that offered nothing but despair and death. Against all odds one man led an expedition into the mountains in a desperate attempt to reach civilization. For the first time ever, the hero of Uruguayan Flight 571, Nando Parrado, tells his story in its entirety.
Parrado, who lost his mother, sister, and scores of friends among the 29 victims of Uruguayan Flight 571, shares a complete, candid and unflinching account of the 72 days of suffering that followed the crash, including factors that led to his courageous decision to climb out of the mountains and—together with fellow survivor Roberto Canessa—save 15 others.
Today, Parrado is a highly sought inspirational speaker in demand throughout the globe. The documentary reveals in his gentle persona, that when he speaks his Truth, he holds the audience in rapture. The key to his character is the North Node in Aries (“I AM ALIVE!”) inconjunct Saturn/Mars in the feminine sign of the body, Virgo, and the incredible masculine will of his Sun/Pluto trine. He claims that his struggle to survive was his quest to reunite with his father, revealed in his natal chart by his Mars/Saturn in a tense square to his Sagittarius Sun which pushed him to scale the heights of the Andes. A declared atheist, he deferred to the rule of Saturn, personal endurance, rather than faith, for survival (defined in the accident chart by the Moon/Jupiter conjunction in the survival sign of Capricorn) which propelled him from the crash site over the Andes to his father. His method of self-transformation (Sun trine Pluto) to reach his goal was in the practical detail, one step at a time on treacherous mountain peaks. His inspirational philosophy of “taking each moment as it comes” and “I’ll keep going as long as I am breathing” is revealed in the chart by the inconjunct from Saturn/Mars in Virgo to the North Node in Aries. the apex of a yod. Having the detachment to view (Venus/Jupiter in Aquarius) the bodies of his dead companions as sustenance (Ceres) for the living (Aries North Node), he was able to motivate (Mars) the resilience (Saturn) of body ( Virgo) into a miraculous (Jupiter conjunct Venus in Aquarius) act of Ouroboroic self-devouring in which the group (Aquarius) serves the heroic (Leo Moon) quest.
The December 21, 1972 alerted the world to this Andean feat of the kundalini charged 10 day trek over 30 miles of mountains. This 29 degree Sun on that day of rescue is being eclipsed by the Moon on December 21, 2010. Is this the manner that the collective consciousness is being alerted to the energy shift on the planet — an inspiring story of love and life (Neptune/Venus/Mercury/Midheaven in Sagittarius) which confounds experts even today.
Could the shift of the Earth’s Kundalini and the Rise of the Female Light be connected to this affirmation of life on the peaks of the Andes?
The Earth’s Kundalini is always attached to a single location on the surface of the Earth & stays there for a period of about 13,000 yrs. Then it moves on to a new location for the next 13,000 yrs, based upon cycles of 9, or what we call the Precession of the Equinox. When it moves, our idea of what “Spiritual” means changes. It transforms according to the new energies of the future cycle leading us into a higher spiritual path.
The bigger picture is this. The Kundalini has 2 poles, & 1 is in the exact center of the Earth. The other is located on the surface somewhere & anywhere in the world. It is the consciousness of the Earth herself that decides where it is to be.
There is a pulse of exactly 12,920 yrs when the polarity of the Earth’s Kundalini changes to the opposite pole, & it simultaneously changes location on the surface of the Earth. This new location not only rapidly wakes up the people living near this sacred point on Earth, but also sends a frequency into the electromagnetic grids surrounding the Earth. This in turn, affects those consciousness grids in ways that are determined by the Earth’s DNA. We grow according to a set plan & design!
To the few that know of this event & what is occurring all around us, a wisdom is transferred, & a peaceful state of being becomes their inheritance, for they know the awesome truth. In the midst of chaos, war, starvation, plagues, environmental crisis & moral breakdown that we are experiencing here on Earth today at the end of this cycle, they understand the transition & know no fear. This fearless state is the secret key to the transformation that, for millions of years, has always followed this sacred cosmic event.
On 1 level this means that spiritually the Female will now have her turn to lead humankind into the New Light! Eventually, this Female spiritual light will permeate the entire range of human experience from Female leaders in business & religion to Female heads of state. By 2012-2013 this Female spiritual light will become so strong as to become obvious to all who live on this dear planet & will continue to grow for 1,000′s of yrs.
For many of you, none of this will probably make any sense until you read chapters 2 & 3. Chapter 2 is the Cosmic Knowledge of what is actually occurring in nature & in the stars & how it relates to this new cycle of light. Chapter 3 is the history of what the ancient cultures understood about this sacred event up to this present time. This prepares you for the content of this book.
Beginning with Chapter 4 will be the stories of my personal experience & involvement with this “Serpent of Light” & the 100′s of indigenous tribes/cultures that have secretly helped guide this spiritual energy from Tibet to its new home in South America! Coming out of Tibet into India, it then moved in a snakelike manner to almost every country in the world until it reached Chile, the new home of the Earth’s Kundalini, the new “Tibet”.
What has occurred in the world along this path that the Earth’s Kundalini has taken has been almost unbelievable. People from different cultures & countries all cooperating together “as though” they were coordinated by a higher power simply for the good of human life. Without this spiritual assistance, I believe, humanity will be unable to evolve to the next level of consciousness, crucial to our very survival.
There are 10s or 1,000s of people, mostly indigenous people, who have been led by a deep inner guidance, from 1949 to the present, to help bring this unyielding White Snake to its new location high up in the Andes Mountains in Chile, where it now finally resides. Not only is this a shift of spiritual power from the male to Female, but it is also a spiritual power shift from Tibet & India to Chile & Peru. The Light of the World that has been nurtured & expanded with the Tibetan & Indian cultures is now completed. Its new reign has just begun in Chile & Peru, & soon it will affect the hearts of all humankind.
–Drunvalo Melchizdek, introduction to Serpent of Light: Beyond 2012
And Not Go Anywhere?”
A stark, empty stage.
A woman wailing in the wings.
For about 10 minutes.
That seemed like an hour.
A public catharsis for the loss of a specific woman.
And the loss of the feminine in every woman under thousands of years of patriarchy.
When Janet Stapleton told me the title of a unique cross disciplinary experience premiering in NYC at Brooklyn Academy of Music, I had to laugh. Perfect! If this doesn’t get me out of the house, nothing will!
Ralph Lemon had been absent from New York stage for six years.
What is so remarkable about his comeback is that his public act of private grieving has provided a universal narrative for a new paradigm ascending. The most memorable component of this four part (monologue, film, live dance and “Meditation”) multi-media interactive experience, described above, had no movement at all.
Yet, it precipitates an entirely new movement in art.
What was so magical for me personally will resonate with my readers. Lemon, in relating his surrender of postmodernism language to the death of his beloved girlfriend, showed segments from a film they watched together in the final stages of her illness. It was Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 Solaris, which I hadn’t seen, though I analyzed the 1992 remake a few posts ago on this blog.
The protagonist of Lemon’s parallel film is Walter Carter, a Mississippi Delta native born at the turn of the century. This Walter is a stand-in for another Walter: Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), the German intellectual whose “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” anticipated the late stages of postmodernism. Lemon juxtaposes his two Walters in his opening monologue against the backdrop of Walter’s entrapment. The protagonist transforms into a hare as representation of the underground journey that he — and the audience — will travel to embrace Lemon’s non-linear narrative — and subsequently make the leap in consciousness out of postmodernism — to something entirely new.
We are provided with a prescient view of Walter in his initial entrapment in a cage (projected in video) to the place of his release into the sacred marriage of heaven and earth, represented by the falling of an identity of this “everyman” as spaceman into the ordered fields of the sharecropper. He arrives via an intimate real life staging of Tarkovsky’s avant-garde film, his home transformed into space via cellophane covering the bed that he shares with his partner Edna. Their dance in imitation of the dance in the lovers of the film (above) was proclaimed by the filmmaker/choreographer as a real experiment in overcoming the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, meaning the artist/scientist holding the camera acknowledged his own role in the unscripted actions of his real life actors dancing in their living room.
This authentic breakthrough revealed in the title — which got me out of the house and to my first performance in over a year — into multiple levels of meaning. On one level, he admonishes his peers in the avant-garde performance world as to how they can “stay at home” with outworn languages of movement while a new configuration is yearning to be revealed! The entrapment in the Solaris space station, mimicks the entrapment of Walter in the cage, yet this multi-media imaging of the embodiment of a new archetype is transformed into a liberating authenticity via the unscripted performance of Walter and Edna in their tacky living room. Release into the momentary experience of the archetypal is what frees them, and the avant-garde itself, from being the mere object of an artistic experiment but rather a movement towards real human connection in deep inner and outer space. In beating the drum for unity of the opposites in this manner: a universal archetype (personified by the spaceman falling to earth) in such an intimate everyday reality as a sharecropper’s home, and then transmitted to the most avant-garde audiences in New York City! That very act of transformation reveals the destination of the surrender experienced with the dying lover into the weightless lovers of Solaris, triumphing over the copy to experience what is real and authentic.
On another level, the artist is revealing the struggle embedded in the work, which is also the central struggle of Solaris: how to distinguish the real, the authentic, from the copy? He might as well been asking his protagonist the namesake for the philosopher of the postmodern how to distinguish the Real under the relentless cynicism of the all-knowing postmodern ego?
Originally a choreographer, Lemon attempts to find this Holy Grail in a merging of opposites: abandonment of the highly developed dance body with the public body of his ordinary hero, Walter Carter. In doing so, he creates a language of freedom of movement that extends The Geography Trilogy theme of his 2005 work to the rectangular space of the stage, even as projected in film. Within the confinement of a stark, unadorned stage which absorbs his words and images, he creates a geometry of movement through Reichian charged bodies surrendered to the internal movement of the Kundalini, a free form attraction/repulsion through the Eros/Thantos play of opposites in space. A visual and visceral language of the very meaning embedded in numbers: the solo, the duo, the trilogy (triangle), the quartet (cube) and pentagram (five). Revealing sexual desire of the pentagram as the fear (projected by Christians as the Devil) of being left out, the fifth ending up alone in the center of a quartet.
This stripped down, naked show of emotional vulnerability is not only setting a new standard for the brave in New York performance, it is also huge leap forward for the language of the avant-garde. The coding that Lemon has formally delivered to the body in movement out of the current struggle of the five, the struggle to contain our very desires, is hurtling towards a geometry of a new archetype: the harmony of the six, the sacred marriage of opposites that we yearn for in romantic love. It remains, in the final gesture, as a goal rather than a destination. Fortunately for us, this leaves something for Lemon to explore in the future, just as he has left something for us to explore in ourselves through his final act, “Meditation,” a multimedia installation on the stage of the Kitchen theater, on the final day of the performance.