The Laika change their perception to turn a problem into an opportunity.
You can carry old pain with you for a long time and it stems from a crisis in which your survival mechanism had to take over. You may still suffer because of this or run into the same problem more often. That causes a lot of frustration and anger. It often feels like injustice: you do your best and yet life is different. In our culture, we learn that the most important natural law is that of cause and effect. That gives us a sense of control when in reality our expectations often don’t come true.
In The Guardians of the Earth, Alberto Villoldo shares the four insights of the Laika, for whom synchronicity (rather than cause/effect) is the most important law of life. This means that besides cause and effect, there are other reasons why something happens: due to circumstances, chance or serendipity. When a problem arises, Laika doesn’t try to adopt a new rule (“everything always goes wrong with me” for example), nor do they try to come up with a different theory (“maybe I should try harder”). Instead, they change their perception to turn a problem into an opportunity.
These are four levels that the Laika use to analyze and transform their problems:
1. The body and physical perception: the level of the serpent
The serpent is a being of strong instinct and extraordinarily acutely developed senses; he trusts that his senses will tell him where to find food or where his enemy is. We too can rely on our senses to form an image of ourselves and the world. This is a very material level of perception, where everything is fixed and tangible and hard to change, where reality is one percent Spirit and 99 percent matter.
Seeing features of a problem through the eyes of a snake:
- You are looking for physical solutions: you want to change your job, a different car, take a pill. Often the solutions are too simplistic.
- You rely completely on your fight or flight survival instinct in your reptilian brain
- Very useful in times of crisis and danger
2. The Mind and Emotional Perception: The Level of the Jaguar
At the next level of perception, that of the jaguar, the mind is the interpreter of reality. We know that the mind can cause psychosomatic illness or bring healing and that a positive attitude can bring joy and peace to ourselves and those around us. We are aware that our experiences are influenced by our thoughts and that everything does not necessarily have to be as it appears in the physical realm.
Seeing features of a problem through the eyes of a jaguar:
- You wonder where your problem comes from and work with the curious cat instinct that can lead you to the right people and situations
- You rely completely on your mammalian brain for the emotions: deep feelings like love and compassion, but also aggression and suspicion
- Helps you make effective changes and solve complicated cases
3. The Soul and Sacred Perception: The Hummingbird Level
The next realm of perception (which includes the previous two) is that of the soul. The language of this level is images, music, poetry, and dreams. The atmosphere of this level is the myth, where the soul can experience itself on a sacred journey and is therefore imagined by a hummingbird. Though tiny, this little bird manages to fly thousands of miles from Canada to Brazil every year. He never gets lost, never loses the urge to keep going, and never wonders if he will find enough food and be strong enough to make that journey.
In the realm of myth we are all on a great journey and, like the hummingbird, filled with the desire to drink only the nectar of life. If we don’t see our journey as sacred, we get bogged down at the level of the mind and its intricate analysis of the world. From the level of the hummingbird, we see everything we experience as part of our epic journey.
Seeing a problem through the eyes of a hummingbird:
- You listen beneath the surface for the hidden message of a problem, beyond the eye.
- You rely on the part of your brain that houses the ability to reason, visualize and create: the brains of science, art, and mythology
- At the soul level, things are what they really are: an expression of the sacred. At this level we feel that we are all on a journey of growth and healing, pulling back to where we were born to be in a state of divine well-being.
4. The spiritual perception: the level of the eagle
When the eagle soars high above the valleys, he can see the trees and rocks, the river, and even the curvature of the earth… but he can also spot a mouse a thousand meters below. His ability to simultaneously see the whole picture as well as a detail symbolizes the qualities of the level of Spirit.
Seeing features of a problem through the eyes of an eagle:
- We no longer see ourselves as separate from the planet or from other people; the boundaries melt away as our individual souls recognize our oneness.