Of a Birdman’s Predetermination and True-heartedness

Once one gets to worship Father Inti, obedience in all things becomes second nature. The worshipper dedicates to doing the best to serve Father Inti.  It throbs with the zeal to serve the Emperor and his children, both locally and to the far extents of the Emperor’s kingdom, and be allowed to do all that one can to work for the Emperor and all of his children – long and happy lives – as one is able.

The birdman, for example, now understands that the job Inti has made him for entails obeisance to the monarch; the job that makes him the happiest.  The birdman can think of no greater reward and he will accept nothing less.

With such commitment and zealousness, the Emperor may react by staring at the birdman for long moments as understanding would come to him. The birdman would lovingly return the gaze and then in an exceedingly graceful flow of motion, the birdman would drop to his knees and then down onto his face. In joyful subordination, the birdman would cradle his monarch’s left foot between his hands and press his cheek against his instep.  In Incan sensitivities, this is an ultimate expression of love and devotion. It is expected that the Emperor would look upon his child who is down in deferential respect, and tears would begin to trickle down his, perhaps, already weathered cheeks for such display of ardor and allegiance; tears to drop unnoticed onto the back of the birdman’s head.

Gifted to be a Birdman

Every once and a while we are confronted by our purpose, our pivotal role in the grand design of things; in cosmic symphony.

In the Incan perspective, when Father Inti made a person, he must have created one for a special job, and that he gave one the greatest abilities so that one is able to do this job well. One is able to perform his special role in the grand scheme of things and define meaning and purpose to his existence.

Being a birdman, for example, gives the greatest joy of all to one who connects to this purpose. The special job has something to do with flying which literally gets one closer to a heavenly sphere while fulfilling the role of delivering messages from village to village.

If one birdman were to chisel an epitaph for himself, he would have stated that one once held the noblest job in the world: that of being a birdman. It is a job an Incan community held high in respect, although not many parents were quite that enthusiastic in sending their children to birdman training.

A birdman read the winds by the way the clouds floated by. From the looks of a cloud from the northeast blown steady, a birdman determines this is the best wind possible when one wishes to fly south.

Flying to fulfill a job makes one happiest. It is said that a man who is happy in his work has found the job Inti made for him.

Not Just a Defender, also a Healer

There seems to be some unwritten law that no matter how good things might be, there would be at least one grouch around to spoil things.

Indigenous civilizations bowed to conquests of more powerful countries or empires.

A book on this might tell you that, indeed, many things in life are not fair!

Peace is honored but there will always be that grouch to spoil peace, or grouches after grouches. When one gets a taste of combat, and while it wasn’t to his liking, he knew sometimes there was no other recourse but to take up arms and fight. Thus, combat becomes an instrument to regain peace.

During and after the struggle to ward off the conquerors, a warrior realizes he can’t just assume the role of a defender but must be more of a healer as well.

For example, he must have the credibility to identify the marvelous abilities of plants to draw poisons out of a wound the way laughter takes over a weary heart, allowing pains of sorts to heal naturally.

No matter how severe a wound may be, it will heal very fast.  It will form no scabs and when the skin grows from the outer edges to the center, it will leave no scar behind, or if the wound is great enough, it will leave the smallest scar possible.

One must assume these communal roles honorably in the world of flesh to be worthier of the other world of spirits.

The World is Dangerous No Matter What Task One Pursues

Some people are quick to pick up wings, take a running leap, get airborne naturally, quickly. These people are deeply interested in anything that flies such as gulls, terns, occasional albatrosses, and the mighty eagles which make excellent birdmen in the days of the Incans.

However, there were parents who disapproved of their children becoming birdmen even if birdmen were essential in the indigenous system of delivering messages from village to village.

The birdmen equipped with words to console mothers, especially, would say: The world is dangerous no matter what task one pursues. Hunters face greater danger as they have the tendency to vanish without a trace. Even women could die in childbirth. People could be bitten by snakes and poisonous insects. Natural disasters could kill many every year so that being a birdman is no different.

Birdmen took flying as their greatest love and anything else must always come second. A distant second at that!

As a young fledgling in training, they learned how to bank left, bank right, and rise above as high as they could reach and all but skimmed the ground. Their faces go aglow at the experience like a pilgrim seeing the Holy Land for the first time. They learned proper landing techniques by raising the head and lowering the feet, the body moving in synchrony to aerodynamics. The ability to fly was believed both a skill and a favor granted by the Great Inti, sun god.