Embracing Ancient Wisdom as A Path of Inner Development and Conscious Evolution

How the Andean Mystical Tradition and Inka Wisdom Can Awaken Us to a Shift in Consciousness and an Evolutionary Relationship with Life

May 20, 2024
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23 min read

A world in a state of permanent crisis and an increasingly charged atmosphere highlights a profound divide from oneself, each other, nature, and core values. The world is crying out for a new humanness, coupled with a desire for rest and quiet, inner and outer peace, and a search for deeper meaning and purpose.

This prompts a critical question: what will it take for us to awaken to the urgency of our collective situation and embrace a more harmonious, kind, peaceful, and thriving existence with each other and the natural world?

Ancient prophetic traditions spoke of a pivotal moment of transition where humanity stands at a crossroads of evolution. This transition marks the collapse of old forms and paradigms, and the emergence of new possibilities—a literal death and rebirth on both individual and collective levels.

Expanding to a Transformative Perspective: From Mind and Matter to Spirit and Soul

The identity crisis of humanity reflects in a world that overemphasises the outer tangible and material aspects of existence, which in turn shape internal experiences. There is a growing recognition of the importance of embracing a more expansive perspective—one that acknowledges the spiritual dimensions of Life. This shift involves moving beyond the limitations of the mind and the material world to explore the realms of spirit and soul. By recognising the spiritual aspect of our existence, we can tap into a source of psychological, emotional, creative, and spiritual power for transformation and positive change.

As renowned spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle reminds us, “Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness.” This insightful quote highlights the interconnectedness between our inner state and outer reality, emphasising the importance of cultivating a deeper awareness of our inner being. Sustainable development and human transformation goals will remain unmet without a deeper understanding that there is a Reality beyond the material world, a Universe within.

A transition is unfolding—a broader acknowledgment of the spiritual aspect of personal, planetary, and cosmic existence. Indigenous cultures have long been rich in traditions and spirituality deeply rooted in the natural world. Shamanism, humanity’s oldest spiritual tradition, not only offers a profound understanding of our relationship with nature and unseen forces that shape our reality but provides soul-nurturing and ceremonial healing practices.

Understanding how life functions when aligned with universal laws is attracting notice beyond traditional spiritual communities. This awareness is increasingly integrated into personal growth, leadership, business, and organisational development, signaling a broader openness and general shift in human consciousness across society.

Embedding the spiritual dimension into all areas of life opens us to a spirituality that is not just an elevated concept but a driving force for inspired, engaged action and positive societal change. Spirituality represents the immaterial, the living world, infinite consciousness, and an invisible inner connection beyond individual identity. It connects us with a larger purpose and a Universal Mind or Higher Power, fostering a deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment in life.

There is more to our world than meets the eye, and each of us is on a unique spiritual journey, whether we realise it or not.

“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in human experience.”

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

This awakening involves exploring the deeper dimensions of our being and rediscovering our wholeness and connection to the Sacredness of Life.

Throughout many years, I have been on a journey of spiritual awakening sparked by a personal crisis marked by cycles of death and rebirth. This ongoing process has fundamentally changed me, expanded my consciousness, and altered my perception of reality in profound ways. It marked the inception of an adventure beyond my wildest imagination, unveiling that there is so much more to us humans than I ever thought possible. Along this path, I encountered avenues for self-redefinition, embarking on a journey of reconnecting with my soul-essence and the vastness of Life.

Through studies of various spiritual paths and these lived experiences, I gained a substantial understanding of the diverse ways in which transformation unfolds. I came to recognize that the evolution of human consciousness is a deeply personal, experiential, embodied, and spiritual matter. Over time, I also learned that spiritual truths, regardless of the tradition, align in many significant ways.

The term ‘spirituality’ still so often triggers discomfort due skepticism towards spiritual concepts, to associations with organised religion, societal norms, fear of the unknown, and commercialisation. However, everything I share transcends religious dogma and speaks more to the universal Truth, expressed in different ways, that underpins various spiritual traditions around the world.

Incorporating Spiritual Intelligence into Leadership, Business and Beyond

In our quest for solutions to the pressing issues of our time, it has become increasingly clear that the problems we face are not merely external but deeply rooted in us, in our individual and our collective consciousness.

I believe that we must also integrate Spiritual Intelligence to live in larger possibility thinking. Just as we exercise our physical bodies, we must also exercise our spiritual, attitudinal muscles to nourish and grow them, becoming more resilient, courageous, creative, kind, and loving.

Many personal and global problems stem from lower levels of consciousness that control our behavior, keeping us trapped consciously and unconsciously in fear-based responses. Albert Einstein’s famous quote reminds us that we can only solve these problems from a higher level of consciousness than the one in which they were created. This necessary shift reflects a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and the importance of aligning our actions with universal principles of harmony, unity, and love. And that, is easier said than done and lived.

We are urged to look beyond the surface of our problems and actions and delve into the spiritual dimensions of our existence. The intersection of business and spirituality is a necessary partnership, much like the convergence of science and spirituality, still holding untapped potential for human evolution and sustainable development, even if the term ‘spirituality’ is not often used in this context due to the reasons mentioned earlier. It offers a new paradigm of leadership and action rooted in wisdom, heart, inner knowing, compassion, and ethical conduct.

“How ‘spiritual’ you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness.”

— Eckhart Tolle

Without this transformation, even the most promising social and ecological innovations will be outstripped by a mechanistic, business-as-usual approach, fostering disconnection, health and mental health issues, competition, consumerism, social inequality, and environmental degradation.

Infusing Spiritual Intelligence into everything we do provides a common understanding and unique perspective for a shared caring vision and guidance that prioritizes the well-being and thrivability of all, nurturing a life-centered, regenerative approach.

From leadership transformation development to conscious networked leadership trainings, regenerative initiatives, and mindfulness programs in corporate organisations, there is a growing acceptance and understanding towards integrating spiritual approaches into various aspects of business and organisational development. These initiatives increasingly turn to ancient and indigenous wisdom for guidance on navigating the complexities of the modern world.

This reflects a growing recognition of the profound impact of consciousness, inner development, and personal growth on individual, professional, leadership, and societal challenges. An increasing number of initiatives integrate these elements to address personal, professional, organizational, planetary, and civilizational challenges.

Marc Benioff, the renowned CEO of Salesforce, stated in an interview with GQ Magazine in November 2023 that spirituality is at the top of his hierarchy for staying on track with everything he does.

The Inner Development Goals, a non-profit, open-source initiative, aims to scale inner development to accelerate the work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Conscious and regenerative leadership approaches, like Leading by Nature by Giles Hutchins and Quantum Leadership by Frederick Chavalit Tsao and Chris Laszlo, address the need and show ways to transform ourselves.

The Inner MBA conscious leadership training program features neuroscience-backed inner skills taught by leading wisdom teachers, business academics, researchers, neuroscientists, and spiritually conscious CEOs. They offer teachings on increasing self-awareness, creating exceptional teams, and turning business into a force for good.

The Mindfulness Initiative’s report, “Mindfulness in Westminster: Reflections from UK Politicians”, contains powerful insights from UK politicians on the personal and interpersonal benefits of their mindfulness training, drawn from over ten years of practice in Westminster.

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.”

— The Buddha

The Andean Mystical Tradition as a Path of Development of our Human Consciousness

Amidst all advancements, I want to shine the spotlight on a time-honored source of wisdom and ancient technology that provides an exceptionally potent antidote to the dominant global culture’s separation from Earth and soul, facilitating fundamental evolutionary shifts: the Andean Mystical Tradition. This tradition offers a rich and complex nature-based and soul-animated cosmology, providing profound insights into the nature of reality and our place within it. It fosters a deeper self-awareness of ourselves and the world around us.

The Andean Mystical Tradition, encompassing pre-Columbian and Inka traditions, is rooted in millennia-old indigenous medicine ways and shamanic wisdom teachings. These oral traditions are passed down through generations, imparting deep comprehension of our relationship with Nature, the Cosmos, ourselves, and all our relationships, including Mother Earth—known as Pachamama to millions of people in South America. They emphasise the required transformation of ourselves by opening our hearts and evolving human consciousness, thereby deepening our love for our beloved Pachamama.

Everything is alive, conscious, and living energy. In other words, everything has both physical and energetic components. The Andean Cosmovision is a vast sophisticated system guided by powerful principles of Nature and engages with reality founded on the multidimensional, living system of Nature’s Wisdom, with a profound reverence for Pachamama, our Earth Mother and all of Life. These living traditions offer direct experience with Nature, honor the beauty and mystery of the Cosmos and ourselves, and celebrate the Sacredness of Life. And it is this Sacredness that has been lost in our times.

Our perception of the world profoundly shapes our reality, reflecting our inner state or the internal map we carry. What we identify with will be mirrored to us. To change the world, we must change our perception. The wisdom teachings of the Andean Tradition are a ‘medicine’ that helps us to do exactly that.

“What you value you must want to see. No one can see a world his mind has not accorded value.”

— The Course of Miracles

Shifting our perspective from a purely materialistic, outward worldview to one that acknowledges the spiritual and animated, soulful dimensions of life often involves pragmatic practices. There are various ways to heal the past, address traumas, and work with the ancestral world, helping us re-member our inherent wholeness and retrieve our innate capabilities and place in the world.

This, in consequence, impacts our balance within ourselves, our relationships, and our environment, fostering physical, mental, emotional, and psychic health and harmony within and around us.

Through the power of focused intention, ritualistic soul-infused offerings, prayer, sacred ceremonies, energy medicine work, contemplation, subtle mindfulness and deep communion with the natural world and beyond, medicine men and women like Paqos (Andean Spiritual Priests) and curanderos (Shamanic Healers), are able to work in different ways with living energy, healing artistry and re-connect with the Sacredness of all Creation.

A Sophisticated Knowledge System

The Andean Mystical Tradition provides an understanding of various consciousness levels and offers a structured approach to spiritual and personal development through the Qanchis Pata Ñan, the Quechua words for the Path of Seven Steps, representing the seven levels of psycho-spiritual development. Each step in this framework unveils a new dimension of understanding based on energetic perception, guiding individuals towards higher levels of consciousness and self-awareness. By aligning with the forces of Nature, practitioners of this tradition undergo a lifelong transformative journey of self-discovery, healing, and reconnection with the sacred essence of existence. However, after a certain time of apprenticeship, practice and growth, it is essential that the learned is shared with family and the community.

According to anthropologist and master teacher Juan Nuñez del Prado, who possesses profound knowledge of Andean and Inka spirituality and wisdom through studying with some of the greatest revered masters of millennial lineages, the Andean Tradition aligns with many modern findings and a universal scheme for human consciousness development. Del Prado has researched Andean Traditions alongside Eastern and Western teachings and found significant parallels. For example, the hierarchy of the Path of Seven Steps mirrors Carl G. Jung’s ‘Individuation Process’. In the case of the Andean scale, the spiritual progression is explicit, as it is considered part of a spiritual career.

Today, there are still Elders of the Q’ero Nation alive, high in the Andean mountains—direct descendants of the Inkas and inheritors of an extraordinary, exquisite knowledge system based on Nature Wisdom—who are masters in the Human-Nature relationship and the world of living energy.

The ancestral wisdom of Andean Traditions and Inka Nature Wisdom offers numerous benefits for our times and a new evolved leadership paradigm. Some of them are:

  • Holistic Perspective of Life: A holistic and experiential approach to Life from lineages deeply connected to Mother Earth and the Cosmos, re-educating us in a reciprocal and loving relationship with Mother Nature moving us towards genuine earth stewardship.
  • Co-partnership with Nature: Working together with the primordial power of nature, bringing harmony to our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and energetic bodies, developing direct kinship with humanity, all beings, and the natural world.
  • Expanded Awareness: Conscious evolution rooted in the opening of the heart, clarity of one’s heart, mind, body, spirit, and the profound connection with fundamental forces of living energy.
  • Personal Empowerment: Reconnecting to one’s natural birthright of happiness and peace, feel deeply supported, improving one’s ability to empathise, respond, and connect with others.
  • Enhanced Self-Awareness: Nurturing deep systemic [self]-awareness and inner blooming to step up into a new potent evolutionary Truth of who we are.
  • Embodied Practice: Visceral experiences and access to a deeper level of inner knowing of a wisdom that expands cognitive meaning-making.
  • Inner Resilience and Adaptability: Fostering inner strength and a deeper understanding of oneself.
  • Ethical Decision-Making: Fostering decision making that promote long-term well-being for all living beings, the Earth, and future generations.

The Andean Mystical Tradition is a living tradition and helps us create a holistic worldview that celebrates the Sacredness of Life and the interconnectedness of all things. It helps us heal and redefine ourselves by teaching us how to commune with our true nature and Nature itself. The altars are the very elements of nature: mountains, rivers, oceans, lakes, waterfalls, and caves.

“The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it. If a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore; if a forest is a sacred grove, not timber; if other species are biological kin, not resources; if the planet is our mother, not an opportunity – then we will treat each other with greater respect. This is the challenge, to look at the world from a different perspective.”

— David Suzuki

As a practitioner and waywalker of the Andean Mystical Tradition —I have dedicated myself to apprenticing, studying, practicing, and journeying the path of my Peruvian ancestral heritage, driven by an intense inner calling. Initiated by masters and teachers steeped in the indigenous wisdom of revered unbroken lineages from the Peruvian Andean and Northern Coastal traditions, my journey has been marked by transformative experiences and ever more clarity on why I am here and what I am here to do. Since a profound, life-changing incident many years ago at one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, the enchanting Gocta waterfall in the tropical cloud forest in the upper Amazon basin in Peru, the following quote has held a deeply personal meaning for me:

“Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better.”

— Albert Einstein

Through these sacred wisdom traditions, I have learned to commune deeply with the natural world, receiving profound insights into the fabric of reality itself. Along this path and through encounters with Nature, I have undergone healing and substantial personal transformation, shedding burdens that all humans carry to some extent, as understood within the teachings of the tradition.

My years of soul exploration have brought both breakdowns and breakthroughs, leading me to see my fellow human beings and the whole world from a different perspective, from the wisdom of Nature within, and a generous and widened heart.

Shifting the Way we Look at the World: An Essential Task to Transform the World

From my own journey, I have learned that the soul-infused path of the heart guides us in understanding our origins and our identity as part of the cosmic-planetary family. To echo the words of Dr. Jean Houston, scholar, philosopher and one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement, we are not merely encapsulated bags of skin but spirit embodied.

Expanding our understanding to realise our true human identity as beings made of living energy in a Living Universe allows us to perceive the Sacredness of a Living Earth and All of Life. It enables us to recognise the profound interconnectedness of everything that exists. Above all, this shift in perception has significant implications for our behavior and actions at all levels of society: it inspires us to protect our Mother Earth, care for the natural world and all living beings, extend our care to all people beyond our own social circle, and act on their behalf.

According to Andean and Inka Prophecy, humanity is transitioning from one level of consciousness to a higher one. As I mentioned in an earlier article titled ‘Embracing the Sacred Feminine for a New Leadership Era’ we are in a time of restoring the harmony between human society and Mother Nature referring to this era as Taripaypacha, a reversal of the world and age where humanity has the opportunity to “meet ourselves again”, an encounter and wholesomeness of humanity to a more harmonious and balanced time forging a deeper connection with the world around us by knowing who we are.

So, we must learn to commune with ourselves and Nature to re-member our inherent wholeness and reclaim our place in the world as advocates for All Our Relations and our Earth Mother.

This understanding is not just about acquiring knowledge but a deep process of self-realisation. As long as it only remains an intellectual concept, shifting towards true care for our planet, the natural world, and our fellow human beings will remain an intellectual checklist exercise with incremental results and oftentimes even ‘business as usual’.

It is time to embrace and incorporate additional ways of knowing, including expanding and trusting our inner or subjective insights and personal experiences. This, alongside other future-fit and imaginal skills and capabilities, science, and empirical evidence, is necessary to create better systems for a regenerative future. However, this ‘other way of knowing’ is not yet part of the mainstream agenda in educational, organisational, and leadership development.It’s notable that on McKinsey Talks Talent, leadership was addressed in an episode titled ‘Why so many bad bosses still rise to the top’.

One example for hope-giving, future-ready education is the The r3.0 Educational Transformation Blueprint demonstrating how ‘whole-education’ can foster transformative capacities for regeneration and thrivability, safeguarding the present and future wellbeing of life on Earth. As lead author Dr. Anneloes Smitsman states “…major inner and outer shifts are required in our perspectives, understanding, attitudes, expectations, behaviours, and actions for safeguarding the present and future wellbeing of life on earth.”  

Awakening the Leader from Within

A courageous, wise, and caring leadership is urgently needed—one rooted in deep connection with their own heart, Nature, wonder, and awe, daring to dream boldly and be the true change themselves first.

It is very important what we do; however, what truly matters is how we do it—the approach we take in our speech and actions. In other words, it is the consciousness we infuse into what we do that counts. By embracing spiritual, holistic, and regenerative values, we create a strong framework for moral, ethical, and responsible decision-making, leading to positive societal change.

Doing this requires willingness and courage to embark on a journey of personal and spiritual growth, self-discovery, and radical self-responsibility. The importance of slowing down and tuning in—in the midst of all that is going on in our lives and work—cannot be overemphasised.

Please share your thoughts. What resonated with you in this article? Did it in any way help you feel differently? What would you add? I would love to hear what you think.

Curious to learn more about the interdisciplinary approach and intersection of topics like shifting consciousness for a new age of care, transformational leadership, feminine leadership, personal growth, ancestral wisdom of the Andean Mystical Tradition, regenerative approaches or holistic sustainability?

I am passionate about exploring the relevant connections between contemporary concepts and ancient spiritual wisdom and how these interdisciplinary approaches create and evolutionary relationship with Life. I am eager to further explore how the intersection of all these areas, as touched upon in this article and beyond, can help us shape pathways toward a caring and thriving future. I still believe, this is what we can create.

It is urgent time to go deep. How we show up is essential to our survival, and I would like to exchange and co-share insights with others who are also committed in creating a more beautiful, conscious, kinder, compassionate, and regenerative world.


If you are interested in exploring different ways of engaging in greater possibility thinking and personal and cultural transformation—whether through future-transformative workshops, spiritual mentoring, speaking, transformational coaching, or delving deeper into the mystery of your mind-body-heart-soul—I can offer holistic advisory, nurturing evolutionary guidance, and pragmatic Earth-honoring solutions.

My intention is to share more, particularly about the Earth-based Andean Tradition and Inka Wisdom, as these principles and practices are so incredibly relevant for today’s times. As a dedicated practitioner and ongoing student of this sacred path, I feel compelled to share the teachings and insights I have received. Moreover, I must do so according to the tradition.

Please reach out and connect with me to delve deeper into these topics and join the conversation.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for your openness to delve into this writing!

With appreciation.

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About

Claudia Giselle van’t Hullenaar helps visionary women and leaders grow into their unique leadership and amplify their impact. She facilitates this by cultivating fresh perspectives and forging unified pathways aimed at creating a regenerative future.

As an Earth Citizen, Transformational Coach & Workshop Leader, Spiritual Mentor, Holistic Advisor, and Practitioner in Andean Mystical Traditions, Ceremonial and Shamanic Healing Arts, Claudia is dedicated to evolutionary in-depth work towards the development and transformation of consciousness as the source of your actions.

Claudia’s approach is informed by transdisciplinary holistic methodologies that blend contemporary modern knowledge and science with ancestral wisdom teachings. She integrates insights from Andean Cosmology and the natural world of living energy into her practice, drawing from her extensive experience in multi-disciplinary and cross-functional professional backgrounds.

With over eleven years of experience in the global corporate sector, along with additional expertise in the global business events, destination management, and tourism sector, Claudia brings a wealth of knowledge in international business, marketing, and strategic sustainability consulting.

Her multicultural upbringing as a Peruvian-Austrian raised across three continents allows her to seamlessly navigate and engage in English, Spanish, and German.

www.sustained-impact.com

Author

Claudia Giselle van't Hullenaar - Earth Citizen | Mentor | Advisor | Coach | Facilitator | Speaker

Facilitating transformational change in leadership, women's empowerment, and the rising feminine, alongside cultural sustainability. Advocating for a Living Earth and All Living Beings through Nature Wisdom, Heart-centered Leadership, and Earth-based spirituality, blending contemporary knowledge with ancestral wisdom.

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