Hank Wesselman, PhD, is a paleoanthropologist and shamanic teacher who has investigated the mystery of human origins in the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. In his seventh book, The Bowl of Light, Dr. Wesselman provides a rare glimpse into the heart of Hawaiian shamanism as he unveils the teachings given to him from the great Kahuna elder, Hale Makua. Before his passing, this revered shaman and wisdom keeper granted Dr. Wesselman permission to share this sacred spiritual knowledge, which is seldom imparted to outsiders.
Randy Peyser: The Bowl of Light is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. How did you come to meet Hale Makua, the Kahuna elder?
Hank Wesselman: Hale Makua had read one of my earlier books, Spirit Walker, which led him to find me. In Spirit Walker, I described my visionary experiences from the 1980’s in which my mind, in an altered state of consciousness, would spontaneously re-geography itself into the body of another man.
I looked through this man’s eyes into a world I’d never seen before. I listened to his thoughts and tapped into his memories. I was stunned. For 20 years, I had ongoing connections with this man who lived after the fall of Western civilization.
I had a look at the future. This future was seen through the eyes of one of my descendents, this man with whom I seemed to have achieved these visionary connections. I believe — and he believes, because he is aware of me now — that I am the ancestor and he is the descendent in an ancestral-descendent lineage.
Randy: How did you know this man was aware of you?
Hank: He began to find his mind re-geographied into mine. He would have dreamlike experiences in which he found himself in the body of a man who was living in the Hawaiian Islands in the ancestral past. His thought was that I must be one of his ancestors. I had never considered the possibility that he might be one of my descendents.
Since I was living in Hawaii, this experience drew me toward the knowledge of the Kahuna mystics of Polynesia. Then in 1996, I was invited to speak on the Big Island. I was about to start when a Hawaiian man who was half a head taller than me and who outweighed me by 100 pounds walked in. He had a big beard, a long white ponytail, and he held a beautifully-carved walking stick.
I knew one of the Kahuna families would eventually find me because I revealed Kahuna knowledge in Spirit Walker and many indigenous people don’t appreciate outsiders trespassing in their spiritual traditions.
Hale Makua was one of the major spokespersons for the Indigenous People’s Science Network, where he sat on stage with the Dalai Lama at the United Nations as one of the Peace Keepers. When he entered the room, along with several other Hawaiian men, I realized this was the day and this was the big Kahuna.
Randy: How did you feel about his entrance?
Hank: I was nervous. But he put a beautiful lei around my neck and my wife’s neck. As I spoke, I got this impulse that he’d come to say something, so I said, “Elder Makua, I’m getting a feeling there’s something you wish to say. Would it be correct for me to ask you if you wish to speak?”
This man, Makua, was a man who traveled with many generations of his ancestral spirits in constant attendance upon him. They served as his advisors and his guides. I watched as he altered his consciousness as though he were listening to something in the far distance. At first he listened with one ear. Then he listened with the other ear. Then he smiled and stood up and said, “A friend of mine sent me your book and I read it.”
This was the moment of truth. He said, “I read it again to make sure I got it right. Then I went to the beach and I plunked your book down on the sand, and I called in the ancestors and we had a talk about you.”
He smiled. “The ancestors asked me what your name was and I told them, ‘Hank Wesselman.’ The ancestors told me I wasn’t pronouncing your name right. They said that your name is really ‘Vessel Man.’ You are a vessel, like the canoe. The ancestors told me to say to you that everything you wrote in Spirit Walker is true, and that we Hawaiians need to support you since you are making our work easier.”
For the next eight years, Makua shared the deepest wisdom of the Polynesian mystics, which has not been written down in any book before The Bowl of Light.
Randy: Can you describe the “life roles” Makua discusses in The Bowl of Life?
Hank: Yes. The Polynesian system poses a clear understanding of our life roles. We are warriors, artists, servers, scholars, sages, priests/healers, or chiefs. Each life role has both a positive and negative polarity. For example, our politicians, soldiers, and sports teams — our gladiators — are all warriors.
The positive polarity, the function of the warrior, is persuasion. The negative polarity is coercion. A successful outcome is rarely achieved through coercion. But it is through the negative polarity that we learn our lessons; that is the function of the negative polarity.
The positive polarity of the artist is the creation of images of power and beauty to inspire and encourage us. The negative polarity of the artist is deception. How many artists become successful because they can imitate other people who are creative although they themselves have no creative ability?
The positive polarity of the server is to be of service. People who work in restaurants or banks or who drive cabs are servers. The negative polarity of the server is slavery, bondage. The people who are in service to us, who are locked into jobs which involve endless, joyless striving their entire lives, or who have credit card bills, college loans and mortgages they’ll never be able to pay off, are in bondage. Makua would say that we have a new kind of slavery today; it’s economic slavery.
Randy: What is your life role?
Hank: I’m primarily a scholar. The positive polarity of a scholar is knowledge, which can only be achieved through direct experience. The negative polarity is theory because contentious views and theories that begin in academies encourage scholars to go into greed or glory.
Comedians are often sages. The positive polarity of the sage is expression. They are teachers. The negative polarity of the sage is oration, the filibuster. A lot of our politicians and many transformational speakers are sages; they like to hear themselves talk a lot.
The priests and priestesses are in the role that Makua calls, “The Sixth Level,” which is also the level of the healer. Their positive polarity is compassion. Their negative polarity is zeal.
Randy: Why is zeal a negative polarity?
Hank: Think of all the people who have been killed in wars in the name of God. That’s zeal. They’re in the negative polarity. The positive polarity, like Jesus of Nazareth, St. Francis of Assisi, or Hildegard of Bingen — some of the truly great mystics across time — ran into trouble with the religious hierarchies of their time because they were in positive polarity while all the religious hierarchies were operating in the negative polarity.
In the Holy Inquisition up to 9 million people were murdered because they were in direct competition with the Catholic Church. What religious body with any authenticity could ever condone something like that? That’s zeal.
Randy: Do we only have one life role?
Hank: We all have a primary life role, as well as a secondary life role, and sometimes a tertiary role. But we are all going
towards the Seventh Level, which is the life role of a chief. That’s the level of the Empress and the Emperor. Our directors, CEOs, and presidents are chiefs.
The positive polarity of the chief is mastery of the self. The chief is the one who has mastered all of the other life roles. In positive polarity, the job of the chief is to create abundance for their people through their relationship with nature. Makua said we need to return to nature-focused spirituality and mysticism because nature is the true God and every time we abuse nature, we abuse God.
Randy: We see that in all the destruction we’ve experienced.
Hank: Absolutely. The true chief is in service to all of their people, not just their political allies. The negative polarity of the chief is abuse of power — tyranny, do it my way.
Randy: From which polarity does President Obama function?
Hank: President Obama is an authentically initiated chief. On the heels of the last administration, the pendulum has swung widely to the opposite polarity.
Randy: Can you talk about Makua’s notion of the Ancestral Grand Plan?
Hank: Makua talked about a Plan that was set into motion by the ancestors in the mythic past. Four hundred years ago, the Kahunas of the South Pacific perceived that the time would come when the white people would arrive. At that time, the people would not be ready to
receive the spiritual knowledge of which the Kahunas were the Sacred Caretakers, and the Books of Knowledge would be closed.
This is a metaphor because they didn’t have books; it was an oral tradition. The knowledge was to be concealed and kept in family lineages for a very long time until a certain pattern appeared in the stars. When this pattern appeared, the people of wisdom and power could speak once again and offer their truth to the world. This pattern appeared in 1991. From that time, Makua began to share his knowledge with outsiders.
According to Makua, each of us has an ancestral lineage from our mothers and fathers. We also have the lineage of all our former selves, which are carved into our Higher Self or Oversoul Field. And we have our personal ancestors and spiritual ancestors who support us from behind the scenes.
The Ancestral Grand Plan involves visionary experiences which lead each of us to step out of what we think we are and become all of who we really are. The Plan lies always ahead of each spiritual aspirant.
The first role of the Plan is to expand the consciousness of humankind. This involves increasing our spirituality, our self-assurance, and our knowledge, especially in order to clear up doubt. Doubts are formidable adversaries because they keep us in confusion and separation. You can see this exemplified by competing versions of Christianity that create separation. The time for separation is over.
The second goal of the Plan is for all elders, both eastern and western, to bring their family members, students, spiritual aspirants and colleagues, and engage with each other objectively, subjectively, intuitively, and eventually telepathically.
Our responsibilities include discovering what we are meant to bridge into the world, in addition to the gifts that we are here to offer, the lessons we are here to work on, our life roles, and our personal growth as an embodied soul.
We can help clarify and refine the vision. The vision itself permeates all of us and it changes as we change ourselves. He was quite adamant that nothing is set in stone — not scripture, not sutras, not ceremony.
Randy: Can you talk about the three different levels of the Plan that Makua identified?
Hank: Yes. The three levels of the Plan are political, religious and scientific. The first goal of the political work is to develop international links to the world through the vehicle of consciousness itself.
The foundation for these links has to be based in compassion and aloha. This aloha, this consciousness, will create a foundation and then embody a spirit of international interdependence and interrelationship based on this aloha. This is the foundation on which we have to build the next cycle of ages.
To fulfill the political level of the Plan, Makua said that isolation, separateness, exclusiveness, and the cultivation of nationalism have to go. Our nationalist legalisms, colored by our sense of superiority and furthered by class and tribal hatred, as well as racial and religious antagonisms, all have to go as well. These constitute a formidable barrier to the true development of our humanity and our interconnection in spirit.
The second division of the Plan is religious. We have to establish a universal understanding about the nature of reality and our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves.
Makua’s perception was that organized religions have been a serious impediment to the growth of this awareness of humanity for the last 2000 years. Religious differences are the hardest to bridge, but progress is being made. This is a very important point because all the problems of the world have been generated by religious conflicts.
The last division of the Plan is science. Makua talked about a new synthesis that was coming into being, a conjoining of the tangible and the intangible to bring science and spirituality together. This conjoining will enable an extension of our senses and allow us to access a hidden world that lies behind the veil.
Makua said that all spiritual seekers and teachers need to discover what their part is in the Ancestral Plan and they need to do it right now.
Randy: Why is that?
Hank: The old cycle is winding down and coming to an end. As we come into the center of the spiral, everything is unraveling quickly. In the geophysical realm, we have earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis. There’s also financial pressure on Wall Street and disasters in the political world.
All of our institutions, in a sense, are failing us at this time because everything is unraveling. There will come a point where everything stops for a millisecond, and then the spiral will begin to expand outward once again. Energy flowing into the spiral will make it move very quickly.
This Ancestral Plan forms the foundation on which the next cycle will be built. We need to decide exactly what kind of a world we want to pass on to our descendents.
Randy: Did Makua believe in the coming of the Messiah?
Hank: It’s a misunderstanding that a messiah is going to come and save us. He said the real messiah is in each of us in our hearts. That’s the Bowl of Light that connects us to our godself, our oversoul. Each one of us is the messiah. There is no messiah who is going to rescue the world, unless we are the ones who do it.
For information about Hank Wesselman’s upcoming shamanic workshops at Breitenbush Hot Springs, and at Esalen and Omega Institute, please visit www.SharedWisdom.com
Randy Peyser is the author of The Power of Miracle Thinking. She also edits and ghostwrites books and helps people find agents and publishers. www.AuthorOneStop.com