Prof. Juan Nunez del Prado: An Andean transcendental Anthropology in the Andean Cosmology


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Juan Nunez del Prado has been researching ‘The Supernatural Andean World’ since 1968. In 1979, he became apprentice to Don Benito Qoriwaman Vargas, Don Melchor Deza, Don Andres Espinoza and Don Mauel Quispe. All of them were indigenous Andean spiritual teachers, traditionally called ‘Paqo’ or ‘Alto Misayoq’. Their beliefs combined fundamental Christian beliefs, with beliefs and rituals originating from the sophisticated Pre Columbian animism of the Incas.

Juan sees a correspondence between the seven level hierarchy of the Andean cosmology and the seven levels in the ‘message to the seven churches’ in the Apocalypse of St John in the Bible. This he sees as significant as an indicator of a ‘Natural Law’ in action. The question he poses is ‘ what might be this law? He sees both hierarchies as a parallel to the developmental process of human conscious expansion, that Carl G. Jung called ‘individuation’. In the case of the Andean process, the psychological progression is explicit, as it is considered part of a spiritual path.

Juan points out that the ‘Ontogenetic Recapitulation of Filo genesis’ that operates in biological evolution, cultural evolution, operates also in the evolution of depth psychology as pointed out by Sigmund Freud and Carl G. Jung. Culturally it can be said that the same process takes place as the development of the individual’s psyche recapitulates the process of the development of the human culture. Anthropology is the study of the processes of development of the culture and the process, behind these three systems, can be considered as ‘Transcendental Anthropology’ because they all describe the natural tendency of humans and cultures to transcend themselves.

Prof Juan Nunez del Prado was a professor at the University Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cuzco from 1974 to 1997 teaching Anthropology and was head of the department in the faculty of Anthropology and Social Sciences. In 1996 and 1997 Juan was visiting professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, where he taught: “Cosmology and Psychology in the Andes” and “Evolution of the Andean civilizations.” He specialised in social anthropology, comparative studies of world religions, and comparative study of civilizations. He is the author of The supernatural world of the Quechuas of Southern Peru, Pachamama Raymi, A system for the development of the Andean communities with (William Van Imeerzel), Historical and structural diagnostic of Peru, The New Paradigm, Walking Through the Living Cosmos.

From 1979, for more than 9 years, he was apprentice to the renowned Spiritual Master Don Benito Qoriwaman an indigenous from Wasau. After 1971 Juan started the work of spreading the Andean teachings that have their roots in the traditions of initiation of the Incas. He received teachings and initiations from many masters from both the Q’ero nation (the most traditional indigenous community of Peru) and the community of Wassau near Cuzco. All four of his teachers Don Andres Espinoza and Don Manuel Quispe from Qero and Don Benito Qoriwaman and Don Melchor Deza from Wassau are recognised Fourth Level Masters, Paqo or practitioner. From 1997 he started teaching the Andean spiritual tradition in the West: United States, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Iceland and Norway. When not teaching abroad, he would lead groups to the most important sacred places around the city of Cuzco for the great initiation of ‘Hatun Karpay’.

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