The closest that historians can associate to the origins of the Eldorado myth is an Indian ritual in the Andes where the King was covered in gold and immersed into Lake Guatavita, with his subjects throwing golden ornaments deep into the lake as sacrifice. The Spaniards returned home with tales of the golden King and a land of plentiful treasures.
Many Spanish explorers and voyagers went in search of Eldorado with dreams of adorning the Spanish royalty and bringing fame and fortune upon themselves. Some made discoveries, but never to the extent of a city made of gold. In time, Eldorado became an urban myth that sparked the imagination only for the next explorer.
Eldorado, Valhalla, the Elixir of Life, the Holy Grail, the soul-mate who will meet your every desire or whatever your paradise.
This is the search for the ultimate ideal… and for the impossible.
One day you will find your city of gold. And all your troubles will mysteriously disappear.
Or will it?
Another explorer of the late 16th century managed to cut a notch into the lake to reduce the water level by 20 metres which unfortunately collapsed and claimed the lives of many labourers. Although he sent various golden ornaments, jewellery and armour back to the Spanish King, he died a poor man.
In the late 19th century, the lake was drained by a British company via a tunnel emerging into the centre, draining the water level to about a metre of mud and slime. Exploration was impossible and when the mud dried, set like concrete. Only a few salvageable artefacts were found and the company eventually filed for bankruptcy.
Many would say greed was their downfall. And perhaps that played a part.
But I would say that the biggest downfall was the search of some glorious externality that will make you whole or end your problems. Instead of a full and rich inner connection leading you outward to a wealthy life, the search for Eldorado (the ideal) will leave you seeking, unsatisfied and hollow.
This could be your ideals of wealth, lifestyle, health, relationships or living your purpose. It could even be the search for your ideal self. But the shiny and tempting conquest will, in time, lead you further away from yourself and closer to a reality of pain.
You can look to the natural law and behaviour of structures to explain why. As pointed out by Robert Fritz, structures have a determining behaviour - for example a brick will stay put, a rocking chain will oscillate and a ball will roll. This is observable and generally true.
Applying the natural law of structures to your consciousness is slightly less obvious albeit very insightful. In this case, the outcome of your endeavours will always highlight the structure and beliefs of your consciousness. For example, the gain or loss of something you wanted, and how that came about, will tell you (if you are willing to see) what is going on in your psyche.
In the stories of the explorers who dug up the lake, in the search for Eldorado, but ended up with nothing, two obvious themes jump out:
- A loss of many resources in the search for the golden treasure trove (death of workers, long journeys rationing food, funding to go on expeditions or business ventures)
- Ending up bankrupt or poor, regardless of the wealthy discoveries found
Without deep psycho-analysis of what was happening in their lives or from childhood, the most obvious thing occurring was a sense of unworthiness where resources and even lives are expendable in the search for Eldorado. As I uncover that, I wonder if the goal was ever theirs to begin with…
Was it even about finding gold in the first place?
Try it for yourself and see. Try an example of something you wanted and lost out on & honestly how that came about. You may be surprised to see some stories and beliefs running amok in your psyche. Shining the light on those beliefs is often all that is needed to break its influential spell.
ELDORADO by Edgar Allan Poe
Remember - you can only create, weave magic, transmute realities, from your own centre. Not that which is outside of you. You are your true Eldorado.