Interview with Walcírio Genésio da Silva, the Valcírio Serra, Mestre's eldest son, held by Eduardo Bayer  for the Museum of Rubber of the Cultural Foundation of the State of Acre on November 15, 1991. [From the cyber magazine Arca da União]
In his early years as an ayahuasquero in Brasiléia, then “Brazília”, in the upper Acre river, near the Bolivian and Peruvian borders, Irineu Serra had his first wife, Emília Rosa de Amorim, and a couple of children -- Mr. Valcírio, who we are happy to present in this interview, and the girl Valsidrina, who died with one year and eight months. For reasons that only belonged to him, Mestre Irineu separated from this first family in 1921, and nine years later came to Rio Branco to establish the doctrine that he received from the Virgin Queen of the Forest. Mestre Irineu reunited with his eldest son only in 1970, just months before his death, then taking concrete knowledge of his grandchildren and great grandchildren in Acre.
In 1991, we find his son Valcírio married with Mrs. Cecilia Gomes, the “Mrs. Preta” -- daughter of Antônio Gomes and the widow of Germano Guilherme, two bastions of the beginning of the Doctrine --, living in Rio Branco, near the São Francisco creek, in the quiet and beautiful stretch of woods inherited from his father, where he had his plantation and his creation and where he received us with peace and joy in narrating his words to leave us more understanding on the living presence of the King Juramidam.
(We will abbreviate the name of the interviewee as VS, MP for Mrs. Preta and EB for the interviewer)
EB: When were you born?
VS: I was born in 1918.
EB: 1918... Was it then, in 1912, that Mestre met Mr. Antônio Costa? Was he also black, Mr. Antônio Costa?
VS: He was black too, he was ...
EB: Back then the Center already existed?
VS: It was when they founded. Then it was through something that they had already started in Peru. They have been already working… I mean, they were beginning through the Indians, you know. They were working through these Indians. They worked with the Peruvian Indians, you know? It was where they started to work. Then he sought out to learn -- this work is for everything in this world, is for everything, in any way the guy does. Now it happened that he sought to bring this work to this country, his land, in case it was something worthy, and he started to research -- he started to fight for it, to search, to work, to see if he could, in the case it was a good thing, bring it to his country to work towards the benefit. Then he asked what he wanted. But there is always a difficulty in these cases, because in these works the person needs to be very careful, because they are not actually works to run money, they are works towards the benefit. For those who want to deal with money, everything becomes easy, you know? The guy stands up here, drops there, take from another, and another, falls, and this way it goes… And he sought it for the person's own benefit, for the Astral, for the spirituality. Then he found it. Therefore, he sought this work for the spirituality and he had the opportunity to achieve it. Then he abandoned the lineage of the others, because some work to find Mestre, others work for hunting, others for business, and others to be heirs or this and that. In short, as they say, it is infinite, you know; infinitely for everything.
He chose this work for the improvement of the body for spirituality, for healing, for the benefit, to do charity and that belonged to the divine part. So he worked towards this goal until the point of his conclusion. Then, it is in this part when he concluded his work that these great hymns are coming out of this house, this plantation… this foundation, this work that he founded here.
So he found, after much struggle, he found that capability -- capability for us, of course -- to cure difficult diseases, to benefits in a way that the guy comes sick to the bones, already disillusioned by the doctors, and comes here and get healed.... There are people here that we know and they are living, working, and they came here in search of a work to improve, because you know, being sick is like being thirsty... You arrive somewhere and there you see a house. You look around and assume that it surely must have water. You are thirsty, and the thirst is one of the biggest things that torment us and in this case we would give anything to drink water. Then you drink some health. You're sick and you drink a Daime and get well. We even tolerate hunger, but not thirst. If there's water and you have thirst, you will drink water. The same with this master, his thirst is to benefit mankind. His greatest thirst is to do charity, is to do the good, to make us be able to know, to make us be able to see, which is a good thing – to do good, not evil.
EB: To transform our lives...
VS: To transform our lives is a satisfaction to him, he's satisfied, he feels happy when everyone is together and working together for each other’s benefit. He feels satisfied. Incidentally, he can even have a smile of happiness or contentment, because he finds people benefiting each other, meaning that in this part he intervenes... In sickness we know how to humble ourselves, because only with health nobody gets humble. Everyone is so excited, each one more important than the other, with health, money and everything, on top of the world and nothing is lacking -- caring for nobody, neither for his dependants, neither for the blind or nor for us -- “forget it.”... So is in the sickness that the guy feels. He undertakes to comply with certain obligations, even open to intervention, of being treated. “In case I ever recover my health, I promise to help Mestre to work.”
So, this is the only anxiety that exists, and Mestre finds himself satisfied. And why? Because we’ve already got whipped. We get whipped, and when that happens is because we are not caring for things. Sometimes we have a tremendous health and do not know what illness is, and suddenly we criticize the other, “Well, that one is week.” And when it comes to him [sickness], is like I told you -- is thirsty, and when we have thirst we asks, “Do you have water? Give me some water,” and gets happy because we drank water. It's just when we are sick and takes a drug, passes through all the pain and gets to a point when we can stand up, stick up the head and be able to sit and breathe well, we look to both sides and say, “Thank God, I got well!”
So, in turn, were several people of this nature that arrived in this house and are here today! They are here... And they are here precisely through this weakness, this disease, not necessarily by choice, by his will, saying, “I am going there to work.” They come by the force of necessity. But with health is, “I am not going there. I have no business with nobody’s water of the vine. I don’t want brujeria of the leaf of the vine. I won’t set foot there; I don’t want to have anything with this disgusting thing. This can never be from God. I prefer to take a beer, a wine, a pleasant thing, but to take such a disgusting thing?” And by the force of necessity he comes to this “disgusting thing”, he gets relieved from what he was feeling and even praising, not wanting to call it a “disgusting thing” anymore, right?
EB: One has to build respect, right?
VS: One has to learn to respect it, as well as to respect us. The lack of respect, you know, is one of the greatest things that drag us. We may be small, we may be old, but in knowing how to respect the elder gets satisfied. The elder can have 80, 90, or 100 years old, and if you treat him well, he looks at us and says, “But who is this kid, who is this guy, who is this gentleman, who is this boy?” Because you treated him well, right? Because if you don’t know how to respect he will say, “Who is this little devil so eager, so full of himself?” Yes, respect it appropriate everywhere, from big to small.
This is what Mestre asks, inside of the water of this vine that we take. He asks us to be loving, gentle and charitable. That we become more dignified people, more humble, more reputable, to let go of certain things because sometimes people are missing out a lot ... We have many “graduated” people, but graduated in all fields, but there are occasions when sometimes the person is graduated but rebellious, because he has no sympathy for the ones below, because he does not know what it is, he does not know what difficulty is, he does not know what poverty is. He was born in a golden cradle, in fortune, in those greatest comforts. He does not know what is difficult in any way, and when he speaks of difficulty is, “Ah, you mean the agonizing ones.” Then on, “Get out!” he doesn’t even want to know that, does not want to acknowledge that. And others who seek to gain knowledge -- right? -- are going to achieve, will see that there is the doctrine, will see that they also belongs to the family, that the “agonizing ones” also belong to the family and are materialists who also belong to the family. So he goes ahead -- sometimes in quantities of one thousand, two, three thousand people -- when there is one, two, three with compassion. “But boy, you cease to have a good life to give value to these people? This is too much!” But so was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ did not walk in the midst of great people. He would take the side road, making that pilgrimage and the people followed Him. “And what does this man eat? Why this man has no luggage, no home? What does he do to have no home, wandering like this as if he had no place to stay?” It was when someone said, “What should a man do to gain salvation?” -- “Give away your belongings and follow me.” He looked around and said, “Should I no longer be sitting here, when they served me coffee, served me food, and served everything well in my hands to walk behind such a man who does not have a given place to sleep, neither knows where he is going to eat, walking on this earth without anything, who seems to does not have neither clothes or a place to rest, anything?”
EB: The rich young man, right?
VS: Yeah, the rich young man. Then He said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to save himself. There they stayed, stuck, because a camel to go through a needle and a rich do don’t save himself... Because the salvation is born from charity, is born from love, is born from suffering. Love is not… This is why I regard love! Ah, the hugging, the kissing and all that stuff, that whole manipulation, all that courtesy that exists, this is not the love I mean. Love begins with charity, and with suffering too! Because you live wanting to find it in this mission [regarding Eduardo Bayer], you seeking to know. It is beautiful to seek to know, but rarely happens. You always walk as a sort of wanderer, isn’t it, from here to there, with your briefcase on the back, your little bag, searching, learning from one another to obtain this knowledge. But if today you had the opportunity to meet Mestre here you would have a great satisfaction in your life, but it has been twenty years since he left. Yes, twenty years since he left. But he said to us, “I am the Daime and the Daime is me.” First he said, “I am the Jagube and the Jagube is me.” -- “I am the Daime and the Daime is me, and whenever you want to talk to me, get together, get united, take a Daime and I'll be beside you.” This is very easy for you to learn.
EB: If we call he comes...
VS: Yeah, depending on you, right? If you dedicate yourself to this work, if you behave properly, follow a diet, he always comes. He suffered a lot to learn, to work, to leave it to us. So, this work that you're doing, of searching, trying to understand this work, is not difficult. The hardest part is for you to arrive, and you already have arrived, you're here for four years... You are almost affectionate at home. You're depending on getting the book. You take “O Cruzeiro” and hold on to it, and pay attention. And we have the other companions who are next to him -- Germano Guilherme, Antônio Gomes, João Pereira, Maria Damião, Raimundo Gomes… All of them are providing services and are helping, confirming the words that he spoke back there in “O Cruzeiro”.
They are confirming, here and there they are... They are the apostles who are coming and who go helping him to work. He is the one who delegates to them, and just I, you and anyone else are the messengers. We are, in so doing, a display -- he tells me, I get, here I speak and transmit the hinários for you and for all to hear. It was him who told me to, he gave me. I speak here, I convey, you learn, then you go find out where I went too and you will pay attention to those words which have been explained.
EB: Each one will touch your heart...
VS: For each of these “displays” he gives an instruction, a lesson. He gives a lesson for one, one lesson to the other, and each one will redeem their services. Then we are here to listen; to listen and to look, to seek a way to metalize that work. How did that brother received? What those words mean? In doing so you're explaining, as he says in the New Hymns, that “All want to be brothers, but they don’t have loyalty,” right? “All want to be brothers, but they don’t have loyalty.” -- just what he talked to us, about us. He said “all”, which means that he didn’t excuse anyone. He included all of us who are on active duty. “All want to be brothers, but they don’t have loyalty.” Because if in on one hand I do a service, at the other I encounter difficulty, by convenience or inconvenience, wanting or not...
EB: Everybody has their flaws, right?
VS: This is the flaws at play already. “All want to be brothers, but they don’t have loyalty.” This he spoke and said, and his words are very difficult to take back for another one to review it. He is the one who has to tell.
EB: So you took Daime as a child with him or you took Daime later on?
VS: I came to take Daime from 1970 and forth. When I was a child I was just baptized.
EB: Baptized with the Daime or in the Church?
VS: I was baptized with the Daime and then I was baptized in the church with the priests. It was when he left, working here and there. I came to his house, and when I arrived at his house I was fifty-three years old.
EB: How old were you when your mother died?
VS: When my mother died I was twenty-seven years old.
EB: So you were raised in her family, was it?
VS: With her.
EB: You said that you had a sister, right?
VS: I had another sister, and she died with a year and eight months. And I, being more stupid, stayed, you know… To suffer! She saw how things were and said, “I am out of here.” That's right; we do not have to lose heart, no… This journey is long. We have to face it with courage, naturally, because it is beautiful. If you set out to work for this mission you have to walk, you know? You have to work happy and satisfied with each other... Here and there we get it right, and sometimes we get it wrong... We have to do as if we had mandins [a type of fish with spurs] in a net, looking out for the spurs, because you'll never find that loyalty and those types of things again. He spoke as follows, “We have an opportunity, we take the Daime and it shows us the people.” Then you'll know that person, you will be careful with that person, you will treat that person well, everything else, but will be careful, because the world is of probation, the world is of illusion. The world only gives us these things that are happening, when the people are so eager... You get a little sideways on an occasion like this. You arrive at a party and you stay aside, measuring. If you do not want to hear much, cover your ears and stays just looking, and you think, “It seems that these people are all crazy.” You're not hearing anything, you know, just seeing the action -- it seems that everyone is crazy, some are kind of down, some say one thing, some say another, some do one thing, some do another, and so is the humanity. Nobody is going to be able to fix it, and this is a lesson so we can avoid the stubs. We go dodging the stubs... We are the stubs ourselves. We are the thorns ourselves...
MP: We are the beasts ourselves.
VS: We are each other’s enemies ourselves. This happens always within the family, [enemy] of the father, of the mother and of the children. Among your own siblings you meet different people. You want something that does not match the other and he does not agree. Does not want, does not accept advice and you just find rebelliousness. “Don’t do that!” – “Yes, I do. What do you have with it? Ah! Even you, minding my own life? No, you're getting crazy, this is meant to be, this world is ours!”
In fact, this world is our own, but we live at the end of the world. Why at the end of the world? The world is round, right? Where the earth ends, up is the Astral. We live first on the Earth's surface. The world is round and we live on top of the world, sprawled over the world. We are already at the end. Your place is the end of the world, beginning of the world, in every corner... From here and up is no longer the Earth. And the Earth is here in the flat, the Golden Salão of our true Father, the Golden Salão. Here we are on top of the Golden Salão. From here up is the Astral. Off an inch from the world is the Astral. Let’s steer up, because only who lives up there sees, and from there he illuminates everything...
 Eduardo Bayer Neto is a writer, video-documentary producer and forest engineer. He is also employee of the Elias Mansour Foundation of the Acre state and idealizer of the project Virtual Museum of the Ayahuasca -- of which the cyber magazine “Arca da União” is an integrant part.