Tú Eres Mi Otro Yo: The Theatre of Reality with Luis Valdez

... unlocking the spirit’s limitless potential within us by recognizing our limits is the paradoxical challenge we all confront.

Pensamiento Serpentino, written by Luis Valdez, presents us with "A Chicano Approach to the Theatre of Reality" through a must-read epic poem. The poem explores themes of civil rights and liberation by pulling on ancient Mayan, Aztec, and Christian teachings and by using language in a stunning bi-lingual stream of consciousness flow.

The core motto of the piece--the oft repeated, Tú Eres Mi Otro Yo (You Are My Other Self)--gives voice to humanity's interdependence and to the deep importance of the golden rule found across religions, cultures, and languages. Valdez calls on his reader to go inward to deeply embrace this golden rule in order to act and find liberation. Whether or not you read the Spanish, let the words of the poem make their way through you. Excerpts like this one give a glimpse into the beauty of this winding epic snake-of-a-thought:

"Once you learn your limitations
you encounter your infinite potential
encuentras a DIOS EN TU CORAZON.

Pero primero you have to
KNOW YOURSELF
pos luego
how could it be otherwise?

Así es que no chismees
ni te preocupes de tus vecinos
ni les busques falta
because the faults you find in them
are not in them: ESTAN EN TI MISMO.
That is why you can see them so
clearly.

A thief can spot another thief
in a multitude.

A teenager worried about pimples
will spot another person's pimples
a mile away.

In LAK'ECH: Tú eres mi otro yo.

Somos espejos para cada uno.
We are mirrors to each other.

Así es que no andes criticando
o maltratando a otras gentes
deal with your own límites

The way to fight racism is with
non-racism.
The way to fight violence
is with non-violence.

Pero de todos modos ACTUA
ACT, EVOLVE
HAY EVOLUTION Y RE-EVOLUTION.

Aquí estamos en el gran
anfiteatro de los
cosmos and you are meant
to be active."

(p. 190-192)

In this cyclical theater of the universe, unlocking the spirit's limitless potential within us by recognizing our limits is the paradoxical challenge we all confront. The good news is that "we are mirrors to each other"--if we look deeply into these mirrors, we will stay on the path to our personal and collective liberation, acting, evolving, and evolving again.


Source:
Valdez , Luis. “Pensamiento Serpentino.” Early Works: actos, Bernabé and Pensameinto Serpentino. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1994.

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Perry is Still Harbor's Associate Director. She believes words have the power to transform for good if they are used with reverence to the sacred nature of all things. She hopes that you feel inspired by the meditations and reflections she and Still Harbor share. She is certainly inspired to share them because of you. 

...let the words of the poem make their way through you.
— Perry Dougherty