Legacy The Origins of Civilization _ Maya The burden of time

Legacy The Origins of Civilization _ Maya The burden of time


a Hundred and Fifty Years Ago in the Jungles of Central America European Explorers came upon the ruins of a Vanished Civilization In the solemn stillness of a Forest Road One the monuments were like Sacred Things? Like Divinities Mourning Over a Fallen People The Builders of These pyramids The Meyer Had Achieved astonishing Feats of Astronomy science and Mathematics They had invented writing Independently of The old World Such Sites Said Their discoverer were like a Newly Found History Proving that the ancient Peoples of The americas have not Been Savages but had Equaled the finest Monuments of the ancient Egyptians? so much about them seemed totally original and Yet They were also intriguing clues from a Deeper common Past of all Humanity Central America Was Unique in that Up to the time of a spanish conquest It had no contact at all with The other Civilizations of The old World and yet IF we compare the Maya with the ancient chinese the similarities of belief and practice and Symbol Suggests That The Peoples of The Americas never quite lost That Deep Connection with their prehistoric origins in asia The Maya Shared with the chinese the fundamental belief That Civilization That Humankind are not Set apart from nature But Part Of a Natural Order Whose Workings It Is the Human Duty and the Human interest to Understand and Like The chinese the Maya did this through divination shamanism and Through Intellectual and Moral Control At the core of the Mayan view of Civilization Was an all-consuming Obsession With Time Time Measured in vast recurring Cycles of Hundreds of millions of Years Longer Indeed Than The universe is Known to have Existed The Greeks Explored The Cosmos Through Geometry The Hindus Through Metaphysics The Mine through The Mathematics of Eternity mexico City The largest City on Earth Since the landing of Columbus in 1492 Two Conceptions of Civilization Have fought for the soul of the Peoples of the Americas The One Foreign and Recent to that of The World the other ancient and native in the last 500 Years Despite genocide and forcible Conversion The spiritual conquest of the native americans has Never Taken Place for All This time They have Tenaciously Held on to their old Languages Their old Beliefs Their old Views of The cosmos and of Time Keeping Faith as They Would Put It with Their ancient future It’s dawn in chichicastenango Guatemala Chuchi is one of the Market towns in Highlands of the Kiche Maya In guatemala the Majority of The People are still indian And Still Speak the language of the ancient pre-columbian Civilization Here the Maya? in front of The Church of st. Thomas Travelers Burn Copal incense Asking Forgiveness from The Mayan spirit Gardens at The Door All Around The Market you can Pick Out the home regions of The traders by Their Woven Jackets The Bat Is a Symbol from the ancient mine underworld Worn By The last Dynasty of The catcher kell Mine today it’s the emblem of the township of solola The Designs on the Woman’s clothes are the most elaborate Carrying Coded Information about Family and Lineage In such Ways That People Have preserved Part of the pattern of the old mine universe Here in chichi the traditional Civic Rituals are Kept Up by the religious guild the coffe ideas They Hark back to pre-columbian Times organizing the festival Days Here both Christian and mile In fact it Was through The core ideas Here in 1702 That Europeans were Allowed to see and copy the only Known Manuscript of the Mayan Genesis the popol vuh? Down The Middle of Their Church or Mayan Altars for the ancestors for shamans and The Midwives The Prayers of The Cuff Radius might stand as a Text for all the native Peoples of The Americas These Rituals of Worship They Say were Handed Down from our first ancestors and never lost despite the spanish conquest Don’t Expect us to give Up these customs Father Christ for us only Names and Fortunes change In the hills above the Monster nangou is the house of a Mayan Shaman Undress she lock? on trash is a Living Link with the priests spanish World a priest for Nearly 50 Years He’s a Church Kaha a Lineage Head? Literally a Mother Father He’s Also a day Keeper a Guardian of The Mayan Calendar Andres Uses Sacred divination as a Tool They probe the ills of his patients to Feel That past and future wonder Where it Goes about something Else And he Lays Out the Coral tree seeds and Crystals according to the Days of the Mayan Calendar a 260 day Cycle based so the Quique belief on the gestation Period of the Human Baby Within the womb? Now don’t interest Understands this by The Way in which the beans are The arrangement in Which They live all those Who stay in the end their Support Is por la kolakozhi owners That but It is not as there Was ample ok, me whoa Whoa Over the Last Few Years I’ve Traveled to many parts of The world and everywhere Pretty Much you see destruction of The environment and war and so on People are making an Enemy of The Earth How does Don Andres view that from The Mayan tradition Studies siendo i’ve Seen okay abby, ahora, mucho and todo el mundo para La in amigo that Mondo Is osama If we make an Enemy of The earth We make an Enemy of our own Body For The mine the Earth Was a Sacred Beam for them nature Was Benign and Beautiful Yet Frightening in its Power For Theirs After All Was a Land of Wild Extremes of heat and cold Ringed With Volcanoes and Plagued By Frequent Earthquakes The Mayan book of Creation the popol vuh Tells The Story of How Humans first came into this Violent paradise The Earth Will Need Nurturing It will Need Bearers of Respect for its Divinity and So it was Human Beings Who were given memory to count the Days and bare Times Burden Human Beings Who were responsible for maintaining the Rituals bonding nature Humanity and The Heavens and If They ever ceased The Whole universe would cease to have Meaning in That Myth in the popol vuh Perhaps There’s a distant Race Memory of the Migration of The Ancestors of The Peoples of the Americas Thousands of Years Ago From asia Today in the Guatemalan countryside you can See rituals and Beliefs Shared with The People of China and east asia the Use of Jade in Death Rites The symbolism of tortoise of Bad Divination And Here the Burning of Prayers Ideas Which Go back even before language itself back to some deep common Root of Humanity Today’s People of Central America partake of Two Very different Conceptions of nature and Civilization The Indigenous and the Western But Whatever Their Ancestry They all Still Draw on that Great Past Which developed Untouched by The outside World to A 1492 The native Past is still literally ever-present The Great Carved Heads of Gods or Rulers stare impassively at The Modern World Created By culture Which arose Here around a Thousand BC the all mix? In the art of The olmecs from Nearly 3,000 Years ago we can Already Feel the grave sensibility of a Central American universe stoical But Possessed of an Inner strength Which Would enable its People to bear any Burden Even One as Heavy as the last 500 Years The first Great Flower of Central American Civilization took Place in the first Millennium ad in the Valley of mexico This is tale Divakar The Place where men became Gods Here the Early Mexicans built a Vast City Center Of a Trading empire Which extended all Over central America And Here independently of the old World They built huge pyramids rivaling those of Egypt and babylonian Testimony That though Separated so Widely by time and space The Human Mind Still creates The Same Symbols The Same Dreams of Bridging The Gulf Between earth and Heaven and Now an Extraordinary discovery made Under The Heart of the pyramid of the sun Has confirmed that An elaborate Cosmic symbolism Underlies The Layout of the City a Narrow Passage Through The Lava leads to a Seven Pronged Chamber Dead under the center of the pyramid so professor where Exactly are we Now in relation to the This Was the Original pilgrimage Place Which has dictated the siting of the pyramid above it Was the place of emergence of the first Ancestors Alluded to in the later Creation Myth of the maya the popol vuh? en caso de Baccano Como la mayor parte la sol cidades que como Samos para mesoamerica aspra consume Vision Yablon The own Boogers you know the evil hombre is matira sobre la tierra i Always Listen Humankind Has Always Searched for an Explanation of the phenomenon of nature in the cosmos As the Excavator professor Roberto Gallegos and Here they Turned the earthly City into a mirror image of The Heavenly order so teotihuacan Was the first true urban Civilization in central America and if we compare its origins with those of The first cities in ancient iraq or india or even Better in Shang Dynasty China Then a common picture Begins to emerge at The Heart of Which is the idea of the City as an Earthly pattern of the cosmic order You can See It here with these Great Ceremonial Axes Intersecting in the four directions Aligned to the surrounding Mountains and to the constellations with the subterranean World Represented By That Primordial cave Deep Beneath our Feet Under The Very Center of the pyramid Whose Innermost Recesses were illuminated by the sun Every summer solstice it’s a Ritual theater Where Humankind Maintains the order of The universe and here in central America Cities Retains That Function even Though They might become Centers of commerce and trade and so on ideology Then Became One of the driving Forces in the development of Civilization Religious Social Political Call It What You will They’re intermingled at That time and ideology Is also the Key to understanding that fateful change Which came Over Humanity with the beginning of Civilization By Which the few came to dominate the many As is still the case across much of the World today The Impetus of Civilization Now Spread across central America from the Valley of mexico to the Rainforests of Guatemala and The Maya at The time of Europe’s Dark age Splendid City-States Arose Here The Most intriguing is Copan in Honduras Copán was Ruled By a Talented Dynasty from the 5th to the 9th Century ad It’s public Plazas pyramids and Ball Courts Features Shared By all Mayan cities were Here adorned with Wonderful sculpture Here the Mayan Artists demonstrated a prolific imagination and a creative Freedom Which at Times Approaches a Western Naturalism The Recent decipherment of Mayan writing enables us to do now What would have Been impossible Only a Few Years Ago Enter into the Lives and even the Feelings of The Rulers commemorated Here especially Extraordinary Is a Series of portraits of a King we Know by his Hieroglyph Sign As 18 rabbit Here’s The Fierce Countenance of a Man in his prime his Mid-Forties Dated 11th of october 721 Is it Just our imagination or is this not a Softer Expression Mellowed with age and Experience late in July 736 This crude portrait Strangely Sardonic Perturbed even Two Years After This Image Was dedicated 18 Rabbit Was captured By Rival King and Beheaded on the 3rd of May 738 He would have Been in his Early Sixties writing Was invented Here Independently as It had Been in the old World yet Another clue to the common patterns in Human development and The Greatest monument to Mayan Literacy is the Hieroglyphic stairway of copán It Was literally a Hill of Signs a Huge Stepped Ramp 50 Feet Wide a Hundred and eight Feet High with well over 1,200 Glyphs Telling The mythic and Dynastic Chronology of Koba Down to 755 ad When It was dedicated By King’S smoke Shell It’s the Longest single Written Inscription in pre-columbian America a monument to writing at a Time The Last Known King of copán yosh puck died in the Winter of 8:20 The Carving of The last day Clear Was Left Unfinished on the 10th of February 822 with That the Dynasty Vanished and the City returned to jungle a Few Peasants continue to farm Here but the land never Again Supported a City Around The same time tikal 2 Was Deserted Soon all the Classic Mayan cities had gone The Mine collapse is still a Great Mystery The Land may have become Exhausted The environment Destroyed Perhaps The Civilization Simply Lost Its nerve But The Legacy carried on in hearts and Minds of The common People and When the Europeans first Stumbled on these ruins in 1848 the Indians Living in the Forest could Still Give Their ancient name T-Carr The Place where the count of Days Was Kept Where the ancestors had borne The Burden of Time with The collapse of the Classic mar the focus of Central American Civilization Shifts back to its old Heartland The Valley of mexico Here ringed By Mountains Was a Wide plane and a Great Lake with Islands and Fertile Shores Today It’S all covered By mexico City Here in the 14th Century a Warlike tribe Settled Who called Themselves mexico The City They founded here ten octet Lan Was the precursor of the largest City on Earth Beneath Today’s Streets in the Crypt of The Cathedral itself We can Still tap the Power of the culture Which rose here in the fifteenth Century? in one of the most dramatic episodes in Human History The Aztecs The Art of The Aztecs Still Holds a Fearful Fascination An Art of Tremendous Spirituality but a Spirituality of a Kind unlike anything we recognize from our own Civilization This statue of The Earth Goddess Kalika Found Here in 1790 was Hastily Reburied Fearing It might Be Seen By The Youth of mexico Fearing They might Be Exposed to its still Dark and potent Magic The present Center Of mexico City Around The Cathedral was also The Ritual Center of The Aztec City Excavation Here since the 70s has Uncovered the foundations of the Great pyramid of The Aztec war God? This Is where the spanish under Cortes When They Sacked the City in 1521 Saw Horrific Scenes of Human sacrifice The Aztecs Believed That The Gods Needed blood and The Hearts of Human victims to nourish them in the struggle with the forces of Darkness Without them the sun would cease to rise and by The time of the spanish conquest Thousands Could die on this spot in a single Ceremony All Around The site the Archaeologists found Grim evidence of Their devotions These are stone representations of The skull racks on Which the victims Heads were Mounted This Is one of Those Places on Earth Whose terrible association Still Seems to linger How Was it then but a Civilization of Such brilliance in The arts in sculpture Textiles and Poetry could have Been so committed to mass Bloodletting and Human sacrifice so but in a four day festival 10,000 People could be dragged Up the steps of the Great temple here to have their Half stripped arms to the place of? Swimming in blood and reeking to the Heavens When the spanish Saw Scenes Like This They thought that It must be literally the Work of the devil it was so Holy Other and yet The Aztecs were only Unique in the scale of Their Killing for Every Human Civilization Has used sacrifice especially in Relation to religion a Theologian and the executioner have Been intimates Throughout History The problem of The Aztecs then Is a problem for all of us to speculate It would Seem that the idea of The shedding of Blood being Necessary for the continuing of life Became Deeply Rooted in our psyche During The Thousands of Generations We Spent as Hunter-Gatherers in Prehistory so Deeply Rooted That Bloodshed as a Symbol is still the most powerful symbol of sacrifice Today and can Still Erupt With atavistic power and Violence The Scenes of Friends at Killing Which Cortes and His followers Saw Here with Their captured friends being dragged Up the steps to their Death were in a sense proof of The aztecs Piety as las casas Rightly Saw for Uniquely Among The Great Civilizations of The World They Raised solidarity with The universe above everything Including Human Life in that They couldn’t be more different from the humanistic Values of the Great old World Civilizations It to us it may Appear Irrational Murderous in His brutality and yet It Is a Mirror Held Up to our Humanity Which we ignore By Fifty two to one chance Cortez Had Arrived in The azteca Juan Read When that ancient prophecies Said the god quetzalcoatl Would Return From Exile in the east For The Aztecs The coincidence Drained Away Their Will to resist They immediately Understood That These mysterious outside Powers Would Be Fatal to their own universe on the terrible Final night When tenochtitlan fell an Omen Appeared to the Aztecs Which for them symbolized the Breakup of Their mythic and cosmological order That Night It Began to rain But more Like a Heavy dude in the rain Then Suddenly The Omen appeared Burning Like fire in the sky It Wheeled in Spirals like a Whirlwind giving off light in Showers of Sparks Like Red-Hot embers It made Noises Rumbling and Hissing Like Metal on fire It’s Suckled The walls near the lakeshore It hovered Over The temple and then It moved Out into the Middle of the Lake Wearing Vanished No one Cried after When the Omen came into view The People Knew What It meant and They watched in silence After The Conquest of Guatemala The spanish Built Their new capital Antigua in the Shadow of the ancient Sacred Volcanoes It Was intended as a Showcase of The iDeals of European Civilization But The reality Behind This Humanistic facade Was the Greatest genocide in History It’s estimated as Many as 90% of the native population of the americans Died of disease or Violence in the first Century of the conquest as Many As 50 million People Among The Europeans who are horrified by What they saw Was jose de acosta The Spaniards must Bear absolute responsibility for What is happening here he wrote We have betrayed in our Deeds What We Professed in our words We Have Exploited and plundered These Poor People with no attempt. To protect their Human Rights We Have not Given them Christianity in Sincerity but under compulsion fraud and Violence The Papacy Itself Urged on the enslavement of the Natives in the name of Christ but It was among The catholic Clergy That The European conscience Grew The Greatest of These Early Liberation Theologians Was bartolome de Las Casas Bishop here in caban a passionate defender of Indian Rights That Causes Memory is Still revered Here This Is one of The few Churches in guatemala where even Today The services are sung not in spanish but in Maya Las Casas Would Take His case right Up to the King and queen of spain Themselves urging on them Justice For the indians and Gradually he came to realize that his arguments against the enslavement of the indians Applied With Equal force to the black Slaves from africa and all The Oppressed Peoples of the World There’s an Extraordinary Sequel to this Story of Las casas an incident Which Lights Up the history of the sixteenth Century like a Flash of Lightning and continues to illuminate us even today in 1550 in via deloitte in Spain That took place a public debate Between las casas and The top Aristotelian Philosophers Sepulveda The questions at Stake Go right to the heart of the World’s problems even today In essence What right Does the first world have to dominate? Enslave or Exploit The Third World oh not these People Asked las casas Rational Feeling Human Beings with a Soul Just like The rest of us Entitled to equality of Treatment Unless Chaos Goes on to bring Fascinating arguments From His Study of Greek and Roman Civilization to show That the city States of central America Conformed in most respects to the Greek view of What an Ideal State Should be rational Political Entities Entitled to respect patience Persuasion and Again Kindness No Doubt las casas won the moral debate But as the Whole of subsequent History Shows The Rulers of The west of People With power and Money continue to view the indigenous Peoples of the World From The Indians of Central America to the blacks of Africa as What the Greeks to their discredit had Termed Natural Slaves? The West’s progress to civilization has Been long It would be a Hundred and Fifty Years After The conquest that The last mile stronghold Fell in the remote Jungles of Northern Guatemala stood The Island Fortress of Flores in Maya Tyson The prophetic Books of The Yucatan Man for tailed that catastrophe would Revisit Every Cycle of 13 Catalans 250 6 or 7 Years The Next Cycle Was due to begin in 1697 Armed With That Knowledge The spanish Attacked on the 13th of March In the Middle of Lake Peten They overcame the Mayan Boats? Obsidian Tipped Arrows Useless Against spanish on that Musky fun Amid abandoned War Canoes They Landed Where Only the previous year King Connect had greeted a Spanish embassy With Flowers and Music from drums and Flutes The Last Chapter in the long and dramatic History of The independent mother was about to end The Defenders Fled and The Spaniards Marched Uphill to the top of the island to the Great temple of taha It took The spaniards a single day to destroy The 12 temples Here on the island? To smash Their Thousands of Idols and to conclude in the evening By celebrating Mass Here on the highest point amid the ruins of the Great Temple of Tyre sol where the church Now stands the last independent Kingdom Of The Maya had gondar The Locals Here seem to have accepted this almost fatalistically as an Inescapable Result of Their view of The repeating Cycles of Time for Three Times since The 10th Century the Cycle of 256 or 7 Years had Brought them catastrophe That in my eyes Was the true Burden of Time Today The old cunt Still continues The Greatest catastrophe of Modern Guatemalan History The Us-backed Coup Which overthrew Their Democracy in 1954 Happened Exactly 257 Years After The Fall of tiresome Today The Maya the Majority of the population still live dominated By European Elite The Recent Guerrilla war Left 40,000 Dead and a million displaced It is hoped but in the 1990s with a new Democracy Their History Will take a different Course The Mayans Strategy for Survival Remains Stubbornly Collected In great festivals Like This at zoo mill they celebrate the Saints as Guardians of The community Not as Christian Deities for Them identity Still Resides in The collective Values Represented By ancestors and community The European Elites Who have Ruled central America for so long had other Views of past and future One Of Guatemala’s Modern dictators estrada Cabrera Expressed His faith in the Values of European Civilization By constructing concrete Parthenons all Over the land Monuments to colonial progress to the triumph of Greeks Over Barbarians In the capital guatemala City as all Over Central America? The native culture has Been Swamped by the consumer Values of the Great Neighbor to the north Uncle Sang In the city the indians are submerged Strangers in Their own Land? Widows of The Civil war begging in the Shadows There’s no going back in History But Who can contemplate such visions of future and past without a pang of loss Here? Where as the Creation Myth the popol vuh Said Human Beings had Held the balance Between the spirits of the Ancestors? and The spirits of Earth and Sky In the Mayan Calendar Today is the holiest of all Days washer kip Butts eight Monkey and This Morning Seemingly Out of nowhere Thousands of Ordinary Guatemalan Indians are converging in response to a call from a Secret World of The spirit for on this day of The year the day Keepers Will initiate new Shamans Who will carry on Bearing The Burden of Time in the 500 Years since Columbus These People Have Lived Outwardly in Western time and Western History and Yet All The While They have Patiently Tended a Secret universe At Times It may have Seen That Their obstinate Faithful care of The Burden of time Would Be Their downfall But Perhaps after all It has Been Their Salvation for It Was the means by Which they preserved identity itself Down to a new age of tolerance and pluralism When native americans May Again live in Their own History in their own Time

7 thoughts on “Legacy The Origins of Civilization _ Maya The burden of time

  1. I really wish the Aztec's ruins survived. My ancestors brought death & destruction to this land. I really hate that, but what can you do.

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