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2003.08.09 =>

four cardinals

Lucifer was never expelled from the Mesoamerican heaven: war and peace, life and death, heaven and underworld, good and bad, were all in the nature of God. And so they remain for Maya traditionalists to this day. Modern Quiché daykeepers told anthropologists Barbara and Dennis Tedlock that what worried them most about non-Maya Christianity, whether Catholic or Protestant, was its denial of the earth's divinity and confusion of the world with evil: "He who makes an enemy of the Earth makes an enemy of his own body."

The Maya shaman-priest who said that put his finger squarely on the force that animates and will probably destroy our civilization. The Judeo-Christian (and Muslim) tradition is founded on the belief that the earth is a kind of machine put here by God for the use and testing of man. Animals are little machines without souls over whom Adam and Noah were given dominion, to treat as they saw fit. No moral obligations of reverence are owed to the beasts of the field, much less to the forests and grasslands, lakes, rivers, and the earth itself. In their attitude to the physical world, and their denial of the old nature gods, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the first materialism. The planet is a vale of tears, necessary for man's sustenance but potentially hazardous to his soul. He can use it but he must not love it.

—Ronald Wright, Time Among the Maya

 

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