Day of Wrath, 12

The return of Quetzalcoatl

If until recently westerners represented the zenith of civilization in the world, presently New Guineans and the headhunters of Munduruku in Brazil represent the nadir. The psychoclass of the poorest strata of Latin America lies at the middle of both extremes.

In contrast to most nations, Mexico City gave her name to the modern country. It was founded by the Tenochcas when a voice ordered them to establish themselves on the lake that they had arrived, “as the unembodied bicameral voices led Moses zigzagging across the Sinai desert.” It cannot be more symbolic that the Coat of Arms of Mexico, which they so much shoved under my nose at school, is an eagle perched upon a prickly pear cactus devouring a snake in one of the lake islets that the ancient Tenochcas recognized. It was an odd place to found a city, but the punishing voices had to be obeyed. We can deduce from The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind that the buildings erected at the center of a community, such as the temple of Huitzilopochtli on the Texcoco Lake, were located where the guides listened the damned voices. (The etymology of the island of Mexico on the lake would be “navel of the maguey” or “of the Moon.”) If we now relate not only Jaynes to Arieti but also a passage of my first book about a patient diagnosed with schizophrenia, the puzzle starts to take shape. I have in mind a woman [Maya Abbott] that, because her parents always tried to think for her, suffered from auditory hallucinations and confessed to Laing: “I don’t think, the voices think.” Unlike this sort of psychological analyzing—God forbid!—, some historians try to make amends for the pre-Columbian Indians. More disturbing is to see a friend taking offence about our compassion. The psychoanalyst Jenny Pavisic once addressed me severely: “And who are you to condemn the sacrifices?” referring to child sacrifices in Mesoamerica.

The Tlatelolcan ceremonial show-ground and its surrounding neighborhoods have been excavated for archeological purposes. I have seen photographs of bone fragments of 41 sacrificed victims in the excavation of the terraces of the Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl temple, of which 30 were little children. Just as Pavisic, many people are capable of condemning the 1968 massacre of students in Tlatelolco, but never the child sacrifices perpetrated exactly on the same place. In April of 2007 bones were found of twenty-four sacrificed children to Tláloc in Tula, the capital of the Toltec civilization, dated 950-1150 AD according to a newspaper report that circulated the world. The children had been decapitated. If we remember that the intention was to avert an environmental crisis in that way, it should not surprise us that Mesoamerican civilizations disappeared even before the conquest. The sacrifices represented the distaff that moved the fabric of that culture, and a society as psychologically dissociated that had sacrifices on its basis was condemned to random disappearance. It is as if a civilization was composed of the self-harming women in the Colin Ross clinic and of male serial killers.

The iconic example of civilization disappearance is the abandonment by the Mesoamericans of their great cities, as is the case of the Mayas of the ninth century AD. From the climatic register, ice analysis in Greenland and mud of the subsoil of a lagoon in Maya areas it can be deduced that they suffered a serious draught. To deal with the draughts, just as their Mexica successors sacrificed the flower of their youth in face of external crises, from the bone register of about thirty sacrificed men, women and children it is deduced that the Mayas tried to appease the gods that had betrayed them. Had they arrived to the level of Aristotelian thought they would not have attempted to solve the problem by killing even more of their folk, and hardly would the draughts had been so apocalyptic for their civilization. Let us not forget that sudden desertion of the cities also occurred in Teotihuacan and Tula. Julian Jaynes comments:

I also think that the curious inhospitable sites on which Maya cities were often built and their sudden appearance and disappearance [my emphasis] can best be explained on the basis that such sites and movements were commanded by hallucinations which in certain periods could be not only irrational but downright punishing.

The whys of the periodic collapse of the Mesoamerican civilizations starts to be discerned if we consider that the demographic load of a prosperous Indian city sooner or later enters a critical phase that confronts the bicameral Diktat of the dominant theocracy. It is illustrative that when Egypt suffered a draught around 2100 B.C. absolutely all authority collapsed: the Egyptian people fled the towns and the literary sources of the time remind me the apocalyptic passages of a synoptic gospel. While Egyptologists struggle to explain the “why,” Jaynes compares it with the Maya catastrophe. The Mayas suffered a massive civilizational regression by going back to the jungle. He also compares it with the collapse of Assyria in 1700 B.C. that lasted two hundred years and that no historian quite understands. Jaynes also argues that the mystery is dissipated if we see it as a psychogenic leap. The bicameral societies are more susceptible to collapse once the gods refuse to talk; this is to say, once man overcomes his schizophrenic stage, so overwhelmed with auditory hallucinations. The collapse of the bicameral society is but the resulting chaos of the transit to consciousness. In Egypt, Assyria and other cultures of the Ancient World the birth of a schizoid psychoclass out of a schizophrenic one (Laing magnificently describes the difference between schizoid and schizophrenic in The Divided Self) represented a formidable threat for the status quo. “Disorders and social chaos had of course happened before,” writes Jaynes, “but such a premeditated mutiny and parricide of a king is impossible to imagine in the god-obedient hierarchies of the bicameral age.”
 

Political correctness

The rupture of the bicameral age resulted in the greatest collision of consciousness that a society could endure. But unlike the people in the Old World, those in the New World were incapable of carrying out such intrapsychic metamorphosis. The reading of Jaynes’ book seems to suggest that the Mesoamerican world of the sixteenth-century still was bicameralized in a way that had already been overcome at the other side of the ocean. In other words, the Mesoamericans suffered from the stagnation that in psychohistory is called psychogenic arrest.

The Amerindians got what they deserved. But presently, who condemns the ancient dwellers of the Americas? In a politically correct world it cannot be said that the infanticidal pre-Hispanics were psychologically dissociated; that the military theocracy was composed of serial killers, or that they were morally inferior to us. But the moralists were not always muzzled. In the colorful Spanish of his time, Bernal wrote a chapter, “How the Indians of all New Spain had many Sacrifices and Clumsiness that We Took Them Away and Imposed on Them the Saintly Things of Good Doctrine.” Bernal’s cheekiness does not cease to fascinate me: and it is pathetic that, half a millennium later, compared to those soldiers the historians, ethnologists and anthropologists of today have psychogenically regressed. I will illustrate it with the other pre-Hispanic empire.

Communication between Mesoamericans and the Andean people was sporadic. Just as the Mayas, the Incas deformed the craniums of the babies; some scholars believe to demarcate different ethnic groups of the Inca empire. The torments on childhood started since the first day. The newborn was washed with cold water, covered and placed in a hole made in the ground that would be used as a simple playpen. At five the child was nationalized by a theocratic state that, like the Mexica, was governed by strict hierarchies. And just as in Mesoamerica, the ritual murder of children was carried out in several Andean societies.

In November of 1999 National Geographic published an article with several photographs of mummies perfectly preserved at 6,700 meters above the sea level: the highest archaeological site of the world. Those were children that had been voluntarily given by their parents to be killed: an eight-year-old boy and two girls. “The Inca,” says the article, “obtained children from throughout the empire [for sacrifice] and rewarded their families with positions or goods.” In some cases the parents themselves accompanied the child in her journey to immolation. In conjunction with other barbaric forms of childrearing, the practice formed the bicameral minds that would be an all-too-easy prey for Pizarro (who in Spain had been a swineherd). The chroniclers wrote about those sacrifices. Nevertheless, with the perennial excuse that “Winners write history” in some Latin American circles the myth was created that the chroniclers’ stories were mythical. The discovery of the mummies by the end of the century confirmed the authenticity of the Spanish stories that the children were buried alive, or killed by a blow to the head, which is how according to the autopsy they killed one of the girls.

However, just as Bolivian nationalists such as Pavisic angrily ask “And who are you to condemn the sacrifices?,” the National Geographic article is a disgrace. The author, Johan Reinhard, is afraid to judge the parents and the society that produced them. He idealizes them in the most servile way, thus betraying the memory of the children. Reinhard wrote overt falsehoods about the Amerindians, for example, “the Inca were not the brutal conquerors the Spaniards were.” He writes that on the same page in which he asserted that the Inca rewarded the parents who offered their children for sacrifice. Reinhard also wrote, euphemistically, “right after she died” referring to one of the sacrificed girls instead of the natural “right after they killed her.” And when he mentions that the chroniclers reported that others were buried alive, he hastened to add: “The Llullaillaco children, however, have benign expressions.” More offensive are the photograph headings at the beginning and the end of the article: “Go Gently” referring to the pubescent girl that was found in fetal position buried in a hole, and “Eternity Bound” referring to the sacrifice of the three children in general. And the fact that the sacrificial site was found at the top of the mountain makes Reinhard exclaim: “The conditions only increased my respect for what the Inca had accomplished.”

In the next chapter I will approach the subject of the intellectual aberration known as cultural relativism, of which Reinhard and many other academics are distinguished exponents. Suffice it to say that the ethnologists and anthropologists are a lost cause. Our only hope lies in that another generation replaces those who presently occupy academic chairs. How I wish that the younger minds learned something about psychohistory; for example, that they became interested in the greatest adventure of the world by reading the Bernal Díaz story up to the arrival of the Spaniards to Tenochtitlan.

And I must tell how in this town of Tlaxcala we found wooden houses furnished with gratins, full of Indian men and women imprisoned in them, being fed up until they were fat enough to be sacrificed and eaten. The prisons we broke open and destroyed and set free the prisoners who were in them, and these poor Indians did not dare to go to any direction, only to stay there with us and thus escape with their lives. From now on, in all the towns that we entered, the first thing our Captain ordered us was to break open these prisons and set free the prisoners.

These prisons are common throughout the land and when Cortés and all of us saw such great cruelty he was very angry with the Caciques of Tlaxcala, and they promised that from that time forth they would not eat and kill any more Indians in that way. I said of what benefit were all those promises, for as soon as we turned our heads they would commit the same cruelties. And let us leave it like that and tell how we were ordered to go to Mexico.

The indigenistas are dishonest people. In the book Toltecayotl Miguel León Portilla accepts that indigenous families usually abuse contemporary Indian women. But in that book León Portilla blames, incredibly, the Conquest for the current abuses by the male Indian to the female Indian. He then writes that “the situation of the pre-Hispanic Nahua woman highly differed from his condition today,” and to support his claim a few pages later he quotes a passage from those Nahua homiletics that León Portilla is so fond: “The little girl: little creature, little lovebird, oh so little, so tender, so well fed…” But in the same Toltecayotl chapter León Portilla also published an illustration of the Codex Telleriano-Remensis of a Mexica housewife that looks anything but happy. In absolute contrast to León Portilla, the Anonymous Conqueror wrote that there were no people in the world who had women in less esteem than the Mesoamericans. And in his most recent book, The Origins of War in Child Abuse, deMause wrote: “Aztec females were treated even worse than Islamic females.” It is indeed preposterous that the Spanish soldiers of the sixteenth century manifested better empathy for the victims of that culture than the scholars of today. But to understand the mestizo León Portilla it is pertinent to note that in Apologética Historia, written at the middle of the sixteenth century, Las Casas praised the Indian reprimands of parents to their children by calling them “sane, prudent and rational.” Las Casas even located such poisonous pedagogy above the teachings of Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras and even Aristotle.

The most recent treatise about the encounter between the Spanish and Mexican empires is Conquest: Montezuma, Cortés and the Fall of Old Mexico by Hugh Thomas. It catches the attention that, as a typical bienpensant, in the preface’s first paragraph Thomas candidly talks about the members of the two cultures without realizing that they belong to very distinct psychoclasses. On the next page Thomas writes about “compassion” as one of the virtues of the Mexica in spite of the fact that on the next line he sates that even the babies in arms were made to cry with brutality before sacrificing them! As to the treatment of women Thomas writes, dishonestly, that their position was at lest as comparable to the female Europeans of that age, although we perfectly know that European women were not deceived to be sacrificed, decapitated and skinned punctually according to rituals of the Aztec calendar. And the women who would not be sacrificed were not allowed to wear sandals, unlike their husbands. In the codexes the Indian females appear generally on their knees while the males are on sitting facilities (This reminds me that when visiting Chiapas in his youth, it shocked my father that Indian women wore obscure clothing: their humblest figures could not contrast more with the very colorful garments of the male Indians.) And we must remember the Indian costume of selling, and even giving as presents, their daughters. The same Malinali, later called equivocally Marina or “La Malinche,” Cortés’ right hand, had been sold by her mother to some traders from Xicallanco, who in turn had sold her to some Mayas who sold her to some Chontales, who offered her as a present to Cortés. Thomas even takes as historical the words of the chronicler in regard to Xicoténcatl II’s delegation when, after Xicoténcatl’s people suffered crushing defeats, he went into the Spanish camp with words that portray the treatment of the Indian woman by their own: “And if you want sacrifices, take these four women that you may sacrifice, and you can eat their flesh and their hearts. Since we don’t know how you do it we have not sacrificed them before you.” The study of Salvador de Madariaga about the conquest, published under the title Hernán Cortés (Macmillan, NY, 1941), precedes half a century Thomas’ study. Without the ominous clouds of cultural relativism that cover the skies of our times, in Madariaga’s study it is valid to advance value judgments.

Fortunately, not all of our contemporaries live under a clouded sky. In 2003 El País Semanal published a translation of an article by Matthias Schulz that described as “demonic” and “brutal” the Mesoamerican practice of human sacrifice. Schulz also called the Mexicas “bloodthirsty.” The politically-correct Mexican indigenistas rendered their garments. In July of that year the farthest leftist of the Mexican newspapers, La Jornada, jointly published a response. Eduardo Matos-Moctezuma blurted out that “mentalities such as Schulz’s are the ones who lend themselves, because of their closed mind, to slaughtering.” But Matos-Moctezuma did not deny the historicity of the Indians slaughtering their own folks. Professor María Alba Pastor, also quoted in La Jornada, offered an absolutely psychotic and dishonest explanation for the sacrifices: “Perhaps they were a reaction to the Conquest.” For Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Talking about cannibalism, Yólotl González, author of a book on Mesoamerican sacrifices, was not left behind: “Thus they gave a practical use to the dead bodies.” Take note that González does not deny the historicity of cannibalism. Her nonsense consists in her interpretation. The historian Guillermo Tovar manifested that Schulz’s text was “a Taliban Occidentalism, deprecating and oblivious of other traditions.” Mónica Villar, the director of Arqueología Mexicana, criticized what she called “disinformation” referring to Schulz’s statement that “no peoples had practiced human sacrifices in such dimensions.” Nevertheless, when the next issue of Arqueología Mexicana came out, the journal’s scholars did not refute Schulz. León Portilla responded with his favorite argument: that the Christianity that the Spaniards brought also had as its basis the sacrifice of a son, Jesus Christ. The veteran indigenista ignored the fact that precisely such theology represented a deflection from the filicide drive to a symbolic sublimation of it; and that the Roman Christian emperors and the Church’s fathers fought to banish the late forms of infanticide in the Early Middle Ages with the same zeal that conservatives fight abortion today. DeMause has profusely written on this transition and it is unnecessary to elaborate his ideas here. This is something so obvious that, in contrast to the sophisticated indigenistas, any child could understand: in Christendom parents did not sacrifice and cannibalize their children, and León Portilla’s argument is gross sophistry.

While Jacques Soustelle’s panegyric of the ancient Mexicans is stunning from the lyrical viewpoint, a closer reading of Daily Life of the Aztecs reveals its trappings. Soustelle wants us to believe that the lowest social strata of the Mexica civilization was represented by the slave, who according to him was highly more privileged than the European slave. The fallacy of his presentation consists in the fact that the Mexica slave could be sold and sacrificed. In the Tlatelolco market, the largest market of the Americas, slaves were sold tied by the neck to big sticks (as in the film Apocalypto). Moreover: the slave was not actually at the bottom of the social strata. Down there were the captives who, whether fatten for consumption or not, awaited their turn on the sacrificial stone.

But moralists like Schulz are not alone. In his post-scriptum to The Labyrinth of Solitude Octavio Paz wrote these words that I translate now:

Like those torture wheels that appear in Sade’s novels, the Aztec year was a circle of eighteenth months soaked wet with blood; eighteenth ways to die by being killed by arrows or by immersion in water or by cutting the throat or by flaying […]. On which religious and social aberration could a city of the beauty of Mexico-Tenochtitlan be the theater of water, stone and sky for a hallucinating funeral ballet? And for which obfuscation of the spirit nobody among us—I don’t have in mind the outworn nationalists but the scholars, the historians, the artists and the poets—want to see and accept that the Aztec World is one of the aberrations in history?

Bernal talks even more directly than Paz, more rosy-cheeked I would dare to say. The sacrifices he simply labels as “wicked things,” “great cruelties,” and the self-harming, “clumsiness.” The original Spanish prose is delicious when Bernal writes, for example, that Mesoamericans “had the habit of sacrificing their foreheads and the ears, tongues and lips, breasts and arms and their fleshy parts, and the legs and even their natural parts,” the genitals. Conversely, when Hugh Thomas mentions the cannibalism he does it cautiously, as if he does not want to cause any offence. Yet, the erudite and refined Sahagún, considered by León Portilla the first ethnologist of history, concurs with the soldier, as we saw with his exclamation (there are other exclamations of this sort in his encyclopedic work).
 

The feathered serpent

If the pre-Hispanic world was an aberration, as Paz says, that does not demerit their findings in mathematics and astronomy.

Although Quetzalcoatl harmed his leg and sprinkled blood out of his penis, he was the most humanitarian of the gods in the pre-Columbian pantheon. He never offered human blood to the gods. According to the legend, Tezcatlipoca counteracted Quetzalcoatl’s influence and regained social control by means of the dark side of the force, thus reestablishing the sacrifices in the great Toltec city. Quetzalcoatl fled away toward the East, from which the ulterior legend emerged that he would return from the Orient.

In 1978 I went once more to live some months to the house of my grandmother [this is related to my first book]: a very numinous and even happy stage that I would like to recount in another place. I became wrapped in Jung’s Man and his Symbols and some nights I walked to the park called Parque Hundido, which contains exact replicas of pre-Hispanic statuary. One night, alone and immersed in my thoughts as always during my adolescence, the pair of enormous replicas of feathered serpents at the park’s entrance caught my attention. It stroke me as an extraordinary intuition or divination from the collective unconscious, the fact that long before paleontology pre-Hispanics could have bequeathed us the perfect symbol of the missing link between the reptile and the bird. The two great feathered serpents of stone that I contemplated that fresh night in the park, way taller than me, were the same symbol of the caduceus: two serpents that long for their wings. Quetzal is feather in Nahua, and cóatl serpent, feathered serpent: symbol par excellence of transcendence. However hard I struggled those days to transcend myself it was impossible to arrive to my present psychogenic state, even though the unconscious drive was formidable.

That night I did not understand how come the symbol of quetzal-cóatl could be so clairvoyant, so accurate to describe human emergency in such an oneiric and perceptive way. Now, exactly thirty years later, I ask myself: Hadn’t the Europeans existed how long would have taken these people to give up their practices and pass on to a later form of infanticide (say, the exposure in Rome)?

The legend of Quetzalcoatl, that in its latest incarnation appears as a god of white skin, makes me think that the very first feathers for a psychogenic leap were already present in the New World before the arrival of the white man.
 
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The objective of the book is to present to the racialist community my philosophy of The Four Words on how to eliminate all unnecessary suffering. If life allows, next time I will reproduce another chapter. Those interested in obtaining a copy of Day of Wrath may visit: this artcle.

Day of Wrath, 10

“The best education of the world”

In each Maya city there were two wells: one for drinking water and the other as an oracle to throw the girls almost twenty meters below. When brought out at noon, if they had not died in the cold water they were asked: “What did the gods say to you?” The Maya girls got back at their babies by tying their feet and hands up. And they did something else. Artificial cranial deformation had been practiced since prehistory, with Greek physicians mentioning the practice in some towns. The Mayas placed boards at the sides of the newborn’s cranium to mold it, when it is still plastic, to form the egg-shaped heads that the archeologists have found. Furthermore, the parents also placed objects between their baby’s eyes to make them cross-eyed. Just as the elongated heads, this was a sign of beauty. (When Hernández de Córdova ventured in the Yucatán coast in 1517 he took with himself two cross-eyed Indians he thought could be useful as interpreters.) Once grown, the children had to sacrifice their own blood: the boys had to bleed their penises and the girls their tongues. Some Mayas even sacrificed their children by delivering them alive to the jaguars.

Without specifically referring to Mesoamerican childrearing, deMause has talked about what he calls “projective care.” During the fearful nemotemi, the five nefarious days for the Mexicans, parents did not allow their children sleep “so that they would not turn into rats.” Let us remember the psychodrama of the self-harmer girl in Ross’ paradigm and take one step forward. Let us imagine that, once married, she projected on her own child the self-hatred. Such “care” of not letting the children to sleep was, actually, a case of dissociation with the adult projecting onto the child the part of her self that she was taught to self-hate. Another example: In the world of the Mexica the first uttered words addressing the newborn told him that he was a captive. Just like the shrieks that made the chroniclers shudder, the midwife shouted since it was believed that childbirth was a combat and, by being born, the child a seized warrior. The newborn was swaddled and kindly told: “My son, so loved, you shall know and comprehend that your home is not here. Your office is giving the sun the blood of the enemies to drink.” The creature has barely come to the world and it already has enemies. The newborn is not born with rights but with duties: he is not told that he will be cared for, but that he is destined to feed the great heavenly body. (DeMause has written about this inversion of the parental-filial roles in his studies about western babies in more recent centuries.) In the Mexica admonition the shadow of infanticide by negligence is also cast. “We do not know if you will live much,” the newborn was told in another exhortation.

Tlazolteotl, goddess of infancy, grabbing a child by the hair.

In the illustration can be noted the similarity of Tlazolteotl with the image of the warrior and his captive in the previous chapter. Just like that image, the goddess grabs the hair as a symbol of dominion. One of the few true things that Elsié Méndez told me, a woman so much criticized in my previous book, were certain words she pronounced that I remember verbatim: “La mamá lo pepena” [The mom grabs him] referring to those mothers of our times that choose one of their children to control him to the point of psychic strangulation.

In May of 1998 I listened in Mexican television Miguel León Portilla, the best-known indigenista scholar in Mexico, saying that the Mexica education was “the best education of the world.” Almost a decade later I purchased a copy of the Huehuetlatolli that León-Portilla commented, which includes one page in Nahuatl. The Huehuetlatolli were the moralizing homilies in the first years of the children: ubiquitous advices in Nahua pedagogy. They were not taught in the temples but from the parents to their children, even among the most humble workers, within the privacy of the home. In the words of León-Portilla: “Fathers and mothers, male teachers and female teachers, to educate their children and pupils they transmitted these messages of wisdom.” The exordiums were done in an elegant and educated language, the model of expression that would be used at school. A passage from the Huehuetlatolli of a father to his son that Andrés de Olmos transcribed to Spanish says:

We are still here—we, your parents—who have put you here to suffer, because with this the world is preserved.

This absolute gem depicts in a couple of lines the Mexica education. Paying no attention to these kind of words, on the next page León-Portilla comments: “Words speak now very high of its [the Mexica’s] moral and intellectual level.” Later, in the splendid edition of the Huehuetlatolli that I possess, commented by the indigenista, the sermon says: “Do not make of your heart your father, your mother.”

This advice is the perfect antithesis to Pindar’s “Become what you are!” which summarizes the infinitely more advanced Greek culture of two thousand years before. While León-Portilla describes the Nahua exordiums as highly wise and moral, they actually represent a typical case of poisonous pedagogy [a term explained in my previous book]. If there is something clear after reading the Huehuetlatolli is that that education produced no individuals whatsoever: other people lived the lives of the children, adolescents and youths who are exhorted interminably. What is worse: while León-Portilla praised the education of the ancient Mexicans on national television, at the same time the program displayed codex images depicting pubescent children tied up on their wrists and ankles, with thorns sank into their bodies and tears on their faces. The indigenista had omitted to say that “the punishments rain over the child” as Jacques Soustelle wrote in Daily Life of the Aztecs. The Mexica parents scratched their children with maguey thorns. They also burned red chili peppers and placed their child over the acrid smoke.

Codex Mendoza, page 60: Punishes to children ages 11 to 14.
Note the tears of the child and the sign of admonition
near the father’s mouth.

Another punishment mentioned in the codex was the beating of the child with sticks. Motolinía, Juan de Torquemada, Durán and Sahagún corroborated that the education was fairly severe. It is germane to note that in the mode of childrearing that deMause calls “intrusive,” the striking with objects is considered more prejudicial for the self-image of the child than the spanking of the psychoclass he calls “socializing.” It is also important to note that the parents were the ones who physically abused the children. It is true that the language of the Huehuetlatolli is very sweet: “Oh my little daughter of mine, little dove! These words I have spoken so that you may make efforts to…” But in the first book of this series I demonstrated the short circuit that produces in a child’s mentality this sort of “Jekyll-Hyde” alternation in the parental dynamics with their child.

The Mexicas copied from the Mayas the custom of selling their children. The sold out children had to work hard or they would be punished. A poor family could sell their child as a slave to get out from a financial problem. This still happened in the times when the Spaniards arrived. The noble that stole his father could be punished with death, and it is worth saying that the great draughts of 1450-1454 were dealt with the massive sacrifice of children to the water deities.

Which was the attitude that the child had to had toward such parents? In Nahuatl the suffix -tzin was aggregated to the persons that would be honored. Totatzin is our respected father. In previous pages I noted that the frenetic dances discharged the affects contained in the Mexica psyche. Taking into account that in such education the child was not allowed to live his or her feelings—as it is clearly inferred from the texts cited by León-Portilla (not only the Huehuetlatolli but educational texts in general)—, the silhouette of what had to be discharged starts to be outlined.

In Izcalli, the last month of the Mexica calendar, the children were punctured on the ears and the blood was thrown to the fire. As I said, at ten the boy’s hair was cut leaving a lock that would not be cut until, already grown, he would take a prisoner. In one way or the other every Mexica male had to participate in the seizure of victims for the serial killing. Those who could not make prisoners had to renounce the military theocracy and resign themselves with being macehuallis: workers or plebeians attached to their fields who, under the penalty of death, were forbidden to usurp the honorific symbols of feathers, boarded dresses and jewels. The macehuallis formed the bulk of the society. On the other hand, he who captured four prisoners arrived with a single jump at the upper layer of society. To excel in the seizure of men for the serial killing was so relevant that “he who was born noble could die slave.”

Both on national television and in his writings, León-Portilla is filled with pride that the ancient Mexicans were the only peoples in the world that counted with obligatory schooling in the 16th century. The indigenista belongs to the generation of my father, when children’s rights were unheard as a subject, let alone parental abuse. The form in which the Nahuas treated their children, that presently would be considered abusive, was continued at school. The school education to harden the soul of the elite, the Calmécac (“house of tears”) consisted of penances and self-harming with maguey thorns. Another case of the father’s projective care was the advice to his son about the ultra-Spartan education he would be exposed in the boarding school:

Look, son: you have to be humble and looked down on and downhearted […], you shall take out blood from your body with the maguey thorn, and take night baths even though it is too cold […]. Don’t take it as a burden, grin and bear it the fasting and the penance.

“Don’t take it as a burden” means do not feel your feelings. According to Motolinía, this most beloved practice of homiletic admonitions was even longer for the girls. In the boarding school the boy had to abandon the bed to take a bath in the cold water of the lake or a fountain. As young as seven-year-olds were encouraged to break from the affective attachment at home: “And don’t think, son, inside of you ‘my mother and my father live’. Don’t remember any of these things.”

Because the child was consecrated for war since birth, the education at schools was basically military. The strictly hierarchical system promised the striving young to escalate to the level of tequiuaque and even higher if possible. If the boy of upper classes did not want to become a warrior he had another option: priesthood. About his twentieth year he had to make a choice: a military life or a celibate and austere life, starting with playing the drum or helping the priest with the sacrifices. Severity was extreme: one of Netzahualcoyotl’s laws punished by death the drunk or lusty priest. No society, not even the Islamic, has been so severe with adultery and alcoholism: crimes where the capital punishment was applied both for the male and the female. The macehuallis who got drunk were killed in front of the adolescents. (The equivalent today would be that American schoolchildren were required to witness the executions of the pot addicts in the electric chair, as a warning.) The Calmécac were both schools and monasteries ruled by priests in black clothes. In the Florentine Codex an image can be seen of adolescents wearing dresses made of fresh human skins. We can imagine the emotional after-effects that such practice, fostered by the adult world, caused in the boys.

In the Nahua world it was frowned upon that the youth expressed his grudges and it was considered acceptable that he restrained and controlled himself. No insolent individual, Soustelle tells us, “no one who talked what came to his mouth was placed in the real throne,” and the elite were the first ones to submit to the phlegmatic code. And it was not merely a matter of concealing the grudges when, say, a boy or a girl learnt that their own parents had offered a little sister as sacrificial payment. The parents advised them in the ubiquitous sermons: “Look that your humility not be feigned, because then it will be told of you titoloxochton, which means hypocrite.” In the Nahua world the child was manipulated through the combination of sweet and kind expressions with the most heinous adultism. The parents continued to sermon all of them, even “the experienced, the fully grown youth.”
 

An unquenchable sun

Tell me who are your gods and I will tell you who you are. The myth of the earth-goddess Tlaltecuhtli, who cried because she wanted to eat human hearts, cannot be more symbolic. Just as the father-sun would not move without sacrifices, the mother-earth would not give fruits if she was not irrigated with blood. Closely related to Tlaltecuhtli, Coatlicue, was also the goddess of the great destruction that devours everything living.

Sacrifices were performed in front of her; vicious rumors circulated around about “juicy babies” for the insatiable devourer. In the houses the common people always had an altar with figurines of a deity, generally the Coatlicue. (In our western mind one would expect to find the male god of the ancient Mexicans, Huitzilopochtli.) The terrible goddess demanded:

And the payment of your chests and your hearts would be that you will be conquering, you will be attacking and devastating all macehuallis, the villagers that are over there, in all places through which you pass. And to your war prisoners, which you will make captives, you will open their chest on a sacrificial stone, with the flint of an obsidian knife. And you will do offerings of their hearts and will eat their flesh without salt; only very little of it in the pot where the corn is cooked.

Of the Mexica I only have a few culinary roots, such as eating tortillas. Culturally speaking, the educated middle and high classes in Latin America are basically European, of the type of Spain or Portugal. If we compare the above passage with our authentic roots, say, the Christianized exordiums of Numbers or Leviticus against cannibalism and other practices, the difference cannot be greater. Likewise, the Mexica mythology cannot contrast more with the superior psychoclass of Greece: where Zeus opens the belly of his father, Cronus, who had swallowed his siblings establishing thus a new order in the cosmos.

The papas punctured their limbs as an act of penance for the gods. These gods were a split-off, dissociated or internalized images of the parents. Even the emperor frequently abandoned the bed at midnight to offer his blood with praying. The Anonymous Conqueror was amazed by the fact that, among all of the Earth’s creatures, the Americans were the most devoted to their religion; so much so that the common Indian offered himself by taking out blood from his body to offer it to the statues. The 16th century chronicler tells us that on the roads there were many shrines where the travelers poured their blood. If we remember the scene of the Mexican film El Apando, based on the homonym book by José Revueltas where a convicted offender in the Lecumberri penitentiary bled himself while the other prisoners told him that he was crazy, we can imagine the leap in psychogenesis. What was considered normal in the highest and most refined strata of the Mesoamerican world is abnormal even in the snake pits of modern Mexico. The most terrible form of Mexica self-harming that I have seen in the codexes appears on page 10 of the Codex Borgia: a youth pulling out his eye as symbol of penitence. This was like taking the disturbing Colin Ross paradigm about the little girl to its ultimate expression.

At the bottom of the Mesoamerican worldview it always appears the notion that the creature owes his life, and everything that exists, to his creators: paradigm of the blackest of pedagogies that we can imagine. [Schwarze Pädagogik, literally black pedagogy, is a term popularized by Alice Miller. English publishing houses translate it as “poisonous pedagogy.”] The Mesoamerican mythology speaks of the transgression of some gods to create life without their parents’ permission, thus making themselves equals with them. In the Maya texts it is said that these children “made themselves haughty” and that what they did was “against the will of the father and the mother.” The transgressors were expelled from heaven and to come back they had to sacrifice themselves. Two of them threw themselves alive into the bonfire and were welcomed by their pleased parents. The resonances of this myth appear in the practice of throwing the captives to the bonfire. We should remember Baudez’s analysis: Mesoamerican sacrifice replaces self-sacrifice. It is merely a substitute sacrifice “as it is shown in the first place by the primeval myths that precede self-sacrifice.” This original sin condemned human beings to the sacrificial institution since “they could not recognize their creators.” (When I reached this passage in Arqueología Mexicana I could not fail but remember my father’s phrase that injured me so badly, as recounted in my previous book, when he referred to the damned “because they didn’t recognize their Creator.”) The sacrificial institution thus understood was a score settling, a vendetta. Moreover, in some versions of the Mesoamerican cosmogony the sun gives weapons to the siblings faithful to their parents to kill the 400 unfaithful children. The faithful execute the bidding and thus feed their demanding parents: once more, the cultural antithesis of the successful rebellion by Zeus, who had rescued their siblings from the tyrannical parent.

The connection of childrearing with the sacrificial institution is so obvious that when the warrior made a captive he had it as his son—which explains why he could not participate in the post-sacrificial feast—and the captive had him as his lord father. Some historians even talk about dialogues. When making a prisoner, the capturer said: “Behold my beloved son,” and the prisoner responded: “Behold my honored father.” In one of the water holydays of the Tota forest, which means “Our Father,” a girl was taken beside the highest tree to be sacrificed. Each time that the priest lifted a heart toward the sky as a sun offering the catastrophe that threatens the universe was, once more, postponed because “without the red and warm elixir of the sacrificed victims the universe was doomed to freeze.” As modern schizophrenics reason, the universe of the common Mesoamerican, just as the bicameral minds of other cultures, was constantly threatened and exposed to a catastrophe. The primordial function of the human race was to feed their parents, intonan intota Tlaltecuhtli Tonatiuh, “to our mother and our father, the earth and the sun.” The elegance of these four Nahua words evokes the compact Latin.

In the Mexica world destiny was predetermined by the tonalpohualli, “the count of the days” of the calendar where an individual’s birth by astrological sign was his fate. If León-Portilla had in mind the pre-Columbian cultures, he erred in his article “Identidad y crisis” published in July of 2008 in Reforma, by concluding that in antiquity the sun was seen as the “provider of life.” Duverger makes the keen observation that the solar deity, which appears at the center of the calendar, was so distant that it was not even worshipped directly. Instead of providing life the insatiable deity demanded energy, under the penalty of freezing the world (“We are still here—we, your parents—who have put you here to suffer, because with this the world is preserved”). The noonday heavenly body is not a provider of energy: it demands it. The thirsty tongue that appears at the very center of the Stone of the Sun (also called Aztec Calendar) looks like a dagger: it represents the knife used during the sacrifices. The solar calendar with Tonatiuh at the center of the cosmos was an absolute destiny: he could not even be implored. It is important to mention the psychohistorical studies about the diverse deities of the most archaic form of infanticidal cultures: according to deMause, they were all too remote to be approached.

When I think of the musician that sacrificed himself voluntarily to Tezcatlipoca in the holyday of the month Tóxcatl, which according to Sahagún was a holiday as sacred to the Mexicas as Easter to Christians, I see the culture of the ancient Mexicans under all of its sun. (Pedro de Alvarado would perpetrate the massacre in the main temple when he feared he would be sacrificed after that holiday.) Baudez’s self-sacrificial observation deserves to be mentioned again. Like the martyr of Golgotha who had to drink from the calyx that deep down he wanted to take away from himself, only if the young Indian submitted voluntarily to the horrifying death he earned the inscrutable love of the father. This is identical to the most dissociated families in the Islamist world, as can be gathered from deMause’s article “If I blow myself up and become a martyr, I’ll finally be loved.” But unlike Alvarado and the conquerors’ metaphorical Easter (and even contemporary Islamists), the Mexicas literally killed their beloved one before decapitating him and showing off his head in the tzompantli.

Just as the mentality of the Ancient World’s most primitive cultures, in the Mesoamerican world, where the solar cycle reigned since the Mayas and perhaps before, “the sacrifice was performed to feed the parent with food (hearts) and drinking (blood).” I had said that the priests’ helpers gave the captive’s “father” a pumpkin full of warm blood of his “son.” With this blood he dampened the lips of the statues, the introjected and demanding “shadows” of their own parents, to feed them. The priests smeared their idols with fresh blood and, as Bernal Díaz told us, the principal shrines were soaked with stench scabs, including the pinnacle of the Great Teocalli.

In our times, the ones who belong to this psychoclass are those who show off their acts by smearing the walls with their victims’ blood: people who have suffered a much more regressive mode of childrearing than the average westerner. Richard Rhodes explains in Why they Kill that Lonnie Athens, the Darwin of postmodern criminology, discovered that those who commit violent crimes were horribly subjected to violence as children. One hundred percent of the criminals that Athens interviewed in the Iowa and California prisons had been brutalized in their tender years. Abby Stein has confirmed these findings (Journal of Psychohistory, 36,4, 320-27). It is worth saying that, due to the foundational taboo of the human mind, when in January of 2008 I edited the Wikipedia article “Criminology” it surprised me to find, in the section where I added mention to Athens, only the pseudoscientific biological theories about the etiology of the criminal mind.

An extreme case at the other side of the Atlantic was that of a serial killer of children, Jürgen Bartsch, analyzed by Alice Miller in For Your Own Good. Bartsch had been martyred at home in a far more horrific way than I was. Miller believes that Bartsch gloated over by seeing the panic-stricken looks in the children’s eyes; the children that he mutilated in order to see the martyred child that inhabited in Bartsch himself.

 
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The objective of the book is to present to the racialist community my philosophy of The Four Words on how to eliminate all unnecessary suffering. If life allows, next time I will reproduce here the section on the encounter of the Spaniards with the American natives. Those interested in obtaining a copy of Day of Wrath can request it: here.