Day of Wrath, 8

Sahagún’s exclamation

I have worked in the heart of Houston, in the middle of its skyscrapers. The photographic postcards of downtown I saw in the hotel where I worked were deceptive: they flaunted only the luminous side of the Texan city. They never showed what I saw a few blocks away from my job: ugly streets, dreadful misery and homeless blacks.

Something similar can be said about the illustration of the previous chapter. If Tenochtitlan was kept beautiful it was because of the captive people from other towns forced to work. The Anonymous Conqueror tells us that the war prisoners whom the Mexicas would not cannibalize were made slaves. Had one of them written an autobiography, say, like the ones written by those women who escape the countries under Sharia, it would be a literary sensation in our times. And who had worked to build up the great temples and to open the wide avenues? The swarms of workers around the Texcoco lake, forced to work as part of the towns’ tribute to the empire, should not have looked very different from the scenes of Apocalypto before the camera showed us the center of the Maya city.

Eye to eye with its beauty, handicapped people, thieves and prostitutes were also visible in Tenochtitlan; and unlike the nobles, the common people carried only a loincloth and a special cape, not of cotton cloth but derived from the threads of the maguey cactus, and walked barefoot before their superiors. Only those elevated in the social strata were allowed to wear sandals. And just as in contemporary Mexico City, with its old mansions of Las Lomas or the Americanized building district in Santa Fe coexisting with the poorest neighborhoods, unlike the Nezahualcóyotl palaces and the mansions near the Teocalli, the Mexica common home consisted of a single sleeping room.

It is true that flowers and death adorn the lyrics of the Mexicas. But a line of one of their poems—“Let’s hope [prisoners] are dragged here, All the country must be desolated”—unveils the other side of the Nahua soul. In that world flowers rain incessantly beside the macabre, although magnificent, Mexica statuary. Every time I watch the panic stare of the Chac Mool found at the footings of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan I ask myself what could he have been looking at (excavations performed between 1978 and 2000 in the temple recovered more than a hundred skulls, many of them of children). There is much truth, and also much deception, in the illustration of the previous chapter. For example, blood is not shown on the staircases. In the real Tenochtitlan, not in the idealized postcard, the very steep temple staircases—whose purpose was that the bodies could fall without obstacles—were stained with sacrificial blood (such staircases’ blood is visible in one of Rivera’s murals and in Gibson’s film).

In the pictorial reconstruction based on the plans of the architect Marquina, the pathos of the sacrifice that is taking place over the immense stone quauhtemaláctl is also missing, a stone that in the illustration is visible in the plaza of the Great Teocalli. This circular stone was used as theater of a gladiatorial sacrifice where the attackers gradually injured a leg, the head or the abdomen of a man tethered to the stone in a ritual properly called tlahuahuanaliztli, “the laceration.” (This was the human equivalent to a wounded bull in bullfighting, where those colorful sticks with a barbed point are placed on the top of the bull’s shoulder.) At the end of the gladiatorial sacrifice the human heart was extracted. This was such an important spectacle that the king Axayácatl requested the manpower of hundreds of men to drag the monumental stone from the road that united Coyoacán with Tenochtitlan. Needless to say, the comfort that in the illustration the noble who watches the spectacle experiences under the shadow is the inverse of what in real life the lacerated man must have felt in the world’s most beautiful city.

As of this writing, during the previous month the movie Apocalypto was still in the Mexican theaters. Contrary to the prognostication that it would not have a good welcome in Mexico, the film’s revenues displaced other memorable movies. Still, many people became furious claiming that it was unjust to focus on the dark side of the Maya culture instead of its mathematics, astronomy, or disappearance. Guatemala Indian activists asked the public not to go to the theaters and some people even denied the historicity of human sacrifice in pre-Columbian America. One of the craziest Mexicans wrote a month before the premier: “Personally, I’m ashamed of the little Spanish blood I have. I prefer to be a cannibal and demonstrate the splendor of this culture far higher than the Spanish. I crave to die at the obsidian’s edge. Our hearts only want the glorious death.” As a response to this rending of nationalist garments, in an editorial of the Mexican newspaper Reforma Juan Pardinas wrote (my translation): “The bad news is that this historical interpretation bears some resemblances with reality. Mel Gibson’s characters are more similar to the Mayas of the Bonampak murals that the ones that appear in the SEP school textbooks,” the Mexican Secretariat of Public Education, where children learn that the ancient Yucatecans used the zero before the Europeans. This is like saying that the Maya had been a civilization of thinkers and scientists: the Indian Athens of the Americas. But what not even Gibson dared to show us on the silver screen is that not only adults, but also small kids had been victims of Maya sacrifices.

The sacrifice of children in Mesoamerica began many centuries before the nomadic tribes of the north established themselves around the Texcoco Lake. In El Manatí, an Olmec archaeological site in Veracruz associated with a sacrificial ritual, bones have been found of babies; femurs and skulls. After the Olmecs there came the Teotihuacans. In the Pyramid of the Sun, the largest of the Valley of Mexico, Leopoldo Batres discovered at the beginning of the twentieth century several child skeletons: offerings to the god of the water (the Teotihuacans were contemporaries of the Mayas). When I saw a photograph of the skeletons in the Pyramid of the Moon it reminded me the horrific finding of sacrificed and cocooned humans in a high wall of the film Aliens.

Let us skip the history of similar findings throughout the twentieth century and focus on the present century. On December 2005 Reforma published an article about archeologist Ricardo Armijo Torres’s finding in Comalcalco, a Chontalpa region that some believe was the cradle of the Maya civilization, where the Mayas had perpetrated “a massive sacrifice of children of approximately one or two years old.” Chichén-itzá was named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, with both the proud nationals and the foreign fans ignoring the fact that it had been the location of a ritual carnage. The Chac Mool at the top of the temple has a stone vessel used to hold the hearts of sacrificed humans. Thousands of Mayas died in ritual sacrifices in times of great droughts: a pointless holocaust that could not save Chichén-itzá from its fate. In the Maya ball game participants sometimes played with a decapitated head. The local legends recount that maids were thrown over into the cenote. This was confirmed recently by dredging one of them and discovering the skeletons. In addition to the physical evidence there exists pictorial evidence in Maya art about the sacrificed children. On page 25 of the September-October 2003 issue, Arqueología Mexicana published a painted scene from a ceramic of the Late Classic period “that indicates that child sacrifice was performed in well-defined circumstances” (my translation). On that very page it also appears a photo of Stelae 11 of Piedras Negras, Guatemala, showing a dead child with an abdominal cavity signaling that his heart was extracted. The sacrifice of small children continued in the Post-classic period. It was also performed in the first years of the Spanish colonization, albeit clandestinely and under the protective shadow of the caves.

The Mayas abandoned their big cities and their enormous crop fields of the Classic period. Without being subjugated they conserved distant relationships with the empire of the Mexicas. Once Maya hieroglyphics were deciphered, the vision of the Maya world changed. How well I remember the moment when I received the first information on this subject when reading a book-review in The New York Times about The Blood of the Kings, published in 1986 when I lived in the States. Although I didn’t keep the review, I remember that I got excited. In those days I wrote to a friend informing her that, far from being “the Greeks of America,” the Mayas performed rituals which objective was to provoke hallucinations in the mutilated people; that they venerated blood as a magical elixir and that every ceremony, whether of birth, marriage or death bore a tribute of human blood. I will quote extensively my letters to this friend in my next book. For now I would only add that I also wrote her about a Bonampak fresco showing a Maya prince “with a wicked face,” his court and the captives lying at his feet with panic-stricken eyes, apparently asking for a pity that they would not receive (a decapitated head can be observed on the floor). The Mayas had them cut their fingertips for the precious liquid to run free. The fresco is so famous that it appeared for some time on the Mexican twenty peso banknotes. A few years later, in the cultural magazine of Octavio Paz, I read the words of a Maya scholar, Michael Coe: “Now it is surprisingly clear that the Mayas of the Classic times, and their Pre-classic ancestors, were governed by an hereditary dynasty of warriors, for whom self-sacrifice and the spilling of blood, and the sacrifice by human beheading were supreme obsessions.”

Going back to the Mexicas, Diego Durán wrote about the ritual sacrifice of children in an important celebration of the Valley of Mexico with the Indian governors present. Several months of the Mexica calendar were devoted to the sacrifice of children at the top of the mounts, just what the distant Incas did. Children were transported in adorned litters along with their executioners chanting and dancing. They were made to cry so that their tears became a good omen for the raining season. The more the child cried, the happier the gods were.

The Mexica name for the first month of the year is Atlcahualo. It spans part of February in its Gregorian counterpart (the months of the Mexica calendar lasted twenty days). Children were sacrificed to the water deity Tláloc, and to Chalchiuhtlicue, “she of the jade skirt” and goddess of thermal waters. In other ceremonies children were drowned. In the third month of the calendar children were, again, sacrificed. The French ethnologist Christian Duverger wrote something that disturbed me. In his book La Fleur Létale (The Lethal Flower) this passage can be read:

The torments. In the context of the violent pre-sacrificial stimulations, I believe it is convenient to give a place to the torture, and precisely because it is only performed by the Aztecs before the human sacrifice. The torture is not necessarily integrated to the sacrificial prelude, but it may occur. The tearing off the nails of the children that had to be sacrificed to the god of the rain is a good example of ritual torture. The nails belonged to Tláloc. Through the sacrifices of the month Atlcahualo the Mexicans paid homage to the tláloques [Tláloc servants] and called for the rain. In order for the ritual to be effective, it was convenient that the children cried profusely in the moment of the sacrifice.

Then a face pack of hot rubber was applied to them and they were thrown over a pit that hardened the rubber and prevented them from breathing.

Tláloc, the rain god, was one of the most honored gods of the Mexicas. Along with the temple of Huitzilopochtli, Tláloc’s sky-blue temple existed in the highest spot of Tenochtitlan. With the skeletons discovered at the end of the twentieth century to the beginnings of the twenty-first century it was determined that dozens of children, most of them six-year-olds, were sacrificed and buried in the northwest corner of the first temple dedicated to Tláloc. (Keep in mind that the temple consisted of several layers; only the first survived as mere footings to the great Spanish destruction.) In June of 2005 the archeologists who worked on the temple ruins announced another discovery in the footings: a sacrifice of a very young boy to Huitzilopochtli, probably during the consecration of the building.

(This photo, the original in color, was taken by Héctor Montaño.) I confess that over the years I have harbored the morbid fantasy of finding out the aspect of the statue of Huitzilopochtli. I dream with some futuristic “machines to see the past” to know, with a wealth of detail, exactly how terrible the deity was. It is recognized that to know the soul of a culture there is nothing like having its art in front of us. Some of the pages that I like the most of Arthur Clarke’s short sci-fi stories appear in “Jupiter five,” where some explorers find a statue representing an alien in the art room of an abandoned ship thirty kilometers in diameter. Sometimes the Mexica world seems so distant from my civilization that the comparison does not look excessive to me.

But going back to my fantasy. The pages that I read with most interest of The Truthful History of the Conquest of New Spain (he refers to the Aztec Empire) were those in which Bernal Díaz described the great statue of Huitzilopochtli he saw at the top of the great pyramid:

And then our Cortés told Montezuma, with Doña Marina, the translator: “Milord, it has been your will, and much more your majesty deserves; we have been idle about seeing your cities; what I ask you as a favor, since we are already here, in your temple, that you show us your gods and teules [demigods].” And Montezuma said he first had to talk to his great papas [high priests]. And when he had talked to them he said that we were to enter a turret [the shrine at the pyramid’s top] and an apartment in the form of a room, where there were two altars, with very rich planking over the roof, and in each altar there were two shapes, giant-like, very tall and stout bodies.

The first one, to the right, they said it was Uichilobos [Huitzilopochtli], their god of war. It had a very broad face with deformed, horrifying eyes; and the whole body was covered with precious stones, gold and pearls and seed-pearls stuck on with wheat paste, which they make in that land with some sort of roots, and all of the body was full of it, and circled with some sort of great snakes made of gold and precious stones, and in one hand he held a bow and in the other some arrows. And a small idol standing by him they said was his page, he held a not very long lance and a shield rich of gold and precious stones; and around the neck of Uichilobos were Indian faces and things like the hearts of these Indians, the latter of gold and the former of silver, decorated with many precious blue stones; and there were braziers with incense, copal incense, and in them they were burning the hearts of three Indians they had sacrificed that day, and with the smoke and the copal they had done that sacrifice. Every wall of that shrine was covered with the blackness of the blood scabs, as well as the floor, and it stank so much.

The Indian baptized as Andrés de Tapia claimed that the statue of Huitzilopochtli was made of flour seeds with the blood of the children in a hardened paste; Durán, on the other hand, said it was made of wood. What is certain is that the priests devoted to its cult injured their tongues, arms and thighs with straws tainted with their own blood as an offering. Even the common Mexica injured himself far more than my cousin Sabina used to do. [This is recounted in an un-translated section, “Follow the mothers.”] He offered bleedings with maguey thorns by piercing his lips, ears and tongue. Men pierced their penis and the thorns stained with blood were placed in a shrine. The common Mexicas “decorated their doors with bulrushes containing their ears’ blood.” The priests, called papas by Díaz, had their ear lobes totally smashed as a result of these bleedings. In addition to tearing out the heart from the captives in the day 4-Earthquake, the common Mexica made these piercing penitences.

I mention all of this to throw light on the long Colin Ross quotation way above. The self-harmer women of Dallas pierced themselves because they believed in their wickedness and they needed an escape valve to discharge some of the pressure from the volcano of rage against their parents they carried inside. At the expense of their mental health and due to the locus of control shift, the evil of their parents had been transfused to their mentality since their childhood, making the perpetrator good and safe to attach to. Let us remember that this shift helps to solve the basic and fundamental dilemma of the human race: the affective attachment to our parents due to our long dependency. Ross does not comment on the ancient Mexicans, but according to Lloyd deMause this sort of self-injuring alleviated the Amerindians from the anxiety of the internalized image of a parent, now sublimated, that would castigate them because of a prosperity perceived as sinful (we will see where this gets us when analyzing the West of the twenty-first century). In other words, self-harming and harming others are two sides of the same coin. We displace our contained rage on others and on ourselves because of the absolute dissociation of the resulting emotions from the treatment we received in the past. If the pre-Columbian people displaced more than us it was simply due to a more primitive form of childrearing than ours. For Claude-François Baudez of the National Center of Scientific Research in Paris, the Mesoamerican sacrifice of others only replaced self-sacrifice “on the condition that the alter is equivalent to the ego.” Human sacrifice was, ultimately, the sacrifice of the ego “as it is shown in the first place by the primeval myths that precede self-sacrifice.”

Baudez illustrates his point with the Mesoamerican custom of eating the enemy or dressing up in his skin: a practice that occupied a place of first order of magnitude among the ancient dwellers of the continent. Although education in our times is abusive, pre-Hispanic education was infinitely worse. I cannot avoid thinking of the studies by two Mexican anthropologists that show that some sacrificed bodies underwent processes of flaying, removing the flesh from the body, dismembering, decapitation and even the showing off of the corporal parts as decoration, as can be read in the bone register (in our own times, only certain serial killers do this sort of thing). The psyche of the surviving siblings, cousins, relatives, close and not-so-close acquaintances of the sacrificed infants interiorized a greater homicidal impulse than ours: a good example to help us understand the difference among very distant psychoclasses.

Page 34 of the cited issue of Arqueología Mexicana recounts an alarming study. In Xochimilco, at the south of Mexico City, the remains of a three- or four-year-old child were discovered, whose bones presented an orange or translucent yellow coloration, terse or glassy textures, and the compacting of the spongy tissue, besides the shattering of the skull. Since in the mortuary treatment the Mexicas decapitated some bodies and sometimes boiled the heads for later esthetic exposition, the archeologists concluded that the head of the sacrificed boy had been boiled and that the skull was shattered due to the ebullition of the encephalic mass. The photograph of the skull has been published.

Moreover, at the beginning of 2005 a newspaper note was published about a finding in the north of Mexico City, in Ecatepec: an archaeological site with skeletal remains of eight sacrificed minors. According to the note republished by Discovery Channel: “The sacrifice involved burning or partially burning victims. We found a burial pit with the skeletal remains of four children who were partially burned, and the remains of four other children that were completely carbonized.” However rustic the Spanish soldiers were, when they saw for the first time in their lives this sort of behavior it blew their minds. The first texts about the New World ever published in Europe were the Cartas de Relación by Hernán Cortés. In one of these letters, published in 1523, the conqueror wrote:

They have a most horrid and abominable custom which truly ought to be punished and which until now we have seen in no other places, and this is that, whenever they wish to ask something from the idols, in order that their plea may find more acceptance, they take many girls and boys and even adults, and in the presence of these idols they open their chests while they are still alive and take out their hearts and entrails and burn them before the idols, offering the smoke as the sacrifice. Some of us have seen this, and they say it is the most terrible and frightful thing they have ever witnessed.

In another occasion Cortés recounted that his soldiers had captured an Indian who had been roasting the body of a baby to eat it. Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxochitl, a mestizo who wrote the codex that has his name, writes that one out of five children were sacrificed each year. The figure looks like an exaggeration: it is not known with certainty how many children were sacrificed in Mesoamerica. The most conservative contemporary studies say that in the Mexica world at least dozens of children were sacrificed each year.

One of the sources that the Mexican indigenistas hold in high esteem is the work of Bernardino de Sahagún, who set off to the New World in 1529, only a few years after the fall of Tenochtitlan. Scholars regard him as the first anthropologist. Even a passionate indigenista like Diego Rivera painted Sahagún with a young and clever face. Writing about the holidays of the so-called Aztec Calendar, Sahagún tells us of the rituals of the first month, called Atlcahualo or Quauitleoa by the Mexicas:

In this month they killed many children, sacrificing them in many places at the top of the mounts, taking out their hearts in honor to the gods of the water, so that they gave them water or rains.

What the Mexicas did on the second month of their calendar will be explained in the next section. In the third month, writes Sahagún: “In this holiday they killed many children in the mounts, they offered them in sacrifice to this god.” He also adds a general comment about the first months of the year:

According to the testimony of some [Indians], the children that they killed were collected the first month, buying them from their mothers, and they went on to kill them on all of the following holidays until the rainy season did indeed start; and thus they killed some children in the first month, called Quauitleoa [from February 2 to February 21]; and others in the second month, called Tlacaxipehualiztli [February 22 to March 13]; and others in the third month called Tozoztontli [March 14 to April 2]; and others in the fourth month, called Uey tozoztli [April 3 to April 22], so that until the rainwater season began copiously, in all holidays they crucified [sacrificed] children.

Those of us who live in the region formerly known as Tenochtitlan know that the Spring is dry here, which means that the natives felt an unrestrainable drive to murder the little ones. It is far-fetched that those who had the genius to construct at the center of the plaza a temple to Quetzalcóatl where the sunray of the dawn could be seen between the two shrines of the Great Pyramid, at the same time could not foresee the rainy season that contemporary Mexicans know perfectly. It is elemental that something more than soliciting the rains impregnated the psyche of the descendents of the Tenochcas. In the second book of the Florentine Codex Sahagún comments about the first month: “For this holiday they looked for suckling toddlers, buying them from their mothers.” And he adds: “For the killing they carried these children to the high mounts, where they had made an offering vow; from some of them they took their hearts out on those mounts, and from others, in some places on the lake of Mexico.” Both in discussions with me and in a heading of his orchestral homage to Bartolomé de Las Casas, my father has talked much about the “profound race”: the ancient Mexicans. I wonder how “profound” it was that the towns under Mexica rule offered, as a tribute, their little ones to be sacrificed. [This sarcasm against my father’s nationalism is understandable in the context of the previous section of Hojas Susurrantes.] About Pantitlán, Sahagún writes:

They killed a great quantity of children each year in these places and after they were dead they cooked them and ate them.

When I read that sentence I could not help but think about Mexico City’s subway station called Pantitlán. I ignored the fact that it was at the bottom of the lake. (In the times of the lacustrine city, the neighborhood where I write this book was also under the water.) In the same second tome of his encyclopedic twelve-book work about the traditions and customs of the ancient Mexicans, Sahagún recounts the details:

The places where they killed children are the following: the first one was called Quauhtépetl, it is a mountain range near Tlatelolco. The second mount where they killed children they called Ioaltécatl. The third mount on which they killed children they called Tepetzinco, it is that little mount that is inside the bordering lake of Tlatelolco, they killed a girl there. The fourth mount on which they killed children they called Poyauhtla. The fifth mount where they killed children was an eddy or basin of the lake of Mexico, that they called Pantitlán. The sixth place or mount on which they killed children they called Cócotl. The seventh place where they killed children was a mount that they called Yiauhqueme.

These poor children, before they were carried to the killing, were decorated with precious stones, with rich feathers and carried with blankets taking them on a litter, and they listened the playing of flutes and trumpets that they used. They had them all the night holding a wake and chanting to them songs of the idol’s priests, so that they did not sleep. And when they took the children to the places where they would be killed, if they were crying with very abundant tears, those who watched them crying were glad because they said it was a signal that rain was very imminent.

The most valuable phrase of the Sahagún opus is his exclamation that, in the most popular Mexican edition—the one by the Porrúa publishing house (2007 paperback edition)—appears on page 97:

I do not believe that there is a heart so hard that when listening to such an inhuman cruelty, and more than bestial and devilish such as the one described above, does not get touched and moved by the tears and horror and is appalled; and certainly it is lamentable and horrible to see that our human nature has come to such baseness and opprobrium that parents kill and eat their children, without thinking they were doing anything wrong.

Mel Gibson errs by quoting historian Will Durant at the beginning of his film. Human sacrifice in Mesoamerica was not a political aberration as presented in the film: it was a widespread social phenomenon. Gibson falsified history by putting as pacific a community of hunting tribesmen in contrast to the decadent city. The reality seems to be that the Amerindians who populated the small towns, and especially the naked natives that were exterminated in the Caribbean islands, were even more psychologically dissociated that the inhabitants of the refined double-city of Tenochtitlan-Tlatelolco. The variety of Indians who did not live in the big cities varied from the Caribbean cannibal to the Otomi people of the caves; from the fierce Guarani to the cannibalesque Chiriguano. In contrast to the villager of Apocalypto, the Tarahumara, the fearful Chichimeca, the Xixime and the Guarijio practiced the “dance of the head.” A virgin was shut away. A decapitated head was taken for her to “speak” to it, something that the woman had to do with fluctuating feelings of love and hate. Contrary to Gibson’s bucolic village in the middle of the Maya forest, this is what the tribesmen actually did in real history.

That the sacrifice was a popular and social phenomenon rather than a political one is shown in the fact that, after the elimination of the indigenous governments and the introduction of Christianity in colonial times, the natives adopted the cross as the form of child sacrifice. For a psychoclass that I labeled infanticidal in the previous chapter, the Spanish assimilation had incredible moments. The Indians went as far as nailing children by the hands and feet to a cross with their feet tied up before taking their hearts out. Still crucified sometimes they even threw them over a cenote, as can be read on page 81 of the second volume of the Archivo General de Las Indias complied by France Scholes and Eleanor Adams in 1938. The Indian priest used to say: “Let these boys die on the cross like Jesucristo died, whom they say was our lord, but we do not know if he was.”
 
___________

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 Spanish chronicler Bernal Díaz. Those interested in obtaining a copy of Day of Wrath can request it: here.

Day of Wrath, 7

The Feathered Serpent

 

 
The world’s most beautiful city

Bernal Díaz del Castillo would write in his memoirs about what he saw with his brothers in arms in route to Tenochtitlan when he was twenty-two years old:

And since we saw so many inhabited cities and towns on the water, and on solid ground other large towns, and that causeway so straight and leveled that went to Mexico-Tenochtitlan, we were wonder-stricken, and we said to each other that it all seemed like the enchantment tales of the Amadís book, for the great towers and Cues [temples] and edifices, that they have inside the water, and all of them the product of masonry work, and still some of our soldiers said if all of what they saw was dreamlike.

When the gloomy Luther hammered his theses on the Wittenberg’s gates, no man of the white race knew of the existence of another continent and of the most extensive power that Mesoamerica knew of: an empire that touched both oceans, the capital of which was inundated with light. And even in our times the enormous plaza that amazed Bernal Díaz is unknown because his comrades razed it in its entirety. Notwithstanding that after the conquest Rodrigo de Castañeda blamed Hernán Cortés for wanting to preserve the temples and its effigies, Mexico-Tenochtitlan was the object of a systematic vandalism. Not even one edifice remained standing in what today is Mexico City, something that reminds us what the Romans did in the Third Punic War: they did not leave stone upon stone in Carthage, and built a Roman city on its ruins. Not satisfied with that, after the physical devastation by the soldiers, Zumárraga burned the Mexica libraries. As an Aztec poem says:

We are to leave the beautiful songs
We are to leave the beautiful flowers

However, under New Spain’s edifices some unearthed footings have allowed modern architects to reconstruct how the ancient Indian city looked (see the pictorial reconstruction by architect Ignacio Marquina above), in addition to the descriptions of the captain of the conquistadors, who informs us that the streets of Tenochtitlan:

are very wide and straight, some of them, and all of the other are half of earth and the other half of water, through which they go in their canoes, and all the streets, from stretch to stretch, are opened through where water passes from the ones to the others, and in all of these openings, that some of them are very wide, there are bridges of very wide and large beams together and stout and well carved, and they are such that that ten horses, together eye to eye, can pass through many of them.

Cortés himself wrote to Carlos V that it was la más hermosa cosa del mundo (“the world’s most beautiful thing”). Much larger than Seville, the largest Spanish city of those times, three roads converged toward the center of the lacustrine city, uniting the island with the coast. “It is admirable to see how much reason they employ with all things,” wrote Cortés to the king. On the streets of a city that shone like a jewel of stone and water and sky, the dwellers used to go out “for a ride, some through the water on these boats and others on the land, and they go on conversing.”

Tenochtitlan was an object of admiration for its thirty palaces of reddish and porous rock, for its houses for upper-class people (according to conqueror Diego de Ordás, superior to those in Spain); its immense set of immaculate white houses and constructions decorated with bas-reliefs and stone sculptures (in contrast to other peoples who made them of clay), some statues even decorated with gold, feathers and animal skins; for its yellow macaw feathers; for its precious stones such as the green of the jade and the red of the garnets; for “its florid hymns in the Spring and the flower of the opened Nahua heart,” and because in that unwonted world, which had never been found a practical use for the wheel, thousands of canoes, the largest capable of transporting up to sixty Indians, converged every day in the lacustrine city.

The central plaza shown in the above image (in which place today there is a Zócalo infested with what in my previous book I called “the marabunta of Neanderthals”) took the form of a rectangle. The monuments were adorned with frescoes, lost forever after the collapse of the walls that sustained them, and besides the aqueduct there were fountains that burst forth form the soil of the central island. The palace of Nezahualcóyotl in Texcoco, a state that belonged to the triple alliance together with Tenochtitlan and Tlacopan, was fenced with more than two thousand trees. In addition to this palace, Nezahualcóyotl had gardens in other locations “with docks full of roses and flowers, and many fruits and rosebushes of the earth, and a pond of fresh water, and another thing to see: that in the flower and fruit garden the large canoes could enter from the lagoon through an opening they had made, without jumping on the ground, and everything very whitewashed and flashing, of many forms of stones and paintings on them that there was so much to ponder.” As in my childhood imaginings recounted in my previous book [a previous section of Hojas Susurrantes], the labyrinths and the artificial cascades of those gardens provided a fresh and invigorating environment.

We can imagine the impression that this world—totally apart from the known civilization—caused in the Europeans, who never ceased to be amazed at the richness of the iridescent clothing; the colors and drawings on the women’s attire with their bluish-purple hair dyed so that it shone, and the teeth stained black with cochineal; the clothing of the nobles decorated in polychromatic embroidery with drawings that represented hearts, and the showing off of necklaces of stings of jade, turquoise or enormous objects of diorite; wigs and jaguar skins, bracelets on the arms and ankles, or the simple “crowd of swarthy-skinned people under their white dresses.” The warriors painted their faces with stripes; others with yellow-ocher powder, spreading out the feet with copal ointments and tattooing their hands with schemes. It was a spectacle to see them around the emperor, the cloth banners and the immense adornments of gold and exquisitely cut quetzal feathers forming bouquets of a thousand colors; arts elaborated under a mosaic-like technique in sharp contrast to the blackish clothes of the priests with figures of skulls and human bones. How mistaken is the petrified image of Diego Rivera’s Anahuacalli Museum to convey the universe opened to the free, luminous and multicolor air of the Aztecs. But how accurate are Rivera’s own murals!

The palace of Moctezuma (which occupied the place where later would be constructed what today is the Palacio Nacional) also caused a stupor in the Europeans. Built with porous volcanic stone, it had more than a hundred bathrooms; walls covered with mosaics and roofs of precious woods; zoos and botanic gardens, pools and flower gardens. The wooden cages were in the charge of hundreds of men who attended the birds, wild cats, pumas, jaguars and coyotes; there were large ponds with herons, ducks, swans and an enormous collection of serpents. The zoo even had human freaks such as dwarfs and albinos.

The humble Nahua male who lived far from the Great Teocalli had so little time indoors and plenty of time outdoors, and when looking up from his chinampa he constantly saw “the silhouette of the pyramids and the blinding white of the edifices under the noonday sun.” (At present the footings of the Spanish buildings are full of pre-Hispanic stone and of the fragments of the bas-reliefs and the statues.) It could scarcely be said that there was profane art: practically all art was charged with religious content. Tlatelolco, the twin city of Mexico, had a plaza about the triple size of Salamanca. (From now on I will avoid the word “Aztec” which was not used until the 18th century. Instead I will use the original term “Mexicas,” without “n,” or alternatively “ancient Mexicans.”) The appearance of the Mexica capital was of a double city. The main commercial neighborhood “sparked with the shouting of the market’s sales people.” In Tlatelolco the great temple of Huitzilopochtli was impressive because there were no other temples around that cast any shadow on it.

Tenochtitlan was an amphibian city in the middle of “waters of flowers, waters of gold, waters of emerald,” a city in such a spaced architecture of the Valley of Mexico that it had as roof the sky, and as foundation the immense greenish-blue Texcoco lake. The quantity of gods of the Mexica pantheon was so large—of the principal deities alone there were about two hundred—that the chroniclers lost count. The terraces of the nobles were crowned with gardens. Moctezuma, who had many children with his wives and concubines, had three thousand servants in his palace. The Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan or Teocalli, shown in the above illustration, rested upon a space of 100 meters long by 80 meters wide, and it was 60 meters high. The façade began with great serpent heads, and on the platform statues supported the banners that were displayed at the celebrations. The pyramid was completely surrounded by serpent heads, which formed a fortified outer wall of approximately 400 meters long, with four doors. The two shrines, inhabited by the Tláloc-Huitzilopochtli duality, were painted: one white and blue on the north side, the other white and red on the south side. The last one was embellished with engraved skulls and battlements with the form of butterflies. To defend the temple of Huitzilopochtli was considered one of the duties of the sovereigns. Sun and rain, Huitzilopochtli and Tláloc, were the legacy of the Tenochcas: nomad warriors and sedentary Mexicas. The shrines that crowned the truncated pyramid were tight but high enclosures, which sheltered a pair of three-meter statues of these gods. The crested roofs imitated the Maya temples, and conveyed the visual effect of higher altitude. (It is remarkable that on the other side of the Atlantic a very similar structure, the Ziggurat, had been common in the Chaldean and Babylonian temples: cultures that Julian Jaynes also called bicameral kingdoms.)

The ancient Mexicans gladly detached from themselves their best art: burying animals, feathers, flowers, insects, treasures, and even human beings as offerings to the deities. The temples themselves were an immense offering loaded inside with the remains of these sacrifices that remained trapped each time that the edifice was reconstructed. The Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, or Templo Mayor as it is called today, was reconstructed several times. Just as the Teotihuacan and Maya temples, it possessed several layers, one above the other like Russian nested dolls. When the Spaniards destroyed the temple they found that its entrails hid innumerable jewels of gold, precious stones and bones that had remained enclosed as an offering. Inside this pyramid was also located the military theocratic school for the education of the elite of the Mexica boys. Drawn using a perfect arithmetic that reminds us of Teotihuacan, in front of the Great Pyramid the temple of Quetzalcoatl looked special, the only circular edifice of the great plaza, and on one of the Great Pyramid’s sides, the pyramid of Tezcatlipoca. Around the temples there were annexes for worship such as the tzompantli full of decapitated human heads, many of them decomposed until they turned into skulls, artistically placed in horizontal order. The houses of the Indian chiefs were enormous constructions of wood. The largest rooms were more than thirty meters long and thirty meters wide.

It is curious that my imaginings when taking a bath in my house of San Lorenzo, as recounted in my previous book [I was seven years old], had a counterpart in the reality of the past. It is true that in those imaginings I did not visualize the resonating drums or the reddish homes of the temples, if we consider that in Tenochtitlan mostly percussion instruments were used. But something of these dances and collective intoxication, a catharsis of something recondite in the Nahua soul, reached the mind of the child I was then. (Many have listened to the group of children, myself included, playing the vertical drum called huéhuetl thanks to a commercial recording made when I studied in the musical method of my father: a man passionate for the native folklore.) The great dance celebrated at the bottom level of the pyramids lasted hours under the light of huge braziers deep in the night. Dances started at the hiding of the sun amidst the sound of the flutes (precisely what I imagined hearing when I was a child), the drums of the temples, and the flames of the enormous tripods burning woods. Nothing was more important, writes Jacques Soustelle, than these songs and dances for the ancient Mexicans.

Nothing of my name will some day be?
Nothing of my fame on earth?
At least the flowers, at least the songs!

 
___________

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 the section on the dark side of the Aztecs. Those interested in obtaining a copy of Day of Wrath can request it: here.

Day of Wrath, 5

Julian Jaynes and the bicameral mind

In recent decades several historians without any link to the deMausean school have written about thirty books on histories of childhood. I will mention only a couple of those published in 2005: When Children Became People by Odd Magne Bakke and Growing Up: The History of Childhood in a Global Context by Peter Stearns. DeMause has iteratively complained that books of this sort are presented to history students as if childrearing in the past had been as benign as Western childrearing in our times. Stearns for example is author and editor of more than forty books, but he attempts to absolve the parents by claiming that infanticide had an economic motivation; when it is well documented that in some periods infanticide was more common in well-off families.

Psychogenesis is the process of the evolution of empathy, and, therefore, of childrearing forms in an innovative group of human beings. In a particular individual it is an evolution of the architecture of his or her mentality, including the cognition of how the world is perceived. A “quantum leap” in “psychoclasses” depends on the parents’ breaking away from the abusive patterns in which they were educated; for example, stop killing their children: a prehistoric and historic practice that deMause calls “early infanticidal childrearing.”

A fascinating essay by Julian Jaynes throws light on how, by the end of the second millennium before our era, a huge alteration occurred in human mentality. In 1976 Jaynes published The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Jaynes calls “breakdown” the transit of bicameral mind—two chambers or brain hemispheres—to modern consciousness. The transit is relatively recent, and it represents a healing process from a divided self into a more unified or integrated one. Jaynes describes how society developed from a psychological structure based upon obedience to the god’s voices, to the subjective consciousness of present-day man. Like deMause’s psychohistory, Jaynes’ model caused many of his readers to see mankind from a new perspective. He elaborated a meta-narrative purporting to connect the loose pieces of previously unconnected fields—history, anthropology, ancient texts, psychiatry, language, poetry, neurology, religion, Hebrew and Greek studies, the art of ancestral societies, archaeological temples and cuneiform writing—to construct an enormous jigsaw puzzle.

Jaynes asked the bold question of whether the voices that people of the Ancient World heard could have been real, a common phenomenon in the hallucinated voices of present-day schizophrenics. He postulated that, in a specific lapse of history a metamorphosis of consciousness occurred from one level to another; that our present state of consciousness emerged a hundred or two hundred generations ago, and that previously human behavior derived from hearing voices in a world plagued with shamanism, magical thinking, animism and schizoidism.

In the Ancient World man had a bipartite personality: his mind was broken, bicameralized, schizophrenized. “Before the second millennium B.C., everyone was schizophrenic,” Jaynes claims about those who heard voices of advice or guides attributed to dead chiefs, parents or known personages. “Often it is in times of stress when a parent’s comforting voice may be heard.” It seems that this psychic structure of a divided or bicameral self went back to cavemen. Later in the first cities, the period that deMause calls “late infanticidal childrearing” (Jaynes never mentions deMause or psychohistory), the voices were attributed to deities. “The preposterous hypothesis we have come to is that at one time human nature was split in two, an executive part called god, and a follower part called man. Neither was conscious. This is almost incomprehensible to us.” Preconscious humans did not have an ego like ours; rational thought would spring up in a late stage of history, especially in Greece. However, orthodox Hellenists usually do not ask themselves why, for a millennium, many Greeks relied on instructions coming from a group of auditory hallucinating women in Delphi. To explain similar cultural phenomena, Jaynes lays emphasis upon the role that voices played in the identities, costumes and group interactions; and concludes that the high civilizations of Egypt, the Middle East, Homeric Greece and Mesoamerica were developed by a primitive unconscious.

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind describes the theodicy in which, three thousand years ago, subjectivity and the ego flourished. For the common man consciousness is the state of awareness of the mind; say, the conscious state at walking. Jaynes uses the term in a more restricted way: consciousness as the subjective universe, the self-analyzing or self-conscious mind; the “I,” the will and morality of an individual, as well as the development of the linear concept of time (which used to be cyclic to the archaic mind, perhaps due to the observation of the stations of the year). The man who left behind his bicameral thinking developed a more robust sense of the self, and Jaynes finds narrative evidence of this acting self in the literary record. He examines Amos, the voice of the oldest Old Testament text and compares it with the Ecclesiastes, the most recent one. Likewise, Jaynes scrutinizes the Iliad looking for tracks of a subjective self, and finds nothing. The Homeric heroes did what Athena or Apollo told them; they literally heard their gods’ voices as the prophets listened to Yahweh’s. Their psyches did not display brightness of their own yet. (If we remember the metaphor of my first book, the mentality of ancient man was similar to what astronomers call a “maroon dwarf”: a failed star like Jupiter, not a sun with enough mass to cause nuclear fusion so that it could shine on its own.) Matters change with the texts of Odysseus’ adventures, and even more with the philosophers of the Ionian islands and of Athens. At last the individual had accumulated enough egocentric mass to explode and to shine by itself. Jaynes believes that it was not until the Greek civilization that the cataclysm that represented the psychogenic fusion consolidated itself.

By Solon’s times it may be said that the modern self, as we understand it, had finally exploded. The loquacious gods, including the Hebraic Yahweh, became silent never to speak again but through the bicameral prophets. After the breakdown of divine authority, with the gods virtually silenced in the times of the Deuteronomy, the Judean priests and governors embarked upon a frenetic project to register the legends and stories of the voices that, in times of yore, had guided them. It was no longer necessary to hallucinate sayings that the god had spoken: man himself was the standard upon which considerations, decisions, and behaviors on the world rested. In the dawning of history man had subserviently obeyed his gods, but when the voice of consciousness appears, rebelliousness, dissidence, and even heresy are possible.

Through his book, which may be called a treatise of psycho-archeology, Jaynes follows the track of how subjective consciousness emerged. His ambitious goal is to explain the birth of consciousness, and hence the origin of our civilization. Once the former “maroon dwarfs” achieve luminescence in a group of individuals’ selves, not only religious dissent comes about, but regicide, the pursuit of personal richness and, finally, individual autonomy. This evolution continues its course even today. Paradoxically, when the West reaches the stage that deMause calls “helping mode” in child-rearing, it entails ill-fated consequences such as Caucasian demographic dilution and the subsequent Islamization of Europe (as we will see).

Although Jaynes speculates that the breakdown of the bicameral mind could have been caused by crises in the environment, by ignoring deMause he does not present the specific mechanism that gave rise to the transition. Due to the foundational taboo of human species, explained by Alice Miller in my previous book and by Colin Ross in this one, Jaynes did not explore the decisive role played by the modes of childrearing. This blindness permeates The Origin of Consciousness to the point of giving credibility to the claims of biological psychiatry; for example, Jaynes believes in the genetic basis of schizophrenia, a pseudoscientific hypothesis, as shown in my previous essay. However, his thesis on bicameralism caused his 1976 essay to be repeatedly reprinted, including the 1993 Penguin Books edition and another edition with a 1990 afterword that is still in print.

In the bicameral kingdoms the hallucinated voices of ancient men were culturally accepted as part of the social fabric. But a psychogenic leap forward gives as much power to the new psychoclass as the Australopithecus character of 2001: A Space Odyssey grabbing a bone. “How could an empire whose armies had triumphed over the civilizations of half a continent be captured by a small band of 150 Spaniards in the early evening of November 16, 1532?” The conquest of the Inca Empire was one of a handful of military confrontations between the two states of consciousness. A deMausean interpretation would lead us to think that it was a clash between the infanticidal psychoclass and an intermediate state of ambivalent and intrusive modes of childrearing. The Spaniards were clearly up the scale of “psychogenic leaps” compared to the Incas.

This reading of history is diametrically opposed to Bartolomé de Las Casas, who in his Apologética Historia claimed that in some moral aspects the Amerindians were superior to the Spanish and even to Greeks and Romans. Today’s Western self-hatred had its precursor in Las Casas, who flourished in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In identical fashion, in the 21st century it is irritating to see in educational TV programs an American in Peru saying that the Incas of the times of the Conquest “were much smarter than the Spanish.” The truth is that the Incas did not even know how to use the wheel and lacked written language. They literally heard their statues speak to them and their bicameral mind handicapped them before the more robust psyche of the Europeans: something like an Australopithecus clan clashing with another without bones in their hands. The Spaniards were, certainly, very religious; but not to the point of using magical thinking in their warfare stratagems. According to a 16th-century Spaniard, “the unhappy dupes believed the idols spoke to them and so sacrificed to it birds, dogs, their own blood and even men” (this quotation refers to Mesoamericans, the subject-matter of the next section). The Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa believes that his ancestors were defeated due to a pragmatic and basically modern European mentality in contrast to the magical thinking of the natives; and the Mexican Carlos Fuentes wrote that the conquest of the American continent was a great triumph of the scientific hypothesis over the indigenous physical perception.

Jaynes overemphasizes that the prophets of the Old Testament literally heard Yahweh’s voice. Because the minds in the Ancient World, like present-day schizoid personalities, were swarmed with sources of hallucination, humans still lacked an inner space for retrospection and introspection. Bible scholars have debated at length about what could have caused the loss of prophecy gifts in the Hebrew people after the Babylonian exile. I would say that the elimination of the sacrificial practice of infants meant a leap toward a superior psychoclass, with the consequent overcoming of the schizoid or bicameral personality.

But going back to Jaynes: Formerly terrestrial and loquacious, the later mute gods were transported to a heaven, making room for human divination: the consultation of human beings that (for having been raised by more regressive parents I may infer) still heard the fateful voices. Even though the divine voices made themselves unnecessary for the new kind of human, praying continued to a god who was incapable, centuries ago, of communicating through divine voices.

The entire succession of [Old Testament] works becomes majestically and wonderfully the birth pangs of our subjective consciousness. No other literature has recorded this absolutely important event at such length or with such fullness. Chinese literature jumps into subjectivity in the teaching of Confucius with little before it. Indian hurtles from the bicameral Veda into the ultra subjective Upanishads. Greek literature, like a series of steppingstones from The Iliad to the Odyssey and across the broken fragments of Sappho and Solon toward Plato, is the next best record, but still too incomplete. And Egypt is relatively silent.

Jaynes’ book is dense, closely argued, and despite its beautiful prose often boring. But the chapter on the Hebrew people titled “The Moral Consciousness of the Khabiru” is must reading. If he is right, it was not until the fifth century before the Common Era when the bicameral mind began to be seen as the incapacitating disorder that is presently labeled as psychosis. In contrast to the mystic psychohistorian Robert Godwin, I am closer to Jaynes in that one of the most persistent residues of bicameralism is our religious heritage.

Jaynes, who died in 1997, may be the proverbial author of a single book, but many people continue to read The Origin of Consciousness. Tor Norretranders, a popular author on scientific subjects, expanded the bicameral hypothesis in a book published a year after Jaynes died, The User Illusion, and he cites more recent investigations than those collected by Jaynes.
 
Popperian falsifiability

Despite the book’s popularity and the fact that Jaynes taught in Princeton University and did archaeological work, his colleagues did not pay him much attention. Many academics reject theories that have been presented through literary books. It is understandable that a book with such lyric passages has been ignored by the dry science taught in the psychology departments; by neurobiologists, and by evolutionary theorists. Jaynes, basically a humanist, had not presented his theory in a scientific or falsifiable format.

Adepts of social sciences grant such authority to the hard sciences that, when they run across a text that emphasizes the humanities, they want to see everything translated to the language of science. They do this in spite of the fact that, in the reign of subjectivity, hard sciences are incapable of producing something truly significant. Notwithstanding this scientific demand, I concede that if we humanists make claims that could be interpreted as scientific hypotheses, it doesn’t hurt to present them in such a way that they may be refuted, if per chance they are wrong. Consequently, I must make it very clear that the trauma model is falsifiable.

For instance, it occurs to me that, if the model is correct, in the Israeli kibbutz children cannot be easily schizophrenized. The cause of this would be, naturally, that in the kibbutz they are put farther away from potentially schizophrenogenic parents than the children in nuclear families. Something similar could be said about Jaynes’ ideas. His hypothesis can be presented in falsifiable form always provided that the presentation is done through a deMausean interpretation of it, as we will see almost by the end of this book.

Once it is conceded that even humanists who venture into foreign lands can present their theories in falsifiable form, I must point out that very few academics, including psychologists, are willing to delve into the darkest chambers of the human psyche. To them it is disturbing that prehistoric man, and a good deal of the historic man including their ancestors, had behaved as marionettes of hallucinated voices or nonexistent gods. Jaynes’ ideas represent a serious challenge to history as it is officially understood and even more to religion, anthropology, and psychiatry. He seems to postulate that a scant connectivity of the two brain hemispheres produced voices, and that the changes in consciousness caused the brain to become more interconnected through the corpus callosum. In case I have interpreted him correctly, I am afraid it is not possible to run tomographs on those who died millennia ago to compare, say, the brain of the bicameral pythoness against the brain of the intellectual Solon. Let’s ignore this non-falsifiable aspect and focus on hypotheses that may be advanced by epidemiologists in the field of social sciences. Studying the changes of incidence patterns of child mistreatment through history or contemporary cultures is a perfectly falsifiable scientific approach.

In the book reviews of The Origin of Consciousness available on the internet it can be gathered that the experience of many readers was as electrifying as a midnight ray that allowed them to see, albeit for a split second, the human reality. If the ultimate test for any theory is to explain the most data in the simplest way, we should not ignore the psychohistories of Jaynes and deMause. If they are right, the explanatory power of an unified model would help us understand part of the human mystery, especially religion and psychosis.

 
___________

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 publish here the section on schizophrenia theorist Silvano Arieti. Those interested in obtaining a copy of Day of Wrath can request it: here.

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 7

SunStoneColored-NG

 

Standing in a bookstore when I was much younger I read a passage from a book by an out-closet homosexual, the Mexican poet Salvador Novo analyzing the term “pecado nefando” (heinous sin). Novo mentioned Nezahualcoyotl, a 15th-century king and member of the Aztec Triple Alliance, who promulgated a law code that included that those who had engaged in the passive role of homosexual anal intercourse had their intestines pulled out, then their bodies were filled with ash, and finally, were burnt (the active or penetrating partner was simply suffocated in a heap of ash): a punishment more severe than a mere capital punishment against sodomy in the Muslim world. Novo included an illustration of a dead male Amerind with his intestines pulled out, but now that I looked if that image was available in the internet I didn’t find it.

I mention this because one of the reasons why the behavior of pre-Hispanic Amerinds is unknown lies in the fact that the deranged Christians and liberals who are obsessed with out-group altruism have been most reluctant to speak about the level of cruelties in the American continent before the white people arrived. In the latest threads I have spoken about some members in the pro-white movement that get mad when I dare to challenge their dogmas. For instance, in an article at Majority Rights I was once called “Jew” because I dismissed 9/11 conspiracy theories. But in my long life I have had similar experiences with this sort of fanatics.

In my book for example I mention that I have taken issue with my father about Nezahualcoyotl. He has enormously idealized this Indian, to the extent that he even composed a short musical piece for one of the poems that some attribute to Nezahualcoyotl. From time to time I have tried to transmit to my father the fact that the historical Nezahualcoyotl ordered his son to be killed, and that that must be enough to stop idealizing him.

In his uttermost dishonesty, my father has not tried even to respond. He simply continues to idealize Nezahualcoyotl during family meetings and even before visitors from Europe; he continues to flatly claim that figure of Nezahualcoyotl proves that the Aztecs were highly civilized. (Incidentally, in my discussions I never mentioned that Amerind fags were disemboweled in such horrible way after Nezahualcoyotl’s laws; only that he ordered his grown-up first born to be killed.)

Another personal vignette. Back in 2008 I was in a taxi with my father and my six-year-old nephew. Those days I had been discussing with him about the fact that according to my sources the pre-Hispanic Amerinds were cannibals. I even photocopied Mexican newspapers notes saying that such anthropophagy had been corroborated by archeological evidence. Keep in mind that virtually all Mexican press side the Amerinds against the Spanish conquerors, but even the indigenista press has to acknowledge the facts.

My father simply stopped talking to me in the taxi, changed the subject of conversation and started to talk with my six-year-old nephew…

Of course: people like my father, completely unconcerned with the facts, exist by the millions. But I find it healthy that presently the top cultural institutions of Mexico have been corroborating the facts (not my psychohistorical theories) that I cited in The Return of Quetzalcoatl. That’s why I have been reviewing the academic treatise El Sacrificio Humano in these series about pre-Hispanic Amerinds. So let’s now continue to refute my father’s intellectual cowardice with another chapter of El Sacrificio Humano.

The Aztecs and the Mayas were not the only sons of bitches in Mesoamerica (see the previous entries of these series). In the opening paragraph of “El Sacrificio Humano en el Michoacán Antiguo” Grégory Pereira says that Tariácuri, the founder of the empire of the Purépecha culture which developed in the Mesoamerican Postclassic period, congratulates destiny when learning that his own son would be sacrificed (page 247). This of course reminds me what my father’s “civilized” Nezahualcoyotl did. Pereira cites the Spanish Relación de Michoacán as a reliable source about how the Michoaque people behaved before the arrival of the Spaniards.

The Relación states that part of the captives such as old people and children were sacrificed by extraction of the heart right on the spot of the battle, and that (my translation) “the bodies of these victims were cooked and consumed at the same place.” I mention this only to show how my father, who has a good library in his study including books about the pre-Hispanic Amerinds, simply doesn’t want to face what’s right in front of his nose.

Q3

On page 254 Pereira includes a diagram showing a skeleton with points that show the impact of the rib cut to reach the heart during those sacrifices, and he adds that those who performed the ritual were called opítiecha or “holders” who grabbed the extremities of the victim. He adds: “Once slaughtered and decapitated, the dismembered body was in the house of the priests and the various parts offered up to the gods and eaten by the priests and lords. Those who were killed at the scene of the conflict were eaten by the victors… After the cannibal feast, the bones of the slaughtered apparently were gathered and preserved in the house of the priests.”

On the next page Pereira includes an illustration of the Relación depicting the consumption of human flesh. Later, on page 262, the author reveals that Tariácuri also ordered the killing of another of his sons, Tamapucheca, as punishment for having escaped being sacrificed.

Then Pereira recounts that on the day following the sacrifice, they “wore the skin of the slaughtered in a dance, and for five days got drunk.” That is, the cadavers were skinned so that the priests could wear the skin as clothes.

I just wonder… How would an American leftist react before such information. Like my father did in the taxi?

Xipe, Veracruz

A figurine at the Museo Nacional de Antropología
showing an Amerind covered with a human skin.

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 6

SunStoneColored-NG

 

Tell me which gods you worship and I’ll tell you who you are.

In another chapter of the book El Sacrificio Humano I’ve been reviewing, Marie Areti-Hers, the author of the article on human sacrifice in the Toltec-Chichimeca culture, says that “to penetrate” into the Mesoamerican world one must take into account the complex statue represented by the last incarnation of that world, the “Summa Theologica locked in the formidable images of Coatlicue” (page 241).

The Spaniards placed Our Lady of Guadalupe, the symbol of Catholic Mexicans, on the Hill of Tepeyac. But what the authorities conceal from the Mexican schoolchildren is that precisely on that hill the Aztecs used to worship their goddess. And what a goddess…!

A picture is worth a thousand words. The below photograph shows a stone representation of almost 9 feet high of the Aztec goddess that you can see at the Museum of Anthropology when you visit Mexico City.

diosa-azteca

The Coatlicue is always represented with a skirt of interwoven snakes (nahuatl: Coatlicue, coatl, snake; cueitl skirt). See her collar consisting of a skull flanked by mutilated hands and hearts; her two large snakes that by kissing each other form a hideous face because the goddess’ children had decapitated her and the original face of the mother is missing. See also the phallic snake hanging between her paws like a third leg, paws which look as claws since, in the Aztec imagery, their favorite deity feeds from corpses. (In Tenochtitlan’s houses there were more figurines of the Coatlicue than of Huitzilopochtli, the male god of the Aztecs.) This goddess that devoured human hearts and blood was also the goddess of fertility and of the sacred earth.

The above image has lost its color. How had the statue made its impact when painted with the most violent colors (see the Aztec Calendar above, also of stone) in the pre-Columbian temple? Her aspect was so terrifying that Amerind women entered the shrine headed down to avoid making eye contact with the monster while offering her beautiful flowers.

And not just flowers… As I say in my book, it was said that to placate such goddess sacrifices of juicy infants were needed.

No wonder why the Spaniards chose the hill of Tonantzin-Coatlicue, which used to house the formidable statue, to impose the image of the Lady of Guadalupe they had copied from the Spanish Virgin with the same name. Most Mexicans ignore that the name of the Lady of Guadalupe derives directly from Extremadura, homeland of many conquistadors including Hernán Cortés himself (info in Spanish including an image of the Spanish Guadalupana: here).

Only with such transposition of deities the Spanish conquerors managed to banish the Aztec cult of the terrible mother…

Published in: on December 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags:

On my moral inferiors

Recently a regular visitor let me know by email that he was dismayed because of my wish to exterminate those who trade by skinning alive some poor animals. He merely wanted to close the Chinese factories that supply more than half of the fur garments for sale in the corrupt, deranged West. This is my response:

I am not the monster. Those who don’t harbor exterminationist fantasies are the moral Neanderthals compared to me.

Take as an example my recent posts on pre-Hispanic Amerinds. In the last one a disturbing possibility was raised by the author of an academic paper (take heed that this is an establishment source): Several Maya skulls show marks of sharp and unhealed cuts, particularly around the eye sockets, which suggests that some of these individuals might have been flayed before the sacrifice. The presence of women and children among these skulls mean that even they, not only mature men, might have suffered a horrible death, like what still happens today in the Chinese fur factories.

I usually don’t get comments on my pre-Columbian posts, perhaps because the unearthed data sheds light onto such ghastly history that it makes it difficult to digest. But if we dare to see that the same is happening today to some animals, the emergent individual who approaches these subjects can only see those who avoid it as intellectual cowards. Why? Because the whole subject of white survival depends upon regaining a self-image that puts whites above the other races from the moral—i.e., the development of empathy—standpoint, especially empathy toward women, children and our cousins, the animals.

After my previous post on Maya sacrifice I have read another academic paper in the book El Sacrificio Humano (28 authors), this one by Vera Tiesler and Andrea Cucina, a chapter with nine pages of bibliographical references of specialized literature. (*)

Tiesler and Cucina let us know that modern Mayanists are using, in addition to the Spanish chronicles and the iconographic evidence of pre-Columbian art, the science of taphonomy (analysis of skeletons) as tangible evidence of human sacrifice in the Maya civilization.

Maya-sac

On pages 199-200 the authors mention the techniques that the Maya used in their practices, now corroborated by taphonomy: the victim could have been shot by arrows or lapidated, his or her throat or nape could have been cut or broken, his or her heart could have been extracted either through the diaphragm or through the thorax; could have suffered multiple and fatal lacerations, or incinerated, disemboweled or skinned or dismembered. The body remains could have been eaten or used as trophies, or used in the manufacture of percussion instruments.

The authors deduce this by direct, physical evidence of the studied skeletons (or other remains) and they also mention a form of sacrifice that I had not heard of: the offering of human faces in the context of the influence on the Mayas by the Xipe Totec deity, “Our Lord the Flayed One,” who was widely worshipped at the north, in central Mexico.

Tiesler and Cucina also point out to other kind of physical evidence in the Maya civilization (that I already had mentioned in The Return of Quetzalcoatl): many skeletons with sacrificial marks have been found at the bottom of the cenotes of sacrifice. On page 206 they include the illustration of some Maya dignitaries showing off on their “uniforms” inverted heads such as the one I already added in my entry on pre-Columbia Oaxaca. The news is that a skeleton has been found of an individual showing on his thorax a human mask that hanged from his belt when he was alive.

On page 209 the authors let us know that the Mayas even sacrificed animals, and include an illustration of a jaguar surrounded in flames. They don’t say if the animal was alive when sacrificed; and on page 211 they tell of “an elevated percentage of child, adolescent and female victims whose cadavers used to be, also, the object of ritual manipulation.” In the same page appears a Maya depiction of a decapitated woman, and on page 215 a photo is reproduced of a perforated thorax suggesting that the body remains might have been used as manikins “with the objective of a terrifying display of institutional power.” They also suggest that the sacrifices might have been still performed long after the Spanish Conquest, albeit “clandestinely and increasingly resorting to animal substitutes.”

This makes my point beautifully. If you forbid a barbarous practice in a primitive race the violence will be displaced, not eradicated.

The sacrificial victims are now the animals. Remember my entry where I mentioned the case of recent torture of bunnies in Mexico? The reason why I speak with haughty contempt of non-exterminationists (“my moral inferiors”) is because they are afraid of taking their premises to their logical, commonsensical conclusion. It is not enough to close the Chinese skinning factories or the Mexican slaughter houses. To put an absolute end to such practices with no further displacement you got to wipe out the entire psychoclass behind such cruelties. (Cf. my views on psychohistory to grasp the meaning of the term “psychoclass” and also the last pages of Pierce’s The Turner Diaries.)


_______________

(*) “Sacrificio, Tratamiento y Ofrenda del Cuerpo Humano entre los Mayas Peninsulares,” in López Luján, Leonardo & Guilhem Olivier (2010): El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana [Human Sacrifice in the Mesoamerican Religious Tradition]. Mexico City, Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas. ISBN 978-607-484-076-6. OCLC 667990552. (Spanish)

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 5

SunStoneColored-NG

 

In their article, “El Sacrificio Humano en la Parte Central del Área Maya”, pages 169-193 of El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana, Stephen Houston and Andrew Scherer write:
 

Some examples [frescoes] of Piedras Negras, Guatemala, show a knife with knots of paper and a feathered plume of the sacrificial victim, with his heart possibly extracted, leaning over a bundle of paper for a burnt-offering.

The reduced size of the characters raises the possibility of youngsters or infants, whose breasts are opened more easily by its cartilaginous nature. There is a series of images on plates with infants whose breasts show a small cut on the heart (e.g., the famous dish of the Popol Vuh, K3395). But not all of them are representations. In 1985, as a member of Project Caracol in Belize, Stephen Houston excavated a reused crypt with at least twenty-five individuals, where he found the body of a newborn on top of a plate.

Incidentally, it is remarkable the presence of fire in scenes of children, such as in a mural of a jamb of Tohcok, Campeche, and another on Stela 3 of Yaxhá, Guatemala. The first image traces the shape of a body on an incendiary base, bundles of firewood with ajaw on the head, corresponding to the sign of the homes of the founders of dynasties, especially those related to the pre-eminent city of Teotihuacan.

The second image shows the remains of a human body on a plate supported by cross-shaped sticks. From above fall grains of incense, ch’aaj in the ch’olan language in most classical texts; from below clouds of fire raise up. Through the sign for “wood,” , inscribed next to the trait, it is indicated that the dish will also burn.

Maya vase K1645

A documented vase (K1645, above) by Justin Kerr explains the mythical context of these historical facts. Two supplicant characters, the first perhaps tied as a captive (at least placed in a very uncomfortable position), faces two “packages” with heads of gods, a scene that appears in other vessels, but with different dates and other companions. The verb “born” sihyaj suggests that Chahk, the rain god, and the so-called god of “Pax” are newborns. In the vase K1645 the supplicants are ch’ajoomtaak, “those who spread incense.” The first character carries the attributes of the ch’ajoom, “incense spreader,” even a distinctive headband and a dress of dry leaves.

Both supplicants offer to the enthroned figures an object named “his foot,” yook, perhaps referring to the wooden scaffolding that stands in the stela of Yaxhá. The link to the fires is made clear with the presence of the inflammatory base behind the scaffold. Unlike other sacrificed children, the infant appears to be alive [Chechar’s note: see image below].

poor-maya-kid

As in several Mesoamerican societies, the image of a supernatural act can function as a basic model for the dynastic rituals. There is a parallel in the evidence of the sacrifice by fire, a torture with fatal goals, applied by a god on the back of another…

The presence of infants over the plates, especially in contexts of way [Mayan word] or co-essences of Maya rulers, indicates that this is a special “food.” Usually, the way was very different food from the food of human beings, with emphasis on hands, eyes, bones, and in this case, the soft bodies of children.

[Above I excerpted passages from pages 170 to 173. Below there’s an excerpt from page 182, where the authors discuss other Maya sacrifices:]

The presence of women and children indicates that these individuals were not enemy combatants and strongly suggests a sacrificial context, though perhaps a sacrifice of wider political significance.

Several skulls of Colhá show marks of sharp and unhealed cuts, particularly around the eye sockets, which suggests that some of these individuals were flayed, either shortly before or after death. The skinning of the face supports the iconographic images of beheading showing substantial mutilation, particularly of the eyes. Although it is likely that much of this occurred post-mortem, we must ask whether at least some of these traumas were inflicted before death to maximize the suffering of those about to be executed.

____________________

Note: For my psychological interpretation of Maya and other Amerind cruelty, see The Return of Quetzalcoatl, a chapter of my book.

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 4

SunStoneColored-NG

 
The lead paragraph of Wikipedia article “Human trophy taking in Mesoamerica” starts with this sentence:

Most of the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica such as the Olmec, Maya, Mixtec, Zapotec and Aztec cultures practised some kind of taking of human trophies during warfare. Captives taken during war would often be taken to their captors’ city-states where they would be ritually tortured and sacrificed. These practices are documented by a rich material of iconographic and archaeological evidence from across Mesoamerica.

Today I added some info to that article.

In the South West of Mexico there are various pre-Columbian figures in which high-ranking characters, warriors and ball players wear ritual and military paraphernalia, holding inverted heads with their loose, long hair hanging down. One of these figures can be seen in the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington (see drawing below). Javier Urcid writes that these trophies may have been “soft parts of decapitated heads turned into relics to hang.” There are also several figures showing characters with facial skin on their face: the skin of a flayed human. Urcid’s article in El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana includes several illustrations of these trophies in the southern west of Mexico, including a brazier depicting a ball player with a flayed facial mask, wearing a necklace of human bones and carrying a severed head.

National Museum of the American Indian in Washington

The Relación Geográfica of 1580 mentions the festivity of the tlacaxipehualiztli in the context of human skin as trophies in Oaxaca: “… and with rods they hit throughout the body until it swelled, and then flayed the bodies and washed the meat with hot water and ate it, and carried the skins in the nearby villages for begging.”

Sometimes it is not even necessary to add value judgments about such practices. A simple enumeration of the facts is enough. More info about this cute ritual, the tlacaxipehualiztli, performed by these little angles that were the pre-Hispanic Amerinds appears in my book. Keep in mind that the tlacaxipehualiztli was performed every year before the Spanish conquest.

Published in: on December 3, 2013 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 3

SunStoneColored-NG

 

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma is a prominent Mexican archaeologist that has directed excavations at the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. In his article “La Muerte del Hombre por el Hombre” in El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana (pages 43-64), he includes fifteen illustrations of ancient codexes, of which I’ll reproduce only a couple of them.

After quoting the details of Maya human sacrifice recounted by Diego de Landa (1524-1579), a Spanish bishop of Yucatán, Matos Moctezuma writes (my translation) that “in some Mixtec codexes this practice is shown as in the Codex Borgia, where we have images of the extraction of the heart, and also in the Codex Laud:

Codex-Laud-1

A few pages later the archeologist describes another form of sacrifice that was popular in both Teotihuacan and in the Maya world, decapitation: “Also in various codexes we see images of decapitation, as in the Codex Vaticanus B, pre-Hispanic, in which page 24 a figure can be seen of a bat with outstretched arms holding in each of his hands a bloody human head. It corresponds to the eastern trecenas [13-day period used in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican calendars] and reads like: ‘They are time of vampire Xolotl, the deadly lethal bat that cuts heads and takes off hearts’.”

Codex-Vaticanus-1

I don’t want to repeat what I already said about pre-Hispanic human sacrifice in The Return of Quetzalcoatl. I want to add something new. And since art is the royal road to enter the soul of a totally alien culture, I find it convenient to include these images of how the books authored by the representatives of the high culture in the Amerind world looked like before they were conquered by the white man.

Codex_Zouche-Nuttall_01

The above is a highly-pixelated image. Click on it to see the details (click again for even more detailed close-up). I may be no expert in deciphering such codexes but a central image on the left page looks like a grey-faced man holding a decapitated head with blood pouring under it.

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 2

SunStoneColored-NG
 
The academic treatise El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana sheds light on a photograph I used in a chapter of my book, the picture above the note “Photo by Héctor Montaño,” a photo of a recent discovery of a child offering to Huitzilopochtli that Montaño kindly sent me a few years ago when I was researching the subject of child sacrifice in pre-Columbian America. (By the end of this entry I reproduce this high-quality photo again: click on it if you want to see the details.)

In an article of El Sacrificio Humano, “Huitzilopochtli and child sacrifice in the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan” (my translation) by Leonardo López Luján, Ximena Chávez Balderas, Norma Valentín and Aurora Montúfar (pages 367-394), the authors tell us:

Everything indicates that this deposit is the material expression of a mass sacrificial ceremony motivated by the devastating drought of year 1 Tochli, corresponding to our 1454 C.E. and reported in a number of Indian annals. The presence of the Offering 48 in the northwest corner of Temple fully agrees with the documentary sources of the 16th century (pages 367-368).

During such ceremonies [to Tláloc], subject to the calendar or performed in times of crisis, children were symbolically similar to the dwarfs and deformed assistants of rain, as their profuse tears shed when immolated served as a hopeful omen of abundant precipitation. The careful study recently published by Michel Graulich about human sacrifice among the Aztecs indicates that, usually, the chosen children were given away or sold by their parents…; little slaves offered by the lords and wealthy people; infants purchased out of town, or children of prisoners of war. There are indications, moreover, that the kings and lords to some extent responsible for the smooth running of the meteors destined their own offspring to the téhcatl during droughts or floods, or to get rich harvests (pages 368 & 370).

The taphonomic analysis

Numerous cut marks on the ribs of both sides of the rib cage, as well as perimortem fractures produced by the same cutting action… In our view, this body of evidence is sufficient to conclude that the child of Offering 111 died during a sacrificial ceremony in which his tiny heart was extracted (pages 377-378).

Q2

Child sacrifice, war and Huitzilopochtli

Not all child sacrifices were linked to the gods of rain and fertility. Some historical documents reveal that people who were in situations of adversity, or had lost their freedom, or had been suffering a terrible disease, promised to give their children in exchange for their salvation. In other cases, the life of infants was claimed just before the military confrontations (pages 381-382).

In the following pages the authors mention the Spanish chroniclers as complementary sources of what recent archeology has discovered; chroniclers and 16th century texts such as Francisco Lopez de Gómara, the “List of Coatepec and his party,” Antonio Tello, Diego Durán and Bernardino de Sahagún.

It’s nice to see that modern science confirms, not denies, what the 16th century Spaniards had witnessed and reported.