mega888 Sacrifice and the Maya Culture

Sacrifice and the Maya Culture

In keeping with the nonlinear flow of this book, we are going back and forth between detailing select tribes and cultures, and returning again and again to the source of the problems encountered in these societies.

Many years ago this author went to the rainforests of Central America to experience the legacy left behind by the Mayan priests and kings in places such as Tikal in Guatemala. He had always had a degree of respect and admiration for a culture that created such a sophisticated calendar and ability to perform astronomical calculations. But after sitting atop the pyramids (yes, you are still allowed to climb some of them), and tuning in to the energy of the Mayan leaders, he became disillusioned.

You can still see the blood stains from the human and animal sacrifices that took place at Tikal and other sites. So the author, asking a reasonably intelligent question, wondered how such revered and wise leaders could succumb to such a barbaric practice.

If you study the ritual of sacrifice, in almost every practicing culture it is believed that the gods demand that humans give something (or someone) back to them for their generosity in bestowing the elements of life. While at first, this might seem logical, sort of a giving and receiving balance, the real motivation for this practice was not simply to express one’s appreciation for the sunlight, rain, edible plants and animals, etc., it was to appease, out of a sense of guilt and obligation, the gods lest they become angry and decide to withhold life-giving abundance.

There are two things wrong about sacrifice. (In this case, the word “wrong” simply means a distorted perception of the truth.) First, there is a belief that something of value must be given up in order to attain something else of greater value. Second, there is a belief that the elements (fire, air, water, etc.) must somehow be appeased; in other words the elements and their gods are judging humanity and deciding whether or not they are worthy of continued abundance.

Let us go back to a basic principle of the universe. The stars, planets, time and space all operate according to certain laws and cycles that, for practical everyday purposes, are independent from the attitudes and beliefs of humanity (and other life forms). Now, we know that consciousness affects everything, including the sun, moon and stars, but at our level of evolution on Earth, the effect is minimal.

You could decide you hate the sun, but it will keep on shining anyway. Like the Bible says, “The rain falls on the just and unjust alike.” So getting the elements to grant you special favors, or making bargains with them, is a vain effort. This does not mean you cannot tune into the elements, learn how they work, and develop your intuitive ability to foresee what is likely to occur in nature, thereby preparing for floods, droughts, and such. You most certainly can do these things successfully, even as many animals have been doing for millennia.

But let’s get one thing straight – nature does not demand sacrifices of any kind, not if the things you are giving up have real value to your spiritual growth, happiness and well-being. Now, that said, overconsumption of natural resources, blatant disregard for the laws of nature, raping and pillaging the environment, or feeling that you must deprive yourself of luxuries in order to save the planet – these are all misunderstandings of natural principles.

If you are attached to material things and believe they are the cause of your happiness, then you might think you are sacrificing if you feel you must give them up in order to be ecological and self-sustaining. In actuality, once you truly understand nature and the higher laws of the universe, you can live in complete luxury without destroying the environment or depriving anyone else of an abundant life.

The problem is attachment – whether to things, ideas, feelings, people, or whatever. When life seems to demand you to give up the things you are attached to, you might feel that you must sacrifice.

Back in the days when ritual sacrifices took place, very few of these concerns were evident. The tribes practicing the rituals usually had more than enough of whatever they needed, but even if they didn’t, this had little effect on their decision to continue the sacrifices.

So what, besides the guilt of Original Cause, actually prompted various cultures to perform ritual sacrifices?

- Excerpt from the book "The Real History of Earth" by Sal Rachele

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