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Being and Becoming Human A Maiz-based Ethos & Philosophy of Life In Lak Ech Panche Be Hunab ku Men K’ochil et p’iz Yaxche–baalche As taught in MAS, highlighting.

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Presentation on theme: "Being and Becoming Human A Maiz-based Ethos & Philosophy of Life In Lak Ech Panche Be Hunab ku Men K’ochil et p’iz Yaxche–baalche As taught in MAS, highlighting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Being and Becoming Human A Maiz-based Ethos & Philosophy of Life In Lak Ech Panche Be Hunab ku Men K’ochil et p’iz Yaxche–baalche As taught in MAS, highlighting the responsibility one assumes in learning these ethos or concepts. They are gleaned from the works of Maya scholar, Domingo Martinez Paredez. They include: Un Continente y Una Cultura, El Popul Vuh tiene Razon, Hunab Ku, Parapsicologia Maya, El Hombre y el Cosmos

2 Philosophical Foundation–What it means to be Human In Lak Ech Tu eres mi otro yo You are my other self (me) Panche Be To seek the root of the truth To find the truth in the root(s) Hunab Ku All Part of Creation “Movement & Measure.” The name the Maya gave to the equivalence of the Supreme Being or the Grand Architect of the Universe. “The Great Mystery” (Martinez Paredez, 1970)


4 Un Continente Y Una Cultura “This philosophy comes direct from “the cereal that was created by the ancient settlers of the continent: maiz… yes, the maiz, that creation of the savage beast, and that thanks to them, lies the hope for humanity.” – Maya Linguist, Domingo Martinez Paredez, 1960 Raza Studies (MAS): A subset of Indigenous Studies. Indigenous Studies: not a subset of Chicano Studies MAS: Part of a thousands of years process culture, knowledge and history

5 Maiz: Who We Are – Where We Come From What we are made of – Our sacred sustenance Maiz is civilizational impulse for Maya-Nahua (Mesoamerica) or Maiz culture Mesoamerican calendars based on maiz – developed entire continent Maiz: The only food in history created by human beings. Wild grass crossed with Teocinte Maiz: Peoples of Cemanahuak are the only peoples to create their own food, thus, own philosophy. Requires human intervention

6 Concepts predate the Maya. Were shared by peoples across continent. Martinez-Paredez Tamuanchanes Olmecas Teotihuacanos Toltecas Undergirding all: 7,000-year maiz culture While thousands of the ancient books were burned by Spanish priests, these Maya-Nahua concepts were not destroyed. They are preserved and conveyed today via ceremony, oral traditions,[Indigenous] writings poetry, song and danza. 3113 BC-2012 – Maya Time Frame – Era of Maiz Hul Nal Ye Spirit of Maiz

7 Mexican/Chicano/Chicana De-Indigenization & De-Colonization Narratives Map of Aztlan Migration narrative 1,000 years old Mexica Story Popularized in U.S. 1960s-70s Maiz Quetzalcoatl Narrative Several thousand years old. Story of continent. Preferred narrative for MAS-Indigenous Indigenous Studies While the Maiz-Quetzalcoatl narrative is continental in scope, both equal an effort to be seen not as foreigners or U.S. minorities. The effort to understand In Lak Ech – Panche Be & Hunab Ku equal reclamation of a creation/resistance culture. Effort to embrace these concepts = de- colonization.

8 In Lak Ech– Panche Be – Hunab Ku Concepts can create better human beings & a better world for generations that will follow They connect us to cosmic energy, but also to struggles for peace, dignity & justice At most profound level, these concepts – that we are all related and all one – exist in all cultures. All strive for teaching us to become better human beings and to take care of our sacred mother earth. (Nahuatl: Nehua ti Nehua). As adopted by Raza Studies in U.S. – Not Frozen Concepts Zapatistas rose up Jan, 1, 1994 to protect way of life – maiz culture. 1 st day that NAFTA went into effect

9 In Lak’ Ech Tú eres mi otro yo. Si te hago daño a ti Me hago daño a mí mismo. Sí te amo y respeto. Me amo y respeto yo You are my other me. If I do harm to you, I do harm to myself. If I love and respect you I love and respect myself. Raza Studies-TUSD

10 In Lak‘ Ech If we poison the earth, we poison ourselves. If we pollute the waters, we pollute our bodies. If we contaminate the earth; we contaminate our food and life itself. If we take care of the earth; the earth will take care of us. If we love the earth; we love ourselves. If we respect the earth; we live If we love ourselves, we will take care of ourselves. If we love humanity, we will not hate. If we protect our sacred mother, we live. If we understand our role in the universe, we create. In Lak Ech is Beyond Human Relations It is also about relations with all life (left) and our relation to the earth and universe (right)

11 Universal Golden Rule Do unto others as you would have them do onto you Christianity...You shall love your neighbor as yourself Yahshua, Matthew 22:39 Bahai: Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, 71 Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful Udana-Varga, 5:18 Confucianism: Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you Analects 15:23 Hinduism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. Mahabharata 5:1517 Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. Sunnab Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire law: All the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 31a Sikhism: Do not create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone Guru Arjan Devji 259. Guru Granth Sahib

12 In Lak’ Ech A prescription for how to treat each other as human beings. Anti-thesis of dehumanization & first step toward rehumanization & viewing our fellow human beings not simply as neighbors, but as co-equals. In Lak Ech: It is the love of others, the love of ourselves, the love of humanity, the love of life, the love of the universe; it is who we are Mitakuye Oyasin: Lakota Sioux – Similar to In Lak Ech

13 Panche Be To seek the root of the truth – buscar la raiz de la verdad. (Martinez Paredez 1970). To find the truth in the root(s) Panche Be – a pursuit and a lifelong journey. Panche Be – a way of life. Never satisfied with official truths, official histories or official narratives. Never complacent. Always in relentless pursuit of that which is hidden or obfuscated. Always in pursuit of peace and dignity… and justice. journalism ethos:”don’t believe the hype” = critical thinking

14 Panche Be: Pursuit of Social Justice Pursuit of the root of the truth Pursuit of social justice Indigenous /Human Liberation Prism Defense of Raza/Ethnic Studies 2006–2012 mas-tusd Struggle against SB 1070-HB2281

15 The Forgotten Debate of 1524 To understand Hunab Ku, it should be contextualized within the 1524 theological “debate” between 12 Spanish friars & several indigenous representatives. The most notable exchange had to do with whether the Indigenous representatives “knew God.” A friar explained: “He is the true one & whom you call ypalnemoani, but you never really knew him.” (Sahagun, 1944: 67). Sahagun, Colloquios y Doctrina Christiana, 1944

16 “The Giver of Life” In the colonial-era book Huehuetlahtolli (1991), Sahagun in 1500s explains that Ipalnemoani is: “dador de la vida” - the giver of life: That for what we live for. By those definitions, Ipalnemoani – the giver of life is The Creator of the Universe. Maya scholar, Domingo Martinez Paredez, in Hunab Ku (1963: 41) connects Hunab Ku with Ipelnemohuani After the “debate,” priests proclaimed that Indigenous peoples were pagan, godless & demonic. All 1500s-1800s era codices/chronicles reflect this thinking.

17 “Godless”: A Dark Ages Formulation Dark Ages formulation continues in modern times: women prohibited from attending banquet due to Aztec dancers (Minnesota, 2007); kid prohibited from learning maiz culture & Aztec dance: because told it’s “devil worship” (AZ, 2009). all peoples and cultures have their own way of explaining the universe. The idea that people are godless is also a Dark Ages formulation.

18 Quetzalcoatl Through Chicano Serpentine Philosophy, (2007), elder and Nahuatl scholar Andres Segura explains Quetzalcoatl or the Feathered Serpent as the balance between the material and the spiritual. He expounds on this idea: “The feathered serpent represents the Unknowable, Unthinkable, Consciousness of the Giver of Life, The Giver of Time and Space, Ometeotl/Omecihuatl, God. Es consciencia de Dios – He/She is the Consciousness of God” (Macias, 2007: 77).

19 Superstitious Minds European friars were superstitious, championed ignorance, punished scientific inquiry. Were product of bloody Crusades and were participants in oppressive Inquisition, including book burnings. Auto de Fe, 1562 Mani, Yucatan Recreation of Auto de Fe Performed Annually At Mani, Yucatan

20 Psychic Shock Role of friars was providing a theological God-given blessing. justification for enslavement, genocide & land theft. Peoples humanity depended upon conversion: Even De Las Casas – ‘protector of the Indians’ believed this. Euros in no position to understand: In Lak Ech-Panche Be-Hunab Ku. Proclaiming peoples: pagan-godless-demonic permits dehumanization - not afforded full human rights. CREATES PSYCHIC SHOCK – DAMAGE TO PSYCHE Martinez Paredez

21 Hunab Ku Hunab Ku is Grand Architect of the Universe & the Giver of Life; They mathematized this concept and declared it the ‘giver of movement and measure.’ (measure = death) There were no statutes or images to Hunab Ku. It was represented as a mathematical formula of a square (pyramid) inside of a circle. Parasicologia Maya, P25 ‘the Maya represent this with a concept of the circle and a square. The circle is represented by the # 13, the square by the # 4. 13 represents points of the body.’ Hunab Ku, Nature, Humans, Numbers: all one. El Hombre y El Cosmos, P47

22 In West, God often depicted as elderly man sitting in chair or somewhere in heaven. The Maya conceived of Hunab Ku in mathematical, as opposed to, metaphysical terms. “Science was their religion and their religion was science,” regulated by mathematics and astronomy. (Martinez Paredez, 1970: 68)

23 Hunab Ku By most translations [limitations of European languages], this explanation of universe is equivalence of God: How people explain or make sense of universe. In English, also: “Supreme Being,” the “Great Spirit,” “Creator” or “The Great Mystery”

24 Hunab Ku In the Nahuatl or from the peoples of Anahuac, there are several equivalencies; Tloque Nahuaque, Ypalmenohuani and Ometeotl. In explaining Hunab Ku, Dr. Arnoldo Vento writes In Amoxtli X: “Unlike the Christian model, it is not anthropomorphic. It is a scientific concept of the building of the universe in geometric symbols and numbers that comprise the mathematical order of the universe. It is a square within a circle.” (Vento, 2010, 8)

25 Reciprocity and Balance Vento, who has studied under great elders further explains his understanding both the meaning and context of Hunab Ku and similar native understandings: “It calls for cultures engaging in relationships of mutual respect, reciprocity, caring for Mother Earth and all of its inhabitants. It is integration and participation, not a modification of Mother Earth that provides a positive and life affirming view. There is no hierarchical ladder, only reciprocity and balance. Everything is part of a circular pattern of sacred give and take.” (Vento, Amoxtli X, 2010, 9)

26 Greek/Roman Gods “The Supreme Being of the Maya unquestionably represented the dynamic energy of the cosmos, and the unity and totality that Hunab Ku represented, was cosmic” (Martinez Paredez 1970:59-60). “Hunab Ku did not belong to them.” For the Maya, Hunab Ku belonged to everyone. Was not a Maya God. This is in contrast to those from ‘Old World.’ Witness the 1514 Requerimiento: If no Christians, land is European.

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