Palenque, Mexico: Mayan Ruins Still Alive


    I could give you the facts: largest known Mayan city, abandoned 800 A.D., populated by more than 100,000 people at its peak, today 90 percent covered by rainforest.

    But I didn’t come here for these facts. I came for personal experience. "Would I recognize this place? Had I lived here in another life?"

    Walking the ruins, opening my sensors, I was struck by how low consciousness had been just 1,200 years ago. Inwardly, I could see the blood of human sacrifice staining the steps of stone. I sensed how utterly calcified life here had become through superstition and ritual. Every tiniest action had to be performed according to protocol, every movement of the hand, every step, every word spoken, even every thought. This city had been dead long before its actual demise.

    Voices appeared to my inner ear. One sequence was a dialogue. In my imagination, I saw three mid-level administrators approach. I said to them, "I don’t believe in the God of Smoke anymore!" One immediately drew a dagger of obsidian behind his back to assassinate me. I stopped him with, "Wait! The God of Smoke is just a symbol. Let’s choose a new symbol. For instance, the sun!"

    My assassins seemed to weaken in resolve and consider the idea, when a sudden stab from behind went deep into my back. I sank to the floor and bled to death. As I left the body, I uttered, "May you all be blessed!"

    When we travel, we not only move physically to a new place, we also respond to this new place with feelings, thoughts, intuitions, dreams. What we usually find is another piece of the puzzle, another piece of ourselves.

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    Johannes Soltermann
    E. Johannes Soltermann works as a writer and a social worker in Minnesota. He has two published books, The Gate: A Tale for the 21st Century, and Healing From Terrorism, Fear and Global War. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected]. Copyright © 2006 E. Johannes Soltermann. All rights reserved.


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