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Reply To: The Child of Symbolic Disguise,” with Norland Téllez, Ph.D.”


I agree Sunbug, and you do pick up a certain metaphor which is also a key concept of of the Popol Vuh, that of “dawning,” which in alchemy is also developed under the notion of the Aurora Consurgens as well as the solificatio, something which can only be congenial to a sun bug  In the context of the Popol Vuh, as Davíd Carrasco explains, the concept of “dawning” is deeply embedded in an agricultural metaphor of creation as a kind of “sowing,” planting and harvesting, some kind of process of organic growth, where the Gods used their “cutting edge” as if they were using a sickle or hoe.

Let me offer you another extended quote from Carrasco in his Religions of Mesoamerica as he quotes the Popol Vuh and links dawning with the symbolism of the World Tree with another quote from Mircea Eliade. Bear in mind that with this quote I am also saying that, from the point of view of Mesoamerican religious symbolism, “dawning” can be said to be another metaphor for “inter-being” itself because planting and sowing are operations of dissemination and development depending entirely upon the web of life in its pluridimensional interconnectivity. This is indeed a “different perspective” only when we’re speaking in a context of a culture that has been nurtured on an ideology of hyperindividualism, what I called the atomized individuality of a self-centered ego. So the perspectives (because we are speaking about plurality vs monocentrism) of “interbeing” are actually the natural point of view, whereas libertarian individualism with which we bred is the “different” perspective, highly artificial and ideological.

On that note, let’s get back to the Popol Vuh:

“In the great myth of creation, recorded in the Quiche Maya book Popul Vuh or Book of Council, the cosmos is created in an agricultural style. At the beginning of time the gods created an abundant world of vegetation after they asked about the sky-earth (world):

How should it be sown, how should it dawn? . . . Let it be this way, think about it: this water should be removed, emptied out for the formation of the earth’s own place and platform, then comes the dawning of the-sky-earth…

‘And then the earth arose because of them, it was simply their word that brought it forth. For the forming of the earth they said “Earth.” It arose suddenly just like a cloud, like a mist, now forming, unfolding. Then the mountains were separated from the water, all at once the great mountains came forth. By their genius alone, by their cutting edge alone they carried out the conception of the mountain-plain, whose face grew instant groves of cypress and pine.’

This cosmic sowing and dawning provides the model for all subsequent creations, innovations, and changes. In Maya mythology seeds are sown in the earth to dawn as plants; celestial bodies are sown beneath the earth to dawn in their rising; humans are sown in mothers’ wombs to dawn into life; and the dead are sown in the underworld to dawn as sparks of light in the darkness. The world’s first dawn, brought forth through the sun’s rays, emerges with the appearance of the planet Venus:

‘And here is the dawning and sowing of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, and Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Mahucutah, and True Jaguar were overjoyed when they saw the daybringer. It came up first. It looked brilliant when it came up since it was ahead of the sun.’

In the Maya theory of creation, reflected in this pattern of the first and therefore subsequent sunrises, the world is in a continual process of sowing, and dawning (sprouting). The Maya conceived of this process as “a long performance,” which hopefully would never end.

It is important to remark that this pattern of birth, death, and rebirth reflects a worldwide pattern of religious symbolism in which the cosmos is likened to a cosmic tree or some form of vegetation. The cosmic tree symbol, which is found in China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Africa, and other Native American cultures, represents in Mircea Eliade’s words the “world as a living totality, periodically regeneraring itself and, because of this regeneration, continually, fruitful, rich arid inexhaustible.” (Davíd Carrasco, Religions of MesoAmerica 99- 100)