I N T R O D U C T I O N
The processes of sedentarization and agricultural invention in Mexico are over eight thousand years old. Mexicans belong to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, with an independent origin. However, this great history, which is "Our History", is almost unknown to the majority of Mexicans. The millions of people which existed prior to the invasion, "The old grandparents", disappeared from memory as of 1521 through colonization mechanisms.
The total destruction of the city of México-Tenochtitlan, one of the most technologically advanced in the world of the time, is symbolic of devaluation and cultural denial, depicting things to come. It is only at the end of the last century when subtly its presence begins to be "rediscovered".
Since the conquest, however, what little is known of this history, has always been in the hands of the victors and now in the researchers pens, who by the way, the vast majority are foreigners.
Despite the fact that our ancestors civilization, is as ancient and important as the China and India civilizations, after five hundred years it continues to be seen as "primitive" worshipers of the water, the Sun and conducting bloody ceremonies; not only by the "experts", but also by Mexicans.
The old grandparents are denied any possibility of having a complex and sophisticated philosophical structure, as the basis on which the great scientific, artistic, social and religious knowledge was founded. And perhaps most importantly, this civilization is assumed extinct, without any presence in the Mexico of today.
How can Mexicans be proud of their history and origins, if they do not know it? How can we get out of the "solitude labyrinth" where we are, without an own face and a real heart? How can we feel pride and inspiration of our ancient origins, if we are uneducated foreigners in our own land? How is it possible that we know more of the history and philosophy of the peoples of Europe, than of our old grandparents?
The intention of this work is dreaming about what should have been our true history. To try to imagine our ancestors as they were, not as we have been taught to see them. Recognize them as wise men, holders of a philosophical—spiritual project capable of promoting a cultural development that remained through thousands of years and that allowed various peoples, at different times and places, express their creativity and sensitivity through the same philosophical-cultural matrix; producing a polished and perfected civilization, as the Chinese or Indian.
For this purpose, we have used scientific knowledge provided by the ancient Mexico history books, but rejecting its colonial ideology. We have tried to take the texts of the Spaniards and Indians, that lived through the invasion or wrote shortly after and wrote about it, trying to eliminate the euro centrist vision, where all native (ours) is primitive, diabolical and evil. We have used the poetry of the old grandparents, trying to bring it into our contemporary language, while keeping the colonial translations. Especially, in the first part, we use the "Huehuetlatolli" (the old word) to provide a voice to the characters and so the reader can appreciate the depth and wisdom of a civilization that maintained high and solid ethical and moral principles, which historically has been ignored and devalued, first by conquerors and later during colonial times. At the same time, we have adopted the elements considered most important of the Carlos Castaneda works. Pointing out that the so-called "Don Juan teachings" are heritage and patrimony of all Mexicans. We believe that the philosophy managed by men of knowledge of the ancient Mexico, the Toltec, is in some way in Castaneda’s work and mainly lies on the surface of indigenous communities and in popular culture. At the same time, in this books’ dream, we have used personal experiences experienced with indigenous and rural communities; because we are sure, that to understand the Mexico past, we need to know the way of feeling, thinking and acting of Indians and peasants of our days; since this ancient culture is still alive, vibrant, and current; present not only in what Dr. Guillermo Bonfil called "El Mexico Profundo", but in all the structures of which today makes up the country.
Mexicans are mestizo people. In these five hundred years the Western and Anahuaca (Mesoamerican) culture have melted, but undoubtedly our mother culture is indigenous. Beyond the European patina covering us, Mexicans respond more to their ancient civilization in how they feel, think, speak, eat, relate to the family, people, nature, art and the spaces of the sacred and divine; because they are part of a process that never died, was only covered. Mexicans cannot continue denying their mother. The spirit of old grandparents living in the depths of their hearts, what is required is a "mirror" where we can recognize ourselves and "humanize our love".
This "dream" uses a novel structure, to give life to a character at the end of the Classical period. We try to imagine how our ancestors lived and what their thinking was. We try to recreate the society of our old grandparents, discarding the colonizing vision. We intend in this "dream" to describe life in the knowledge centers, now called "archaeological sites" and try to respectfully establish, what were the reasons for their creation. In this attempt to write a novel, the life of our character “Aguila Nocturna” (Night Eagle) and a Zapotec community of the Oaxaca Central Valleys (Etla) intermingle with the ancient archaeological site known as Monte Alban and that probably was called the jaguar mountain, title of the novel in Zapotec (DAANY BEÉDXE) language.
Night Eagle is a man, who from childhood is elected by the "power", to follow the teachings of the old grandparents. In his course passes through studies centers (Calmécac and Telpochcalli) of the old Mexico. Due to his virtuosity, he is sent to Monte Alban to continue his preparation; There, after years of intensive studies and rigorous practices, he becomes a warrior and after facing a shocking initiation, in which he loses his memory, appears in the Yucatan Peninsula with the Mayan people, where he will have to recover his memory, as a final part of the test. After many experiences he manages to return to Monte Alban he experiences, what historians call the collapse of the late classical period, where it is supposed, that around 850 CE, most of the knowledge centers as Teotihuacán, Palenque, Monte Alban, etc., were destroyed and abandoned by its own inhabitants, without an explanation yet of this mysterious fact. The Warrior will be given a very important mission, to keep alive the ancient knowledge of the old grandparents up until today.
This work was especially made for young people. It is neither intended as an “epoch novel” nor historical. It is intended to offer a "dream", trying to create awareness of our ancient origins and to make the history of the old grandparents our own and be proud of it. We propose a "provocative dream", to begin the journey to the depths of our "being", to decolonize our perception of ourselves by knowing our true history. Because Mexicans cannot continue to deny their mother culture, ignoring the values of the ancient civilization. The 21st century Mexico will necessarily have to be built with the other half of ourselves, which we have stubbornly denied during the last five hundred years. All Mexicans; indigenous and non-indigenous, must find in our past, not only inspiration, but a millennial historical and philosophical processes and cultural continuity, in order to be able to imagine and build our own future, where there are no longer victors and defeated; but simply, the sons of the sons of the old grandparents.
Spring of 1996.
"One's own history is not only necessary to explain the
present but also in support of the future." The future, in these
cases, is first and foremost the freedom, the recovery of the right
to lead the own destiny.
An expropriated history is the cancellation of hope and the submissive
resignation to any form of authenticity."