Trying On Their Shoes

To better understand what the Maya were talking about I think it would be best if we could put aside our techno-gadgetry, step down from the ivory tower, and get in the dirt. Try and understand what the Maya were talking about by recreating – at least in our mind – the world in which they lived.

Take your shoes off, dig your toes into the dirt, and look up in wonder at the bright lights in the nighttime without the explanations recalled from past episodes of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”. Removing all preconceptions from your mind will be quite a task as these perceptions permeate all aspects of your world view. A total adjustment of our worldview may be too daunting a task, but an inkling of the early Maya world may be all we need.

Without a completely open mind to what the Maya tell us we are as likely to make the same conclusions as other students on the subject, rendering this experiment doomed and useless from the start. One has to be willing to “think outside the box”, whatever shape it actually is and wherever the trail should lead us.

After gaining some understanding of their world, their daily living, their wonder of the heavens over their heads, we might be able to gain some insight into their calendar. Not only how it worked for them in their lives but why it was constructed in the first place.

And after determining that answer we should be able to turn the clock back with a better understanding of the Maya, their, calendar, their world and grasp what the message might be for us today.

Perhaps fear guided them, as some historians have postulated, perhaps it was a hopeful future they foresaw. Whatever it was, it should make complete sense to us into their apparent compulsion to create and utilize the calendar for centuries, perhaps millennia, before abandoning it along with their magnificent cities to the jungles of time.

These were real people, these ancients, who lived and died as we moderns do. Their dreams and hopes were captured in their art, their religion, in their palaces, temples, observatories, and in their calendar.

With a little effort we should confidently assume the mantle of responsibility they carried so long and be able to carry their burden onward, walking in their well-worn shoes.

And, with luck, our civilization will last as long.

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