Dream of the First People


Reconciling ancient and modern sensibilities is a crucial aspect of developing Unity consciousness. This Mayan ‘creation story’ is actually about re-emergence on to Earth’s surface after her last great change. I heard it related by Grand Elder Don Alejandro Oxlaj without any ‘I’ perspective since he speaks directly from the memory of his people. As a modern person, I needed to raise and resolve effects of individuation before I could enter fully the spirit of his story, and let it enter me. My telling reflects this. I found the process deeply moving and truly did remember ‘that first morning’.


It was dark in the first time I remember. We were helpless then, like children, not knowing even how to feed or dress ourselves.

 We saw few plants or creatures in the darkness and knew little of their ways. We knew even less about our own.

 In vain I looked around for help, a Mother to hold or Father to instruct. I found no one. All surfaces were hard and closed to me.

 In despair, I journeyed to the mountain and cried out: What am I? Who made me? Why am I here? Desperately, I searched the sky for signs but the sky stayed dark.

 Lost, my heart oppressed, I came down from the mountain, not knowing where to go or what to do.

 I shook my head in sorrow as the people gathered, knowing that my sadness was theirs also.

 Then, when we awoke, the Visitors had come: four Great Ones who told us we already had everything we needed.

 I didn’t understand this but they said that they would teach us all. Our hearts were filled with joy.

 The Great Ones did as they had promised. They became our Teachers and showed us how to grow food, to harvest and prepare it.

 They showed us the power of minerals and how to work it to make beauty.

 They showed us fire and how to gather sap from trees. They said we could burn this to honour our Creator.

 What is our Creator? we asked. The One who made you and sent us, they replied. We knew then that our prayers had been heard.

 Tell us more of our Creator, I implored.

 He made you out of corn, they said, white for your bones, yellow for your flesh, red for your blood, and black for your hair and eyes.

 But why? I said.  Why did my Creator make me? And where will I dwell when my breath is spent? They smiled and said that in time all would be revealed.

Others asked our Teachers where they came from. Their answer always was from ‘far away’. They said we must continue praying and taught us how to chant for Light to come.

 Soon after, we saw a Shining in the sky. Our Teachers said she was called Venus and that we must make offerings to honour her appearance.

 They gathered us to view her from the mountain. There we burned incense made from the sap of different trees. This was our first ceremony.

 In the midst of all, a wondrous Light appeared. It came to Earth as an elder dressed in white. He thanked us for our offering and asked that we teach our children about ceremony.

 We agreed and asked him who he was. I am the Heart of the Heavens, he replied, the Heart of Air, the Heart of Earth and the Heart of Water.

 Earth is yours, he told us, populate her.

 He left then and the sky grew dark. Sad and disappointed, we languished in silence. After all our yearning, this was bitter fruit.

 Then someone said that one side of the sky was brighter. We looked up and saw that this was so. Perhaps there was still hope?

 It was then we felt the first rays of the Sun. Joy spread as it drew nearer, bringing light and warmth. We cheered and danced to celebrate.

Our Teachers smiled and said the Creator had heard our earliest prayers. He thought that if he came, we wouldn’t believe and sent them to prepare a way.

 The Sun rose fully as they spoke. A day was born. That night when darkness fell, we weren’t afraid.

 As the cycle of days repeated, our Teachers taught us how to plot the course of time.

 They continued to live among us many years. They married, had children and grew old.

 When they were very old, these elders gathered the community in what is now our Council area.

 They said they needed to go home because their time on Earth had reached its end.

 Where will you go? we asked. Where did you come from? The elders pointed to a group of flickering stars.

 They took their sacred bundles then and went to rest. Drawing their cloaks around them, they lay down and settled into sleep.

 After hours of sleep, the people thought it must be time to wake them.

 Approaching quietly, we raised their cloaks but found no bodies underneath. Our elders left us in the same way they had come.

They also left many gifts: stories, scriptures, calendars and glyphs carved into stone. They gave us knowledge of our origin, together with the strength not to forget.

 I have visited the home star many times. My eyes are old although these robes are new. I weep still to remember that first morning.

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