What is this time I live? Whispers on my ear from the beloved. Warm breath sending waves of time through my skin. Such is this place, unconcerned with durations and ends, where I listen to the stories that pass through me in the embrace of life.
People like me are told those hateful words all the time. They are meant to make you feel less, and to get others to bully you. They are meant to make feel out of place, like your contribution doesn’t count, and like you will never be welcome in your own land.
It is a racist move precisely because of that intent. Yes, we all learn to live with it, to ignore it, and to continue being decent human beings.
Nonetheless, it hurts.
It hurts to see it being done to your children and the people you love. It’s easy for you to say “so what? Get over it. It’s not a big deal”
Ah! The callousness of the privileged! How well you mask your racism under a pretense of emotional equanimity! Those of us who have experienced over and over, however, can see the truth behind your pretend wisdom. You are not above the fray. You are the instigator.
I was a refugee once. I knew nothing of an “American dream,” nor did I seek economic prosperity or opportunities. Nothing about your dollar called me. I came here because the army in my country was getting paid one million dollars by your government to kill people like me.
There are so many of us who came here, not to find a better life, but simply to survive. A better life? For life, period.
The road is dangerous for most. We know it well. You risk aggressions, robbery, rape, and death. You give yourself to the fates, the blessing of the elements, and the hope for the kindness of the brotherhood of humans.
You are grateful when you arrive, but you know the ordeal has just begun.
I was lucky to have been able to prove I was persecuted back home, for being a student of Philosophy, for working for war refugees, for speaking up for justice and a better world. Those were my crimes. That made me dangerous. I considered myself fortunate. I arrived to the US unscathed, and I stayed without once being detained. I went to court, and I was able to prove my case. I was one of less than 2% of Salvadorans granted political asylum. The Reagan administration was adamant to not grant any more than that, lest the public knew what he was really doing to my people. I was lucky. There were so many more more deserving, more in need, and more invisible.
The love for your family forces you to suffer all indignities in a place where you don’t feel alive. Between a cold hell and the fear of death, you take one more step each day towards a future where perhaps your children will feel like they have a place to call home.
For the love of them you leave the people you love and the land where your spirit thrives. For them you accept as normal a life of racism, police harassment, and the indignities of always being the lesser, the other, the silent forgotten. For the sake of your children you give up even the hope of truly belonging to the society you give your life and work to.
Your mind is forever now on the day to day issues of survival, raising children who forget your language and adopt the manners of the people who won’t ever see you as one of them. Your aspiration is to one day see your children happy. Your mind settles for the hope of one day being normal, but the heart forever longs for that place where you once felt a human being.
The word Survivor in The Teachings of a Toltec Survivor is not just about me. Yes, I have survived war, exile, two massacres, death squads, shots, magical attacks, tuberculosis, and the bubonic plague. But that’s not really why the term appears in the title. It is not because I am still alive; because, while my beloved death can be evaded today, she will one day succeed. Death is the most relentless of hunters.
These teachings are of a Toltec survivor because the Tolteca in me has survived, though the world has tried to bury him with lies and cover him in the illusion of self-involved problems. The Teachings have also survived. They have survived genocide and the night of forgetfulness.
It has been five hundred years since the light of this continent, this American continent, was covered by the European invasion. The conquest and colonization tried to eliminate the cultures, the language, the religions, the way of life; and more than anything, the identity of the inhabitants of this American continent.
For over five hundred years, what we were has been obscured, covered and forgot. And yet, through this long night of five hundred years, I’ve survived. If you are reading this, that same ineffable and unexplainable something may also survive in you.
They took our lands.
We give our fruits.
They took our language.
We give our poems.
They denied our gods.
We give our prayers.
They changed our names.
We gather under The Tree.
They took our water.
We give our thirst.
They tortured us.
With our tears we clean the soul.
They massacred us.
Our blood feeds the future.
They buried us deep,
but we are seeds.
They erased our memories.
We remember the coming of the New Sun.
–Koyote the Blind
We tell a story of a sheepherder who happened to be a magician, and a very lazy one. He didn’t want to bother to build a fence to keep the sheep inside. The sheep were always escaping and exposing themselves to danger. The magician decided to employ his abilities to keep the sheep inside, hypnotizing them. He made them believe that they were free and safe inside the fence. In fact, he made them believe that whenever he fleeced them, that it was for their benefit. Once in a while, one would disappear, and the sheep were conditioned to believe that she had gone to a better place. In fact, he not only convinced them that he was acting for their benefit, but that they were not sheep at all, that they were human beings. Some thought that they were doctors, lawyers, priests, business people, seekers on a spiritual quest—all approved by the great magician, of course. They thought they were attaining powers and learning secrets. Of course, if they did not know that they were sheep, they would never try to change their situation for real; they would never try to escape; never attempt to evolve. Some even thought that they were magicians and knew the secrets; and all of them had the same fate.
Now, there were a few sheep whose fleece was not as valuable because they were black. Black wool was not as useful as white in the marketplace, so the magician did not pay as much attention to the black sheep, only the white. So, some of the black sheep woke up because the magician wasn’t making sure they remained hypnotized. They realized what they were and what they were doing there. If one black sheep knew the truth and tried to tell the others, the hundreds of white sheep would not listen. Why would they? After all, they were having good lives. They had their problems in their fake realities, but they were fine. Some black sheep managed to escape, and many of those succumbed to predators, but they were free.
Eventually, you had some spotted sheep. With those you could never tell: sometimes they would learn their nature and sometimes not. Of those who knew, some would decide to stay with the white sheep and become completely white.
Most of us are spotted. Part of us wants to be free; part of us wants to be taken care of by the Great Magician. That’s why I say, be careful with your gifts. Some of those are fake, given by the Great Magician. Someone said to me, upon hearing this story, “Be careful with your words because they can get you in trouble.”
I make my words so they get me in trouble. I am at war with the Great Magician. I am the black sheep. I am black, all black. My wool is not for the marketplace. My wool is the obsidian black of the eternal night sky, and its shine is the silence of the endless.
Now, esoteric schools were not places where you went to receive teachings. They meant school as in school of fish. A common image for them was a beehive. They were a community of workers. Everywhere they went, they would hide in plain view, so that externally they seemed like everyone else; but internally, the esoteric knowledge was being transmitted. They no longer had a city. After Ce Acatl, the Toltecs became perennial strangers in a strange land. When the Christians came, the Toltecs were already adepts at hiding. Why? Maybe it started from trying to hide from Tezcatlipoca. Maybe they were following an ancient law that says the esoteric can only come up for a portion of time and then must go back into hiding. Maybe the format of the sacred temple of antiquity had to do with the sacred architecture that is capable of bringing in higher consciousness, much like the scent of a flower brings the beehive; and this architecture was used in the building of a city, the formation of an esoteric school, the training of a body and a mind, and even the mandate of a culture to blend in order to survive a long night of centuries of darkness. In all cases, an esoteric inner circle had to be maintained and hidden behind the layers of an internal culture and an outward layer that can survive in the culture they reside. In this way, the Toltecs passed the sacred knowledge on.
So long in exile,
I’ve made the wandering winds
my most firm abode.
Trump is trying to slip a Trojan Horse. He’s making it seem like he’s swiftly solving the situation by keeping children and parents together. However, in exchange, he is turning what has always been a misdemeanor (I.e., crossing the border without documents) into a federal crime. As a result, he will be holding the entire family as criminal and they will be processed as criminals (maybe even the children). Asylum seekers can then be denounced because they will be charged with a crime before their claim’s merit is properly considered. Also, after convicted by a court, those children can be forcibly removed again.
Be careful. This is no victory yet. It is a trick.
Be watchful and keep up the pressure. They are feeling it. Keep it up.
Nothing has been tamed in the continent of my heart.
My blood floods rebellious through rivers of memory, under the empty expanse of the Heart of the Sky.
Celebrate the genocide you benefit from, #shitholetrump.
Celebrate with unfettered greed, even, for the night of five hundred years evaporates as I wake.