Updated: Aug 22, 2019
I found out where the Maya people went.
Now, I figure you just responded with one of two things. Either you said, "They didn't go anywhere. They are still living all though Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras." Or you said, "No one knows where the Maya went and you have completely lost your mind."
Well, I am very aware that the Maya people are still here because they are my neighbors. But specifically, I am talking about the Maya who built the pyramids, studied the stars, and calculated time probably better than any other civilization in history. The Maya fishermen and farmers and tour guides that I know today do not know how to build a pyramid to within millimeters of perfect geometric proportions from mammoth limestone rocks without the modern machinery of today.
. . . Or do they?
Enter Eliadoro (further known as Elly)
We scooped Elly up on our way into the tiny pueblo of Chumpon and he was good to his word and introduced us to a Maya priest who gave us an official Maya blessing. And then Elly offered to show us around town. We spent the rest of the day with him exploring caves and centoes, meeting local people, eating grilled chicken, and watching puppies and tiny pigs scamper down the road. And while Elly showed us around, he told us stories. Stories about his family, and aluxes (GO HERE for more on aluxes), and The Caste War. Stories about modern day people living to extraordinary ages, children being taken into the woods by supernatural beings, and how to identify which jungle fruits were edible and how to cook them. But the most amazing story Elly told us was about the lost history of the Ancient Maya Civilization.
After listening to many of Elly's tales, I asked him directly if he knew what happened to his ancestors and why all the magnificent ancient cities of the Maya had been deserted. I did not expect that I would get an answer, much less one that was explained with such vivid detail.
Elly knew exactly what happened.
They Maya people didn't go anywhere. They were transformed.
What I am going to tell you know will either have you setting this story aside and declaring me nuts, or it will have you sitting on the edge of your seat in almost disbelief but with a great desire to listen to more. I can hardly imagine that you will just take in everything Elly had to say as if it were just another article in a daily newspaper. I admit, even I was surprised and I confess, it has pushed the limits of belief for me. But, I watched the emotion in Elly's eyes as he shared, and I think I believe him...at least I believe that he believes.
Elly said that up until the post-classic period of Maya history, which was about 900 AD, his ancestors had the ability to do things with their minds. In fact, they did pretty much everything with their minds. They built the pyramids by whistling to the enormous rocks, which floated up into the air and settled down exactly where the whistler wanted them placed. (Have I lost you yet?)
He said they could use their minds to turn one ear of corn into a whole bunch of corn. They could multiply food, and so life was very easy and they didn't have to do much physical work.
But eventually their power went to their heads.
Elly went on to explain that the Maya people thought, "If we can multiply food just by thinking about it, just imagine what we could do with our bodies just by thinking about it. We could become gods." (No, this is not a Bible story)
Well, apparently, the Creator God was not too happy with the thought of the Maya becoming gods. According to Elly, Nature (whom they consider to be a diety) had given them super-powers so they could live easily and do all the hard work with their minds, but the Creator God decided they had gotten a bit too egotistical and so took the super-powers away. This happened around 900 AD, mind you.
So, what else was going on in 900 AD? Just to help put things in perspective: The Vikings were crossing the Atlantic, it was the dark ages in England, Constantine V!! was ruling the Byzantine Empire, the Japanese were writing beautiful poetry. . . oh . . . and the Maya were lifting huge stones by whistling.
So, the Maya people woke up one day--in the middle of some extravagant building project--and went to work only to discover that when they whistled, nothing happened. Now, that would be a bad day. All building would stop, obviously, immediately. And there would be a considerable amount of confusion. But worse than not being able to do their heavy lifting with a lilting tune and a few happy thoughts was the fact that, not only did they lose the ability to lift things with their minds, they also lost the ability to multiply food.
The look of concern on Elly's face was genuine as he described how his ancestors starved. Most died, he explained, because they did not have any food reserves. Those that survived did so because they learned how to eat what grew in the jungle. They figured out how to gather wild tamarind seeds and find the most tender cactus leaves.
Elly told us that the people left the cities in search of food, but also for another, and perhaps even more troubling, reason.
They no longer understood each other.
The Creator God had not only removed their super powers, but had also confused their language. They could no longer understand each other.
Just imagine waking up one day and going to work to find out that your computer, your cell phone, your car, your fridge, even your electric garage door opener, doesn't work any more. And not only that, you cannot understand what anyone is saying to you. Your brother is yelling at you and waving his arms and you have no idea what he is frantically trying to say.
No wonder they left the cities and moved into the jungle.
Elly said those that COULD understand each other eventually found each other and formed small community groups in the forests. But they never went back to the stone cities. He said they eventually learned to work with their hands and the very Nature that had originally given them the power to accomplish tasks with their minds became their master and they her caretakers.
So the Maya greats are still with us. They did not disappear. They were changed. They were transformed, dumbed down if you will, or perhaps saved from the results of their own desire for ultimate power. And they remember what they lost.
For me, it really sheds some light on a mysterious request an old man who lives in a Maya pueblo near the ruins of Chichen Itza asked of me,
"Tell the world we are in grave danger...
Tell our story. Tell them who we are and what we have lost already.''
~Sebriano, Mayan resident of Xcalacoop, Yucatan
So, now here I am, telling you their story. I am telling you who they are and what they have lost.
But, what did Sebriano mean when he said, "Tell the world we are in grave danger"? (Sebriano's story HERE)
Well, after sharing the story of what happened to his ancestors during the dark ages of England and the post-classic period of the great Maya civilization, Elly turned his attention to emphatically warning me that it was going to happen again. Which reminds me of something a local tour guide at the ruins of Coba, just west of Tulum, once told me.
He said that his family still stores grain and dried food in the caves under the Yucatan...."in case IT ever happens again." (More on that story HERE) At the time, I had no idea what it was, but I knew that I had a very strong feeling the Maya were hiding something. I knew that they knew. I felt that the Maya, who were the inventors of the great Maya calendar and measured time and the turning of the heavens with such amazing accuracy, would not have forgotten what happened to their ancestors.
And I was right.
Now, I know what it was. It was a terrible loss of "power" which resulted in the loss of the things most basic to survival and the death of nearly an entire generation.
Elly warned me that one day, "the lights will all go out." He said that long ago his people lost the ability to use the power of their minds, but that there will be another great loss and this time it will impact the entire world. Elly said that one day all technology will go down. We will go back to the forest once again and those that learned the lesson the first time and have been caring for the land and the animals and the trees will survive, but those who did not and who have not, will be doomed to the same fate as his brilliant ancestors.