END OF THE CITY OF GODS:

A Fictional Account of the Last Priest of Teotihuacan

The Teotihuacan Empire (100 B.C. to 700 A.D.) was in the southwest edge of North America, generally near modern day Mexico City stretching south to the northern portion of Central America at its largest.   The City of Teotihuacan itself had about 100,000 inhabitants at its peak, one of the largest and one of the richest cities in the world at the time.  In 500 A.D. as Teotihuacan prospered Europe had squandered the technical and institutional progress made during the Western Roman Empire.  For another seven hundred years Europe was trapped in a despotic cycle of repression and mysticism now known as the Dark Ages.

Unlike any other society then and for many centuries thereafter, all classes of Teotihuacans occupied their own homes, whether in the City or in agricultural and mining areas.  The key to the housing boom was the Teotihuacan’s clever use of natural materials, especially the abundant limestone.  There was also the clever use of human motivation and innovation, establishing the essential liberty to succeed in commerce in any way one chooses.  That was the only path to near universal housing in the ancient world (and still is the path to prosperity in today’s world).

 

Yet, over a period of a few generations, the Empire collapsed and Teotihuacan society itself disappeared from the world.  The archeological evidence shows the City was destroyed by its own citizens in a final, desperate revolution against the new order of Teotihuacan.   See http://www.ericrosenfield.com/teotihuacan.html, especially the supporting research and http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/CIVAMRCA/TEO.HTM .

If the Teotihuacans had a written language it has not been discovered.  After the fall of the City the area is believed to have remained uninhabited for over two hundred years.  Yet, the shell of the City remains today as ruins that can be visited just south of Mexico City.   

In this article, illustrating a mix of actual and possible events from Teotihuacan that are poignant for the present world, a fictional Teotihuacan citizen, Heros, experiences the horrifying final days of the greatest empire ever, lamenting the many causes of the final implosion.

Heros, a High Priest of the City of Teotihuacan
(circa 700 A.D.)

“It is fitting that the Empire’s final night should arrive exactly thirty days after the fateful, final Judgment of the Guard and the resulting violent protests by the people.   That day is now known to the people as the Time of Atonement: the day when the ancient vision of Teotihuacan collided directly in a bloody, death match with what the Empire has become.

How could this be?  The City of Gods is now aflame due to its own contradictions!  Now there is only this remaining Priest of Teotihuacan to recount how the world has come to its end, as best I can.  The other High Priests almost to a person have perished in the struggle, whether they were members of the true order such as me or one of the imposter priests loyal to the Guard.

Let me tell you then briefly the long tale of Teotihuacan.

The High Priests of Teotihuacan have always ensured liberty and equality for all the citizens under the Sun.  The law punishes only those who intentionally harm other citizens.  A woman is no less a citizen than her husband is, except for certain matters.  That is the Natural Order of things.  Citizens of the Empire are free to lead their lives as they choose to, to trade to their individual interests, and therefore provide the sustenance for their families and advance the common benefit for everyone in the end of things. 

Never has there been a world under the Sun that has provided so well for a family that chooses to make their stake in Teotihuacan.  Never has there been such a people, bound together through voluntary effort, coming from all regions of the world, who build and prosper beyond all dreams of the possible, generation after generation. 

The High Temple in the City has always been the center of law and teaching.  There lies the Halls of the Priests of Justice.  It is the pinnacle of the City of Gods.

AncientTemple

 

Only the evildoers violate the law of Teotihuacan, the thugs and the thieves and the occasional charlatan.  Evildoers are branded and punished at a trial by the Priests and Elders.   All the people are equal before the law.  The law is blind to one’s social standing or gender or beliefs or wealth.

It was at the time of the founding of the City, long before the Empire existed, that the Natural Order of Teotihuacan was established and put into practice.  Its origin is thought to be the compromise struck between the diverse tribes of farmers and explorers who came together as The City of Teotihuacan so long ago.  The success of this formula led to the basic institutions of Teotihuacan, respect, cooperation, tolerance, freedom, equality before the law.  Philosophers and priests in the years after the founding identified these very traits as the prime tools within the Natural Order of things.  It was then the people empowered the High Priests, those chosen by their talent and by their peers, to be the rulers of the City of Teotihuacan under the Natural Order. 

The religious beliefs of the Teotihuacans are a diverse lot and always have been.  Many religious traditions come to this great City of many parts and peoples.  Till recent years migration to the City was its lifeblood. 

Yet, most foreign religious practices melt away over time in Teotihuacan, people accepting in its stead the simple rules of a moral life and the vision of the world and the stars in the sky offered by the founders and philosophers of Teotihuacan. 

These simple rules for citizens are “Always do what you pledge to do if it is at all possible” and “Do not envy another person or his property”.

Although the shape of an eternal life is left to the thoughts and individual beliefs of the people, most Teotihuacans accept that humanity is simply a part of the earth and the sun and the stars, never its master, never to fully understand the shape of things eternal.  There is a balance to the world that humanity should never disrupt.  Even the mighty forests and the abundant wildlife of Teotihuacan can be harmed by the wrongs of men.  The genius of the universe was created by an undefined supreme power within nature that the Teotihuacans call “The Gods”.

Since the early days then, the High Priests of the City have been the arbiters of simple justice, the protectors of the citizens’ freedom and safety from violence and theft.  A single secular principle underlies the character of ancient Teotihuacan.  That is: The wielding of violent power over the will of others is the destructive force within humanity that must always be prevented in Teotihuacan, whether the force is unlawful or, instead, claimed to be legitimate and therefore just and somehow within the law.  That is the path to humanity’s destruction as a happy people.  Every action must guard against such a devastating corruption of the law and the hearts of the citizens.

It was only during the lifetime of my great, great grandfather, one of most regarded High Priests of Teotihuacan, that farming, trade and construction and common works seemed destined to grow and grow more over time, to the great benefit of all of the people of Teotihuacan forever.  It was only during that time not so long ago that the High Temple was built anew as a tribute to the progress of the people under the Natural Order of Teotihuacan. 

All Teotihuacans also believed the Empire will always advance for the benefit of all of those many, many more tribes of people living under the Sun in a state of violent chaos in the remaining world.  The superstitions and divisive practices of the conquered tribes must be replaced by the harmony and equality of Teotihuacan as natural history progresses.  That has always been the way since the War over the Tyrants started the migration of the Teotihuacan Empire on an endless course.  It is the grand pattern of life over the generations.

The reality of the Empire in my lifetime has been quite the opposite though.  Even though ever more brave young warriors go the boundaries of the Empire to serve and to die, more battles were lost than won in the end, assuming one can get to the truth of things.  The innocent die along with the brave now right in the City of Teotihuacan.  The source of death and destruction was always murdering bands of Heathens: the very reason the Guard needed such resources to protect the people.  But now the innocent are just as likely to die at the hands of fellow Teotihuacans under the forces of chaos and plunder.

The land surrounding the City has become barren where it was once rich in forests and farms.  Where the forests of Teotihuacan once grew generation upon generation for hundreds of years is now more like desert than fertile land.  The regeneration of forests and rotation of farmland as practiced always in Teotihuacan was ended long ago.  More trade in food and limestone is always essential to building the Empire.

One especially thinks back on the many grand projects for equipping battalions of warriors with the sturdiest weapons and shields, the protection of leather and rations of everything to last many months.  As many as a thousand Guard Warriors would assemble, train and leave just about every year.  Entire forests were consumed in a single season.  When the need for limestone and food to pay for war became acute, entire forests would be burned to the ground to make room for ever more mines and farms. 

For many, many years now great black clouds of dust, large enough to blot out the Sun, have afflicted the City and its countryside.  In recent years the great clouds have begun to look more red than black. 

The mining of limestone, the other source of the people’s homes and great buildings, has slowed to a near stop.  The quantity of limestone mining has always advanced in my life, always to pay directly for the needs of the Guard.  As the limestone has visibly disappeared from Teotihuacan, the mining only increased each year, till there was precious little left.  Now the mines have become all but deserted over a period of a few short years.  The same progression is now sadly true of the once endless forests and farms surrounding Teotihuacan.  There is little to build upon any longer.

With this period of Guard Emperors the High Temple indeed may be grander in size and ambition now than ever before.   Yet, the High Temple now is but a shadow of the vision of the temple just more than a hundred years ago!  The truths of the Natural Order of Teotihuacan have now played out to the destruction of the Empire.  Duality between liberty and endless war cannot be sustained, meaning the end of the peoples’ liberty.  And so, sadly, Teotihuacan’s destiny is not eternal greatness after all.  Teotihuacan’s fate is likely to be ignobility before many more years pass from time. 

Now the flames set by the people themselves engulf the Peoples’ Market and, even more so, the High Temple and the ministries of the Empire of Teotihuacan.  Even the College of Guard Generals is bursting with flames.  Tonight is the final inferno of the Empire.  The slaughter of the citizen warriors and innocents of recent weeks by parts of the Guard has all but ended. 

BurningCity2

 

The elite of the Guard and of the Empire have fled or perished or gone underground as best they can.  Guard Warriors across the Empire have either deserted or joined the people in the ashes like all the warriors remaining in the City have.  It is an irony that a High Priest as me, who has had to hide his observations and true beliefs due to fear for many years, can now live and speak openly in this decimated city.  I can truly for the first time in my life, just in these recent days, preach the ultimate truths of the Natural Order of things.  The bane of the people has finally been broken.  Lo, if only the revolution had come instead in my father’s lifetime!

Many of the people are fleeing the City, probably forever.  Word has it the lands far north of Teotihuacan are still moist throughout the spring and fall.  Farmers must live where the land can sustain the people, no longer Teotihuacan.  The empty stomachs and wild look in the eyes of the citizens for the past many years tells the recent tale of the City as well as it can be stated.

What is the poison that has brought the Empire to an end?  It is the conceit of Teotihuacan’s new type of leaders over these decades, with the corruption excessive power over others always brings, as the High Priests taught.  The tyranny of the Guard had lived uneasily alongside the justice of the Natural Order till the Guard laid claim to the administration of justice itself, to the division now of all things Teotihuacan by the Guard.  That is when the passion of the people ignited like never before and now has destroyed the destroyer of Teotihuacan.  Thousands have died and many, many more face a bleak life that is little better than death itself.  Now the Heathens are for the first time arriving in force, to the likely devastation of the Teotihuacan people.  Yet, the brave continue to fight for their lives of their family and will till the end.

The powers of coercion took control of the Empire long ago though.  Throughout my lifetime and long before then, the claims of Teotihuacan’s Guard, the organized warriors of the nation, have been more important than the lives of the people.  It is said that the Great Division of Things from my grandfather’s lifetime turned out to be the doom of the Empire rather than its salvation from constant, bitter division.  It is from that time the Natural Order of things could no longer control military matters in any real way.  Whether it be limestone, food or logs, the Guard can take what the Empire requires, but no more.  Given this compromise, the Natural Order and the lives of the people would be largely unaffected it was believed.   

Even tonight, in flames, the monuments in the High Temple celebrate military conquests and the Duty of the Empire to spread across the remaining world.  The High Temple still also contains tributes to Teotihuacan’s founders and High Priests and to the sovereignty of the people and the Natural Order of things.   All perish together tonight.

This duality between the liberty of the people and the privilege of the military to take as it wishes has always seemed somehow in harmony for the present times, a balancing of the need for security in an unusually dangerous world as well as ensuring the natural liberty of the people.  The path of Teotihuacan changes over time, especially at times of revolutionary fury throughout large portions of the Empire.  Order must be established before liberty can prosper, after all.  The present generation will need to sacrifice at times in blood and treasure to help reach the ultimate goal of liberty for all of those under the Sun everywhere.  Thereafter, the Empire can once again live solely under the Natural Order of things as practiced by the High Priests of Teotihuacan.  Achieving this goal is a historical certainty.  The Teotihuacan Guard is the cutting edge of liberty for all.

So, there has always been war.  There have always been Heathens from beyond the Empire willing to bring harm to anyone and everyone Teotihuacan, even now to the homes of Teotihuacan itself.  The greater the failures during these military struggles, even when the failure is from the sheer incompetence of the Generals themselves, the more power the Guard takes, the more the people’s resourced are stolen and squandered.  More men die always.  Fewer men than ever can sustain their farm and their families, always.  Wearing a uniform of the Guard has sadly now come to be a license to oppress and steal from the Teotihuacan people.

By recent years the Generals and their sons are, by far, are the leading lights of the Empire. Their great wealth is always on display.  The ancient creed of the Natural Order has now been modernized to fit the present times and the wishes of the Generals.   The Empire now proclaims the people need leadership like never before.  Now that the trees are sparse, the limestone not easily mined and the people in distress, the powers of the Empire have expanded beyond all control.  The final Judgment of the Guard all but ending the liberty of the people sparked the flame of revolution like never conceived before in the City of Teotihuacan.

Even the Priests who protect the people have been replaced over the years due to the recent emergencies.  Crimes punished by law have expanded relentlessly under the regime of false High Priests.  A crime has become what the Guard says is a crime in most of the Halls of Justice.   That is why it burns tonight.

So, I too, Heros, the last true priest of Teotihuacan, will leave the great City as early as tomorrow.  Assuming I do not fall at the hand of a Heathen or a starving citizen, I will follow the people north to a better future. 

First though I will see if any remembrances of the great City of Teotihuacan can be salvaged from the ashes.”  Heros

The Toltec people, once the barbarian enemy of Teotihuacan, rose to prominence two hundred years later in the very land of Teotihuacan to master a new empire.  After 200 years of prosperity and military expansion the Toltecs corrupted their economy and their people.  The Aztec Empire overran the Toltecs in about 1,200 A.D.  See http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/598725/Toltec   There exists a cycle to empire just like there is a cycle in the short span of a human life.  http://www.fourthturning.com/html/history___turnings.html 

This story of Teotihuacan parallels post-WWII United States foreign policy like a distant mirror.  The pride of expanding empires bears the seeds of downfall.  Endless war leads to the destruction of even the victorious nations, physically and morally.

Few empires step away from the militarism that spells eventual doom.  There is little indication the United States and the West has learned the lessons of Teotihuacan, the Toltecs and Aztecs, Rome, The Han Dynasty, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and so many more.