An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of November 22, 2009
Issued   from Hacienda Chichen Resort adjoining Chichén Itzá Ruin in
YUCATÁN, MÉXICO

THOUGHTS ON CLEANSING ONESELF

The current cycle of the Maya calendar, which ends in late December, 2012, is seen by Maya who think about the matter as a time for cleansing and purifying oneself in preparation for the next cycle. This week I've been asking my friends how one cleanses himself.

Everyone I spoke to made the point that both the mind and the body must be cleansed. If the body is complaining all the time it's much harder for the mind to make its spiritual journey.

One person thinking in terms of traditional practice said that taking sweat-baths was a good beginning.

Another said that to cleanse himself he meditated, found his "peaceful zone," and then the way forward became clear.

Another thought of reality as being composed of "earth, fire, water and air," so cleansing was a matter of bringing all the various components into equilibrium.

Another suggested study. The more knowledge you have, she said, the more likely you are to see what needs to be done. When you set yourself to work at what needs to be done, that very act, by itself, cleanses you.

The vast majority of Maya I know don't even think in terms of "starting the next cycle" or "cleansing the spirit." They're just regular people who go along with what everyone else is doing. The people I've spoken to, then, were special; thinkers I sought out. Some would say that their ideas were "contaminated" by influences of other cultures and alien streams of thought.

Whatever the case, what a beautiful thing that each person had such a different notion of how "cleansing" could be achieved. It's exactly as in Nature, both Nature and human minds manifesting irrepressible passions for diversity, the underlying principle being "If one thing doesn't work, try another, then another, but always keep struggling toward that light we all know to be there, somewhere, somewhere higher than we are now... "

Why does a Naturalist Newsletter concern itself with "cleansing"? It is because I am in love with the planetary biosphere, and those agents that destroy what I love -- such as war, mindless materialism, uncontrolled growth and overpopulation -- are things "out of equilibrium," as one friend would say; things that never find their "peace zone" another would say; things rooted in ignorance one would say; things that would never consider setting aside time for a simple sweat bath, another would say. Facebook Icon.