Book: The Secret Teachings of the Popol Vuh
THE HOUSE OF DARKNESS AND
THE HOUSE OF THE SHARP BLADES
As we have seen, the Lords of Xibalba (our psychological defects) have six houses used to defeat their enemies: The House of Darkness, The House of Sharp Blades, the House of Coldness, the House of Tigers, and the House of Bats. These are all symbols of the systems and mechanisms used by the ego to invite us to quit our efforts towards transformation and liberation.
The House of Darkness (Quequma-Ha)
“The Lords of Xibalba ordered the youngsters to spend the night in the House of Darkness and feeling this was the first step towards defeating them, they took for each of them a cigar and a branch of ocote, requesting those were returned the next morning; but the Twins did not use them. Instead they placed some feathers of a macaw over the ocote and some fireflies in the cigar. The next morning, considering them defeated, the Lords requested their artifacts to find out these were intact”
Practically all of humanity is currently deep within the House of Darkness of Xibalba; most people are trapped within the labyrinth of theories and beliefs without having access to the light of Gnostic Wisdom, trapped within the darkness of ignorance. There are many others who would love to never again get drunk, but they lack the keys that would lead them to abandon the vice; many others would love to not be angry all the time, and they lack the adequate technique to achieve their goals.
Yet when the opportunity arrives for many to receive the light of wisdom, they develop a perception that the teaching or the practices are too difficult, and thus start becoming satisfied with illusory and transient teachings, like the fugacious light of the ocote that lights quickly, but just as quick burns out, leaving them back in the darkness.
The problem is that though some people want to change, the fact they lack the keys to effect a true transformation, leads the ego to promote its darkness hanging on to the abundance of pseudo-esoteric and pseudo-occult schools that promise the awakening of chakras, happiness, virtues, and other delightful ideas… yet people go through them and they remain the same.
Those who embrace the Gnostic teaching and who truly make a conscientious effort to work upon themselves, slowly start breaking out of their golden cages – the cages that lead the student down a path of illusions that leave him lost in the desert. They are false fugacious lights that only spark our excitement, but do not take the student anywhere useful.
“Feeling anger in their hearts, Supreme-Death (Hum-Came) and Principal-Death (Vucuc-Came) asked the youngsters from where they came from. The youngsters stated they did not know, and remained silent”
The statement of the youngsters ignoring their origin is representative of the innocence of a child; we must conquer our lost innocence and unlearn our intellectualisms and reasoning’s. We must become simple, noble and intuitive.
“Then they faced each other at the ball field. After discussing it, the Lords of Xibalba asked to play first with their ball, as they clutched their flint knives with the intent of killing the Twins, but the Twins noticed, and they made pretend they were leaving… and seeing this the Lords of Xibalba begged them use their own ball and stay. The Twins scored as they got their ball through the hoop of the Lords of Xibalba, and defeated them”
The religious ball field is where the human being holds their true battles between the spiritual and the sinister forces. This is the psychological gymnasium of life, where the ego attempts to eliminate the values of the soul; this is where the ego attempts to stop the manifestation of comprehension, humbleness, mercy, altruism, etc.
When we remain on a state of Alert Novelty and Alert Perception, we can effectively see when the Lords of Xibalba clutch their knives, meaning that we can effectively see when our defects attempt to take control of our mental, emotional, and willful processes.
We can finish our days victoriously, but only at the expense of an intensive state of self-vigilance. Our effort must be focused on defeating our own inhumanity every day.
The House of the Sharp Blades (Chayin-Ha)
“The second house where the Lords of Xibalba defeated their enemies was the House of Sharp Blades. In addition of having to spend the night in it, and to ensure they would certainly defeat the Twins, the Lords of Xibalba ordered the Twins to gather four small vessels and fill them with black, white, green and red flowers… but the only flowers available in all of Xibalba were from the garden of Supreme-Death (Hun-Came), so the Lords ordered a group of nocturnal birds to stand guard and to guard them closely, making the task practically impossible”
In addition to the four paths mentioned in this story, this task once again invokes the colors of alchemy disguised as the colors of the flowers. What this tells us is that in the effort to eliminate our psychological aggregates, there are tasks we must perform multiple times, each time at a higher level of consciousness.
When the colors of alchemy are associated with flowers, it refers specifically to the completion of a superior work, as many defects are so subtle in their nature they go unnoticed, yet their effects are just as catastrophic as of any other defect. To be able to detect and study these subtle defects, the practitioner is required to complete the same tasks again, but at a superior Level of Being.
“Even though the Lords of Xibalba wanted them dead, the Twins remained calm and enthusiastic, and they walked into the House of the Sharp Blades, where they found blades everywhere. The Lords of Xibalba wanted them to die immediately, torn apart by the blades; but as the Twins walked in they told the blades: ‘Yours will be the flesh of all the animals’, and they remained still”
The name of this house (Chayin-Ya) includes the Quichen-Maya word “Cha”, which means blade, spear, glass, but that also means “to speak” or “to say”, and this allows us to deduct one of the additional systems of the ego to derail the practitioner from the path of self-realization.
That system is the incorrect use of the word; when we help spread gossip, when we raise false testimony, when we curse, when we criticize our neighbor, when we insult others, when we utter morbid words, etc.
It may seem as if the incorrect use of the word, similar to when someone tosses a stone and hides their hand, were irrelevant, yet we must remember that since the beginning all of creation has been the product of the Word. It should suffice to say:
“In the beginning there was the Word, And the Word was with God, and the Word was God”
The incorrect use of the word will always crystallize against us with situations and environments that will invite problems and that will keep us from working the internal path. The Master Moria also said: “Murmuring separates us from esotericism”.
So it comes to be that this is the meaning of the second house of torments of Xibalba; if we do not change our ways of speaking, if we are not careful with the use of the word, the wrong action will lead us into spiritual death (loss of superior senses). To the contrary, when we put all of our effort into the deep comprehension of every defect that invites us to make incorrect use of the word, we will naturally emerge victorious from the torment of the House of the Sharp Blades.
“And the Twins invoked the cutting ants (zompopos) so they would be the ones cutting off the flowers; and the nocturnal birds never noticed the presence of the ants doing their work and inclusive, the ants even cut off the feathers from the birds’ tails and wings, and in vain they screamed: ‘Ixpurpuvec! Punhuyu!’… and yet, no one was scared away with their screams”
Ixpurpuvec and Punhuyu are to this day the names the Maya use to name the owl, based on the noises these birds utter.
The cutting ants are a symbol of the esoteric work; the ants are consistent, organized and work with intent. In such a way is how we must carry our internal work so we can generate a transformation at every moment of our lives. The purposeful work is what allows us to fill our four vessels with flowers and defeat the Lords of Xibalba.
“The next morning the youngsters showed up with the four vessels filled with flowers and moist with morning dew. The Lords of Xibalba grew pale and called in the guardians of the flowers, and tore their mouths in punishment, and that is why to this day, owls have a broken beak”
The flowers are a symbol of the essence that remains trapped by our psychological defects; love is trapped in hatred, diligence is trapped in laziness, temperance is trapped in gluttony, altruism is trapped in greed, happiness for others is trapped in envy, and chastity is trapped in lust.
That is why Supreme-Death (Hun-Came) and Principal-Death (Vucuc-Came) have a garden full of flowers; the flowers (values) of our essence are under their custody (trapped in them).
The nocturnal birds represent the sinister forces of the ego and they are what keep us submerged within the sleep of the consciousness.
“Then they went down to the ball field, and playing two ponits, then ended it, agreeing to play again the next morning”.
The fight is incessant, day to day, against ourselves, we should not guard down, we should be ready to fight our interior Universe, against the evil forces that we have created.