Boomeritis by Ken Wilber

Boomeritis by Ken Wilber

Author:Ken Wilber
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Shambhala Publications

“The priests welcomed the tears because it augured rain; the children’s throats were slit and they were offered to Tlaloc as ‘bloodied flowers of the maize.’

“Those were the common, seasonal sacrifices. What particularly distinguished the Mexica, however, were their great ceremonial slayings (marking the installation of a new ruler, the completion of a new pyramid, or a great war victory). When, in 1487, the Huaxtec launched an unsuccessful revolt, the Mexica gathered up prisoners that numbered somewhere between 20,000 and 80,000 and ritually sacrificed all of them in a four-day period. They were herded into Tenochtitlan; Clendinnen describes ‘the men linked by cords through the warrior perforations in their septums, the maidens and little boys still too young to have their noses pierced, secured by yokes around their necks, all wailing a pitiful lament.’ Up the pyramids they were marched: ‘four patient lines stretching the full length of the processional ways and marshaled along the causeways, slowly moving towards the pyramid.’

Disdain again crept into Van Cleef’s voice. “The few cultural-studies writers who have the honesty to acknowledge these goings-on have then attempted to explain them, it goes without saying, as a top-down hierarchical power imposed on the poor helpless people. Clendinnen will have none of it. ‘The people were implicated in the care and preparation of the victims, their delivery to the place of death, and then in the elaborate processing of the bodies: the dismemberment and distribution of heads and limbs, flesh and blood and flayed skins. On high occasions warriors carrying gourds of human blood or wearing the dripping skins of their captives ran through the streets, to be ceremoniously welcomed into the dwellings; the flesh of their victims seethed in domestic cooking pots; human thighbones, scraped and dried, were set up in the courtyards of the households. . . . ’”

Van Cleef’s voice contracted, rose slightly, his stare at the audience was laser-like. “What on earth could possess someone to see all these events as ‘paradise’?” Long pause.

“Why, the green meme, of course.” The audience broke its silence, which divided evenly into cheers and jeers. “Whether it is the enraptured mythic eulogizing of the Mexica by William Irwin Thompson, or the celebration of their wonderful ‘diversity’ by Todorov, or the claim that this was an ecological paradise by Kirkpatrick Sale: what they all have in common is a rampant pre/post fallacy, a celebrating of preformal conditions as postformal harmony. They and legions of like-minded then take the destruction of this ‘primal harmony’ as cause for an ostentatious display of their great and grand moral outrage.

“In other words, driven by a boomeritis anxious to demonstrate its moral superiority, countless writers on the evils of modernity began to read a deeply elevated meaning into all things premodern. No doubt about it: the secret pull of the preconventional paradise was the narcissism lying therein, a paradise where I can celebrate, and finally show the world, the wonder of being me—and the heroic self-inflation of cultural studies puffs up yet once again.


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