Book: The Secret Teachings of the Popol Vuh
THE HOUSES OF COLDNESS, FIRE, TIGERS AND BAT
We normally think that the obstacles in life and those obstacles that exist for us to achieve perfection, are caused by others, maybe by our family, or the goverment, or maybe by our neighbours or those who we imagine, are willing to harm us, maybe because they envy us, etc., but the Popol Vuh is pretty clear when it tells us that our worst enemy is already within.
The House of Coldness (Xuxulim-Ha)
“And then they walked into the House of Coldness, and there was only cold and hail, but the Twins were not defeated as they used old trunks to dissipate the cold and survive. The next morning the Lords of Xibalba were perplexed as the Twins were still alive”
One of the favorite systems employed by the ego to separate the practitioner from the path of knowledge is the spiritual indifference (cold), the lack of mystical enthusiasm for the interior work and for the study of Gnosis.
It is common for the aspirant of wisdom to ‘cool off’ regarding their internal work; all of a sudden the teachings become arid, repetitive and tedious – a clear indication that the ego is working intently against the practitioner. When this happens, we are with no doubt trapped in The House of Coldness, where there is only hail present (the lack of a mystical longing).
Gnosis is as vast and profound as eternity, it has no beginning and no end, its limit is Divinity and there are no limits to Divinity. We could spend several of our existences studying without ever grasping its profound meaning, but when we walk into the House of Coldness, everything becomes monotonous and we simply walk away from the gnostic esoteric work.
The “old trunks” are a representation of what can sustain us in the practical application of the teaching; this is the actual experience of all things, the deep comprehension required by gnosis that goes beyond the limits of the intellect to penetrate into the heart. These old trunks show us the need of the direct mystical experience.
When we consistently experience the postulates of wisdom Gnosis teaches, we liberate ourselves from the spiritual indifference imposed by the ego.
Ineffable music, the happiness of the soul, love, infinite tenderness, consistency and order in our practices keep us away from the Lunar cold.
The House of the Tigers (Balami-Ha)
“Then they took the Twins to the House of the Tigers and left them there, hoping the tigers would devour them, but as soon as they walked in, the Twins told the tigers: ‘Don’t bite us, we have something that belongs to you’, and they gave them a bundle of bones. The tigers devoured the bones, and the sound of the gnawing reached the ears of the guardians of Xibalba. And they rejoiced as they thought the Twins had finally been defeated. Yet the next morning the Twins walked out intact. ‘From where do these Twins come from?’ – said the Lords”
The tiger has been considered a sacred beast by the majority of the cultures of the world. It is commonly associated with many internal aspects of the human being, such as wisdom, spiritual strength, courageous wildness to combat our weaknesses, etc., but the tiger has also been associated with temptation. Obviously it is the concept of temptation what is addressed by the House of the Tigers.
Temptation is a particular test, than when overcome, enables the emergence of a virtue, or a power, a gift. Temptation is fire, but overcoming temptation is light.
When we pray the PATER NOSTER (the Our Father Prayer) we do not ask for temptations to be taken away, instead we ask “lead us not into temptation”. Without the battle and without the contrast, if temptation were not present to be confronted with the rigorous esoteric discipline, virtues would not emerge.
The stronger is the temptation, if we defeat it, stronger would then be the resulting virtue. But to achieve that victory we must hand the bones of the animals; as we eliminate our defects associated to lust and we assume ownership of their “bones”, we become capable of keeping the tigers of temptation from devouring us.
The House of Fire (Hachi-Gag)
“Then the Lords of Xibalba ordered the Twins to walk into the House of Fire, where there only was an incessantly burning fire, but Master-Magi (Hunahpu) and Little-Solar-Priest (Ixbalanque) did not burn, only the embers and the logs burned. And the next morning the Twins walked out of the house intact, completely discouraging the Lords of Xibalba”
Among the Egyptians were always discussed the four trials of the elements, namely the tests of fire, water, air and earth. The successful completion of these tests was a requirement to enter into the schools of mysteries, as they qualified the morality of the candidate. The marvelous musical composition titled The Magical Flute of Mozart captures these facts.
Back in the ancient Egypt and yet today, serenity and sweetness of character are tested by the test of fire. The ability to face with serenity the different events of our daily lives is an essential trait of every aspirant of the light.
Yet those who delight in ire, those who respond violently to the different circumstances of life, and all those who are unable to remain serene, lamentably fail on the test, and are devoured by the flames of the House of Fire of Xibalba.
Master-Magi (Hunahpu) and Little-Solar-Priest (Ixbalanque) are not burnt in the House of Fire because – as they say in Egypt: they had “earned the lion claws of the sphinx”. They had the courage or the spiritual strength to exercise temperance and serenity. This is the key to emerge victorious from the test of fire.
The House of the Bat (Tzotzi-Ha)
“The last of the houses of torment of Xibalba is the House of the Bat. Only bats live in the house of the bat God (Camazotz), whose instrument to kill was a dry pointed spear which instantly killed anyone who stood before it. But the Twins safeguarded themselves inside their blowpipes; though the bats wheeled and shrieked ‘qulitz, qulitz’, the Twins remained inside their blowpipes”
The House of the Bat is an allegory very applicable at this present day.
We, as vampires, know very well how to act against our neighbor when we launch against them, turning them into our victims; not only do we consider our enemies our victims, we do the same to our parents and to our brothers and sisters, to vampirize their values.
An example of this is seen on those who regardless of the age of their parents, continue to live at their expense and at the expense of their vitality.
Ingratitude and betrayal are sisters; it is of utmost importance to become grateful, to show gratitude for the work and sacrifice of others, yet we are extensively selfish and living in ignorance.
“From the heavens descended the bat God (Camazotz) with the sole purpose of teaching the Twins how to overcome the torment of this house and to show them how to defeat the Lords of Xibalba. He suggested they should mimic an apparent death”
Among the Aztec and the Maya, Camazotz is the bat God, a great master who assists those who seek to confront themselves to recognize their own mistakes. This is the very first trial given to the candidate as they ready themselves to receive the light of wisdom. This is what is known as the test of the Guardian of the Threshold.
The Eagle Knights and the Tiger Knights of ancient Mexico were required to submit themselves to certain tests in the cave of the bat God (the Tzincalli). They were only able to reach the sublime grade of a Eagle- or Tiger-Knight only if they were capable of seeing themselves as they were and not as they thought they were; the tribulations they endured were meant to reflect the level of advancement they had achieved because of their internal work and only through this demonstration, they were able to transcend as authentic warriors of life.
“Then there was silence, and believing sunrise had arrived, Master-Magi (Hunahpu) peeked outside of his blowpipe. As he did that, he was immediately beheaded and by order of the Lords of Xibalba, his head was placed at the ball field”
The presence in the House of the Bat has a dual meaning; it also shows us that we must confront our own mistakes, as this is what leads us out of the darkness into the light. It emphasizes the work that must be endured within our own psychological darkness.