This post from yesterday brought me back to the time when I was working on the original version of WHEE, and one corner of that study, which should have been a major aspect of study, but which the immensity of the subject under study prevented, the issue of the civilizations in the New World and diffusion thereto.
At this point I could suggest actually taking the Mayan interval at its inception as conceivably an actual parallel member of the Axial spectrum in Eurasia, this enforcing the full implications of the ‘macro model’: that the system in question is globally active and can act on independent regions in parallel. There is no other way to deal with the data.
The question of the Mayans then can receive the attention it deserves in relation to the larger study, as a cautious hypothesis.
But this is no sentimental view of the matter: the issues of civilizations are stark, and there are many complex questions that require objective views, if we can find them. We have no further to go than the question of child sacrifice in Phoenician and/or Canaanite cultures. Etc…
The point in any case is that the macro model applied to the Mayans illustrates at once the full context: the beautiful generation as in the Old World was followed by decline and even cessation in concert with the onset of the Old World medievalization. And this can warn us of the paradoxical case of the Aztecs who are suddenly better understood as one of the outcomes in this progression to a ‘mideonic’ era. Clearly something was awry in the Aztec manifestation, just as there was in much of the ‘medieval’ phenomenon.
Let’s face it, the Aztec interpretative canon has a problem with the issue of human sacrifice. Ironically so does the Israelite: the latter was a revolutionary attempt to deal with paganism and questions of sacrifice that in its actual realization stumbled on the threshold, and just barely made it over the finish line, but only after the later correction at the period of the onset of Christianity. The tale of Abraham is simply not convincing: it seems the threshold isn’t even crossed here.
Animal sacrifice was on its way out, and ‘human sacrifice’ got a final sublimation in the finesse of the Christological juggling of archetypes, end of story, apparently. The question here is a better understanding of the history of sacrifice in evolutionary progressions. And darwinism doesn’t have the answer. Whatever the case the macro model gives an apt overview of the Mayan onset and a final decline by the period of the Aztecs.