As I continued on the path ahead of me I remember my heart beating more from anticipation than anything else. My hands and clothes dirty from climbing and hiking for three hours to see one of the greatest views of my life. As I reached the top of the mountain, all I felt was content not only for reaching the top, but also for what I have done in my life to get to this point, to be where I was about to stand.
I am Matt Williams, a 23 year old college student who doubles as an adventurer, philosopher, world traveler, writer, light weaver and dedicated life lover. And here I was about to stand on top of a mountain with a big smile on my face, thinking about all the moments I spent waiting for this one. I have been constantly fascinated with the world we live in and especially the beauty of our planet. Ever since I was younger, my questions of life, my purpose and why we are here have brought me to this point in time, to this place of mystery. There are so many marvels in the world and I was about to see one of them that is very important to me. It is important to me because it is important to everyone who is alive. Because knowledge is a powerful tool of survival, a tool I wish to share with everyone possible. I have always been drawn to this place because of its power, its history and its mystery. This place I will share with you holds a lot of knowledge of past civilizations and their connection to mother earth and the cosmos. It was an honor for me not only to experience such a stunning view of our earth but to also be in a place of great history, memory, and knowledge.
As I took my last few steps up the trail my thought was broken by an absolutely breathtaking sight. There it was carved into the peaks of the Peruvian Andes, Machu Picchu, the sacred city of the Incan civilization. Five square miles of astonishing architectural ingenuity that emphasizes the beauty of the everlasting relationship between the masculinity of man and the femininity of mother earth. I say this because the Incan men who constructed these amazingly complex structures, such as Machu Picchu, had a unique understanding of the world they lived in. They used only simple tools provided to them by nature. They had no knowledge of the wheel or iron tools while building their cities and temples, yet their construction is considered perfect. The tools they used were their knowledge of Mother Nature and their connection to her. They used their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical selves to design, create and build. Not only did they build a place to live, but also a place to discover, learn and worship their relationship with mother earth and the universe we live in. The remnants of this knowledge and understanding are captured in this beautifully preserved city that laid before my eyes on this day.
I have always been attracted to the knowledge possessed by the Incan civilization along with many others such as the Mayas and the Egyptians. In a way, I stumbled upon their teachings while searching for answers to my own questions as I said. The questions I refer to are of life, happiness, the future and what is really important in the world and to me. I have always been fascinated with the earth and have always recognized that mother earth is very important because she provides us with life and the tools to live. The more I learn about our planet and its power, the more I learn that the earth goes through cycles just as we do and that we have more in common with earth than what is commonly portrayed in today’s society. We are a part of earth and earth is a part of us and I believe that we can learn more from our home than we think. The people who have truly understood this concept and applied it to their everyday lives were the people of these ancient civilizations. This is how I came to my fascination with such civilizations, the knowledge they possessed, the lives they lived, and how I can apply their knowledge in my own life.
While walking through Machu Picchu it became evident that the Incas understood something that we as a society don’t yet fully understand. You could feel this understanding; it was a vibration, an energy that was left for us to learn from. The vibration and energy of such a place is that of wisdom, love and understanding. A vibration that I feel is important to everyone on this planet. I could try to explain this energy but words just don’t cut it. It is something that needs to be experienced for yourself. Imagine if everyone on earth decided to live in harmony with nature, understanding its beauty and discovering how we are all connected to it. We would then be not only an advanced society in terms of technology but also advanced spiritually and emotionally. This is something that the Incas had achieved. Not to mention that for their time the Incans were extremely technologically advanced as well. I realized while I was there that this knowledge is still alive and the knowledge they had will never die.
You might be wondering how exactly these ancient civilizations such as the Incas and the Mayas were advanced. The Incas were able to build complex cities using basic tools, yet their construction is still considered to be perfect and perplexes current day engineers and architects. They were able to cut stone without iron tools, using water, wood, and other stones; and many of the stones that were used for their temples and cities weighed in excess of 50 tons and were brought from miles away. They created intricate waterways that supplied water all throughout their cities. They constructed 14,000 miles of roads (some even paved) throughout their empire which spanned from southern Colombia to the middle of Chile. One of these roads leads to a temple that was built at an elevation of over 20,000 feet. With today’s advanced equipment and gear it is already difficult enough to hike to such altitudes let alone construct roadways and temples at such high altitudes.
Both the Incas and the Mayas were also very knowledgeable in both astronomy and mathematics. The Mayas developed one of the most complex and accurate calendars known to man that map the great cycles of our earth, our solar system and our galaxy in reference to our universe. Both civilizations were able to predict exactly the times of the solstices, equinoxes and other important celestial events. In fact the Mayan temple El Castillo, in the ancient city of Chichen Itza, is in itself a complex calendar. Also, within this city and others, they were able to pin point the exact coordinates of North, South, East and West. What makes this so amazing is that the Yucatan peninsula, where Chichen Itza is located, is composed of limestone containing no metals to help establish the location of the polar axis. I could continue to list amazing feats for pages and pages but I think I have made my point.
In reality, these ancient civilizations continue to amaze the people of today’s world. The reason why we are all so amazed is that nobody really understands how they did much of what they did, and if scientists have figured out how they did something, then we realize that their knowledge and capabilities were far beyond their “time” and probably even ours. I believe that they were able to accomplish all of these things because of their connection with Mother Earth and our universe. I am not necessarily saying that we should live how they lived but we should recognize that the wisdom and knowledge they held is extremely valuable. Everyone should take time to honor the earth that provides us with life, and understand that we are provided with everything we need.
As we continue to honor the earth we are honoring ourselves and when we trash the earth we are trashing ourselves. I have a great passion for civilizations such as the Incas, Mayas, and Egyptians because of what they stood for. They honored the earth and themselves. Because of this they were able to accomplish things that are hard for us to understand. They were able to learn from the world around them to advance themselves mentally, spiritually and emotionally. This is something that I wish upon the whole world. I hope that my own experiences and what I have learned from them will help others to honor the earth and hence honor themselves as part of this earth.
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Written by Matt Williams