THE AZTEC AND MAYAN BELIEFS
The Aztec, Mayan and other indigenous traditions have enriched the Mexican's attitude about death. From these ancestors has come the knowledge that souls continue to exist after death, resting placidly in Mictlan, the land of the dead, not for judgment or resurrection; but for the day each year when they could return home to visit their loved ones.
Daily life in ancient Mexico was so uncertain and difficult that death was expected at every turn. Death, in fact was revered, believed to be the ultimate experience of life, life's own reward, even welcomed as a better option when people are struggling for survival.
The Mexican still views death as a transition of life, a normal stage in the circle of life on earth, a natural progression, not an ending.
Writer Octavio Paz commented about his people's relationship with death saying, The Mexican is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, and celebrates it. It is one of his favorite playthings and his most steadfast love."
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