Human Body | Human Spirit
In certain contemporary indigenous cultures of Mexico and the Central America, such as the Mamspeaking Maya, the sense of self does not stop with the body. Members of a community share a community soul in addition to possessing an individual greater access to ritual “heat” or fiery knowledge and power. People define themselves primarily in terms of their community, its lands, ancestors, and traditions. These people also share the reality of dreamtime. Their “deaming bodies,” alternate selves, may meet in dreams where their actions decide the fates of the indiviuals, only to be acted out while awake. Alternatively, the ancestors may speak to people in dream, teaching important traditional skills and ritual behavior.