• June 21st, 2024
  • Friday, 08:15:01 PM

Cuentos De Mi Chante Chicano: True Face, True Heart

Photo: D. Stange Daniel Stange


Daniel Stange


Yo Soy Chicano. I make that statement to clarify my identity. I also realize that identity is a continually changing state of being. Who you are is relative to the time in your life, in which that question is asked. What you were before you were conceived in your mother’s womb might be attuned to where you will be when your breath stops. Such mystery in life is valued when people comprehend their eternal nature. Although cultures are all founded in the explanation of such mystery.


For the colonizer, there is no instruction of proper morals and ethics. Some people are just born bad and therein begins the classist elite and the development of incarceration. Law is sanctioned by those who hold the keys to mystery and bent by those who garnish favoritism or compensation. It’s directed against those who seek its shelter. Measured by those who seek its realization – Justice. Now that is a debatable word but held as a pillar of our ancestors’ way of living.


When a person has integrity, the truth of their heart is evidenced in their face and expression. There is a cooperation between what I feel in my heart and what I express. It is honest even when the result is not pleasant.


Justice responds to an individual’s sense of self-worth. It can walk a thin line along the edge of revenge and abuse. Too many people push each other over that edge when life’s mysteries are assumed to be competitive. Our beloved Anahuac culture practiced cooperation but more importantly the mysteries were not founded in loss from grace. When we appreciate our eternal energy and accept that there is nothing broken in the universe, we can give justice its proper role—to restore.


In the Nahuatl tongue of Anahuac two words were often combined to express deeper concepts. Such as Flor y CantoIn Xochitl In Cuicatl which describes poetry. In Tlalli In Tlapalli – Wisdom. In Ixiptla In Yolotl – Integrity. Ixiptla is the face (image) Yolotl is Heart. When a person has integrity, the truth of their heart is evidenced in their face and expression. There is a cooperation between what I feel in my heart and what I express. It is honest even when the result is not pleasant.


Just as a person’s integrity is crucial to having a proper sense of justice, the justice we experience will engender our integrity. Injustices shift our moral compass unless the individual is rooted to nature. And nature has no mercy. Yet, nature develops beauty and reproduces proper forms. There is no mistake so words like deformity and handicapped have a different feeling and cannot be properly translated. There’s an Aztec ‘god’ Xolotl who has twisted hands and his eye is drooping out with buck teeth and his name also means companion. We all carry ugliness and impure thoughts. They are not sins, they are our shadow, Nagual. We need to have internal dialogue, we all do it (some with more than one personality). Sadly, today’s culture ridicules people that speak to themselves.


It is said that Justice without mercy is cruel but that is because they are speaking of revenge or abuse. Justice should restore things back to their natural state. This brings a challenge to people who believe that they are born without grace, but even more to the children of Anahuac. Our restoration is symbiotic with the land. Authorized by the women. Seeded by the ancestors and developed in the process of remembering the origins. Most Chicanos would not go back to living in the simple homes of our origins, but all of us feel robbed when we see the ridiculous wealth in today’s society. A wealth that has rooted in Our land. Land of our grandmother, Tonantzin.


Our changing image (Ixiptla) cycles through experiences from birth to death and many rebirths to repose into small deaths like a lost friendship or an old profession that we never return to. These little cycles cleanse our memories until old age washes them away. A critical example of In Ixiptla In Yolotl is revealed in the first cycle of our life that began in the water. Through objective observation that anybody can understand.


A human baby is nurtured through the umbilical cord that marks the body’s center. Once intersected your body can be divided into the four elements with the Earth, from the belly button below and Air for the upper half. Then Fire on the right side and Water on the feminine left; where the heart inclines. Your heart is centered between the lungs, but the right lung is larger because the bottom of the heart tilts to the left. And it is in the bottom of my heart that my soul’s integrity is rekindled.  When you really know something, you say ‘I know it by heart” never I know it by brain. So, the image Ixiptla is reconciled when you learn to purify the heart Yolotl.


Scars will harden the heart with abuse and trauma so teaching purity will require many psychological themes. I am no academic, but much of the psychiatrists’ discipline is hard for me to agree with. It really boils down to talking and listening to each other. Some therapists can get too overly judgmental. I guess the object of judgement has confused me growing up Catholic, because we were told not to judge others, but we have to reflect on all our good and bad things, so that’s just judging ourselves. I see it much more of a self-destructive behavior and it’s an affliction of the heart. Some consider the capacity to love with your heart as reflective of the self-love that you cultivate. Integral to a healthy mental and emotional state. Balanced through a sense of self without judging and punishing.


A final key aspect to developing a true face and heart is the temperament of Ego. So much talk about overcoming the ego and kill the ego and the ego is your big enemy and how much of this is rooted in self-demeaning reflection? Without an ego you can suffer loss of self-respect. Without ego you can’t be sure if your path in life is your own and the world will chew you up. Anxiety is rampant enough with all the personality disorders among people in society. It’s a challenge to accommodate your fellow human beings, and integrity is what we need to reevaluate the sins of América in Anahuac.


Not only the enslavement and theft of land, but the attempt to completely erase and vilify the knowledge and cultural identity of one the oldest Mother Cultures of the world, Anahuac. The Indigenous culture of our land is demonized by the people that tried to bury our children under their boarding schools of mis-education. Indian education is what they still push in our public education systems today. The dumbing down of América is no red herring. We have got to redirect that system. It should be rooted in our land and the natural movement of energy.


Next issue, we will review some of the native understanding of our Madre Tierra – Tonanzin Guadalupe. We also use the name Coalticue that means the skirt of snakes. She represents the fabric of space and time of the universe upon which all energy vibrates in a serpent-like motion. The snake has always been a symbol of cosmic knowledge.



Daniel Stange is the Grant Manager with Sisters of Color United for Education in Denver, Colorado. Read the second edition of Cuentos De Mi Chante Chicano here.



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