I am Another You

GUATAMELA • ANCIENT BELIEFS


Around 4,000 years ago, Ancient Mayans would greet each other by saying “I am you and you are me.”

Left: ‘Natural Fashion n.173’, 2006-2007 by ©HANS SILVESTER — Right: Beyoncé photographed by TYLER MITCHELL, VOGUE, September 2018

Left: ‘Natural Fashion n.173’, 2006-2007 by ©HANS SILVESTER — Right: Beyoncé photographed by TYLER MITCHELL, VOGUE, September 2018

 

Ancient Mayans used to say ‘In Lak’ech Ala K’in’ when greeting each other. This translates as “I am another yourself.”

Over time, what started as an honourable Mayan greeting has evolved into a moral code; it has become a powerful statement of unity and oneness. That is: it doesn’t matter which culture you are from, we are all connected.

The Mayans strongly believed that every individual is linked by a universal force, as our collective oneness forms the universe. Therefore, according to the Mayan philosophy ‘In Lak’ech Ala K’in’, every action an individual takes affects all other individuals in some way. They believed that the more you believe in the idea of “In Lac’ech Ala K’in”, the less you will think in terms of our separateness. You will no longer perceive competition, jealousy, envy, hate or any negative emotion between us, because you now perceive that we are pieces of each other.

It is a statement of unity and oneness.

What the Mayans, one of the most advanced ancient civilisations of the first centuries, are trying to tell us is that every action that we take, whether negative or positive, will come back to us in the same way. If we act negatively, our actions impact all life negatively. If we act positively, we affect all life in a positive manner. We should therefore take every step with respect for every individual that exists in this world and learn to live and give from the heart.

However, resisting making judgments based on one opinion is one of the biggest challenges humans face. This is either due to a lack of understanding of cultural differences, communities or societies, or perhaps the ego, as when people get together and live together, it is inevitable that they will encounter criticism, judgement, gossip, envy, jealousy and other such negative feelings and phenomena.

It could be interpreted from the Mayan greeting that Mayans always knew what we are capable of, but above all, it is a powerful reminder to humankind to become consciously aware that we are all really the same.


Whether you believe it or not, in the eyes of the Mayans, the space, planets, stars and the sun, and regardless of our background or culture, I will always be another you, and you will always be another me.