The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic

The Parallel Lives of People as Plants: Keeping the Seeds Alive

By Martin Prechtel
(North Atlantic Books, Hardcover, 9781583943601, 445pp.)

Publication Date: January 31, 2012

List Price: $24.95*
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Description
MartIn Prechtel's experiences growing up on a Pueblo Indian reservation, his years of apprenticing to a Guatemalan shaman, and his flight from Guatemala's brutal civil war to life in the U.S. inform this lyrical blend of memoir, cultural commentary, and spiritual call to arms. "The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic "is both an epic story and a cry to the heart of humanity based on the author's realization that human survival depends on keeping alive the seeds of our "original forgotten spiritual excellence."
Prechtel relates our current state of ecological crisis to the rapid disappearance of biodiversity, indigenous cultures, and shared human values. He demonstrates how real human culture is exterminated when real (not genetically modified) seeds are lost. Like plants that become extinct once their required conditions are no longer met, authentic, unmonetized human cultures can no longer survive in the modern world. To "keep the seeds alive"--both literally and metaphorically--they must be planted, harvested, and replanted, just as human culture must become truly engaging and meaningful to the soul, as necessary as food is to the body. The viable seeds of spirituality and culture that lie dormant within us need to "sprout" into broad daylight to create real sets of cultures welcome on Earth.



About the Author
ROBERT S. CARLSEN recently retired from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, where he taught for twenty years, and is now an independent researcher. He conducted twenty-five years of field research in Atitlan, where he learned Tz'utujil, was accepted in a local cofradia (Mayan/Catholic religious society), and was a firsthand witness to la violencia.
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