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‘Of A Colonized Mind’
The Pre-Columbian Mind by F. Guerra


1971, Seminar Press, London, 335 pages, review copy held by the Saint Louis University Libraries until 2016, last checked out July 17-27, 1992, forwarded to this reader in Baltimore County by S. S. Sam from the Maule River Casino, Chile, March 2018

What a find!

A Mexica historian of old Spanish stock took up the study of the pre-contact consciousness of South, Central and North America, where he identified 31 “civilizations” or cultural areas, examining these peoples based on their own records and the records of the first European chroniclers to document their lifeway. Guerra examines the pre-Columbian mentality according to those facets which Europeans and Christians found to be aberrant or indicative of insanity or satanic possession. Interestingly, if a folk were found to be insane by catholic-Iberian standards they were not deemed worthy of conversion to Christianity. Hence there arose the practice of missionary monks and priests trying to rationalize the Amerindian soul as worthy of salvation, for it was their duty to spread the faith.

Guerra’s work amounts to an impressive survey of some three dozen of the hundreds of Amerindian cultures extant at the date of contact, making the point that though the epidemic disease impacts on Amerindian societies are well known that “the syndromes of mental distress resulting from acculturation among non-European civilizations,” are relatively poorly appreciated.

I realized that my readership generally cares little for the study of the extinct and maimed cultures of the land we now inhabit. However, if these people might consider the fact that at this very instant the minds of your parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, children and grandchildren are being colonized by unnatural and even non-cultural modes of thought, by pure systemic propaganda devoted to deracinating, deacculturating and degendering and otherwise erasing the humanity of all those around them, then they might want to consider the words of a man who was turned away from a generation ago and has finally been banished by the thought police two years past:

“The psychological traumas suffered by the collective consciousness of colonized civilizations or individuals have seldom been studied.”

“A sudden impact of a new culture, even a more humane and better developed one, could be, and has proved to be, as distressing to a man as a pleasant cool breeze is to an orchid, or a temperate climate is to arctic wild life, possibly leading to his collapse and spiritual death: imposed cultural values can be as deadly to the human mind as a virulent infectious disease is to the human body.”

“…cultural influences are contagious and operate in both directions; an imported culture might destroy the spiritual life of a colonized people, but likewise environmental and residual cultural factors can also effect and shape to a certain degree the imported tenets and even the importer.”

“There are many lessons to be learned from the dynamics of the pre-Columbian mind.”

“The human mind frequently finds its finest hour under the most difficult conditions of endurance, and sometimes, like El Cid, can win battles after death.”

Guerra goes on to instruct us that a half century elapsed before Spanish authorities would declare Indians to be rational, such was the culture shock suffered by the invader, particularly the thinking invader, over and above the brutal conquistador. The practical dichotomy was this, according to Christian ethics and Spanish law, if the Indians were crazy than Spaniards had a blanket right to take their land. However, insane Indians were not fit to receive the salvation of Christ. Hence, the weirdness of the Indian mind both condoned conquest and condemned conversion and the conquests could not be ethically developed in concourse with heathens. Even Aristotle was invoked to settle this prickly issue.

Pope Paul III decided the issue on 9 June 1537, with the papal bulls Sublimus Deus and Veritas ipsa, which shows the Catholic Church at its best, denying the common conquistador claims that “Western and Meridional Indians must be subject to our service like animal beasts, using as a pretext that they are incapable of the Catholic Faith…”

The use of drugs, and divergent sexual and religious practices, most notably cannibalism [oddly enshrined in Christian doctrine and fetishized among Catholics in the form of the Eucharist] naturally caused the conquerors of these folk much consternation.

Guerra’s well-dated chronology of the major Amerindian Civilizations of Central and South America is spotted with keen cultural insights, taking the reader to page 19, where the author discussed the absence of permanent money and an eerie lack of obsession with the accumulation and inheritance of permanent goods, exposing the shocked catholic missionaries, as, above all, the stewards of a worldly, economic order rather than the transcendent guides myth would have us believe.

The balance of Guerra’s fine work of cross-cultural bibliography and psychology will be cited where appropriate during the search for white slaves and white Indians in the annals of Plantation America.

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Stillbirth of a Nation: Caucasian Slavery in Plantation America: Part One

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