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John Perkins

The great stone pyramid that rose out of the jungle had been mistaken for a volcano by nineteenth century explorers who saw it from afar long before the vines and trees were excavated from its surface. But it was designed and built by people, not nature, every stone chiseled and laid by the hands of crafted artisans. Now, partially restored by archeology teams, it stood proud, a monument to human ingenuity. It had defied hurricanes that swept across the Gulf of Mexico and survived the ravages of grave robbers who hacked away at it for more than a century. Perched atop its summit, a magnificent stone jaguar had vanquished the assaults of both nature and man, proof – some said – that it was a magical talisman guarded by an ancient god.

This pyramid was one of many birthed by a civilization of shapeshifters who drained the swamps and constructed massive island-like platforms out of the marshes. They had transformed the Yucatan from an inhospitable jungle into a land of agricultural bounty, magnificent cities, and splendid architectural masterpieces. Their temples rivaled those on the Acropolis and along the Nile. Their calendars were more precise than the one we use today. They formulated a language that plumbed the depths of science and they developed a complex system of mathematics.

Then these magicians performed one of the most mystifying acts in human history, an event that has baffled anthropologists, archaeologists, philosophers, and poets ever since.

These people who had converted a tangled jungle into a sophisticated, urbanized civilization suddenly transported themselves back to the time of their ancestors. The Maya abandoned their cities and returned to the forests.

I had visited this pyramid before, pondered the mystery of the people who had built it, and wondered about the message they passed down to us; however, seeing it rise from the jungle early on this March morning, mere days after learning that I would not be sent to the Seychelles, that France Albert Rene would face the jackals instead of me, I knew this time would be different. I had left the Boston winter and the swirling storms of geopolitics behind. Accompanied by Viejo Itza, a Mayan I had met several years earlier, I was taking the first steps along a path that I hoped would change my life.

Viejo in Spanish means “old”; Itza is a Mayan name. He was a respected philosopher and a teacher who was known among his people as a shapeshifter. Although just approaching forty, he walked with a limp and relied on a gnarled cane to assist him. In his youth he had been hired to work with excavators at an archaeological dig. Accepting a challenge to race a co-worker to the top of a pyramid, he slipped and fell. He was pronounced dead, and then resurrected by a shaman. The experience lamed him and altered his life. He apprenticed to the man who had healed him and he committed himself to helping others transform themselves. He was “old” from the Mayan standpoint that one who passes knowledge on to others is wise beyond his years.

“Why do you think your ancestors abandoned their civilization?” I asked him. We were standing in the ribbon of sunlight that separated the dark wall of trees behind us from the shadow of the pyramid in front.

“She might tell you,” he replied, shading his eyes and pointing to the lone figure of the stone jaguar at the top of the pyramid. He was dressed in the traditional sandals, loose-fitting pants, and tunic of his people, all made from the off-white fibers of local plants. He wore his black hair tied back in a ponytail. “We’ve survived many catastrophes.” He turned to look at me, his chocolate eyes sparkling in the sunshine. “According to the legends, we people are in our fifth creation – nearly destroyed four times before. Each time it has been the shapeshifter – what you might call ‘sorcerer’ or ‘prophet’– who led is out of the abyss.”


Join John Perkins and Llyn Roberts
2-12 December 2010
Shapeshifting A New World in the lands of Maya


Photo by Tom Clark

JOHN PERKINS is former chief economist at a major international consulting firm. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Hoodwinked and has written many books about the Maya and other indigenous cultures, including Shapeshifting, The World Is As You Dream It, Psychonavigation, and Spirit of the Shuar, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. John is one of the world’s foremost authorities on shamanism. Trained since 1968 to bring ancient wisdom to the contemporary world, he leads tours to the Amazon, Andes, and Himalayas. He is also founder of Dream Change, a worldwide grassroots movement of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds dedicated to shifting consciousness and promoting sustainable lifestyles.

Further exploration...

Additional writings...
The Dalai Lama and The Economic Hit Man by John Perkins
Reflections on the 2009 Shapeshifting Journey by Llyn Roberts
2012 and Other Indigenous Prophecies for Transformation by Llyn Roberts
The True Meaning of 2012 by John Perkins
The Good Remembering by Llyn Roberts
Change the Dream by John Perkins
The Mayan View by John Perkins
Techniques to Shapeshift a New World by John Perkins
Shapeshifting with Nature by Llyn Roberts
The Mayan Shapeshifter by John Perkins
Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness by Llyn Roberts

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Recommended Reading from
The Prophets Conference
and The Great Rethinking
Featured Tours
In the Lands of the Maya
with John Perkins & Llyn Roberts
2-12 December 2010
with Christian de la Huerta
30 Nov - 12 Dec 2010

Contact Info
Email: The Prophets Conference
Home: www.greatmystery.org
Tel: (1) 505 796 4023 USA/Canada or (44) 020 8123 5108 UK

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