In January of 1487, 84,000 people were sacrificed in the span of 4 days to consecrate the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan (modern day Mexico City).
The Aztecs are renowned for their practice of human sacrifice, and the volume of their offerings is staggering.
But it wasn’t the death of the human they believed would appease their war god, Huitzilopochtli. It was their blood.
The victim, then, would be dismembered, decapitated, and disemboweled, wasting not a drop of blood.
According to the Aztec creation story, Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli created humans by sacrificing a god and pouring his blood over a pile of bones. Therefore, the Aztecs believed their blood linked them to the gods, and was divine by nature.
By sacrificing humans to the gods, they were simply paying them back for the gift of life and blood.
The Aztecs weren’t the only culture who viewed blood in this way.
In the Babylonian creation epic, Marduk, the god of war, killed Tiamat, cut her in half, and used one half to create the earth, and the other half to create the sky.
He then kills her husband, Kingu, and uses his blood, along with clay, to create human beings.
Clay representing matter, and the blood of a god representing divinity. Again, illustrating that our blood is divine by nature, and entwined with our mortal, physical form.
Interestingly enough, blood sacrifice was also common in Babylonian culture, as well as those surrounding it.
The fact that blood sacrifice was prevalent across almost all cultures tells us this view on blood wasn’t unusual. But when it came to making sure the blood of a sacrifice was worthy of the gods, no one took more care than the Aztecs.
For days leading up to the ritual, the victim of the sacrifice would be dressed, treated, and fed like a god.
The idea being that if the victim felt, thought, and acted like a god, it would elevate his blood or his DNA to the level of a god, making him a worthy sacrifice.
Of course, the idea that you can use rituals to alter your blood or your DNA is savage and archaic, with no possible application today.
Or is it?
The Power of the Mind
In a study done in 2015, it was shown that the DNA in a mans sperm is altered depending on if the man is lean or overweight. This information in the DNA could influence whether or not the child will be overweight as well.
And when men lose the weight, the DNA carried by their sperm changes quickly, with positive changes being measured within a week of gastric bypass surgery. Those changes doubled a year from the surgery.
By living a healthy lifestyle, you could potentially alter the DNA you pass on to your child.
In another case of deliberately altering DNA, mind-body interventions like meditation, yoga, and Tai Chi have been shown to 'reverse' the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause poor health and depression.
These practices don’t just teach help you relax, they change who you are at the molecular level.
Finally, we have the placebo effect.
A placebo is a ‘fake’ treatment, where a person believes they’re receiving an active substance that will affect their body or mind, but they’re not actually receiving anything.
If a person expects a pill to do something, it’s possible the body’s own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused.
In extreme cases, we have false pregnancies. In these situations, a woman believes she’s pregnant, when she really isn’t.
Her belief is so strong, however, that she shows all the signs of a real pregnancy, including a large belly and the production of pregnancy hormones. All that’s missing is the actual baby.
What You Believe About Yourself Matters
What you think about yourself matters. A lot.
If you can alter your DNA by practicing mindfulness, or create signs of pregnancy through unshakable belief, then how much could you be affecting your life with your current beliefs about yourself?
The answer is, drastically.
Your beliefs not only affect the way you interact with the world, they create who and what you are.
Unfortunately, most people default to negative self-talk and limiting thoughts.
There’s a good reason for this. Limiting thoughts are safe. They keep you in whatever box you’ve found yourself in after a lifetime of negative self-talk and fear-based feedback from parents, teachers, or society in general.
The truth is, you’re no greater than the thoughts you think. So whatever story you tell yourself, about yourself, ends up being true.
The Blood of a god
Changing the way we think sounds like a mental exercise, but it’s very much a physical one.
The most effective way to change negative thinking patterns is to take action in direct opposition to them.
That means when you feel out of shape, you go to the gym and train. When you feel dumb, you read a book or write an article. When you feel insecure, you put yourself out there. And when you feel scared, you lean into it with everything you’ve got.
You have a vision for yourself. One where your body is in shape, your confidence is through the roof, and you’re an inspiration to everyone around you.
Like the Aztec sacrificial victim who lived, breathed, and acted like a god, so must you live, breathe, and act like the version of yourself you see in your vision.
The more action you take, the more evidence will pile up, and the stronger your belief becomes.
And what you believe about yourself dictates who and what you become.
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