"Told the oldest of the old ones that populated these lands that the bigger gods, those that birthed the world, they did not think to pair all. Or it was that they did not have the same thought, but that each one had their own thought and among them they respected them and listened to them. The oldest of the old ones say that is the way it was, because if it had not happened that way, the world would never have been born because in pure fighting the first gods would have passed the time, because distinct were their thoughts which they felt. Say the oldest of the old ones that for that the world came out with many colors and forms, much like the thoughts that were in the bigger gods, the first ones. Seven were the bigger gods, and seven the thoughts that each one had, and seven times seven are the forms and colors with those which visited the world. The Old Antonio tells me that he asked the oldest ones that how the first gods made it so that they were in agreement and talk if it was that their thoughts were so different which they felt. The older ones responded, says to me the Old Antonio, that there was an assembly of the seven gods together each with their seven different thoughts, and that in that assembly they came to agreement.
The Old Antonio says that the oldest of the old ones said that that assembly of the first gods, those which birthed the world, happened a long time before yesterday, that what they saw happened in the time in which there was no time. And they said in that assembly each one of the first gods said their word and all said: "My thought that I feel is different from that of the others". And so the gods kept quiet because they realized, when each one said "the others", they were talking of "others" different. After being quiet for a time, the first gods realized that they already had a first agreement and it was that there were "others" and that those "others" were different from that which one was. That is how the first agreement went in which the first gods came to know the difference and accept the existence of the other. And what remedy was left but that they were all gods, all first, and they had to accept that because there was not one who was more or less the same as the others, but that they were different and like that they had to walk.
After that first agreement followed the discussion, why one thing is known that there are others different and why another very different is to be respected. Like that they spent a good time talking and discussing how each one was different from the others, and it was not of import to them that they were delayed in this discussion because it was that there was no time yet. Afterwards all became quiet and each one spoke of his difference and each other of the gods that listened realized that, listening and getting to know the differences of the other, more and better he knew of his own self in what he had that was different. So all became very happy and gave themselves to dancing and delayed much but it was of no import because in that time there was yet no time. After the dance they had thrown the gods came to the agreement that it is good that there are others who are different and that it is that we must listen to them to know our own selves. And soon after this agreement they went to sleep because they were very tired from having danced so much. Of talking they were not tired because for that these gods, those who birthed the world, were very good for the talking, and that they were just now starting learning to listen".
I did not realize at what time the Old Antonio left. The sea sleeps already and of the end of the candle there is only left a deformed stain of paraffin. Up above the sky starts to dilute its black in the light of the morning...
That was the history which the Old Antonio told me when I was trying to write you this letter. And I believe that the most important that we have to tell you is that, that we listen to each other, that we get to know each other, that we respect each other.
It can seem little at a distance, but we already see that he who gets to know the other, he who respects him and he who listens to him, produces things so tremendously transcendental like a dance.
So that, to know each other, respect each other and listen to each other is that, in place of the display of 12 of January of 1998 where we are invited to visit Europe to talk and listen to the world, we say that, as soon we will stop bullfighting enemies (that is not more than a form of some complicated dance), we will study the possibility of that one or various of the companeros or companeras travel to Europe, and where is, to get to know, to respect and to listen.
For to that which is referred is that a Commission of Observation of the Civil Society of the World travel to the mountains of the Mexican southeast on proximate dates, to observe the violations of the human rights, we say that the indigenous communities in disobedience greet the initiative of the Commission of Observation and will compromise to respect their job. We take advantage of the occasion to greet with respect the job of the independent Mexican bodies, defenders of the Human Rights, that have not spared effort nor dedication in attending to the indigenous communities, in weight of the governmental contempt, to the degree of harassment, that they have received in no few cases.
And now that we are talking of the actions in Mexico, the Zocalo capitalino not only dazzled us, as well it brought us certainty and a hope: the certainty of that in this country the people are infinitely better than those who say they govern it, and the hope of that all those people win that which until now has been denied, that is to say, the right to live with democracy, liberty and justice. This complete would be to live in peace.
Good, that is all for now. Know always that it is an honor to see you grow and become many. And this is something that as well makes us grow and widen.
Vale. Health and, after the promised flower, comes the promised dance (I hope).
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, January of 1998
P.S. INVITATION TO CONTINUE DANCING. - It appears that the manifestations of the day 12 were not enough. The Power has covered its ears with thick packs of money and arrogance, and follows ahead with its war. It is necessary to walk more, shout more, move more. For the rest, according to what is said the next 24 of January you will repeat your YA BASTA. Health for that and for that which follows.
P.S. WHAT SUPPORTS THE CONTEMPT WHICH PASSES - See how the government gives shows of understanding that which happens: for the secretary of Interior Chiapas is, again, a problem of 4 municipalities; and for the PGR the massacre of Acteal is, now, a product of the perverse vengeance of a resentful and diabolical old man that had the form, the time and the way to arm 60 paramilitaries with AK-47 and R-15, he trained them in techniques of command and planning, with tactical precision an operative that, it is certain, learned from his lectures about the war of extermination in Guatemala? Vietnam? Kurdistan?
P.S. WHAT TO ASSUME - It could be that the Procurator General of the Republic (PGR) is not deceiving everyone and that, when he says that one of the motives of the massacre of Acteal was personal vengeance, he refers to Mr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon and his resentment against the rebelling indigenous communities of Chiapas. I say, it is a suppository.