Mexico – Chapter 48 – Monte Albán

We are outside of Oaxaca, Mexico, visiting Monte Albán, once the center of Zapotec religion and power.

The images are of dancers or perhaps prisoners.

I read Chapter 48 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell:

“In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.”

“In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.”

Built in 500 BCE, Monte Albán reached its height in 500-600 CE when about 25,000 people lived in and around the city.

“Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.”

“When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.”

“True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.”

We are on the north part of the Monte Albán complex.

We are on the North Platform. Monte Albán was probably a religious/political center which also had a military defensive element. It looks out over the valley below. Water had to be transported from the river in the valley.

These are rooms in a dwelling associated with tombs.


“It can’t be gained by interfering.”

We visit the museum.

Although the Zapotec were most associated with building Monte Albán, Mixtec people occupied the site and used it for burials. The Zapotec had a writing and calendar system and modern scientists believe that this writing indicates that many stone relief figures represent important captives under the influence of drugs.

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