Interview with James Maffie on Aztec, Philosophy, Mythology, Metaphysics

by | Mar 25, 2024 | 0 comments

In a recent interview, Dr. James Maffie, author of “Aztec Philosophy,” shared his insights into the complex and fascinating world of Aztec metaphysics. Dr. Maffie explained that the Aztec worldview centers around the concept of “teotl,” a constant energy in motion that permeates all aspects of the universe. This energy manifests in three primary patterns: “olin” (bouncing, oscillating motion), “malinalli” (spiraling, twisting motion), and “nepantla” (back-and-forth, weaving motion).

These patterns are evident in various facets of Aztec culture, from art and architecture to rituals and social interactions. Dr. Maffie emphasized that understanding these fundamental concepts is crucial to grasping the Aztec perspective on the interconnectedness of all things.

One of the key points discussed in the interview was the role of sacrifice in Aztec culture. Dr. Maffie clarified that sacrifice was not merely a means of appeasing the gods, but rather a way for the Aztecs to participate in the cyclical process of life and death. This understanding of sacrifice as a necessary part of the cosmic balance sheds light on the Aztec worldview and their relationship with the divine.

Dr. Maffie also touched on the importance of spoken words and the use of psychotropic substances in Aztec spiritual practices. The Aztecs believed in the power of language to transmit life energy and communicate with divine forces. Additionally, the use of substances such as peyote and Jameson weed facilitated oracular conversations with the gods, allowing the Aztecs to seek guidance and enlist the cooperation of other-than-human persons in their endeavors.

Throughout the interview, Dr. Maffie provided a wealth of information on Aztec philosophy, dispelling misconceptions and offering a nuanced understanding of their worldview. He also shared details about his upcoming works, which will explore topics such as the Aztec skull rack as a cosmic maize field and the living nature of images in Aztec codices.

This interview serves as an excellent introduction to the complex and often misunderstood world of Aztec philosophy. Dr. Maffie’s expertise and engaging explanations make the subject accessible to a wide audience, inviting readers to delve deeper into this fascinating aspect of Mesoamerican culture.


Read Dr. Maffie’s Other Publications on Aztec Culture:

Weaving the Good Life in a Living World: Reciprocity, Balance and Nepantla in Aztec Ethics


Nature of Mexica Ethics

The Role of Hardship in Mexica Ethics: Or, Why Being Good Has to Hurt

Did you enjoy this article? Checkout the podcast here:


Therapy, Spirituality, and Mysticism

Therapy, Spirituality, and Mysticism

Read Part 2 Here In the medieval period it was common to take pilgrimages to the holy land from mainland Europe. The trip was an opportunity to face one’s fears and learn to know the deepest...

What Happens to the Eye During a Brainspotting Therapy Session?

What Happens to the Eye During a Brainspotting Therapy Session?

Brainspotting is a revolutionary new therapy for trauma and PTSD. We use many modalities of therapy at Taproot Therapy Collective, but brainspotting is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD and lowering anxiety that I've ever found. when doing brain spotting...

Healing the Modern Soul: Finding Meaning in a World of Broken Images

Healing the Modern Soul: Finding Meaning in a World of Broken Images

Navigating Uncertainty, and Finding Meaning in a Fractured World Our era is characterized by the dominance of hyper-rationality and the relentless pursuit of objective truth, production, accomplishment and consumption.  The human psyche finds itself adrift in a sea of...

How to Understand Jung Part 3: Jungian Analysis

How to Understand Jung Part 3: Jungian Analysis

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 Jungian Analysis and the Path to Wholeness In a world that often feels fragmented, superficial, and devoid of deeper meaning, many people are turning to the rich and transformative tradition of Jungian analysis as a path to...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *