In world religious and spiritual traditions as distant as Central America, the Andes, and the Middle East, the concept of the soul and the axis of its universe, the Tree of Life, provide a unifying thread of thought. This lecture compares and contrasts images of the soul from the great mystical texts of Mayans, pre-Incan Andean peoples, Jews and Christians. The Popul Vuh of the Quiche Mayas of Guatemala, the Huarochiri manuscript of Peru’s Lurin Valley region, the Zohar of Judeo-Spanish Cabbalists, and the texts of Celtic Christian scholars, provide different but not conflicting mirrors of the human soul and the World Tree to which it clings. This talk clarifies our human commonalities.
Sharonah Fredrick is trilingual (Spanish-English-Portuguese) and a lecturer on Mayan, Andean and Southwestern Native American history, anthropology and resistance strategies; as well as, cultural history and inter-cultural communication, mythology, the Kabbalah, and religious mysticism of the 16th-18th centuries. She earned her doctorate from Stony Brook University in Hispanic and Latin American literature and has lectured in over 21 countries throughout Latin America, North America, the Middle East and Europe. Fredrick has published articles in Spanish, English and Hebrew on folklore, history, cultural conflict and mysticism and authored full-length plays in Spanish and English, performed in Mexico and at NY’s Julia de Burgos Theatre.