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Epistemology, Modernism and Sacred Languages:

Two Levels of the Human Language


by
Guillermo Muñoz C.
UPN University
GIPRI-Colombia
Bogota, 2001

Translated from Spanish by Harry A. Marriner.

Abstract: Philosophy, from its beginning, has formulated theories concerning


the basis of experience in general, and also the origin, meaning and function
of the human experience. Using philosophy the first attempts of developing
language, thought and objectivity have been portrayed. From the 16th
century modern science has developed its various branches of study
expressly avoiding the metaphysical area. Philosophical anthropology
(Descartes, Kant and Hegel) has expressed in a modern and contemporary
way how these human manifestations are derived from the same intellectual
activity, from the natural way of thinking, from its processes and
contradictions. From this perspective, art, and rock art is conceived as a
language, as a talent (Chomsky N.), that includes representations by humans.
Nevertheless, it is not possible to assume there is only one structure or one
formula that can be used universally to study all human representations and
unify their language. It is necessary to categorize this discussion as a
complex entity whose parts are outside of conventional scientific
investigation and should be relegated to other areas of scholastic endeavor.

“The sciences of the spirit find their raw material and their problems where the
configurations and the modifications of the external world can be learned as an expression of
the human life. Physics and Chemistry explore a rock as a structural material. But, the fact
that this rock was converted into a hammer a long time ago thanks to a pair of hard blows or
the making of various complex designs on it by engraving on it converts it into a document of
Humanity. And so a psychic meaning is reflected through its material; perceived in this way,
it has been converted by one blow from a mineralogical object into an object of the spiritual
sciences.”

FREYER, Hans. Theory of the Objective Spirit. Editorial Sur, pp. 8.

INTRODUCTION
For many years, a sacred site was understood to be simply a physical place constructed
by a particular culture, using objects from nature, that symbolized their relation with
certain spiritual entities. Using this concept, sites were described and techniques refined
to analyze their characteristics. But, in a wider sense and explaining in more detail, a

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sacred site is really a language(1) linked directly to the forces of a spirit who can
understand it.

If the sacred is seen from this Cartesian perspective as a language(2), it automatically


ceases being a simple visible object, and becomes an integral part of the study of the
qualities that are synthesized there. Things observed, measured, structured in the
language of science(3) and actually collected, don’t contain the same sacredness as such,
and it is necessary to study the thoughts and cultural qualities that give meaning to those
objects in order to understand in-depth, the way that these representatives of the sacred
existed in an unknown language of one of the ancient societies.

Only from this precise cultural and historical plane do empirical objects acquire meaning,
and the most interesting thing is that traditional descriptions should acquire a new level of
meaning(4); there, they are made real, with precise words that give meaning to things(5).
One sacred place is basically an intellectual construction and not a specific spot, that is to
say an empirical spot.

In spite of everything said, investigation of those language places should begin with the
search for the earliest evidence(6), with an obligation to empirically describe the places,
instruments and associated objects. A detailed collection begins the work of study, but the
same origin and bases of the explanation can’t stay here. “Ritual Ceramic”, “sacred
object”, “instrument of a religious cult”, are only abstract definitions that scarcely
suggests their sacred significance. Cultural aprioris are basic goals, but those are not
anything more than organic rules of the human language, a class and a grade of this
universal speech.

The search for the meaning of an object in whichever epoch should be done with a wider
objectivity. One should search in a wider sphere and not simply be translucent in the
world of things, but should do it using the infinite capacity of thought. Investigation
should try to reproduce the possible qualities that articulate and also gave the condition to
certain objects and their hierarchies in order to permit their expression and empirical
presence. We can’t forget that the meaning given to an object in all cultures depends on a
wider vision of objectivity, in which everything is related, so that each human
construction though simple as it may seem, is a quality produced by multiple historic
processes in many ways. An object is then a “synthesis” and a unit of complex qualities.
The central proposal is that which is human, as such, is language and all of that is
configured by it, is characteristic of its system of perception and the basis of human
creations. The sacred, by itself, is language and original meaning, explanation and a
system of social cohesion; it is a system of perception, a condition of order and ranking
of the world. Religion is a system of synthesis that imposes then a manner of resolving
things such as the general destiny of a society, such as aspects that have to do with daily
life. It is for this reason, that communities repeat sacred acts in their workplaces and
reproduce their actions and meanings in their repeated myths, also in the most common
places, so as to guarantee to be impregnated by the same sacred language each time. The

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repetition of the original acts, the acts of the gods, of the perfect life of those who made
order out of chaos and made language, is paradigmatic and that explains why each action,
as elemental as it may appear, is impregnated by this sacred order. On the contrary, man
would lose his true role and would find if each act was arbitrary, in the profane way, but
that doesn’t mean to say it’s without meaning, not human, not sacred, without language.
Modern man, by contrast, has left by the wayside a number of ways of thinking that don’t
meet(7) mathematical parameters, and have also destroyed the option of encountering its
ancient origin. In other words, it has not been able to abandon its latent state, since it’s
wound up in its own self. The crisis of modern thought can’t be attributed simply to its
limited capacity to resolve adequately its proposals and promises, but it has to be seen
from the point of view of ancient cultural forms(8) that were waiting for fissures to be
reborn, to reinstall its objectives. In Third World countries these ancient forms reappeared
with more vigor the instant that Colonial religious powers began to lose the power they
had in olden times, leaving an opening to accomplish the objective, for example, to
permit inhabitants (then Indians, now country people) to relate with a certain openness,
their most ancient histories and act out their thousand year old practices in a natural
setting. The first surprise is to be able to prove that the ancient has not been displaced by
the (modern) “life” of the inhabitants, but that very much to the contrary, it has resisted
the tendency to disappear. These ancient forms of thinking and language (rock art) are
full of representations, a product of diverse relations of man with nature configured in
different historic times, which articulated and regulated the various objects and practices.
These alternate forms stayed alive in the population above all in those communities that
were distant from the process of desacralization and modernization of nature, and were
able to perpetuate their culture. In order to not universalize the debate and be persuaded
easily about what has been found in modern thought(9), to not incorporate popular
knowledge in the ways of science as its processes, it has been forgotten that an historical
millennium force was awaiting resurgence. Lurking in the background, all those
inhabitants conserve the integral form of the meanings of the religions and pre-modern
perceptions, as if they were at the beginning of the disintegration of the system of
explanation and the reality of social modernism. Not having designed a useful image of
the world produced by science, or rather not having socialized its capacity and taught its
origin, the door has been left open for breaking down the world, using archaic forms of
thinking, that are capable of unifying reality, returning to give it a second chance not only
to alter the order, but to create in its movements a supposed richness and capacity to
restore its old and always convincing forms of expressing the truth. Well, these are also
forms of thought and forms of explanation and without a doubt , are proven, and are
capable of creating a social cohesion.

The most interesting thing is to be able to determine how it is possible that certain forms
of perception and living are found at the same time when they were thought to be
outdated. The existence of sacred places that contain ancient attributes continues today in
the mentality of the inhabitants and in each case changes the decisions that each
individual makes, making one believe that it is treated as a progressive autonomous

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attitude, including the past using the disguise of what is supposedly real in order to
perpetuate itself.

EPISTEMOLOGY AND MODERNISM


Those interested in schematizing the origin of the epistemological problems in the history
of human thinking should begin with modernistic investigations that target this concern
and have more recently created an atmosphere wherein the discussions are
developed(10). Whoever desires at the same time to make an epistemological study in
any area of knowledge, can’t avoid the historic basis of these arguments, since through its
change it has impregnated all the phases of contemporary investigation., marking out its
boundaries and possibilities. The Discussion of Method and the Novum Organon, are
without a doubt the first attempts at determining with precision the way one should direct
his thoughts in order to differentiate truth from falsehoods(11). The work of Descartes
and Bacon are basic(12) to the theoretic practical activities, when an investigation tries to
generate order in a work, discuss criteria, determine what is fundamental, arrange events,
place objects, organize and evaluate the scientific objectivity of this or that process of
searching and knowing and generate languages to control nature. These are the first
epistemological works, that not only place the experience as a thematic part of
philosophy, but that it goes inside the history of science and into the criteria of the
investigation, now of the societies, of the modern structures.

It was Descartes who determined the necessity to make a topology of the external world
with a language that was not ambiguous, with the language of mathematics, with the
certainty of subjectivity(13). With that perspective (14) Descartes thought that it was
indispensable to use lines (15) and some distances, and with those it was possible to
determine the location of the objects. Using this method, coordinates (x, y) were created
and using a strictly human language, he was able from this time to produce systems for
universal description. Cartography is a projection of this basic structure. The outcomes of
analytic geometry, not only facilitate the location of objects in geographic space, but
construct equations and functions on its curves. In this way, it is possible to find the area,
the volume and establish relations with other objects. The observation, enumeration, the
exhaustive character of lists, the initiation of the simple or complex, are outside of the
assemblage of rules that should be considered when thinking, but are some of the
guidelines that Descartes considered essential in the new construction of objectivity.
Objectivity is the extension and the thinking that is found adequate for defining the
condition of the world: the world is extensive and thinking can draw these characteristics
in geometric space.

In the same way Bacon, in a similar temperament considered it essential to make a


critique on the traditional forms of perception. In his chapters dedicated to the “idols”
Bacon presents his thoughts on what is now not a good method of working, if one desires
to progress in science and make a practical world. Descriptions in the Nueva Atlantida
show the novel manner that science should proceed and the type of social utopias that this

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projects. What is worthwhile is that the methodological structure of Bacon is derived
from traditional scholastic sources, a discussion that this author considers essential, if one
desires to acquire the capacity to perceive the new reality that is set apart from the study
of Nature. Induction in Bacon is nothing but the search for unique forms of the world
found in the world itself and not in the universalities that have been formulated by
Aristotle and pushed by scholars. The novum organon is a method, a language that
contains two structures. The first makes reference to the cautions and critiques of the
Aristolic-Thomist tradition and in the second part, expresses the procedures that he
considers the basis to gain a new knowledge of the natural world. With Bacon one learns
that whenever methodological work is done, one should analyze earlier themes and
procedures in order to identify the inconsistencies and the oversights through the years. It
is this author who for the first time places on the cloth of judgment the structures of idols,
the ideology that has been brought forward impeding the development of the theme to
leave reality always hidden behind in confusion.

In each one of these discussions concerning the history of modern thinking new postions
are perceived that characterize the conduct of future investigation compared to the
medieval world and its antiquities and now worn out scientific systems. In each one of
these works one can encounter a particular suspicion of traditional thinking, and what is
most interesting and useful, from the contemporary viewpoint, is one particular suspicion
of the same thinking within its own languages. Those, the modernists, were the first who
found two levels of language. Each one of those in his own way understood that it was
more human of man to rule his own language and not negate it with an imitation of
language copied from Nature, since that was denying the human essence.

Descartes warned that his chosen way should not be looked at as more than a private
way; he had his own doubts about the solution that he himself had made. He had selected
the mathematical way, the way that is possible, that permits a coherence derived from the
absence of ambiguity, an intimate projection of mathematics, but this is not the only way,
and this can be a lonely road, one that neglects other choices. The forms produced now in
analytic geometry, the relations elaborated by the rules of the operations defined in the
mathematical language, the exercises derived from those are now projected in Nature,
that which is found in this procedure of a new order for description and documentation. It
is possible now to describe the area of an object by a function, it is possible to use certain
clear criteria to draw its limits. If these rules are universally used, it is possible to repeat
certain types of experiences, construct in an identical form of objects and make replicas
of those. If the world was constructed in the mathematical language, investigations of
analytical geometry are an imitation and with it are the reproduction of objectivity. Up to
now an optimistic methodology is seen that believes firmly in the objectivity of the
method and in its possibilities.

Modern methods consider minute observation essential, but slowly they get tangled in
this and in their infinite possibilities and don’t succeed in generalizing, don’t succeed to
include the totality of the world, as they did in archaic communities. The traditional

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difference between empiricism and European rationalism should be overlooked since
each group not only is, from its position, dogmatic, but also science finds it in total
confusion. It is essential then to constitute a group of principals with which to regulate
experiences and with those one can discriminate and organize the finds (16). Scientific
thinking is converted with this perspective into a judgmental structure, with which one
selects and discriminates experiences. It is with this contemporary methodological theory
that the first philosophical anthropology was founded, from which diverse studies were
spread; those are found in various disciplines. So, for example, one investigator is
interested in a specific theme and organizes his knowledge using a group of strategies and
procedures to encounter the answer to a certain singular type of question. This doesn’t
deal with an unexpected observation, but to the contrary it is a regulated observation, one
scrutinized minutely and done from a conscious perspective previously known and
accepted..

When it was time for science to be organized historically, its languages created a
discipline named epistemology, with which one reflects on its languages and coherency.
Its process and historic origin mark the difference as a level of language outdistancing
thought and pre-modern language.

Sacred Languages in the Context of Rock Art

The situation in Colombia is not like the desacralized modern world, full of citizens at the
forefront of the advancement of civil society, but is a group of people who continue to tell
their children stories, frightening them at night with ancient histories and experiences and
living constantly in this atmosphere. “Yesterday a Tunjo came down from the hill and I
saw a golden chicken with her chicks. My grandmother saw a Muan who was an old man
who asked for food and predicted when the stream would rise there on the farm in the
north of Boyaca.” If the moon, the water and the sun are prickly, it means they will cause
illness. If one is not prepared for them, it is because really we are in a country that
doesn’t think of celestial objects and of natural elements. The use of salt in ritual form,
the road that should be avoided to cure warts, the person made sick from the rainbow, the
daily difficulties that women have with menstruation, the different foods (jute, taque), the
cow that came in contact with moonlight yesterday, show, in various ways, a resistance to
abandon the past. What is more frightening, is the presence of this as a way of organizing
thought. We are looking at another level of language, at structures that originated before
the pre-Columbian world and before the influence of pre-modern colonial thinking, that
is to say, of the European pre-modern education that it helped create in its colonies.

During the past thirty years, investigation has been conducted concerning diverse pre-
Columbian “drawings” painted and engraved in the municipalities and areas of the
Cundiboyacense highlands of Colombia. This investigative work has not been a simple
matter of registration, documentation and study of this art as a formal matter, but has also
been an attempt to determine its meaning through searching its languages. In order to
comply with this objective, it was necessary to look at an object from different

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viewpoints and establish various relationships. Using multiple questions concerning who
painted and engraved these rocks, and what message they contain and what is the
relationship with the artist’s society, a set of new questions was generated and new ways
created for the study of the cultural history of Colombia.

One of the sources for the study of Rock Art has been to read and analyze the
descriptions of things that the chroniclers observed. A multitude of curious and
unorganized data was recorded. One of the best known legends divulged through our
schools is the history of Bochica. Here we learned about the way that this god-civilizer
broke stone hills damming water that had inundated the Savanna of Bogota. He let the
Savanna return to its previous use as a place for agriculture. But, Bochica is also a
personality that we can know better, since according to historians he had the appearance
of an apostle or biblical character. Bochica left his teachings of religion, immortality,
baptism, etc. painted on rocks. It is very possible that we are not talking about just one
person, but of a culture that assailed the highlands, whose invasion left diverse vestiges of
its culture and used various forms of violence and dominated prior forms of religion that
apparently corresponded to the Bachue (17) culture. The journey of Bochica, the sacred
temples (Gacheta, Bosa, Sogamoso, and others) that were dedicated to the sacred goddess
Chia, the conflict of Tizquesusa with the inhabitants of certain zones (Suba-Guacheta)
over the definition of who were the “men of the sun” (Guaguas-Spanish), are only some
of the elements that show that the conflict between Zipa and Zaque was not the only
contradiction that existed in the highland plains at the time of Quesada and probably was
not the basic one. It has always been thought that the legend of Bochica was picked up by
the Spaniards for their interest in conquering these lands, as a way towards an agreement
and valorization of the Indian. Simply, the Europeans were surprised by histories that just
barely had some elements similar to their explanations and feeling of hierarchy and way
of looking at the world.

Investigation into Rock Art has permitted us to plant new ideas and organize new ways to
study the mentality of the inhabitants of the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyaca,
and also recognize similarities with other Colombian zones. In summary, what we can
now say, is that this material possesses without a doubt enough basic information for a
new way of looking at the formation of Colombian culture. If one thinks about the history
of and meaning of these representations, if one reflects on the system of perception that
these forms possess, you’re without a doubt opening a road to the way the rock artist of
this culture thought. Their synthetic designs, their capacity to simplify, indicate a very
complicated artwork. We can’t continue to say that these aboriginal inhabitants were like
children without being embarrassing ourselves.

Apparently the uninformed public thinks that to learn something new about Colombian
pre-Columbian cultures requires one to search in strange places, in confusing
governmental agency files, in expeditions to the jungle, taking weeks and months
dedicated to the labor of searching those documents that were left by the ancient Indian
inhabitants found hidden in the mysterious folds of the nation’s bowels. Nobody suspects

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that it is finally found in an obvious location, next to large urbanizations, in the fields that
today have local roads, that it is in the provinces where they have intensive agriculture, it
is usually in full sight. Very rarely are the large murals hidden. Like rock leafs, they show
the indigenous legacy unknown until it is made obvious today.

Actually, it is not known what rock art means, but you may look at the permanence of
some practices that are associated with them. What has happened during all those historic
changes that has allowed some things to go virtually unchanged? Why do we Colombians
have a certain disposition to paint the same geometric figures, to like certain sounds, to
see certain customs as normal and to unconsciously insist on continuing to eat certain
foods and have hereditary good health since time immemorial? Is it possible that these
forms of rock art or at least some, have been continued up to the present day? How can
we study this level of language? Certainly it is important to determine the quality of these
representations in their original context in order to evaluate their capacity and persistence
to impregnate an unstudied presence.

If such rock art figures are a synthesis of thinking, if they are units that compress
different efforts, then we are confronting a complex unknown culture: our own culture. If
these forms can be articulated, it will be plausible to find a new explanation of cultural
mentality, and think about the cultural heritage they possess that is shown in our own
conduct and social activity.

If, in pre-Columbian times, these objects had a special sacred meaning, would it be
possible that it could be conserved today, even though words don’t exist to explain the
rationale of being in a conscious format? Since some structures have been lost, in what
way are cultural places still built and protected by their participants?

Throughout the history of Bochica it is told that he painted diverse designs on rocks so
that no one would forget the way to weave and dye designs on clothes, also the they way
they should protect themselves from other teachings. Therefore, he left the sacred
symbol: an X…..A cross? It is very interesting to go over the old writings again so that
we can see them from a different perspective, amplify the possibilities available to
respond to questions that these new rock documents create. The historian Friar Pedro
Simon talked about some details about the day the Conquistadors arrived to Guacheta
(Cundinamarca). Besides mass, the Conquistadors left a cross in the temple of the sun.
Many years later it was found in the same spot. Did this happen by chance or is there a
more profound explanation? What seems to confuse and even make cultural difference
ambiguous is that the indigenous symbols, at least some, were similar in form and sacred
character to those used by the Europeans. These are the only histories and legends that we
can revive; those that were completely foreign to the Spaniards were totally erased.

It’s not improbable that some formal structures were similar by chance and had a sacred
meaning. The cross, for the Spaniards, and the X for the Indians were without a doubt
similar. Almost all the historians swear that Bochica was a Christian apostle. The Indian

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interpretation for the Spanish explanation is: sent by Chiminigagua or Gaguas. Both
human groups believed they were talking about the same thing. But, they were different
processes, different levels of language. They were seen as similar but nothing was ever
said about their differences.

Confused and postponing their explanations and meaning of the indigenous spiritual
world, and without having a way to adequately express it, the Indian continued to
disguise his beliefs under the cloth of Spanish and Catholic traditions. We believe that
part of the explanation is here. What is really meant by the pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of
the Christ Child on July 20th in Bogota? What is, and what cultural history is hidden in
the origin of the pilgrimage to Chiquinquira in Boyaca? Do there still exist Indian
temples there, it is something that is not talked about. Bojaca is one of the zones in
Colombia that possesses the greatest number of painted rocks that seem to represent
different epochs, because of the variety of forms found there. Does the present day
sanctuary that invites car owners to baptize their cars and protect their properties, have
something to do with the old teachings of Bochica? It’s very possible.

The actual ways that people live and represent reality are also important. For many years
it was thought that houses in the barrios of the common people conserved pre-Columbian
customs and cultural forms. Fusions and cultural accommodations from diverse social
strata are present here. What is clear is that sacred elements exist throughout the house.
Here, for example, the rue plant is placed at specific places (patio and/or the entrance)
and from these locations it protects the inhabitants. The “novios” (boyfriends) plant, as
you may know, allows daughters of the family to find companionship. The “sabila” (aloe
vera) plant placed behind the door and normally tied with red ribbons, generates good
luck for the owners for life. All these objects synthesize a wide universe, that represent
more meanings than a simple manifestation of a utilitarian article. This is one way of
thinking, a sacred meaning that isn’t Occidental, more distant from modern ways than
one can imagine. It is very possible that there are combinations of Spanish and Indian
customs, but yet, what we attempt to study is a cultural unit, that is to say its total
complex state, and its relationships and differences.

If you carefully observe and don’t overlook the most common occurrences of daily life,
you will have the opportunity to ask about new things and be a tourist in your own
country. Stop and look at the woven palm objects on Palm Sunday when the church has
its procession commemorating the arrival of Jesus. You can observe that these weavings
are made in a special way, that in the crossing of the fibers there is something more than a
casual manual activity. The designs deigned now as sacred, are based on the garden plot
layout and therefore produce the awaited crops using their magic. Only if you use a
magnifying glass do you find other qualities. The weaving is calming but it also is
tumultuous. It should be burned. He who doesn’t have a weaving should place certain
objects in the patio, but these always should be placed in the form of a cross, and if
possible one should use metallic objects. Which cross are they portraying?

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Each Colombian family, at least in the high plains sector, which has been investigated,
seems to preserve a fragment of the history and of the legends that gave meaning to the
pre-Columbian cultures, and yet each one possesses a version “apparently” distinct. It is
important to note that ancient meanings and beliefs of the world are preserved, and more
interestingly, represented, in their versions. Ornamental figures in the window bars of the
houses, and also on the doors and windows, and also on the front walls, have always been
placed for one reason: to protect the inhabitants, and prohibit the entrance of the outsider.
Now when we look at the grates of windows and doors, and also look at the designs on
the outside walls of the entire highland region, we can imagine that these designs were
protective elements of the pre-Columbian culture. Preserved until today without any
explanation of what they mean, they appear repeatedly on those homes that are in the
process of urbanization. The designs aren’t needed for architectural reasons; they were
made by workers because they wanted to make them and with them they contain a charm
all their own. A house is not simply a place where a family lives. It is a space full of
symbols, of prohibitions and permissions; a sacred place. The expression of the sacred is
configured by all its elements: plants, objects, forms and figures, the placement of these
things in their spots, many of them being associated with rock art traditions. But, also a
new dwelling presents itself. This “house” is decorated with tiles in the shape of
diamonds and refers to a second place of protection: the cemetery; there the symbol is
reproduced in all forms-- small houses are built and those are adorned with ancient
magical designs.

As with all the processes of assimilation in other cultures, these elements have survived
accompanying the common people since time immemorial. One just has to observe the
altars in buses, mini-buses and executive buses. Each one of the bus drivers drives within
a sanctuary. Besides images of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus placed in a hierarchal
and in a class-oriented manner, there are also rock art designs that have been observed
over and over again in ancient sacred sites as painted and engraved rocks. Each of these
sacred objects is placed, as if placing patches on the church altar, but they are really
forming special designs observed in very ancient forms.

How then, does rock art manifest itself in today’s magic-religious life? Up to now you
have been able to observe some ancient and modern structures that have been seen on
painted or engraved murals, whose designs are repeated in forms that announce and are
linked to the sacred: triangles that are joined point to point and appear to be faces with
chins touching each other appear on various objects, without really being seen, not being
used for an obvious cultural purpose, but they automatically express themselves, they
live. Also some investigators call these rock art forms chalices as a mistaken reference to
Catholic traditions. Diamond shapes, crosses, triangles, and others, are observed on
shawls and sweaters. Little by little these ancient designs have been incorporated in an
impressive way to daily life. Today the country people can talk about what they know and
promote their thoughts and ancient ways of perceiving things.

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When this point of view is assumed, automatically it generates a very special perceptive
capacity and an accelerated curiosity that changes one’s mental interpretation of every
urban and country space. It is very difficult now to assure that they are capricious acts,
simple coincidences, or loose fragments that roll through the life of the people. All this
has a certain coherence, a level of language and its curious basis seems to find itself very
uncomfortable in the study of pre-Columbian cultures when compared to the
conventional (18) archeological criteria, whose view of the world is from another plane.

Only recently has it been possible to explain this situation. The Investigative Group of
Indian Rock Art (GIPRI), is studying this patrimony and is searching for ways to explain
it from a basis of what is meant by thought and the notions of space, the concepts and
representations of the human body, of the sacred, and finally all those hidden qualities
that constitute and configure what is really the process of thinking and what is the Indian
language.

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Méjico, 1978.
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Venezuela, 1990

1. The studies of N. Chomsky about thinking and language show a new appraisal of the Cartesian thinking
and of its implications to the knowledge of the esthetic world, and of the world of perception.
2. Language is not a mechanical reproduction of the external world, but a manifestation that should be
studied by considering the nature of thinking itself.
3. In spite of the success of Newton’s system, epistemology encounters new ways in Descartes to reflect on
human thinking and with that, to determine the systems of representation that exist in art and rock art.
4. Zoomorph, geometric, naturalistic, schematic, and tectiform, are all contemporary superficial
expressions and are far from the culture that produced such languages. They are only notions that show
the distance between two human languages; a product of distinct relations in time and space.
5. Concrete science not only continues with the Cartesian influence in Levy Strauss, but in his
investigations it is possible to see the complexity and the structures that are the basis of whichever act
that appears to be elemental.
6. The systematic register of archaeological finds refine and specialize the systems of documentation,
unifying criteria, and re-actualizing techniques that permit one to save the original.
7. Modern thought is an image of the world, not only in the investigations of Heidegger, but also is so in
that of Descartes. There the Aristotlic thoughts end and with them the ingenuity that attributed reality to
worldly things.
8. Probably shamanism studied as a language will show that it doesn’t deal with an objective matter as
such, but comes from rules of thought that relate to different fields and within its structures; it unifies
fields that can’t be understood outside of the same structure. From there arises the importance of
studying the relation between myth and rock art. Some of these structures were easily assimilated as
proof of the Aristotlic hegemony. New studies in the future will show their relationships and differences.
9. Not learning the secret of reality in modernism, is to say that subjectivity is at the origin of experience,
they returned to install the dogmatic traditions that deny the form as man has come constructing reality.
This aspect returns without a doubt the theme to the political arena and with them to the classic themes
of alienation, alignment and extrangement.
10. The investigation of Heidegger, Kofler from distinct perspectives show that the essence of the science
and also the technique, are derived from modern sources. The epoch of the image of the world, and the
secularization of Nature, are some of the themes that permit one to put forth these premises.
11. Also the political-legal world encounters in this same social space of modernism structured methods to
make the government of the republic or the government of the principality. One example of this
methodological disposition is found in the work of Maquiavelli.
12. (12) With new relations now in the society, intellectuals of 16 th century departed from the lack of
confidence of traditional thinking carrying the spiritual atmosphere of the commercial epoch to the last

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consequences. Free men are free when they know that their reality has been the product of their own
doing. They will then speak of their works and universalize their knowledge through them.
13. (13) Precisely this new way of confronting experience now from the direction of subjectivity permits
one to study the sacred languages of pre-modern societies who, thinking from this perspective show how
it was thinking and human language that generated the diverse processes of representation and with
those, also rock art representations.
14. (14) Mathematics is a structure that in modernism has found its coherence in the absence of ambiguity.
This language had the possibility to reorganize the world from an enclosed state, without contradictions.
Using mathematics one can organize Nature. Next, sociology, physics and the other sciences had to
assimilate those bases to convert themselves into sciences.
15. (15) It is not important how nature appears, but what it is interesting to man is to put his criteria to it.
Descartes, Discussion of the Method, Chapter II.
16. (16) This would be the point of view of the philosopher E. Kant in his work The Critique of Pure
Reason, as a way to overcome the contradictions present in the objective criteria before 1781 .
17. (17) Bachue is another goddess from the pantheon of Muisca deities.
18. (18) Some of them are curiously heirs to the Aristolic thinking, at least in our medium, that is to say in
Colombia.

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