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Long ago, when the world was new, the gods created animals, plants and elements. But they felt alone and wanted someone to worship them and offer them sacrifices. So they decided to create man, but they did not know what material to make it from. First they tried with mud, but the man dissolved in the rain. Then they tried with wood, but the man had no soul or heart. Then Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom and wind, had an idea. He remembered that in the underworld there was a sacred tree that bore golden and sweet fruits. They were corn kernels, the food of the dead. Quetzalcoatl disguised himself as an ant and went down to the underworld, avoiding the dangers and traps of the lords of death. He managed to reach the tree and take a grain of corn, which he kept in his mouth. He then returned to heaven and showed the corn to the other gods. They were amazed by the grain and asked Quetzalcoatl to teach them how to make man with it. Quetzalcoatl took the corn and ground it until it made a dough. Then he added water to it and shaped it into a man. He breathed on the dough and gave it life and breath. This is how the first man was born, made of corn and water. Quetzalcoatl called him Uxmal, which means "he who is three times born." Quetzalcoatl taught Uxmal how to grow corn, how to make tortillas and tamales, and how to offer the corn to the gods. Uxmal was the father of all men, who inherited their corn nature. That is why men are strong, intelligent and grateful to the gods. But Quetzalcoatl also realized that he had created a paradox. By giving the man the corn, he had given him the food of the dead. And by making man out of corn, he had made him mortal. Quetzalcoatl wondered if he had done good or evil, if he had blessed or cursed the man. But he didn‘t find an answer. He only knew that corn was the most precious gift he could give to man, and that man was the most perfect work he could offer to the gods.

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 The Paradox of Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent and the secret of the underworld
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