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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 563)...

    In the response to one question, ID number 551, you said "Among Leaver peoples, food is free for the taking. Takers keep it under lock and key so that you have to work for it." Meanwhile in a response to another question, ID number 552, you described the Maya as Leavers. But didn't the Maya put food under lock and key and force people to work to get it back? Or if they didn't, how did their civilization exist? Or is the difference simply that the Maya considered that they had a choice with regard to what they did with their food, as proven by the fact they eventually did return to a lifestyle in which food is "free for the taking"?

    ...and the response:

    Taker are distinguished from Leavers by three beliefs: that there is one right way for people to live; that they have that one right way; and that everyone in the world must be made to live that way. The Maya may very well have put the food under lock and key within their own civilization, but they were not impelled by these three beliefs to conquer the Western hemisphere. So, even if they were like us in some ways, they still don't fit the definition of Takers. As you point out, they eventually did prefer to return to a lifestyle in which food is "free for the taking."


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