From a 1972 edition of Octavio Paz's "The Other Mexico: Critique of the Pyramid," translated to the English by Lysander Kemp, which I've just finished reading on the metro ride the other morning on Linea 1 from the Centro Historico:
The metaphor of the world as a mountain and the mountain as the giver of life materializes with astonishing literalness in the pyramid. Its platform-sanctuary, quadrangular like the world, is the theater of the gods and their playing field. And what is the game of the gods? They play with time, and their game is the creation of destruction of the worlds. [...] Creation and destruction are antithetical notions to man, but identical to the gods: all is play. In their games -- which are wars which are dances -- the gods create, destroy, and sometimes, destroy themselves.
The chapter "Critique of the Pyramid" is stellar. In it Paz examines the truncated pyramid symbol at the core of Mexican civilization and argues that a sustained critique of the Mexico of monuments, museums, and myth is essential to be free like "a liberated dream":
The true heirs of the pre-Columbian world are not the peninsular Spaniards but ourselves, we Mexicans who speak Spanish, whether we are Creoles, mestizos, or Indians. Thus the museum expresses a feeling of guilt -- except that, by a process of transference and unburdening which psychoanalysis has often studied and described, the guilt is transfigured into a glorification of the victim. At the same time -- and this is what seems to be decisive -- its ultimate exaltation of the Aztec period confirms and justifies what in appearance condemns the museum: the survival, the continuing strength, of the Aztec model of domination in our contemporary history.
Independent Mexico, in its turn, explicitly and implicitly prolonged the centrist, authoritarian, Aztec-Spanish tradition. I repeat: there is a bridge that reaches from tlatoani to viceroy, viceroy to president.
Paz wrote these essays partly in response to the massacre of untold hundreds of students at the plaza at Tlatelolco, on 2 October 1968, a turning point for modern Mexico.