The end of the world as we know it - Page 2

Pondering the alarmist, the mystical, the way-out-there ... and the surprisingly hopeful sides of Dec. 21, 2012

"There is a strange parallel with what the ancient Maya foresaw": author John Major Jenkins

Fueled by insights derived from mushroom-fueled shamanic vision quests in Latin America, writer and ethnobotanist Terence McKenna developed his "timewave" theories about expanding human consciousness, using the I Ching to divine the date of Dec. 21, 2012 as the beginning of expanded human consciousness and connection. And for good measure, the Chinese zodiac's transition from dragon to snake also supposedly portends big changes.

In countries with strong beliefs in myth and mystical thinking, there's genuine anxiety about the Dec. 21 date. A Dec. 1 front page story in The New York Times reported that many Russians are so panicked about Armageddon that the government put out a statement claiming "methods of monitoring what is occurring on planet Earth" and stating the world won't end in December.

Here in the US, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was also concerned enough about mass hysteria surrounding the galactic alignment and Mayan calendar that it set up a "Beyond 2012: Why the World Won't End" website and has issued press statements to address people's eschatological concerns.

So what's going to happen? There are authors, scholars, and researchers who have devoted big chunks of their lives to the topic. Two of the most prominent are Daniel Pinchbeck, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzacoatl and star of the documentary film 2012: A Time for Change and John Major Jenkins, who has written nearly a dozen books on 2012 and Mayan cosmology over the last 25 years.

"I never proposed anything specific was going to happen on that date. I think of it as a hinge-point on the shift," Pinchbeck told me.

But there are those who hope and believe that the end of 2012 marks an auspicious moment in human evolution — or at least that it represents a significant step in the transformation process — and they seem fairly patient and open-minded in their perspectives on the subject.

"The debunking type isn't some rational skeptic. They are true believers in the opposite," Jenkins said. "We don't know what's going to happen. We've been filtering 2012 through some kind of Nostradomus filter."

Jenkins and others like him have been clear in stating that they aren't expecting the apocalypse. Instead, they emphasize the view by the Mayans and other ancient thinkers that this is a time for renewal and transformation, the dawning of a new era of cooperation.

"I think the Maya understood that there are cycles of time," Jenkins said. "2012 was selected by the Maya to target this rare procession of the equinoxes."

If the ancients had a message for modern people, it was to learn from our observations about what's going on all around us. As Jenkins said, "They recognized their connection to the natural world and the connection of all things.


Many Bay Area residents are now headed down to Chichen Itza, Mexico, where the classic Mayans built the Pyramid Kukulkan with 365 faces to honor the passing of time — and where the Synthesis 2012 Festival will mark the end of the Mayan calendar with ceremonies and celebrations.

"It's probably one of the most pointed to and significant times ever," Synthesis Executive Producer Michael DiMartino told me, noting that his life's work has been building to this moment. "As a producer, I'm very focused on the idea of spiritual unity and events with intention."

DiMartino told me he believes in the significance of the galactic alignment and the ending of the Mayan calendar, but he sees the strength of the event as bringing together people with a wide variety of perspectives to connect with each other.

"We're at a crossroads in human history, and the crossroads are self-preservation or self-destruction," he said. "Synthesis 2012 is the forum to bring people together into a power place."


I'm not a high falutin book learned Astronomer and all.

As the Earth and the sun revolve around each other on a plane with the rest of the Milky Way, I suspect they align about once every 24 hours with everything in the Milky Way, including it's rich carmel center. Sometimes on, Yom Kipper, Ramadan, the vernal equinox or even Boxing Day.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

21 XII 2012 ev. - 11:11 (in US etc.) - Be in your natural vibration 8 minutes, only that counts ;-)
GAIA needs us!

Cheers and Happy New Year (and World)

Posted by polish_SHMN on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 10:16 am

Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am having problems
with your RSS. I don't understand why I am unable to subscribe to
it. Is there anyone else getting the same RSS problems?
Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?

Posted by iPhone 4 jailbreak on Oct. 19, 2013 @ 1:33 am

Steven, how can you call for an end to the macro monetary system that is choking the planet while allowing your friendships with the nonprofit and labor employees locally to trump your better judgement in calling on them to end the nexus of corruption with the local 1% in the name of progressivism that is choking the San Francisco we know and love to death?

If you're allowing local friendships to blind you to make the sacrifices to discard a similarly wedged system, wedged in favor of unsustainable power, then how can we expect the massive sacrifices required to move towards a low impact sustainable post speculative economy and culture?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 11:52 am

This interesting for a blog, but not for a publication that takes its coverage of San Francisco issues seriously.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

occasional weaknesses for pot, burning man, nightclub and new agey stuff.

He's just a blissed out hippie at heart, albeit a rather ageing one. They're extinct in most places, so let's cherish him.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

More esoteric belief suggests that when the pineal gland is awakened or activated, as during the time prompt or 11:11 experience, there is the feeling of pressure at the base of the brain. This pressure is described as the effect of connecting to higher resonances or frequencies than normally experienced. Thus, the belief by many is that perhaps time prompts are leading us to the period of awakening in this higher reality, once often associated with increased paranormal activity and psychic abilities. The coming year 2012, with its connection to the end date of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, has been connected with the awakening of the pineal gland in the large numbers of humans, causing a huge shift in the awareness, consciousness, and perception. "As human beings continue to evolve further out of matter, on the journey from spirit to matter back to spirit, the pineal gland will continue to rise from its state of age-long dormancy, bringing back to humanity astral capacities and spiritual abilities," states the Website Crystalinks.

Not me, from a book I read. But it is rather interesting.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 21, 2012 @ 3:05 am