The end of the world as we know it - Page 4

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

Van Horn has been focused on this galactic alignment and its significance for years, giving regular presentations on it since 2004. "The earth is being flooded with energies from the galactic center," she said.

Issac Shivvers, an astrophysics graduate student and instructor at UC Berkeley, confirmed the basic facts of the alignment with the galactic center and its rarity, but he doesn't believe it will have any effect on humans.

"The effect of the center region of the galaxy on us is negligible," he said, doubting the view that cosmic energies play on people in unseen ways that science can't measure. In fact, Shivvers said he is "completely dismissive" of astrology and its belief that alignments of stars and planets effect humans.

Yet many people do believe in astrology and unseen energies. A 2009 poll by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 25 percent of Americans believe in astrology. A similar percentage also sees yoga as a spiritual practice and believes that spiritual energy is located in physical things, such as temples or mountains.

This moment is really about energy more than anything else. It's about the perception of energies showering down from the cosmos and up through the earth and human history. It's about the energy we have to do the hard work of transforming our world and the vibrational energy we put out into the world and feel from would-be partners in the process ahead.

"If you're a liberal person without a spiritual grounding, it does look pretty bleak," Pinchback said, noting the importance of doing the inner work as the necessary first step to our political transformation.

And both Casey and Brezsny believe in rituals. "Humans have been honoring the winter solstice for 26,000 years," she said. "Every winter solstice is a chance to say what is our guiding story that we want to illuminate."


The world is probably not going to end on Dec. 21 — but it could end in the not-too-distant future for much of life as we know it if we don't change our ways. Humans are on a collision course with the natural world, something we've known for decades.

In the last 20 years, the scientific community and most people have come to realize that industrialization and over-reliance on fossil fuels have irreversibly changed the planet's climate and that right now we're just trying to minimize sea level rise and other byproducts — and not even with any real commitment or sense of urgency.

The latest scientific research is even more alarming. Scientists have long understood that individual ecosystems reach tipping points, after which the life forms within them spiral downward into death and decay. But a report released in June by the Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology has found that Earth itself has a tipping point that we're rapidly moving toward.

"Earth's life-support system may change more in the next few decades than it has since humans became a species," said the report's lead author, Anthony Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley.

While the Earth has experienced five mass extinctions and other major global tipping points before, the last one 11,700 years ago at the end of the last ice age, Barnoksy said, "today is very different because humans are actually causing the changes that could lead to a planetary state shift."

The main problem is that humans simply have too big a footprint on the planet, with each of us disturbing an average of 2.27 acres of the planet surface, affecting the natural world around us in numerous ways. The impact will intensify with population growth, triggering a loss of biodiversity and other problems.


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