10 Things I’ve Learned (or Think) About 2012…
I’ve been wanting to weigh in on the various 2012 prophecies out there, but wasn’t sure the world really needed another post on this topic. In the end though, I just couldn’t help myself. Mostly because I have been reading a lot about it anyway, in order to sort out my own thoughts on the matter, so I might as well share them here.
Just as a preamble, in case you’re not familiar with this topic (and you can skip this part of you are), the predictions stem from the belief that the Mayan calendar ends (or restarts, depending on who you ask) in December of 2012. There are two main types of prophecies associated with 2012:
Apocolyptic: The world is going to end, due to a massive natural disaster or astro-event, and/or we’ve reached a religious ‘end of days’ (i.e. God has had it with us.)
Rebirth: The world is going to go through a major shift in consciousness and/or rebirth, and will be changed forever after this time, for the better.
There are also variations and combinations of these two predictions, mostly having to do with this being a crises or decision point for humanity. I have read probably hundreds, maybe thousands, of different takes on 2012 in the last year. For what it’s worth, here’s what I’ve learned:
1. 2012 is BIG business.
There have been a slew of books, TV specials and movies on 2012 already, and one prediction you can bank on is that there will be more. I mention this because I think that in order to really see intuitively on any topic, you first have to sort through the psychological or cultural issues that might be influencing your awareness. And there’s a lot of players in this one, a lot of whom are making a lot of money.
I’m probably especially suspicious when I see this because I was a software developer/project manager back during the 1999-panic days, and most of my work from 1995-1999 was related to software changes in preparation for 1999 (remember that?) I never saw anything that remotely suggested the world might have collapsed had it not been changed, but we (anyone in the technology industry, that is) made loads of money during that time. So I think it’s always worth asking, who stands to gain $$ from this?
2. At the end of the trail, there’s just a broken mango.
There is a Jataka tale (Buddhist folk tale) that I read recently to my kids that basically goes like this: A little white rabbit hears an earth-shattering thud and takes off in panic, believing a giant earthquake must be in progress. As he runs through the forest, other animals ask what’s going on, and when he answers, start to run with him. More and more animals join the fray, until finally a lion sees them all and, fearing they will all run off an upcoming cliff, gets them all to stop and asks what’s going on. He initially asks a buffalo, who says ‘the deer heard a sound’, and the deer says ‘no, the fox heard a sound’, who of course says ‘no the raccoon heard a sound’ and so on and so on until someone finally says, ‘no, the white rabbit heard a sound.’ So the rabbit says ‘yes, I really did hear the earth cracking open!’ And the lion, says ‘let’s go back to where you were at the time.’ They travel back to the mango tree that the rabbit was sitting under, and it turns out a giant mango had fallen on the ground right next to him and broken open.
What I discovered is that everyone writing about 2012 is referencing everyone else, and there are very few people making prophecies who actually know anything about the Mayan calendar itself, which is initially what started all the hypothesizing. In other words, at the end of the long morass of internet links, there is a broken mango. Among the anthropologists, astronomers, and historians that actually study the Mayan, there is a considerable amount of debate as to the calendar calculations and what they mean, and present-day Mayans attach little meaning to the date. In addition, the astronomer/author who first posited some of the possible solar/galactic events that might correspond to the Mayan calendar ending, which were used as the basis for the History Channel’s popular ‘Doomsday’ series, has roundly denounced the apocalyptic conclusions that have been drawn from his work.
It’s all too much to go into here, but the Wikipedia article on 2012 does a decent job of summarizing it (sometimes Wikipedia does work like it’s supposed to, with competing views duking it out and eventually settling into a well-rounded summary.)
None of this is meant to discount theories on 2012. It has clearly captured our attention. So I think it’s worth looking at why.
3. FEAR and HOPE, are the drivers behind the intense interest in 2012.
Perhaps the two primary drivers of the human psyche, this dichotomy is expressed in lot of different pairings: aversion and desire, the things we want and the things we don’t, or the past (foundation for fear) and the future (hope), heaven and hell, and more.
Much has been written about our ‘culture of fear’ in the last few years, and how the media feeds it, but how about hope? What is wrong with hope, you might ask? Well nothing, really (there’s nothing wrong with fear either, in my view, it’s what you do when you feel it that matters.) Hope is a wonderful thing! Except when it is exploited, as in “invest $500 with me now and you’ll have $10,000 return in a year!” or “10 pounds a week weight-loss guaranteed!” or “this meditation technique leads to instant enlightenment!”
I’m not saying that’s going on, but it’s hard not to read both the doomsday and utopian visions for a post-2012 world as gigantic projections and magnifications of these two driving psychological forces.
So, why are we so susceptible to them right now?
4. We all feel the world is in crises, and are looking for answers.
From climate change to terrorism, recession to nuclear proliferation, we all feel like we are on the brink. Like we really could blow it this time, and this planet we call home, or at least our ability to live on it, could possibly cease to exist. And of course the media makes a lot of money (see #1) reporting on these things, so they are constantly in our attention.
So far, it probably sounds like I am completely debunking 2012 prophecies and feel they are nothing but hyped-up BS playing on our emotions. But that’s not actually what I think. I also sense, and this is entirely personal and intuitive, that we are truly in the middle of a transition right now, on many different levels. So here’s some of the material I found that resonate the most for me:
5. 2012 is part of a larger ‘yuga’ or cyclical shift.
From the ‘age of aquarius’ to the Hindu/Buddhist concept of ‘yugas’ there are many different theologies out there regarding the cycles of time, and the ages of humanity. The one I am personally most familiar with is the latter, the idea of ‘yugas’, present in both Hindu and some Buddhist teachings. Although there’s some debate, the most common perception is that we are currently in the kali yuga, or the last in the yuga cycles before a return to the first yuga begins (these are each thousands of years long, BTW.)
One of the interesting ‘symptoms’ of the kali yuga according to texts on the subject, is an increased divisiveness, along social and religious lines, and I think we certainly see that, particularly here in the U.S. in our so-called ‘culture wars’. It’s translated as a ‘solidification of views’ or ‘solidification of ego’ in some of the things I have read – a kind of increased ‘otherization’. I see that happening on both ends of the political and religious/spiritual spectrum, and it is part of the 2012 debate, in my view.
6. This solidification is the real problem, not the views themselves.
Both sides of the various political and religious ‘battles’ that are going on are increasingly certain that the future of humanity depends on their views, their agenda, becoming manifest (again I am talking mostly here in the U.S. as that is what I am familiar with, but because of the role this plays in our politics I do think it has global implications.) And this includes various ‘new age’ assertions about the positive shifts in consciousness occuring, which all too often actually translate into ‘more and more people are starting to think like me‘.
I don’t mean to belittle these views – my own views would probably be considered ‘new age’ by many people – but I do think there are many different agendas being put forth here. And mostly, there’s just not a lot of heart in these dialogues, not a lot of openness, not a lot of “we’re all in this together” type attitude, even when on the surface, that’s the stated goal. There is a lot of ‘us’ and ‘them’, those ‘in the know’ and ‘everyone else’, and a touch of superiority running under the surface. And I don’t claim to be entirely innocent of this myself. But I am bringing it up because I do believe if you’re going to examine something, you need to shine a light on the entire thing, bring all the shadows to the surface, on the way to the truth.
Which leads me to one of the only concrete predictions I will make about 2012:
7. There will be another bitter, divisive, and close U.S. Presidential election.
In November of 2012, we will have our next Presidential election, which means all of 2012 will be consumed by it, media-wise. It will be dirty, it will be bloodlust, we will hear constantly that the fate of the world rests in our hands, and we will be desperate for celebrity sex or reality tv scandals to divert our attention, at least for a day or so.
In the end, someone will win and someone will lose. Those who backed the winner will feel victorious and certain that a new day is dawning, and those who backed the loser will feel bitter and certain that the end of the world is near. In my view, both are equally delusional and equally egoic.
I’m not saying politics don’t matter (I actually think they matter quite a bit), and I’m sorry to sound cynical and jaded, but is there anyone out there who really believes things will go otherwise? (Idealists welcome!)
8. Nevertheless, changes are occurring, and an expanding spiritual awareness is part of it.
I do believe this. I do believe there is a greater connection to our spiritual selves unfolding, to multiple layers of consciousness, and that many, many people are experiencing this, including those holding very different spiritual views than my own. I do believe things are ‘speeding up’, a common phrase associated with both the kali yuga and 2012 prophecies. I do believe doorways are open right now, doorways that have been closed or hard to access for awhile.
But I also think it is happening much more gradually than many would assert, and that the divisiveness I spoke of above is only going to increase in the short-term, and it’s something we all need to think more about. And I think if we could crack that nut, the nut of divisiveness, it would do a whole lot more good than thousands of seminars and projections about 2012 itself.
9. The balance of yin/yang, and how they relate to the feminine and masculine, is undergoing a massive shift.
Another shift that I think is major, major, and that is somewhat related to why I do this blog, is the balance of yin and yang, or feminine and masculine energies, and how they relate to our ideas about what it means to be women and men. This has been written about a lot, so I won’t belabor it here, but certainly the rebirth of the feminine in spirituality, the evaluations of the role of women in religion, the shifts in marriage, the social changes in men’s and women’s social roles – all of this is part of that shift for me. And it isn’t really about either men or women, it’s about finding a new balance between these energies, and their expression in our individual minds, and our culture at large.
10. Regardless of what happens, existence will go on – it is bigger than humanity or even the planet earth.
I do believe this. I think there is just a tad of self-absorption behind the assumption that we (humanity) or the earth are the center of the universe, and this sometimes gets in our way. This isn’t meant to be an excuse to do nothing though, it’s just a call to humility. Which in our ‘brand yourself’ world, is hard to come by. I do believe human life is special, and sacred, and I want to save it. And I think humility and an open heart, instead of drawing battle lines, is the only way to do so.
So what do you think? I hope this post didn’t come off as dismissive to anyone’s views, because I didn’t mean for it to be. I am truly interested in other’s views on this, so please share. Namaste-