For the past few years, the mass media has helped promote the fear surrounding the end of the Mayan calendar. December 21, 2012 we are told, is doomsday. The last day of the Mayan calendar and the supposed destruction of the earth. Countless movies have shown us dramatic displays of the destruction but there's much debate as to the form it will take. Massive earthquakes, volcanoes and tidal waves are all thrown in the mix. Some new age groups believe that a pole shift will occur
with the north and south poles suddenly trading their positions, wiping us all from existence.
Our planet has faced doomsday, or rather doomsday predictions, on numerous occasions. There was mass panic at the end of the first millennium A.D. The year 999 turned out to be quite a prosperous one for churches and monasteries as people donated all of their earthly wealth, hoping for a chance at salvation before the end came with the dawn of the year 1000. There have been other end points predicted too. The year 1524 was supposed to bring a great flood that would end the world on February 20th. This prediction was based on a conjunction of the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Alas, there was only a bit of rain here and there.
We've had modern scares of the end too. The year 1999 saw a rise in Armageddon fever. It seemed that the year 2000 was scheduled to bring about a great cyber collapse. Better known as Y2K, the dawn of 2000 was supposed to usher in the total downfall of all technology throwing us back to the stone age. Yet, here we are in 2012 and every teenager in sight has a cell phone in hand.
The biggest question that should be asked about the end of the Mayan calendar is, what do the Mayans themselves say?
"It's only the end of a cycle, not the end of the world" one elder told me. The Mayans were very advance in the art of time keeping and were able to track cycles well into the future. The December date marks the end of a cycle in the Mayan long count calendar."We see this not as an ending, but as a transition time. It is a chance for all of us to change how we chose to conduct ourselves, to change what isn't working and to live in a better way. There will be some turmoil yes, but sometimes that is needed to help people wake up and take notice that things must change."
Despite the Mayans long battle against the doomsday myth, the government of Guatemala seems to prefer the end of the world scenario. In fact, this December, Guatemala's Ministry of Culture is hosting a massive event in Guatemala city. The gathering is being promoted as a 'doomsday' celebration and the country expects close to 100,000 attendees. Apparently, the government is hoping to profit from the end of the world.
An alliance of traditional Mayans called Oxlaljuj Ajpop plans to hold scared events in five cities to counter the government sponsored doomsday party. The group's leader, Felipe Gomez states, "We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are not telling the truth about time cycles."
There will of course be changes. We've been seeing these on a global scale for the past few years and it should be clear to everyone by now that we simply must transform how we conduct ourselves on this planet. The Mayans believe that the end of this cycle brings with it the opportunity to re-evaluate ourselves and our society. Yes, there's war, chaos and strife all around us but we don't have to accept it as our permanent reality. If we take the Mayan lessons to heart and work together for a more positive future, there is nothing that we can't accomplish.
If you prefer to hold to the belief that the world is about to end and want to dump all of your money, well, feel free to send it my way, I'm not a church but I'll be sure it's put to good use. Otherwise, let's all focus on a positive, spiritual world as we enter 2013.