December 21 2012: a new dawn for mankind or just another doomsday scare?

Photo courtesy of NASA

Photo courtesy of NASA

By Martin Gauthier

Two weeks away from the famous doomsday date of December 21 2012, things are moving up a gear. Sales of emergency shelters are on the rise. A blogger ‘reports’ that a UFO has been spotted near the sun. According to the Indiana Statesman, a lawyer is planning to jump off a cliff in Arizona at exactly 11:11 universal time, confident a cosmic portal will then open up to propel him God knows where. Then, you have a lot of worried people with their eyes set on the Pic de Bugarach, in southwestern France, believed to be a refuge in face of the ultimate disaster. But authorities have abruptly cut short any expectations on the matter: access to the mountain has been shut off from the 19th to the 23rd of December.

Others plan to dance it away in Guatemala. Meanwhile, the American government has its own spin on the event, saying there is nothing to worry about. And what about the Mayans? Some of their priests are supposed to celebrate the event at the archeological site of Izapa near Tapachula, Mexico.

You don’t know what December 21 is all about? Where have you been for the past few years? To sum it up, a Mayan age is coming to a close. So says a calendar. There have been scores of books, articles, blogs and research papers published on this, as well as tendentious video footage circulating on YouTube to prepare us for the worst. Even National Geographic jumped on the Armageddon bandwagon. Popcorn munchers can remain comfortably on the watch with the so-called official countdown. But beware: all this material will be outdated come the end of the month, if we’re still there.

Doomsday culture

Will we still be around in three weeks’ time? This is the hot million-dollar question these days…or is it?

It’s not like we’ve not been there before. The list of failed predictions for apocalyptic events is detailed. For all we know, it appears to have started with the Essenes. This Jewish mystical sect reportedly considered a Jewish revolt against the Romans in the years 66 to 70 as the battle to mark the end of time. A few centuries later, a bishop from Gaul, Hilary de Poitiers, announced our end for 365. Christians were again at the forefront on the matter (as they should be, after all it’s their calendar) for the year 1000. Several of them announced from various points in Europe the fatal ending of life on Earth for January 1 of that year.

The list goes on and on. Enter the 20th Century and wouldn’t you know: doomsday cults are thriving. One of the most famous preachers in the business, Herbert W. Armstrong, told the members of his Worldwide Church of God that only they would be saved from the Rapture that would take place in 1936. He revised his predictions three more times (1943, 1972 and 1975) before he called it quits. Harold Camping’s crystal ball took over for the Rapture scene in 1994, before he stepped aside last year. And for those who think they’ll make it past 2012, there’s good news: psychic Jeane Dixon anticipated Armageddon will take place in 2020. Eight more years to wait…

There have been other more astute persons in the prediction field; Nostradamus, for one. I have often read over the years the French seer’s prophecies in his famous book Les prophéties, written in 1555. These obscure quatrains – poems consisting of four-line verses – supposedly predicted major world events like the Coming of the Antichrist and World War III; some even interpreted one of these stanzas as predicting the events of September 9 2001. That is pretty easy to say after the facts are known. The truth of the matter is, you would have had to be in Michel de Nostredame’s head to make sense of his prose. He himself wrote he did not consider himself a prophet.

The Mayans and their prophecy

All this brings us to the case at hand: the Mayan prophecy for 2012. For those who do not know, the Mayan civilization covered a vast territory, stretching from Central Mexico to Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and El Salvador. The origins of the Mayans remain mysterious. The Olmecs are considered to have founded the first Mesoamerican civilization. There are theories that the Mayans evolved from the Olmecs, but they could have been around earlier than we think, as their civilization seem to have flourished earlier and in an independent fashion.  The Mayans themselves refer to their arrival in America as a result of a migration from the destroyed homeland they called Aztlan. This seems to refer to Atlantis which, according to Tradition, sunk in the year 9,654 BC.

Among other talents, Mayans were meticulous timekeepers. They figured out cycles of time to understand the patterns of the spiritual essence and their application for everyday life, be it planting crops or building temples and pyramids. How precise where the Mayans? They worked the year length in days to a precision greater than the Gregorian calendar: 365.242036, to be exact.

One of their calendars, the Tzolk’in, has been in use for the past 3,000 years. But what interests us here is the Long Count Calendar. It spans 5,126 years. Its ends on what has been translated by some in our way of counting time, December 21 2012. This date supposedly marks the end of the Fourth Mayan Age. After that, the Fifth Age begins. According to Mayan mythology, the three previous worlds were destroyed and the present one will be destroyed by fire.

Analyze this

What does this means exactly? Are we slated for oblivion before we even celebrate the passing of 2012? Much has been written on the ‘signs’ leading up to this year. Let’s look at some of them, all coming from above the skies:

  • Galactic alignment: some claim that the rising of the solstice sun on December 21 will be in alignment with the center of our galaxy, something that happens once every precession cycle of 25,630 years. NASA scientists say the coming solstice will be normal and debunk claims of a significant planetary alignment for this date.
  • The return of Nibiru: this planet mentioned by the Sumerians is supposedly headed toward Earth. But where is it? According to NASA, such a world, sometimes refered to as Planet X, does not exist.
  • Sunspot activity: the next peak of activity was forecasted for 2012. If the worst happened, it is safe to say that nothing remotely significant happened so far and that our communication grids and satellites are intact.

To top it all off, news came out earlier this year about the discovery of a Mayan calendar that gives us an extension on life at least for a few thousand years.

A new paradigm?

What do Mayan Elders have to say about the present hype? Author and spiritual teacher Drunvalo Melchizedek talked with some of them. In a newsletter published on his website last month on the subject of 2012, Melchizedek says that “According to the Mayan elders, there is a window of opportunity for a global shift in consciousness until January 2016 and every day during this period of time is equally prone to this possibility.”

Shift in global consciousness…This could certainly makes sense. Twenty-five years ago, on August 16-17, a self-proclaimed expert on Mayan cosmology, José Argüelles, organized the first planet wide synchronized meditation to correspond with a rare alignment of planets. Whether we believe or not Argüelles’ assertion that the so-called Harmonic Convergence began the final 25-year countdown to the end the Mayan’s Fourth Age, one thing remains: events like those help foster a new awareness to help know ourselves better, who we are as a race.

We have entered the Aquarian Age, symbolized by air. Increasingly, inventions and technologies have been using frequencies – airwaves – to reach out. People make an extensive use of their gadgets, phones and computers to communicate with one another. We are more connected than ever before. We want to be in contact as fast as we can.

The next leap in the matter will see us use consciousness to reach out. Welcome to the new spiritual age.

Those expecting celestial fireworks on the winter solstice could be very disappointed. What will you do on December 21? Stay home and do nothing? Have a party? Rush to the supermarket to pick up as much food as you can before heading for your emergency shelter or bunker? What about finding a quiet place to meditate and help foster a planet-wide change in consciousness?

The choice is ours to make.

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Martin Gauthier is the author of We only live once. The book is available in paperback and ebook format on these links at Amazon.com and Amazon.uk. Watch what it’s all about on YouTube. Visit Seek Publications on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Excerpt from my book ‘We only live once’

By Martin Gauthier

Open the door, turn on the light, look around you, turn off the light and close the door. This is about the length of your existence on the cosmic scale. And yet, it is probably long considering the age of the universe.

Viewed in this light, life really seems too short. Yet, everything is relative: when we’re young, we have the impression that we have all the time in the world to accomplish certain things. It becomes quite the opposite when we reach an advanced age: we still have so much to do and so little time to do it.

Then, another disconcerting notion arises in us: all the wisdom accumulated over the years, borne out of the crucible of experience, is of little use when we age because of the sudden or gradual degradation of our physical body. We do justify ourselves by saying that this knowledge will be transmitted to those who follow us – the next generation, our kindred – for their well-being and that of society. British playwright Tom Stoppard summed it all up by saying that age is the price to pay for maturity.

On a personal level though, questions abound: why can’t this experience help me? What did I learn all this for? What an immense waste of time and effort life can seem to be then. Those afflicted by disease or physical disabilities are still more likely to think so. Life seems so unfair, so incomprehensible.

But by looking at everything from a bird’s eye view, we realize that life is a continuous process, a phenomenon that never ceases to be, a vital energy that under our very eyes is transmitted from mother to newborn, handed down from generation to generation, to provide a continuity without which we would simply not be. This transmission of the germ of what drives us, on which we have absolutely no control, makes us realize that we are not responsible in any way for its creation.

Cloning aficionados might not like what follows, but it is no less real: we are incapable of creating life. All we can do is help procreate it.

It is when we understand this that life renders us humble. We can then see the forest for the trees. We elevate our gaze to contemplate the finite and the infinite. Our spirit can fly to see life as a journey, a voyage through time and space, an adventure of which we know neither the beginning nor the end. Life, which unfolds in multiple forms, visible and invisible, is this primeval energy that constantly renews itself but remains the same in essence, an unbroken line in the planetary evolution. How can we not then realize:

We only live once.

Everybody agrees with that, be they atheists, scientists, believers or mystics.

The atheist believes that life is valuable and beautiful in itself and worth living because of its unique character; that there is no need to have a divine intervention to give meaning to it. He believes that the only way to be immortal is to leave a legacy that is profitable for his children or humanity. In his eyes, life ends for the being that dies and that there is no proof whatsoever that there is something else or even that the human being has a soul.

The scientist agrees with this view, but he does so only because of lack of reliable data. He wonders what life after death means exactly, what are the parameters of this idea which, in the end, he considers to be illogical without a verifiable basis. As string theory suggests, he allows himself to see the universe beyond the readily accepted four dimensions, therefore beyond length, width, depth and time. And then, his quest for the infinitely small leads him to probe beyond what is readily observable: subatomic particles.

The vision of the believer generally depends on his religious creed. But he distinguishes himself here in the sense that he grants life a reprieve. He extends it beyond physical existence. If he is not Buddhist, he generally gives life substance, so to speak, by providing it with a soul that evolves in a beneficial or hateful world, a world that is more often than not organized with a foreseeable ending. For Christians and Muslims, it is the resurrection of the dead that occurs before Judgment Day, the end of times. For most religions, this vision of the afterlife leads the practitioner to tailor his existence accordingly.

The mystic, which tends to explain Creation by seeking what makes it tick and by forging links with the invisible, pushes the idea further. He views life as a great puzzle to solve, an essence which emanates from cosmic forces for which the material portion represents its concrete outcome. He strives to understand how it operates. To this end, he studies it; he learns to understand and to love it. By virtue of his faith and inner work, he opens pathways of supra-sensory knowledge from which he gathers concepts he yearns to test personally. In his eyes, life is viewed more and more as a laboratory to conduct spiritual experiences, to help his kindred spirits and further the progress of humanity.

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Martin Gauthier is the author of We only live once. The book is available in paperback and ebook format on these links at Amazon.com and Amazon.uk. Watch what it’s all about on YouTube. Visit Seek Publications on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.