Predictions as Truth

What do you expect when looking through the "new age" section of your local Chapters bookstore? Surely some books on Gemstone therapy, maybe something on spiritual clairvoyance, or even the tarot. What you wouldn't expect is to find an entire section devoted to the most recent fear-theory "2012", the chosen year for when the world, and everything we hold dear, will become extinct. "Apocalypse 2012: An investigation into Civilization's End", "2012: Crossing the Bridge to the Future", "2012: The War for Souls" are just a few of the positive and enlightened titles.

Why December 21st, 2012? The Mayan civilization used the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar, which completes its thirteenth b'ak'tun cycle since the calendar's mythical starting point on that date. They used this date in reference to and to compute other dates from which predictions were foretold. This date also represents a close conjunction of the winter solstice sun with the crossing point of the milky way equator and the path of the sun. Some scientists predict extremely hot sun flares and drought impacting the earth, while astrologers state that it's the ending of the age of Pisces and the start of the age of Aquarius. What this means is slightly more unclear. As for scientific-based evidence, there isn't a unified front available, only theories.

The 2012 prediction sounds too much like the one revolving around the year 2000, when many experts came forward to offer their take on the why, when, what, where, and how of the world's imminent end. Technology was the culprit- the human race had gotten too confident in its gadgets and innovations and would now suffer for a glitch in the system that would cause the launching of bombs and missiles and the shutting down of the widely used and depended upon internet. Valid new sources were predicting the impact on businesses and the world economy. Scientists and engineers emerged to instruct us of how to deal with a nuclear blast and what supplies we needed to survive once this happened.

Last time, the situation accumulated to one thought:"wow, maybe the human race isn't indestructible. We created technology, but maybe it's too advanced, we've dug too far, and now we are the source of our own destruction", or something along those lines. And the end result? Nothing happened. On the stroke of midnight, when the year 1999 became 2000, after every single country had counted down, in their respective time zones, nothing happened.

With this new doomsday theory, the emphasis is clearly on spirituality and belief systems, since the very idea comes from the Mayan calendar, whose beliefs were steeped in myth and lore. The Mayans believed in several gods, and ritually sacrificed blood during major events and changes; it was seen as the ultimate for royalty to sacrifice blood because they were seen as descendants of the gods. Symbology played an important factor in their civilization, since serpents, skulls, and bones were all thought of as links to the next world. Could it be that our society has grown too far from our own souls and the spirit world, and that we need a little scare to encourage our enlightenment?

Free thought and opinion are important, but the unnecessary extortion and peddling of fear is worrying for our society. Why should it be acceptable for any author or self-proclaimed expert to write on a largely unbiased phenomenon that adds absolutely no benefit to the reader's life? On the contrary, it would inject fear and worry into a society.

However, there is a bonding aspect to the idea of everything being destroyed in 4 short years, since all people on earth, regardless of culture, background, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, will be in the same boat. And what a unifying thought that is, that no matter how shitty your day was or what prejudices you have against your neighbor, it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Because in the big picture, you'll both be left on your own to face whatever evil and destruction 2012 will bring, as predicted by experts.

The lesson learned? Keep an open mind, but don't believe everything you read on this topic. Oh- and you might want to make that visa payment, just in case you're still alive 4 years from now in a world that still believes in interest.

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