I was leaning on the handrail of the rear deck this afternoon, drinking a glass of filtered water and thinking ‘Is this what the last day of the world feels like?’. Nature felt very calm. The butterflies were still fluttering about, birds were doing normal bird stuff. The sky was blue with patchy white clouds. The air was pleasantly warm, not in any way oppressive. I had earlier stood quietly in my garden, observing. Plants and trees were continuing to grow. I had picked and eaten a few ripe strawberries and noticed that my tomato plants were well into flowering and some fruits were even already forming.
Everything appeared normal. I had no premonitions of impending doom, and neither it seemed did the natural life going on around me.
This, of course, is to be expected. The world is not going to end tomorrow, 21/12/2012. Nothing important is going to end tomorrow, well, nothing globally important. People, animals, plants, invertebrates, bacteria, even whole species, are of course going to pass away as they do every day. Nothing new there. No apocalyptic event.
Apocalypses are by and large a product of lineal christio-western thought. Not many other cultures are concerned with such events. Most other human cultures think in terms of cycles rather than of lineal time, and of course – assuming that those who deal with these things have calculated correctly – what is ending tomorrow is just an ancient central american calendar cycle. Nothing more. Similar to an automotive odometer scale, having reached its limit of all ‘9’s, the cylinders roll over to start a new cycle at all ‘0’s. So, as I understand it, tomorrow’s date in the Mayan calendar will roll over to 126.96.36.199.0 and next day 188.8.131.52.1 and so on. The ’13’ on the left cycles between 0 and 19 over a very long period (can’t be bothered looking up exactly how long, doesn’t matter to us anyway) and then they add another counter to the left of that so that the thing never runs out. Ingenious.
Isn’t that great? Well, it is probably quite insignificant really, since we have our own calendar and we wouldn’t even have noticed if those silly people who are governed by christio-western thought and are therefore always looking for second comings, end of worlds, raptures, etc., hadn’t cottoned on to the fact that this may be something else to hang a hat on. Just like so many other failed prophesies, this one will be added to the long list.
A favourite author of mine, John Michael Greer, has a book detailing many of these events, “Apocalypse Not: Everything You Know About 2012, Nostradamus and the Rapture Is Wrong” and he details one such “End of the World of the Week” event at the end of each of his weekly posts at The Archdruid Report blog. I chuckle whenever I read his comment ‘Yet again, Jesus did another no-show’.
There is a sinister side to all of this hogwash. It is blinding the western world to the facts about a real world’s end, and that’s a damned shame. No, not the end of the Earth, the planet we call home. Though such an event is always a remote possibility, I don’t think that is something we can plan on happening any time soon or need to worry unduly about.
What we do need to urgently occupy ourselves with is the very real prospect that our home planet is going to change – likely within a period that encompasses the lifetime of many people who are alive now, at this current point in time – and change to the point where it becomes very difficult if not impossible for humans (and other living things) to live on the planet’s surface, either at all or only in very specific and limited places. That is serious stuff.
I will write again about this at another time but in the meantime I can today find no better reading on the situation than this current article on resilience.org: end-of-the-world-nah-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-yah
And maybe, as the world gradually becomes more and more aware at this point in time that this is actually happening …today …now, that this is what 2012 will be remembered for – the year that earth people woke up, rose up and actually did something.