What is going to happen on December 21, 2012?
The days grow shorter and the nights are getting long.
Feels like we’re running out of time.
-“Magic Power” by Triumph.
December 21, 2012 is closing in quickly – less than three weeks away as I write this. It’s one of the most anticipated dates in history, and speculation about what it means ranges from “nothing” to “everything.” My imagination was captured by the speculation back when the last “big day” came around on January 1, 2000, aka Y2K, when I first heard about a Mayan prophecy.
Before Y2K, I told my friends it was just another date on the calendar. Because of a possible glitch in Windows computer operating systems, media rumors of an electronic apocalypse rampaged through the public. I feel much the same about 12/21/12: It’s just another date on the Gregorian calendar, a calendar with proven inaccuracies, as witnessed recently when the Pope said Jesus was not born at the start of the Western calendar; some monk long ago screwed up a calculation and the calendar is mathematically off by a few years. However, the Mayans used a different method for their calendar, and we can presume that the date they describe as the end of one huge time cycle and the beginning of another is the day we know as 12/21/12.
The Mayans believed that time works in cycles, each cycle like the number of an odometer, and 12/21 of this year, Winter Solstice, is when the really big turnover happens, which happens roughly every 26,000 years. It’s like when a car reaches a million miles and the odometer resets to zero. The end of the Great Cycle is marked by a period of destruction, followed by a new, higher order, according to the Mayans.
This concept jives with chaos theory, the cousin of fractal mathematics. Out of chaos arises order. Every part of the whole contains its sum. So there is some scientific basis for what the Mayans, the most advanced astronomers of their time, believed. We know that everything runs in cycles: time, energy, gravity, brain waves. It’s not such a stretch to think that cycles are built into the cosmos.
Of course, we have heard many times before about dates in history like Y2K that would change everything, and those days came and went with a whimper. Notta. What is to say 12/21 will be any different?
The Mayans projected time continuing after 12/21 – the calendar used as the basis of 12/21 fever is incomplete, and new Mayan calendars have been unearthed that debunk the end of time theory – and NASA has done a great job shooting down other associated theories related to pole shifts, Planet X and such. So the original idea about time ending on 12/21 based on the Mayan calendar is, to put it mildly, wrong. All we are left with that stands up to scrutiny is a concept about time cycles and some savvy astronomical calculations left behind by a civilization long gone.
If we accept the idea of time cycles, and that the Mayans were correct in their calculations, 12/21 might have relevance beyond debunked theories and media hype. As a fiction writer it is my job to run with these ideas, and I have run a marathon with them. What I’m about to share with you is my educating guessing on the subject combined with imaginative conjecture, to give you something to think about. I want to believe that what I’m about to tell you is true and will come to pass, but as I’ve learned from studying history and prophecy, it’s a lot easier to be wrong than right.
One Sure Thing: Everything Changes
The Mayans were right to predict disorder and abrupt change preceding 12/21, judging by the times we live in. According to the Mayan concept of time cycles, the last cycle before the big turnover is very compressed. Think of it like a Fibonacci Spiral, a pattern seen in the shaping of everything from seashells to galaxies. The spiral tightens as the line curves to the center. According to the Mayans, the time we live in is the last curve in the line, and a few years during this time would see as much change as thousands of years at the beginning of the time line.
Anyone who has been alive long enough can tell you that the world is changing faster than ever. Since 2011 and the Arab Spring, old regimes have been falling around the Middle East in countries like Egypt, Libya, and soon Syria. Mass changes in politics, law and society marked the preceding decade, post 9-11. Only a decade before then, the Soviet empire crumbled. If you look back before WWI, these sorts of sweeping changes to the world’s power structure were measured in centuries.
Changes to the world’s power structure have accompanied rapid advances in technology. Thirty years ago the home computer was introduced and telephones had cords. The Internet didn’t become widespread until a decade ago. Now, people carry wireless phones linked to the Internet that have the computing power of a 1990’s supercomputer, at a fraction of the cost and size. Back then, gas cost a buck and a supercomputer cost more than the average house. Now, the price of gas has quadrupled and the cost of computing power is thousands of times cheaper. The pace of this advancement only gets faster.
Rapid changes in technology have spurred changes in society that are nothing less than profound. For example, only recently has religion declined as a daily influence in the lives of the majority of Western people. In some countries the church has declined to the point of being no more than a curiosity, a massive change from times past when religious institutions and figureheads dictated norms of behavior and belief, and had done so for millennia.
Or consider how the nature and role of families have changed. Until around the 1970s, families were the center of most people’s lives. Many generations of descendants would work the same family business pretty much the same way. Men asked for permission to marry. Families were heavily involved in other decisions like where to live, go to school or attend church. In some families if not most, your first consideration was for their benefit, not yours.
My examples are not concrete proof of time cycles, but show something many folks sense these days: the pace of change is speeding up. And there is another process happening at the same time that the Mayans mention: The great changes we are witnessing are also bringing about higher awareness in the general public, and this was predicted by the Mayans, who said that the next time cycle would be the beginning of higher mass consciousness and awareness among humanity.
To see how awareness is elevating, consider for a moment what you know or could know that previous generations didn’t have a clue about. You know the age of the universe and how it began. You know the DNA coding and origins of most animals, including humans. You know that the Earth is billions of years old, not thousands of years like some religions would have you believe. You know how to read and write, but several generations ago literacy was not as widespread. Anyone can know more now than at any other time in recorded history.
Dig deeper and what you can readily be aware of compared to times past is vastly more wide open. For example, you can be aware of manipulation by government, industry, religion and media to shape what you feel and how you view the world. You can be aware of yourself as a distinct person with your own agenda, instead of having an identity and agenda subsumed to the interests of your family, church or government. You can be aware of your world as a complex ecosystem of intrinsically interconnected parts. Anything you want to know is yours to know and anything you want to see is yours to see. Human beings have more potential for awareness of themselves and their world than ever before, and not until recently has this been possible.
And yet, our science and knowledge has surpassed our ability to stay on top of it. Changes are spiraling faster than can be managed, leading to disorder and breakdown. Life-threatening problems lie ahead that require a higher level of mass awareness to solve than seems possible, considering the present state of affairs. The Mayan prediction of an Age of Awareness might come true simply because of the necessity for it. Otherwise, humanity appears to be doomed.
At the present rate of population expansion and global temperature rise, the Earth will be a complete wreck before long – not conjecture, that is the widely accepted hypothesis of the vast majority of climate scientists and the World Bank. The trend lines point to a worst-case scenario coming true, and finally a significant minority of people are aware of it. The early and dreadfully hot summer of 2012, and mega-storm Sandy in the fall, were hard not to notice. People are starting to connect the dots between current events and what some people have been crying to deaf ears for decades.
To be able to do anything about it, a large majority of people have to become aware of the truth and care enough to make the changes necessary to avert what scientists say will happen in the next generation or two: coastal cities wiped out by sea level rise, crops unable to grow in the fertile belts of the planet because temperatures are too high, oceans spoiled to the point of being lifeless. And that’s the good news. Most people I know have no clue this is the future we could see in our lifetimes, but even if they did, what the hell could they do about it? Unless we have a mass awakening, I don’t see how the worst can be prevented. The shift to higher consciousness predicted by the Mayans is really our best hope.
12/21/12: The Turning Point?
I think 12/21 could be the turning point because something drastic has to happen right now. It’s desperately needed, and where there is a need, there is a way. Humanity has undergone previous mass shifts to higher awareness as we evolved up from primates. According to the Hundredth Monkey theory, shifts happen when a significant minority among a species population adopts a better adaptation to their environment, and the rest catch on seemingly at once. In this sense, the more people that become aware and shift to a higher level of consciousness, the more likely the changes will be adopted by the entire population. The theory is controversial, but like most radical ideas, it takes time to prove.
There is even a mechanism for spreading a shift to higher consciousness: the collective consciousness, theorized by Dr. Carl Jung. Jung and other scientists have proposed that humanity is connected together at a root level of our minds, and information can travel back and forth along this invisible network. Now, quantum mechanics is showing us that the universe is intrinsically interconnected at the particle level. Our minds as well as the particles that make them up are entangled like roots of one tree.
Another way a sudden shift of consciousness could happen is by increasing the frequency pattern of our brain waves. During times when I have experienced higher states of consciousness through meditation or drugs, I felt like my brain cycled faster – I was a step ahead, and could make connections that elude me when in a normal state of consciousness. If everyone could experience that elevated state together, I think humanity would solve its problems. We have the way, we just don’t have enough will. Brain waves might be altered by an event like a shift in the energy output of the sun, since brain waves are a form of energy, and the sun is by far the greatest source of energy for the planet. I realize it’s highly unlikely to happen, but I’m working from the perspective of presuming (hoping!) what the Mayans predicted will come true, and guessing how.
In a sequel to my novel The Third King, I was going to use Mayan predictions for 2012 and the 26,000-year Great Cycle as launching points for the plot. The central idea is that before 12/21/2012, scientists discover that the massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way emits a beam of supercharged particles that the Earth is going to pass through on that date, when the solar system’s orbit takes it through the north ecliptic of the galactic center. When the day comes, the particle beam, instead of killing everything as feared, causes a mass rise in consciousness. Like a bunch of hippies on a LSD trip, humanity solves all of its problems in one day . . . then wakes up the next morning like it never happened. I mention it because some fringe elements in Mayan prophecy circles say something like my plot could happen, but I couldn’t base the central premise on something I can’t prove is possible. Call me crazy, but I like my bullshit to have a core of truth, so the sequel was never written. Instead I wrote Dreams 1-2-3.
The way I see it, the universe could very well operate in cycles of time. I’ve observed enough cycles of other sorts to accept the possibility. Humanity still has a ways to fall before it gets desperate enough to change what has to change to avoid the worst, I think, so I doubt if 12/21 will bring with it any sudden shifts in awareness or consciousness, as much as I’d like to think so. Instead, I think right now might be the time when the pendulum shifts, and people of the future will look back and say it sure is a coincidence that it happened around the time when the Mayans said it would. Then again, maybe people of the future will understand time itself better than we do. After all, America just reelected the son of a black man and a white woman as President, a man related to the first slave sold in America. Anything can happen.
I think time cycles are necessary because creation is a messy business, and a lot of things get broken along the way. Over time the debris accumulates, so the universe has a mechanism to clean it up every so often. For humanity it means cleaning up the broken hearts, broken lives and broken souls. It means looking in the dark places and opening the old wounds and questioning every assumption. It means healing our divisions and letting go of our grievances.
On 12/21, as part of a Winter Solstice ritual, I will offer back to the universe everything in me that is broken. I will ask it, during the longest night of the year, to shine a light in the dark, beginning in me and extending to the world. I will open up and allow everything in me to be exposed, so that whatever doesn’t belong can burn away. Maybe I’ll be the Hundredth Monkey, the tipping point when the light of higher consciousness sparks in enough minds to finally make a real difference for the world. 12/21/2012 might be just another date on the calendar, but if we are lucky, it will be much more than that.