For any true believers out there who were planning to run up a lot of credit card debt prior to the “end of the world” that was supposed to take place between December 21-23, 2012, you might want to change those plans (or not!) because it looks like the Apocalypse just got cancelled.
Via The Washington Post:
In a striking find, archaeologists in Guatemala report the discovery of a small building whose walls display not only a stunningly preserved mural of a brightly adorned Mayan king, but also calendars that destroy any notion that the Mayans predicted the end of the world in 2012.
These deep-time calendars can be used to count thousands of years into the past and future, countering pop-culture and New Age ideas that Mayan calendars ended on Dec. 21, 2012, (or Dec. 23, depending on who’s counting), thereby predicting the end of the world.
The newly found calendars, which track the motion of the moon, Venus and Mars, provide an unprecedented glimpse into how these storied sky-gazers — who dominated Central America for nearly 1,000 years — kept such accurate track of months, seasons and years.
“What they’re trying to do is understand the large cycles of cosmic time,” said William Saturno, the Boston University archaeologist who led the expedition. “This is the space they’re doing it in. It’s like looking into da Vinci’s workshop.”
Before the new find, the best-preserved Mayan calendars were inscribed in bark-paged books called codices, the most famous being the Dresden Codex. But those pages hail from several hundred years later than the newly found calendars.
It will be interesting to see just how steadfast some people will cling to their beliefs in these New Age theories. Especially the ones who have gone out on a limb promulgating them in public. We’ll never get to hear Terence McKenna’s reaction to still waking up on Christmas Day, 2012, sadly, but what will Daniel Pinchbeck have to say I wonder?
Maybe Daniel and Harold Camping might want to grab a coffee!
Here’s what I wrote about the 2012 nonsense back in 2009 in a post titled “2012 is for suckers (and lapsed Christians)”:
Christian apocalyptism has been projected onto counterculture thought due to a surprisingly widely-held belief that the calendar of the ancient Mayans is going to “run out” and via various New Age theories (Jose Arguelles, Terence McKenna) growing in currency since the 1980s and conflating into one giant unstoppable Internet meme.
Y2K and went without a hitch and guess what? Every other previous doomsday failed to materialize also.
Here’s a telling anecdote, it’s all I have to offer you on the subject: In the mid-90s I had the occasion to ask Timothy Leary what he thought about Terence McKenna’s theories about 2012. He sat up in his chair—he was in horrible shape at this point, I should say—fixed his gaze upon me and wagging a finger in my face, sternly told me, “Terence McKenna is a High Episcopalian! He was raised to believe in the end of the world in church on Sundays. There is NO SCIENCE to any of this. He took psychedelic drugs and he interpreted those experiences via his own nervous system, which was pre-disposed to want to believe in the end of the world in the first place due to childhood imprinting about the Book of Revelations! If you believe in these things, why not just become a Christian and then at least you’ll be in the mainstream!”
If you buy into this stuff, you need to ask yourself WHY that is. Is it residual Christianity that you thought you shook off, but didn’t? It’s a valid point.
I’ve talked about this subject with Robert Anton Wilson as well and his take was different, but complimentary to what Leary had said. Bob very simply explained that calendars are man-made constructs. They are based on astronomical observations, of course, and the Mayan calendar is pretty accurate, but the idea of an end date, presupposes a start date and who CHOSE that date? It’s arbitrary and the whole argument starts to fall apart there.
In a 2009 AP article written just before the 2012 Hollywood blockbuster came out, Mark Stevenson wrote about school children and young mothers living in fear (shades of the “Duck and Cover” era of the atomic 1950s) of the imminent the end of the world:
Apolinario Chile Pixtun is tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the Mayan calendar supposedly “running out” on Dec. 21, 2012. After all, it’s not the end of the world.
Or is it?
Definitely not, the Mayan Indian elder insists. “I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff.”
It can only get worse for him. Next month Hollywood’s “2012” opens in cinemas, featuring earthquakes, meteor showers and a tsunami dumping an aircraft carrier on the White House.
At Cornell University, Ann Martin, who runs the “Curious? Ask an Astronomer” Web site, says people are scared.
“It’s too bad that we’re getting e-mails from fourth-graders who are saying that they’re too young to die,” Martin said. “We had a mother of two young children who was afraid she wouldn’t live to see them grow up.”
Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan, says the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas.
Looks like the entire genre of “The World Will End in 2012” literature is about to go on sale for 99% off.
A few months earlier than planned, no doubt, but there was only so long they could milk this bullshit anyway.
Thank you, Steven Otero of New York City, New York!