The End Game Begins
By Marie D. Jones
The world is abuzz with talk of the year 2012;
however, not everyone is looking forward to the
year with the same outlook or
expectations. For some, the year hints at apocalyptic
end times; a period in which the world will be
thrown into utter chaos and violent upheaval.
A turbulent and tumultuous epoch in which both
natural and man-made disasters will decimate and
possibly lead to the extinction of life as we
know it. Other, more optimistic people perceive
this date as a moment of awakening, a massive
global transformation of consciousness…one
which is to be anticipated with joy and celebration.
Perhaps, the real outcome lies somewhere in between
the two extremes.
The mythology behind the 2012 enigma focuses
on the ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar which
was a Mesoamerican calendrical system that mysteriously
ends on December 21, 2012. Interestingly enough,
that date also coincides with the winter solstice.
This date further corresponds with a predicted
"galactic alignment" which is believed
to occur when our solar system passes directly
through the Galactic Equator. And although there
is some valid argument for other "end dates"
as prescribed by the intricate and sophisticated
Mayan calendar, including the alternate end date
of October 28, 2011 (as well as an end date of
December 23, 2012, rather than December 21), most
experts who have studied the Long Count agree
that time is coming to an end.
But what kind of an end? In the human mind, the
etymology of the word "end" conjures
a certain finality - one in which there is no
Thousands of years before our current civilization,
did this seemingly simple agrarian society actually
predict that life would end altogether, snuffed
out in an explosive supernova of disaster upon
plague, warfare upon extermination?
Both the Judeo-Christian and Islamic end times
scenarios, which are based upon Western fundamentalist
Abrahamic thought, do indeed herald a time of
literal cleansing. A time when the earth would
suffer through the coming of the Four Horsemen
bearing gifts of war, famine, plague and death
- with the ultimate judgment day not too far behind.
And certainly there is ample evidence in other
religious traditions of an ending of one age,
as in the Hindu "yugas" or ages that
mark a cyclical pattern of both external and internal
creation and destruction. This ongoing cycle or
"kalpa" also has an end date when, according
to Hindu belief, the final avatar will incarnate
as Kali and bring about the destruction of all
wicked people. Is that likewise an "end?"
Even the oldest creation stories and mythologies
tell of a cosmic cycle punctuated by a Big Ending,
so to speak, although many native traditions believe
that the end, though violent and deadly to be
sure, would then be the beginning of a new era
of peace, harmony and enlightenment.
The Mayans themselves have suggested that their
own end date is really nothing more than the finishing
point of a particular age or "underworld,"
the one we are living in right now, the Galactic
Underworld, and the entry point into the Universal
Underworld of both conscious evolution and revolution.
There is nothing in Mayan tradition, lore or belief
that envisages a scenario in which we will all
die and the planet will cease to exist. Rather,
the idea is one of amazing and collective rebirth.
A period of newfound cosmic awareness. An era
in which humanity expands their collective conscious
Then why all the angst and fear when people speak
of 2012? Maybe, the answer is within us. Perhaps
it is as simple as basic human psychology. Nobody
likes change, especially when it is preceded by
great stress, trials, tribulations, and challenges,
the likes of which we are already seeing in the
years leading up to 2012.
Even if we were to ignore completely the Mayan
Long Count Calendar and its Aztec sister version
(which speaks of the very same end time transformation,)
and even if we did not ascribe to the religious
traditions that await total human annihilation
at the hands of a final battle between the devil
and the Christ (don't worry, the good guys will
be raptured, we are told!), there is still ample
evidence that the next few years will be rife
with chaos, disorder and destruction. Why? Because
what we resist persists, and often grows, and
if there is indeed a wave of spiritual transformation
gaining momentum, then coming resistance will
be more than enough to make us wonder if we will,
indeed, wake up to a brave new world on the first
morning of 2013.
As we have seen over the last several years,
global power is shifting to the east, with economic
turmoil already gripping much of the West in a
headlock of plunging home values, rising energy
costs, shaky markets, and a widening gap between
the rich and the poor. As we approach ( if we
have not already) peak oil, the quest for easily
extracted fuel will exponentially increase - even
as the population skyrockets in urbanized areas
as well as nations such as China and India which
will only serve to further demand while supplies
continue dwindling to depletion. Access to potable
water threatens to plunge the entire globe into
new wars, even as corporations scramble to privatize
what little natural resources remain.
Global climate change is destroying indigenous
and island lifestyles, and creating chaos all
over the world as more nations are forced to deal
with brutal drought, while others battle unprecedented
flooding. Warm places are getting warmer, Arctic
Ice is melting, and the unfortunate people of
Tuvalu are watching as their entire island sinks
mercilessly into rising ocean waters.
Malaria, a humid-weather disease, is moving into
highlands where it never existed before while
other diseases threaten to derail any attempts
by our most cutting edge pharmaceuticals to fight
them. West Nile Virus, SARS, MRSA and avian flu
all seem poised to pounce upon nations of people
unprepared for pandemics, let alone regional epidemics.
And lest you think our public health and emergency
preparedness systems will save us, let me remind
you of the horrendous failings apparent during
But don't despair! The news is not all awful.
Science, medicine and technology promise to explode
into the stratosphere in the coming years. Computer
technology historically follows an established
pattern known as "Moore's Law" which
describes an important trend in the history of
computer hardware whereby the number of transistors
that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated
circuits increase exponentially, doubling approximately
every two years. Some technologists believe that
this increase is steadfastly moving towards a
"singularity," when growth, development
and transformation will come together in a climactic
head, ushering in a brave new world of artificial
intelligence. Before we know it, life itself will
seem to be a sci-fi movie!
Quantum computers, bioengineering, human longevity
experiments, and nanotechnology stand at the forefront
of major advances in the way we live, and even
die. With astonishing new genetic research, we
may one day see the end of all disease. With the
promising new exploration of bionics, we may never
need worry about heart or liver failure again,
knowing that we can order a new one that combines
the best of both computer technology and biology
- creating new types of living systems that promise
to change not only our quality of life…but
our whole culture itself.
Naturally, some may fear the rise of artificial
intelligence and the coming singularity due to
the (perhaps warranted) concern that humans will
be somehow made obsolete - or worse, that we may
lose control to the very machinery that we created…machinery
that can think faster and more efficiently than
we do. Others still wait excitedly for the development
of technologies which will make life easier than
ever. However, even the promise of an easier life
comes with a price. Rising rates of heart disease,
cancer and obesity are directly linked with the
increasingly sedentary lifestyles of most developed
nations. Add to that existing rates of disease
in undeveloped nations, and emerging diseases
entering and re-entering the fray, and humanity
may not be wiped out at all by a big, bold natural
disaster or nuclear war.
Alarmingly enough, we may get snuffed out by
the tiniest of threats, those packing the biggest
punch of all - viruses that invade our bodies.
Viruses pose a very real, very significant threat
to humankind as our bodies are too weak and stressed
to fight back, with pharmaceuticals rendered ineffective
from years of overuse.
Surprisingly, the greatest challenges that face
humanity and the earth in general, over the next
few years are all preventable. With that being
said, the biggest mystery is why we are not doing
more to prevent them now…while we still
can…and when it truly counts. Global climate
change is creating a need for new ways of co-existing
with the earth. Already, water shortages are threatening
to derail peace agreements and further escalate
already tense relations between nations into the
stratosphere of war. And even the decreasing rates
of food production, coupled with over inflated
prices and a global market that favors the rich
hint at another coming disaster - the spread of
famine into regions never having experienced lack
of food before.
So what can we do? As individuals, communities,
and nations? How does one prepare for 2012? If
the world is going to end for good, then obviously
no preparation is needed. However, if the Mayans
and others were right, and the ending is really
more of a beginning, can we indeed prepare at
The green movement, focusing on building sustainability
now, is a great place to start. We should be doing
anything possible to make the coming changes less
disruptive and damaging, whether that means conserving,
recycling or raising awareness of the carbon "footprints"
we each leave…and how we can lessen those
footprints. Local communities are already springing
up around the concept of contained, sustainable
living, with residents pitching in by growing
food, sharing water resources, bartering services
and even watching out for each other's children
to create a new sense of connectedness and unity.
Should this effort spread, we may be able to greatly
diminish the potential for death, disaster and
disease that our overpopulated, stressed out and
soon-to-be tapped out planet is quickly plummeting
Ultimately, the year 2012 may be more about internal
transformation rather than external change. Even
with increasing numbers of superstorms and earthquakes,
an asteroid or two coming too close for comfort,
the highest sunspot cycle activity in years, global
shifts in political and economic power, and a
host of other earthbound changes, we may need
to concentrate on the internal work to be done
first. Spiritual transformation is on the lips
of many awaiting 2012. Perhaps by altering our
collective consciousness we can change not only
our own lives, but our destiny as a people. Wouldn't
it be great to wake up on the first morning of
2013 to a better world than we ever imagined?
The problem is that before we can realize it…we
must first have both the insight and the foresight
to imagine it.