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Archive for February, 2012

We are well into 2012, a big adventure year – especially for apocalypse enthusiasts. On December 21, – we are told – the sun will move into direct alignment with the center of the Milky Way. Predictions include deadly magnetic pole shifts and paralyzing solar flares. All hell will break lose. Or, perhaps the planet will be bathed in cosmic rays elevating our consciousness and it will be heaven, instead.

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The issue I take with all these prognostications is that in each of them ‘something is about to happen to us’. I believe something is already happening. Not ‘to’, but ‘because of’ us.

Stick with me here.

After co-leading the History Channel’s expedition to Apocalypse Island, I was suddenly seen as a global expert on the 2012 and the Mayan Prophesy. Better brush up on the research. Turns out that there is no evidence that the Mayans themselves saw 2012 through any kind of catastrophic lens. While there is a particular calendar that appears to come to an end, other Maya Long Count texts refer to dates still way out in the future. An inscription commissioned in the 7th century A.D. by King Pacal – the final lord of Palenque – predicts that an anniversary of his accession would be commemorated on October 15, 4772.

Mayan time – like that of Hindu and most indigenous traditions – is cyclic, it flows from one ‘world cycle’ into another.  We use a similar language when we speak of the ‘end of the year’ never debating whether or not there will be a new one coming along once midnight has passed and the last page from our Dilbert calendar is ripped off the wall.

The danger being a 2012 devotee is that – whether we are apocalyptic or optimistic – it is possible to just sit in our chairs, lulled into a sense of misguided fatalism, waiting to see what is going to happen to us next.  Instead, we must leap to our feet and actively embrace the Buddhist notion of kharma: the understanding that our destiny is no more or less than as the choices we make.  No matter what tradition you embrace – be it spirit or science – 2012 presents an essential opportunity for concentrated efforts to create new pathways in every aspect of life.

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Usurers have usurped the temples. Millions starve while a handful live in palaces, our rivers are polluted and today’s kids are no good.  In short: the sky is falling… yet again. As it has throughout history. Yet he we are still.

No, the world is not ending. It just feels that way. Nothing is about to happen to us. What’s happening is that we now discover ourselves at the end of an era where nearly every old dictum is now up for grabs.

What’s happening is the demise of the outmoded way of thinking. What’s happening is that human society, finding itself at the edge of an enormous abyss is about to turn tail and take steps in an entirely new direction. Why? Not because we are infinitely wise and illimitably good (though I happen to believe this, too) but because we are survivors. And we love a good adventure. It’s in our DNA.

Signs of rebirth are everywhere…. Arab Spring, the emergence of thousands of grassroots organizations from Manhattan to Moscow, individuals transcending antiquated and outdated  political and economic systems turning to family, friends, and community – both local and global to find health, support and sanity.

Heady stuff. Exciting times.

It is the end of the world as we know it.  And I feel fine.

2012 is underway. The adventure has begun.

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