• Is 2012 the End of the World?

    Is 2012 the End of the World?

    By Larry Chistopher

    As many people are now aware, the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012. This is a somewhat disputed fact, especially when it comes to deciding what this means. According to one interpretation, 2012 corresponds to other prophecies, such as Revelations  in the Bible, and perhaps to Hindu beliefs that predict the “end of the world.”

    Another, less fearsome way to look at it is that December, 2012 is simply the end of a particular cycle of time. Some have associated this time with the Age of Aquarius, whose exact beginning even astrologers cannot seem to agree on. Jose Arguellos first popularized the whole 2012 idea with books he began writing in the 1980s, such as The Maya Factor. More recently, other writers have come forth with their own theories about what is going to happen in 2012.

    Is we remember that the universe has gone on for countless billions of years, it seems unlikely that everything is going to end in 2012, or at any other time. Another thing to keep in mind is that time itself is not something real, but a concept invented by humans. This includes all of our calendars, clocks and other time-keeping devices. In the literal sense, reality just is. It does not have a beginning or ending.

    One definition of time is that it’s a way to keep track of changes.  As philosophers from various schools have pointed out, the only real constant in the world is change.

    It would be hard to argue that many things in our world could use some changing. So if 2012 is going to be a time of extreme change, this could be good or bad, or perhaps a little of both. People are understandably anxious about issues such as climate change, nuclear and biological weapons, and various other environmental and economic challenges. However, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where all of human life or civilization is wiped out. The only way this might happen is if, as some predict, a drastic event such as a pole shift or giant asteroid hitting the planet. I suggest being fatalistic about such possibilities. possibilities. You may or may not find this comforting, but you are more likely to be hit by a car or truck on the highway than by an asteroid!

    Another question that comes up when we start thinking about prophecies and cycles of time is the idea of predestination. Is everything set in stone, to the degree that ancient people, whether Mayans, Hindus or the original Biblical scribes, could predict exactly when something was going to happen thousands of years in advance? There is a saying among some astrologers, “the starts don’t compel, they incline.” This means that certain factors may push us in a particular direction, but that exact outcomes are not predetermined.

    What is going to happen in 2012? No one knows for sure. But, in all likelihood, it’s mostly going to be up to us, both individually and collectively.

    By Larry Christopher

    Published on January 13, 2009 · Filed under: 2012; Tagged as: , , , , , , ,
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