2012 Mayan doomsday predictions
Much to do about nothing?
“What about 2012?” came the question from one of our fellow tourists (while I was on a day trip visiting some ruins in the Maya Riviera, Mexico). The answer was summarized perfectly by our Maya guide. He rolled his eyes, sighed and proceeded to reassure the group that it was simply the end of a time cycle on the Mayan calendar, not the coming apocalypse! (Apparently he had been asked the question several times.)
Mayan beliefs and understanding
The Maya were undoubtedly a brilliant people with advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics, as well as being superb architects. For example, they built beautiful observatories, and (without computers or sophisticated measuring equipment) calculated the solar year to be 365.2420 days long (astronomers have only recently discovered it to be 365.2422 days long).
The Maya believed that the universe had a specific creation date (about 3114 BC), with subsequent history broken up into major time periods of 144,000 days called b’ak’tun. From this data, December 23, 2012 would be the end of the 13th b’ak’tun. Some scholars claim the Maya considered this event apocalyptic while others claimed it would be a cause for celebration, but most agree it did not mark the end of the calendar but simply the start of a new era (kind of like a car odometer, as each section of the odometer reaches 9 and then clicks over to 0, the new cycle starts all over again).
There is really nothing more to it than that according to the source material from the Maya culture. So why is this date being touted by many as so important?
What are people saying?
The tagline to the recently released special effects extravaganza movie 2012 (see our review of the movie here) declares; “Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments.”
Knowing what the Maya believed, this certainly seems like a great deal of artistic license on behalf of the makers of the film, until the modern ‘buzz’ behind the 2012 date is examined and compared to current thought regarding culture, religion, science and government.
By understanding that Western World cultures have adopted many antibiblical ideas (such as evolutionism, new age-ism, religious plurality, aliens/UFOs and radical environmentalism), the (above) statement becomes more relevant.
What’s on the web?
Of course, the internet is a big hotch-podge of ideas, and practically anyone can stake just about any claim on the vast worldwide web, so the legitimacy of the information found there about such issues can often be called into question. It does reveal a sense of ‘what’s out there’ in terms of culture, trends and ideas etc however. A simple Google search with keywords like “2012”, combined with “evolution”, “UFO” or “environment” quickly brings interesting results.
The following are excerpts from high ranking websites found using such keywords.
“ … we currently believe that some kind of MAJOR spiritual transformation for Earth will occur around 2012. We have all been feeling an evolutionary acceleration for several years now … for the portion of the population that is aligning itself with the vibrations of Love and Light.”
“ … it has been astronomically calculated that on this date our sun will conjunct the galactic center. This fact supports the theory that our evolution is governed by what is called ‘The Precession of the Equinoxes’ … ”1
“Are you aware that a Shift in human consciousness is occurring even as you read these words that employs celestial triggers such as supernovas and Earth’s alignment with Galactic Center in the years leading up to 2012 to trigger the evolution of our species?”2
“Jan. 1, 2006-Rumors are rampant in all over the world that extraterrestrial civilizations are preparing for a spectacular event in 2012.”
“Even things like what happens to us after death and so on will also become clear in 2012. The world is getting ready for the facts slowly but steadily.”3
“They know something interesting is going to happen in December 2012. They know the extraterrestrials will reveal themselves. They know very well the cover-ups all around the world will end. There are leaks in India from Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) that all the major Space Agencies of the world are working together to reveal something that will change the way we live and believe in things soon. What can it be other than telling the truth about extraterrestrials?”
“They will come and take the center stage of the civilization they created billions of years back.”4
2012, UFO’s and the environment
Scanning the bulk of this material we see a wide variety of beliefs and ideas about what 2012 signifies, however, none of them have anything to do with what the Maya believed. It’s as if this date has been hijacked by different groups and made to conform to their particular ideology and even theology.
The big picture from most groups seems to be a belief that mankind has caused great damage to the environment (and needs to decrease its population), that space aliens are monitoring the situation and want to help us, and that 2012 will be the year when drastic changes will occur politically, environmentally, spiritually and scientifically.
Living on the edge
Many people will think of most of these groups and the ideas they espouse as ‘fringe” elements, but what is fringe one moment often becomes mainstream the next, particularly if given enough publicity and momentum.
Look at what the International Institute for Sustainable Development wrote in a paper (written two years ago) to influence the future strategy of the UN Environmental Program (UNEP): “The environment should compete with religion as the only compelling, value-based narrative available to humanity.”5 (Emphasis mine)
“Aliens are currently all around us, and are watching us all the time”.6 This statement comes from a mainstream, modern-day scientist (Lachezar Filipov, deputy director of The Space Research Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences). Such a position implies credibility to the masses.
And imagine the implications of the shocking proposal (to save the earth from climate change) from a columnist for one of Canada’s largest newspapers that wants the whole world to adopt China’s one child per family policy:
“Humankind has not yet recalibrated its behaviour to account for the fact that the world can only accommodate so many people, especially if billions get indoor plumbing and cars. The fix is simple. It’s dramatic. And yet the world’s leaders don’t even have it on their agenda in Copenhagen.”7
How would governments enforce this? Forced abortions is one way China does it.
The common denominator
So environmentalism is akin to religion? The ‘space brothers’ are ‘out there’? Mankind needs to reduce its population? None of the above theories make sense to someone that holds to a biblical worldview, so what is the common thread throughout almost all of these groups? The belief in the theory of evolution over millions of years.
Evolution becomes the ‘unity in diversity’ amongst these different groups, producing beliefs such as:
- Mankind has evolved over millions of years, there is no God in the biblical sense, so the eschatology (end times) of the Bible is not relevant, and so we need to save the planet ourselves.
- If we evolved on this planet then aliens must have evolved on other planets. Because the universe is billions of years old, some of these ‘races’ must be vastly older and more highly evolved. Their mental capabilities and/or technology would seem like ‘magic’ to us ‘less evolved primitives’, and so any supernatural or unexplained event/data recorded in the past or present can be explained this way, reducing traditional religious ideas to the ideological waste basket of myth and legend.
- Mankind is evolving physically, mentally and spiritually as well. Those that are more ‘enlightened’ (more highly evolved) understand this. The ‘less enlightened’ (those that hold to traditional thought/ideology/religious beliefs) are holding us back.
- The aliens are working with some of the ‘more enlightened’ to bring about the radical change needed to save our planet.
What would the Maya think?
To the Maya people these ideas would have seemed quite foreign. A look through their sacred writings (Popul Vuh) reveals some remarkable similarities to the book of Genesis, with no evolutionary references to be found. They believed in a Creator, a first man made from the earth, a great flood sent to destroy mankind because of wickedness etc. All of which is much closer to a biblical worldview than the current ideas being expressed.
So the (ultimately) evolutionary overtones being imposed on the 2012 date are certainly opposed to what the culture that created it ever imagined. They stem from the saturation of modern culture in evolutionary, pantheistic and humanistic philosophy.
Like most years, the year 2012 will undoubtedly be another year of great change. One example will be that statistically, another 55,000,000 more people will pass from life to death, from time, into eternity. Where those people will spend eternity will depend on whether they had a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
So rather than rolling our eyes at its mention, perhaps we can use this information to further the cause of Christ? The topic of 2012 provides Christians with yet another opportunity to engage non believers in a relevant way, and to steer people into a better understanding of the Gospel.
- <http://www.paradise2012.com/light/2012/2012.html> Return to text.
- <http://mayanprophecy2012.blogspot.com/2009/01/dna-evolution-consciousness-shift-in.html> Return to text.
- <http://www.ufocasebook.com/year2012.html> Return to text.
- <http://realufo.naeborra.com/content/view/108/75/> Return to text.
- Halle, M., The UNEP that we want—reflections on UNEP’s future challenges, IISD Commentary, 17 September 2007, http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/113009_IISDreport.pdf Return to text.
- <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1231151/Aliens-Theyre-living-claim-Bulgarian-government-scientists.html>Return to text.
- <http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438>Return to text.