More doom and gloom appears on the History Channel this week which they call Armageddon week, or some bullshit of the sort, and the programs range from the “impending” ice age to Nostradamus’s end of the world predictions as well as the Mayan Calendar stories. In case you haven’t heard, the Mesoamerican Mayan long count calendar ends on December 21 in the year 2012, just four years from now. So called experts believe this means that the end of the world will happen then, thus we have been inundated with these stories for years now: end of the world – or not, maybe, possibly, there’s a chance, global warming a sign, or maybe not, new ice age? we’re all going to starve to death? – or not, maybe….there’s a chance……..CUT ME A BREAK.
I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I’m getting bored with it all. The streak of paranoid delusion has yet struck again, and there are people who are worried, praying, and banking their decisions of the future on this “possible end” the Mayan calendar is so sure of.
The “experts” agree something is about to happen. More harbingers of the coming end time include UFO sightings, crop circle formations, disappearing honey bees, disappearing bat populations, and flocks of migratory birds falling from the sky. The belief in the world coming to an end is rooted in ancient history – long before biblical history, in ancient Hindu texts and Asiatic acts of astronomic observations as well as the calendar calculations of the ancient Maya. Why does the calendar end on that date? Maybe the Mayan dude (or dudette) who was the calendar keeper developed a case of triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13 (see my phobia blog from yesterday) and decided this 2012 was a good date as any to quit, or maybe he or she died before appointing a new calendar writer to take over, or perhaps, no one wanted the job. (I know, I know…but really, is this any more corny than some of the crap people believe?????????)
Here are some other dooms-day beliefs that have gone around:
The Shakes believed the world would end in 1792.
Great disappointment among the followers of William Miller, who fixed the date of doom on March 21, 1843. Miller’s followers were afire with enthusiasm, but still failed to see Christ descending from the clouds as expected. Miller decided he had miscalculated and set a new date on October 21 of the same year. “On the appointed day of doom frenzied believers donned their robes, tucked an ultimate lunch in the folds, and took their places on housetops, facing east. On the 22nd they ate their lunch and climbed down. Miller confesses his disappointment, but insisted ‘the day of the Lord is at the door.’” The Millerites never gave up hope, and offshoot sects still exist today.
Oriental sages said a Day of Brahma lasted a thousand years. On the basis of that scripture it was decided that the world would end in the year 1000 A.D. With the approach of that year, Europe was seized by an apocalyptic mania. Towns and farms were abandoned. Fanatics ran about announcing the Last Days. In some places, commerce came virtually to a standstill. The year passed uneventfully enough, but human society suffered greatly from famines and civil disorders caused by the doomsday belief.
It may be in our genetic code, our human natures, to always be thinking that the world will end. Perhaps we need to feel that all could just stop, with or without us dying in the process, and perhaps some of us do not need to feel this at all. One thing always rings for me with these prophecies, that the world as we know it will end. The key words are “as we know it”. Instead of a literal change on the earth, perhaps a shift in consciousness will be the change, and the result will be make the world quite new, different, and free. Maybe, just maybe, the end will be a good thing.
sources: Wikipedia and The Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets
drawings Link: printouts of today’s date from the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar