Saturday, August 22, 2009

MMXII -- The Last Judgment?

When I was a little girl, I lived next door to a family who belonged to a particular religious sect who were always predicting the imminent end of the world. I lived in terror for years, and then finally I got angry. I'm not very patient with ignorance, and to me that prediction was the height of ignorance. And now -- once again -- the "buzz" is about the Mayan calender predicting 2012 as the end of the world. That may be true, but not in the sense that most people think.

"The Maya messengers, reknowned for their architectural, artistic, mathematical and scientific achievements, left a calling card as a series of super-human sized stone monuments and pyramids with precise calendrical computations. Planted with great intention, these dates were left to ensure that future generations would be alerted to the coming end point of this great 26,000 year cycle. A cycle which corresponds also to a 26,000 year relationship of our Sun orbiting Alcyone, the central star of the 7 Sisters Pleiades constellation. According to the Maya, the "future" which lies beyond this end date is literally "a new world age" - "a new creation." ... Pacal Votan, Mayan Prophet

I believe 2012 will actually be the beginning of a long-awaited new age, an age of intelligence, knowledge, enlightenment, awareness, and the end of ignorance. It is long overdue. In his famous speech in 1942, during the Second World War, Prime Minister Winston Churchill said:

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

The population of the world is predicted to reach 7 billion people in October 2012. Our Earth cannot sustain this many people, if we do not learn to take care of our planet and each other. Our planet will shuck us off like an unwanted virus, and the Earth will begin to heal again.

The other day on our local TV newscast, a nutritionist was giving examples of which fish to eat that was the lowest in mercury, and which to eat only once a week because the mercury content was too high. Tuna is very high in mercury, and it is recommended we eat it only once a week. How sick is that. What have we done? But more importantly, what can we do to stop this runaway train before we are all destroyed by it? The environmental movement began in earnest during the 1970s. That was the beginning of awareness. We now have knowledge of the damage we have been doing to our planet Earth, and we have knowledge of what we can do to save it from any more damage. I'm pleased that the generation of Phinnaeus and Marigold is aware, and they live by a different environmental doctrine than my parents' generation.

"Oma...! Don't throw bottle that in the garbage...! Aren't you going to recycle that...?"

I need a gentle reminder every once in a while.

I don't think anyone should be afraid of the year 2012. I think it will be the end of the beginning.

30 comments:

The Bug said...

Oh Jo I do so hope you're right! I would LOVE to live in a world where ignorance didn't reign supreme...

We try to recycle as much as possible - often our recycle bin is overflowing & we have one small bag of trash. Which makes it all the more sad that we forgot to put it out the other day. By next Wednesday (when we can put them out again) we'll have mountain-o-recycling!

Avril Fleur said...

I agree with you 100% Jo. It may be the end of something, but probably not something which we have to be afraid of. And even if it is, well, not much we can do about it anyway. Might as well enjoy the time that's left to the fullest!

Jennifer D said...

Jo, EXACTLY!!!

I am excited to see what will happen in the coming years.

Kathryn said...

I grew up in one of those religious families. When i first moved to Long Beach i was on the flight path & every plane that flew over made me cringe & expect that a bomb would be dropped on me.

Eventually i got mad at that type of thought, also. The Bible says that no man knows when the end will come & so i say, screw it. Live life now & what happens, happens. It is not good living in constant fear.

I was reading a L.M. Montgomery book & she mentioned a walk on the shore, & i imagined a pristine shoreline, no coke bottles or pepsi cans or newspaper trash littering it. I'm sure even then there were places where the beach was not well kept & somewhat polluted. But now it is more often than not that you'd see trash washed up on the beach. And to think we have a huge continent of plastic out there in our oceans. It breaks my heart to think of what we've done to our beautiful world.

I'm still a Christian, BTW, just not one who is constantly whinging about things to come.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You may have something there. It would be wonderful to live in an age of enlightenment.

Although I try to recycle, it is hard here in a campground. The people here just mindlessly toss whatever into the dumpster to be hauled to the landfill. I am sure that at some point there is an attempt to pull out what could be recycled. We don gloves and pull out cans and plastic to take to the recycling stations..... not for the money, but to keep it out of the landfill. Enlightenment would be a good thing!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm not losing any sleep over 2012 but I am sad that I can't eat tuna more often.

Land of shimp said...

Also, it isn't as if many end-of-the-world-predictions didn't come and go with nary an apocalypse.

From religious tolerance.org, we have the list of Christian predictions that didn't come to pass:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/end_wrl2.htm

Then we have this cheerful "Brief History of the Apocalypse:

http://www.abhota.info/end1.htm

Please note the tabs at the top of the page, covering the many date ranges.

Way back in comparative religion classes I remember learning about the many belief systems that formed around the "end of the world is coming, the unbelievers shall perish" stuff -- and how throughout the course of history they quietly disbanded in the (lack of) aftermath of the non-cataclysm.

While watching previews before a feature film started a preview for The Lovely Bones played, directly followed by 2012. As that finished up someone behind me commented dryly, "Oh good, another feel-good film."

Personally, if I really thought the world would end in 2012, I'd likely up my cheesecake and alcohol consumption, based on how long I need both my heart and liver to last ;-)

Bring on the age of reason, enlightenment and tolerance!

Also, I find it somewhat amusing that so much attention is paid to the Mayan end of the world prediction just because...yeah...something of scarcity of actual Mayans around to see the date.

flowrgirl1 said...

a great point. A teacher said a few years back that it was predicted that 2012 is the year that the first person will die from starvation because there is not enough food on earth for everyone.

People die of starvation all the time but not because there isn't enough food but because there isn't enough food where they are.

I strongly hope that it is the end of our ignorance!

Alissa said...

I like the idea of 2012 being the end of the beginning. I hope your predictions do come true!

Leslie: said...

Once again, a powerful and thought-producing post.

Me? I take one day at a time doing the best I can.

TC said...

I grew up in one of those religions too. I don't have much patience with the doom and gloomers.
I don't know if 2012 has any particular significance other than I will be well into my 50s.
I agree, I like tuna, actually I think the green movement may actually help the environment this time, lets hope so.

PhilipH said...

2012 is the year of the Olympics in London. So, if the world IS about to end then please let it happen before the games start, and not afterwards. Be a shame if all the 'gold' medallists only had a few weeks of fame.

The Kennedy vs Kruschev Cuban missile crisis in 1962 came pretty close to nuclear war. That could have been the end of the world.

greenpanda said...

Well, the world population is scheduled to be 9 billion by 2050, but let's not look too far.
One day we shall simply have to leave Earth (or some of us anyway) and start using another planet. Mars????

But then how long will that last until we have to go somewhere else...?

Elise said...

How come your kids call you oma? dutch roots?
(my google account links to my old blog, but i can't change the settings easily. I blog at www.eliseblogs.wordpress.com)

HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

We just finished taking a long drive over to the Colorado River; the state park, and then onto the Mojave Indian Reservation where the cotton fields are miles long. We had a gentle rain all the while we were gone (a rarity in the desert), and it was wonderful feeling that warm rain; seeing the mountains, and living in an area where a great deal of attention is paid to preserving and conserving (as I call it).

I told my husband that I noticed human beings are the only ones who are born without being able to care for themselves early-on, as the animals do.

In most cases, at the end of 6 weeks, just about any other living creature, is capable of foraging for food; finding shelter, and none of them have to pay taxes; write checks, adhere to a myriad of man-made rules, so maybe we are 'transplants' from an earlier time and a planet where we were nutured and taken care of in ways we can't imagine on this planet.

If our 'time comes', I can only think how lovely it will be when the earth once again, has clean oceans; rivers, and 'life' that doesn't spew smoke into the air, and trash the waterways and land with garbage.

There is a natural cycle to life; the birds that eat the dead; the 'chain' that seems to know how to act in harmony with its surroundings - only man defies nature, and creates wars; toxic wastes, and seeks to rise above his fellow-citizen in a quest for status and power.

It's sad to see what's happened in the last 125 years; all the technology and wisdom could have been channeled toward creating a better earth for us all, but instead so many people have 'trashed' the earth, like they trash their homes and lives.

I'll trust nature to do the 'right thing'.............

Sunny said...

Well in 2000 it was going to be the end of the world, so to speak, for computers.
The end of anything will happen, not when it's predicted but when it happens!
I enjoy reading your blog.
Sunny :)

Nancy said...

Loved this post! Thank you so much for clarifying the 2012 issue. I believe they way you do - it's a new beginning. It just might entail getting rid of a few of us parasites, though.

Mean Mama said...

Great post Jo. I couldn't agree more. I for one would love to see an intellectual movement.

kenju said...

AMEN!

Book pusher said...

Great postive post, so much about the damage we have done and are doing is loaded with negativity, but the idea of a new age of enlightenment and responsibilty is hopeful. I do fear for our children's future but not because of apocolyptic predictions, just because of the human capacity for selfisness and greed.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Great post, Jo! You have put the whole 2012 paranoia in perspective, and I happen to agree with everything you've said here. Nothing to add except BRAVO!!

jeannette stgermain said...

Never heard of the Mayans. Okay about tuna, I eat it maybe 3 times a year:)

nomore said...

We should not off our wastes to the sea...Making our habitats Perfectly recycles...Then You'll try more tunas...I love the Tuna...

ivan said...

Nomore,

Halifax, Nova Scotia flushes all of its untreated waste into the Atlantic. Benjiboper, a blogger who sometimes visits this space has written and published essays protesting this.
Well. Talk about immediate results. Hurricane Bill is right over Halifax today. Talk about Gaia's royal flush!
Flush into me? Flush you!

the walking man said...

A cosmic Y2K. I was learning about this on one channel or another and apparently that particular planet alignment brings us into a thirteenth un-used and little known (because of it's rarity) alignment in the zodiac calender.

*shrug* That is one of those "nothing about it is under my control moments."

But the other...yes I can choose to conserve and constrain my consumption which is eating the earth that must sustain us.

Deb said...

Tell me, did the Mayans predict there own demise?

I thought not...

Recycling is something we do now and find it to be very necessary.

Party on to 2013...

Jo said...

Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful comments. I do hope people will feel optimistically about 2012, rather than gloom and doom.

And yes, I have Dutch roots. My mother was born and raised in South Africa, and I was named after her mother.

Paula Slade said...

I'm with you Jo, I believe 2012 will begin a new cycle of awareness and hopefully peace, once all the naysayers and doomsters wake up on the morning of December 22nd and realize we are all still here.

CTVicky said...

What a beautifully written post. I have to admit I'm a little anxious about what might happen in 2012. I have a friend who believes there are going to be huge sun storms that could wipe out the electrical grids!

In 2012 I will (hopefully) graduate from University. I'll be 26!

Brenda said...

I know this will sound silly....but I just have to sing a little line from a Doris Day song...."Que Sera Sera...whatever will be.... will be..."
I lived in fear... a few too many days... during my childhood, from the "End of the world" stories.
I prefer positive thoughts over negative ones most of the time.