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An essay donated by Joseph Robert Jochmans

Hell, Heaven or Hype? - Six facts
about what will really happen in 2012

Sponsored link.


Today's growing acceptance that the year 2012 will see the end of the world is fueled by the general uncertainty about the direction that modern global events are taking, as well as a dramatic upsurge in religious beliefs in an impending apocalypse. A recent national poll found that 59 percent of all Americans are firmly convinced that the final days for humanity will occur during their lifetimes. Such a mindset is fertile ground for the 2012 doomsday phenomenon that is now constantly bombarding us from everywhere - in group symposiums, lectures, workshops, magazine and newspaper articles, best-selling books, television specials, documentaries, movies, in the media news and across the Internet.

What are we to make of all this? Here are a few sobering facts about 2012 by which we can get a better idea about its many implications for the future:

Fact one:

The much publicized apocalyptic date of December 21, 2012 - claimed by many researchers and authors to be the last day for the world designated in the ancient Mayan calendar system - appears absolutely nowhere in all of ancient classical Mayan literature.

Not many people are aware that this date was never recorded among all the glyph inscriptions found in every Mayan temple built throughout Guatemala and the Yucatan between five hundred and four thousand years ago.

In addition, none of the dozens of erected commemorative stelae or standing stones - which have numerous calendar dates carved into them preserving historical events at most key Mayan sites - include any future time references to 2012 as pinpointing the end of the world.

What is more, conspicuously absent from the four Mayan inscribed codices that managed to escape being burned by sixteenth century Spanish missionaries - known as the Dresden Codex, the Madrid Codex, the Paris Codex and the Grolier Codex - are there any written passages predicting what will happen in 2012.

And nowhere in the two traditional Mayan sacred texts - the Popul Vuh or Book of Creation for the Quiche Mayas, and the Oracles of Chilam Balaam of Chumayel and Tizimin - do we find any mention whatsoever of December 21, 2012 specifically marking the end of the present age.

One claim made is that there exists a single very obscure inscription found on Monument 6 at the minor Mayan site of Turtuguero in the Mexican state of Tabasco that supposedly predicts events to take place in 2012. The major difficulties with this text is that its miniscule size makes it nearly impossible to decipher, and that it was also heavily damaged.

A strict interpretation reads: Thirteen Pik finished ( ) Four Ahaw, third of Kankin ( ) will occur ( ) the descent ( ) the Nine Support ( ) God ( ) to the ( ).

The time-cycle term Pik has been interpreted to be the same as a Baktun - see FACT TWO below. But the truth is, more than likely Pik instead is a syncope for an even longer cycle of time called a Pictun, equal to twenty Baktuns or equivalent to 7,885 years. Thirteen of these means the prophesied time-length extends into the future over 100,000 years, far beyond 2012.

"Four Ahaw third of Kankin" derives from a Short Count calendar, also found in the Oracles of Chilam Balaam, that refers to a past cycle of 256 years of daily predictions that were completed in the eighteenth century. Modern attempts have been made to somehow apply the Oracles to the end-times of 2012. But an examination of their post-Conquest origins demonstrates that the Oracles' predictions were written specifically for the Mayan people suffering under Spanish rule, and not for any later generations.

What we are left with in the rest of the Turtuguero text as to an actual prophesied event is nothing more than a series of unrevealing and disjointed word fragments.

Just how, exactly, this discovery is supposed to relate to 2012 is anyone's guess. Besides, if as it is now being claimed that 2012 is to be the traumatic harbinger of earth-shattering events, then why would it have been prophesied by the Mayas with only a single barely readable inscription?

What we do know for certain is that the Mayan calendar and all its historical variations did indeed once exist, and that it was utilized extensively by ancient Mesoamerican priests and chroniclers during the heyday of their many cultural expressions - including those of the Olmecs, Mayas, Teotihuacanos, Itzas, Toltecs, Mixtecs, Zapotecs and Aztecs.

This calendar and its many forms was primarily cyclic in nature, composed of several repeating rounds, each one of specific numbers of days, that were continuously beginning and ending as the different cycles intermeshed with one another on a daily basis.

Taken as a cohesive whole, the calendar's central theme was one of continuity, whether it pertained to the annual cycle of religious celebrations, the planting and harvesting of crops, the births and deaths of passing generations, or the ongoing succession of local rulers and city state governments.

To make the claim that this calendar is going to suddenly and dramatically end all at once violates the basic tenets of the Mayan concepts of life and time.

Instead, the present-day promotion of the 2012 doomsday date constitutes an unrealistic projection of our modern fatalistic interpretation of history onto an ancient mindset that once had a far better attitude about themselves and the continuous fulfillment of their own destinies. We are the ones who are anticipating some form of self-appointed apocalyptic termination, not the Mayas.

Fact two:

The supposed Mayan calendar end-date of December 21, 2012 is really only an estimated calculation.

Because the Mayan time-count fell into disuse centuries ago and was only recently rediscovered, there is no precise correlation between it and our modern calendar, so that we are very uncertain just when the many Mayan time-cycles start and finish. We are aware that one of the largest time-cycles, known as the Thirteen Baktuns and equivalent to 5,126 years, began to be counted at some point in the fourth millennium B.C.E. and is scheduled to be completed in the next few years.

The presently accepted interlink between the Mayan calendar and our modern Gregorian calendar is known as the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson correlation, based on the deciphering work of three respected Mayanologists. However, the correspondences they came up with were each slightly different, so that the final choice was really only a compromise. As it is, as new stelae calendar dates are found and examined, several additional adjustments to the GMT correlation have had to be made.

As a result, when the earliest calculations for the last day of the Long Count calendar system were initially produced, the proposed dates all fell in the year 2011. The switch to 2012 has only been of recent origin because of further minor tinkerings with the GMT correlation.

Even with this, however, there are still many professional disagreements. For example, some researchers point to a 420-day error in the continuity of the Long Count made by priests at the Mayan city of Palenque over 2,500 years ago that has never been generally recognized and corrected.

Among the growing number of the more metaphysical of the self-proclaimed experts in the field, there is also no end-date consensus of agreement. A survey of the burgeoning myriads of Internet web-sites being devoted to this subject reveals an ongoing undercurrent debate concerning what are the true beginning and completion dates for the Mayan Baktun Long Count system. One large segment, for example, is firmly convinced that the final date will come instead on October 28, 2011. Different other calculations have resulted in different end-times ranging anywhere from 2010 to 2016, with a few even opting for 2024, 2029 or 2038.

More recently, a very slim majority of apocalyptic promoters have been the loudest in vocalizing their choice of December 21, 2012, which now appears to be the date both the general public and the media have grasped onto as well. Since headlining a single concise doomsday date readily sells books, articles, lectures and interviews, everyone else who has begun to jump onto the bandwagon that promises commercial success has also accepted this date without question. As a result, the unspoken common-held agreement for December 21, 2012 is reinforcing the illusion of authenticity where none exists.

And this support of the main Baktun-based calendar completely ignores the fact that other related Mesoamerican cultural calendars do not end on this same date. As examples, the Tikal calendar round will supposedly end on April 2, 2012, a full eight and a half months before the accepted Baktun time count, while the Teotitlan calendar round is said to have already terminated on March 1, 1987.

As noted before, the very existence of any doomsday date stands in sharp contrast to what the Mayan calendar was really all about. Like everything cyclic, its inherent nature was one of endless repetition. We can recognize that there will certainly be a day in our near future when the Thirteenth Baktun grand round will come to its inevitable completion. But on the very next morning the count will simply revert back to beginning with Baktun One, and the calendar wheel will continue to turn again and move into the next several thousands of years to come. In essence, the day numbers will change but time itself and the life that is bound up within it will proceed uninterrupted.

If anything, the end of one cycle and the birth of another merely designates a possible benchmark, one that pinpoints a potential time of transition. But what kind of transition is determined by this change of cycles is nowhere defined or clarified among the ancient Mayan texts.

The fact that we actually find a general absence of any verifiable ancient Mayan prophecies about this specific cycle transition strongly suggests that nothing was foreseen to happen. And all the hoopla and hype being presently stirred up by publicity seekers trying to create their own doomsday drama will most likely lead to December 21, 2012 being nothing more than a large universal non-event.

Does anyone remember the Harmonic Convergence of August 16 - 17, 1987? This was another well-publicized non-event, based on an ancient Zapotec prophecy, that also had apocalyptic overtones and generated gatherings of people at sacred sites all over the globe. For many of these planetary pilgrims, the prophesied two days was a very personal uplifting celebration that strengthened and re-affirmed their own spiritual growth. But for the rest of the world as a whole nothing cataclysmic took place at all. The ground refused to move, the sky did not fall, and the world remained the same. The odds are in favor that December 21, 2012 is going to end up being the same experience.

Fact three:

There is no clear connection between the ending of the Mayan calendar cycle and the Mayan concepts of what they called the Sun Ages or World Ages.

Many ancient calendar stones and samples of sacred literature reflect on the Mesoamerican belief in the cyclic nature of history. Most New World cultures spoke of the existence of four or five former ages of time during which a succession of bygone inhabitants were created, built forgotten civilizations and eventually were destroyed amid a series of global destructions. The priests looked forward to the coming completion of the present world age, but remained generally silent about how it will end and what new world age will be born next

The only substantive prophecy we are left with concerning the fate of our present world cycle is a single glyph found on the famed Aztec Sun Stone calendar. It is called the Ollin and appears as a circle entwined by two feathered ropes or bilateral symbols. Decipherers have translated this glyph as signifying the idea of movement or transformation. Nothing more can be extrapolated from this, though of course much speculation is running rampant among present-day doom-and-gloomers who would like to interpret the Ollin as some kind of foreboding for the imminent catastrophic demise of our present civilization.

Yet nowhere is this enigmatic glyph directly linked with the ending of the Baktun cycle itself. Some researchers have tried to stretch the point by making the observation that the glyph in question appeared on a calendar stone, and make the leap that therefore it must have something to do with the Mayan calendar cycles. But the real fact remains that, as far as traditional Mayan literature is concerned, their concept of world ages and their calendar cycles appear to have been exclusive of one another. The world ages dealt with universal time. The calendar cycles, in contradistinction, measured the passage of everyday time.

And even if we were to concede that the coming time-cycle transition implies some form of unspecified changeover, and that the one tantalizing glyph left to us somehow does epitomize that changeover, its vague and unrevealing connotations of movement and transformation fall far short of giving us any clear indication of what might possibly happen.

For those who are searching for hidden correlations among the Mayan world ages, calendar calculations as well as astronomical cycles, there is no common agreement either. Some see a world age equivalent to a Thirteen Baktun count of 5,125 years. Others argue that a world age, by its very nature, must correspond instead to a full wheel of the Precession of the Equinoxes or 26,000 years or roughly equal to five Baktuns. But again, both concepts are unsubstantiated by any Mayan calendar system and are purely speculative.

Clouding the issue further is the major disagreement among several of the Mesoamerican cultures as to which world age we are really in. The traditional Mayas taught that four previous ages have come and gone, and that we are awaiting the dawn of the fifth. However, the Aztecs and other New World calendar keepers insisted that we are presently in the fifth world age and that a sixth age is now due. How many ages there were directly impacts how one measures the time-count of the larger calendar cycles. If one assumes an interconnection, then until the question of the number of ages is resolved, the problem concerning calendar beginning and ending dates cannot be adequately settled.

Most significant is the attitude taken by most living Mayan tribal Elders about the Long Count and its deeper meaning. The Elders are very much aware of the existence of the old calendar system of their ancestors, and they also recognize that its Baktun count is coming to an end in the very near future. But they emphasize that they neither possess nor make any apocalytic predictions about what is ahead, declaring instead that life and time will continue on as it has whenever the grand cycle renews itself.

There are 440 tribes among the Native Mayas of Guatemala and the Yucatan, each of which has their officiating Elders, who in turn all together make up what is called the Mayan Council. They are the ones who decide what aspects of the ancient wisdom of their forefathers can be released and what is to be used only among their people.

At last report, there are at least five prophetic calendars that are being kept secret, and for good reason. The Elders are concerned that the growing obsession about 2012 in the larger world is becoming a magnet for the collective fears of humanity, and that the transformative value that might be focused on by the upcoming change of calendar cycles is being lost. They are reluctant to release any further information because of its potential for misinterpretation and misuse.

Adding to the confusion, the honest words of these Elders are being drowned out amid the more publicized prophetic pronouncements made by several of their Mayan brothers who have joined the lucrative lecture circuit business, billing themselves as New Age shamans, and who are now caught up in the present frenzied fad of 2012 doom-saying. They do their Elders and their people a grave injustice by misrepresenting the ancient beliefs in the continuity of the future.

Some of the more vocal of the Mayan Elders have publicly spoken out against the promoters of 2012 because of their concentration on specific dates as a time of destruction. The Elders themselves support no one date as the end of the Thirteen Baktuns calendar for a very good reason - they have no idea when it will be.

One of the tribal calendar systems, in fact, will not come to an end until March 31, 2013, while most of the others in use also have different termination dates.

The Elders admit that the Long Count fell into disuse among their ancestors even before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, and over time they lost continuity with their past. And if, as the Elders point out, they are not sure of the grand cycle completion date, then it certainly remains unknown to any of the non-traditional non-Mayan instant experts who are rallying around the 2012 banner. They insist that the indigenous Mayas have the true calendars and they alone know how to accurately interpret them - not as instruments of doom and gloom, but instead as vehicles for transformation.

As one Elder Day Keeper bluntly put it, the world will not end in 2012. The world will end only when the sun finally goes out a very long time from now.

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Fact four:

At the winter solstice sunrise on December 21, 2012, our sun will not precisely cross over the center of our galaxy.

When we speak concerning the movement of the sun through the Precession of the Equinoxes, we are talking about an extremely slow, almost imperceptible shift which takes 26,000 years in order to complete one circuit through the Zodiacal constellations. For this reason, the passage of the solar body through the Milky Way stars that straddle the galactic plane cannot be defined as a single specific moment but rather as a period of time.

As a few proponents of the 2012 prophecies have reluctantly admitted, the sun's journey through the galactic cloud of stars is already happening. The initial entrance of the upper rim of the sun's circumference into the galactic field began in 1980 and the lower rim of the sun's edge will not completely depart until 2016. If, as some claim, the paramount defining moment is when the center of the solar disk perfectly conjuncts the center of the galactic field, then this has already occurred, in 1998. It was observed and verified by several modern astronomers.

Thus, the end-date of the Mayan calendar system, which is supposed to happen at any time between 2010 and 2016 or even later, does not coincide with the exact centering of the sun with the middle of the galactic field. At best, all we can say for sure is that the period of time that marks the transition in the Mayan calendar from one grand cycle into another, only generally parallels the latter half of the period of time when the sun will still be traversing the Milky Way stars. Other than this, there is nothing else that can be inferred from this occurrence.

The upper portion of the galactic star field has what some astronomers describe as the Dark Rift, a sliver of a blank region that certain New Age teachers have identified as the womb of our galaxy. They believe that when the sun enters here, it will symbolize a new birth experience for the world. The problem is, our solar body already entered the Rift beginning in 2007. By 2012 the sun will be leaving the Rift to enter the last segment of the galactic star field. So once again, the timing of the alignment and the calendar end-dates do not coincide.

A recent attempt has been made to link the sun's odyssey through the galactic plane with a number of obscure symbols and pictographs portrayed among a series of monuments located at a minor early Mayan site called Izapa. But this is only a single person's interpretation, and one that stretches its credulity to fit the 2012 prophecy bias of its author. Experts in Mayan glyph decipherment point to a number of other possible meanings that correlate much better with traditional Mayan religious concepts, and which have nothing to do with 2012 or any other future events.

Likewise, there have been claims made that the solar-galactic alignment was not only the basis of the Mayan calendar - which itself has never been adequately proven - but that it was also the foundation of all calendar systems around the world. This statement is untrue, for we know that such calendar systems as those of the Cherokee and the ancient Egyptians were not calculated by the sun's precessional position in relation to the galactic center found near Sagittarius, but were instead measured by the sun's relation to the galactic anti-center, located near the Pleiades and Orion, on the exact opposite side of the heavens. There is no way that one can be identified as being the same as the other, nor can a common end-date be calculated from both.

Fact five:

There will be no convergence of terrestrial or celestial disasters occuring all at once on December 21, 2012. Neither will this date herald the advent of some form of global ecstatic leap in our collective consciousness that will suddenly usher in a golden age of instant spirituality.

The growing phenomenon of belief in 2012 as the terminal year has drawn to it three major groups who are all suffering from one form or another of eschatophobia, or a fear of the end of the world.


bulletOn one hand is what might be called the schadenfreude group - those who take joy in looking forward to coming disaster - who can point to an impressive array of possible cataclysms that they predict with great certainty will totally wipe out humanity many times over in a single day.

These coming catastrophes include the eruption of a super-volcano or the triggering of a world-wide super-quake, the sudden melting of all ice at both poles resulting in the flooding of every global coastline and coastal city, the collapse of the Earth's geomagnetic field or a reversal of its physical axis, the advent of a world-wide pandemic disease and a devastating famine to follow, the collapse of all international economies and political powers, the appearance of an Antichrist or global dictator, the beginning of World War III or Armageddon, the impact of a large asteroid or comet to hit the planet, a coming of a giant solar flare that will burn up the globe, the explosion of a nearby star in a supernova that will bathe the entire Earth in lethal radiation, and the arrival of a mega-burst of cosmic rays from the center of our galaxy.

What we can say for sure is that there will always exist a potential chance for any one of these events to happen separately and by themselves in our near or far future. Based on the precarious nature that the continuance of life has always had on this planet during our geologic past, today we are no less constantly faced with the same possibilities of extinction from moment to moment. But the likelihood, as some forecasters are actually predicting, that this full spectrum of disasters is going to happen all at once, and on December 21, 2012, borders on the absurd.
bulletOn the opposite extreme is a second group of people composed of those who are simply waiting for some vaguely-defined yet traumatic flash of spiritual enlightenment that will strike everybody in a single instant, and will transform the entire world into one big Eden-like ashram. Most of these individuals are leftover New Age meditators literally re-cycled from the Harmonic Convergence of twenty years ago, who failed to comprehend the deeper personal significance of what happened then, and will most likely misunderstand it again when the Mayan calendar comes to its completion.

Sadly, there are a number of metaphysical teachers with messianic complexes who are taking advantage of the gullibility of those who are looking for an ecstatic quick fix to the problems in their lives, and who are refusing to take responsibility for their own spiritual growth. By claiming that 2012 will give birth to an inevitable instantaneous global paradise and age of peace, these teachers are offering a simplistic solution to more complex life issues, that in the end will have disastrous personal consequences for many of their followers. What they are setting up is a multitude of individual apocalypses on the psyche and soul levels that will erupt once the expectation bubble for these people finally bursts. This may be the one real unfortunate legacy that December 21, 2012 could bring about.
 
bulletNot to be outdone, there is a third set of believers in 2012 who actually look forward to both Hell and Heaven happening together, that the coming spectrum of disasters and the sudden advent of spiritual enlightenment are somehow dependent on one another. These end-of-the world disciples are firmly convinced that momentous global disasters must happen first before everyone will be ready to be collectively transformed for the better. For these people, in order to be able to move from kriyanoia or present consciousness into metanoia or changed consciousness, they are fully prepared to pass through paranoia along the way.

What this third group has failed to realize is that the future is not single-tracked but is multi-tracked. Everything that happens tomorrow ultimately depends on what we do today. And we have the power to change the future by changing ourselves first in the here and now. No individual is preordained to follow only one line of fulfillment, but has many routes into the future they can manifest for themselves. The true purpose of prophecy is to offer us a glimpse of what different pathways exist so that we may make a better choice of what direction we can take. And it is our ability to make choices that is the greatest power in the universe. We are our own prophecy continually being fulfilled.

In the last analysis, what the final truth will be is that neither Hell nor Heaven are going to be obtainable quite so easily. They are not going to be served to us on a silver platter. Whichever one we choose to bring about through our actions or inactions is going to be solely the results of our own personal and collective efforts or failures. And the consequence of potential happenings, whatever they will be, are certainly not going to take place according to some predetermined schedule of prophesied events for 2012.

Fact six:

The bogus end-of-the-world Mayan prophecy for December 21, 2012 finds no parallels with similar prophecies that supposedly exist among several cultures and religions in other places of the world.

First of all, there are absolutely no visionary writings in the Bible, whether Old Testament or New Testament, by which one can juggle the many cryptic prophetic time lengths given and thereby calculate a legitimate end-date of 2012.

As an orthodox Rabbi who is an eminent Biblical scholar once quipped - commenting on the fundamentalist Christian obsession with trying to calculate the exact date for the Last Day by endlessly combining unrelated numerical references in Scriptures - if you multiply the number of the Beast in the Book of Revelations by how many rungs there are on Jacob's Ladder in the Book of Genesis, you can forecast what the Dow Jones industrial average will be in the Stock Market. This kind of Bible-based fuzzy math, he remarked, will produce any apocalyptic date you like - to which, we might add, 2012 can be included.

The date 2012 does happen to appear in the so-called Bible Code, but so does a dozen other apocalyptic endings as well - including for 2010, 2014, 2113 and 2126. The chief problem is that the Bible Code is based on a false premise. Its method of computer skip-letter permutations actually allows for any name or event or date to be eventually found and spelled out.

As a revealing verification of this, computer experts applied the same principle used in the Bible Code to Herman Melville's novel, Moby Dick, and discovered in the resulting printouts the names and dates for the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Indira Gandhi and Princess Dianna.

To be able to prophesy practically everything that might possibly happen, is not itself a prophecy.

There are certain Jewish and Christian pseudographia works that claim that the duration of the world will be for seven thousand years, based on the seven days of Creation in Genesis symbolizing a thousand years each. But if this is true, then, according to the Jewish calendar, Anno Mundi 8000 will not come until A.D. 2240, while the fundamentalist Christian calculations for the end of the world, based on Biblical chronology, should not happen until A.D. 3000. In either case, 2012 was missed again.

Looking at the Hindu prophetic time count, which like the Mayan calendar is also composed of great cycles and ages, we discover that it contains no reference to 2012 as a terminal date. Instead, the end of the present Age of Kaliyuga, as determined by traditional Hindu scholars, is not scheduled to end for another 430,000 years. A more concise cycle, called the Lesser Kaliyuga, will not be completed until 2082. The date of 2012 is off by seven decades.

Again, we find absolutely no indication in five thousand years of ancient Egyptian hieroglyph inscriptions of a prophecy about 2012. Likewise, in the prophetic time-line demarcated in the passageway system inside the Great Pyramid, is there anything specifically pointing to 2012 as an ending date. In fact, the Pyramid's future time-line continues on all the way to the 83rd century.

Other than the solar crossing of the galactic field of stars - which as we have already seen fails to exactly coincide with 2012 - modern astrologers do not foresee anything very dramatic occurring in the heavens that will distinguish 2012 as a year that is particularly fatalistic. Enthusiasts for the 2012 end-of-the-world like to point to the conjunction of Venus with the Pleiades and its chief star, Alcyone, in that year. However, when we look more closely at a sky chart of the coming Pleiadean encounter, Venus in 2012 will actually be approaching more to the south of the Seven Sisters. We will have to wait until 2036 before Venus will nearly be on top of Alcyone. Here is another miss in correlations.

Hopi prophecy, as well as most other Native American visionary lore, forecasts a choice of how our present age could end, but gives no time frame whatsoever as to when these events could happen.

Nowhere among either the quatrains or prose prophecies of Nostradamus did the sixteenth century French seer make a specific reference to 2012 as being the end of the world. Rather, he made dated forecasts all the way to the year A.D. 9000 and beyond.

An attempt was recently made to identify a book manuscript full of badly drawn pictures discovered in Rome as having been authored by Nostradamus. Despite the filming of two documentaries about the manuscript by a major cable television channel - and their attempt to interpret some of its artwork as symbolizing a coming apocalypse in 2012 - a thorough independent investigation of the manuscript shows conclusively that the book and its pictures is a poorly made modern forgery, and that Nostradamus had nothing to do with it.

Finally, not anywhere among the prophecies written by such famed visionaries of the past as Saint Malachy, Mother Shipton and Edgar Cayce do we find a single mention of a 2012 last date. Cayce even looked forward to his rebirth in 2158.

The end result is, the more we search the less we find. There are no termination prophecies from anywhere else in the world that can be used to bolster the proof for the Mayan calendar end-date prophecy - which, in the final analysis, does not really exist either. In essence, there are no foundations for the 2012 doomsday date whatsoever. The deeper we investigate, the more all evidence for it vanishes, and what we are finally left with are unfounded facts and sheer speculations that really are a stark repudiation of the whole 2012 concept.

So what will really happen in 2012? Probably nothing at all. And when the would-be prophets are left to pick up the pieces of disappointment, more than likely they will cover their embarrassment by claiming the end-date calculations were wrong, or better yet that 2012 was indeed significant but that disaster was miraculously averted. Either way, a new doomsday foreboding will be heralded for farther in the future, and the pathway of paranoia will be blindly followed by many all over again.

We are reminded of what happened to a New England preacher, William Partridge, who in 1695 distributed a religious tract prophesying that the world was about to come to an end in 1697. In 1698 he released another tract, this one claiming that the world had indeed ended in 1697 but that no one had cared to take notice.

The bottom-line message here is that it is time to put aside the foolish self-serving soothsayings of pseudo-experts and teachers. The time has come instead for each and every person to focus on their own private individual spiritual growth. The real answers to life's mysteries do not exist outside of us - especially when they are being dictated by those whose main purpose is only to generate fear and try to make money off of it.

Ultimately, the answers we are seeking are already inside us, in our spiritual core where our true selves continually dwell, and our inner wisdom may be discovered and revealed through our own searching.

It is only here, in our centers within, that we will find the truth about our personal destinies in a world of spiritual reality that has no end, only a constant beginning.

Copyright © 2009. Joseph Robert Jochmans. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

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