"And what rough beast, 
its hour come round at last, 
Slouches towards Bethlehem 
to be born?"-William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming"


THE END IS NIGH and somehow we know it. It blackens our souls and poisons our dreams. Wrath, envy, greed, sloth, gluttony, lust, vanity-these are the hallmarks of human civilization. Our institutions are corrupt, our perceptions distorted. We have become evil, hell-spawn, irredeemable by love.

Someday a rain's a-gonna come and wash it all away. Hurricanes, tsunami, cyclones-they will cleanse the world of our evil. The fires of war and cataclysm will purify the land. The temples of the money-changers will crumble to dust. The earth will swallow you whole. And those that remain-the chosen few-will live on in the kingdom of God.

Such is the future prophesied by many of man's religions. Every generation fancies itself as the last—they, unlike countless generations before them, will see the end times.

In a sense, we all will see the end times-our own individual end time. But that is not what many seem to be looking for. Many, it seems, are waiting for something more widely dramatic-a drama worthy of the Bible or Homer.

Such people may well fear and look for signs everywhere that the apocalypse is nigh. Global warming. North Korea. Iran. Israel. Palestine. Jihad vs. McWorld. World World III. Peak oil. The 2007 KU football season. etc.

But much of this is nothing new. The Middle East has been on the brink for seemingly ever. The Cold War thawed. Y2K fizzled. Comet Kouhoutek passed in peace.

And yet for all the apocalyptic predictions shouted through the ages, the human race rushes on unchecked and unharmed, mightier than ever, masters of our domain.

Until, maybe, ...now?


Hasta la Vista

Two years ago, I began an article for lawrence.com with the sentence, "Justin Roelofs is sitting on a pyramid in Mexico." And today, I report again that Justin Roelofs is sitting on a pyramid in Mexico.

Roelofs is a veteran Lawrence musician of note-some would say notoriety. He returned briefly to Lawrence this summer, en route from the Adirondacks (where he'd recorded music, alone in a mountain cabin) back to the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico, this time to the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal. After my article on Roelofs was published in 2005, he sent an email from some jungle village-"The internet is everywhere, even in paradise," he wrote-in which he proclaimed me his Galactic Heart Father and mentioned his excitement about an upcoming meeting with a very special person at remote Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Audio clips

Five Years

I felt strangely honored to be a Galactic Heart Father, without knowing why, and curious about what Roelofs was up to in the jungles of Central America. When I heard he was passing through Lawrence, I set up another interview.

We arranged an eight-o-clock dinner meeting at my place. Roelofs showed up at nine-thirty with black olives and a bar of dark chocolate, the only things he would eat. We listened to a few tracks from his just recorded album, and then moved to the table to switch on the recorder. It seems spiteful to me now, but that night I chose to play devil's advocate during the interview. I advised Roelofs to stuff on cheeseburgers while he was in the States, inferring that his emaciated, Christ-like appearance was a cliched affectation (though he glowed healthy as a horse). I chided him for back-seating his high-potential career in music to a fanciful, cult-like obsession.

When he told me that 2012 would be the end of time, and then spoke of impending apocalypse-the first time I'd heard the 2012 date in that context-I reminded him of the Moonies, Jim Jones, and all the other prophets who were sure the end times were to transpire in their time.

Roelofs was gracious in the face of my skepticism. He said his father had reacted the same way three years ago when Justin announced his intention to study the Mayan Calendar in Mexico. When the olives and chocolate were gone, when Roelofs left after stiff goodbyes, I sensed my status as Galactic Heart Father had diminished. To atone, the next morning I resolved to look into this Mayan Calendar, these things of which Roelofs was so thoroughly convinced:


Time and the Maya

"In my beginning is my end."
-T.S. Eliot, "Four Quartets"

The ancient civilization of the Maya spanned four millennia (circa 2500 B.C. to 1500 A.D.)-that is, twice the time between Jesus Christ's walking of the Earth and our own.








The 2012 phenomenon online

2012 WEBSITES, General

2012.com

Mayan 2012

Alignment 2012

Apocalypse 2012

The 2012 Apocalypse

Surfing the Apocalypse

Great Dreams

Dire Gnosis 2012

Armageddon Online

2012 Wiki

December 21 2012

End of Time 2012

Doomsday Guide

Survive 2012

How to Survive 2012

The Skeptic's Dictionary: 2012

2012 IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA

"Palenque Journal; Hailing the Solstice and Telling Time, Mayan Style," from the New York Times Dec. 2002

"The Final Days," from the New York Times July 2007

"Does Maya Calendar Predict 2012 Apocalypse?" from USA TodayJan. 2007

"So the end of the world is nigh... again," from the Guardian June 2007

"The end of the world as we know it," in the University Daily Kansan Nov. 2007

THE MAYA

Maya civilization Wiki

Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies

Mesoweb (comprehensive research source)

"Explaining the Mystery of the Vanished Maya," by John Hoopes Mental Floss March 2005

Climate and the Classic Maya Civilzation NOAA Paleo Slide Set

Photographic tour of Maya ruins in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras

The Mayan Astrology Page

Mayan Calendar Date Calculator

"The Classic Maya Calendar and Day Numbering System," by David Mills, PhD University of Delaware

2012 PLAYERS

Jose Arguelles: Messenger of the Law of Time 13 moon

Arguelles' Foundation for the Law of Time

2012 the Odyssey: Arguelles bio

"Harmonic Convergence from Prophecy to the Fourth Dimension Navigating by the Law of Time;" paper by Jose Arguelles

"The How and Why of the Mayan End Date in 2012 AD," by John Major Jenkins May 1994

Video interview with John Major Jenkins 29 mins; Conscious Media Network

John W. Hoopes' KU web page

"The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica," by John W. Hoopes KU webpage

Pinchbeck Wiki

Pinchbeck's "Breaking Open the Head" website

Pinchbeck's "Reality Sandwich" website

"Daniel Pinchbeck and the New Psychedelic Elite," from Rolling Stone Aug. 2006

"The End is High," Pinchbeck review in the New York Times June 2006

Pinchbeck's letter to the editor regarding June 2006 New York Times review

Terence McKenna Wiki

Terence McKenna vault, from Erowid

Robert K. Sitler web page

Sitler's 2006 paper: "The 2012 Phenomenon: New Age Appropriation of an Ancient Mayan Calendar" originally published in Nova Religio

"How Now Justin Roelofs?" from lawrence.com April 2006

CROP CIRCLES

Lucy Pringle's crop circle photographs

The Crop Circle Connector

International Database of Crop Circles

BLT: Scientific research on crop circles

BLT: Plant abnormalities in crop circle formations

"Crop circles, sound and harmonics"

Commercial crop circle "hoaxsters"

THE NOOSPHERE

Noosphere Wiki

Global Consciousness Project Princeton University

De Chardin and the Dynamics of the Noosphere

"A Globe, Clothing Itself With A Brain," from Wired Magazine 1995

"Vernadsky and his revolutionary theory of the Biosphere and the Noosphere" University of New Hampshire

"History of a Meme" MetaFilter

SUPERVOLCANO

"Super Volcano Will Challenge Civilization, Geologists Warn, from LiveScience" March 2005

Supervolcano," from the BBC 2000

Yellowstone caldera overview

"Activity discovered at Yellowstone supervolcano" MSNBC

U.S. Geological Survey: Yellowstone caldera activity

The Maya established a homeland of kingdoms encompassing large areas of present-day Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize. While the Maya (translating roughly as "people of the corn") weren't the only high culture inhabiting Mesoamerica at the time, theirs was by far the largest and the most sophisticated, spawning some of the most pioneering astronomers, mathematicians, builders, and engineers in human history.

To the modern mind, the Maya seem a people of paradox. They were one of the first civilizations to employ the concept of zero, yet they never discovered the wheel (or, at least, never used it). They were a highly cooperative society, yet they ritually practiced human sacrifice. For the Maya, there was no division of church and state-the spiritual was the political, and the welfare of the people was determined solely by the negotiations between their kings and their gods. Their cities and monuments are breathtaking wonders of engineering and artistic skill, which-in a relatively short period of time and for no clearly defined reasons-they abandoned.

The Maya had a predilection for developing extremely complex systems of measuring time. Without the distractions of TV, computers and light pollution, they became expert sky-watchers. Observing the cyclical movement of heavens, the Maya concluded that time was also cyclical in nature. Unlike our linear conception of time-beginning at a fixed point (creation) and traveling forward in a straight line-the Maya had a continuum consciousness, seeing time (and creation), as an interlocking system of cycles and ages, always returning to a regular series of conjunctions imbued with varying characters and differing potentials, on which the Maya placed great spiritual and social importance.

The movements of Venus, for example, determined propitious times for waging war and so-being sanctioned by the heavens-the Maya famously had no fear of warfare. The Long Count calendar was one of their most elegant masterpieces. The Maya devised shorter "life-sized" calendrical cycles-the Tzolk'in, the Haab', and the Calendar Round of 52 years-but they needed a system that would accommodate the span of history.

They produced the Long Count, the Great Cycle of 5,126 years.

As Mayan cities grew in monumental grandeur and human population, they strained their natural resources-a prevailing explanation for the "vanishing" of the Maya from their cities. Dwindling resources led to raids on neighboring kingdoms, often with great loss of life. Desperate to appease the disgruntled gods, the Maya further decimated their own kind through large-scale blood sacrifices. As the labor pool emptied, food became scarce, social services unraveled, malaise set in and disease took hold. Most importantly, the Maya lost faith in the abilities of their leaders to transact favorably with the gods.

It's not implausible that the Maya (or, at least, their leaders)-like many civilizations before and after-simply got too big for their britches. By degrees, they left their once-splendid cities and returned to the villages of the jungles and highlands.

Only a few straggling Maya kingdoms witnessed the coming of the Spaniards-most of the great cities had been abandoned centuries before. When Cortes and his men arrived in 1519, they immediately began to eradicate all traces of Mayan culture-supplanting it with martial law and the Roman Catholic church-and to servicing Spain's insatiable lust for dominion and gold. The Maya had assiduously recorded their history, astronomical observations, calendrical calculations and spiritual beliefs in thousands of texts (called codices), and in cryptic carvings on their stone monuments (called glyphs). The Spaniards burned most of the Mayan codices, destroyed many of their temples, and enslaved and murdered all those who had not yet fled into the jungle.

But that wasn't the end of the Maya people. Over six million Maya live in Mexico and Central America today, far more than the total estimated Maya population during the peak of their so-called Classic period, around 700 A.D. The Maya-the survivors of Cortes, and those who had retreated from their cities prior to the Spanish invasion-eventually succumbed to the conquering culture, but it is believed that many secretly held to their traditional beliefs. They transposed their Tree of Life, the sacred symbol of cosmic unity, onto the Holy Cross; their pantheon of gods morphed neatly into the array of Catholic saints. Today, offerings of corn are still made at altars hidden in jungle caves, and a few discreet Maya daykeepers in the Guatemalan highlands still heed the Tzolk'in, "the count of days."

What does all this have to do with the End of the World as We Know It?

According to the Maya Long Count, we are now living in the close of the Fourth Age, a Great Cycle which began on 0.0.0.0.0.-the Zero date: August 11, 3114 B.C.-and ends 5126 years later on the winter solstice of 13.0.0.0.0.-December 21, 2012.

The date Roelofs called the End of Time. There, many believe, the Mayan calendar simply ends. I would soon discover that the 2012 date had long since become an international cultural phenomenon whose growth was accelerating.


Down the Rabbit Hole

I googled "2012 Maya" and up popped a strange new world:

Indigo children.

Interstellar energy clouds.

Magnetic fields and polar shifts.

Crop circles and sacred geometry.

The return of Planet X, or Niburu, the Red Dragon, lurking in the asteroid belt, waiting for another fiery shot at Earth.

Punctuated equilibrium.

Increasing reports of UFO activity and a rise in alien abductions.

The noosphere and synchronicity. Sun spots and solar storms; solar maximums and Maunder minimums.

Nuclear winter.

Psychoactive plants, shamanistic ritual and dimensional portals.

Cosmogenesis and karma.

Currency collapse.

Daemons from the Underworld.

The perennial apocalyptic prophecies of Revelations, Edgar Cayce and Nostradamus, and lesser-known but equally grim prophetic interpretations of the Qabbalah, and the Qu'ran.

The end-time visions of the Lakota and the Hopi (if you've been good, head to the Four Corners).

Terence McKenna, psilocybin, the I Ching, and Time Wave Zero.

The bulging Yellowstone supervolcano.

Peak Oil.

Burning Man.

Motivated survivalists soliciting well-funded citizens for an apocalypse-proof community in the mountains of South Africa or New Zealand.

Entrepreneurs hawking ready-made Armageddon backpacks stocked with anti-radiation pills and mylar heat shields...

Movie

I Am Legend **

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If we must watch the last man on Earth wandering about aimlessly, it may as well be someone who can hold our attention like the charismatic Will Smith. The actor conjures both pathos and absurd laughs in "I Am Legend," until the film turns from a quiet meditation on the nature of humanity into a B-movie schlockfest. Were it not for the last 15 minutes-it's really appalling, and feels like it's from another movie-"I Am Legend" would have been much more than its pulpy premise hinted at.

Find showtimes

Hollywood, which long ago got wise to the profit point of the apocalyptic theme, frequently muscled its way through the online eschatological melee to tout its own interpretations: recently "28 Days Later" and, in theaters this week: "I Am Legend," a re-hashing of Charlton Heston's "Omega Man," starring this generation's end-times man Will Smith.

Crop circles caught my attention and I papered my living room walls with Lucy Pringle's photos.

Then there's Chardin's and Vernadsky's concepts of the noosphere: the coming of a shared global consciousness, a world mind; an evolutionary development presaged by the internet.

Who, or what, was stirring up this fuss about a date from an ancient, little-known calendrical system? Who, or what, was the engine of this movement?


A Gathering of Prophets

Jose Argüelles, born in Minnesota in 1939, is generally credited as the father of the 2012 movement. In 1987, Argüelles masterminded the so-called Harmonic Convergence, an annual two-day global meditation for peace, and he played a key role in the founding of Earth Day.

In his best-selling book, "The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology," Argüelles blames human disconnection from the natural world, and attendant ills, largely on the Gregorian calendar.

He promotes a worldwide switch from the Gregorian to the Dreamspell, a 13-moon, 28-day cycle of his own making, which he deems harmonious with natural law, extrapolated in part from the Mayan Tzolk'in.

Argüelles says he's been channeling the spirit of Pacal Votan, an entity Argüelles describes as a 7th century Mayan prophet. According to Votan, on 12.21.2012 we will "close out not only the Great Cycle, but the evolutionary interim called Homo Sapiens."

In that closing moment, Votan says, a rainbow of human consciousness will arc from pole to pole, and we will all flash from this place into the heavens.

Votan also states that every human solar plexus has antennae receiving signals from the center of the Milky Way. For some in the 2012 movement, Argüelles/Votan-though undeniably brilliant and not to be counted entirely out-is now veering dangerously into tinfoil helmet territory.

Other prominent figures are out there, such as Mayanist John Major Jenkins and the late New Age proselytizer Terence McKenna. (Find more about them in this story online.)

photo

Public domain image from Wikipedia

Daniel Pinchbeck


Pinchbeck, High Priest of Psychedelia

But as the big date approaches, perhaps no one is more widely associated with 2012 than Daniel Pinchbeck.

Pinchbeck stands at the center of the expanding media bubble surrounding 2012. A skeptical profile of him in the August 2006 Rolling Stone carried this title: "Daniel Pinchbeck and the New Psychedelic Elite: How a cynical son of beatnik parents combined drugs, the devil, and the apocalypse into a modern movement."

A 41-year-old, well-connected journalist based in New York City, Pinchbeck had already carved himself a respectable niche before the 2002 publication of "Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism." "Head" detailed Pinchbeck's experiences with an impressive variety of psychoactive drugs, and his investigations into the shamanic rituals of indigenous African and South American peoples. It was the story of his vision quest-a ripping tale told by a friendly mad scientist with a great vocabulary.

Pinchbeck's passionate call: for mankind's return to a naturally harmonious and intuitive state of being, and the immediate renouncement of materialism-before the shit hit the fan.

"Breaking Open the Head" gained Pinchbeck entrance into the circle of the New Age intellectual elite, where he sparred handily with the minds of McKenna, Argüelles, chaos theorist Ralph Abraham, and former Cambridge biochemistry professor Rupert Sheldrake.

Pinchbeck's interstellar shift came last year with the publication of his second book, "2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl." Despite generally unfavorable reviews, the book struck a chord and Pinchbeck rocketed to the top of the 2012 chart, suddenly being spotted around Manhattan with the likes of Moby and Sting. Nerdy, rumpled and overtly intellectual; hardly a glamour boy-Pinchbeck was now the front man for a bona-fide cultural phenomenon.


All Your Goodies Are Gone

Just how it could all go down in 2012 depends on whose imaginings you're reading. There are countless permutations prophesied on the internet-many begin with a supervolcano.

The Yellowstone Caldera measures about 35 by 45 miles (roughly the size of Tokyo's footprint), with a magma chamber five miles deep. It encompasses about a third to half of the area directly beneath Yellowstone National Park. The last time Yellowstone erupted, about 630,000 years ago, it went off with a bang over 1,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb. After the explosion, the atmosphere filled with over 200 cubic miles of radioactive ash, which drifted back to earth, blanketing the entire lower 48 to a depth of three feet. The air filled with sulfur dioxide gas. Ash remaining in the atmosphere blocked out the sun for 10 years, plunging the earth into a nuclear winter.

A natural catastrophe of this magnitude is truly inconceivable, and yet it's part of our planet's natural cycle. Not if, but when.

The U.S. Geological Survey calculates that the Yellowstone Caldera is on a 600,000-year cycle-and that it's about 30,000 years overdue.

This was only the beginning of the impending catastrophes-both natural and social-that Pinchbeck says are coming in 2012.


A Conference of Scientists

"We [the archaeological community] have no record or knowledge that the Maya would think the world would come to an end in 2012."
-Susan Milbraath, curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology, Florida Museum of Natural History.

"According to the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar, a cycle of more than 5,000 years will come to fruition on the winter solstice of 2012. While this day is largely unknown among contemporary Maya, some participants in the New Age movement believe it will mark an apocalyptic global transformation. Hundreds of books and internet sites speculate wildly about the 2012 date, but little of this conjecture has a factual basis in Mayan culture."
-Robert Sitler, director of Latin American Studies, Stetson University.

"Nowhere in the databases of science does it say that the 2012 date is the end of the Mayan calendar."
-John Hoopes, KU associate professor of Anthropology

KU professor John Hoopes knows Daniel Pinchbeck. They have the occasional shouting match over the phone. When Hoopes talks of Pinchbeck, there's contentiousness, but not without a whiff of admiration. Whereas Pinchbeck is a star player in the 2012 sphere, Hoopes is a highly respected specialist in pre-Columbian civilizations. The New York Times interviewed him recently on this same subject. Hoopes is no stodgy academician-he once went with Pinchbeck to Burning Man, an annual hippiesque gathering of thousands in a Nevada desert. And his papers and reviews sometimes reference fringe thinkers, including New Ager McKenna or former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett.

Hoopes has strong opinions on the 2012 movement, and major ethical issues with Pinchbeck. His response to my email about the release of a new compendium of 2012 writings, to which Pinchbeck was a contributor, was blunt:

"Pinchbeck's [article] reads like a first semester freshman philosophy term-paper on steroids, written after a night of heavy tripping by someone who never came to class or did any assigned readings. I think I'd have to take some major psychedelics to begin to make sense of it! Pinchbeck clearly believes that the world should be run by an intellectual elite that includes himself. Some people will believe him, and that's extremely disturbing to me."

Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Crystal River, Florida, rings the same bell, calling the 2012 movement "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in."

Pinchbeck, being the 2012 guru of the moment, is often in academia's crosshairs. His perceived "you just don't get it" attitude-a phrase Hoopes says Pinchbeck screamed at him repeatedly during one phone conversation-irks many Mayanists.

And, Hoopes acknowledges, sour grapes may have entered the mix. Here's Pinchbeck, writing books, making money, hanging with high-profile eggheads and rock stars, talking to the media... "It's hard to swallow," says Hoopes, "and all that seems to come to him just for basically making things up."

So I emailed Pinchbeck:

In my interviews with KU archaeologist John Hoopes, a self-professed debunker, I wrote, he claims that the 2012 "phenomenon" is fertile territory for Barnums and hucksters. ...How can people tell the "genuine" from the sham? What is genuine about the 2012 date?

Pinchbeck replied quickly:

What is genuine about the 2012 date is that it is the end of the 5,125 year "Long Count" in the Mayan Calendar, and was given a lot of attention in their culture and their artifacts. This date appears to be linked to a rare astronomical event: the Winter solstice sun eclipses the dark rift at the center of the Milky Way. Beyond that, nobody knows "the truth" about what the Maya understood about the date, or what the actual meaning is. My argument is that, as with the phenomenon of the crop circles, we are faced with a phenomenon that requires our effort of thought and discernment, and requires a multi-dimensional approach that synthesizes different types of data. For instance, looking into Mayan myth, such as the Popol Vuh, we see that they believe in world cycles that end with cataclysm and regeneration, and it seems very plausible that they saw 12/21/12 as the shift into a new cycle.

I forwarded Pinchbeck's response to Hoopes, who shot back:

Pinchbeck's participation in the sham seems to be deepening. ...I doubt you could find any academic expert on the ancient Maya to agree with any part of this. The Long Count is not 5,125 years long, but records dates that represent many, many multiples of this! Why does Pinchbeck misrepresent what is actually known? As we've discussed, 2102 is not the "end date" of the Maya calendar, either. The Maya calendar has units far greater than 13 baktuns (the supposed "end" of the calendar) and there are many Maya inscriptions that refer to dates after 2012.

In my mind, Hoopes continued, Pinchbeck is blowing the same kind of smoke as Biblical literalists. His interpretations of the ancient Maya ignore Occam's Razor and, in my opinion, are not supported by academic research on this fascinating ancient civilization.

Fear sells, and Pinchbeck is using fear to sell his specific worldview and ideas in a way that the ancient Maya could never have anticipated! It should be clear that he is blatantly misrepresenting our actual state of knowledge. I'm skeptical that Pinchbeck has researched and understood 2012 and the ancient Maya, or what archaeologists have to say about these, any more than a scientific creationist has researched and understood evolutionary theory and the scientific evidence supporting it. He's selected the information that he needs for his specific ideological purposes and ignored the rest. Unfortunately, a lot of gullible, uninformed people will be deluded by his misrepresentations.

Robert Sitler of Stetson University, another Mayanist heavyweight, has Hoopes' back: "I'm looking for a single unambiguous 2012 reference in the Classic texts, Popul Vuh, Chilam Balams, etc. and haven't found one yet," he writes. Sitler even suggests that the 2012 movement is weaving a fictitious Mayan history and selling it back to the modern Maya, writing in an online forum that "... the 2012 phenomenon arises from outside the Mayan cultural context and is only now being introduced in the Mayan world."

Throughout my conversations with Hoopes-we talked for several hours on many aspects of the 2012 phenomenon, from crop circles to currency collapse to pole shifts and magnetic fields-there was a definite undercurrent of "knowing," a sense that there was indeed something big going on in the world at this moment, some kind of build-up involving many of the topics in the 2012 catalog and far removed from the calendar of the Maya-an indefinable something that may well be the same force propelling the worldwide 2012 movement. Something in the air.

At our last meeting, I asked Hoopes if he thought anything significant was going to happen on 2012. He answered without hesitation: "Yes. I can't say what or why, but I feel sure that something momentous will happen."

"Are we creating it?" I asked, more than surprised by his response. "Is this a noospheric thing, where all our fears and discontent are coming together in a global-sized, self-fulfilling apocalyptic prophecy?"

Hoopes shrugged his shoulders.


Hasta La Proxima

"Someday after mastering winds, waves, tides and gravity, we shall harness the energies of love, and then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will discover fire."
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We all have our appointments with death, as much as we try to cheat it, but it isn't every day you get a date with an apocalypse. Not much you can do about a supervolcano, or a sunstorm, or a shift of consciousness, except roll with it.

The first instinct is to laugh off 2012 as just another crackpot doomsday prediction-Biblical prophecies, Y2K, Nostradamus-so many have been beating that cat for centuries. Perhaps it's Shakespeare's "tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing."

And what of Justin Roelofs, sitting on a pyramid in the jungle eating papaya under the stars-while we're slaves to bills, the MySpace, the latest on TomKat, and anything on TV that's not depressing like Iraq or whatever:

Who's crazy anymore?

Comments

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

John H.,

I think what you are sensing is frustration rather than defensiveness. I am presenting rational, well argued information. And yet we are descending into an endless Socratic debate based upon nitcpicking minutiae. The critique regarding distortions added to the Popol Vuh via Christian influence, at least to a degree that actually mitigates my thesis, remains an assertion on your part. I'm afraid the burden of proof rests with you on this one; my observation that Christian theology is linear whereas Maya time philosophy is cyclic is widely understood; it is frustrating and baffling that it is being utilized as the linchpin of your critique. Meanwhile, the main points of my argument are being ignored. Instead of engaging the main points of my thesis, irrelevant sidetracks are being widened as if what may be found there could make a lick of difference anyway. Perhaps you are doing this subconsciously in a reflexive advisory role, I don't know. Again, frustrating and baffling - much like the enervating current exchange with Marcos V on Aztlan I am having. If you are as well versed as I am in the various traditions that are relevant to this discussion, I don't see the value in derailing the discussion down irrelevant sidetracks. Furthermore, when I do respond cogently to your objections, my responses are qualified and countered from a vantage point that has nothing to do with the intention of my statement. Thus, I feel the frsutrating necessity of re-re-re-repeating previously emphasized points. You'll have to admit, this can make anyone frustrated if not crazy. If you're trying to make me dig for citations in this online venue, I don't think this is an appropriate place for that; I refer you to my publications. What I was trying to present in my brief article (linked above) was a way to rationally frame our approach to 2012, utilizing the bare minimum of facts that we have at our disposal and that we can all agree on. (This is an overdue, and necessary, framing of the 2012 topic because scholars have failed to frame the 2012 topic at all, apart from saying "the world isn't going to end" or merely addressing the social feeding-frenzy phenomenon of 2012 rather than the thing-in-itself as a real artifact of the Maya calendar tradition.) The application of reason to those facts leads to the conclusion that the end date of the 13-baktun cycle (December 21, 2012) was very very very probably placed intentionally by a people of high mathematical and astronomical achievement. That conclusion follows from the mere facts of the end date, as sketched, and diversionary side issues do not mitigate that conclusion.

continued -

straydog2012 11 years, 11 months ago

The ancient text referred to by Bob Sitler is monument 6 at Tortuguero. It has been known of by a small group of Mayanists since the 1970s, but only came to the attention of the public, other Mayanists and anthropologists in April 2006. For the story on the "Tortuguero Prophecy" go here: http://www.diagnosis2012.co.uk/new9.htm#tort

Geoff Stray

tomking 11 years, 11 months ago

Geoff Stray is also a major player in the 2012 discussion, omitted with regret due to space constraints of the article.

Geoff, do you feel the Tortuguero 6 is an indicator that the Maya calendar-keepers prophesied a 2012 apocalypse?

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

Here's a link to epigrapher David Stuart's April 2006 post on the translation of Tortuguero Monument 6 and the interesting discussion that follows:

http://tinyurl.com/3ym3e2

A translation of this monument was initially presented by Nikolai Grube, Simon Martin, and Marc Zender at the Maya Hieroglyphic Workshop on "Palenque and Its Neighbors" at the University of Texas-Austin on March 9-10, 2002. It was published in the conference proceedings (pp. 112-113). Here's what they had to say about it at that time:

"This is the last passage from Tortuguero Monument 6 (Figure 120). This text does not refer to the end of the world. It talks about the 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ajaw (O3) 3 K'ank'in (P3) Period Ending (December 10, 2012). This is the end of the 13th b'ahktun which we will see in the year 2012. What will happen? Well utom 'it will happen' (O4) followed by something that we cannot read (P4) and he 'will descend' yem (O5). The last glyph (P5) begins with ta followed by something. However, this is not the end of the world."

This was the state of knowledge in 2002. Note that these epigraphers say (twice) that the text does NOT refer to the end of the world. What it says will happen is given in the unreadable glyph P4, which David Stuart also gives as "?" The monument is damaged exactly where it says what will happen!

(Note that the date given is December 10, not December 21. That's because the epigraphers, for some odd reason, were using a Julian as opposed to Gregorian correlation.)

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

On p. 149 of the first edition (1966) of The Maya, by archaeologist Michael D. Coe, he wrote:

"The idea of cyclical creations and destruction is a typical feature of Mesoamerican religions, as it is of Oriental. The Aztec, for instance, thought that the universe had passed through four such ages, and that we were now in the fifth, to be destroyed by earthquakes. The Maya thought along the same lines, in terms of eras of great length, like the Hindu kalpas. There is a suggestion that each of these measured 13 baktuns, or something less than 5,200 years, and that Argmageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the thirteenth. Thus, following the Thompson correlation, our present universe would have been created in 3113 BC, to be annihilated on December 24, AD 2011, when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion."

This is the earliest published example I've been able to find to date of someone using the Long Count to calculate a Gregorian date in the future. I still haven't learned the source of Coe's "suggestion" that "Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the thirteenth", but this sentence has been repeated with only slight changes in each of the seven editions of his book. (The end date changed in the first three editions, finally settling on the one corresponding to the Lounsbury correlation: 23 December 2012.)

The 7th (2005) edition of The Maya reads:

"As has been said, the idea of cyclical creations and destruction is a typical feature of Mesoamerican religions. The Aztecs, for instance, thought that the universe had passed through four such ages, and that we were now in the fifth, to be destroyed by earthquakes. The Maya thought along the same lines, in terms of eras of great length, like the Hindu kalpas. There is a suggestion that each of these measured 13 bak'tuns (5,125 1/4 years [a typo omits the closing parenthesis], and that Argmageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the thirteenth; the Great Cycle would then begin again. Thus, following the Thompson correlation, our own universe would have been created on 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk'u 13.0.0.0.0 (13 August 3113 BC), to be annihilated on 23 December AD 2012, when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion."

This most recent version says "the Great Cycle would then begin again".and refers to the whole universe being created and annihilated. Note that the language referring to the Armageddon prediction remains "there is a suggestion..." This is an excellent example of why footnotes are useful!

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

Needless to say, the concept of "the degenerate peoples of the world" recalls the Genesis story of Noah's Ark and the reference to "Armageddon" comes from the Book of Revelations. It's important to remember that Maya texts such as the Popol Vuh and the Books of Chilam Balam were written down after the Spanish Conquest by Mayas who had been trained in and converted to Christianity. They were familiar with the Bible and this probably influenced how they interpreted the documents they were transcribing. This is why an unambigous pre-Conquest, pre-Columbian reference is required before we can rule out the possibility that end-of-the-world references were the result of Christian influence on Maya culture during the Colonial period--centuries after the Long Count had ceased to be used.

brainfreeze 11 years, 11 months ago

i actually had the pleasure of hanging out with justin a few years back. one of my best friends shared a place with his brother and sister. i remember it being strange because i had looked up to justin for so long as a musician and here we were spending the entire time together talking about the mayan calendar instead of guitars. i had actually just finished a big paper on the mayan civilization a few months prior and had learned a little bit about it...but it was strange to read this article today and put my hand in my coat pocket to find the miniature copy of the mayan calendar he gave me still in there from that day. justin, if you read this, i hope you're doing well and if you're ever back in lawrence for a spell, look me up, we'll pick up where we left off

Aufbrezeln Eschaton 11 years, 11 months ago

This is the best first-thing-in-the-morning read I've found on L.com in a long time. Fabulous job as always, Tom.

Daniel_Pinchbeck 11 years, 11 months ago

Tom,

You do realize that I never mention or discuss the super-volcano hypothesis in my book? That is from Lawrence Josephs' work, I suspect. Why do you attribute it to me? Have you even looked at my book? This is incredibly lazy on your part.

I wish you had allowed me to respond to Hoopes' comments about my work - though he does a good job of utterly contradicting himself without my further corrections. Most people who look at my work without a mean-spirited bias or sour-grapes envy appreciate my efforts to be intellectually rigorous and personally honest about the subject matter. I do not pretend to have all the answers, and I also have no desire to capitalize on fear. In fact, my perspective on "2012" is that we can use it as a window of opportunity to inspire a positive shift in planetary culture and consciousness.

To this end, I recently launched a web magazine, Reality Sandwich, http://realitysandwich.com , where you can find an evolving dialogue on subjects related to my work and to the current process of global transformation.

Yours, dp

tomking 11 years, 11 months ago

Daniel, I have indeed read your book--three times in fact. I find it profoundly moving and challenging. I've bought several copies to send to friends. My editor, however, has not read your book.

"Pinchbeck's imagining of 2012 starts with a supervolcano." are not my words. Nor did my original piece contain a inane reference to the KU football season or mention Christ walking the earth.

I have no doubts to your sincerity or the depth of your research. Although the article may have been tweaked otherwise, I have nothing but respect for you and your work. You opened my eyes.

smerdyakov 11 years, 11 months ago

Wow-thanks for all the clarification Prof. Hoopes. Fascinating article, in part because of just how infinitely deconstructable this subject seems to be.

I particularly liked your last comment, professor ... so fascinating how religions and cultures borrow from each other (and then, generations later, think of themselves as The Original!). Thanks to Prof. Mirecki, many KU students graduate with a thorough appreciation for the roots of many of Christianity's stories, such as numerology and narrative construction.

Interesting to read about it working the other way, with Christian influence on a millennia-old culture.

guestworker 11 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Roelofs must have found a way to turn bullshit into currency to do all this traveling and serious work without a job....

renison 11 years, 11 months ago

Why isn't Bowie's 'Five Years' playing when one opens the webpage? It's fitting no?

"I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlor Drinking milkshakes, cold and long Smiling and waving and looking so fine Don't think you knew you were in this song"

Chris Tackett 11 years, 11 months ago

great article, tom. a friend was mentioning this 2012 business the other day and I hadn't heard anything about it. good to have a nice overview like this.

leslie 11 years, 11 months ago

You mean to tell me that while I've been minding all of these howling tomcats, some rich kid cultivating crazy is predicting THE END OF THE WORLD?!

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

Here's the link to Strieber's side of the story:

http://www.unknowncountry.com/journal/?id=300

And here's a link to the podcast of Pinchbeck & Strieber's "War in Dreamland":

http://www.unknowncountry.com/dreamland/?id=359

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

Sorry about that. Apparently the podcast is no longer available. Too bad, it was a fascinating bit of pre-2012 history.

feeble 11 years, 11 months ago

eh, the mayan mythos miracle will never come to pass.

Everyone who is anyone (wearing a tinfoil hat and mediating under a giant crystal ziggurat) knows that the Earth (and it's 6.99 billion human inhabitants) will be wiped off the cosmic map by 433_Eros, on January 31st, 2012, a full 11 months prior to the completion of the 13th b'ak'tun cycle.

This secret knowledge is contained within a few somewhat obscure algorithms found in a The Bible Code (by Michael Drosnin, first published in1997.)

This is a real tragedy, because the word-defying beauty of last solar transit of the planet Venus in the 21st century would have otherwise united humankind.

/sarcasm

JMJenkins 11 years, 11 months ago

Thank you, John Hoopes, for the heads up and invitation to comment.

This is a nicely presented and written article. The audio clip with John Hoopes is especially useful, since transcribed talks can often be rife with mistaken meanings. My comments, as usual, grew lengthy, so I'll simply post the first two paragraphs here and link to a page on my website for the rest. The focus of King's article hones in on a somewhat contentious friendship between Hoopes and Pinchbeck, and generally the treatment is of "the 2012 movement" rather than the 2012 artifact itself. By this I mean that we hear of Hoopes's often insightful observations about the 2012 phenomenon in the culture at large. Daniel Pinchbeck's position as a visible front man for the 2012 "movement" is part of what comes under his purview. And we can sense his displeasure at Pinchbeck's success in the marketplace, probably, I suppose, because certain generalizations and inaccuracies occur in his rap and a scholar would prefer that the study and elucidation of Maya tradition be reserved for scholars.

On the far end of the spectrum, far beyond where Pinchbeck stands, are the truly ludicrous theories and ideas that dance around the 2012 meme. This is the area that journalists often feed upon. They compare these absurd fantasies with the other end of the spectrum, where calm and rational scholars assert with supreme confidence: "We [the archaeological community] have no record or knowledge that the Maya would think the world would come to an end in 2012." -Susan Milbrath. Hoopes himself emphasizes this several times. The world will not end. But I'd like to point out a discrepancy in many scholars' understanding of 2012, suggesting how academia is failing in its role of investigating 2012 rationally. For anyone who has spent anytime studying the Maya calendar and cosmology, it goes without saying that "the world will not end in 2012." The idea that it may, or will, is a complete paranoid fabrication of the media or an expression of some collective fear projection. The Maya calendar goes in cycles ...

-John Major Jenkins see the rest of my comments at: http://Alignment2012.com/5years-comments.html

Matt Toplikar 11 years, 11 months ago

Great article Tom! I've read a little bit about this subject as well and interestingly enough, it was because of Justin Roelofs. Seeing as how there is so much out there on the subject, I'm glad you fit in as much information into the article as you did. Well done.

marktrail 11 years, 11 months ago

it'll all go down in 2012, eh Roelofs? Pretty bold statement from someone who "truthfully believes there is no time."

http://www.lawrence.com/audioclips/56/

taken from Richard Gintowt's story on the Anniversary -- http://www.lawrence.com/news/2003/oct...

and I was pretty sure this dude and his girlfriend were actually living in Hawaii, not the pyramids?

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

Daniel Pinchbeck writes, "I wish you had allowed me to respond to Hoopes' comments about my work - though he does a good job of utterly contradicting himself without my further corrections."

Did I really utterly contradict myself? I'm curious to know how, from Daniel Pinchbeck or someone else.

John Major Jenkins writes, "a scholar would prefer that the study and elucidation of Maya tradition be reserved for scholars". Nothing could be farther from the truth, and Jenkins knows this. I have not only encouraged him to submit his own work to a refereed, scholarly journal, but I have offered to help him do it. Tremendous contributions have been made to knowledge of the ancient Maya by amateur scholars, including J.T. Goodman's brilliant exposition of Maya calendrics in the late 19th century. Jenkins has some fascinating hypotheses that merit careful investigation, and good scholarly methodology could help make them more than just guesswork.

I don't mind non-scholars writing about the ancient Maya. What I do mind is when they willfully ignore readily accessible information and actively misrepresent the actual state of scholarship and knowledge (especially the religious beliefs of other cultures) for purposes of profit and self-aggrandizement. It's important that the general public know the difference between responsible scholarship and rampant speculation, especially in popular works of nonfiction (such as Pinchbeck's).

JMJenkins 11 years, 11 months ago

John H. - I guess I was over-generalizing there, and was only speculating on how Pinchbeck's popularity may be getting under your skin. I Probably shouldn't do that on my part. And your second paragraph - I totally agree. But this beast called 2012 has taken on a life of its own, whether we like it or not. Perhaps the general public doesn't care about good scholarship or even the truth. Or, more likely, the mass media that designs consumables for the mass public only go for splash and entertainment. When you pare back all the extraneous stuff in Pinchbeck's 2012 book, and find the thing that he relates to 2012, it's a fairly simple and innocuous message about "Quetzalcoatl" being the integration of opposites. I think Frank Waters first mentioned that one. Maybe it was Covarrubias. In terms of media that influences / distorts people's attitudes toward the Maya, did you have an issue with Apocalypto? I think the fear and violence meme does a lot of damage to the collective understanding of the Maya.

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

JMJ, I don't think there's any need to speculate about my feelings regarding Pinchbeck. Tom refers to them himself in the article! Yes, this 2012 has taken on a life of its own, just like many other mythologies--some of which morphed into major world religions! A preoccpation with eschatology played a key role in the birth of Christianity, and I suspect that the stories spun about 2012 may wind up being just as compelling to some people as Joseph Smith's account of the angel Moroni and his decipherment of the famous Golden Tablets.

It's interesting that you mention Covarrubias. In his 1974 book "The Transformative Vision"--in which he first mentions 2012 and its putative significance--Jose Arguelles mentions that he heard about implications of the Maya calendar from poet Tony Shearer, who in turn said he got his information from artist Miguel Covarrubias. Covarrubias, of course, had remarkable insights about the Olmec. I suspect he may have played a key part in the modern manifestation of the 2012 meme. It certainly merits further information. (Go for it, non-scholars and scholars alike!)

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

Speaking of the "fear and violence" that's been associated with the 2012 meme, the heated argument that happened earlier this year between Daniel Pinchbeck and Whitely Streiber (author of a new book, "2012: The War for Souls--soon to be a major motion picture).

Here's Pincbeck's side of the story:

http://www.realitysandwich.com/alien_dreamtime_my_fight_whitley_strieber

(The link from Pincbeck's site to Streiber's podcast isn't working, so readers will have to search for that.)

JMJenkins 11 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I actually had a little "exchange" with Strieber a few months before that. Scary indeed. Also, I and two others had the dubious honor of having an alien hit-contract taken out on our lives, since we were named in his book as the humans who the aliens were going to come after as soon as they arrived, because "we knew too much." Some kind of intergalactic mafia is apparently afoot!

troubleeveryday 11 years, 11 months ago

Since when does hanging out with Moby or Sting add to one's scientific credibility?

Y2K+12 differs from all previous apocalyptic predictions in one key detail: it is still in the future. Pinchbeck & co.'s reputations will be the only thing going down in flames in 2012. I find it incredibly arrogant of people to believe and propogate the claim that the Earth will actually end during the relatively miniscule amount of time they happen spend on it.

It does, however, make for an interesting and thoughtful article. Kudos, Mr. King.

JMJenkins 11 years, 11 months ago

The post by troubleeveryday is a good example of how thinking people can develop dismissive attitudes as a result of the media's erroneous framing of the topic. In the brief paragraph posted above, we can see that 2012 is assumed to be all about, and only about, "apocalyptic predictions" "Earth's end," etc. This attitude is understandable given the emphasis in the article, which is typical of most media treatments of the 2012 topic. But why should we throw the baby out with the bathwater? Is it possible that there is something interesting to be said about 2012? For example, is it possible that the ancient Maya achieved an understanding of precession, of galactic alignments, and developed a profound and sophisticated galactic cosmovision that was embedded in their Creation Myth and ballgame Mystery Play? Wow, maybe the Maya weren't primitive savages after all. Unfortunately, popular attitudes and the media have a hard time refraining from harping on doomsday predictions. It''s very seductive and alluring. And it distracts us from looking at the thing-in-itself --- the philosophy and tradition developed by the ancient Maya that relates to 2012. Can we examine and appreciate that paradigm without it having to narcissistically and hysterically relate to us? Can we study and appreciate it in the same way we might appreciate the Upanishads, or the Druids, or Hellenistic philosophy? I think we must learn to pierce the B.S. veil before we can even know how to approach what 2012 is. John Major Jenkins

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

"I think we must learn to pierce the B.S. veil before we can even know how to approach what 2012 is."

Amen to that!

My own introduction to the archaeology of the ancient Maya grew out of a 1970s fascination with sci-fi and fantasy literature (along with pseudoscience about Atlantis, ancient astronauts, and Castaneda's "sorcery"). My hope is that the hype about 2012 will lead a new generation of students and scholars (both amateur and professional) to a huge and growing academic, non-speculative literature on this spectacular civilization.

The History Channel doesn't even begin to do justice to what is actually known about the ancient Maya. The best way to begin is with a book written by experts. Some excellent examples are:

The Ancient Maya (6th edition) by Robert J. Sharer & Loa Traxler http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Maya-6th-Robert-Sharer/dp/0804748179/

Ancient Mexico and Central America, by Susan Toby Evans http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Mexico-Central-America-Archaeology/dp/0500284407/

Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization, by Arthur A. Demarest http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Maya-Rainforest-Civilization-Societies/dp/0521592240/

The Maya (7th edition) by Michael D. Coe http://www.amazon.com/Maya-Seventh-Ancient-Peoples-Places/dp/0500285055/

The Ancient Maya: New Perspectives, by Heather McKillop http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Maya-New-Perspectives/dp/0393328902/

Some excellent online resources:

Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. http://famsi.org

Mesoweb http://www.mesoweb.com

straydog2012 11 years, 11 months ago

No, Tom, I don't think Tortuguero monument 6 indicates any prophecy of a 2012 apocalypse, exscept, perhaps in the true meaning of the word apocalypse: a revealing, or revelation. But, recently, the "Pakalian group" has speculated on the meaning of one of the defaced glyphs, by looking through the FAMSI glyph catalogue. John and John (Hoopes and Jenkins) may be interested to note that they also quote from an earlier more complete translation of the text, showing date of origin of the monument in February 669 Ad. The extra word is "darkness", but what Dave Stuart would think, I have not yet checked!

Geoff

straydog2012 11 years, 11 months ago

Here is the original full translation, including left side of the panel, which, I understand, was discussed in the Aztlan archives, "but after many posts in the thread it was omitted in the process."

:uhtiiy waxak Chuwen b'olon(te') Mak hekwaniiy K'anjalnaah Upib'naah Ahkal K'uk'. Cha' b'olon winikij ux ha'b' waxak winikha'b'(?) ux pik tzuhtz-(a)j-oom u (w)uxlajuun pik (ta) chan Ajaw ux(te') Uniiw uhtoom ..?.. ye..?.. B'olon Yookte' ta ..?.. :(long ago) it happened, the day Eight Chuwen, the ninth of Mak when the Becoming-Ripe-House was constructed(?). It was the 'underground house' (shrine) of (the god) Ahkal K'uk'. It was two and nine-score days, three years, eight-score years and 3 x 400 years (before) the Thirteenth Bak'tun will end on Four Ajaw, the third of Uniiw, when ..?.. it will occur, the descent..?.. of B'olon Yookte' at ..?..

If we subtract 3 baktuns, 8 katuns, 3 tuns, 9 uinals and 2 days from 13.0.0.0.0 (21 December 2012) we get 9.11.16.8.18 9 etznab 6 kayab, which is January 14th 669 AD (Gregorian) (not Feb as previously stated). The distance date can be identified quite easily, once you realize that the uinal glyph is a more uncommon variety, that shows 2 dots on the left, representing days (the glyph for days is omitted). I'll be summarising this soon on the next site update at diagnosis2012.co.uk

The article is here:

http://pakalahau.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/2012-prophecy-notes-on-tortuguero-monument-6/

Geoff

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

I hadn''t heard of the Pakalian Group before. Here's the link to their website (with a nice soundtrack):

http://pakalian.tripod.com/

Its sheer wackiness suggests they have a healthy sense of humor about all this stuff.

http://www.cafepress.com/pakal,mayanstore

smerdyakov 11 years, 11 months ago

This comment thread is fascinating-all the back/forth is appreciated amongst people who actually know what they're talking about.

I wonder, is this more opportunism: http://www.ica8.org/pages/Mayan_Pilrimage.shtml

Or might there be something to it? If the latter, anyone know what came of it?

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

From the website promoting that event:

"One Lotus LLC with Drunvalo Melchizedek and One Heart LLC with Diane Cooper will be co-sponsoring this gathering along with the Institute for Cultural Awareness as logistic coordinators to assist the Maya in completing this event."

Drunvalo Mechizedek's website: http://www.drunvalo.net

Diana Cooper's website: http://www.dianacooper.com

Opportunism? You decide.

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

More opportunism?

The advertising for a new, special issue of U.S. News and World Report on "Secrets of Christianity" asks "Will there be an Apocalypse, and when will it happen?" Of course, "Apocalypse 2012?" appears on the cover:

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/store/products/prod_christianity.htm

tomking 11 years, 11 months ago

goddamnit tom, you will always be my GALACTIC HEART FATHER!!! i can{t believe this, you got pinchbeck and jenkins all stirred up....this is amazing.

also, man, the mayan elders JUST GOT TOGETHER LAST WEEK here in Guatemala (im back at the lake). these are the real elders...almost all of them have been forgotten in Mexico, these are the high priests that despite all this talk about 2012 in the last decade, they have remained absolutely silent until right now. last week they gathered, along with elders from all over the world, and they were going to finally translate the huge stones that talk about NOW UNTIL 2012. here is just a bit more info about this, but the real scoop is going to be what said during the gathering:

http://www.ica8.org/pages/Mayan_Pilrimage.shtml

i haven{t gotten the news yet, but i will pass it your way ASAP, waiting to connect with my friend who went, this gathering was top secret unless you{re like a big kahuna. anyways, i know they said there should be less than 1 BILLION HUMANS on the planet, and this should take place very quickly, and as soon as 2009 or 2010. wow. and they are super stoked about this, finally things are going to come back into balance. and all those souls leaving the planet will be going to another sphere where they are much more in resonance with things. oh i have so much more to say, but like the calendar, im running out of time right now....i{ll write again soon... congratulations on this article my man!!! so much love from the south, xoxoxoxoxox DARK WHITE

John Hoopes 11 years, 11 months ago

For those who are interested in the astronomical implications of 2012, here's a helpful page from the Astronomical Institute at Utrecht University in the Netherlands:

http://www.phys.uu.nl/~strous/AA/en/2012.html

John Hoopes 11 years, 10 months ago

The possible confusion and errors by astronomers such as Strous (on which I won't render a specfic opinion at this time) is all the more reason why John Major Jenkins should submit a clear, concise, well-documented exposition of the principal elements of his theory about 2012 for consideration by the editorial staff and reviewers of a respected academic journal. If his model represents a significant contribution to knowledge, it should be vetted by several qualified experts and published with the imprimatur of a reliable source.

I would be the first to agree that web-based resources and books written for a general audience (especially those published by highly speculative editors such as Barbara Hand Clow at New Age publishing houses such as Bear & Company) are potentially filled with all kinds of errors, which is why most scholars totally disregard them when better information is available in peer-reviewed journals.

What is needed is a succint, 25-page MS. with accompanying diagrams and figures that explains the Izapan galactic-rift-conjunction-plus-procession solsticial observation theory without extraneous references, accompanied by an explanation of what this contributes to our understanding of the ancient Maya. There is no need to expend further energy on books and websites until an article has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal.

Brief articles in journals such as Science and Nature have radically transformed huge chunks of scientific knowledge. Is there some reason why the core and supporting data for John Major Jenkins' theory about 2012 cannot be presented in this way? A journal such as Ancient Mesoamerica or other journals dealing with archaeoastronomy would be perfectly appropriate.

Is it science or pseudoscience? Why not let the experts decide?

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

The link provided by John Hoopes to a supposedly definitive 2012 astronomy page by Louis Strous illustrates well how the 2012 topic is misunderstood and misinterpreted by a scientifically rational person. Years ago I responded to Strous's web page, and had an email exchange with him, both of which are online here: http://www.alignment2012.com/responsetostrous.html

Readers are best served by reading both Strous's commentary and my response. One of the most fantabulous examples of a debunker showing his true colors was Strous's original refutation of the galactic alignment being non-existent. He did this by leaving out the important qualifying term "solstice" from the definition, resulting in a meaningless definition of the era-2012 galactic alignment being "the alignment of the sun with the galactic equator." The correct definition that makes it meaningful for era-2012 is "the alignment of the December solstice sun with the galactic equator." (This is a useful scientific definition I've published and emphasized since 1995!!) Strous also conflates my work with random phrases picked out of plagiarized websites taken out of context and poor summaries garnered elsewhere. This does not serve or further a rational treatment of the topic. Of course, false debunkers are not really interested in rational examination, but instead have a firmly entrenched bias that needs to be boosted by deconstructing (by whatever deceptions necessary) that which offends them. Jonathan Zap explained this very human reflex well: http://alignment2012.com/zap-on-tonkins-error.html

Another debate I had, with yet another astronomer, is here: http://alignment2012.com/tonkins-error.html It is very revealing of irrational closed-mindedness. There are those in academia who are more open minded about the relationship between the galactic alignment and the 13-baktun cycle end date, such as John Hoopes. Strous's 2012 page, however, should be treated with great suspicion as it contains several erroneous assumptions, as my response at the link above will clarify. John Major Jenkins http://Alignment2012.com

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

John H., There are several reasons why I've resisting re-organizing my research and documentation into a monograph or manuscript for submission to a scholar-reviewed journal. First, the complete lack of cogent response to the evidence I've already assembled in Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, irregardless of who published it. This is not to say that I'm unwilling to give it another go, but I feel, at this stage, that the outcome will be somewhat predictable and disappointing. I've prepared and presented well documented and argued papers to various scholars and several journals; never has the core theory been directly addressed except by way of wan dismissals that refuse to engage the arguments and evidence. Usually, unrelated minutiae were targeted and a continuing dialogue was not possible. For example, in 1996 I submitted a carefully argued, succint, and thoroughly cited paper on precessional knowledge among the ancient Maya to Mexicon. The editor was nice enough to reply - more than what occurred regarding other submissions to academic journals - and he commented that it was unsuited for publication with them because it did not use their in-house bibliography style. I was, at that time, using the Dumbarton Oaks style as exampled by Schele's Forest of Kings and Maya Cosmos. Or, I could cite my exchange with David Stuart earlier this year regarding the Starry Deer Crocodile, as you are aware. I've found that rational examination is not necessarily the prime directive of academic scholars. Having said that, if you feel you can facilitate a rational discussion about my "theory" that will go beyond a monologue response, I'd be interested in putting the time and energy, once again, into repackaging and representing the arguments. There are several new pieces of contextual evidence from Izapa and environs that can now be added to thirteen years of existing biblio- and field research. One of the challenges for an accurate review of my work is to find scholars suitably versed in the various relevant disciplines. Otherwise, each of the reviewers will reject or beg off when they encounter the part of the theory that is outside of their jurisdiction. So, it would be best if you have a journal in mind since they will have their in-house documentation style - any thoughts? Anc Meso. would be a good place, if I new I wouldn't be wasting my time with a quick and superficial rejection - how can we ensure that won't happen? I submitted a paper to them in 1994; Munro Edmonson was one of the reviewers and after some persistance they sent me his comments - they were non specific, cranky, amounting to something like "this is not my cup of tea." How can I even engage a rational dialogue with that kind of language? Or, I can just begin. Thank you for renewing the offer, and Happy New Year!

John Major Jenkins

John Hoopes 11 years, 10 months ago

I'm sorry for the experience you had with Mexicon, but bibliography format seems to me to be an easy enough thing to fix. (EndNote and ProCite software now make it easy to change citation and bibliographic formats.) As for other reviews, shame on any colleagues who are not willing to help an enthusiastic amateur with constructive criticism. If Munro Edmonson didn't find your work to be his "cup of tea", then you have a right to request another reviewer.

As far as the response to "Maya Cosmogenesis 2012" goes, I doubt that many academic Mayanists have bothered to even pick it up, much less read it. Pseudoscience tends to be such a bottomless rabbit hole that most professionals are loathe to bother with anything that appears to be in that category. The Bear & Co. catalogue doesn't help with establishing a context of credibility.

I get the impression that you haven't engaged in much direct dialogue with journal editors. That's always a good idea, but keep in mind that editors are also concerned with maintaining the scholarly integrity of their publications. Forays into the fantastic don't inspire great confidence, and no one wants to come away looking as if they'd been fooled. Journals are expected to maintain a high level of authority and dignity. An editor may be able to give you some suggestions on what would be appropriate.

In the meantime, publicizing your work in conferences alongside the likes of Daniel Pinchbeck (such as the one linked below) is likely to elicit further stigma rather than serious scholarly attention. If you don't care about the latter, that's fine. However, if it's something you want, don't be surprised when Mayanists refuse to pay attention to anything you have to say because of the sensationalist, woo-woo, New Age company you keep.

"Shift happens."

http://2012conference.org

This kind of stuff (which is the source of the "pseudo-" in "pseudoscience") tends to make your work come across more as for-profit entertainment--or even a religious obsession--than a scholarly contribution to knowledge.

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

John H., (Part I)

And a Happy New Year to you, too. It's really unfortunate that thinking people cannot separate the different contexts in which I present my work. Even the spiritual and metaphysical topics that I explore in my work are presented in the context of rational examination. For example, there's a big difference between summarizing the perennial philosophy elucidated by high caliber intellectual metaphysicians like Ananda Coomaraswamy and indulging in the kind of soft-headed mysticism that floods the marketplace. It's sad to me that scholar-intellects often deny themselves of so much human experience and knowledge because of their narrow-minded conception of what is allowable. When I've engaged in dialogues with scholars about the evidence I rally to support my theory, I've never asked them to follow me even a little bit into something so distasteful to them as "metaphysics." The problem - as numerous examples of my exchanges with scholars show - is an unwillingness of scholars to engage in a rational way with the evidence I present. If they refuse to engage the theory because they note that, outside of the rational discourse I wish to engage them in, I'm trying to pay my bills by sharing my work in venues that they personally judge, that too merely indicts them as closed-minded elitists.

Your dualist advice that I must chose to keep company with either a) university-approved scholars or b) "New Age company" is pretty narrow minded. By the way, didn't you used to hang with Pinchbeck? What's all that pagan stuff you were indulging in at Burning Man? Or were you merely an objective anthropological observer? And since you just shared a venue in this pop culture interview with "New Agers", aren't you afraid that your colleagues are now going to accuse you of "keeping New Age company?" Oops. See how that works? Guilt by association - the mainstay of fundamentalism.

  • continued in next post -

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

John H., (Part II),

When the rubber hits the road, many scholars tend to deflect what could be a rational discourse and engage in borderline ad hominem attacks. Please don't do that, as it prevents the rational advancement of knowledge. So, I invite you to read my introduction to an essay that I just wrote, one that was inspired by your invitation to write a peer-reviewed essay. Don't worry, it's a brief intro and only strives to frame a rational approach to 2012. In writing it, I realized that I had to address some very basic issues that many scholars have misconceptions about, or have not thought through rationally, and that is why the 2012 discussion is bogged down in academia. I ask you to not critique it based upon a lack of citations - it is just intended to provide a rational framing of a useful and accurate approach to understanding 2012. If we aren't on the same page with where it promises to lead the 2012 discussion - in terms of rational investigation - then there's no point in wasting my time writing a longer essay embedded with citations and so on. It will be uploaded by the evening of January 3rd, at: http://Alignment2012.com/rationalapproachto2012.html

Best wishes, John Major Jenkins

renehauron 11 years, 10 months ago

As previsões para 2012? Não existem!!! Sabia que interpretaram completamente errado os dados da pirâmide de Kukulcán? Não existe seculo com 52 anos Maias. Esses 18.980 dias não existem. E, como são desses nðmeros que se usa para a GMT LC, imposto por Eric Thompsom, no são verdadeiros e seus seguidores não estão em caminhos certos. Veja com lógica os dados de Kukulcán e não como simples nðmeros. Kukulcán tÃm dados astronÃ'micos!!! Não simples nðmeros arranjados. Para conseguir 365 dias usaram os 4 (quatro) lados da pirâmide y mais a sua plataforma superior. Tambem nos 4 (quatro) lados existem 52 lápides!!! Usaram somente um lado de 52. O lógico seria a soma total de seus quatro lados de 52. Isso suma 208!!! Este sim e um dado astronÃ'mico!!! Porem, como não se quer aceitar que tudo está errado, todos seguem a palhaçada. à por isso que não existem os cálculos da data de 11 de Agosto de 3.114 AC com 4 Ahau 8 de Cumhð. Tudo e uma grande fraude. Na verdade, confrontado com o inicio do nosso universo, com a criação de nossa galáxia e, por fim, com o sistema onde pretendemos encontrar, apesar das já enumeradas 100 bilhões de outras galáxias, a data pretendida, e um nada tão miserável como escolher determinado formato de um átomo de um grão de areia do grande Saara. Queremos ainda, lembrá-los algo muito importante a respeito de tempos documentados em tantos e diferentes calendário que o homem tem criado desde que começou a dominar a escrita e os cálculos na tentativa de dominar e controlar o tempo. - Os anos não existem, os meses tambem não existem, são somente convenções humanas para organizar a vida de qualquer sociedade. Qualquer ano que vocà escolher como referencia em qualquer calendário inventado pelos humanos ou qualquer ano que vocà simplesmente escreva e ainda lembre que nada disso e verdadeiro. O verdadeiro, o que e patente e real, são os dias e as noites se sucedendo uma após outras. Repetem-se o frio e o calor das estações. O resto, nada perdura nem se repete. Olhe sempre o horizonte, as sombras e as luzes. E nada mais...

renehauron 11 years, 10 months ago

The forecasts for 2012? They don't exist.
Did he/she know that interpreted completely wrong the data of the pyramid of Kukulcán?
It doesn't exist century with 52 Mayan years.
Those 18.980 days don't exist. And, as they are of those numbers that it is used for GMT - LC, imposed by Eric Thompsom, in they are it true and its followers are not in right roads.
See with logic the data of Kukulcán and I don't eat simple numbers.
Kukulcán has been giving astronomical!!!
Not simple obtained numbers.
To get 365 days they used the 4 (four) sides of the pyramid y more its superior platform.
Also in the 4 (four) sides 52 tombstones exist!!!
They used only a side of 52.
The logical would be the total sum on its four sides of 52.
That disappears 208!!! This yes it is an astronomical dice!!!
Even so, as one doesn't want to accept that everything is wrong, everybody follows the clowning.
It is that that the calculations of the date of August 11 of 3.114 AC don't exist with 4 Ahau 8 of Cumhð. Everything is a great fraud.
Actually, confronted with I begin it of our universe, with the creation of our galaxy and, finally, with the system where we intended to find, in spite of the already enumerated 100 billion another galaxies, the intended date, it is an anything as miserable as to choose certain format of an atom of a grain of sand of great Saara.
We still want, to remind them something very important regarding times documented in so many and different calendar that the man has been creating since it began to dominate the writing and the calculations in the attempt of to dominate and to control the time.
- The years don't exist, the months don't also exist, they are only human conventions to organize the life of any society.
Any year that you to choose as reference in any calendar invented by the humans or any year that you simply write and still remind that nothing of that is true.
The true, what is patent and real, they are the days and the nights if happening one after another. They repeat the cold and the heat of the stations.
The rest, nothing lasts long nor he/she repeats.
Always look at the horizon, the shades and the lights.
And nothing else...

John Hoopes 11 years, 10 months ago

Tocayo (JMJ), I'm really flattered that you've taken my recommendation to heart! This puts a great start on the Gregorian new year and is a step in the right direction.

As I've said before, I don't think you can be faulted for earning a living or for delving into metaphysics. We pay far too much lip service to the need for scientists to consider religion and religionists to consider science. There is certainly room for faith in scholarship, so long as it doesn't adversely affect the quality of the pursuit of knowledge.

This may not be the right venue for a full set of comments on your essay, but I found myself catching on something I've mentioned to you before. You write: "The only alternative is to believe that the coordination of the 13-baktun cycle end date with a December solstice is a coincidence. The odds of this are extremely high." Am I mistaken, or aren't the odds of the end date occurring on the a December solstice exactly 1 in 365? Are those odds really "extremely high"?

The odds of hitting a solstice (June or December) are 2 in 365 or 1 in 182.5, while the odds of hitting either a solstice or an equinox (March or September) are 4 in 365 or 1 in 91.25. Wouldn't any of these four "hits" have elicited the interpretation of something significant? Add to the possibility of significant "hits" other astronomical events that occur in 2012, and the probability of the end of the 13-baktun cycle falling on one of them only increases.

Human consciousness has an aversion to random events, so it would probably be possible to cook up a post hoc explanation for any one of them. In my mind, something with a 1:365 probability has, in the grand scheme of things, a high likelihood of happening. It's not a 1:1,000,000 probability, but lots of people with worse odds than that win lotteries every week.

Low probability events do occur, and people have throughout history offered theories as to why they happen the way that they do and when. For example, anthropologist E.E. Evans-Pritchard wrote quite a bit on how the Azande use witchcraft to explain why granaries collapse on people at specific times. Metaphysics does provide answers for these things, but what's required here is persuasive science.

I do think you're on the right track with this approach, but one objection I have is the notion that 1:365 represents "extremely high" odds. Can you persuade me that I'm being irrational?

John Hoopes 11 years, 10 months ago

I think this is one of the clearest pieces you've written. I don't think there's anything wrong with your proposed "thought experiment", provided you're prepared to consider evidence that might counter your working hypothesis. The complaints about previous scholars' responses are irrelevant to the strength of the argument you're trying to build. I'd leave those out (and do the hornblowing with subtle but clear citations of your earlier publications).

You note, "The end of a 13-Baktun period is found frequently on so-called Creation monuments that deal with the events that occur at the end of a World Age - the end of a 13-Baktun period."

Could you cite specifically which monuments you mean? The argument that these documents affirm that a "World Age" is actually 13 Baktuns long is one that needs to be made much more clearly and explicitly, with references to specific texts.

A related problem that merits some discussion: Why did the Aztecs refer to five Creations while the Mayas referred to only four? Is there something in this disjunction that might provide a clue about what the length of a Great Cycle was thought to have been?

You note that "beliefs about what occurs at the end of one of these World Age periods may be found, mythologically expressed, in the Maya Creation Myth, the Popol Vuh. (That all cycle endings are like-in-kind events is attested in the Books of Chilam Balam..." However, as I and others have pointed out, both the Popol Vuh and the Books of Chilam Balam--which undoubtedly had Pre-Conquest antecedents in some form--have come down to us as POST-Conquest documents that were transcribed and modified by Spanish-trained scribes who had very likely been schooled in Biblical prophecies and Christian escatology. This must be acknowledged along with the fact that the strongest arguments for Maya escatology will have to come from documentation that is demonstrably Pre-Conquest.

Of course, you don't say anything in this piece about your ideas regarding the dark rift in the Milky Way. I hope that you will also be addressing that with the goal of a "rational" explication.

I think this is a helpful approach.

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

John H.,

Even if we allow for odds of, say 1/365, the odds go higher when we realize that to place a big cycle ending (the 13-baktun cycle) in coordination with a smaller cycle end (the solstice) is meaningful, to be expected, and consistent with the Mayan value of temporal commensuration. The investigation must integrate not only a abstract and specialized analysis of mathematical probability, but identifiable conceptual meanings which argue for the case of intentionality.

However, what I presented in my brief piece was a way to circumvent the endless debate that can arise around that issue and to ask other investigators to entertain the notion that the solstice placement was intended. By the way, Edmonson, Bricker, and now Susan Milbrath all have responded to the solstice date with an initial assumption that it is unlikely to have been a coincidence. The rest of my essay then follows from that working hypothesis.

I can fill in citations and splice in the arguments that you want, as they already exist elsewhere. What will end up occurring is a piecemeal reconstruction and repackaging of large tracts of my book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, but if that will help the advancement of the discussion, I'll do it.

Your comment on the Popol Vuh being a contaminated document is a large over-statement. Tedlock's translation, for example, draws from the original document recorded by Maya elders in the 1550s; they were apparently working from a pre-Conquest hierogplyphic book. More to the point, your comment, even if true, does not relate to the point I was making - that the Creation Myth is a World Age doctrine. Are you implying that the overarching World Age structure of the Creation Myth was craftily layered in by Spanish editors and Christian influences?

Similarly, my reference to the Chilam Balam books involve the specific idea that all cycle endings are like-in-kind events. In Christian theology, we don't find the idea of time cycles at all, let alone the idea that cycles express like-in-kind events. This concept is stated by Matthew Looper in one of his books - almost matter of factly as if such a conclusion was obvious - and was cited by me in the Bolon Yokte article I wrote. In the Chilam Balam books we read (I paraphrase): "What has happened in the past Katun will happen in the future Katun."

I didn't venture into the dark rift material in this introduction, because I realized that a proper framing of a rational approach to the topic would need to be agreed on before proceeding further. We'll see what develops, More later,

John Major Jenkins

John Hoopes 11 years, 10 months ago

"Tedlock's translation, for example, draws from the original document recorded by Maya elders in the 1550s"

I'm sorry, John, but here's what Tedlock (1996 27) says about the Popol Vuh:

"During the early colonial period the town of Quiche was eclipsed, in both size and prosperity, byt the neighboring town of Chuwi La' or 'Nettles Heights,' otherwise known as Chichicastenango. The residents of this rising town included members of the Canec and Lord Quiche lineages, and at some point a copy of the alphabetic Popol Vuh found its way there. Between 1701 and 1703, a friar named Francisco Ximenez happened to get a look at this manuscript while serving as the parish priest. He made THE ONLY SURVIVING COPY of the Quiche text of the Popol Vuh and added a Spanish translation."

Tedlock may in fact "draw" from the original alphabetic document recorded in the mid-16th century (by authors who had been schooled by Spanish missionaries), but only indirectly. Tedlock was working from a transcription that was been made by this Spanish friar (who also happened to be fluent in Quiche) in the first years of the 18th century. This copy of the Popol Vuh has been in the Newberry Library in Chicago since 1911.

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

John H. You are right, I overlooked that one instance of a copy made. And how does that then support your implied issue that such copying introduced the World Age doctrine and the idea that time cycles express like-in-kind repetitions? (Let's not forget the specific context of my original observation that the World Age doctrine in the Popol Vuh expresses the calendrical World Age in the Long Count). Can you detail for me all of the distortions and introductions made by Ximenez? Has anybody? I doubt there are many, aside from typos. Certainly the astronomical references embedded in the Popol Vuh, which are the primary areas of support for my end date alignment thesis, were not introduced from outside.

John Major Jenkins

John Hoopes 11 years, 10 months ago

I'm not suggesting that the copying introduced the World Age doctrine at all, only pointing out that there were at least two opportunities for Christian eschatology to have been introduced to the only surviving copy of the Popol Vuh: 1) during the episode of its transcription to an alphabetic version by Spanish-trained Quiche scribes in the mid-16th century, and 2) during the copying of the alphabetic version by Ximenez in the early 1700s.

I haven't done a careful analysis of possible introductions to the text myself, but I don't think that's necessary to argue that the Popol Vuh, as it has come to us, is not a "pristine" version of a pre-Conquest Maya document. Just because you doubt that there were introductions made by Ximenez doesn't mean there weren't. A first step in evaluating this would be to learn more about who Ximenez was and what his motivations were in transcribing (and translating) this indigenous document. Was he doing it to document the erroneous ways of the pagan Quiches? Was he using the document to demonstrate parallels in Maya and Christian belief (the notion of an ancestral couple, past cataclysms, etc.)? Did he have any motivation to introduce changes (or elmininate offensive passages)? I don't know the answers to these, but they're certainly relevant to the reliability of the document.

I should also point out that highland Guatemala was the recipient of populations and accompanying cultural influences from central Mexico during the Postclassic period, at which time elements of non-Maya eschatology may also have been introduced. The Popol Vuh should therefore be considered in light of what these alternative ideologies might have been, and how they may have influenced the Quiche scribes. The only way to be confident of pre-Conquest Maya belief systems is to use pre-Conquest Maya documents, and this requires detailed knowledge of Maya epigraphy.

"Let's not forget the specific context of my original observation that the World Age doctrine in the Popol Vuh expresses the calendrical World Age in the Long Count." No, but use of the Long Count had ended many centuries before even the 16th century alphabetic transcription of the Popol Vuh. Your observation is the one that needs the clearest support. Is there any evidence you can cite that comes directly from Classic period Maya texts?

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

John H., Part 1 But the Christian eschatology is so fundamentally different from Maya time conception, that although an opportunity was theoretically present, it does not seem to have occurred, otherwise the Popol Vuh would have a very different appearance. I'm afraid your critique does not lead to viable conclusions. In regards to Jimenez, what I said was that any introductions he made must have minor, otherwise we would see the blatant stamp of Christian dogma. But we don't; that was my point and thus my original comment is sustained.

I don't believe pursuing Jimenez's motivations are relevant to the topic at all, since the doctrine as it survives in the Popol Vuh bears all the signs of Maya cosmovision rather than Christian theology - it is one of cyclic time and World Ages. It may be interesting to pursue your line of thinking for its own sake, but it's a sidetrack and only serves to derail and diffuse the main line of the investigation. Unless you can discover that Jimenez was a secret hermetic eschatologist who harbored heretical cyclical beliefs about time rather than towing the linear / apocalyptic party line, it's a waste of time.

I'm aware of the various influences that came into highland Guatemala. Ruud van Akkeren did an insightful study of this in his book The Place of the Lord's Daughter - have you read it? However, many central elments of the Popol Vuh have an ancient lineage, since we find key episodes on the very early carved monuments of Izapa - how do we explain this? Some kind of continuity from what appears to be the origins of the Popol Vuh myth, circa 100 BC, to the recording of the Popol Vuh in the 1550s, is undeniable. Here we encounter pre-Conquest Maya documentation on the carved monuments, and thus we need to understand the iconographic precursors to hieroglyphic writing.

-continued-

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

John H., Part 2

The epigraphers of Classic Period writing could learn much from the iconographers of Pre-Classic symbology. For example, several symbol forms at Izapa have evolved into cvonventionalized hieroglyphs. The upturned frog mouth of Stela 11 is an early form of the upturned frog mouth glyph that means "to be born" (Kelley, 1976). The caiman on Stela 25 is clearly an early form of the Starry Deer Crocodile of Classic Period icongraphy, as David Stuart stated in his 2005 book but that he, oddly, dodged in our private communique of last summer.

Your last paragraph is baffling. Do you disagree with the observation that, conceptually speaking, a 13-Baktun cycle in the Long Count is equivalent to a "World Age" in the Popol Vuh? I guess I'd have to direct you to the writings of Gordon Brotherston for edification on that point. I don't need to be led through some kind of thesis-advisor process - I've heard the stories of what that's like - something like a fraternity hazing I gather. Soon I'll be having to provide evidence and citations that the Maya could count, or that they really did look up at the stars! Why do you assume that the arbiter of truth can only come from "evidence" cited from Classic Period Maya texts? What constitutes evidence in your view?

It seems that the sources of allowable evidence have bene so severely limited such that only the most conservative of interpretations can be maintained. This may be cautious scholarship, but I don't think it's good scholarship. I consider the carved monments of Izapa to be "statements"; epigraphers do not because they don't see "writing" there.

My answer to your last question would be: all of the Creation dates that are written 13.0.0.0.0 provide evidence that a 13-Baktun period is - a) A World Age, b) ? c) ? d) ? Please provide alternative options for a, b, and c, as I can't think of any. Secondly, there is a World Age doctrine in the Popl Vuh - we agree on that, right? There is a sequence of World Ages described in the Popol Vuh. Was this idea introduced from Jimenez? Extremely unlikely. As extremely unlikely, as laughably unlikely, as space aliens landing to spawn the Maya. We are left with the unavoiadable conclusion - unless you really really want to avoid it - that the World Age doctrine is an authentic ancient belief of the Maya. Again, I refer you to Brotherston for context. If this idea is a stumbling block for you, let's bring it to Aztlan.

John Major Jenkins

tomking 11 years, 10 months ago

Do pertinent descriptions of World Age periods and the Maya Creation Myth exist only in the Popul Vuh and the Books of Chilam Balam? JMJ mentioned glyphs...

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

Hi Tom, Evidence for a World Age doctrine, and that World Ages last 13 Baktuns (5,125 years) is found in the glyphs in certain Creation texts - at Coba, Quirigua, Tortuguero, the Vase of the Seven Lords, and elsewhere. These are the texts dated 13.0.0.0.0. JMJ

renehauron 11 years, 10 months ago

Pleasure Tom,
Do allow me to clarify him on the LC?
In any hieroglyphic descriptions exist on the World Age.
Descriptions don't also exist in any book (Popol Vuh or Chilám Balames).

John M Jenkins doesn't want to debate with me. Is he/she afraid of recognizing that it is missed on their positioning to regarding the LC?

My source is in: "La Verdadeira America" - (The True America) it Looks for in the Google the author, Rene Haurón.

Outside of a possible planetary alignment, anything of what is said on the final date of the 13 Baktðn in 2012 has logic.

Hugs,
Rene

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

Rene Hugs, I don't know why you said that I "don't want to debate with you." Your post above of January 3 is not legible in the English translation. I cannot decipher your brief January 4th email direct to me, which read:

"If you can travel, he/she comes to the Brazil so that he/she knows the whole work. They are more than 1.000 pages. He/she has 200 drawings, pictures and charts. You won't never regret to come and to know the discovered ones Mesoamerican. I think that you are very nice and you don't deserve to go by disfavors. Can everything be moved in advance not?"

Those are the only two contacts I've ever had with you. You appear to be using automated translation software that does not result in understandable English. How that makes me unwilling to debate with you, I do not know.

John Major Jenkins

renehauron 11 years, 10 months ago

Fuerte abrazo, John Si. Es verdad lo que me dice. Estamos con inconvenientes en las interpretaciones de textos. ¿Es posible enviarle un resumen en español en su e-mail normal? Mi e-mail para respuesta: renehauron@gmail.com Creo si que es muy importante que lo conozca. Mi convite para que Usted venga a Brasil es verdad. No hablo ingles (infelizmente) solo se leer. Gracias por su gentil atención. Cariños, Rene


Strong hug, John
If. It is true what tells me.
We are with inconveniences in the interpretations of texts.
Is it possible to send him a summary in Spanish in their normal e-mail?
My e-mail for answer: renehauron@gmail.com
/> I believe if that is very important that knows it.
My invitation so that you come to Brazil it is true.
I don't speak English (unhappily) alone you to read.
Thank you for their gentile attention.
Affections,
Rene

John Hoopes 11 years, 10 months ago

Dear John MJ,

I'm sorry I put you on the defensive! That's never my intention, but I do understand where those sentiments might originate. The main point that I was trying to make is that, given the fact that the Popol Vuh and Books of Chilam Balam carry some elements of Christian eschatology, these cannot be considered (or referred to) as if they were "pristine" documents. I did not mean to imply that there were any introductions of Christian theology although I think it's important to acknowledge that these exist. You say that Christian theology is "fundamentally different", but that's really not so. Notions of cyclicity related to astronomical observations came into Christian thought through Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and other influences. Christian imagery is replete with references to the resurrected sun/son and many other astronomical/astrological allusions (a number of which remain as subject to varying interpretations as those in the Popol Vuh). Theseinclude the various astronomical events associated with the Christmas story, which were undoubtedly associated with cyclical events.

These are not easy to dismiss, especially if one of the motivations of Ximenez in transcribing the Popol Vuh was to either: 1) demonstrate the similarities of Christian and Maya traditions (i.e. the notion of a Great Flood punishing evil, the resurrection of self-sacrificed culture heros who triumphed over death, etc.), 2) to demonstrate that Maya mythology was a form of blasphemy (i.e. an intentionally distorted version of the Christian myth, perhaps the result of demonic influence), or 3) some combination of these. I think it's naive to ignore the similarities and the ways in which the Popol Vuh may have been modified in post-Conquest, pre-transcription contexts. The Spanish were constantly seeking either affirmation or disproof of their success at communicating Christian doctrine, which is indeed cyclical (the myth of the eternal return) and millennialist.

Please resist the impulse to feel defensive. I'm really trying to help. The reason I asked the question is because I think a systematic review of "all of the Creation dates that are written 13.0.0.0.0" and their contexts would strengthen your argument more than reference to the Popol Vuh, specifically because of what I've mentioned above.

John Hoopes 11 years, 10 months ago

Well, it looks as if the 2012 mythos and related ideologies have found a prominent place in Guatemalan politics:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7081312.stm

"The 56-year-old Mr Colom has a background in the textile business and does not belong to any of the 23 Mayan ethnic groups who make up more than 40% of the population. But he has been ordained a Mayan priest, and drew much of his electoral support from the rural areas where poverty amongst indigenous groups is deep-rooted. Mr Colom, who will start his four-year term on 14 January, says he will regularly consult a group of spiritual leaders, known as the Mayan Elders National Council."

The council is headed by Don Alejandro Oxlaj, who is speaking at today's inauguration. Don Alejandro is a major figure in New Age "Mayanism" who has had the support of Carl Johan Calleman, one of the principal figures promoting 2012-related prophecies. Don Alejandro is known for making references to phenomena such as mediumistic contact with Pleiadeans (extraterrestrial entities from the Pleiades). He was prominently featured in a recent film titled "The Shift of the Ages":

http://www.shiftingages.com

Don Alejandro is also a spiritual advisor to the alternative think tank Common Passion:

http://www.commonpassion.org

It will be fascinating to see how Colom's presidency unfolds and whether New Age ideas will move closer to center stage as a synchretistic movement for peace and reconciliation.

Better this than what's already been in Guatemala's past.

JMJenkins 11 years, 10 months ago

-continued to John H.,

In addition, it is not necessary to collate and examine the list of monuments and ceramics that utilize the date 13.0.0.0.0. The very simple fact that this date (which we can read as "the end of a 13 baktun cycle") is found in contexts involving Creation narratives indicates, all by itself, that a 13-Baktun cycle was conceived as a great cycle, what we can term a World Age cycle. I'm not sure of you object to this terminology, or if you object to identifying these dates as an indication of a belief in a 13-Baktun period/cycle/Age. If you reject making a conceptual connection between this 13-Baktun period and the Mesoamerican concept of Ages, then you need to read Brotherston for starters. I can't shake the feeling that you're just being difficult on this point, trying to save face perhaps, for once we understanding that relationship between the Long Count calendar and the World Age doctrine in the Creation mythology, then the connection to the World Age in the Popol Vuh is obvious. The only thing preventing this conclusion is your assertion that the World Age doctrine in the Popol Vuh is not a native belief but was introduced by Christian influence. So, please, find me one scholar who argues that the World Ages documented in the Popol Vuh are introductions from Christian influence. If not, then we are left with the extremely likely conclusion that the 13-Baktun period recorded on Maya creation narratives is identical to the World Ages spoken of in the Maya Creation Myth.

John Major Jenkins

renehauron 11 years, 10 months ago

John MJ...

The truth s that all the I hurt existent at the moment in the Meso-American questions they were born of European unscrupulous columnists.

The readings of the hieroglyphics of the calendar were deciphered totally misses.

The writings of the books like the Chilames Balames and the Popol Vuh were written by influences two Christian priests manipulating their points seen religious.

Same the book of Moorland is not more than a document to defend of its cruelties and that all believe that it is an important document.

The current configurations of the Meso-American calendar are totally modified and completely wandered by the same previous religious influences.

All the dates that are pointed out as being exact until this moment are only divagaciones.

It should be heard more and to stop to impose the egocentric principles in salads of useless words that spend inks and they don't show anything. Single hypothesis.

It is invented so much that he/she finishes believing that the lie that is counted is true.

When it doesn't suit, you comes out for the tangent. Do we go to converse as human beings? Rene

tomking 11 years, 10 months ago

Rene, The translation software really garbles your meaning. Try to find a way to express yourself that doesn't come off crazy. Best wishes, Tom

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