2012 – What’s the Buzz?

I have a calendar on the wall in my office. Every year it reaches the end with nothing more dire than another round of New Year’s resolutions and the preparations for another season with the tax people. That and the bother of finding a new one to replace it… preferably one with some cute kittens or ferrets to make the coming year a little lighter.

So what’s all this fuss about the Mayan Calendar coming to an end? Can’t they just take it down and go to the local hardware or bookstore and get a new one? Well, unfortunately, their calendar covers more than one simple year; more like 5,125 years. Replacements like that are going to be pretty hard to come by.

What could they have been thinking when they devised such a thing? It seems strange in our hurry-hurry world to think that anyone would need to plan that far in advance for anything.

So, what were they thinking? The question is not intended to be rhetorical. Really, what were they thinking? Our calendar is designed to last one year for a purpose: we plan most everything in yearly increments – five or ten years at best. Were they thinking in five thousand year increments? And, if so, why?

It is possible, some tell us, that they were not actually planning that far in advance but simply passing along a message to us. Not exactly “us” specifically but perhaps they saw something in their future – the future of their grandchildren’s great-grandchildren’s grandchildren – that necessitated some means whereby they could convey the warning to them, and to us. But why should the message be couched in such unspecific terms? Why the subterfuge? Why not just tell us what it is they saw coming down the pike?

I believe they did. They made the message as clear as they possibly could only it seems that we have forgotten how to read what they have left us. Somewhere between the literal and the metaphorical interpretations of their legacy lies the truth in the message.

How can we decide which path leads to the answers? A lot has been written about the Mayan Calendar recently and there seems to be plenty of confusion about what is really going on. Some see dire omens, others see a new enlightenment, and yet others see just another December 21st no different than any other.

A recent History Channel production, “Mayan Doomsday 2012”, consulted a variety of prophets throughout the past to describe the coming end of the world in 2012. Unfortunately, the only one that actually mentioned the year 2012 was the Mayan Calendar; the others simply describe a doomsday scenario. None of the others, not Nostradamus or Cayce, supplied us with the date. And that rapidly approaching date is the puzzle.

A lot of this confusion comes about because the Mayan End-Date has only recently been discovered and the decipherment of their language is still ongoing. Apparently even the modern Maya had forgotten about it as it took the researchers several decades to piece together the start and end dates for their calendar – the Maya seem to have forgotten this dire prediction. Today there is still some disparity on the precise End-Date but most scholars agree that the calendar began on August 11th 3114 BC and will end on December 21st 2012. (The less-popular interpretation starts the calendar on the 13th of August 3114 BC and ends December 23rd 2012.) One researcher claims the actual End-Date is October 28, 2011, but most agree on the Winter Solstice date.

What could have been going on around 3000 BC to warrant the Maya starting a calendar that would last for more than five thousand years?

Again, what could they have been thinking?

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