Data Mining

There is a lot of information on this subject both in published form and on the internet. As one blogger lamented: yes, there are a lot of End-Date websites, but they all seem to be selling something.

Still, there are many that are not trying to sell anything, except their slant on the 2012 question itself. Many are disciples of one or another of the authors mentioned above and they repeat their author’s interpretation and frequently attack other ideas. A lot of the information is repetitive, rehashing or copying other sites (thanks to the RSS feeds) or offering excerpts from the various theories.

The vast majority of theories fall into two camps: 1- those who think the End-Date will usher in the next Golden Age; and 2- those who think it will be the end of everything, or the world as we know it.

The Hollywood blockbuster movie, “2012”, encompasses the latter scenario. Let’s face it: the special effects in which they excel are better suited to sweeping catastrophes more than gradual enlightenment.

But which of these is the scenario the Maya foresaw, what did it mean to them? An exact answer is lacking. Their ancient writings are a bit ambiguous on the subject which is why there are so many varying theories today.

So we will have to try and find the answers elsewhere.

One might think it is an impossible task but there are ways to accomplish this. First we can consult their history and their cosmology for clues. Where the data is lacking we can examine the mythology of other ancient lands to find parallels, being careful not to imply too much from this without some sort of corroboration from the Maya sources.

They had an interesting mathematics but the number seven, so prevalent in other ancient societies seems to lack the importance for them.

Other sources of data can be in their social structures. The sacrificing of humans is a feature of most Mesoamerican cultures and may offer clues. That and the reason a great many of the victims were volunteers is a bit frightening. Perhaps their worldview and perception of the afterlife was substantially different than our own, and another piece of the puzzle.

Other scholars have brought information to the table – most to become ostracized by the scholarly community because their findings did not jibe with “accepted” theory. We shall have to examine these as well. Any kernel of information that lends itself to understanding the beginnings of this culture that produced such a marvelous wonder will have to be checked.

The data that adds to our understanding of their world view should help us understand the how and why of their calendar. Information that belittles them or their achievements will have to be discarded. A civilization does not put that much time and effort into constructing such a mechanism for no reason.

This was not some “secret society” or underground cult that tried and kept their motive or their message from prying eyes, this was a living and breathing culture that lasted for more than a millennium, using this very calendar in their daily life. Surely, the secret cannot be kept from our eyes too very long once we strip away the preconceptions and look at their story with honest and open eyes.

It may have been a religion but it will be something we can understand because of the humanness it must have held, even if the finer details seem somehow foreign to our modern mind.

Where the search eventually ends is hard to know at the start. But I know it will lead to a greater understanding of the Maya, their calendar, and ourselves as well. Because their story must discuss the real world, the same world they and we have in common.

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