Posts Tagged ‘José Argüelles’

the Golden Enlightenment snake oil salesmen

January 7, 2012

Of all the theories about 2012, the one that tempts me most is the one about universal enlightenment and the coming Golden Age. Most of the authors and websites are backing this horse. And it is a very attractive entry. A peaceful change, a healthy change, a beneficial change to all of mankind as we head into a brighter, more user-friendly future.

Yes, I really like that theory. If only…

Unfortunately, I have seen this snake-oil salesman before.

Only in the 1960’s they hitched it to the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Same shtick, different date. They called for more peace, love, and understanding and all I’ve seen is more war, hate, and destruction. So far, Aquarius is not my cup of tea.

Of course, many now tell us the “actual” Age of Aquarius has not come yet, so there is still some time for the “universal enlightenment” to descend upon us. They tell us that the real Aquarian time is not due to start for a century or more. And yet some prophets have now pegged the start to December 21st, 2012. How convenient, huh?

Back in the day, there were many more people proclaiming the coming Golden Age than those predicting the end of the world. So, now, the 2012 phenomenon has given both sides a chance to renew their campaign of hope (or doom, as the case may be).

Even with all the primary writers on the 2012 phenomenon pulling for this scenario – and though John Major Jenkins, Jose Argüelles, and Carl Calleman may differ on major points, on this one they are still unified – this is to my mind the least likely of all the scenarios. Why? Well, let’s just say I have studied enough of human history to know what mankind would do with such “enlightenment”. Not being cynical, just being a realist. Without some basic understanding of what the enlightenment would mean, I do not see much impetus for people to change.

I would much prefer the Spiritual Convergence descending on us but the evidence for it is mighty slim. What evidence is offered? All the prophets for this angle merely state that the Maya were spiritual. That may be, but what exactly does that mean? What does that prove?

Unfortunately, not much.

And we are once again left where we were, like in the ’60’s with the love beads, the flower power, and nothing but a slim hope of universal enlightenment.

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How This All Started

January 25, 2010

Like most people, I was unaware of the Mayan End-Date, even though it had been debated in scholarly journals for decades. That changed in 1987 with the publication of Jose Argüelles’ book, The Mayan Factor. I picked up a copy in an esoteric bookstore in 1990 and was fascinated. I was not alone.

Since that time, I have followed the further researches of Argüelles and those that were also inspired: John Major Jenkins, Carl Johan Calleman, Adrian Gilbert, Maurice Cotterell, Michael Tsarion, and others. The interest led me to read Linda Schele and Anthony Aveni as well. The last two are mainstream Maya scholars while the remainder are, like myself, somewhere out on the fringe.

What had begun as an interesting metaphysical construction by Argüelles has become a rather large and diverse field of studies ranging from the heavily scientific to the extremely speculative, and even some wildly speculative.

Argüelles was an Art professor before his immersion in Mayan studies as was Linda Schele, one of the greatest scholars in the field of Maya Studies. Each brought the eye of an artist to the inscriptions of the Maya in order to better understand the nuances of the carved glyphs. Through this understanding, each was able to further their interpretation of the Maya, their culture, and their meaning in our present world.

Most of the writers in this fringe field do not come from the hallowed halls of historical scholarship but have ventured onto this path through other, more personal, callings. Each has brought a different view and a variant understanding of the End-Date phenomenon. As the subject has grown and diversified, the variations in the theories have grown wider. Two authors who began in agreement in the main have diverged in specifics as their studies and researches have carried them in different directions. They each offer some wider understanding as they delve deeper.

So, while Argüelles has focused on his interpretation of a Maya Calendar for our times, the Dreamspell Calendar, and Jenkins has narrowed his research on the End-Date itself and the crossing of the Sun across the Galactic Center, Calleman has chosen to investigate the fifth stellar age and its sub-ages, each with their own influences, and the others have found other portions to focus their attention on.

The interpretations are as varied as the authors. But whose is correct? Consulting with the Maya on the subject does not help clarify the situation as they seem to agree with Argüelles… and Jenkins… and Calleman… and – so forth.

Their agenda seems not to be which theory is correct – they are far too removed from the past to know the answer – but that the Maya are well represented in the portrayals. It is a political agenda but, judging from the politics in the region they live, quite understandable. This subject is their heritage and they are protective of it.

It is not correct that we should expect them to understand the workings of the ancient form of the calendar and its true meaning. They are more than a millennium removed from those Maya.

But if we cannot consult the present-day Maya on the subject, to whom can we turn? Is there any other sources we can consult?

the Mayan End Date

January 2, 2010

As I have said before, the Mayan Calendar End-Date was for a specific phenomenon, why else would the Maya point out a specific date rather than an era. And as the Mayans had studied cycles for many years, it must be something that is cyclic in nature, something that had happened before, something they felt was going to happen again according to a chronology they could calculate.

What cycles did they use to make this determination? From their mythologies – primarily cosmological in nature (like most ancient cultures) – they were most interested in the motions of the planets. They saw something in the motions that they could use to predict… well, whatever it was they feared would recur.

Could it have been an age of enlightenment coming as José Argüelles, John Major Jenkins, and Carl Johan Calleman, among many others, predict? Of course, it is possible, but how did we get lost from the last age of enlightenment?

That is not explained by any of these authors, but they do not seem to think it had happened before. From the Mayan writings, this was apparently something that had happened before and was planned on repeating. Were we going to get enlightened and lose it again, apparently as we were supposed to have done before? Perhaps enlightenment was not the event they were foretelling.

Could the Maya have been thinking of some sort of doomsday scenario, like an impact from a comet, meteor, or black hole? Certainly, it would be a very singular event that could signal the end of the calendric period. But, again, as the Maya seem to have built their calendar on studies of cycles, what possible cyclic recurring doomsday can they have foreseen? Are errant comets/meteors/black holes that predictable?

Or could the planet Nibiru going to be the culprit? Zechariah Sitchin, proponent and creator of this theory, stated that the mystery planet returned very cyclically every 3,600 years. But he reiterates that 2012 is most definitely not the return date.

Nibiru would already be visible to our telescopes if it was arriving ahead of Sitchin’s timetable but nowhere do we find any evidence of its approach. I have seen websites that claim it will become visible to the naked eye by May of 2010. Videos on Youtube claim it is already visible.

Confusing, huh? But none of that has anything to do with the mystery planet. Just ask Zechariah Sitchin.

And that leaves us with nothing to do but scratch our heads. What scenario would fit what the Maya have predicted with their marvelous calendar, if anything?

Let’s see… they claimed each age ended with something involving the Sun, each new age was called a new Sun, and as the Sun is the energy source dominating the Solar System, perhaps they noticed the cycles of the planets were somehow resonating with something about the Sun. (Just an hypothesis here.)

And the Sun? They claimed each new age was a new Sun, which means 2012 has something to do with the Sun. So my theory is that something will happen to the Sun in 2012. Of course, nothing may happen to the Sun but I think it is what the Mayans thought.

It is known that 2012 will bring a very active period to the Sun, specifically in regard to sunspots. So, what if the sunspots went completely overboard? What if they covered a large portion of the Solar disk so that the Sun appeared extremely dimmed?

When the sunspots eventually disappeared in the past it must have seemed that the Sun had been born again, hence a new Sun Age.

If anyone else has another theory that makes more sense, I would love to hear it.

I could be wrong. And the Mayans might be wrong as well.

In the Beginning

December 24, 2009

In 1989, I purchased a book at my local New Age bookstore, the Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology by José Argüelles [1988, Bear & Company].

In reading it, my interest in the Maya and their Calendar was reawakened. Other reading and study followed, and a decade later I had started a novel (Cycles – a Mayan Tale, unfinished as of this writing) on the Maya and how their Calendar came about.

In doing more in-depth and up-to-date research, I was surprised to see that no one had arrived at the same interpretation I had about the Maya End-Date and what it really meant. I had thought their meaning was so obvious… How could everyone overlook it?

I realized the reason no one could see what I thought the Maya stated quite clearly, was the blinders we are wearing, preconceived notions about the world, the universe, and the mechanics of nature.

After an exhaustive internet search, I determined that the interpretations of its meaning were as many and as varied as there were authors on the subject and yet they were all falling into two basic categories:

1 – Those believing the world was going to end by one horrible method or another, and
2 – Those who thought we were entering a new age of enlightenment.

Having heard both theories before, the first on various and sundry occasions by a large number of “kooks” and members of the fringe, the second in relation to the dawning of the Age of Aquarius in the ’60’s, I really did not put much stock in either.

Why was no one seeing the true message? The Maya were not trying to be confusing or mystical, they put the answer right out there.

So, I wrote a book, 12•20•2012; Or Last Golden Sunset? and tried to get it published. But after a year without getting either an agent or a publisher interested in what I thought was a “hot topic”, I decided to just put it up on the internet in this blog format. I think the theory should be aired and discussed before people start going off the deep end – that is, if my interpretation is correct.

In 1950, Immanuel Velikovsky wrote about the mechanics of the universe through the explanations given in the Old Testament. What this told us about the world was quite different from the science textbooks. But, naturally, Sagan and his crowd won the day and Velikovsky was relegated to the fringe area of pseudoscience. He was declared a “crackpot”.

Now we have another source of cosmological data that falls into the same category. Most people choose to believe the Saganized picture of the universe that it has been the same and unchanging for “billions and billions” of years. Or you can believe some rather terrified eye-witnesses tried to explain what they did not understand in symbols that they could to wrap their minds around.

What the End-Date means is not up for barter. If you believe in the End-Date the Maya gave us, you have to believe their reason for giving it. Not some modern notion for our own more personal psychological needs.

The message here is really rather simple to state but the ramifications go a lot deeper and wider than most people would be willing to tackle.

2012 – the Golden Enlightenment… NOT

December 16, 2009

Of all the theories about 2012, the one that tempts me most is the one about universal enlightenment and the coming Golden Age. Who would not like such a state existing for us? It sounds like the Utopia writers have been visualizing for centuries. And it especially looks good when compared to the Doomsday scenarios some other writers are predicting for 2012, who are in the minority, although a very vocal minority.

Most of the authors and websites are backing this horse. Unfortunately, I have seen this snake-oil salesman before. Except that in the 1960’s they proclaimed it coming with the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Same shtick, different date. They claimed there would be more peace, love, and understanding. All I’ve seen is more war, hate, and destruction. So far, Aquarius is not my cup of tea.

Of course, many tell us that it is not due to start for a century or more yet, but some of the current prophets have pegged the start to December 21st, 2012. How convenient, huh?

Back in the day, there were more people proclaiming the coming Golden Age than those predicting the end of the world. So, the 2012 phenomenon has given both sides a chance to renew their campaign of hope (or doom, as the case may be). And the numbers for each side are about the same as before. Some people are more propelled by hope while a few see only doom and gloom – almost gleefully, it would seem. But I’ve spoken of that subject before (see “A Deathwish, Perhaps” from July 11th).

Argüelles, Jenkins, and Calleman are the premier authors for this hypothesis and their books have spawned a large number of websites adhering to their slightly varying theories. There are lesser lights as well but too many to mention here.

I, too, would much prefer the Spiritual Convergence descending on us rather than a large chunk of iron but the evidence for it is mighty slim. All the prophets for this angle can do no more than merely state that the Maya were spiritual. Buddha was spiritual but he didn’t have much to say about 2012. Jesus, too, was spiritual, but the tribulations are supposed to come before the golden age on that path. And the rapture does not sound much like the golden age that is supposed to be approaching.

Given that the Maya were spiritual, how could the end of the present age be ushering in a golden one for us? Where did the Maya say this? In all their spiritual writings, where did they mention this coming enlightenment?

Nowhere.

It seems that it is just the same prophets of euphoria that held sway in the ’60’s returned again with a new cornerstone for the New Age agenda.

The fact that it has nothing to do with what the Maya actually said is somehow overlooked in the translation. Their agenda was established before the Mayan End-Date was realized. Some may claim their forebears of the ’60’s merely “jumped the gun” by a few decades, but it still has nothing to do with the Maya or their Calendar.

So, if the Mayan were not talking about this golden age to come, what were they talking about?

Let’s consider some other theories…

Dreamspell – the Reincarnation of Pacal Votan

December 16, 2009

José Argüelles, who I credit with starting the “Mayan Calendar phenomenon”, has diverged from the crowd further with the creation of his Mayan Calendar for the New Age. He has interpreted what the intent of the original calendar was and created a calendar for the New Age based on it. Perhaps it was his realization that he was the reincarnation of Pacal Votan that led him to this insight.

The Dreamspell Calendar differs from the modern calendar in that it has 13 months of 28 days each. This 364 day calendar starts every year on July 26th, the heliacal rising of Sirius (a touch from the Egyptian Calendar). But it also differs significantly from the traditional Mayan Calendar.

A lot of people subscribe to his vision but a lot of Mayan phenomena authors are in disagreement. Jenkins and Calleman disagree but that could be because their own interpretations have already diverged in different directions.

The field is constantly evolving, it would seem.

Some think José has gone off the deep-end with this talk of being the reincarnation of a famous Mayan King, but – hey! – if you believe in reincarnation, you know everybody is reincarnated from somebody before. Even Pacal claimed to be the reincarnation of an earlier king who had claimed to be an even earlier king (himself claiming to be the reincarnation of Kukulcan, or Quetzalcoatl). He did not claim to be Napoleon or Jesus or anyone like that and as he was the one who brought the Mayan Calendar to our notice, why not?

As for the changing the calendar, that’s his prerogative – incarnation of Pacal or not – but I don’t think it was what the Mayans were talking about. The Dreamspell Calendar is a re-working of the haab calendar with a touch of the tzolkin. The haab was the standard yearly calendar of the Maya and the tzolkin was their augury (fortune-telling) calendar. The Maya had certainly divorced them from the Long Count during the peak of their civilization, but it was the one with major importance to this study. Neither the haab nor the tzolkin have and End-Date, as does the Long-Count.

If anyone else wishes to restructure the tzolkin or haab, it won’t mean anything to the study of the End-date any more than does the creation by Argüelles.

As there are many adherents who have followed him along the Dreamspell path I am certain it is meaningful to many.

But it has nothing to do with my studies into the End-Date.