Saturday, December 22, 2012

Survivor of the 2012 End of the World - Off Topic

Are you a survivor of the 2012 end of the world? As you may have heard the world as we know it ended on December 21, 2012 since it was all over the internet and especially the many social networking sites. Most people seem to have survived it in tact and the new world seems quite a bit like the old one. There were prophesies and legends in many cultures speaking of turmoil and destruction but also of purification and rebirth and even an age of enlightenment to come.

I don't think I know of anyone who actually believed that December 21, 2012 was the literal end of the world. So where did it come from? Why all the fuss about that particular date? Well it seems that there are quite a few legends in various cultures from Mayan folklore to ancient Indian writings to the Christian Bible that can be interpreted to speak of this time as one of great turmoil and tribulation but particularly the Mayan Long Count Calendar which ended its cycle on that date.

The ancient Mayan culture had an elaborate system of calendars which were circular in design. You may have seen the circular depiction of a Mayan calendar carved in stone that has become an icon of their civilization and of this particular apocalypse. When a particular period of time being measured was completed it began again from the beginning. The Mayan Long Count Calendar was approximately 26,000 years long and coincided with certain planetary alignments which would have been almost impossible for that ancient culture to have known about. December 21, 2012 was said to be the end of this "world" or cycle and the beginning of a new cycle. Each "world" was said to have ended in great cataclysm followed by the rebirth of the new world. Couple this with the planetary alignments, the position of the earth with respect to the galactic plane known to us as the Milky Way and peoples amazement at the uncanny ability of the ancient Mayans to know this and align their calendar with these occurrences and you can see that this was something that people would take notice of. The Mayans however expected the dawning of a new era and an age of enlightenment.

The Christian Bible tells us that we are in the last days and it says there will be great troubles and tribulation. This plays into the importance of having some idea of when these things might occur. The Bible speaks of some of the wars, rumors or wars, earthquakes and great weather events we have seen lately and it says there will be "signs in the sun and moon and the stars and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and waves roaring". It is written that "when you see these things happening, you know that the end is near, even at the door". The book of Revelation mentions a great beast speaking blasphemies against God who puts his mark on the right hand or forehead of all of his followers. It is also noted that "no man knows the day or the hour when the Son of Man (Jesus) will return" and that "if those days were not shortened no one would survive". We are told that He will return to set up His kingdom on this earth and reign for a thousand years.

All of these things lead us to the conclusion that these are very important times and that this could certainly be a time of transition from one age to another but none of these has given a specific date for any given event. If you are reading this then you are a survivor of the latest end of the world phenomenon and you should get a Medal for your bravery or at least have a T Shirt commemorating the event. I also expect that we will need a New Mayan Calendar to keep track of the times and seasons we are in or at least to keep track of the days, weeks and months ahead but don't worry if there are no pages after December 31, 2013 it is not likely the end of the world. You will just need a new calendar for the next year.

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