Post-debate Summary

A brief response to Calleman's third contribution to the debate is needed. In his last essay in the debate, Calleman simply states that we have different viewpoints and then proceeds to give us what is apparently an excerpt from his work in progress. Likewise, his first essay in the debate was basically a slightly modified excerpt from his recently released book. As a result, a small percentage of the material that Calleman contributed to this debate was actually designed for the debate. When Calleman invited me to participate in this debate back in August, he presented it as an opportunity to address the "debate" between December 21, 2012 and his October 28, 2011 date. A friend warned me at the time that it looked like Calleman simply wanted to create a hyped-up promo event for his new book. Naively, I believed what Calleman had told me, about his wish for his ideas to get a fair hearing and receive honest critique. Now, however, it is apparent that my friend was right; Calleman's primary interest was in creating a promo event for publicity; I have in effect been a dupe in his marketing plan.

We have learned some things, though. We can see from the debate that his October 28, 2011 end-date is not necessary, is poorly argued for and, worse, it distracts us from the actual Maya end-date, December 21, 2012. I am no stranger to this type of ruse, as other New Age writers on Mayan topics have invented their own systems and promoted them as a new revelation or somehow better than the authentic Mayan system. It is important to point something out here. When I defend the December 21, 2012 end-date, I am not defending my own personal system or opinionated viewpoint. This is the best candidate for the end of the Long Count's 13-baktun cycle, tested and tried by scholars over a hundred years, assessing interdisciplinary evidence. Calleman's date, on the other hand, is simply Calleman's date; there is no reason to think of it as a new and improved date, unless you're willing to disregard the Maya. Thus, this is not Calleman's end-date vs Jenkins' end-date. It is Calleman vs authentic Mayan tradition. What reason can there be for revising authentic Mayan tradition? Calleman has never addressed the decades of interdisciplinary evidence by which scholars revealed the structure and placement of the Long Count in real time. Now, those scholars didn't know why the Long Count begins and ends where it does. There has been a serious gap in our understanding of the reasons behind this calendric tradition, and deciphering or filling those gaps is what I have set out to do in my reconstruction work. My work seeks to elucidate the lost and fragmented elements of ancient Maya cosmology, rather than replace what we already know with spurious concoctions. Calleman's critique of my extensive work has been less than compelling, we might even say non-existent, amounting to a casual denouncement without even addressing it.

Since the 1980s there has been a trend in New Age writing to invent new terms, devise new systems with combined elements of various traditions, and so on. The fallacy of this is that it doesn't get us any closer to the perennial wisdom that we seek to embrace. The irony is that "New" Age ideas really strive to tap into a knowledge that is old, ancient, eternal, perennial. So, any work to recover wisdom cannot be about the promotion of personal systems that are perhaps "new," but really have no connection with the deep reservoir of perennial wisdom. Calleman's date is "new" and may therefore appeal to seekers requiring frequent injections of newness, but this need is more a sympton of the problems of modernity than a solution to them. Only immersion in soma can quench the spiritually thirsty.

           — John Major Jenkins. November 21, 2001


Responses to the Jenkins / Calleman debate (posted at 2012 Dire Gnosis).

Email from reader, November 19, 2001:


I have read all the debate material. You are dealing with a nut. Not only does he construct a straw man to destroy, he also inflates his own position zealously, at your expense, after he finds out what direction you take. In no way does he want you to have a leading voice  in the 2012 alignment issues. He is always skirting the issues and fabricating things irrelevant to the argument.

The spiritual and material argument he poses is lame. To even think you have not addressed the spiritual component is absurd…. this man is on a post-Arguelles trip; he is a pseudo-scientist caught up in thinking his love of science gives him the right to pontificate the way he does. His final acquiescence to accepting you as the originator of bringing the Long Count knowledge to light implies that he admits to ripping you off.

I have read so many books over the last 30-40 years that, after a while, the intent [of an author] can be felt and, to be more to the point, I can sense the way a person processes information.

You have been thorough, in all accounts, and if anyone bothers to follow your reasoning it is clear that you make a very strong case for the alignment event.

John, I really would not spend any more time in this debate unless you just want  to slam dunk him with incontrovertible answers to his last letter and end it there. It is indeed a debate that is pertinent to the human race, but to claim that if people do not listen to him we will all go astray, and to change the end date as well, he must  be the biggest self-inflated person. Pleading with the reader to consider his point of view is just a waste of good time and a way to have his own self-worth enhanced.

If you do continue the debate he will constantly rearrange your arguments to serve his interests. You have indeed been compassionate and kind to even entertain his mind and perspectives.

I think the evidence you pose is clear, and those of us that are seeking answers know where the truth lies. You have given us all a guide to understand where we are in this grand cycle of precession as well as considering our own personal path in relation to a more enhanced state of consciousness.

        — W.

More reader comments:

Calleman criticizes the work of 3 others, yet all the criticisms combined, apply to his own work!

In his criticism of your position, Calleman says there is no evidence that the Maya knew of the 26,000 year cycle, yet also admits they knew nothing about his complex system either. His sensationalist statement, " Nowhere in the Mayan accounts from ancient times is a cycle of 26,000 years described. Nowhere!" ...could easily be used , after replacing the "a cycle of 26,000 years" part, to describe most aspects of his own theory. His criticisms of Arguelles regarding the correlation of the Tzolkin, seem to apply to his own correlation of the Long Count, and he seems oblivious to the parallels between the New Age Religion of Arguelles' Dreamspell and his own creation. His criticism of McKenna is that McKenna used only one event to anchor the Timewave, rather than the many events he used, but as you pointed out, his own events are rarely very near the cycle transitions he proposes. Also, his criticism of McKenna moving the end-point by 33 days seems to parallel his own moving of the end of the long count by over a year. Another point: he says you discuss events in terms of Babylonian astrology, yet he seems perfectly willing to interpret Mayan calendrical cycles in terms of Jewish (& therefore Chaldean, since Abraham was from Ur?) concepts of the 7 Days of Creation, (not to mention the New Testament descent of the Kingdom of Heaven - p.177-178).

Apart from all this, the most glaring inconsistency I've spotted, is as follows:

Calleman says, "No, the Mayan prophetic science of time can not be based on astronomy", but he fails to spot that the most basic cycle of the Maya is the kin, but that a kin is, of course, one revolution of the Earth, and that a kin would thus be meaningless anywhere but on earth, since other planets have different periods of revolution. It would therefore be an incredible coincidence if this planet spun at an exact harmonic of the spiritual cycles, while no other planet also did so. His main criticism of you; that astronomical effects cannot have caused the cycles in question, is something you never said. I have understood the astronomical timings as a celestial clock that was used to keep track of long cycles, rather than the cause of those cycles - a reductionist approach that Calleman seems to have read into your work, when it wasn't there.

Another inconsistency I spotted in Calleman's book, (p.76-77), is that his largest cycle - the Cellular underworld, is 13 x 207
or 16.4 billion years old, going back to the Big Bang, yet Stele 1 from Coba, which he shows on p.76, shows cycles far longer than this. These pre-creation cycles are not explained, yet they imply that the Maya were unaware of the creation event which Calleman sees at the base of their 9-level pyramids.

My friend, who has read Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, and also seen Carl's lecture, and has partly read his book, is in general agreement with me. We both like the idea of the tzolkin being used as a map not just of the 13-baktun cycle, but other levels, up to hablatuns, but not if it means re-inventing the whole system. It is easy to see why Calleman then must have wished the Long Count ended on 13 ahau, but to actually alter the Long Count correlation is a different matter. As Calleman himself put it on p. 157 of his book, in reference to later "invented" tzolkin correlations, "Such disregard of the calendrical knowledge of the Classical Maya is not likely to lead to truth."

       — G.


Reader response from late September:

Comments by Rush Allen, 9-28-01
(addressed to 2012 Dire Gnosis)


In his introductory remarks, Jenkins says of Calleman, the following:


In the foreword, Calleman writes that we live in a modern civilization that has lost touch with the living cosmos and the divine reality; in essence, we have lost touch with the transcendent dimension. And this is clear to many historians, philosophers, and social commentators: it is true, we live in an age of extreme materialism where progress is measured by scientific advancement and our increased ability to manipulate the physical domain, and our spirituality has become compromised. This idea is best expressed in the Vedic doctrine of the World Ages, which stands in stark contrast to the “progressism” of Western thinking, the doctrine being that  humanity moves through periods of spiritual decrease followed by increase, the metaphor is taken from the day and night, is extended to the year, and upward even to the level of the 26,000-year precession of the equinoxes. The current historical phase has been a process of increasing materialism and a simultaneous decrease in spirituality. The modern paradigm is spiritually, perceptually, and linguistically impoverished, although it is at the same time materially “progressing.” So, if this is something that Calleman sees as a truism of the modern world, then why does he state that “the meaning of the Maya calendar needs to be translated so that it can be understood by other traditions.” This is like putting the cart before the horse. What will result when you translate a multidimensional, advanced, wholistic paradigm into a linear, materialistic, fragmented framework of understanding? A reduction of what was translated will result.

I would like you to consider the September 11, 2001 WTC Disaster in New York City in light of the highlighted words that most people are in agreement with. We seem to be oblivious to the fact that events like the 9-11 WTC event do not happen without a transcendent dimension. The focus on the 2012 debate is another Westernized rationalization; what Jenkins says happens when "you translate a multidimensional, advanced, wholistic paradigm into a linear, materialistic, fragmented framework of understanding."  If you are going to properly develop the 2012 debate on your web site, I suggest that you begin to bring the transcendent dimension into the topic, otherwise, your site will simply become a philosophical library for words that do not carry any meaning.

I have applied the fundamental thesis of the Maya 2012 date, the Denderah Zodiac virgin birth, the pyramids of Egypt, and a direct correlation of the tomb artifacts of Tutankhamun to the 9-11 WTC event. All of these are also displayed together with the scriptures of the Abrahamic theologies of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and the ancient asterisms of the gods; what Plato called the embroidery of the heavens. When the  transcendent dimensions are applied holistically to the events, the  9-11 WTC event joins the Sodom and Gomorrah, Armageddon, and 13 Baktun traditions into one holistic apocalypse. This is precisely what the ancients had predicted. The fact that it comes 11 years early for the 2012 event may be a result of numerical nuances in the 13 Baktun calculations, or it may be a clear duality ( 1+1) calling forth the two dimensions. But, there is no question that all of these prophesies predict an event of cosmic proportions, after which human existence will not be the same.

The Maya stories may be the easiest to interpret, for they depict the birth of First Father from the mouth of First Mother. These are celestial events that are directly seen in the placement of the "dark rift" at Aquila that represents the mouth of Quetzalcoatl. Beyond the mouth of Quetzalcoatl is the center of the galaxy (Cosmic Womb). Stella 25 from Izapa is an exact replication of the time and celestial orientation of the WTC when the destruction began (, and it tells the time of the beginning of the next 13 Baktun.

At the instant the first red rays of the sun touched the top of the antenna on WTC 1, the planet Saturn was on the zenith meridian at the head of the bull, Taurus, and Pluto was directly on the nadir meridian on the hip of Hun Hunahpu (Ophiuchus). In other words, the Armageddon at New York City coincided precisely with nearly every great "time prophecy" for the "moment of the first occasion" that have been passed on in monuments and legends for the last 13 Baktun. There is little question that the people of the Americas saw a new beginning, and a rebirth in the cosmos. That is precisely what the ancients had forecast.

I bring this to your attention, because what Jenkins says is clearly true in this case; A reduction of what was translated will result. The reduction is so severe that none of the spiritual message is even being considered by the modern "wizards" of ancient prophecy. September 11, 2001 is another of many preludes that have been occurring in accordance with the ancient Mayan and Egyptian calendars, and with the Abrahamic scriptures. The reason why the correlation is so precise, is because the spirits the calendars and scriptures that were addressed are the same forces that are dramatically affecting the current events of the world. Forget Nostrodamus and "eyeballs" in the Pacific. When the Twin Towers of the modern Babel fall to the ground, we must retain some reference to sincerity with regard to what the ancients dedicated their lives to. The dawn sacrifice of Quetzalcoatl that caused the creation to begin with the "First Sun Rise" is happening all around us, as we read the futile debates over enigmatic esoteric meanings. Reality was the dimension of the ancient Ball Court. Reality is still the dimension of the modern cataclysm.

So, as you "SCOOP" the world, it might be worth paying attention to the current events in light of the ancient wisdom. I would disagree with Jenkins on the idea that "we live in an age of extreme materialism where progress is measured by scientific advancement and our increased ability to manipulate the physical domain."  This is only half truth. I doubt if anyone can accept that the great monolithic monuments were not tokens to manipulate the physical domain. The missing truth is that we have not become materialistic as a way of progress, we have become anti-spiritual as a means to avoid fear of the unknown. It is the fear of the unknown, that creates the irrational expressions of superstitious judgments in modern science. Those same fears are what brought the Twin Towers of the WTC to the ground. The scientific communities are afraid of the spiritual dimensions, and are oblivious to the possibilities of ignored spiritual messages. And the spiritual communities are afraid of the punishment for material arrogance because they are overwhelmed by the spiritual dimension. These two fears clash in the Maya Ball Courts like the Hero Twins and the Lords of Xibalba. You do not have to be a 33rd Degree Mason to recognize the similarities between the Twin Towers and the sons of Hun Hunahpu. But, the meaning behind the events is spiritual, and that physical dimension is the forbidden city of the dead lords and gods.

See  Liberty Shines Her Light Against the Smoke of Hell  to see the direct correlation between the events above and below New York City on September 11, 2001, and decide for yourself. As you read the essay, imagine that you are a puppeteer and you are manipulating the "spiritual dimension" by the manipulation of the "physical dimension" as you pull the strings on the celestial twins. The dualities of the event are mind-boggling; day "11", two jets, two towers, two brothers in the stars above, two fathers in the stars below, two ruling planets of the Underworld (Hades) and Time (Saturn), and on and on. The ancestors came up from the grave on September 11, 2001, and they screamed out to the manipulators of the spiritual and physical dimensions and said, "PAY ATTENTION!" On that morning, Venus crossed the boundary between Cancer and Leo, and the shadow of the earth spilled out of the cup of Aquarius. Coincidence? Could be. But, it was forecast over 5,000 years ago, and I doubt if the prophets knew that Manhattan Island would be sold for $18 in beads.



email from Carl (November 28) followed by my response:

Dear John,
It is somewhat surprising to see on your web site that you accuse me of having tricked you into participating in the debate.
The debate that I invited you to participate in was one regarding the True Meaning of the Mayan Calendar, and you agreed to announce it as such. But you have chosen not to discuss this topic of the debate. You were certainly free to discuss the meaning for human life of your precessional theory. I certainly did not prevent you from doing that, and I feel now you are in the process of placing yourself in the position of traditional archaeological and anthropological research by opposing anyone saying that the Mayan calendar has a deeper meaning and is highly relevant for modern people. You say in your final article that you are not an unspiritual person and that you have thoughts regarding the deeper metaphysical and spiritual understanding of the end date. Maybe so, but unless that was just a remark to market your coming book, why then did you not bring any of that up in the debate? Then we could have had a debate.

PS. If you want you could put this on your web page for comments. DS

My response (November 28):


I have spent a huge amount of time providing critiques of your work, pointing out inconsistencies in your argument and clarifying areas in your argument that are vague. Do you know that people get paid for this service? You should now be in a better position to rewrite certain passages and rephrase your position so that it is clearer. You approached me with a request for feedback on your book, in addition to a debate. I've given you honest and carefully considered feedback, based on your own writings and statements. I would say "you're welcome" but I've never heard a thank you. You have not responded to many critiques that I pointed out, which means that the time I spent carefully weighing your words was completely wasted. I have said all there is to say. You are on your own journey; I sense you are a seeker of truth and will encounter obstacles, setbacks, and breakthroughs as we all will. You might find the writings of Traditionalist philosophers to provide insights on your journey. I highly recommend the writings of Ananda Coomaraswamy, Rene Guenon, Henry Corbin, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, and Frithjof Schuon; many of their books can be found on the used book exchange - often includes stores in Europe. Audio archives with Martin Lings and Seyyed Hossein Nasr are at (click on the "audio and video" item). Nasr writes that "true knowledge comes from ecstatic connection with the Divine Mind." Pretty inspiring stuff. Take care,



December 9 update:

The Clever Intellect in Higher Context, or:
Good and Bad Viewed from Above

Carl sends me a brief email on December 9th in which he identifies those who follow his end-date as those who are aligned with the Light, while those that chose to agree with the authentic Mayan end-date, December 21, 2012, as those who are aligned with Darkness:

I just thought about the spiritu-political consequences of the two different possible end dates of the Mayan calendar. I am convinced people will become increasingly aware of the wave movement of the Galactic Underworld and the alternating powers of East and West. As people become aware of this those that wish for the world to come to a balance will hope that October 28, 2011 is the end date. Those that want Western dominance to be perpetuated on the other hand will wish for a final strengthening of the West to occur during the year 2012, and so will set the end point at Dec 21, 2012. Giving the important future political implications of the Mayan calendar the latter end date may thus well come to be used in political contexts (and of course be supported by established archaeological quarters who "know" that the end date is Dec 21, 2012).

I am not writing this to bring up a new argument about who is right or wrong, but simply to point out how dire the consequences of this matter are. The way to look at the wave movement shifts completely depending on the end date! Thank you for having put all the work into the debate. Have a good Christmas Season!

Comments. (I added italics in the quote above.) Again, I'd like to emphasize that we are here not debating my precessional theory vs Carl's theory. Here, it is the established end-date of December 21, 2012 vs Carl's 13 Ahau end-point idea. It is interesting that Carl's dualist framework of "light and dark" is followed by the unavoidable association of one end-date with "dark" and the other with "light." This is an inevitable consequence of any theology stuck in duality. Any theology (or perhaps we should say "prophetic science of time") that really offers no effective method of transcending duality must denounce the side labelled "dark," thus setting the stage for the futile attempt to eliminate the "darkness." One might even identify this faulty foundation as what led to the Inquisition and the widespread mass murders of many herbalists and "witches" who were identified (by the bringers of light, of course) with the dark forces. Yes, the consequences of this matter appear to be dire indeed. Faith in this mental framework is what gives permission for the ritual field to polarize and seek atonement through mutual annihilation, a pathetically futile and "dire" consequence parallel to the current crisis between East and West (Afghanistan and the USA). The simplistic rhetoric that Calleman offers here is not unlike the propoganda phrasings of resident Bush, designed to whip up misplaced patriotism (or ethical sentiment) to support what is essentially, from a higher perspective, a war on ourselves.

The duality framed in Calleman's theology operates on a single horizontal plane. The perspective of this duality as made up of irreconcilable opposites is an illusion, a misunderstanding of what can be seen as unified on a higher plane. The real issue, however, is between higher and lower viewpoints, not between conceptual opposites existing on the same horizontal plane of perception. Dualities on one plane can only be reconciled by raising the consciousness to a higher plane; transcendence is inclusive of what is transcended and does not require the annihilation of what exists on the lower plane. The vertical relationship between a higher perspective and a lower perspective is not a true duality, but gets interpreted as such by the mind that is stuck on one plane of perception. Rather, the lower perspective is on a continuum of relationship with the higher perspective, and even reflects certain insights of the higher perspective, but in a distorted way. This is where sapiential knowledge comes into play, "wise and discerning" knowledge, so that shadow reflections of higher truth can be identified as such and placed into correct relationship with the higher truth that is in fact their source. It is interesting that the term homo sapiens differentiates humankind from the lower orders of primates by the designation "sapiens", which means "wise and discerning." It is also interesting that the faculty of wise discernment has become atrophied to a large extent in modern people. This is evident in the conflicts and polarities that arise in world politics and in the development of religious movements, even very recent New Age movements.

Also, it should never be forgotten that Calleman imputes December 21, 2012 to be rooted in a materialistic and therefore unspiritual or "dark" paradigm because of the solstice-galaxy alignment that, in my reconstruction, the ancient Maya intended 2012 to target. (So, while he denies the validity of my interpretation, he also uses it in the creation of his good-evil counter-interpretation.) His core assumption here is that astronomy is a physical science and—here's the problem—the alignment phenomenon is only about this physical occurrence. But my research never makes this artificial division which, again, arises from a dualistic framework or mindset. Calleman's position implies that it would likewise not be possible to have a spiritual experience during a dramatic sunrise, because a sunrise is basically an astronomical phenomenon. Or that theologies of spiritual resurrection woven around the birth of the Savior at the winter solstice are impossible because, again, the solstices are defined by astronomy. The solstice-galaxy alignment, which according to Mayan calendric cosmology signals the spiritual "birth" moment in the 26,000-year precessional cycle, can lend itself to spiritual experience while also having its material extension in the physical domain. This simple ontological truth is seen in the relationship between spirit and body—mutually arising "opposites" which are not, however, incompatible. Unless you are Descartes. Thus, Calleman's claim for a spiritual-material dualism between the two end-dates is fundamentally absurd, and reveals his limited dualistic framework of perspective, an out-moded paradigm that is about as close to the multidimensional cosmology of Mayan "time science" as chopsticks is to Chopin. All of my commentary, unfortunately, is susceptible to ongoing deconstruction by the minions of the profane intellect. But what we can say for sure about the two end-dates is that one belongs to Calleman and the other belongs to authentic Mayan tradition.

Complete Debate at 2012 Dire Gnosis:

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