Zap-Jenkins dialogue on the End of Time. April 2004.
Me to Jonathan:
I like the idea of identifying the human, psychological aspects of the 2012 "phenomenon". In other words, we can certainly first take a look at the best reconstruction of the Mayan intention in locating the end of a large cycle of time on december 21st, 2012, and find to our utter surprise and amazement that it involves a rare alignment to the center of the galaxy. But beyond that, we must address the larger 2012 phenomenon - all the proliferation of things emerging that can be found at http://www.diagnosis2012.co.uk . In this area, we have some predictable low level things going on - for example, the kind of show business attitude that we find on George Noory and Art Bell that panders to a well known media principle, "If it bleeds it leads." That is, unfortunately, a not very mature or sophisticated way of talking about something that in its archetypal import is much more interesting. Second, and related to this, we have the doomsday tribe which misunderstands death as a transformer and preys on human fear of death and an ultimate "end". As you noted, this seems to be a projection of Christian linear time concepts - that of an ultimate and final apocalypse - onto Mayan time philosophy, which like many ancient and indigenous world views, draws from a much more profound understanding of time as being essentially cyclic and, more importantly, transcend-able in the sense that a plane of consciousness can be accessed that is transcendent to the historical paradigm of past-present-future.
2012 is a symbol of the human being's ability to transcend "time" and all identities within time, including the manifest mortal ego-identity. 2012 is a symbol of individualized incarnated consciousness reconnecting with its eternal, infinite, transcendent source, its ground of being. These ideas are nothing more than the perennial philosophy that Aldous Huxley so succinctly wrote about in his introduction to the Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God. Mayan time philosophy is consistent with the perennial philosophy, and not consistent with the biases and assumptions of western thought, which distorts Mayan cosmology in the process of trying to understand it from its own faulty preconceptions. This is a problem, one that gets amplified in the various strange ideas that are getting projected onto 2012, including asteroids and/or aliens arriving, and/or the Christian apocalypse and rapture occurring.
Many of the ideas being glommed onto 2012 are psychological projections of distorted understandings about death and time and human consciousness. Most theories that appropriate 2012 have not seriously integrated the reconstruction of why the Maya chose 2012 that began with my book Center of Mayan Time (1995) and continued through MC2012 (1998) and GA (2002) - these books have provided a clear and discerning look at the Mayan site (Izapa) that invented the calendar that gives us 2012, and have offered a reconstruction of a galactic cosmology that has not been proven wrong by scholars or other reviewers. And yet these books are largely languishing unheeded, awash in the growing riptide of formulaic doomsday books or poorly researched theories that do not stand up to even mild standards of sense making.
It is important to understand and celebrate the Mayan achievement of discovering larger influences on human consciousness and in formulating a profound galactic understanding of human consciousness and large cycles of time. Whether we agree with their assessment that the earth is due for a transformation in the years around 2012 (and yet look around us today), we can certainly grasp the profundity of what the ancient skywatchers accomplished at Izapa, in locating the end of their 13-baktun cycle on December solstice of 2012. Our western worldview, which is basically nihilistic, a-spiritual and life destroying, is coming into conflict with an ancient Maya wisdom / cosmovision that is essentially a celebration and affirmation of creative consciousness, renewal, and human reconnection with higher truth and wisdom during times of crisis and change. And resistance is happening, resistance to letting go and returning to the light of our true nature's. Why such resistance? Because we, as mortal beings, are deeply identified with our egos and our illusions and all that keeps us fixated on more limited planes of reality. 2012 is really just an invitation, and an opportunity, to reconnect with the transcendent and infinite source of all. And this possibility has, is, and will be present at any particular moment in the historical continuum. Maybe 2012 can simply serve as an urgent reminder that we are multidimensional beings who have settled for a lot less. And maybe it is the act of shifting our consciousness into a higher ground that will help us grow beyond the type of ego-based consciousness that has lead to dire problems in the world today.
Jonathan to me: (April 2, 2004):
The thoughts in your forward and email get right to the heart of the issue, and for some 2012ers that will be a problem in itself as many would prefer to use 2012 as a movie screen with a decorative border of Mayan glyphs onto which they can project a variety of fantasies, many of which have an unexamined psychological agenda----displacing fear of personal, individual death, binding the future to a New Age version of the Rapture, a guaranteed exit date from forces they feel oppressing them in the present, and even an expression of narcissistic rage and self assertion----prophecy has been a magnet for malignant narcissism for millennia and in this age of narcissism it should not surprise us that the long standing theme of false prophets should continue and wrap itself in a cloak of many colors---the razzmatazz of the media age, the age of hype and can you top this sound bytes.
Rather than viewing this tendency with sarcastic distaste (all to easy for us to fall into) we need to include the phenomena of these projections in our understanding of eschaton, its history and the present case of projection onto the 2012 date. Projection itself, when we gaze back into the psyches of the projectors, tells us about emergent forces in the collective unconscious.
A prediction of the cycle theory is that time would speed up as we approach the event horizon when the Iron Age is on the cusp of transforming into a New Age ( a term originally coined by Jung). No one can deny that the metabolism of the species has heated up to feverish intensity, decades now define more shift in the zeitgeist and cultural change than centuries did a millennium ago. Novelty, as Terrance defined it, is exponentiating and that necessarily means that the outer edge of dark and the outer edge of light both intensify. These outer edges have their own orientations toward eschaton, so when a date appears they will each have things to say about it.
The present style and modus operandi of our civilization in response to an awakening force of some kind bifurcates in a typical way. The engines of densification, black magic---by which I especially mean advertising and propaganda in its various forms, and ego based materialism and glamour---conquer such a force by co-opting it, by making an ad logo of it, marketing it to death until it is become an unrecognizable pabulum of some sort (how long before the GAP introduces a line of 2012 jeans? How long before Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts battle aliens in a movie entitled the "Invasion of 2012?") This style and modality is to kill and depotentiate any awakening force not by outright suppression---but by the kiss of death----a dumbed down popularization and culture/vulture exploitation. The other force that an awakening force brings into a being is a significant---if statistical minority of persons----who will be inspired and will work with the awakening medicine with sincerity. These countervailing trends or modalities obviously apply to the 2012 phenomenon. Our job is not to be altogether on the pole of the serious investigator, but like the black yin dot in the white yang to include the other end of the pole in our presentation, to examine it as an object of interest and interpretation, but also not to dwell on it excessively (another way to be pulled into its orbit) and to present some intriguing information and point of view on what this date may mean according the ancients and according to archetypes emergent in the collective unconscious in our time.
I'm going to give myself the license of email and not try to order this but come at it from a variety of angles.
You very incisively wrote, “2012 is a symbol of the human being's ability to transcend ‘time’ and all identities within time, including the manifest mortal ego-identity. 2012 is a symbol of individualized incarnated
consciousness reconnecting with its eternal, infinite, transcendent source, its ground of being.”
That got right to the heart of it, and has much implication for both the projections and the inner meaning of the date. There is an obvious bifurcation: ego bound to linear time thinking/ consciousness transcending ego consciousness and linear time view. When ego transforms, when consciousness transforms, sense of time also transforms, eros transforms, our relation to body and mortality transforms, communication transforms----when a core aspect of the psyche transforms all other core aspects of the psyche necessarily transform with it.
When I first began looking into eschaton in 1978 (that was when I wrote Archetypes of a New Evolution), I noticed that in the material emerging from the collective unconscious signals about how consciousness may change as we approach the event horizon....But before I proceed on this line of inquiry, I feel I should address what can reasonably be speculated upon in terms of human evolution without also falling into the mode of fantasy projection.
An area in which to explore common ground relates to areas of reasonable speculation that can be introduced. We can make it clear that these lines of speculation are not necessarily derived from the Maya, but are reasonable implications or derivatives. For example, if the Mayan end date can be said to mark a time when the relative illusion of time in our species gives way to an altogether different sense of time, that premise brings with it almost incontrovertibly some enormous implications. Our perception of time is such a core aspect of our consciousness, that, as I have already mentioned, other core attributes necessarily change with it----communication (the time tenses in English and most languages are based on linearity), the ego as we presently experience it is bound to linearity, eros bifurcates between the linear/hierarchical modality where sex is a metaphor for power and oceanic eros where one merges not just with the other but with the everything and eternity, our relationship to body and mortality change for many reasons---ageing, for example, is a linear perspective---and I have already investigated (see the Glorified Body...) how our body concepts are undergoing radical transformation---an exponentiating trend, our relation to materialism, technology, possession (of others and materials), our relation to money, economics, government, territory and boundaries of every sort transform radically, every art form, the function of the ego as a psychic structure, personality and identity all metamorphize. And notice that what I have described are the minimum prerequisite changes if we accept the single premise that our perception of time transforms.
When you consider the octaves, or epochs of change this planet has already provided----such as the jump from minerals to self replicating single cell life, and from single cell life to the present human being, then it is not fantastical to suggest another shift on that scale-----if there were than such a transformation it would be not only stranger than we think, but stranger than we can think. Also, the most obvious fact of our existence here is that change is accelerating and the Mayan end date happens to correspond to this time of acute acceleration. The implications are staggering and are more powerful without the ego trying to get back in a box and saying it has to peak on a particular date and take on a particular form.
If the universe has a drive toward novelty and self awareness, and I agree with Terrance that the evidence supports this, then the advance of that drive is enhanced by the future not being fully formed which creates more space for novelty, free will and self awareness---all deeply intertwined attributes. Some aspects of the future are formed. For example, the inexorable certainty that our present bodies will die. But what we do, think, perceive in the interim may not be fully determined. We know, in the case of any human being roughly (give or take 10-80 years) when their personal eschaton will occur. Assuming a normal life span we can even predict times of heightened novelty----adolescence, mid life crisis, the death bed, etc. So the Maya seem to have correctly identified a collective transformative time, a "Temporary Indeterminate Zone" where metamorphosis is indicated, but the exact time, manner, form may be only broadly determined, but not over determined. And, analogous to findings from quantum mechanics, as we focus more awareness on the experiment we are undergoing, we alter the experiment. Therefore, if our documentary focuses on the indeterminate as well as the determinate (which the doomsayers and the Rapture types prefer), it subtly alters the experiment to favor the indeterminate, the space for greater novelty and self awareness.
One point is that we don't need to come off at all as the party poopers, throwing a wet blanket of skepticism over all these colorful, fantastical projections. Quite the contrary, and we can make this point very dramatically---those projections mostly represent failures of the imagination, deterministic channels attempting to prescribe how the unknown will unfold. What a greater, more colorful, party that makes room for the unexpected and that accounts for the party-goers as free radicals that can significantly shape the party! Rather than leaving people with the feeling that we have taken away a bit of the magical furniture they have acquired (the 2012 end date as eschaton) we should leave those with sufficient awareness the empowering message that they had more magic than they might have thought, that they are 2012, this is not a collective event to be passively absorbed, but opportunity for co-creative rebirth.
Another aspect of the 2012 date that the doomsday/rapture view detracts from has to do with the feminine and relationship to time. From what I recall from your writings, the center of the galaxy, which may be a black hole, was seen as a womb or mother. What seems to define the Iron Age, the Kali Yuga, is a descent into patriarchal history, a gigantic movement away from the feminine, a movement that in many ways climaxes with our careless destruction of the biosphere. The end of this anti-feminine age seems to coincide with an alignment with this feminine center, and this seems to parallel the movement from patriarchal time which is linear, and a return to feminine time which is circular or cyclic. Linear time also ceases when one crosses the event horizon of a black hole. Psychologically, what I've observed in my own psyche is that the more I am out of touch with the feminine, the more I am driven stressfully along the linear time track. When one does not feel the life giving connection with the feminine, the tendency is to try to rush through linear time to get to some future event where one imagines the feminine will be more available. For example, "I can't stand this job, but only 30 more days and I have a week's vacation in the Bahamas." "Once I diet to my ideal weight I'll be more popular and intimacy with others will open up." "Once I get that promotion and solidify my position with the company I'll be able to spend more time with my family." This is the typical time crucifixion of the Western person, they are at war with time, circumstance and self. Experiencing toxic time, they seek to rush down a linear time track to get toward an imagined future where time can slow down and the feminine can be rediscovered. The problem is that this is inherently self defeating, because one is binding to linearity in the present and that path does not lead to the feminine/eternal.
The focus on Dec. 21, 2012 for many then becomes like the count down calendars I used to make when I felt oppressed by school and wanted to know how many days to summer vacation.
As we've discussed, the Western ego seeks to displace its anxiety about personal death onto a collective eschaton predicted to happen before the end of its expected life span. It also seeks a future, rapture-like event, dangling like the donkey's carrot always just ahead as a way to keep itself moving through the oppressiveness of the patriarchal linear time track. The inability to access deeper meaning in this experience creates an orientation which Jung described as, "the life-giving rhythm of the aeons becomes the dread ticking of the clock." Peter Pan refuses to grow up, while the more patriarchal Captain Hook is pursued by a crocodile with a loudly ticking alarm clock. Some seek an immature rebellion from time by seeking to perpetuate adolescence with plastic surgery, etc. And others are "on the clock" forever seeking to catch up with their schedules.
When people approach the event horizon of their own individual singularity---death (as evidenced by Near Death Experience research) time as presently conceived doesn't "stop" it expands, a moment feels like an eternity and a comprehensive life review and elaborate life-changing experiences occur while their clock-time body is undergoing hurried resuscitation procedures.
.....Interesting synchronicity----I was interrupted while writing this, the eighteen year old who had the Iron Age recurrent dream which set me off thinking about time cycles showed up. He was stressed from sleep deprivation and from having to spend his whole Sunday at his job at Savers, the thrift store, doing mind-numbing tasks like folding shirts for hours. Meanwhile papers he needed to write for school were unwritten, a beautiful day of sunshine came and went under florescent lights, the sleep his body and mind needed were cheated, etc. He was the personification of time crucifixion.
This state of time sickness makes 2012 into a count down calendar, like George Noory who says he will retire in 2012. This tendency cuts cross grain to your view of this as a rough zone of time where there is a window of opportunity to transcend linear time. That possibility has always been available, but cyclic times tell us that some intervals of time are more propitious than others for particular endeavors.
The wild popularity of The Davinci Code seems to be a benchmark collective event in recognizing the long suppression of the feminine.
In The Alphabet versus The Goddess an amazing correspondence is shown between cultures adopting written alphabets and the onset of patriarchal/dominator/historical time. Use of a written alphabet switches hemispheric dominance to the left hemisphere which is oriented toward linear time while the right is oriented toward circularity. Modalities of communication are intertwined with time sense.
To summarize, the Mayan prediction about time is beneficially nonspecific, by specifying a zone of time, but not the specifics of what will happen, it leaves creative room for indeterminacy and novelty. A profound alteration of our perception of time also means a profound transformation of all of our core attributes.
Furthermore, by providing us with a prophecy, a heads up, we are being provided with the possibility of an accelerated learning curve, because anyone who can anticipate the broad direction of the TAO is able to learn a bit ahead of the curve and from subtler signals than the person who does not know these things. A conscious person can get a heads up from a dream, synchronicity, oracle, intuition and "catch things before they exit the gate of change." The average person has to learn from the gross shocks of fate what was not learned from the subtler signals. Some people only wake up when death shocks them---death of a loved one, discovering themselves with a terminal condition. Reliance on the specific date of Dec. 21, 2012 represents a passive reliance on fate to create change. It can be, for some, another example of demanding a collective shock of fate in order to awaken. Most people may require such shocks to awaken (see section on shock in my Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler). But the idea I have for a documentary is that it provide a voluntary, subtle shock for the aware person emphasizing the nature of impending change and encouraging them to use the propitiousness of the time to work on their own transformation a bit ahead of the curve.
My response to J. Zap – 4-5-04:
This may fall into the category of my own fantasy projection onto 2012, and its end time dynamic, but I always try to set aside my own projections and strive to be a voice for the Perennial Wisdom in applying an interpretation to 2012 as a time of shift. There are ancient insights, or, we may say, higher perspectives, that can be invoked to understand the “end of time” archetype.
Notes on the Introrsaton:
American Heritage dictionary, 2nd edition:
Introrse. Facing inward; turned toward the axis. Latin introrsus – which is a contraction of introversus, inwards : intro, to the inside + versus, past participle vertere, to turn. – thus, to turn inwards towards the central axis.
The derived form Introrsaton is a meta-word like eschaton, meaning the “state of being” of turning inwards toward the central axis. Similarly, eschaton means the end “state”, but I emphasize that the end state is only a final state in a linear time philosophy; in cyclical time models, the end state can be an extreme state of a given phase of manifestation, but then must turnabout to approach the opposite extreme – this cyclic cosmology is abundantly evident in the tai chi symbol. The eschaton thus must transform into the introrsaton – the static end state of extreme polarized manifestation gives way to an inversion of all points and planes to spontaneously reorient itself to face the center. The assumption here is that the approaching eschaton is the extreme polar expression of the descent phase of the precessional Great Year, and the end of Kali Yuga – the end of the age of increasing darkness. After this ends, we must turnabout and enter a phase of increasing light; such a turnabout bodes a situation of returning to face the light of the center / source. We have been “falling” away from this center for 13,000 years, analogous to the annual phase of decreasing light from the June to December solstices.
The end of a cycle of time gives rise to phenomena experienced on earth by human beings. It is a long-argued distinction to make between these end-time accelerations as being solely a result of a sociological accretion of cause-and-effect (the independent evolution of cultural systems) and the age-old association of fin de seicle events with astronomical cycles. With big changes and big cycles, the astronomical association is almost always with the Platonic Year — precession. The supposition that astronomically-based cycles of ebb and flow, of increase and decrease, effect processes on earth should go without saying—e.g., the annual season changes are determined by the earth’s orbit around the sun. This example seems almost too self evident to require mentioning, but our myopia regarding our connection to cosmic cycles stems precisely from the fact that we are embedded within them so intimately so as to hardly notice. The precessional shifting of the sun into and out of alignment with the Galactic Center is caused by the earth’s slow wobble, and defines—like a higher analog of the four seasons—a 26,000-year “Great Year” divided into four “great seasons.” The end of a cycle at “winter solstice” of this higher year would therefore occur, by commonsense analogy, when the when solstice sun aligns with the sidereal background “root”—the Galactic Center. This alignment of solstice sun and Galactic Center is not a New Age fantasy, but an astronomically verifiable (and many times verified and carefully calculated) fact.
So, the end-beginning nexus is the era in which the December solstice sun aligns with the Galactic Center. Experientially, we are at the turnabout point of the era; we have reached the extreme limit of one particular evolutionary direction, of one particular orientation toward Being and Reality. The dichotomy of reality that manifests in each half-cycle is Materialism and Spirituality—Unconsciousness and Consciousness, Darkness and Light. For one-half of the cycle we (the collective human life wave) fall away from the light, the source. For the next half we ascend toward the light and source.
The end of the Kali Yuga (where we are now) signals the appearance of the eschaton, the end-state, but what we begin to glimpse beyond 2012 is the transformation of the end into a new beginning—a turnabout in the deepest seat of consciousness. We have been falling away from the source, the light, and 2012 bodes a time of reorientation and reconnection of “fallen” souls with their transcendent, eternal and infinite, Ground of Being. Thus, the eschaton becomes the Introrsaton, the state which follows the end state, the state of turnabout and shift and reorientation to the central axial source of all light and manifest being.
The two extreme poles of the Great Year are limitation and freedom, the densest material state vs the highest unmanifest light. The latter always subsumes the former into itself, and thus the two are not mutually exclusive opposites.
April 5, 2004.