“How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon.” - Dr. Seuss
by Kris Parfitt
- The Capitol Hill Times -
Friday is the apparent end of the world as we know it, according to an interpretation of the Mayan calendar. Thankfully, interpretations are similar to the game “Operator” where one person tells another person a word or a phrase and by the time it gets to the end of the line of players what is reported to have been originally said holds no resemblance of what actually was originally said.
By now the media has reported that the Mayan apocalypse is not going to happen, but aside from the sarcastic explanation that the Mayan’s just ran out of room on the rock they were using to chisel their calendar, there hasn’t been a logical explanation for what the Mayan’s were up to when they documented their calendar a few thousand years prior to modern day.
In a recent discovery in Guatemala a mural with new insights of the Mayan calendar was found. William Saturno, an archaeologist with Boston University who lead the expedition, described what the Mayans were doing with these large calendars was “to understand the large cycles of cosmic time.” In an article written by Brian Vastag for The Washington Post, Vastag describes his conversation with Saturno and what was discovered about the Mayan’s process for documenting time.
It was a lunar table, showing a 4,784-day cycle of the moon’s phases. The table is broken into 27 columns, each representing six lunar months. Each column is topped by the face of one of three moon gods: a jaguar, a skull or a woman. These three repeat. So by consulting the table, a priest could tell which moon god would preside over a particular date. The Mayan calendar does start a new “long cycle,” this year, but Saturno equated that with the odometer on a car rolling over from 99,999 miles to zero.
Earlier this year, Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia at the United Nations General Assembly’s 67th session redefined the context of fear of the world ending December 12, 2012. Here’s what he had to say:
“According to the Mayan Calendar the 21st of December marks the end of the Macha and the beginning of the Pacha. It is the end of the selfishness and the beginning of brotherhood. It is the end of individualism and the beginning of collectivism – the 21st of December this year.”
Morales goes on to say that this date “marks the end of an anthropocentric life and the beginning of a bio-centric life. It is the end of the hatred and the beginning of true love. The end of the lies and the beginning of truth. It is the end of sadness and the beginning of joy. It is the end of division and the beginning of unity. This is a theme to be developed, that is why…we invite you, those who bet on mankind, we invite those who want to share their instances for the good of mankind…”
What Santuna and Morales are explaining is that, according to the Mayans, this date refers to the completion of a cycle that will be followed by the beginning of a new cycle. Or in other words, December 21, 2012 ends the cycle that the Mayans referred to as Shift of the Ages and begins a shift known as World Age, a cycle measured to be 5,125 years on the Mayan times scale.
Mayan calendars were based on mathematics and not necessarily related to linear quantities, but rather considered to be measurements of different frequencies and tones of the divine. According to Mariela Maya, a life coach who studies Mayan culture, the Mayans considered the cyclical nature of time as interwoven patterns of macrocosm and microcosm cycles mathematics, or numbers, which were revered more as an architect of the Universe and a source of all that is, or in our modern day understanding a Supreme God.
While it sounds like a lovely transition from a selfish world to a selfless society, we all know realistically it won’t happen overnight. Like anything in transition, it will be a continuing shift of mindsets, behaviors and actions.
But I have to confess, while being cynical of new age woo woo, I have noticed a shift on Capitol Hill. Not only are local artist Henry’s sweet Compassionate Wizards reminding us from telephone poles on high to practice a more compassionate lifestyle, but I’ve noticed more pre-paid parking stickers stuck to the parking meters waiting to be used. I’ve witnessed more people doing more random acts of kindness this season be it as simple as holding the door open for a stranger to a family donating the money they would have spent on stuff for each other this Christmas as a collected donation of money to a local non-profit.
On a national sense, despite the horrific bi-coastal shootings in the recent week, our nation has pulled together to offer support not only to the families stricken by such acts of selfishness, but offering more love, time and compassion to those in their immediate life. I’ve received and given more hugs and expressions of love and appreciation in the last four days than I have in the past four months.
If the world really is going to end as we know it on Friday, I’m all for it. A little more love and a little less complication would be a welcome shift over the next 5,000 years. Whether humans make it that long, it would be nice to experience a world of selflessness for the rest of our lives.