I found Friday to be a very annoying, trying day in some respects. Sadly, the media had swallowed up a combination of ancient prophecies surrounding this date and regurgitated them in their own self-serving, sensationalist fashion. And hey, I’m not in the slightest bit surprised, but because this date had mattered so much to me for such a long time I found I took the dumbing down and sexing up approach very personally, not least because my work colleagues were vaguely aware that the Mayan prophecies meant something to me and so kept questioning me on the mechanics of how the world might end. I explained many times to many different people that yes, it would be an apocalypse, and no, apocalypse doesn’t mean what you think it means (it actually means ‘a lifting of the veil’ or ‘revelation’), and yes, this date is significant, and no, we’re not all going to die.
Now, that is not to say I was 100% confident of everything running as normal on 21st December! My partner and I had a ‘grab bag’ organised just in case, containing essentials like a compass, rope, water purification tablets and maps, as well as personal effects such as warm and waterproof clothes, my contact lenses and etc. We’ve always had this sitting under our bed but on Friday it came out and sat by the door, just in case. I suppose you could call us Doomsday Preppers of a sort, although we do it with a smile and a shrug, knowing we might sound crazy to you, but IF it happens, we’ll be prepared, as the boy scouts say.
Obviously it all passed without anything dramatic, momentus or eventful going off, and once again the skeptics laugh and tell those who were maybe slightly on edge about the whole thing that they’re actually just a bit mad and need to stop being so gullible and join them on the cynical side of the tracks. But to be honest, my beliefs haven’t been phased by the lack of an HBO-style end of season finale for civilisation. Its been a good 6 years since I was first made aware of the Mayan prophecies and calendars, and one thing that always struck me as interesting was the fact that, if the end of this 5000 years calendar cycle means for humanity a dramatic shift in consciousness (which is what us New Age-y folk believe), they got the ball park right! If you expected a big cataclysmic event to occur and to alter the principles and characteristics of human beings and the course of civilisation; well then, you’ve clearly never met a human! But consider the technological and sociological advances which have taken place over the past 100 years: the explosion of the human population due to better understanding of the body and disease; the internet giving us the ability to communicate with anyone else in the world, to share information and ideas and to broadcast our own versions of world events rather than relying on the bourgeois media to give us their capitalism agenda-ridden critique; the establishment of human rights legislation to protect people from their governments – think about what we have now, compared to what we had 100 years ago. In this last century we’ve seen the first legislative moves towards giving equality to women, the working class, minorities, and in some countries, non-indigenous people. We fight for the better treatment of the environment and non-human species, and many people inconvenience themselves entirely by eating only organic or cutting animal products from their diet and lifestyle completely. In this century thousands from all over Europe volunteered to fight Franco in the Spanish civil war. The availability of the television and radio to working class people meant that the reality of war was shown in the living rooms of the world and in the 60 and 70s Americans and people across the new world took to the streets to protest against the Vietnam war, and its through these actions that many claim the war was eventually lost. Similarly, two million people marched on London in protest against the Iraq war in 2003. These events did not directly affect those who protested, but they fought anyway, because they believed in helping their fellow human. Technology has immeasurably improved our communications, and that in itself has illuminated the highly compassionate, empathetic and loving side of human nature. Of course there is still work to be done, of course there are still atrocities in the world. But I believe the last century is unique in its spate of movements of mass philanthropy and that, to me, suggests we’re on the right track.
The universe doesn’t work like it does in Hollywood films. One grand dramatic gesture won’t ever sweep in and change the course of history in an instant. The universe has been around for 13 billion years and will be here for many trillion yet, and it works a lot slower than we humans with our puny 80-year lifespans! We are constantly growing and changing and transforming. Have faith and simply be love. The shift is happening.