It’s funny how much an idea can circulate and it’s funny how easily a cult can be created on such minuscule facts. I mean, that’s what we’re dealing with isn’t it? A cult of followers who believe that on December 21, 2012 the world will end in some shape or fashion. Pratkanis and Aronson could no doubt sit down together and flesh out the characteristics of the groups of people who are behind 2012 and find granfalloons, myths and phantoms, but for the sake of this blog assignment, we’ll skip past that argument and go straight into the lives of 3 people, all who willingly believe that December 21, 2012 marks some sort of “end” to our world as we know it.
Daniel Pinchbeck, a journalist and author of the book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, is a firm believer of the 2012 apocalypse. His claims can be further rectified in his book where he discusses the Mayan and Hopi prophecies. If you’re unfamiliar with the Mayan’s claim, it can be described shortly as such: In the Mayan’s long count calendar, December 21, 2012 is marked as the end of a 5,126 year era. On the winter solstice, for the first time in approximately 26,000 years, the sun will be aligned with the center of the milky way, causing a disruption in the energy aligned with the Earth. It was never assumed that this time would cause the literal end of the Earth, however, many like Daniel Pinchbeck believe so. Though Pinchbeck is a published author, there are certain characteristics of him that present a reason to look upon his work with a bit of skepticism. First and foremost, the title of his book mentions Quetzalcoatl who is indeed a snake god that Pinchbeck claims to have started having direct reception with since 2004. Additionally, Pinchbeck discusses controversial topics like crop circles and references other 2012 believers such as Terence McKenna and his new age hypothesis – these facts don’t necessarily undermine his credibility, however, I can’t solidly state that they don’t reinforce it.
Author and researcher, John Major Jenkins is best known for the theories he’s conducted that involve astronomical and esoteric connections of the mayan calendar system (another mayan believer!). His ideals do lie with the Mayans in that he believes the end of the world is December 21, 2012, however, he explains this ending as a time for “major changes” to the Earth rather than just the end. This is also called the “new age” theory, or a form of western spirituality that is supposed to entail both spirituality and science. His credibility is much more sustained for his knowledge with cosmology as well as his knowledge of the ancient maya.
To say that those who believe in 2012 believe that somehow we’re all going to spontaneously combust, would be a false statement. There are those including Gregg Braden, physicist and author of The Mystery of 2012, who simply comply with the thought that there will be some kind of change on December 21, 2012. He describes the coming of the date as the “end of a long and mysterious cycle of time,” yet he gives no solid answer from him on whether or not he believes something physical will happen to the people who inhabit Earth at the time. He honestly responds by explaining that no one will actually know for sure what will happen on December 21, 2012, the options range from complete destruction to peace or cooperation. Though Braden is a published author like Pinchbeck, his credibility is also somewhat on the rocks as his beliefs really hold no solid value of fact.
Each of these people differ slightly in their approach to the end of the world. Where Braden doesn’t have a solid opinion, Jenkins firmly believes in a new age approaching and where Jenkins is relying on the prophecies of the Mayans, Pinchbeck is taking into account the prophetic material the snake god directly told to him.
Honestly, after doing much research and finding surprisingly well designed websites on 2012 like this one, there is just no way I could ever fall into the madness that is the cult of the 2012 apocalypse. Do I believe that eventually this world will end? Why yes, yes I do. But there is absolutely no way that anyone could ever predict that happening. The variables are far to fast to even consider trying to pinpoint the exact time.
If I knew the world was ending on a certain date, let’s go with December 21, 2012 just for giggles, I’m not sure what I would do differently. I think most people would say that they would try to do as many things as possible much like a bucket list of some kind, but really, it’s all about finding happiness within yourself, so as long as I was doing something I enjoyed I could be content with that. However, the world, in my humble opinion isn’t ending anytime soon, so no, I’m not worried at all about December 21, 2012. In fact, I venture to say that those who are firm believers are going to feel pretty silly on December 22, 2012.