Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Times They Are A-Changin' - Indeed!

A convergence of thoughts on this rainy Sunday afternoon: killer weather, viral pandemics and over-population; the current battle of faith vs. reason; the Great Neo-Depression (it’s not just for grandma anymore) and the friction between conservative populism and liberal populism; the War Next Door (American Guns + Mexican Drugs = True Reefer Madness); and the predictions from many sources for the year 2012. Put this all together and whataya get? The very mixed bag of life in 2009 – and counting.

I used to think I was negative and cynical; now I see myself as pragmatic yet hopeful, and convinced that the end of the world – as we know it – is not only nigh, but in process. It’s not good or bad, it’s just what’s so, and it doesn’t mean your children and grandchildren won’t see tomorrow, it just means that Tomorrow is likely to be a whole new ballgame.

If you’re not familiar with the basic elements of the Year 2012 predictions, take a glance at some of the videos on The History Channel or check out this site, December 21, 2012 101. This subject is quite involved, but the overall is this: the 2012 phenomenon reflects a combination of astronomy and physics, along with the end date of the ancient Mayan Calendar. Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus, the Hopi Indians, aliens and Enlightened Beings, among others, get into this as well, not to mention the Bible, but those are the kinds of references that make rational people dismiss 2012 as a lot of occult/religious hokum, when in fact it’s something quite different.

For example, it is a scientific fact that in late 2012, there will be a planetary alignment: the sun, the earth, all the other planets, indeed the entire galaxy, will line up in space in a way that astronomers haven’t seen literally in ages. There will also be intense solar flares and “precession,” the completion of the rotation of the “slow wobble” of the earth’s axis – which only occurs every 28,000 years. And there’s something about sub-atomic particles, pole shifts, meteor showers, black holes, time warps... All of this stuff, not surprisingly, will have a huge impact on Life On Earth.

I don’t pretend to understand all of the scientific, historic, and cultural elements involved. I’ve read one good book about 2012, seen a number of documentaries, and reviewed quite a few Web sites – but I haven’t fully digested everything about it and I certainly can’t intelligently and properly summarize this vast subject in a single blog post.

My point is, in considering the possibilities of “2012,” I am forced to look at the inter-relationships among seemingly disconnected trends and events, such as politics, weather, health, the economy, religion, technology, culture, crime and war – which in fact are interrelated, not self-contained, free-standing conditions. And I can’t help but marvel at the general hubris of modernity in rejecting the wisdom of the ages as mere speculative superstition.

Here in the good ole’ USA, where many folks are blithely ignorant of both history and current events, there is an assumption that everything ancient is irrelevant and steeped in scientific ignorance, that no culture that came before us has anything to teach us now, and that everything new reflects progress and promise. It’s as if we’ve never heard of past civilizations and empires dying out, and believe that life as we know it – albeit with a few “green” modifications – will go on forever. I think that’s insane – much more crazy than any possibility contained in the 2012 theory.

So, what are we to do? Well, I think most folks will just take life as it comes, one day at a time, and deal with events as they present themselves: not an unreasonable approach. Others will “prepare,” in the tradition of wary survivalists. Some may hold out as long as they can, then jump off a bridge right before Christmas in 2012. A few – and I count myself among them – will hope for something really dramatic and enormous and unbelievable, and also hope we will not survive it. Considering that I live on the edge of Manhattan just a few blocks from the Hudson River, I think my chances of destruction are good.

For now, I’ll keep on airing my thoughts and fears on this blog, and you can either mull them over, or (one of the great benefits of our digital age) just delete them. The choice is yours.

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