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Don’t get yourself killed on December 21, 2012

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“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 24:6-7

Over the past ten years or so, there has been increasing talk about the significance of December 21, 2012. Of course this talk was coming right on the heels of all that talk about how the world was going to come to an end on January 1, 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.  The Heaven’s Gate Cult ended their lives because they thought the world was coming to an end too.  For the most part, the dispensationalists think the same way. Doomsday sayers have been at it for a long time in fact.  Being an X-Phile, December 21, 2012 plays a role in the series finale about how that is the date of the alien invasion of Earth. Of course, if you were to ask me, the finale was disappointing after nine years of plot twists and keeping us on the edge of our seats. From talking with other X-Philes over the years, I know I am not alone.

I’m very much a believer that one should learn from what history can teach us and yes to realize that we are not invincible. Indeed, it is a good idea to prepare ahead of time for recessions, natural disasters, or martial law.  Yes, there is a conspiracy, but it isn’t a Christian, Jewish or Muslim conspiracy to take over the world. Since ancient times, societies have been organized around the worship of emperors or kings. In modern times, since such rule doesn’t go over as well, presidents, government administrators, talking heads and what not are mostly puppets. The real power lies behind the scenes just like in theatre or movies.

Back to my point about December 21, 2012. If your impression of this date is from the books, movies or TV shows, you would be completely off the mark. Thankfully, my interest in Mesoamerican culture extends back at least 25 years due to reading some books on the subject and extends from my interest in Cherokee culture.  Even then I was aware of December 21, 2012.  There was even a Transformer episode set at El Castillo, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.

Mesaoamerica extended from central Mexico through most of central America and part of South America.  This culture existed and thrived for thousands of years before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Most of these cultures were based on agriculture, large ceremonial activities primarily done for political-religious purposes and observatory of the skies particularly within the priesthood.  Among these cultures were the Incas, the Maya, and the Aztec.

In ancient times, the Mayans had a tradition of a 360-day year. But by the 4th century B.C.E. they took a different approach than either Europeans or Asians. They maintained three different calendars at the same time. In one of them, they divided a 365-day year into eighteen 20-day months followed by a five-day period that was part of no month. The five-day period was considered to be unlucky. A k’atun or k’atun cycle is a unit of time in the Maya calendar equal to 20 tuns or 7,200 days. It is the 2nd digit on the normal long count date.

Like the accounts of Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark (which bear strong resemblance to Enûma Eliš and the Epic of Gilgamesh), there are ancient cultures and societies throughout the world that have stories of creation and floods. The mesoamerican cultures are no different.

For some insight on what is going on here, Isaiah 45:12-13 provides us with a clue. I found it interesting that this passage mentions Cyrus (as in Cyrus The Great) and the exiles returning home. This particular event occurred in 538 B.C. after Cyrus conquered the Babylonian Empire. The Babylonian captivity began in 597 B.C. with the major part of it occurring in 587 B.C. This gives us a framework in which to refer to. No one is certain who the specific authors of the Old Testament accounts are. Most likely, they were complied by a group of Hebrew priests. The Babylonian exiles were largely people from the upper class, the priesthood and landowning families. Now imagine that you are living in Babylon and you are hearing accounts from the natives about how the earth and heavens were created as a result of some cosmic battle between Gods. You are reading about how the Earth came into being and credit is being given to a foreign God or Gods. The creation stories in the Hebrew Bible particularly Genesis apparently are a metaphor developed in response to the Enuma Elish as is Noah’s Ark is in response to Gilgamesh.

For the Mayans, the creation date was in 3114 BCE and they calculated this particular cycle to come to an end in 2012. They would have considered this a cause for celebration, not gloom and doom. On the winter solstice in 2012, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years. But even this would not be a case for disaster.

So as you draw closer to this date, don’t commit suicide. Go about drinking your egg nog, having your Christmas parties (this is rooted in the winter solstice, not the birth of Christ) or watching Monday Night Football.

Written by chrisforliberty

August 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Posted in General

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