Monday, 3 September 2012

December 21st.

 The day we realize it is not about nations, and the whole world is one.. oh, that will be the grandest of days” ~ Gandhi

On the Universal Significance of
 December 21st, 2012
World Centering and World Renewing and A Proposal for a World Wide Cultural Event !
The question about the year 2012 and in particular December 21st, is not— what’s going to happen—but rather what are we going to make happen !!
Twenty-Twelve has shaped up to be an exceptional year from any angle you look. Here’s a snap shot of what’s looming for 2012.
    Growing global movement to purge governmental and economic systems of their corrupt and exploitive polices.
    Growing global movement to purge corporations of their corrupt and exploitive polices.
    Western Imperialists are chomping at the bit to attack Iran and overthrow the Syrian Regime.
    Not to mention ongoing US led wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen.
    Not to mention that Iraq and Libya have been savagely brutalized and in total chaos thanks to US imperialism.
    Not to mention covert operations in who knows how many countries.
    Growth of totalitarian State powers and out of control Governments. NDAA, SOPA etc.
    Countless localized ecological nightmares and urgent ecological conditions elsewhere.
    US Presidential Elections aka Parade of Goons
    Solar maximum is expected to peak near end of 2012.
    Socio-economic chaos is expected to peak in 2012.
    World economy teeters on the edge of the abyss.
    December 21st, 2012
Based on the macro-trends in motion it does indeed look like the “end of the world” as we know it is upon us. The crystallization of the 99%/Occupy movement represents the leading edge of the emergent culture movement, aka the birth of a planetary culture. The great mythologist Joseph Campbell said that the next stage of human cultural evolution would be dependent upon the creation of the planetary mythos. The planetary mythos is nothing less than the presently unfolding story of how humanity’s collective yearning for a better world is turned into reality via a collective movement to save the planet and her inhabitants from the clutches of the Current World System. It is the story of how we as a whole outgrew our straightjackets of tradition, fear, enthnocentrism, self-absorption and apathy to embrace the worldview of a cooperative Planetary Culture.
A Planetary Culture would be characterized by the following attributes.
    Direct democracy
    Ecological sensitivity
    Evidence based policies
    Gender balance-respect
    Diplomacy and cooperation
    Government transparency
    Incorruptible monetary system
    Cross cultural unity and respect
    Egalitarian socio-cultural philosophy
    Egalitarian lawmaking
        By egalitarian lawmaking I mean the enactment of rules, laws, and codes that do not favor any particular group or individual to the detriment or disadvantage of the rest.
    Demilitarization, disarmament and non-violence
    Clean and harm minimizing technologies and products
    Identification with the Planet as a whole i.e. Planetary/Global Citizens
    Acceptance of others customs and beliefs with the following exceptions;
        Militarism, coercion or force as a solution,
        The subjugation of women and minorities
        Slavery of any kind,
        Discrimination based on sexual orientation,
        Child sexual abuse,
        Religious proselytizing
It should be glaringly clear to all, but the most self-absorbed and isolated among us, that the Current World System is a menace to life, liberty, sanity and universal prosperity. And by universal prosperity I don’t mean that everyone should have the same standards of living. Natural inequality is a fact of life, but legalized criminality, organized predation and systematic exploitation is the socio-economic strategy of the “one percent” and not a fact of life.
By virtue of its definition it is the destiny of a Planetary Culture to abolish the horrors and stupefying inequalities perpetrated by the owners of the Current World System (CWS). There is no bright future in store for the Earth and her inhabitants unless the CWS is dismantled and transformed. The ongoing breakdown of the CWS and the emergence of a Planetary Culture is precisely what the Legend of 2012 is all about. An old epoch(culture) is coming to a close and a new one(culture) is dawning.
The ancient Mesoamericans responsible for the much maligned and misunderstood Maya Meso-American Calendrical (MMAC) system made no predictions about what would happen at the end of the Maya Long Count cycle that ends on December 21st, 2012. They did not need to. Implicit in the closing of a cycle is the notion of transition.
Transition implies the extraordinary changes that concur with such times. The wisdom of calendrical science or the study of cycles with regards to cyclical transition can be summed up in the following axiom of calendrical science.
The approach of, and the entrance into cyclical renewal is always marked by signifying changes and the changes are proportional to the magnitude of the cycle in question. ~ RS   I will elaborate on the concept further down.
For December 21st, 2012 four key questions loom large.
    Why did the ancient Mesoamericans celebrate the end of a major cycle?
    How would the ancient Mesoamericans celebrate the end of a major cycle?
    Why is December 21st 2012 the best candidate for the end date of the Long Count cycle?
    Why is the end of a calendrical cycle relevant to non-followers of Maya-Meso-American Calendrics (MMAC)?
In this article I will attempt to answer those four questions and I will also propose a celebratory format for December 21st 2012 as based on the ancient Mesoamerican tradition of the New Fire Ceremony. The primary purpose of this article is show why the December 21st, 2012 event is of universal significance and why we should all make preparations to celebrate and/or observe in whatever manner each person deems appropriate.
It does not matter if you do not understand even the basics of the Maya-Meso-American Calendrical system (MMAC). What matters is that the overarching zeitgeist be understood. Zeitgeist is German for “spirit of the times”. And just what is the zeitgeist of 2012? To understand the fundamental zeitgeist of 2012 we need only look to the ritual observance of the winter solstice by nature based philosophies and spiritualities.
In the northern hemisphere the winter solstice falls on December 21st or 22nd and in the southern hemisphere it falls on June 20th or 21st. The solstices where of supreme importance to most, if not all non-Judeo-Christian and pre-Christian cultures of the world’s temperate latitudes because it meant that the sun was “returning”(cyclical renewal). And that meant that the growing season would soon arrive and that meant food and warmer days. In the tropical latitudes cultures would be more apt to celebrate the start of the rainy season for the same reason or the increased availability of food. In our day and age certain segments of the population take the availability of food for granted.
The underlying theme in whatever the latitude is cyclical renewal of the life cycle. The time between the winter solstice and the spring equinox is equivalent to birth and emergence. Spring equinox to summer solstice is equivalent to the exuberant growth from birth to physical maturity. Summer solstice to fall equinox is parallel to the mental-emotional maturation of middle age and the fall to winter period corresponds to whole systems decline and death. The solstice signifies rebirth.
Those of you familiar with December 21st, 2012 might question and say; but the December 21st, 2012 date is about the end of cycle that is over 5000 years long. That is correct, in fact its 5125.36 years to be exact. But the question remains; how is such a long cycle related to the yearly life cycle of renewal. To adequately answer the last question I will now address key question number 1 or why did the ancient Mesoamericans celebrate the end of major cycles.
According to the ethnographic work of David Carrasco ancient Mesoamerican cultures where concerned with 3 overriding cosmological quests; worldmaking, worldrenewing and worldcentering. This article is concerned foremost with the aspect of worldrenewing and to a slightly lesser degree the aspect of worldcentering. Ancient Mesoamerican cultures tracked upwards of 20 different calendrical cycles. Cycles that measure anywhere from 13 days to 394 years and beyond. Their preoccupation with cycles stemmed from the discovery that cyclical ending and renewal are accompanied by moods, themes, and real world events indicative of decline and renewal. In other words cyclical closure and renewal are more than just apt metaphors to indicate the ending and restart points of whatever cycle they were tracking. Cyclical ending and renewal were expected to be accompanied by real events and socio-political themes indicative of termination and renewal. The ability to anticipate such junctures in time has clear value depending upon what one expects to accomplish. By anticipating the start of the rainy season the farmer knows when to plant his crops to better his chances of a successful harvest.
It was the goal of Mesoamerican cultures to harmonize their lives according to the ebb and flow of the cycles they tracked. By doing so they maximized effort and minimized energy expenditures. Its the ability to know if you are going to encounter a tail or head wind. Going with the tail wind maximizes effort while avoiding the headwind conserves energy. The all encompassing wisdom of worldrenewing can be summed up by the already mentioned axiom of cyclical transition. The approach of, and the entrance into cyclical renewal is always marked by signifying changes and the changes are proportional to the magnitude of the cycle in question. For example Ice age cycles bring long lasting, widespread and intense cold for much of the planet. The solar cycle brings intense cold for proportionately smaller regions of the planet and for shorter periods of time. The day cycle brings warmth during the day and coolness at night. The transitional changes of each cycle are proportionate to the length of the cycle in question. The short gestational cycle of a mouse develops a smallish organism. The longer gestational cycle of a human being creates a medium sized creature and that of whale develops a super sized one. So too do the cycles of time as mapped by the ancient Mesoamericans bring with their respective closure and restart junctures, events of proportionate magnitude. This understanding brings us to the second question and that is; how did the ancient Mesoamericans celebrate the beginning of a new cycle?