I'm not an academic and his isn't an academic blog either, but just a few words on the 'End of the World' stuff that's going on supposed to happen on 21st December 2012.
The Mayans were and surprisingly to some, still are inhabitants of Mexico and northern central America - their descendant live today and millions still speak the Mayan language. The Mayans calculated the solar year with a very high degree of accuracy for the time and this was far more accurate than western civilisation had managed. They were also very clever mathematicians and pre-telescope astronomers (of course they wouldn't have had the light pollution we have today.)
In simple terms, their calendar, which has a 5125 year cycle comes to an end in 2012. That's it. Allegedly. Scholars are divided even about the date 2012 never mind anything else. New Age people, perhaps I am on the edge of this label, consider that this date will bring about a transition to a more spiritual way of life with a change to a new kind of world.
In many ways, this is what I believe, a return to simpler ways because of the economic climate, fading resources and the need to get back to providing for ourselves instead of the off the shelf and discard-because-its-out-of-date society we live in today. More and more we are going to have to 'make do' and cut our cloth accordingly.
This has nothing to do with the end of the world and that won't happen. Academics and scholars find no evidence of this in Mayan work. Kooks and strange people believe this scenario - many cults have attempted to predict the end of the world and failed miserably. The sceptics play on this and there is a raft of jokes and unkind commentary, and this of course turns ordinary people against what cannot be proved by science which is a shame. This denies faith and belief.
End of the world predictions are what have been described as pseudoscience - in other words, guesswork and finger in the air stuff, made up to sound like it's science-fact where as in fact its science-fiction.
So don't have a bet that the world will end, if it does you won't collect your dosh and if it doesn't, the bookies will be going to a better holiday destination than you courtesy of your hard earned cash.
Spiritualists and others who are sensitive have been sensing change coming for some time and we have been tested and prepared with challenges to help others who are going to struggle. How is that help going to take shape? Through support of those that want help, spiritually, morally and whatever other help that can possibly be given.
This is little to do with the end of a world but more a sense that we need to help mother earth to continue to sustain an ever growing population and we should begin that by changing our attitude and thinking about others as well as ourselves. Perhaps its not about having a new model phone or car every twelve months, moving to a better house every two years, having the latest gadget because we look better than the Joneses'. Perhaps its the need to survive the next few difficult years with dignity and display love and compassion for our fellow man and woman. As the economic situation worsens, there will be fewer jobs as automation starts to run things more cheaply and in some cases more effectively than we do as humans. Companies are making themselves 'lean' - doing more with less resources or simply struggling to stand still.
People will fall by the wayside if they don't adapt and change and realise things are going to be difficult and different.
Is there a need to panic - not at all. Is there a need to think about change (which we are all uncomfortable about) yes there is, both personally and environmentally.
I'll be doing some meditation with friends tomorrow night (21st) just to chill and think about the effect of the next few years and see what we can do to help others and how we can look after ourselves as well in order that we stay fit to help others.
In any case, I have bought the Christmas presents I need to buy and all but a couple have been wrapped which will be finished tonight hopefully. I haven't sent any cards out this year - that's the decision I took for economic reasons and the fact that the house has been a bloody tip for four months while the building has gone on. Last day at work tomorrow until the 27th, so I'm looking for five days of quality rest with the family and friends.
Hope your Christmas prep is nearly done and here is a sneak preview of the Christmas jumper I am wearing to work tomorrow: