2012 – and Mayan Prophecy…
Well, this will most likely be the last blog until the New Year.
Ariel comes home tomorrow, and the holiday season is upon us. And frankly, it’s the time of year for family and friends – blogging takes a back seat to more important things.
I saw in a bookstore this week an entire shelf dedicated to the books that deal with 2012 – or more accurately – the coming apocalypse of 2012 (as foretold by the Mayans).
There were books from the deadly serious (environmental collapse and mass extinction science books) to the irreverent “How to Survive a Zombie Invasion” ( not so irreverent if you substitute “starving hordes” for Zombies).
They all play on a fundamental fear that the end is near.
Historians and biblical scholars will point out that the “end times” is a fundamental concept in Judaic-Christian traditions. From the fall of Adam and Eve, to the Book of Revelation, the wisdom writers knew that mankind rarely chooses wisely, even with awareness, and that the fatal flaw of the species is its dark undercurrent of nihilism and self-destruction.
Now, we seem to be entering a perfect storm of a nonsensical misunderstanding of the idea of Mayan Prophecy, combined with global warming, economic collapse, and anti-democratic movements destined to take us back into the darkness (one example: the US Senate has passed the National Defense Authorization Act. If Obama does not veto this bill, a law will be passed which would place domestic terror investigations and interrogations in the hands of the military, and would open the door for trial-free, indefinite detention of anyone, including American citizens, so long as the government calls them terrorists).
We make the world we first visualize in our minds. We have already taken the planet from 85% forest, to less than 15% over the last 2,000 years. And now, we have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and we know what this is doing to the planet. But we can’t stop ourselves.
More frightening is that many of us do not want to stop.
I was at an intersection on my bike yesterday, when this massive Cadillac Escalade SUV pulls up beside me – a little to close for comfort – and so I look at the driver and I see a 30-ish man, who was unshaven and about 400 lbs. He had a massive cigar in his mouth, and as I looked at his droopy jowls, I thought I was glimpsing an Ork from Lord of the Rings.
Too many of us will feast on our impending destruction – as history has shown to happen, time and time again.
History has also shown that pockets of resistance emerge in every such time – always a little too late at first – and the times get darker before the light re-emerges.
Great swaths suffer, fascist powers rise to infamy, and the light can disappear for centuries at a time. The wisdom-keepers retreat into the forests or the countryside, or into their minds, and they do their best to keep the hyenas at bay (if not for the Arab philosophers all of the ancient Greek texts would have been lost in the early Christian book-burnings).
The Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and the Soviet protests are but three of the fragmented formations in the coming fight with fascism. The post WWII era of western peace is coming to an end.
The Enlightenment – born of a belief in equality, science, and democracy – is now, running out of gas.
Our deep-seated amphibian tribal urges of intolerance and hatred, which were always ever-present just below that veneer we call “civilization”, are bubbling back to the surface.
We are an aging population who has lost faith in ourselves. We have forgotten that other fundamental of the Judaic-Christian tradition: redemption.
But every day, if you look hard enough, you will see thousands and thousands of people who are waking to the notion of redemption. The women of Israel who protested against last week’s attempt by the Jewish orthodoxy to pass a law that would put women back in the home. Today “Santa Parade” through the Eaton Centre – to highlight our mindless consumption.
The media dismisses them as small, fragmented and uncoordinated movements – that come into, and out-of existence by the day. But that is how resistance starts.
The Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s had its roots in the US Civil War and anti-slavery movements happening around the world.
We will all be involved in this dark future and we will all make our decisions. We will be asked to choose between nihilism and redemption.
An appropriate question to consider as the winter solstice approaches and the new cycle begins.
P.S. Thanks to all who have supported Sisyphus in this our first year. And a warm welcome to recent subscribers. We will be re-designing the page format early in the new year in order to make it more navigational as well as to add some new perks. We are looking for new writers and video bloggers. Drop us a line if you are interested.
All the best of the season to everyone and Happy New Year to one and all…