Lis Warwood takes an objective look at the much-publicised 2012 prophecies and concludes that there is little common ground between them and the philosophy of Spiritualism.
Officially at least, Spiritualism places no credence in the 2012 doomsday prophecies or the Mayan calendar.
Despite this, I doubt there are many Spiritualist churches or development groups without adherents to some of the ideas widely promulgated about a coming year of cataclysmic change for our world.
Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that speakers at more than a few churches have explored this impending global event. This is certainly the case in Australia, though perhaps the influence of ‘New Age’ beliefs has had greater impact here than in the UK.
As Spiritualists we could just ignore the issue and hope, as was the case with all previous ascension-type prophecies, that these ideas will fade away as the year 2012 arrives and the prophesied events do not. But, as they say, forewarned is forearmed, and understanding what is being forecast may enable Spiritualists both to talk logically about the subject with its adherents and, as has been necessary in the past, to help deal with many people’s confusion and distress if what is expected fails to happen.
A conviction is widespread that the world is on the brink of a new enlightenment, that in 2012 there will be a miraculous upliftment of the human race. Ideas range widely about how this will happen. Alien beings may enable those spiritually advanced enough to ‘ascend’ and be transported to another dimension of existence. Alternatively, a sudden alteration in our DNA may cause some spiritual change in humankind.
Others are convinced that rather than a cosmic upliftment in 2012 there will be a series of cataclysmic events, among them the shifting of the earth’s poles, the sinking and rising of land masses and the reappearance of Atlantis. In this scenario, not only will there be no great advancement of humankind, but civilisation as we know it will be destroyed.
In the context of the current 2012 prophecies both the adherents of cosmic upliftment and those who believe the year will see cataclysmic earth movements look to the Mayan calendar to support their beliefs.
So what does the Mayan calendar actually predict? In reality it predicts the end of what is known as a ‘Grand Cycle’.
A Grand Cycle consists of 13 baktuns, each numbering 144,000 days, a grand total of 1,872,000 days or 5,139.44 solar years. This is said to represent the number of days that have passed since the supposed beginning of the present world, apparently determined by an unknown priest in the year 236 B.C.
The Mayan calendar blends a sacred almanac of 260 days and a slightly later secular calendar of 365 days, 18 periods of 20 days and one of 5 days. These have been defined by the researchers as the ‘Long Count’. The calendars are a remarkable piece of work covering two very different cycles of time which are cross-referenced in a separate codex.
The Grand Cycle recorded in the calendars ends in 2012. There is no mention of cataclysmic events or cosmic upliftment. The Mayan elders suggest that such interpretations are incorrect and they appear to be significantly less concerned about 2012 than the many non-Mayan interpreters of the calendars.
Interestingly, previous cycle changes in the Mayan calendar appear to coincide with times of geologically confirmed upheaval for the planet, including the sinking of lands and destruction of cities.
Such parallels have resulted in many people linking the Mayan calendar to myths of Atlantis, the idea of man’s arrival from the stars, tales of the apocalypse, the destruction of our earth, and the ending of days when the calendar runs out.
There is little common ground between the philosophy of Spiritualism and the prophecies associated with the year 2012. The idea that some people, more spiritually aware or evolved than the rest of the human race, will be transformed or saved, while others will perish and cease to exist – not pass to spirit and/or have further opportunities for spiritual evolution – is an intrinsically elitist concept that flies in the face of Spiritualism’s principles.
Since Spiritualism began, many wise ones in the spirit realms have spoken to us about the role our earth world plays in the evolution of spirit, and how our physical lives are opportunities for spiritual growth and discovery. They have spoken of the indestructible nature of the human spirit, how it will survive death and will, whether in this world or the next, continue to evolve and progress as greater understanding of our true spiritual nature and purpose unfolds. Spirit has assured us that the physical world operates in accordance with natural laws which apply to us all, and to all that exists.
It must be said, however, that the history of the planet earth reveals that there have been major cataclysms in the past.
It would be foolish to ignore the possibility of future risks, especially when we consider the intolerable load we, as physical beings, place upon the planet.
The earth is a living organism which may from time to time become destabilised, whether by human actions or as a result of the forces and energies surrounding it.
It is not beyond the realms of probability that some catastrophic event might occur and many would die. If this was to happen, even if it were to happen in 2012, I am confident that all who died would return to our home in spirit.
Recognising the fundamental urge of all of us to find enlightenment, and at the same time reminding ourselves of what spirit has conveyed to us about earthly existence and survival of death, we can perhaps put the 2012 prophecies into better perspective, and even use them as an opportunity to focus our thoughts on sending out love and healing to our world and all who exist upon it.
Who knows, doing that just might avert a disaster, and ultimately result in everyone achieving a higher level of spiritual awareness.