04 November 2011


There has certainly been a lot of talk about the end of the world these days. I haven’t actually counted but there have already been several end of the world predictions this year the last of which was October 28th. A fellow by the name of Carl Calleman  recalculated the Mayan Calendar and decided that the end of the world would come on October 28th rather than more popular December 21, 2012.  Since it is now November 3rd I guess we know how that worked out.

I recently watched an end of the world program entitled Is it the End of the World as We Know It?  on the National Geographic Channel. I have to say my respect for National Geographic is greatly diminished by much of their programming. It seems they, like everyone else, are caught up in the money game. And after watching this particular pseudo documentary my respect sank even further. The producers appear more interested in theatrics than facts. There were several things that insulted my intelligence but the one that sticks out in my mind was a segment of the film where the narrator went to Mexico to look into “an ancient Mayan city”.  The camera follows the “actors” as they approach the city through jungle foliage whilst speaking in hushed tones. As they break out of the jungle what do we see? Chitsa Nitsa!  As anyone who has been there knows Chitsa Nitsa is a huge tourist attraction on the Yucatan Peninsula. You do not hack your way through a dangerous jungle in an effort to get there. You take a tour bus.

In this Nat Geo episode we are whisked away to Germany to consult the Dresden Codex.  People have spent lifetimes gifting the world with their “learned” interpretations. In this particular documentary the researcher takes us to the end of the codex and shows us a page he says means the world will be covered in water and thus destroyed. Honestly, I couldn’t see it. I just had to take his word for it.

As lightweight as this documentary was it did get me to thinking about the Mayan prediction for the end of the world. Well at least that’s what a bunch of people looking for a fun and easy way to make a living say. Who knows what the Mayans actually had in mind.

Here are some of the questions I have. The world for the Mayans was more or less the Yucatan Peninsula, west to Mexico City and down into northern El Salvador. Pretty much the entire civilization was surrounded by water. Natural cycles were an integral part of the Mayan belief system. Could it be that the Mayans were simply predicting the end of what they knew to be the world and not the entire planet? When the Mayan calendar in question was written could the Mayans have had any idea there was a world outside of their own? I'd be much more concerned about living in the area of the ancient Mayan civilization.

Many centuries later, in the 1,700's A.D., a fellow by the name of Nostradamus  came along and supposedly predicted an end to the world on December 21, 2012. How anyone makes heads or tails of his quatrains is a mystery to me. I think you could have as many interpretations of his writings as there are people making them. Let your imagination be your guide.

The Bible, as we all know, predicts the coming of Armageddon but the precise time has not been revealed. Still many people seem to like to lump the Bible in with all the hype and hysteria. Although, I must admit, I can certainly see some of the biblical predictions of what end times will look like in the present state of the globe. Clearly, it could be on its way.

There seems to be another date coming around that people are worked up about 11-11-11 but I honestly can’t figure out what it is about. I believe it has something to do with an asteroid.

I’m with the Mayans in that I believe in Nature and I believe in cycles. That fact is, even though we don’t care to think about it, we humans hang by a fine thread each and everyday. There are asteroids, earthquakes, volcanoes, famines, plagues, nuclear bombs and heaven only knows what lurking out there, just waiting to render us extinct. The painful truth is, the amount of time that this planet has provided an environment that is capable of supporting the human race as we know it is so tiny within the context of a 4.5 billion year old planet you would need a super computer to express it as a percentage. The number would be so tiny. I’m not good at math but I do know it would be a whole lot of zeros after that decimal.

The naked truth is we are an anomaly. There is little doubt in my mind that human life, if not all life will some day be wiped out. How and when I have no clue. It could be tomorrow or it could be another million or more years out.

Personally, I find the current financial and economic situation in which we find ourselves of much more immediate concern. I see the real possibility of a total collapse resulting in an end to life as we have come to know it. But, I have no crystal ball. I can’t predict anything other than things will go on as they are until they don’t. We may simply muddle through or not. Only time will tell.

I do advocate that everyone have some emergency supplies on hand for anything that might come down the pike, whether man made or Mother Nature. I’ll bet there were a lot of people wishing they were better prepared for last weeks snowstorm on the East Coast.

A friend of mine and I have made a small tradition that whenever there is an end of the world day we go out to lunch and eat a lot of not healthy but very delicious food. We figure if the world is going to end we ought to treat ourselves to a decadent “last supper”.  The way things are going so far this could turn into a hazardous to my health ritual.But, I'm loving it none-the-less.

My recommendation: Do whatever you can to prepare yourself for an emergency. Once you are satisfied you have done that go about your business and live each day to the fullest, you should be doing that in any event. Life is short under the best of circumstances.
©Kinsey Barnard

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