2012 – Doomsday or Hysteria? Is It the End of the World as we Know It?

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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2009 was one heck of a year for the doomsday version of 2012. While there have been programs and presentations over many years (I’ve seen several of them), the entertainment industry outdid itself, speculating bigger, glitzier, and scarier scenarios. The blockbuster movie was intended to scare us out of our socks, with Armageddon, Independence Day and nuclear holocaust all rolled into one. Long before there were television and movies, there were books and prophecies and doomsday cults. Even our western Holy Book called the Bible is replete with multiple doomsday prophecies and warnings. There are as many detractors and nay-sayers as there are believers and they are just as vocal. Is there a middle ground between doomsday and denial?

I have been interested in and have studied prophesy in one form or another for forty years. I am not afraid of 2012 but I also am not in denial of such a possibility. I know what is possible, but this subject has been clothed in hysteria, told in half-truths and outright speculation…surely not healthy. Even NASA took to the airwaves to discount the possibility of such doomsday upon the release of the movie, which had never been done before. The hype leads to hysteria and frightened people react badly. Before we start to examine what 2012 might mean, let us examine what would it mean if the doomsday scenario were true? We will take a few moments and face our fears and trepidations up front.

If doomsday is true, what exactly could you or I do about it? There is no other game in town; make or break it here on Earth is what we have. There is no place on this globe that I know of that is marked off as a safe place to wait out the destruction. If there were such a place, all 6.7 (as of 2009) billion inhabitants (many are children) of this planet would try to get to that spot just as you or I or any other scared person would…and many of them would bring their animals as well. I would want my grand-dogs to be safe. Do you not feel that way about your pets (read: furry children)? Realistically there is no safe place from catastrophe, so we can dismiss that as a possibility right now. Hang in there, we are doing a worst-case scenario up front.

We do not have an unbelievable number of gigantic spaceships to evacuate all of us (billions) and take us to a place of safety while the planet goes through its convulsions from whatever the cause. Within reason, just in our galaxy where would that place of safety be? Does it have food, water, shelter and accommodations for almost eight (2020) billion people, their pets and their spaceships? Fuel, dry dock, etc. would require an entire world. Now we will take this to the next level… out there, beyond our local space.

What if an incredible number of spaceships arrive to evacuate us to some point of safety we don’t know about – and can transport, feed, shelter, and all that is required for all billions of us? Obviously, they are not our spaceships because

  1. we don’t have any, and
  2. there’s nowhere to go close by (the limit of our technology).

If a spaceship hovers over your house, sends down a ladder and an announcement booms through the air “__(insert your name)__, it is time to get on board,” what would you do? Would you stay or go? Would you get on board now (they are in a bit of a hurry) or wait until you gather every single person you are related to or ever met (and possibly their animals) so you can be sure to all get on the same space ship? Would you wait for the magic announcement, “Beam me up Scottie”? What if you did board the obviously alien spaceship? Are you refugees, prisoners, slaves, or dinner? One of the scariest science fiction television shows I ever saw was entitled “To Serve Man”. Those who elected to join the alien space farers turned out to be the menu.

Could there be a doomsday scenario such as an asteroid or comet strike? Sure. We were born in fire and fury, shaped and reshaped by such strikes over billions of years as our solar system slowly formed. What was left over from this violent formation retreated into bands of asteroids and icy debris settled in the outer reaches of the solar system called the Kuiper Belt (closer) and the Oort Cloud (farther out). From time to time, space does get perturbed and some of that material is kicked inward through our system and naturally gravitates towards the Sun, our nearby – 93 million miles – neighbor.  Could one of these bodies, in its natural trajectory or because of our superior gravitational force, slam into us? Sure. It has done so before, so there is no reason to assume it cannot or will not ever do it again. Will it? At this time in the development of our planet and our solar system such an event would be rare. Our astronomers are seriously watching for such objects to allow as much warning as possible. Could we defeat it? We’re learning how; we are developing our capacity continually. We will do our best if that situation arises. Do you or I have any control over that? Not really, so what is the point of worrying about it?

Could the Sun superheat and either explode or send off huge solar prominences that can affect life here on Earth? Sure. Remember that early violent formation of the solar system and the Earth I mentioned? Our Earth records show cataclysmic events in our past, gradually diminishing as the world evolved. The trumpeted solar maximum for 2012 is a normal fluctuation of the Sun’s activities that occurs every eleven years. Over the 4.5 billion years of our life, some of that solar fluctuation has been destructive, but we are still here. Sure it could happen again, but what exactly are your options? If the Sun were to explode or send an enormous burst of energy (solar prominence) toward us, we would not know about it for approximately eight minutes, and then we would see it, and then in time would experience it. The destruction would be over quickly. Can we change any of that? No. If we cannot materially affect the outcome and that outcome is almost instantaneous, why should we worry about it?

Biblical prophecy is married to the doomsday scenario because if you read the Book of Revelation in the Protestant Bible, it is filled with dire prophecies and warnings. As close as I can tell from that reading, there does not appear to be a way out for us physically. Holy Books are not as interested in our physical fortunes as much as in our spiritual fortunes; therefore, the rescue promised is spiritual in nature. For 2000 years we have been unsuccessfully trying to figure out what those prophecies mean and when they will occur. There have been so many doomsday predictions and cults, biblical and otherwise, that they could fill up weeks, months or years of study. All those people lived and died and such prophecies did not manifest in their lifetimes. The Bible clearly states that we are not to attempt to figure it out… that it will happen when it gets here. But do we back off and not speculate? Of course not, we are just not built that way. You also remember the story about the tree, the forbidden fruit, and how well mankind handled that one, don’t you?

Man dreams his dreams and has his visions. I, woman, have had several of those myself. Man is curious, independent, at times willful, and blind in his belief systems. We were supposedly formed in the image and likeness of the Creator with the attributes of that creative principle, and we were put on schoolhouse Earth to find our way and learn our lessons. This was not a gigantic joke or punishment of a capricious deity, stamping a gigantic foot in petulance. That concept of deity is way too human for me.

Oh… and if you wonder how people get caught up in “cult” experiences and beliefs, watch this period until 2012 and listen and learn. This qualifies as a cult experience along with many other human habits and beliefs and it doesn’t matter if you are mainstream religious or not, or which belief system or book you prefer.

Okay, we’ve examined a few of the most popular, sometimes ridiculous, beliefs and our inherent fears of such potentially catastrophic events. We are in this together, whether we like it or not. If such awful possibilities were true, we are not in a position to do much about it. If we cannot change the outcome, why bother putting yourself through the worry? Fearing a thing will not make it go away, but that fear can immobilize us or cause us to follow beliefs, cults or leaders who also cannot change the outcome. Trust yourself. Save your mental energy for doing what you can about the possible and do not fret over that which you cannot control.

I live in hurricane territory and have been through a couple of them. There are common sense things you can do to protect yourself and survive. You do not ignore the potential, you prepare. Beyond that you wait along with everyone else and deal with what comes down the road. Insane overriding fear will not change the outcome – but you can scare yourself silly. A reckless I’m-going-to-stare-that-sucker- in-the-eye mentality could ensure personal disaster. Sane, common sense preparation is the best we can do. And when the outcome has occurred, whether it be from natural or unnatural causes, we do the best we can with who we are and what we have at our disposal. That’s the best any of us can do for any catastrophic event. Worrying about it does not change the outcome, so stop worrying.

Is 2012 Doomsday? The Mayan and the Hopi legends point to a major shift or change that will occur at the time of the Winter Solstice 2012 on December 21st. Of all the possible Winter Solstices that can occur within an approximate 26,000-year cycle (considered one revolution), this specific solstice occurs because of the lineup of the solstice with an assumed black hole that is at the very center of our Milky Way Galaxy. This black hole with its tremendous gravitational force appears to be the center around which our Galaxy revolves. I say assumed because it is the position held currently by our scientists. However, scientific opinion changes from moment to moment. Briefly, this approximate 26,000-year revolution is conveniently divided into twelve compartments that we call “ages” and it is our north Earth axis that is the “pointer”. There is much rampant speculation on whether or not we are on the point of the changing of an Age, but it really has nothing to do with this 2012 lineup. My personal opinion is that we have already moved into the Age of Aquarius but I will save that for another article. 2012 is about the lineup of the Winter Solstice with the center of an assumed but massive and powerful black hole. It can happen once in that almost 26,000-year cycle and that time is December 21, 2012.

The Mayans had an incredibly sophisticated calendar system, one that takes years of study to fully understand. Mayans were able to do amazing predictions based on their calendars within calendars. The question is not whether their calendar system works, it does, but whether 2012 is catastrophic in conclusion. Their long calendar is set for 5125 years and the upcoming solstice marks the termination of the current cycle that began around 3113-12 BC (remember the transition between BC and AD has the oddity of no “0” year). This is not the first measured or experienced cycle. There have been cycle conclusions in the past that have not ended in catastrophic finality for the Earth and its inhabitants. We have limited records but we are living proof that we made it though those prior cycle changes.

What is happening in reality is that a Mayan long calendar year is ending and is simultaneously beginning a new long calendar year. It is a marker year, one of great importance, and there is no known guarantee of wholesale destruction, although I do believe the moment could have a monumental effect. Look to the Hopi teachings (and others) that also mark this date for major change. Some of these legends we trot out as prophetic are catastrophic and some are not. Some Nostradamus prophecies go beyond 2012. The only prophecies that get the headlines are the catastrophic, doomsday type. Fear and excitement sell product. Besides, we humans like scary stuff.

One last point… have you noticed that we are not handling our stewardship of this planet all that well? We are polluting our home, ravaging each other and the planet with incessant and violent wars. We lack tolerance for each other, take advantage of one another like wayward children. We could do this doomsday job of destruction all by ourselves without any outside help. We choose to call such events the Wrath of God, but I believe they should instead be called the Stupidity of Man.

What do I think is going to happen in 2012 after studying various forms of prophecy for over forty years? We have been on a runaway train of change approaching a point of great change. Look around you. Look at how far we have evolved intellectually but also look at how well or how poorly we have handled those changes. In the USA we have unprecedented freedom, the culmination of the universe’s attempts and successes in human rights. We must take care of those rights and that freedom. We are the latest attempt on the part of the universe, not the only attempt. We, you and I, are responsible for the success or failure of those freedoms. Choice.

The centuries-long agricultural and merchant society gave way to industrialization. Progress has been amazing. Did we handle all of it well? Can we fix what we did poorly? Can we pool our talents and resources to fix what is possible and to make good ecology a way of life? Choice.

We discovered and developed atomic energy. We have used it for good and for ill. It holds a major key in its power for the benefit or destruction of the human race and possibly the planet. Choice.

We are becoming a one-world community; our borders are porous. This is not going to go away because we are uncomfortable. Have you noticed that life does not always consider our personal comfort as its primary directive? We are so far along in the one-world process that it is like that runaway train that I mentioned. We need to embrace those changes in order to control the effect on our lives. Choice.

So much is said and written about the “haves” and the “have-nots” of our world. Old sayings like the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” emphasize the disparity between countries, people, societies, companies, health issues, food, power sharing, all stages of the human condition. We are all into self-preservation and the “pursuit of happiness” whatever that means individually. Is it possible to want good for every person, that they have food, shelter, education, safety, progress and the “good life” that we want for ourselves? Do we have to succeed personally at the expense of others?  Or is there enough to go around for everyone? Can I applaud your success and lifestyle openly and honestly? Can you do the same for me? Can we help one another succeed? Choice.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in his book The Phenomenon of Man indicated we were facing a paradigm shift in consciousness within the evolutionary cycle of man. We are approaching a go/no go point where we succeed in a break-through in consciousness for our species and progress beyond our wildest imagination or we fail and our species stops our evolutional process and becomes a page in history. I encountered that concept in the early 1970s and was appalled that we could evolve this far only to fail and to become a footnote of history. I made a choice then to do what was in my power to contribute to that pivotal evolutionary moment in time.

 I believe we are approaching that pivotal moment in time and the date is December 21, 2012. We are teetering on the brink of just about every kind of disaster that humans can produce and that is something we can choose to fix. We do not have to act like spoiled children, defile our own living conditions and destroy ourselves ecologically. We don’t have to destroy each other because we demand that everyone play by our personal or national rules. We could respect each other and our individual rights and clean up our prejudices. We could practice reasonable tolerance for each other’s beliefs and practices. We could celebrate our diversity and pool our talents and resources to make this a truly wonderful place to live. The question is will we? Will we choose to ignore, avoid, blame, refuse responsibility, let the other guy do it, or wallow in self-imposed stupidity? Or will we present ourselves as agents for good, accept that it is our personal job to step up to the plate and do what is possible to help ourselves and our way of life. Choice. 

First published on EZine, November, 2009, published in AFA Today’s Astrologer November, 2011, vol 74#9, republished with slight editing.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.