By Deirdre O'Lavery
Ugh. 2012. This is a topic I usually avoid, but as I explain later, it was brought up in conversation today, and so I figured I might as well say something about it. I typically avoid the debate like I avoid any end-of-world debate. Not because I think that if I pretend it doesn't exist, it wont happen -- no, I avoid it because a very large part of my childhood was spent worrying about a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States.
By the time the movie The Day After aired on television in '83, I was completely and utterly terrified of a nuclear holocaust. So much so, that I was often physically ill because of the agonizing worry. Over the next few years, I had come to understand and accept that I have no real control over such an event, no more than I have control over an earthquake, tornado, giant solar flare, and so on. I had made my peace with the prospect of an unexpected and sudden death in a way that most people I know, have not. I'm over it. And so, when the 2012 end-of-the-world shit started flying, I just snorted and went on with my life.
Of course, that year doesn't mean the end of the world to everyone...
Today my girlfriend asked me if I thought that 2012 would signify the end of the physical world or the "end of an era of consciousness". I was a little caught off guard, because while she is an exceptionally brilliant woman, she is more geared for politics than anything esoteric. I explained to her that a lot of people do believe that 2012 will be the onset of a 'paradigm shift' and not necessarily a cataclysmic event. Of course, she then asked what my thoughts on the subject were.
It's a tough question when I really get to thinking about it. Mainly because it has yet to unfold so I can't possibly know what will happen, but also because I believe that something could happen even if its not slated to happen. And by 'slated' I mean 'preordained', or whatever. Simply put, if a major something-or-other does unfold in 2012, it might be the product of a collective manifestation. Now, I'm not implying that we will all spiritually unite and manifest a giant meteor or a rogue planet on a collision course with Earth, but rather, manifest this 'paradigm shift' business.
2012 is one of those bizarre curiosities that has crept into the mainstream. This has undoubtedly been due in large part to the current state of the world, and the state of the world of the last 10 years. Outside of the fear of death and destruction, it is often the hope for or belief in a positive change (even if mass destruction is a precursor), because frankly, the world really fucking needs a positive change. And obviously there are those who think the world will plunge into various darkness-es within the next 2 years -- like actual planetary destruction, nuclear warfare, biological warfare, alien invasion, and yadda, yadda, yadda. No longer is 2012 an end-date theorized by only the fringe communities, but by people like my girlfriend, my mother, her neighbor, your boss and his mistress.
At this point, the wheels are set in motion. The ancient Mayans could rise from the dead and announce to us themselves that it was only the end of a calendar period. But it would make very little difference now, because its been muddied by Hollywood, Sci-Fi novels, crackpots, and the overwhelming need for something drastic to change in our immediate future. It's no longer just about a calendar or an ancient civilization.
Those of you studying the paranormal in the early part of the decade might remember that the planet Nibiru was supposed to 'return' in 2003. It had a certain portion of the UFO community at the edge of their seats for much of 2001 and 2002 while they fed themselves a steady diet of Crystal Links, Mark Hazlewood, Sitchin, Von Daniken, and countless paranormal forums. Granted, 2003 wasn't as set in the mainstream conscious like 2012 is, but for me it seemed the next obvious leap. The world didn't end when the year rolled over to two and three zeroes. Nor did it end 3 years later -- and I seriously doubt it will end in 2012.
2012 just happens to approach at a very unbalanced period of civilization. Twenty years ago, sans Internet, we were significantly less connected to the horrors of the world. The world economy wasn't in the dire shape its in now. Climate change was a distant concern. We didn't worry about shit like anthrax in our water supply -- and twenty years ago wasn't the date etched into an old stone calendar. But here, at the beginning of the second decade of a shiny new millennium, we have all that and a bag of Fritos.
The planet needs a pressure-release valve and I think that's what 2012 really is. Like a diet or a quit-smoking date, it's a square checked off on a calendar to focus hope and change on. If you get enough people geared up for that date, something is bound to happen. Not out of any mysteriousness or the diabolical plans of some Trickster element, but because when something such as 2012 is so heavily anticipated and nothing comes to pass, the people have a tendency to make something happen. Maybe it wont be aliens, maybe it wont be a giant space rock -- but it will be something.
And if the world does literally end, so what? We are a live-fast-die-young civilization, and always have been. This should be right up our alley.
Copyright © 2010 Deirdre O'Lavery
My site: The Interstellar Housewife