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2012 and The Mayan Calendar

According to many, the year 2012 will see the fulfillment of a concatenation of events, some of them good while others are undoubtedly bad.

According to many, the year 2012 will see the fulfillment of a concatenation of events, some of them good while others are undoubtedly bad. The worst of these is the prediction that the world as we know it will end on the date of the mid-winter solstice, on December 21, 2012. However, despite these dire predictions, the reality is that the coming year is likely to be little changed from 2011, and the warnings of these so-called “prophets” are equally likely to be false.     

This is not to say that 2012 will be free from troubles. There will certainly be continuing strife, particularly among Islamic nations, as more and more people resist their autocratic masters. And just as in the present year the world will experience yet more natural disasters. There will be more tornados and hurricanes. There will be more earthquakes, firestorms, floods, droughts and the like. But the end is not yet. For as Jesus explained to his disciples:

  “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all of these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”(Matthew 24:6-8)    

So how then did the year 2012 come to be such a climactic date in prophecy? Most people today are aware that this date has something to do with the Maya, although very few have taken the trouble to investigate whether there is any truth to it all. For many people it is far easier to simply swallow the wild predictions that now abound. And all of this will no doubt grow as the new year approaches.     

The Mayan civilization had its origin some 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. Over the years the Maya developed an advanced culture that spread over much of Meso-America, incorporating the modern countries of Guatamala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, as well as the Yucatan peninsula and the highlands of Mexico. Modern scholars consider that the Mayan cities reached their highest state of development during the “classic” period, from the years 250 to 900 AD.     

What distinguished the Maya from other pre-Columbian societies was that they had a sophisticated system of writing, as well as a unique system for measuring time. Just like the modern calendar we use today in the West, they had a system which recorded the length of the year, as well as a linear system which measured longer periods of time. For this reason the linear system has come to be called the “Long Count” calendar.        The Long Count calendar of the Maya was open-ended. That meant that, while they measured time by means of an ever increasing system of chronological units, there was no “end date” to the calendar itself. So just as we can set a date for a time far in advance of our own time (eg 2610 AD), so too could the Maya. But what was significant about their Long Count calendar was that it began on a specific date. That date was August 11, 3114 BC.     

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