By: Kevin Baum

When I hear or read about 2012 and the hype, hysteria and hilarity that increasingly surrounds that ominous year, I can’t help but to remember the famous and funny line uttered by the Scarecrow and Dorothy as they meander along the Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz, “Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!”

We soon find out the Lion is cowardly, the Tin Man is rusted, and all that awaits them on their journey is a bunch of singing pigmies wearing rainbow-colored outfits. Their fear of the forest, of course, was of their own creation. And in the ending we ultimately discover it all was but a dream anyway… “And you were in it too Toto…!”

Even though I am frequently asked by my customers and readers if they should really be concerned about 2012, to date I have conveniently skirted the issue by telling them to research the facts, read the relevant books, stay away from the obvious scams, and make up their own minds on whether they should be concerned, or not. Until now, I have not officially positioned myself regarding this rapidly approaching date.

Frankly, I believe that Americans are tired of being told to be afraid anyway, and that we are suffering from our own form of crisis fatigue. Why make it worse with a bunch of 2012 propaganda?

As if we don’t have enough to worry about already…

And yet, (and you knew this was coming), the year 2012 does present a strange and unique confluence of multiple predictions, events, prophecies, mythologies, and cosmologies. Indeed, it is arguable that no other time in history has seen such a bizarre merging of so many different, and wildly diverse, belief systems and predictions. From the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar to religious predictions of the End Times…from the Solar Maximum and deadly Coronal Mass Ejections (CME’s) to the I Ching and Timewave Zero…from the so called Galactic Alignment to the Precession of the Equinoxes and the Age of Aquarius, 2012 has become the sine qua non of futurist obsessions.

Indeed, 2012 is rapidly becoming Y2K on steroids.

Even a true-blue skeptic has to stop and scratch his head and ask if there is anything to all this 2012-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stuff. There is just too much out there on 2012 to ignore (and I bet your entire 2009 salary — dwindling though it may be — that the media is going to pick up on the 2012 conversation soon and elevate it by an order of magnitude, with the History Channel taking the lead).

And so, that’s what I did, I stopped and asked if there was anything to all this hype and threw myself into the relevant literature and blog sphere to explore and hopefully acquire a coherent understanding of this emerging 2012 collective obsession. To date, I’ve read most, if not all contemporary texts on the subject, and have thoroughly explored the electronic media, with daily doses of blog sphere research.

What I discovered both amazed and confused me. And I am concerned too. Lets look at each in turn.

Any attempt to research 2012 has to begin, and I would argue end, with the Mayan Long Count Calendar. The Mayans truly were (and are) brilliant mathematicians, astronomers, and time keepers. Their calendric system, which is based in large part on celestial observances, possesses a degree of accuracy and a depth of symbolism that makes our Gregorian system seem sophomoric in comparison. The Mayans created this system more than 2000 years ago, by the way… Amazing. (Keep in mind, at the same time it was contemporary wisdom that the earth was flat, and the sun orbited the earth, which was, of course, at the center of the universe).

It is way too ambitious to examine the Mayan Long Count calendar in detail in this short piece, although I do encourage you to look into it (fascinating reading). But what shocked me, and what is truly amazing is that the Mayan religion and mythology, their systems for keeping time, and even their architecture & hieroglyphs, are very similar to those of other ancient civilizations (Egyptian, for example), with whom they could have had no contact.

This strange synchronicity is difficult to explain, unless you consider the one thing that each had in common — the sky. Is it possible that multiple cultures and civilizations, separated by both distance and time, can draw the same divination and conclusions from the same celestial observances? And if so, does this lend greater credibility to their time keeping system and its inner meanings? Was the Mayan Long Count really about impending disaster, or does it hold a deeper truth that, as yet, we do not understand?

There is general agreement on the following facts as it relates to 2012: the Mayan long count calendar does end on the winter solstice on December 21, 2012, and it does coincide with a rare alignment of our rising sun positioned in the center of the Milky Way galaxy (from an earthly perspective), and both occur in the time of the Precessional transfer from the age of Pisces to the age of Aquarius, an event that only happens every 26000 years. (This ‘alignment’ is particularly interesting when you consider that the center of the Milky Way galaxy, frequently referred to as the ‘great rift’ is framed by four prominent stars that form an upside down cross; so, on the winter solstice 2012 the ‘sun’ will be ‘hung’ on a ‘cross’ as it aligns with the center of the galaxy, each rising and setting together. Now there is some symbolism to keep you awake at night.)

What does all this mean?

Well, it depends upon who you ask. Enter Confusion.

A good friend of mine, who is a very successful Hollywood actor in day time drama, once took a trip to the orient where he was introduced to a meal called ‘Jambots’. Jambots is a combination of several favorite dishes all thrown into one pot and turned into a stew. The logic is simple — if we take all our favorite dishes and combine them, the outcome must be a supremely tasty combination. How could it not be so?

“How did it taste?” was my obvious inquiry to my good friend. “Like shit.” was his sober reply.

2012 has become, in my opinion, the modern day, End-of-Times Jambots. There are so many different, but favorite religious beliefs, ancient (and poorly understood) mythologies and mysteries, conspiracy theories, belief systems, fears, pseudo-scientific conclusions, and just wishful thinking, all being thrown into the 2012 boiling pot that the true significance of this date, if there is one, has been completely lost in the stew…its been boiled away. It’s as if every doom’s day theory is being force-linked to this single year.

The Mayans MUST have been onto something, so…let’s review Nostradamus’ Quatrains to find a clear linkage to the date. Surely there are some biblical passages that we can link to the Mayan’s wisdom and therefore declare that the rapture is imminent. Isn’t there a rogue star out there (Planet X) that should make a pole-reversing, 1000-foot wave-creating fly by of the earth…and couldn’t that be in 2012?? Isn’t the aliens’ next visit overdue, you know, the ones that seeded humanity? And finally, and my favorite, aren’t we all about to transform into enlightened beings with the power of levitation and telepathy (flying could be cool).

Wondering what I’m talking about? These are all 2012 predictions. Seriously…I didn’t make them up.

Jambots!

Its almost as if we have an obsession, or perhaps a twisted desire to see the world come to an end in our generation, (incidentally, each generation since the dawn of man has thought that they would see the ‘end of times’ in their life; it must be hard wired into our DNA). I think fundamentally we all feel that the earth is changing, and that we, as a species, are off course. As Pogo says, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Perhaps somewhere deep inside our soul, in a place we don’t want to explore, we want the world to ‘fix’ itself, even if that means we get ‘thinned’ in the process?

And that is exactly why I am concerned, and why you should be prepared for 2012.

There is an ancient zen proverb that I love, and it is simple: That which you are seeking, is always seeking you. This proverb is, in my opinion, a beautiful salutation to human capability and inventiveness, and communicates that if you hold to a vision, you can make that vision a reality. How very cool.

And how very dangerous…especially if so many people, indeed MILLIONS OF THEM, are holding to the vision that the world will end in 2012.

There is an emerging awareness in both the scientific and new age literature that groups of people can influence events simply through collective ‘willfulness.’ The phenomenon is referred to as ‘collective manifestation.’ Simply put, if enough people believe in a thing, whatever that thing is, they will influence the probability that that thing will likely occur.

For example, if the bible says that the Temple Mount has to fall before Christ will return, and millions believe that he will return in the age of 2012; well, then somebody has to go out there and destroy that darn Temple. Collective beliefs, especially if they are unreasonable and fanatic, foment action.

In other words, if enough people believe that 2012 = catastrophe, they can make it so.

That’s disturbing…

Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

So what do we do?

Let me answer this question by ending with where I began…the Wizard of Oz. Even if Dorothy’s story was just a dream, she still should have been in the storm shelter before the tornado hit.

It’s always best to remain prepared.

Kevin Baum

Kevin Baum is co-founder of SurvivalOutpost.com, an Austin-based on-line business specializing in Emergency Preparedness Supplies and Survival Equipment for individuals, families and businesses. The SurvivalOutpost philosophy is to balance reason with readiness, and to encourage knowledge, independence and self-sufficiency as tools to survive in our uncertain world.

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