The lure of knowing the future
By MV Kamath
The Mystery of 2012; Predictions, Prophecies, Possibilities; Indus Source Books; Pp 282 (PB), Rs 299.00
WILL the world come to an end on December 31, 2012? Will there be a pralaya?. What exactly will happen? Will the turbulent sea engulf the entire land mass drowning thousands and thousands of villages, towns and cities? Will there be a world-wide earthquake to shake the globe to its very foundations, leaving nobody alive? Questions, questions. The matter roused public interest when someone came across a Mayan prediction that said that the "Great Cycle" which began in August 3114 BCE will end in the year 2012 CE, when the sun will move into direct alignment with the equator of the milky Way galaxy. Now we are told by scientists and futurology-several of whose convictions are published in this book-that the galaxy alignment will surely occur and that the Mayan prediction is accurate. What is interesting is that, an electronic magazine based in India had published an article in its March 2005 edition describing the results of the Hyderabad Computer Model for a polar shift to coincide with the Calendar’s end-time. The article reportedly carried a frightening headline that said: Computer Models Predict Magnetic Pole Reversal in Earth and Sun; Can Bring End to Human Civilization. In 2012. The article, we are told, also described a worse-case scenario of what a world without a magnetic field could mean. We learn that magnetic reversals have happened as many as 171 times in the last 76 million years with at least 14 of those reversals occuring in the last 4.5 million years alone. In July 2004, The New York Times took the possibility of Earth’s magnetic reversal seriously enough to dedicate an entire portion of its Science Section, to describe just what a magnetic reversal is and the possible implication of one taking place. Something may happen. According this book, in the remote northern lattitudes of Siberia, woolly mammoths, believed to have been caught in a polar reversal during the last Ice Age, have been found frozen in mid-stride, with their last meal still in their mouths-proof that the abrupt climate change accompanying such a shift can happen really fast! So, the argument goes, if Earth’s, magnetic fields are changing in the 2012 time frame, then we, too, are going to be affected. But how? In 2005, Scientific American, a highly respected journal, published a special edition titled Crossroads For Planet Earth which identified a number of scenarios that, left unchecked, hold the potential to end life on earth as we know today. One contributor to this book asks: "Are we heading towards a time of unprecedented catastrophe, or 1,000 years of peace, or both? Gregg Braden has no answer. Ervin Laszlo, a Hungarian scientist in his contribution asserts that "we are nearing a ‘chaos point’ in which we can either choose a more sustainable world or see our civilization and ecological systems break down. For Lazlo, one thing is certain-the 2012 Chaos Point will be the end of the world as we know it. In his major study, The Chaos Point, an excerpt from which is published in this book, Laszlo describes the challenge we face, from global epidemics and environmental disasters to world -wide collapse in business and international political alliances. And he asks: "What changes must we make on a personal, national and international scale to avoid total chaos in 2012? " As Laszlo sees it, the year 2012 is indeed likely to be a gateway to a different world, but whether to a better world or a disastrous one, is yet to be decided. He sees two possibilities. One, the Breakdown Path: Devolution to disaster, leading to rigidity and lack of foresight, because established institutions can no longer contain it. Two, Breakthrough Path: Evolution to a New Civilization in which a new way of thinking with more adapted values and more evolved consciousness mobilises people’s will and catalyses a fresh surge of creativity. In contrast, another contributor, Johan L.Peterson, described as "One of the most informed futurists in the world" makes some interesting observations. He says: " Ideas will transit the world like rumours in a small town.... We will see our future tied to others-many thousands of miles away from us-in ways that would have made no sense just five years ago. We will rapidly become Planetary Citizens". Or take what Corrin McLaughlin, a distinguished author, says: According to her, "non-adversarial approach which seeks high common ground on polarised issues could become even more widespread and influential by 2012". Her estimated is that "by 2012, this new world, born out of the creative minds and compassionate hearts of self-empowered visionaries everywhere, will be even more visible and influential, affecting every aspect of life". This is now mid 2010. Are we witnessing anything of that sort? All that we witness is terrorism, expressions of hatred and a total sense of irresponsibility. What are these distinguished men and women talking about? Another contributor, James O’Dea says that the meaning of 2012 is this: It is Humanity’s pay date, the due date when our debt will be maxed and no further credit from depleted and overtaxed Nature will be extended to us. Is that all? Further he says: "If 2012 represents the cresting of the breakdown, the death knell of empire, the graphic expose of irrational fundamentalism... it also represents a decisive turning point when we have no other option than to seek healing and to collaborate our way out of chaos". Whatever the final answer is, we have still some twenty months to take decisions. According to Vedic calculations a pralaya is a couple of billion years away. But for all that, it is nice to know that in some way or another, the world will change in 2012. What a relief it would be if the world changes for the better and the world is spared of fundamentalism and the crimes committed in its name. Welcome, 2012.
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