Do a Google search right now and you'll find an avalanche of information, opinion and warnings about the 2012 "phenomena." Countless books, movies, websites, blogs and TV shows are feeding our desire to make sense of longstanding ancient prophecies predicting huge shifts, ranging from Earth's magnetic poles switching to experiencing massive earthquakes on a global scale. The ancient Mayan stone calendar ends on Dec. 21, 2012. Some claim that Dec. 12, therefore, marks the end of humanity's time on our planet or, at the least, a global catastrophe that will plunge us into a new dark age.
And, while the torrent of predictions makes for good theater, what is really going on? The internal changes within each of us are at the core of shifts taking place that will affect all humanity.
Consider the growing tidal wave from the democratization of access to and creation of news, information, opinion and education via the internet. Longstanding authoritarian governments continue to fall around the world as people become aware of better ways of being and living.
While the path has sometimes been rocky, we are clearly in the midst of an unstoppable shift in consciousness that is almost palpable. Many of us are experiencing a feeling of time speeding up, a questioning of who we are and what life is about, and a search for new ways of living in freedom and peace, both personally and collectively.
Perhaps President Eisenhower, one of our most honored warriors, was more prescient than we realized over a half century ago when he said, "All humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice ... The day will come when the people will make so insistent their demand that there be peace in the world that the governments will get out of the way and let them have peace."
And Hillary Clinton, while first lady, was spot-on when she cautioned, "We lack a sense that our lives are part of some greater effort, that we are connected to one another ... We need a new definition of civil society ... that makes us feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves."
Some talk of the shift as one from "left-brain" to "right-brain" thinking. The left brain is egoistic, based in logic and tightly linked to the concept of time. The right brain is egoless, creative, highly intuitive/connected and time-transcendent.
Is there evidence for this left-to-right brain shift?
Creativity is certainly growing rapidly -- just look at the huge numbers of books and the broad range of new art, video, photography, music, theater and dance appearing daily.
Use of increasingly inexpensive ways to create and communicate is snowballing. Governments are no longer the gatekeepers for who can talk with whom. New micro-communities spring up every day on the Internet and via cellphones. People connect in myriad new ways to share their opinions, ideas, knowledge and experiences.
Some may question the "quality" of what is being produced. No one can deny that every day, more and more people are discovering new ways to express themselves and share their ideas, beliefs and creations widely.
Religion has been the excuse for many of history's -- and today's -- bloodiest conflicts. Will these conflicts disappear overnight? Not likely. There is evidence, though, that the future is much brighter.
Adherence to one religion is giving way to spirituality, replacing institutional dogma with each individual finding his or her own path to divine consciousness. USA Today cited a survey of 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds regarding their beliefs, completed in Aug. 2010. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed (72 percent) said they are "really more spiritual than religious in their beliefs." And when each person is free to believe as he or she wishes, one huge reason for conflict in the world is eliminated.
Time to say goodbye?
Beyond the 2012 doom and gloom in the media, our real destination is the bright promise of an entirely different world, based in consciousness rather than power. As we remember more and more how to experience our spirit-mind-body wholeness, we have the potential to transcend our old ways of being and come to live together in joy, peace and harmony.
So what can we expect on Dec. 21, 2012? As with any significant change, there will probably be many fits and starts along the way. Each will present opportunities for growth -- to use our past experiences to make positive choices this time around.
I envision us discovering new ways to improve our lives -- and the lives of those whom we care about -- by joyfully embracing both our human and spiritual potential.
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