What, you think it's not happening? You think it's all bogus silly New Age bubblegum fluff with a side of hippie wishful thinking?
Think again, skeptic. The famed 2012 apocalypse of eerie Mayan lore is nigh, and you and eye-rolling cynicism, your new iPad mini and your snooty, hifalutin' position of living in one of the most privileged countries, bodies, nationalities, income levels, hair styles and jaded first-world comfort zones on the planet, you are all in for a hell of a ride.
I am not here to convince you. I am not here to point up the endless parade of forces, events and energies all conspiring to upend everything you think you know, kick the ass of your karma and make you pay a little bit of attention for a change.
I am merely here to remind you: "apocalypse" can mean many things, most of them not at all what you think.
Anyone with any serious training in such matters agrees: that beloved, grisly zombie apocalypse thing? The traditional doomsday cataclysm scenario with the epic earthquakes, exploding stars and fiery, unhinged doom that inhales oceans, swallows nations and spits out the bloody bones of ditzy virgins and false gods? Not what the 2012 prophecy is really all about. Sorry.
Nor is it about some sort of childish Christian Rapture hootenanny, where hordes of baffled true believers in bad jeans and worse marriages get whisked off to the fluffy, sex-free clouds in giant minivans that smell like stale Doritos and closeted homosexuality. I know! You wish.
But you know what? It's not about some sort of New Age grand awakening, either. This too is merely a swell and tantalizing myth, so deeply beloved by so many here on the left coast, those with a mystical twinkle in the eye, a sloppy OM tattoo on their sacrum and really awful websites stuck somewhere in 1997.
Bad news, Marin county: We are not on the cusp of some sort of collective consciousness shift, whereby those who are already vibrating at some higher-pitched thrum are somehow "ready" to transcend this ugly plane and plop over into another happier, shinier dimension with better coffee and longer orgasms, and then sigh a patronizing sigh back at the rest of us because they were "enlightened" enough to have the right kind of crystals and the right meditation apps on their iPhone.
Do not misunderstand. I love (and even believe in, to a degree) the whole "we're living in a special age" kind of thinking, all the divine, wide-eyed chatter about technological Singularities and grand, collective Ascensions, the great Kali Yuga, not to mention the deeper note that the Mayan calendar discussion was never about predicting doom per se, but merely measures the end (and beginning) of some vast cycles of time, one of them 26,000 years long, another 225 million, and a few more in between, all of them indicating a kind of freshly fertile karmic ground, a ripe opportunity for seriously transformative thinking unlike anything we've allowed in before.
But you gotta put it in perspective: The world is always changing, upheaving, undergoing some form of apocalypse and cataclysm. It's always the end of the world as we know it, because we don't actually know a single goddamn thing. Just ask the Buddha. Or Kali.
So, you know, forget cataclysm. Think more about pressing a big re-set button as we pass through accelerated time compressions, energy cycles and great contractions/expansions of consciousness. Nice, right? Feels good to think so. Is sweet to imagine. Cherry pick some signs and journey with enough peyote or ayahuasca, and you just might get there. Almost.
But here's what I've gleaned: Apocalypse can also be far more subtle than that, more interesting, more messy, perhaps even more personally charged. And as with any sort of collective vibrational hump day, it is what you make of it.
Which is another way of saying, perhaps apocalypse means the time is more ripe than ever to entertain a certain kind of raw, yelping willingness to become less convinced you think you know what it's all about, to harness the opportunity afforded by this accelerated culture to really get it on with our inherent shared humanity. What, you got something better? More selfishness and isolationism and guns? Tried that. Failed.
But don't just take it from me. Did you witness that last election? Did you note the fantastic paradigm shift that stupefied the pundits and stunned the history books? How we went from stagnant, white male-controlled stasis to a multicultural, multi-racial, women-empowered, powerhouse mushball electorate indicating, well, who the hell knows what?
Verily, it's about time. The old paradigms crumble. The old truths fall away. The church itself has less power than in the past 2000 years as fewer and fewer in the world with real educations and awakened souls are gullible enough to fall for that melodramatic, patriarchal "sinner" BS anymore.
How about Hurricane Sandy, where we as a nation slammed headlong into the balled-up fist of global warming, the undeniable fact that the earth is changing more quickly, more exponentially, than any time since the dinosaurs, that brutal, unpredictable weather is now the norm, that resources are dwindling, populations are more demanding and there's only so much we can do about it anymore except adapt, and quickly?
On it goes. Would you like to attempt to measure the effects of modern technology and the Internet itself on everything from socioeconomics to medicine, emotional connections to political upheaval? Can you even fathom?
Nothing in the history of the modern world, save for perhaps the discovery that the world is round, the earth is not the center of the galaxy and you can drink red wine with any goddamn foodstuff you like has changed the basic functioning of society so rapidly, with so many unforeseeable and as-yet-unknowable side effects.
This much we know: Technology is happening so fast even technology can't keep up. Accelerated consciousness? You're soaking in it.
I know what you're thinking...
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Mark Morford is the author of The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism, a mega-collection of his finest columns for the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate. He's also a well-known E-RYT yoga instructor in San Francisco. Join him on Facebook, or email him. Not to mention...