In these fledgling days of the newly spawned year, I can’t help but be philosophical (in my typically snarky way), and wonder what 2012 will bring. My god… 2012. New age refugees have been talking about the significance of this particular year, with its mysterious Mayan back story, since the 1980s. Now that we’re actually here, I have to admit, it’s a weird feeling. Will the end of the Mayan calendar cycle bring unspeakable catastrophe, as some have predicted, will we enter into an Aquarian Age with complete connection and world peace (yeah, right), or will it all be ‘business as usual’?
Let’s play devil’s advocate just for a moment. What if the world really does end on December 21, 2012? Would this change our behavior, if we know with all certainty that we only had another year (a little less than that, in fact) to make our final stand on this planet, in this lifetime?
Do I think December 21 is the last day of our existence? No. Mind you, this is not out of any deep understanding of the universe, nor awakening satori or devout faith. I say this based on experience. The year 1984 had ominous overtones due to that disturbing little book by Mr. Orwell, which instilled enough doom and gloom to give one the feeling of a finite existence. Yet 1984 came and went without incident. Then there was Y2K, when some computers had funny dates on them due to what I’ll say was the ultimate lack of faith in the future (and poor planning), but with IT people putting in a few extra hours, we managed to avoid catastrophe. Entering into the 21st century wasn’t such a big deal either, as it so happened. And Harold Camping’s May 21st rapture and subsequent end of the world last year proved to be a complete bust.
In 1981, I had my own personal experience with a harbinger of doom. My karate teacher in St. Petersburg, Florida was so absolutely convinced that the end of the world was coming, he gathered all his students together one evening to warn us. When the dreaded date came and went, he shrunk into embarrassed obscurity. It was soon after that I realized I had quite enough of nutty Florida.
But what if everything does end on December 21? Are we going out on a high note? Ill-advised overseas wars continue, the economic divide on this planet expands, natural disasters mimic bad made-for-tv movies, along with an uptick of uprisings, uncertainties, and a disturbing glut of reality shows, vacuous pop stars, and creepy politicians. Awesome.
It was at this point that I was going to espouse some new form of positive thinking, or at least the iChing‘s ever-popular “inner-independence” and detachment, but who am I kidding? I’ve always been cynical, but at least I’ve been honest. Far worse to pretend to be a cheerful optimist. No, what makes far more sense to me is this little nugget that I was recently reminded of, from long ago when I read the mind-expanding books of Carlos Castaneda. He was told by his teacher, Don Juan, to “live life as a warrior, as if every day was your last.” [thanks to Boston ensemble Club d’Elf for sending this out in their latest email blast, and for passing along what the Mayans themselves are saying.]
That’s what I have to offer at the start of this ominous but exciting new year. Welcome to 2012. If you’re looking for predictions or advice, sorry, I can’t help you. Everything that I knew with unwavering certainty when I was 15 I’m not at all sure of now. What I will say is I’m about to take a first step: I’m going to get out of the fricking house and do stuff I haven’t done before. Hedging my bets, if it all does end on December 21st (or something equally bizarre happens), I want to at least be able to say I had one ridiculously crazy but damn fine year. But that’s just me.share this: