I’m making a list of everything I have to do before the end of the world. I am not sure of the exact date but I guess it is December 31st. I am expecting to wake up January 1st and not be there which is why I have to get it all done before I leave. I am leaving on December 27th for New Zealand but that doesn’t count as an end-of-the-world experience………… quoi que ……………
I am not sure why the ancient Mayans, whose calendar didn’t go any further forward in time than 2012, should have such an influence on Europeans whose gloomy future looks like going on well beyond 2013. I do know a lot of people got married at 12h12 on the 12/12/12 which would lead me to believe that there is something in the number 12 but I don’t get the connection to the end of the world syndrome.
I have certainly had some hilarious conversations over the past few days. When I have told people that time in New Zealand is 12 hours ahead (there’s that 12 again) of time in France, they have asked me to call “home” to find out what it’s like after the end of the world – is there anything that could be done differently “here” in the remaining 12 hours. I assured my avid listeners that I could do that provided everyone was sitting up waiting for the end of the world otherwise they would most likely be in bed and quite frankly too tired to be worried about their imminent demise. What happens if no one answers? The lines are most likely to be jammed by millions of other nutcases doing the same thing!
I had already started writing this when I got the news – to be precise on the 12/12/12 – that the end of the world was planned for the 21st and not the 31st as I had so naively thought. An advance of 10 days! Before Christmas! No chance of cashing in my ticket to NZ! Not that I have an egocentric interest in the welfare of the planet!
So it is all happening on the day that the sun stands still – the winter solstice – the day of least light – the day that inaugurates the ascendant phase of the annual cycle – the winter gateway from which the ‘light’ phase of the cycle emerges*
I am not quite sure what to do with this knowledge other than let it fire my imagination. I remember the nutty predictions that preoccupied the collective consciousness just before the turn of the century, which leads me to think this is a phenomenon that strikes humanity once every 12 years – except I don’t remember these kinds of conversations when I was a kid or even in the first 20 years of life in France. It must have something to do with the way we are all interconnected electronically today. It’s hard to avoid the viral flow of information that infects as well as informs us, individually and collectively, and it takes a lot of energy to sort out the fiction from the fact. The fact is that we are not programmed, as a species, to conceive of the end of the world but we are programmed for cycles of fear, flight, despair, hope, joy and happiness. It was surely an end-of-world experience for the parents of the primary school kids shot to death in class by a 20 year old lad in a safe little town north of New York yesterday. It gives me an end-of-world feeling to hear a preacher responding on nationwide television to the tragedy with a demand that God be brought back into schools; the stated assumption being that teaching God and praying to Him will protect the children from lunatic killers -no mention of any change in gun legislation however…………….
Hope may lie in the numbers. Both the numbers 12 and 21 about which all the fuss has been made are composites of 1 and 2. The number 1 symbolizes unity and 2, duality: the whole from which all manifestation emerged – from oneness to differentiation – a common theme in all our psyches. In the number 21 the order is reversed – symbolically – from differentiation to oneness: ‘oneness takes shape in duality’**. Therein lies our hope at this so called end-of-the-world. It is our call to kindle that one spark of light that burns within us all and to do it so that we may recognize that it is the same light that ignites every living creature. The flame needs careful tending to if we are to find our collective way in the dark and, maybe, if we do nothing more than light a whole lot of candles on the 21st, it will be enough to guide us into a new era……………
So, on a long winter night, either pack your bag in anticipation of a fast departure or meditate on the coming light. What’ll it be?
*Quoted from the Penguin Dictionary of Symbols by Jean Chevallier and Alain Gheerbrant and translated into English by John Buchanan-Brown.