Is the world really going to end? Did the Maya really believe the world would end?Category: Articles, Maya
There is nothing in the Maya or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy to suggest that they prophesied a sudden or major change of any sort in 2012. The notion of a “Great Cycle” coming to an end is completely a modern invention. Maya inscriptions that predict the future consistently show that they expected life to go on pretty much the same forever. At Palenque, for instance, they predicted that people in the year 4772 AD would be celebrating the anniversary of the coronation of their great king Pakal.
Of course, astronomers expect the Sun will eventually blow up into a red giant, then collapse and eventually burn out, but not for several billion years. Although the Maya did cast some predictions into the far distant future, we have not yet discovered any that reach that far. As to whether our world will end in 2012, the answer is, well, yes and no. Americans’ sense of invulnerability ended on 9-11-2001. Everything is getting darker and more desperate. Wall Street is crashing. The prospect of peace in the Middle East dims year by year. Some Russian nuclear weapons are unaccounted for. Oil consumption has outstripped our oil production capability. Don’t even start with global warming or overpopulation. By any measure, the world after 2012 will certainly look much different than it does today. Statistically, some significant change for the worse is bound to happen in 2012 –or in 2011, or 2013, or 2020, or whatever year you choose.
Even if we were to find evidence of actual Maya prophecies about 2012, that doesn’t make them true. Apparently all of Christendom expected Jesus to return in the year 1000, for example. And maybe the most important question to ask was voiced to me by Bill Saturno, discoverer of the San Bartolo murals. If the Maya were such skilled prophets, how could they have missed the Conquest? “Didn’t see that one coming, did they?” The single most devastating disaster to befall the peoples of the Americas of all time, and not a word about it in the entire corpus of Mayan prophetic literature.
Author: Mark Van Stone