Like it's the end of the world

It will probably come as no surprise to learn that I don't believe the world will end tomorrow. I'm pretty certain that the end of the Mayan calendar (whenever exactly that is) doesn't augur the end. Nor do I think that tomorrow will see the final ingression of novelty, as hoped for by Terence McKenna in his Timewave theory. But of course, should the aliens arrive, or should we witness the birth of the Gaian Mind, or should mind free itself from the bonds of matter, or should we learn the secrets of intergalactic travel (to name but a few of McKenna's speculations), then I shall be the first to shout out 'I was wrong!' from whatever hell has been reserved for the unelect.

If it's Armageddon then I'll be blissfully none the wiser.

Amid all the hype surrounding 2012 the voices of contemporary Maya have tended to be ignored which is why I strongly recommend watching this Undercurrents-style film, directed by an old friend of mine from Newbury days, Melissa Gunasena. It makes depressing viewing I'm afraid. Same old shit. Capitalist West oppresses indigenous poor, even to the extent of misappropriating their beliefs and worldviews.

You can watch a short interview with Mel here:

What worries me is that 2012 has become a distraction from the main event: climate change. You only have to look out the window to see that the weather is wrong. The errant Jet Stream's wanderings have meant that here in Blighty it's barely stopped raining all year. There's more flooding predicted for the weekend. The signs are everywhere and yet still we seem intent on burning all the oil (in fact the logic of capitalism is that the less oil there is, the more worth our while it is to extract it).

I can't help thinking of that moment in Jeff Wayne's glorious Musical Version of the War of the Worlds, when everyone carries on as normal even though there's a bloody great martian rocket sitting on the common. What will it take?

We're gonna need some monumental societal shift to sort this out and while I'm pretty pessimistic about the future, I'm optimistic that humanity will find a way through. Probably. Just. While I'm unpersuaded by the Timewave, I happen to agree with McKenna and all the other voices that shamanism and power plants have a role to play in all of this, if only to stimulate creative solutions to intractable problems, though hopefully to open our eyes to a new way of living and connecting with the planet and the other-than-humans with whom we share it.

But at the very least, if some of the energy that's been wasted fretting over the Mayan calendar was directed at climate change, that would be a welcome start.


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