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Roy Bourque

Aerospace Education Officer for Cadets, Civil Air Patrol

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What is the Mayan calendar really telling us?

There is much hype about the end of the Mayan calendar and prophesies of doom. They are right about the first, but not about the second. Go to the following link for information on this topic;

http://scienceandreligionconverging.com/the-mayan-calendar_272.html

The Mayan calendar is divided into nine levels, all superimposed on each other. Each level is divided into thirteen segments (7 days and 6 nights) representing change in evolution. Each level is 20 times longer than the one that follows. If you chart rate of change over time on a graph based on the Mayan calendar, it follows an exponential curve, and on the last day, the curve approaches infinity. you can see that rate of change very apparent in the last hundred years, and it's getting faster and faster every week that goes by.

The Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E. Press) published a book "The REVELATION a Commentary Based on a Study of Twenty-Four Psychic Discourses by EDGAR CAYCE". In the book, the Clairvoyant Edgar Cayce regards the revelation and war in heaven as a spiritual battle of the mind between the dark forces of the human psyche (all manner of disturbances) and the spiritual forces that connect us to the Cosmos. Satan is regarded as the master of deception. And we see every manner of falsehood being challenged and cast down in our time. From a metaphysical perspective, the war in heaven is occurring as we speak.

What do you think it all means and where might it lead?

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Closing Statement from Roy Bourque

Many would rather not think about the end of the Mayan calendar based on what the media has put out. Harold Jezek says it's just a money making machine. He has a good point. Arthur Mitsias says it will be an unfortunate time, all in the name of the almighty dollar. Same point, and one that we need to be on our guard for.

Bridget Trenton says the end of the world could mean the end of one age and the beginning of another. She presented and end time prediction that corresponded with our passing into the age of Aquarius.

Tim Blackburn claims an observed pattern related to the macrocosm will end and another is just around the corner. Based on my own feelings, I think he hit the nail on the head. Evolution is accelerating faster and faster, and based on the book "The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness" by Carl Johan Calleman, it is approaching infinity when the calendar ends.

Eastern philosophy claims that spirit has been descending into matter and is becoming dense matter and very materialistic. And that at some point, the process will reverse itself and matter will begin to ascend back into spirit. There are many prophesies regarding the world going in reverse or flipping upside down. I believe that these claims are all related, and that it has nothing to do with impending doom.

There is a book called "Pole Shift" by John White. It warns of an earth magnetic field reversal. The movie 2012 is based on the scenario outlined in this book. Whether it is the basis of the movie, I don't know. What I do know is that the author John White revisits his theory and pretty much nullifies his claim. In addition, based on field studies on earth,s magnetic field, our present field is much too strong to support a field reversal, and scientists claim it takes hundreds if not thousands of years to accomplish, and there is no evidence that it collapses completely.

I think we have much to look forward to, and we shouldn't let media hype cloud our judgment.

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    Mar 14 2012: It says that it's a waste of time to create a calendar that goes centuries ahead if your only way of solving your civilization's problems is religious rituals.
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      Mar 14 2012: I do not advocate religious rituals, and neither did the ones who wrote these ancient documents. They saw something we don't. I'm trying to understand what they saw. How we solve our problems is our business. But what they knew might help us determine what else we should be looking at. If the war in heaven is all in our minds, then it changes the whole argument.

      There are too many people fearful for what is going to happen when the Mayan calendar runs out. I hope to dispel that fear and give them a hopeful outlook. I want to know if other people see what I see.
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        Mar 15 2012: Who cares what they saw. The best lesson in all this is that a civilization run by reason lasts longer than one run by mysticism.
        Sadly, we have nothing to learn from these ancient documents, or any primitive cosmology. At best they predict some obvious phenomena of the cyclical type, such as seasons and eclypse, but do it with no understanding whatsoever of what a season and an eclypse is.
        It's about time we let go of the idea that civilizations of the past had marvelous knowledge, or wisdom that we lack.
        • Mar 15 2012: Oh I think that would be a mistake. These civilizations may not seem to be as advanced as ours, but they were often pockets of amazing technological and philosophical advances for their times. Yet, they all eventually ended. Arrogance and hubris often played a role. We DO lose knowledge when there are major shifts like these.

          How many generations does it take humans to reacquire knowledge lost in socially based upheavals?
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        Mar 15 2012: Roy, time doesn't stand still. Humans are evolving (whether in the right or wrong direction can be debated), our knowledge evolves, science evolves. Why do so many people still look for answers in ancient literature/wisdom ? Whether it is the bible or Mayan literature, it was written for people of their time. Do you really think people 500 years or 2000 years back cared about our generation ? Back then, life was difficult enough to deal with on a daily basis, and the least they probably cared was people living hundreds or even thousands of years after them.
        Even today, how many people do you know that try to articulate messages for generations that will (hopefully) roam the planet in a couple thousand years ?
        Most people aren't even able to think and plan 1 generation ahead.
        So, trying to interpret ancient literature as something applicable to our time is, in my opinion, a futile undertaking.
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      Mar 15 2012: Hi Gerald,

      I do not dismiss reason, but is it enough? Today we are seeing more potent drugs reaching younger and younger children. We see drug cartels flourishing and governments at a loss as to how to deal with it. We see human trafficking and pornography growing like the plague. We see internet fraud and identity theft ruining what could have been good lives. Do we have nothing to learn from the past?

      Were the ancient ones really that dumb? The great pyramid at Giza is made of nearly two million stones. The Egyptologists claim it took 20 years to build. Try doing the math; there are only 10.5 million minutes in twenty years. That means you have to put the stones in place at an average of 274 per day (that's one every five minutes) at a precision that exceeds modern building standards. It's a logistical impossibility unless they knew something we don't. And yet, there it stands. No one is going to convince me that we don't have something to learn from them.

      If you compare the Mayan calendar with the geological and historical records, there is too much correlation to ignore the implications. I am intrigued and perplexed, and so are many others, which is why it is getting so much media attention. What I don't want to happen is to have people panic or exploited as the time approaches. And by what I see on the television, the possibility of that happening exists.
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        Mar 16 2012: I don't live in this world you're describing. I see healthy people everywhere I look, people living to be a hundred. I see free men and women enjoying themselves, getting married to the person they love. I see workers with a paycheck that pays for children education, violin lessons, entertainment, travel and the best food this planet has ever seen.
        I'm just amazed by the amount of wealth and happiness. Our homeless would be gods for any Mayan or ancient Egyptian.

        Of course, I don't watch TV, so what do I know about reality?
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        Mar 16 2012: Hi ,
        I think it's not history we really need for cure of this sick world-
        although we need history too.
        But the real cure is philosophy.
        We should let philosphers and psychologists come in the society and government more than before -
        and we need investigate about past medicines and architucture etc.
        But it doesn't mean everything in the past were better than now.
        I think what we really suffer from is psychologically and philosophically.
        But why you insist on mayans and their calendar ?
        I do not think it is more important than other subjects.
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          Mar 16 2012: Hi,
          It has often been said that history repeats itself if you don't learn from the past. I believe that we are in the greatest challenge and opportunity of our time. I agree with all that you said, and am myself very hopeful for the future.

          According to the Mayan calendar, we are coming to a milestone in the evolutionary process. It's not just that the Mayan calendar runs out, it is the path it has taken to reach that point; nine levels of consciousness (cellular, mammal, family, tribal, regional, national, planetary, galactic, and universal). Each level is 20 times shorter than the one that precedes it, and are all superimposed on the level that precedes them. And all nine levels jointly come to an end at the end of this year. It coincides with the planets all lining up, with astrology moving into the age of Aquarius, with the solar system passing through the galactic plane, with what Stephen Hawking refers to as coming to the theory of everything, with the planet reaching what may be the limits of the ecological system, and with fossil fuels possibly reaching their peak production. It is for that reason that it has gotten a lot of people's attention.

          Currently there are media programs connecting the end of the Mayan calendar with end time prophesies of doom and gloom. It is motivating many to prepare for survival in the worst of conditions I don't believe that end time prophesies are what they appear to be. I believe the end of the Mayan calendar is marking a spiritual awakening, or a new wave of development, or both. I want to know if anyone else has insights along these lines.
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        Mar 19 2012: Roy, this whole issue of 12/21/2012 as a crucial date to human kind according to the Mayan calender is just a huge money making machine.
        Actually, this Mayan doomsday story (the transition to the next b'ak'tun) is based on the long Mayan calender which the Mayans themselves replaced long ago with the short calender. Hence, this whole story is based on a concept that was already outdated back in the Mayan post classicism)
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          Mar 19 2012: Harald,
          You are right about the money making part of it.

          It is the media and not the Mayans that predicted doomsday.

          The calendar runs out for a reason. The Mayans saw it as a transition, not a doomsday. I see the same thing. The long count is not a replacement for the long Mayan calendar, but makes up only the last four cycles of the Mayan calendar. It is still part of the long Mayan calendar but the long count parallels the Judeo-Christian tradition. The acceleration as predicted by the calendar is clearly visible in the geological and historical record, which is why it is getting such media attention. I see something entirely different than what the media is broadcasting. I wanted to know if anyone else sees what I see. So far, none do except one, but didn't go into detail.
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        Mar 19 2012: Roy, it seems you missed my point. As I said, the long count of the Mayan calender is already obsolete for many centuries (even before the arrival of the Spanish). However, the date 12/21/2012 is only of any significance in the long count where it is the date 13.0.0.0.0. Using the short count, that was used later 12/21/2012 is no special date at all.
        Even using the long count, this particular date didn't mean anything beside that one cycle ended and another one is about to begin. As a matter of fact the Mayan calendar is open ended in both directions.
        It's not different from us celebrating the end of a year, a decade, a century or a millennium.
        It's totally meaningless for all practical purpose. There is nothing mystical to it, nor are there any hidden messages or wisdom.
        But probably I'm not going to convince you here, so, let's just wait until 12/21/2012 comes and go and then you'll agree with me.
        Buy the way, if you are interested in learning more about the Mayan calendar from a scientific point of view I suggest you look up "Bruce Love" on the internet, who is an expert on the topic.
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    Mar 25 2012: Well, surprise....the Mayan Calendar is just an extraordinay document from our ancient wisdom,

    All that hoax about the prophecy is just a nice theme for the coffee time but no more,

    Maybe for all the foreigners as you are (I'm mexican) could sound exotic and intriguing. Well its normal to see this things with the Hollywood glasses, but theres nothing apocaliptic in the Mayan calendar....be calm and quite and if you want to see the reality about it, goes to the schollars documents in some library, but not in internet and all that bunch of lies.
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      Mar 22 2012: Bridget,

      I like your input. It more in tune with what I sense than what the media is putting out. This is what people need to be hearing.
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    Mar 15 2012: that a observed patteren related to the macrocosom is coming to an end and a new one is "around the cornor".
    -"around the cornor" i mean 90-degree/i.e "where time turns i n t o space-
    *see I-ching
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    Mar 27 2012: i think that mayan calender was how mayan people kept track of time..
    its just like gregorian or other calenders.
    i dont remember exactly but i heard that mayan calender stops , that it isnt calculated anylong after specific date .....
    so actually , it can have a meaning or it might completely be random.
    no idea there.....
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    Mar 27 2012: The Mayan calendar means:
    The calendar that the Mayan's used.
    It tells us how the Mayan culture tracked time, how they thought about the flow of time, and how it was interwoven in their rituals.

    And it has only meaning in a historical/cultural context, in the same way all calenders from all cultures in the past and present...

    It has no meaning for 21st century society. It does not produce any hypothesis worth testing.

    Anyone who wants to do a prediction based on that calender: let them propose a bet, and I will probably accept it... I'm quite confident it has no predictive value above chance level.
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      Mar 27 2012: Hello Christophe,

      I propose the following bet; after this year, we will see a major shift in how people think. I am seeing that shift now on TED conversations. People are challenging all misconceptions that have preceded us. People are challenging all forms of corruption and greed. People are challenging political, scientific, and religious manipulation. I think we are going to have a new vision with spiritually guided people showing the way to venture beyond the limits of planet earth. We are made of star stuff. But up until now, we have seen life develop and evolve here on planet earth. Until now, life has been earth centered. Soon we will no longer see life as earth centered. The end of the Mayan calendar is the beginning of our journey back to the stars.
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        Mar 27 2012: Aside from the fact that your bet has nothing to do with the Mayans... (but you are free to think it does)

        Ok, let's proceed with the practicalities:

        How do you propose we measure this change? Maybe a questionnaire around people's attitude around misconceptions, greed/corruption, spirituality and leadership.
        We use lickert scales and have a random sample of 1000 people. Then we give the same questionnaire next year (to the same and/or different people), and we do a simple T-test on the total score. When we see a significant increase in the aspects you predict to go up, then you win the wager. If not, I win the bet.

        As for payment: I suppose we make a contract that the loser of the bet pays the whole test, sends a bottle of campaign to the winner and confirms that he will admit that his beliefs were wrong.

        Or do you propose a different method?
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          Mar 27 2012: I guess I jumped the gun on this one. I respectfully request that we drop the idea of a bet. If we are going to spend money, we need to spend it on something that benefits others, not just to prove a point.
          You raised an interesting question; how would we know if something changed? I sense something will, but I can't put my finger on it yet, which is why I started this conversation. I am annoyed at what the media is putting out; a crossover to impending doom. I see it as something very positive and I wanted others to see it that way as well.
          I suspect a spiritual awakening or intervention by a higher intelligence, but I don't know exactly what that means or how you would measure it. If it happens, maybe we could all learn to live together in peace. There is too much pain in the world caused by people who make irresponsible choices. I see this as changing, and I hope I am right.
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        Mar 27 2012: Roy we are plenty of time to see who wins. The Mayan calender is cyclical...the missinterpretations dont. Theres a lot of confusions in this "Mayan thing"
        First ...in ancient Mexico we have more than 90 different cultures each with their own calendaric sistems, their own lenguage and their own vision to aproach to universe, The mayans has a different calender because in their land theres not rain and no mountains. So the astronomical observations are easier than in other places. Second the Mayan and the Aztecs are completly different. The aztec calender is around the concept of the fourth ages in humankind. The Mayan dont. In almost all "mayan predictions "videos I see a substancial mistake...the use of th Sun calender from aztecs, as if were a mayan piece. Theres a lot of mistakes...is better to be well informed.
  • Mar 24 2012: Their will be consequences the seed has been planted in the minds of many as we get closer to this event some people will start to act in strange and irresponsible ways its human nature to fear the darkness even with a unused candle near your grasp it will be an unfortunate time all in the name of the all mighty dollar
  • Mar 22 2012: I apologize if my remarks about the calender were flippant it is that through history there have been so many dire predictions made by so many Nostradamus the Bible at the the time of Jesus when he came forward to give man salvation there were many others who professed to be our savior Jesus prevailed either he truly is our salvation or he had better writers as for Edgar Cayce he like so many other prophets then and now had a tremendous ability to connect to the fabric of our core I do not pass a verdict on their endeavors I just wonder how many of their predictions rang true do we cherry pick the ones that fit what validates their ability to be prophets you know even a blind chicken will find a kernel of corn
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      Mar 22 2012: You are absolutely right that many end of days prophesies have come and gone and we are still here. That is why we must question such things. When I compare the Mayan calendar with the geological and historical record, I see comparisons that are intriguing. When I see what the media is telling the public, I see the very danger that you imply. There is nothing in the end of the Mayan calendar itself that says the buck stops here. It is signaling a milestone in evolution and possibly a transition to a whole new way of seeing things.

      Every end is the beginning of what follows. There was a time when the land was being deforested for smelting of metals. It was approaching a barren state and many feared that it would lead to hard times. But then coal was discovered and a whole new wave of possibilities opened up to us. Beforehand, no one knew that coal existed and could only see gloomy times ahead.

      Revelation is about the final triumph of good over evil. If you are among the evil, you may have something to worry about, but if you really care about the earth and its people, I believe we have much to look forward to. The fact is, I see much of it all playing out in our time. It is all built on symbolism, which makes it hard to see until you know how the symbols are associated to modern events.

      The Judeo-Christian tradition follows the National cycle of the Mayan calendar, which is why don't take it lightly. It explains why Genesis only goes back so far, while validating the evolutionary process at the same time. I believe that the end of the Mayan calendar will usher in something that we are not yet privy to, but will show us the way if we are ready to receive it. I don't want people to be alarmed, I want them to keep an open mind. I believe that something wonderful is about to happen, and people are running scared.
  • Mar 21 2012: when you think back over the centuries and read the writings of these people no matter what form they used to communicate we are reading the thoughts of the most brilliant minds of their time and yet they were limited by the scope with which they could define the events they were describing it is we who are looking back at the writings that they left for posterity and trying to make sense of it all we think with a modern mentality with all the knowledge we have accrued since then there brilliance was that they could describe any thing at all we are looking through the wrong end of the telescope it would serve us to find a form of communication for the future how many languages have been lost in the past eons how many are going to be created in the eons to come look how cultures died and took their language with them leaving bits and pieces to be deciphered by some future group if we learned any thing from the past it is to leave a testament to our triumphs and our foibles to the future to build on our triumphs and avoid our mistakes as far asthe Mayan prediction is concerned if it is true it will not matter if it is false it will not matter
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      Mar 21 2012: "As far as the Mayans prediction is concerned if it is true it will not matter if it is false it will not matter"

      The question I am asking is "if WHAT PREDICTION is true or false?"

      Some see the end of the Mayan calendar as a global catastrophe. I see it as a global awakening. I'm not sure what that means, but we may want to take our blinders off and open our minds as to what they were eluding to. the rate of change in evolution is approaching infinity and it is coming at the end of the universal cycle, which tells me that we will have gone as far as we can go in this dimension of reality. What happens next? I see it as something possibly wonderful, but don't know how it is going to show itself. I was hoping that others may have insights that could add to what I perceive.

      I mentioned the book of Revelation because it too has been misinterpreted. I can see it all coming to pass, and it will have much to offer humanity when it all plays out.

      Thanks for your comments - you made a good point about what can we leave behind. I think we need to leave behind the best world that we can produce with what we have to work with.
  • Mar 21 2012: Profound seems to be incorporated into every aspect of our history for instance a witch doctor throwing small bones on the ground and finding and diagnosing an illness compared to a modern doctor looking at the results of a cat scan they both come to a conclusion but who do you think gets it right more than not
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      Mar 21 2012: If I had to choose between a CAT scan or a witch doctor, the CAT scan would win. Science is a wonderful tool. But it can be just as destructive as it can be beneficial. We destroyed two cities with it. Hitler used it to set the world on fire. Bombs rained down for six years. And tanks and guns delivered their ordinances killing millions. Science has a good and evil side depending on who uses it for what purpose. We don't want Iraq getting a nuclear weapon because we know what they are liable to do with it. Religion was instituted to promote spiritual ascension, and now it is degrading into herd mentality where people are massing into destructive groups. I can understand why scientists hate it so much.

      The end of the Mayan calendar is coinciding with so many parallels that it is getting widespread attention. My concern is that the media compares it to end time doom and gloom. The apocalypse is supposed to be the final triumph of good over evil. Why so many people are afraid of this has me baffled. I would think that they would see this as something to look forward to, and yet, they fear it as something terrible.

      I don't think people understand what the end of the Mayan calendar is all about. So far, only one commenter on this conversation seems to have a clue.
  • Mar 20 2012: I find it interesting to debate this topic at all. However, I will interject. I realize that that the calendar ends on a significant date of a cycle and to have calculated anything out that far is impressive. If infact the world comes to an end what can any one do about it, A global event would most likely wipe out the bulk of the population perhaps that is the cycle and there is nothing mankind can do about it. The dinosaurshad their time and I would have to say that eventually so will mankind. I believe mister Hawking said it best the only chance man as a specieshas is space travele and with the current state of the two major countries economies involved in space travel U.S and Russia neither one has actually acted much on it. Humanity went further to the moon in the 60's and no one has been back since instead we are stuck in a low orbit with a space station in stagnation. Kerzweil I think said it best whe he said that the singularity is near perhaps in the next cycle that aproches man will have broken through to the next level of thought. The mayans may have achieved some greatness and had some fantastict hinkers every generation has. They noticed a pattern and documented it I believe that was there crowning achievement. My only question to you is if they were so far advanced Where are they now?
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      Mar 21 2012: If you believe that life ends at death, then your question has merit. I don't believe it does. The mayans were a science based culture, and few now remain. We are putting all of our eggs in one basket with science, and your question is the reason for my question. If science alone couldn't save them, what make us think that it will save us?

      I see the end of the Mayan calendar as a global event, but I don't see it as destructive. When protons, neutrons, and electrons come together, it forms an atom complete with structure. The structure contains shells and subshells both in the nucleus and electron orbits. Where did the structure come from? It was already there in the unfolding of the cosmos. But one could not have predicted it beforehand.

      The end of the Mayan calendar is marking an acceleration approaching infinity. What that tells me is that we will have gone as far as we can go under the current conditions. I expect that the end of the Mayan calendar will usher in a whole new set of values. It may mean a spiritual awakening. It may mean a parallel universe coming into focus. It may mean that ET says hello. Whatever it may be, I expect that it will be no less than remarkable. The scriptures say "look for a new heaven and a new earth". I believe that that is purely symbolic. What should we be looking for is the reason I posed this question. I want people to remain hopeful for what is about to happen. I don't want them being alarmed by what the media is telling them.
  • Mar 18 2012: An open mind lets in new thoughts & perspectives, which leads to acceptance & understanding.
    I am not going to get into a religious debate here (which seems to be happening), my beliefs are very different then yours, but I will say this: Humans have caused more damage to this planet then any meteor could ever do. We have learned from our past & still repeat it. Do I believe the Mayans might know something we don't? No idea! But I do know what we, as humans, have done to this planet & all that reside here & very little is being done to slow it down. Greed is our key word.
    We don't need the Mayans, dark forces, or heavenly forces to tell us what is going to happen, we see the changes every day & as to the cause: Look in the mirror!
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      Mar 18 2012: Hi Gale,

      I agree with your comments on what mankind has done. However, the reverse is also true. When I was young, the rivers and lakes were dying from pollution. There were many then that believed that our world was heading toward disaster. But lawmakers realized that we had a responsibility to do something about it and passed laws that held polluters accountable. This led to changing methods of disposal and coming up with ways to find less toxic means to accomplish the same end results. Today, despite the increase in industrial productivity, the rives and lakes are far better off.

      I believe that the end of the Mayan calendar is going to usher in a new way of seeing the world. It is going to honor those who have strived for perfection and dishonor those who have exploited the planet for their own gain. How this occurs I don't know yet. I have my theories, but I was hoping to see more of others. I think we have a hopeful future despite the current conditions. Thanks for your input.
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    Mar 18 2012: What do you think it all means?

    My A- That the Mayans were not as intelligent as modern man. Errr, scratch that a bit... they were all as intelligent, just more ignorant.

    Where might it lead?

    My A- Into the year 2013 and beyond! :P
    Into people making more money off the mayan calendar.
    Into people getting publicity because of the mayan calendar.

    At any rate, cya in 2020... the proof will be in the pudding, eh?
  • Mar 18 2012: Too bad the Mayan Calender did not include leap years, since they had no idea that they existed. In others words, the entire Mayan Calender is off. I think the calender will show us that some people are incredibly gullible, and nothing will happen.
  • Mar 15 2012: I was willing to think this through until I hit the satan part. The catholic church's own documents show how they developed and utilized the image of satan. Singularity may be approaching, but can we stick to discussing why it is that the more rapidly technological advances hit a society, the more intractable become the colloquial mythologies?
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      Mar 15 2012: Hello Sharon,

      I can see how you would come to that conclusion. The fact is, you have to understand the mythologies in order to determine what is true or false about them.

      Satan is a mythological character. The church has erroneously used this character to promote a belief system that is negative, where they are our only hope. I share your concern, but I understand what the character represents.

      Joseph Campbell spoke of a indian picture symbol called a mendala. The center is dark, the abysmal dark from which all things come and back to which they go. And when appearances emerge, they break into pairs of opposites. When we come into this world, we can choose good over evil or evil over good. Which one we choose determines who our master is, whether Satan unto destruction or Christ unto perfection. Satan represents the beast within, the animal from which we evolved. It knows only one thing, survive at all cost. it can justify lying, stealing, cheating, abuses, and even murder. Christ is the seventh energy chakra of Eastern philosophy; becoming one with the forces of creation. The title refers to spiritual ascension to higher realms of consciousness. Religion is built upon these characters, but they never tell you what I am telling you now.

      Our brains are computers. Our beliefs are our software. When those beliefs are corrupted by false information, our brains will try to compute answers using the false information. Religion declares Satan as the master of deception, so the character represents all the falsehoods that have been promoted throughout the centuries. Bringing the character down means to expose these falsehoods, and we are seeing that in our time. Like yourself, you refuse to be manipulated by beliefs that can't be proved. You're one of the reasons this character is falling. If you can understand that, it will give you insights to overthrow many more misconceptions. I hope I haven't lost you in all this rhetoric.