Sorry for not being active lately, I’ve been a bit preoccupied.
Tomorrow it’s 21st December and to my surprise people are actually genuinely worried in some cases. Obviously the world will not end, but if it does then at least I won’t have to turn 25 which I do on Sunday. But come on, people, seriously. Tomorrow I will finish early at work, do some grocery shopping for Christmas and then I will probably fall asleep on the sofa because I am exhausted. Then I will wake up 22nd and carry on with my life. I sincerely hope you’ll do the same.
Also, please be aware that this isn’t the first time that people believe the world will end. It seems to be a recurring thing through our history and each time people have been worried before, it turned out it was, well, wrong. I mean, we’re still standing. I’ve put together a little list for you, with some of the most interesting ones I could find. Hopefully that will ease your minds.
I’ve only been looking on Wikipedia, since I don’t have access to a lot of printed literature on the subject, but I think it is sufficient.
Year 634 BC
Even the Romans feared the world would end, or at least the city of Rome. The reason for this was a myth saying that twelve eagles had revealed to Romulus the number 120, which was believed to represent the lifetime of Rome. In other words, 120 years after Rome’s founding, people believed it would be destroyed. I think this has been proven wrong.
The First Millenium
Various Christians during the first millenium predicted that Jesus would return on several different dates, all indicating The End. Some just thought The End would come, without mentioning Jesus. Others because of the birth of Antichrist. All of them were, as you see, wrong.
Then there were a bunch believing that the world would end when we reached millenium 1. It is said that this is the reason so many cathedrals were built after that: people were celebrating that they weren’t obliterated. A pretty good reason to celebrate, I’d say.
… there are so many people who have proclaimed the end of the world there is no way I can list them all. You have to check the list on Wikipedia, linked above. But here are a few dates from the year 2000 that the world was believed to end:
- Peter Olivi, who died 1298, believed the Last Judgement would take place year 2000.
- Helena Blavatsky also said the world would end this year.
- So did Isaac Newton, Ruth Montgomery, Edgar Cayce, Sun Myung Moon, Ed Dobson, Lester Sumrall, Jonathan Edwards and several others. They were all wrong.
- Nancy Lieder stated on her website that aliens in the Zeta Reticuli star system had informed her, via a brain implant, that a new planet would enter our solar system. This would, unfortunately, destroy most of the humanity. She was wrong.
- Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese cult, said the world would be destroyed by a nuclear war this year. They were also wrong.
- House of Wayweh says a nuclear war will take place. They were wrong.
- Pat Robertson, a dubious author, says the world will end April 29th 2007. He was, actually, also wrong.
- Some people believed the Large Hadron Collider would create black holes which would eat the planet. It didn’t happen.
- The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn said the world would end 2010. Nope, didn’t happen.
- Harold Camping said the Rapture would take place and God would take about 3% of the population to heaven, and later the same year, on October 21 to be exact, the world would end. Obviously none of it happened. I have a vague memory that he claimed the world had ‘ended in silence’ after 21st October and that none of us knew it. We were a bit too dim to notice it, apparently. I have a high IQ though so I think it’s still there.
- People also thought that the comet Elenin would cause earthquakes and tidal waves. Nooope. Nothing.
- Ronald Weinland said Jesus would return 29th October. This would, according to him, cause nuclear explosions in the US. When this failed to happen he changed the date to may 27, 2012. None of it happened.
- José Luis de Jesús said the world’s governments and economies would fail on June 30th. He and his followers would also transform and be able to fly and walk through walls. I mean, granted the economic situation is unstable but not quite as dire as all that. Also, I’d love to see him fly, preferably not ending in a splat.
- THE MAYAN APOCALYPSE is apparently happening tomorrow. Really? No. Do get a grip, if not, my house is big enough to host all of your valuables.
As you see many people have claimed the end of the world, and all have been continuously wrong.
So why do we worry so much about this? I suppose we’re simply terrified and can’t leave it alone. Also, I guess most people are aware of how many bad things humans do and sooner or later it has to catch up with us, right? That’s paranoia for you.
Anway, see you on the other side!
Since we are now approaching the end of 2012, rapidly getting closer to December 21st when, apparently, the world might end according to the famous Mayan calendar it is more and more on people’s minds whether we will in fact celebrate Christmas this year.
A friend linked me this image and I found the original on Bizarro Blog, and I think it pretty much sums up the entire situation.
The Mayan calendar previously known consists of sections, called ‘baktuns’. Each one of these baktuns is 400 years and if you calculate then the world we live in was created 12 baktuns ago (4800 years), which, if anybody knows their maths, doesn’t make sense because obviously the world is older than that. The necropolis Tumulus of Bougon was built around 4800 BC, which then adds up to it being 6800 years old or so. No matter, the current baktun, which we live in, will end on 21st December 2012. This has been interpreted as the world ending.
Soooo… Will it end?
The short answer is: No.
Here is why:
- The idea that a group of people in the ancient past, or current time, would know that the world would end at a certain date is preposterous.
- In May this year 2012 William Saturno, assistant professor in Archaeology at Boston University, actually participated in an excavation of Xultun and found a new calendar painted on a wall which contains more days than the previous one. In fact this one contains 17 baktuns.
To me it seems as if the Mayans did not have a linear sense of time which we have here in the West, but rather a circular sense, that is: everything begins and ends over and over. In other words, what the Mayans meant was that we’ll enter some sort of new era.
With this we can draw this conclusion (which I have held on to for years):
The original Mayan calendar with 13 baktuns does not stipulate the end of the world, most probably they just didn’t see a point to continue that calendar right then. They might have had other things to do.
So; if you really want to believe the Mayans and therefore has had an ever growing sense of dread, you can now relax because even if you can’t get rid of the thought that the world will end when the Mayans’ calendar does then we have 1600 more years to live. So yes: don’t forget to do the Christmas shopping.
If you want to read about this further I recommend these links, which are from actual newspapers:
- Apocalypse never: Newly discovered Mayan calendar further disproves doomsday myth – By Andrew Couts at Digital Trends
- Nevermind the Apocalypse: Earliest Mayan Calendar Found – By Stephanie Pappas at Live Science
- Explorers Journal – By William Saturno at National Geographic
- Newly discovered Mayan calendar goes way past 2012 – By Dan Vergano at USA Today