Monday, December 29, 2008

Why worry about 2012?

As some of you might know, I have written a fictional account of how the world could possibly end in the year 2012. I entitled my novel The Civilization Loop. The story depicts a current day world where time travel is now possible. Now, because of a top secret contingency plan, this epic and awe inspiring event in the story of being capable of traveling through time, is kept utterly secret from the public by the powers that be. The reason? Well, exactly how would you explain to someone the world is going to end in less than four years? A burden to say the least.

Ultimately, this disaster ensues, but not at a time people would be looking for it to occur. In my story, the final date of time is 5 May 2012. That actually was a goof on my part because I didn't study enough prior to encorporating the supposed Mayan End Time into my story. I had no idea people were pinpointing an exact date, such as 21 December 2012, and time, 11:11 AM. The point in the story that I did realize this was after I had already written about ten chapters of the book. No way was I going back and changing all those dates. So that gave me an epiphany, that I actually wrote into the story itself.


You see, in writing my story, I was really making a satirical commentary about prophecies, "End Time" claims and people naming dates. What I wanted to do was have a date that was specific, encorporated other dates I had heard and ultimately rebuke the so called "End Time" scenarios of 2012. Nostradamus predicted cataclysmic events occurring somewhere in the vicinity of May 1988, or at least that is what people that interpreted his claims suggested. They were wrong! Later it was pushed back to 2000, since there was so much ferver about Y2K, a polar shift with planetary alignments, polar ice, magnetic fields, ozone, and maybe a panty liner thrown in. Again, nothing happened, even with a specific date of 5 May 2000. I was slated to graduate college then, but that didn't happen either!:)

Now, these same Nostradamus predictions are being applied to 2012. Are people really so eager to see the world end that they are going to keep buying into this movement? Now, I'll say this, there are any number of ways the world could end on 21 December 2012. With asteroids, comets, meteors, solar flares, the sun could go nova, a supernovae, blackhole, dark matter, gamma ray bursts, depolarization of all matter; human made catastrophes such as nuclear holocaust, terrorism, biological warfare, super viruses, and so forth. Any one of those things could happen on 21 December 2012 and end life as we know it. But here's the catch, any of those things could happen on 29 December 2008 too, and end all life as we know it. It's unlikely with only a few hours left in the day, but not impossible. Somehow I think we'll all wake up tomorrow morning unscathed.

The new trailer for the film coming out in November of 2009, entitled 2012, has a good catch phrase. "How would the governments of our planet prepare six billion people for the end of the world? They wouldn't." Aside from the fact there will probably be seven billion people in 2012, that statement is spot on! That coincides with my book's fictional hypothesis that the governments of the world would more than likely keep any devastating, cataclysmic event secret because how would you maintain order if everyone knew they were going to die tomorrow? I could certainly see telling people days, weeks or even months leading up to the event, but otherwise it would cause chaos for years to come and more than likely we would kill ourselves off in the process.

Those are the two things I want to touch on now. 1) the date and time. I know a good philosophy to follow for this, if Jesus doesn't even know, how arrogant are we to think we can figure it out? Jesus liked to use cryptic language to disguise many things he said. But I have a feeling the Date and Hour Unknown section was probably spot on with what he actually meant to say. However, hindsight is 20-20 and if Jesus could have a do over, he probably would have never said anything about the end of the world. People are absolutely fixated on it! They can't get enough of it! From movies, to television shows, to documentaries, human beings collectively love to focus on endings. It's a negative connotation that degrades and takes away from what the words of the Bible or any other uplifting text (such as your local Hallmark card) tries to evoke. Spiritual awareness is highly important and if you don't believe in God, I suggest you really do some soul searching. Not because the world is going to end, but because one day your own personal world will. We all die, that's inevitable. A battle between good and evil takes place within us all everyday, it's continuous and only ends the day we die. What happens after that is up to your faith and only you can decide what you believe there. But, again, if you could find out the date and hour of your own death, would you really want to know?

For me, I wouldn't. I would want to live my life and know that one day it will finally catch up with me, but at least I lived and loved all the days prior to that. I think even Jesus would agree with that one, as would most religious followers, spirtualists, messengers and prophets. So don't worry about the date, it doesn't matter!

I would trust the date of 21 December 2012 and time of 11:11 AM about as far as I could throw it! Frankly, the Mayans were not trying to say the world would come to an end that day. They simply were trying to figure out the essence of their own existence, at that time. Remember, these were people that sacrificed LIVE HUMAN BEINGS! And I'm not talking when they were 80 either, more like my age now at 31! I guess I would be a little fixated myself if I knew I could be stabbed through the heart and burned to death any second! But that doesn't mean they thought the world was going to end today, tomorrow, 2012, 3797, 2,000,000 A.D. or trillions of years from now (although the last one might be possible).

2) what would cause the end of the world?

As I mentioned, there are numerous ways the entire planet could end. But, people frequently say "end of the world." That is a generalized statement for humanity's world, not the planet. As George Carlin once said, "The Earth isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!"

The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. There is absolutely no question that with all the pounding it has taken with comet impacts, meteors, gamma ray bursts, sun spot activity, solar flares, "The Snowball Earth", and an assortment of other things unmentioned or unknown, the Earth is one tough cookie. And we think a few pollutants, overpolation, Polyflorocarbons, plastics, styrofoams, and such is going to kill it? I really didn't like the new Day the Earth Stood Still with the over emphasized and dramatized "Save the Earth" propoganda. I'm sure Al Gore would be proud of this movie! The only thing that is in endanger, according to the things I have just listed, is human civilization. The Earth itself is alive, but it has seen it's share of mass extinctions. Two hundred fifty million years ago, almost all life was extinguished by some type of event. Sixty-Five million years ago, the dinosaurs were wiped out because of a comet, meteor, or some other type of event, that lead indirectly to the rise of us. Now, we are far more capable of adaptation than previous species, but we can orchestrate our own demise.

In my book, time travel does us in. Everytime someone jumps to the past, a shift in time occurs. This shift, depending on how far back you go in time, can alter things at the microscopic level. But, if you go way back, say to the time of the dinosaurs, the effects can be farther reaching. Such as having the meteor that hit the Earth in the time of the dinosaurs miss completely. Think about the effects that would have on our future? Sure, dinosaurs would probably be extinct anyway, but so would a lot of humans, who's ancestors were eaten by dinosaurs that lived a few million years longer. Or our genetic makeup could be different. We could all be more reptilian. As a result, a paradox is forged. When the time travelers return to their time, time itself sets on a course to wipe not only us out, but the entire known universe. Who's to blame? WE ARE!

The problem essentially with where we all are today is discovery. We discover new and improved ways to do things, but don't fully understand the mechanisms of how they work before we do them. To quote Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park, "I'll tell you the problem I have with what you're doing here. It didn't require any discipline to attain it. So you don't take any responsibility for it. You followed in the footsteps of geniuses and before you even knew what you had you patented it, and packaged it; you slapped it on a plastic lunch box and now you wanna sell it, YOU WANNA SELL IT." He went on to say, "What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world." Obviously he is a bit of an environmentalist, but I think I've made my point with his quotes.

Human beings do not adapt to their environments as much as they infest. They shape and mold the world the way they want it to be, then complain when that shaping causes problems. As twisted as this is, humans are really like a virus. But, as with any virus or aliment a human has, what doesn't kill the Earth simply makes it stronger. The Earth needs us as much as we need it, it's a symbiotic relationship. There are many things we can provide the Earth with that previous species were totally incapable of doing. This may be why they became extinct in the first place.

So what do I believe the future holds? Well, with that last statement I just made, I believe there will one day be a great awakening where human beings will come to finally understand their place in the grand scheme of things. Maybe it will lead to a universal understanding or a oneness with God, but that's the future. Right now, we have to resolve our own differences first if we ever hope to attain this enlightenment.

They say this generation that is living today could be the one that sees the end of the world. Many people have tried to predict it or have lent interpretations to others statements as prophetic predictions for our time, but no one knows that for sure. My generation has as much right to live to a great old age as the ones that came before me and so do the ones after me. Because the truth is, that "generation" won't be determined to be the last one until something actually happens. Hopefully, that will be a long long time. My greatest fear though, is in our postulating and impatience, our over indulgence in biblical prophecy or the occult, listening far too much to documentaries, movies and television and not enough to that inner voice that can guide us on the appropriate path, human beings may create their own demise simply because they started believing it would happen. You know what they say about a man that thinks he'll die tomorrow, some way, some how he'll make it happen. Let's just hope we're a little wiser than he is!

Have a Happy New Year and don't miss the movie 2012 this November, the 13th to be exact. I'm sure it will be a special effects extravaganza, from the "Master of Disaster" that brought us Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, Roland Emmerich. Until next time, think about today and let tomorrow take care of itself!

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