HELLO? Is anybody out there? If you’re receiving this transmission, it means that — all due props to some interpretations of the Mayan prophecy calendar — the world didn’t end today. Hope you haven’t already hit the DELETE key on your financial records. The bill due at the end of the month is still. You can put the freeze-dried chicken and the duct tape away. Come down from the mountains and out of the caves. We’re fine. Really.
The so-called Long Count — the 5,125-year cycle of the Mesoamerican (Mayan) calendar, ends today, and with it, according to any number of true believers, the end of days. The day’s not over yet, of course, but as of now, with 12/21/12 well under way everywhere on the planet, we can be cautiously optimistic that the third marble from the sun has mileage on the meter.
It’s not the end of the world as we know it, and we feel fine. Well, alive, at any rate.
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It was getting out of hand. Armies of cultists, would-be seers and New Wave acolytes were preparing for the end in ways that got in the way of everyday life.
The Telegraph (UK) reported: “In the French Pyrenees, the mayor of Bugarach has attempted to prevent pandemonium by banning UFO watchers and light aircraft from the flat-topped mount Pic de Bugarach.
“According to New Age lore it as an ‘alien garage’ where extraterrestrials are waiting to abandon Earth, taking a lucky few humans with them.”
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APOCALYPSE? No. All along, skeptics and intellectuals have been emerging to rebut the claims. Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the director of the Vatican Observatory, said it was “not even worth discussing the scientific basis” of claims of the world’s end on today’s date.
And Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, said that to consider Dec. 21 in apocalyptic terms would be "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in." Noble told that to USA Today in March ... 2007.
Maybe the ultimate contrarians in all this are the Mayans themselves. The Telegraph, quoting a Mayan authority, reported of how a natural cyclical event in their calendar has been confused with end-times prophecy.
“Mayans themselves reject any notion that the world will end. Pedro Celestino Yac Noj, a Mayan sage, burned seeds and fruits to mark the end of the old calendar at a ceremony in Cuba. He said: ‘The 21st is for giving thanks and gratitude and the 22nd welcomes the new cycle, a new dawn.’”
Now he tells us.
Image credits: Earth: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/SuomiNPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring.