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Guest Laurent.

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Guest Laurent.

Ok, I would really like to restart a discussion on 21/12/2012. I think it is a really interesting subject since many people are trying to make a few bucks advertising this as an "end time". From what I know (not much in truth), the Mayans thought this would be the end of an era for humanity. Not the end of the world at all, in fact, it was a date they were looking forward too.

Strangely, at the end of the year 2012, the Sun will be exactly between the Earth and the center of the Milky Way. A situation that arises every 26 000 years. New age gurus will say that it cut an important source of energy of the Earth and cause important changes here on Earth. My opinion is:

-From an astronomic point of view this event will have no consequences except being an interesting rarity.

-God knows how the Mayans (or Olmec) chose this particular date, because there is absolutely no way for them to have been able to calculate the date of this conjuncture. Even the fact that they could have identified the Milky Way's center is pretty unlikely. But the fact that they were in the south hemisphere could have helped them, yet it is more than improbable.

So I'm quite curious how they chose this particular date. Like said in "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense", every man likes to think that the time he lives in is particularly important for humanity; so it's surprising that they chose a date that was so far away from their time.

If anyone knows more than me, I would really enjoy any additional info on the subject or just general thoughts on this phenomena (just take a look at all the books already written on this topic; from survivor's guide to pseudo-scientific evidences that this could be the end time).

"Is this the beginning of a journey... or the end?" :Owls_Ouro_Large:

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Guest SouthernCelt
-God knows how the Mayans (or Olmec) chose this particular date, because there is absolutely no way for them to have been able to calculate the date of this conjuncture. Even the fact that they could have identified the Milky Way's center is pretty unlikely. But the fact that they were in the south hemisphere could have helped them, yet it is more than improbable.

I believe the center of the Mayan civilization was in Mexico and nearby areas of Central America which is north of the equator, not south. The area is tropical and somewhat near the equator but not south of it. I'm not sure if that really has any impact on what they knew/learned by whatever means they had but since a lot of the ancient civilizations had calendars based on astronomical mathematics, they may have keyed their end date, whatever its significance, to the repeat of a specific night sky arrangement of visible stars. It may be that that arrangement only coincides with the center of the galaxy alignment without the Mayans knowing it. We also don't really know how much religious/scientific lore went into their prediction or for how long such lore had accumulated.

I thought the 2012 date coincides with the end of an era, yes, but I thought it also represented the return of one or more of their gods that they believed had once lived on Earth but had been taken heavenward. (Didn't the Aztecs have a similar belief regarding Quetzacoatl?) Also I thought the reason they didn't predict anything beyond 2012 is that they think their "second coming" event will change things to the degree that no one can say what the future will hold or even whether there will be a future. I've seen this explained as the Mayan equivalent of the return of Christ to the Christian world. I find it extremely intriguing that many of the world's great religions and civilizations have similar beliefs in the general view so that it's not necessary to really get into details in order to see similar philosophies/beliefs at work.

I suspect we'll never know things about any of the more ancient civilizations to fully understand the real meaning of some of their artifacts.

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The Myan owe a lot to the "mother culture" - Olmec. Sties for the Olmec have been found in Central America in places like Vera Cruz.

We know that the Olmec and Myan had a good undrstanding of the cosmos. They could calculate eclipses and tracked some of the planets. They calculated soltices and equanoxes (spell check). It has been demonstarted that they had the most accurate measurement of time until the invention fo the atomic clock. Simply put they were outstanding mathematicians ( had the concept of zero long before anyne else) and excellent astronomers. Given these facts I don't see how you could say their end date occuring at such a rare celestial event is just coincedence.

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Guest Laurent.
Given these facts I don't see how you could say their end date occurring at such a rare celestial event is just coincidence.

Because to be able to accurately identify when the sun is going to pass between Earth and the center of the galaxy requires knowledge that I don't believe they had. Like I said, maybe they knew where the center of the galaxy was (its a "milky" spot of stars in the sky when you're in the south hemisphere), but there's no way I can think of that they could have determined the speed at which the earth goes around the center of the galaxy (which would require them to have an idea of the sun's position in the galaxy) or the period of rotation of our system around the galaxy (which would take an extremely long period of observation to identify).

Now like I said, maybe they were that good in astronomy. I just haven't been able to find the reason why they chose this date. If it's because of the celestial coincidence; I'll be amazed. But if there is some other reason, I would really like to know.

To be honest, I don't have any knowledge of the Mayan culture. I don't even know how long their civilization lasted or when.

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study of the heavens was what theire culture was based on, it was their religion and politices combind... the mikly way was "the great tree" and it corresoponds with their creation mythology

there are many mysteries from the ancient world that we do not understand.. we have this assumption that we are so much smarter than people of the past and that only we have better tech. in reality they were just as intelligent as we are, and they were able to do some things in ways that we have not been able to figure out.. How did they build the pyramids? How did they make Greek fire? Why did they draw the lines of Nasca? Why the big heads on Easter Island?

Given the culture and myths of the Mayan it seems they somehow did know things about the heavens and time that modern man found out about in the 1950's. How? I don't know. But give credit where credit is due.

Edited by hippyroo
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Guest Laurent.

I know you're probably right and that's why I am amazed by this particular date. The fact that I can't even imagine how they knew the things they knew is quite impressive and like I said in my first post; "every man likes to think that the time he lives in is particularly important for humanity; so it's surprising that they chose a date that was so far away from their time." So that's why I'm fascinated by their prediction.

Another thing that I would like to have your opinion on:

What do you think of people profiting from this? I mean, some great scientists, journalists and authors are righting really interesting books about the Mayans predictions but some are just trying to make a profit out of it.

(especially thinking of this book: How to survive 2012 )

This could just freak some people out just like with Y2K. Hope it doesn't go to an extreme like seen in the TEOTWAWKI episode. :praying:

(While I'm at it, what exactly are the "lines of Nasca"???)

Edited by Laurent.
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Guest SouthernCelt
I know you're probably right and that's why I am amazed by this particular date. The fact that I can't even imagine how they knew the things they knew is quite impressive and like I said in my first post; "every man likes to think that the time he lives in is particularly important for humanity; so it's surprising that they chose a date that was so far away from their time." So that's why I'm fascinated by their prediction.

Another thing that I would like to have your opinion on:

What do you think of people profiting from this? I mean, some great scientists, journalists and authors are righting really interesting books about the Mayans predictions but some are just trying to make a profit out of it.

(especially thinking of this book: How to survive 2012 )

This could just freak some people out just like with Y2K. Hope it doesn't go to an extreme like seen in the TEOTWAWKI episode. :praying:

(While I'm at it, what exactly are the "lines of Nasca"???)

I typically don't give the obvious money-grubber "experts" any of my $ by not buying their books. If they can't publish a coherent explanation of their point-of-view on the internet to be read for free, then I'll move on to someone who can.

I'll jump in for hippyroo and tell you about the lines of Nazca (that's how I think it's spelled). The lines are slightly excavated areas, most in long, very long, straight lines that form a variety of shapes when viewed from an extreme altitude. The lines are located in a high altitude desert plateau area of Peru. At least one of the sets of lines looks for all the world like a guide path of parallel lines that would lead an aircraft to a landing strip. Others form stylized images (birds and the like). The real mystery lies not in who drew them but in why they were made so massive that only someone in an aircraft or low orbit space capsule could see them in the proper perspective to understand their shapes. Of course, most proponents of the 'we are not alone' beliefs use the lines as evidence that Earth has been visited by ETs for many millennia. Some, such as Erich von Daniken, who wrote probably the best known ET archaeology books, considers the "landing strip" lines to be just that -- markers visible from high altitude to lead interplanetary/interstellar craft to a landing spot. The US has some similar large constructions in some of the perhaps Native American mound constructions in the Mid West. The difference is that they are not on a dry plateau and aren't shallow trenches but are in somewhat verdant areas and were built of mounds and ridges of soil.

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From what I can recall it is said that they chose the date in 2012 and then started their calendar to work towards it. I forget all of the mythilogical reasons for it.

https://www.go2peru.com/nazca_lines.htm

That's a starting point on the lines of nasca.

So far as people making money off of peoples' fears? Some people buy these books and tapes as entertainment or as another means of trying to figure out what's going on in the world, or even as escapism form relaity. It's really just another genre of print. I think unless the materials start causing riots in the streets we ought to let fools and their money part.

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  • 3 months later...
I believe the center of the Mayan civilization was in Mexico and nearby areas of Central America which is north of the equator, not south. The area is tropical and somewhat near the equator but not south of it. I'm not sure if that really has any impact on what they knew/learned by whatever means they had but since a lot of the ancient civilizations had calendars based on astronomical mathematics, they may have keyed their end date, whatever its significance, to the repeat of a specific night sky arrangement of visible stars. It may be that that arrangement only coincides with the center of the galaxy alignment without the Mayans knowing it. We also don't really know how much religious/scientific lore went into their prediction or for how long such lore had accumulated.

I thought the 2012 date coincides with the end of an era, yes, but I thought it also represented the return of one or more of their gods that they believed had once lived on Earth but had been taken heavenward. (Didn't the Aztecs have a similar belief regarding Quetzacoatl?) Also I thought the reason they didn't predict anything beyond 2012 is that they think their "second coming" event will change things to the degree that no one can say what the future will hold or even whether there will be a future. I've seen this explained as the Mayan equivalent of the return of Christ to the Christian world. I find it extremely intriguing that many of the world's great religions and civilizations have similar beliefs in the general view so that it's not necessary to really get into details in order to see similar philosophies/beliefs at work.

I suspect we'll never know things about any of the more ancient civilizations to fully understand the real meaning of some of their artifacts.

I'm going to maybe resurrect this thread,

and have I ever wanted to chime in on these types of discussions....

I have to refresh my memory a little bit on Mesoamerica, as I am an archaeologist in Mexico (though not anywhere NEAR an expert on Mayan prehistory/culture, as I've focused my studies on Central/Western Mexico) and do have to add my 2 cents. Honesty I'm as curious as anyone that's posted in this thread about what significance the Mayan long-count calendar "end date" has, how the calendar was devised via astronomers.

My own understanding of Mesoamerican myth, that while most recent/enduring civilizations as the Aztecs, Mayans, Zapotecs, Mixtecs, etc. all had some basic core principals and stories, they varied from region/culture with different dieties....and the idea is that of course Mesoamerican cultures had a mother culture...which Mexican archaeologist called Olmec. We really know very very very little about who or what the Olmec were, all we have is their visibility though many Preclassic artifacts with distinct motifs, 3 "main" archaeological sites of Tres Zapotes, San Lorenzo, and La Venta (with at least a few ephemeral sites also being studied, many more probably undiscovered in the Mexican hinderland), some idea of a core mythology that originated with a mother culture, and writing/calendrical systems (both ritual and long-count) that originated before the onset of the Classic era(s) in Mesoamerica.

Luckily there are some amazing researchers working on some of these early sites currently, and we now have a real piece of "Olmec" writing/dates (see https://www.ancientscripts.com/ma_ws.html for some of the most up to date info and in general a great run through of Mesoamerican writing systems).

The whole idea of cyclical time and recurring themes in all Mesoamerican myth, it's easy to mix up Aztec and Mayan ideas...and throw in a little modern myth (Queztalcoatl/Cortez thing), it can really be a mess for anyone to figure out "fact" from "fiction". Perhaps its interesting to see how we in the modern age like to compound a lot of history and coincidence to make our own myths...our own understanding of the complexities of history, culture, and future to come.

But as I think has been said in this thread, you have to give due....the "Olmec" probably did develop the start date for the long-count calendar....and founded other Mesoamerican calendars that will coincide to give us the "end date" of Dec 21, 2012.

All this made me think if I could remember if the start date of the "Mayan" long-count calendar had some special significance...though my Mayan background is pretty weak, though I'd go with the flow here and take it that some god started a new world, destroyed an old one....but I found an interesting article that argues that maybe the creation date of the current world has no significance at all...its arbitrary? Link:

https://www.dartmouth.edu/~izapa/M-32.pdf

Probably enough out of me! :p

Edited by wolvesevolve
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