2012: Maya Conceptions Of Time
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John Mink
By: John Mink
November 12th, 2009

Section C of Part 4 (of Five) - Future Predictions or Endless Cycles?

2012: Maya Conceptions Of Time
Izapa Stela 11, Pacific slope of Chiapas (Mexico); drawing by Ayax Moreno. As there are no readable glyphic inscriptions at Izapa, scholars have various theories about what or who the figure represents, drawing from written descriptions of similar icons from Maya sources elsewhere in the region and somewhat contemporary in time frame(Rice 118). In contrast, John Major Jenkins, author of the book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, postulates that this undated monument (which was built sometime during the Late Preclassic period) represents the sun's rebirth in the "dark rift" of the Milky Way Galaxy during the "Galactic Alignment"; an event Jenkins believes will occur in 2012 (Jenkins 283-285). There are, however, no references in known ancient Mayan writings to the "dark rift" of the Milky Way Galaxy at all (Van Stone FAQs).
2012: Maya Conceptions Of Time
Text from Tortuguero Monument 6, drawing by Sven Gronemeyer. This small segment of incomplete text has produced a great deal of speculation due to its evocation of the 13th b'aktun, due to end in 2012 CE (AD), with glyphs indicating the "descent" of a God or number of Gods. Archaeologists/ epigraphers Stephen Houston and David Stuart, who have studied the monument extensively, believe from studying similar inscriptions that it is not predicting a future event but simply acting as a dedication to the building it resided in as a carved wall panel (Stuart 2009; Houston 2008).
2012: Maya Conceptions Of Time
Tortuguero Monument 6, drawing by Sven Gronemeyer. This illustration shows measurements of the small panel with the damaged, allegedly-predictive 2012 text in the lower right-hand corner; the actual monument is broken into seven pieces held by different museums and private collections (Van Stone II:27). Would laser scanning reveal more information about the missing/damaged glyphs?
This entry is Section C of the three-section Part IV of the 2012 Blog Series from CyArk (click here for Section A and here for Section B)...Yes, that is a bit convoluted, but so is the Maya calendar itself (at least to our eyes), so be aware that these entries are a bit challenging - You could also stick to the Bold Text if you want a quick overview. If you make it through the whole thing, though, you'll be an expert in no time!


As discussed previously in this blog, our knowledge of the Classic Period Maya is limited and very fragmented. Even the writing of the Maya of the Post-Classic period, who stopped using the Long Count, has substantial differences with the literature we possess from their immediate ancestors. Two things that the many ancient Maya peoples all have in common, however, is that they placed a great deal of value upon the written word as a communicator of knowledge, and NONE of their written records seem to have believed anything of great significance was in store for us on December 21st (or 23rd), 2012. Of course, it is a reasonable question whether we may have simply not found the evidence yet, given our limited source material. The prudent answer to this is that numerous ancient, glyphic texts we have, do pay a great deal of attention to the creation events of August 11th (or 13th) 3114 BCE, as well as numerous, generally mundane events in the future. It is a reasonable assumption that if the ancient Maya believed something important was to happen in 2012 we would have found many things written about it by now.

Did the Maya Write About 2012?


In fact, the only known written piece of evidence from the ancient Maya pertaining to the b'aktun ending in 2012 is inscribed upon Monument 6 from the Palenque-associated Classic Period city called Tortuguero. Monument 6 is a carved, T-shaped stone slab that originally served as a panel inside a building; the slab is highly-fragmented and missing major portions of its glyphs. The prominent Mayanist epigraphers Stephen Houston and David Stuart have attempted to make sense of the text that remains. In 1996, they tentatively interpreted the text as a predictive one, considered unusual as most Classic Period references to the future almost always place emphasis on “impersonal temporal events that are safely predictable”; less action-oriented than purely calendrical (Houston and Stuart 1996:301) . Monument 6's text begins with the 9.11.16.8.18 Long Count date of its associated building's initial construction (around 700 CE) followed by glyphs reading tzuhtzjoom u 13 b'aktun 4 Ajaw 3 Kank'in utoom, indicating a future calendar event at the end of the 13th b'aktun (December 21 or 23, 2012). This declaration of some event is followed by the syllable i-, an eroded glyph, and an inference that a god or collective totality of gods (Bolon Yookte') will "descend" (ye-ma) to the...? Any further details are obscured due to the fragmented nature of the text (Houston and Stuart 1996).

Past, Present, Future



While this may seem ominous, it is pivotal to understand that the ancient Maya conception of time itself is very different from ours. Many Classic Period inscriptions deal with events in time frames so remotely in the past or future they seem downright bizarre, while other inscriptions concern supernatural events that occur entirely outside of time itself (Van Stone III). The non-linear, repetitive, and cyclical nature of the calendars assure that history and the present are at one with prophecy and divination. In ancient Maya belief systems, the past, present, and future are frequently conflated together (Rice 172-176, 187-204; Van Stone III; Henderson 48-49, 55-57). This could be seen as somewhat analogous to Christianity's simultaneous worship of Jesus as a living (resurrected) being, a deceased martyr, and a constant presence who is also due to immanently return - these seemingly-contradictory states are accepted as part of a totality of belief and faith in God. The narrative of the biblical testaments, however, is generally far more linear and absolute in its view of time than the belief system of the ancient Maya, which saw time as highly malleable and steeped in religious metaphors; subject to change at the whim of a ruler, diviner, or scribe (ibid).

Houston and Stuart's continuing studies of Tortuguero Monument 6 have determined that it bears a striking similarity in narrative structure and pattern of dates with a number of other monuments from Classic Period urban centers; the key syllable is the i-. This suffix is considered by linguists to be a discourse marker, used somewhat similarly to English terms such as "because", "but", and "or". It is used in these calendrical texts as part of a broader pattern that conflates the immediate event it documents with dates far in the future or past which fall upon numerically-significant period-endings. In all of the complete texts we have that show narrative similarity to the fragmented one from Tortuguero, evocations of such distant dates end with an obvious return back to the present date in which the inscription was carved. Additional glyphic writing associated with these dates strongly infer that any events documented actually occurred at the time of the carving rather than far removed in the future or past (Houston 2008; Stuart 2009).

Thus, if we draw a logical interpretation based on similar narratives from other Classic Period cities such as Palenque and Naranjo, we come to the conclusion that Toruguero Monument 6 was discussing the dedication of the building from which it was originally a part of (Houston 2008). Evocation of the "descent" of a single God or the Nine Support Gods (Bolon Yookte') could be either a common reference to Maya creation mythology (which pivotally involves hearth-building/house construction under the direction of 7 or 9 Gods) and/or an inference that these God(s) were seen as directly present at the time of the building's construction. This is not improbable considering that the ancient Maya felt their deities had numerous forms and saw evidence of them in a wide-ranging array of natural and human phenomena (Van Stone II-42; Henderson 48; Rice 147). One way or another, there is little precedent or reason to believe the monument is talking about an event in 2012 that is of much more importance than the celebration of the construction anniversary of this particular building, located in a Classic Period Maya city of relatively little importance (Houston 2008). Further investigation is impossible, however, as the remaining ruins of Tortuguero were destroyed in the 1960s when a cement factory was built atop them (Zender and Guenter 6).

A Galactic Alignment?


While scholarly Mayanist consensus (such as it is) generally agrees that 2012 was probably a relative nonevent in the eyes of the ancient Maya, this has not stopped a veritable torrent of opinions from our previously-discussed independent, non-academic authors as to the supposed nature of this upcoming date, destructive or transformative. The most high-profile of these is John Major Jenkins, a self-described 2012ologist whose book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 is probably the most popular of the New Age-oriented works that predict a great transformative event in 2012. His work concerning 2012 is more focused than his peers, as he has spent a great deal of time immersing himself in independent study of present and ancient cultures of the Maya regions of Central America; he has particularly focused on Maya astrology and iconography from the site of Izapa (Jenkins Intro.).

Jenkins believes that the Maya may have closely observed the almost-imperceptibly slow precession of the equinoxes, in which Earth's elliptic orbit makes the constellations of the Zodiac appear to slowly rotate around the sky; they make a complete circuit every 26,000 years or so (Meeus 1997). He posits that ancient Maya observation of equinox precession made them aware of the fact that December 21st (or 23rd), 2012 marks both the approximate time of the winter solstice and the so-called "Galactic Alignment". This is when the "Dark Rift", a cluster of dust clouds that appear to our eyes to bisect the Milky Way Galaxy in a starless line, aligns itself precisely with the sun. This galactic event is seen as having the potential to produce a destructive and/or transformative result (Jenkins 366-367).

Contradicting Jenkins' hypothesis, however, is the fact that the "Galactic Alignment" actually takes place over a period of 36 years, and that the most precise alignment occurred in 1998 (Meeus 1997). Additionally, there is little evidence that the Maya paid great heed to the precise winter and summer solstices or the spring and fall equinoxes. These annual occurrences are of far more concern to peoples of northerly latitudes with more well-defined seasons (Van Stone I:44-48). The Maya calendars were more divinatory in nature and less concerned with the precise solar year. Remember, they did not factor in the "leap year" as we do to keep our calendars solar-year accurate (Van Stone ibid.; Rice 189-191).

Finally, we must keep in mind that Jenkins' primary source material is drawn from studies of the Late Preclassic/Early Classic site of Izapa, located on the Pacific slope of modern-day Chiapas, Mexico. This 2,500 year-old city was on the periphery of the Maya region, along with neighbors such as the Lenca and Xinca. While Izapa's carvings contain a great deal of complex iconography and several Long Count dates, there is no decipherable glyphic writing at the site. This is perhaps a reflection of its role as a trade crossroads between different cultural spheres with different languages - similar to the text-free Classic Period metropolis Teotihuacan in central Mexico (Henderson 84-85; Van Stone FAQs). A total lack of readable text at Izapa makes any interpretation of pictorial iconography entirely subject to the interpreter's discretion with little to verify or contradict any conclusions. In other words, Izapa fails to be a reliable source of evidence when trying to prove Jenkins' hypothesis right or wrong. While some of Jenkins' interpretations of Izapan pictorial art may seem to be plausible on a surface level, we must keep in mind that before we understood the Mayan glyphic language, general opinion was that the Maya were a race of peaceful calendar-priests, uninterested in war or dynastic political intrigue. We now know that the lives of kings and their military adventures are precisely the subjects of most Maya inscriptions found in Classic Period city-states (Henderson 18-23).

Archaeology meets Mass Culture


Though we do know enough about the ancient Maya at this point to make these cautious assumptions, much of our knowledge on the broader spectrum of their specific history and traditions is still fragmentary and not well-publicized outside of academic circles. These information gaps leave a wide opening for modern people far disassociated from ancient Maya society, from John Major Jenkins to Jared Diamond, to use it as a blank slate upon which to inscribe our own modern, western dilemmas and insecurities. As the ideas these authors propound are argued in such a manner as to have great resonance with the modern concerns of our society, the popularity of their books grow, regardless of whether their analytical methods are sound or not. Combine these sensationalist ideas with the exotic appeal of a foreign culture very different from our own, an ancient culture that abandoned great cities to romantically crumble in the middle of tropical jungle while many of their descendants still live traditional, modest lives today - and you have the makings of mass entertainment. Cue Hollywood!


In Part V, this blog series wraps up its final entry with a review of the film 2012! More importantly, however, we take a look at how and why the entertainment industry have consistently looked to creative (*ahem*) interpretations of archaeology and history, fuse them to the things we care about in the present, and generate an explosive new product that has equal capacity to excite and totally misinform the viewer. All here on CyArk!


References:

Houston, Stephen and Stuart, David (1996). Of Gods, Glyphs, and Kings: Divinity and Rulership among the Classic Maya. Antiquity Magazine #70:289-312

Stuart, David (2009). Q&A About 2012. Online at Maya Decipherment epigraphy weblog.

Rice, Prudence M. (2007). Maya Calendar Origins: Monuments, Mythistory, and the Materialization of Time. Austin:University of Texas Press

Van Stone, Mark (2008). It's Not the End of the World: What the Ancient Maya Tell Us About 2012. Located online at the Foundation For The Advancement Of Mesoamerican Studies website.

Henderson, John (1997). The World of the Ancient Maya: Second Edition. Ithaca:Cornell University Press

Zender, Mark and Guenter, Stanley (2000). Three Kings of Late Classic Tortuguero. PARI Newsletter (San Francisco, CA: Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute) #30:6–8. Available online here.

Jenkins, John Major (1998). Maya Cosmogenesis 2012. Santa Fe:Bear and Company

Meeus, Jean (1997). Mathematical Astronomy Morsels. Richmond (Virginia):Willmann-Bell


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Comments

November 13th, 2009 T. S. said:
Fantastic series of posts, thanks so much!
November 15th, 2009 Thomas said:
Great blogging

However I'm wondering through all of this if you have seen Ian Xel Lungold's DVD (video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8689261981090121097#)explaining the newest findings for the Long Count calendar, and the true reasoning for the calendar. His explanations are excitable, pleasant and easy to follow.
November 20th, 2009 John Mink said:
I have seen Ian Xel Lungold's videos. He was without doubt a compassionate person and a humanist thinker. His analysis of the Long Count calendar, however, is based much more on personal speculation and does not take the full spectrum of available data into account when he makes his conclusions - similarly to his contemporaries such as Graham Hancock and John Major Jenkins, discussed at length in this entry and the third entry in this series. Thanks for reading!
November 24th, 2009 sylvia lopez said:
Even though you have proof from many references, have you looked in the Bible for some references there? Maybe search some biblical references and try to proof beleivers wrong. I'm a believer, can you prove me wrong?
December 1st, 2009 Jason said:
Unfortunately Sylvia, the Bible really has nothing to do with John's research. In fact, he seems to be pointing out that indeed people, such as yourself (possibly, please no offense intended) often conflate and confuse these issues by injecting things that have nothing to do with the heart of the subject. In John's defense, he specifically wrote about European "forced Christianity" in 1519. But 1300 years BCE, the Mayans didn't subscribe to Christianity, nor the Bible. (See, the 2 don't relate, although it makes for a nice story.)

In fact, Christianity is nowhere near the most popular religious conglomerate even now. (And don't get me started on how the Jesus story is just a retelling of the "Osiris Myth" from approximately 16 similar myths of Mediterranean religions.... that existed about 3000 years before the Jesus did. Don't take my word for it, Google "Osiris" and "Jesus" and see for yourself. Christians may be believers, but they certainly weren't creative in their stories, that's for sure.)
January 23rd, 2010 Jimmy H said:
This was a fine read, indeed. Very good work.

And as you, and many others, have said; Different religions injecting their beliefs into the predicted events of a past civilization really doesn't make for a believable story.
February 10th, 2010 Christopher Rickett said:
Well guys, I just want to thank you guys so much! You've all helped me get through this thing.
June 23rd, 2010 Pan said:
the exact date may not be the exact date but I and many others are sure that something big is coming very soon.
My faith comes not from the words, writings or thoughts of others but from my own experiences. since childhood I have been lucid dreaminess, astral projecting, seeing other dimensions. I have had so many experiences and all lead to the time of great change. due here very soon. Actually the first wave is already here if you are able to perceive it. Some of us at least are about to move into a new reality. However i would not be surprised if others totally miss the whole thing and go on living in their little worlds on the same low level of awareness.
2012 may be a sign post. a warning that there is something ahead.or it may even be that something very amazing will occur even before that.
What about the predicted great solar storm at that time at the same time the magnetic shield is at its lowest. from what I read this was predicted by NASA with a more than 90% probability. That will cause a great event with electronics knocked out across the globe.
August 6th, 2010 tayla said:
i don't truly believe that the mayans just randomly stopped writing the calander because at one point they all just started disapearing and obviously they can't write the calender if they disapear no can they.? But in my beliefs i do not think 2010 will happen. But everyone has their own opinion...
November 4th, 2010 Jeniffer said:
BRAVO!!! Excellent series. Loved it! Read every word. Thanks for all the work. It is a great read. Well written for even slow thinkers like me! :)
November 14th, 2010 Janet said:
Thank you for a well-written, concise explanation of the 2012 phenomena.
December 17th, 2010 Andrew said:
Your intellect, combined with all the well researched sources you cite, provide more truth and factual evidence than the bible can. Thank you, your work is greatly appreciated!
January 2nd, 2011 Lora M said:
Interesting. My son lives by the Farmer's almanac and believes we will witness an astronomical event. My grandson believe we are about to enter a new technical age of quantum physics (or a new dimension) so life as we know it today, will inevitably change. I've always been facinated by the ability of ancient earthly civilizations being able to build such astounding monuments (pyramids and tombs, temples, etc.). Through all the thousands of years of natural disasters (weather, meteor, sun flare, etc.) Egyptian and Mayan limestone structures still stand today. How awesome is that!
January 9th, 2011 louise said:
PS---even if 2012 is largely bogus, like Y2K was, in the grand scheme of things, it can't hurt to have some fire in the collective saddle that causes people to think beyond their petty selves, and make an attempt to "be right with God", however they define Him/Her, that in itself has to be good for the collective, and that in itself could cause a tipping point in the Whole consciousness lifting...maybe, no matter what, the only really sane thing to do is believe that "all is well", no matter what, but there is a balance in believing that and not putting your head in the sand, can we believe that and still get to high ground if necessary? Animals know when to move to high ground, I suspect humans have the same instinct, but it would not be fear and panic, it would just be knowing at the right time....
January 9th, 2011 louise said:
I am pretty level-headed, but out of curiosity and a desire to be informed am sifting through the information regarding "earth changes." You have made good points regarding interpreting the Mayans as not necessarily predicting an apocalypse....but what about Edgar Cayce? Of all the new age mumbo jumbo, and there is plenty of it, he is one person,who, although not infallible, has some credibility regarding accurate info from trances. How do we explain what he had to say? louise
January 20th, 2011 Nicole said:
First well writen. I read everyword of it. So the world may not end just change? I am a believer of this world needs to change for the better.
January 21st, 2011 Joe said:
Outstanding Read. Thank You. It pretty much sums up my thoughts and theories. Although I do question myself regularly, I truly believe a change is going to happen. It almost has too. As a peaceful person I question daily the civility, greed and selfishness that goes on in the world today. By the way I am a conservative thinker but a strong christian believer.

Thank You again for your hard work..!
February 14th, 2011 Tony said:
? Was the callender writen after Myan events happend and then re-applied to modern day events.As you elude to in your article, That staded \" The earth recycles with time\".
March 13th, 2011 salaamarifat said:
You speak truth. But is it not also true that transformational change is the norm as it has always been? Any generation that does not believe it is happening now, to and and by them is a stagnant one. This planetary generation is not a stagnant generation, and that is to be celebrated. Do you agree?

Is it not the case that since the Big Bang came from a singularity expanding light towards consciousness and time, that every-where, every-one and every-when is the centre of the universe, which is an argument both for and against self-centeredness?

Isn't it fun to make up stories, and even more fun to play with reality?

People should not get carried away and take themselves too seriously, the limit being where their hysteria causes harm, and therefore people should apply for their own sake and that of others, the principle of ahimsa. Can we agree on the principle of non-harming?

I want to contest the assumption made by you John, that there is an easy distinction to make, fantasy and reality. There is not merely fantasy and reality, there is mythopoetic narrative, like the idea of 'humanity' and 'self' which is inextricable from your analysis.

Such as it is, the one who speaks of reality is a mystic because reaity is woven within the mythopoetic narrative of our time inasmuch as it is woven within the light/energy/matter of the universe. And the scholar is the one analyzes more soberly the claims of truth for their defects. Few scholars now speak of reality as real, not wanting to be associated with mystics, and mystics have wrongly felt vulnerable by scholarship and moved in a different direction.

But I am not speaking of mystics as those who have something to prove as part of their business model of selling ages, New or Used. Authentic lovers of wisdom, rather. The contemporary Rumi's and Shamsi Tabrizi's whose coffee shop conversations illuminate the abundant brilliance of it all at no charge, fair trade and organic knowledge.

It is better to do it all do you not think, the mystic dive and the scholarly sweep, if we have time, which I agree with you, John, that we do.

The truth is to be found in the song \"A Change is Gonna Come\". The human is the seat of consciousness who is existentially responsible to judge truth and reality. Who else will decide what is real and true? as such, I would advise people to become better at it, so if they close their mind to what John says even though it is very credible, it is at their own peril.

But this I stake as a claim which I believe to be the truth, the reality of our narrative now. A Change is Gonna Come, and its truth is in the way it is sang by Sam Cooke.

I state this because though your work is good, your scholarship and much of the comments reflect the predictable argument between mystics and scholars that has been going on since your Englightenment, but is now a monotonous contemporary whine of religious crackpots and atheists continuing their flaming discourse all over the web. That part is very, very, very tedious, boring and predictable.. So I find your actual research much more interesting.

One cannot understand human beings except from unconditional love and compassion, otherwise one will introduce one's contempt as distortion.

Me, I know little and just make suggestions within nonsense. I don't understand what the fuss is about. What new age, what old age? I really have no idea what time it is. I have just wasted my afternoon.

My prophecy is this. Everything that transpires becomes funny, eventually.
June 27th, 2011 Robert Bast said:
Typically when your read scholarly reviews of the 2012 meme, it is mentioned how little written information the Maya left us on the subject - but rarely is it also mentioned that the Maya had thousands of books that were burned by the Spanish, and only 4 survived. So potentially they did have a lot to say about it, those books were unfortunately destroyed.

So, perhaps investigate what they believed happened at the end of the last Long Count... that would be when the gods wiped out all humans in a natural disaster.

Would it not be reasonable to presume they expected the same to occur in 2012?
August 12th, 2011 John Mink said:
Hi Robert - Maya cosmology tells us that the human race which existed at the time of the Classic period (and now) is the proper and actual humanity, the "humans" prior to that were of a non-maize composition and thus not the "true" people. By this projection of mytho-history, then, and the lack of any substantial written evidence on the Classic Period monuments (which were some of the most chronologically-obsessed media the Classic Period Maya used), we can make the safe assumption that they did not forsee a coming apocalypse. Bear in mind, as well, that the "apocalypse" itself does not lend itself to this particular ancient culture's eschatology, rather, it is a very Christian concept brought to the Americas post-Spanish Conquest.
November 10th, 2011 Cate Morris said:
Great blogging. Nice to read something so well informed and IMPARTIAL!
December 30th, 2011 Ashok Baskaran said:
A wonderful well written document which needs to be saved ! Even in vedic data there is a reference for the catastrophic end to the present living age( ref. as KALI YUGA) mainly by WATER ( Tsunami ??) these were pass on stories from generations to generation in the HINDU religion. But it does not exactly mean 2012 !! any ways CHANGE is needed to have a better world. your writing, inside research, quotations and remarkable explanations were just amazing. Thanks.
January 5th, 2012 Jo Jones said:
A great blog, so well written, I have found this very interesting reading, I had not worried about 2012, but recently I have heard so many stories I wanted to research more, and found your blog which has helped me understand where the 2012 end of world originated from and I think you have written a really balanced work. Now 2012 is here, we should bear in mind that change happens every year, it is how we all survive. Thanks for writing such an informative and insightful piece.
March 26th, 2012 sura said:
A great blog so well written i have found this very interesting reading, i had not worried about 2012,but recently i have heard so many stories,i want research more,and found your blog which has helped me understand where the 2012 end of world originated from and i think you have written a really balanced work.now 2012 is here,we should fear in mind that change happens every years,it is how we all survive
December 9th, 2012 Russ Allen said:
So here I sit, roughly ten days from the date in question, reading a blog post concerning said date that was written three years ago. While the quality and level of Mr. Mink's 2009 contribution here is exemplary, I do wonder that there has been no follow-up, no update, between then and now? Not that I expect there is some new archaeological development that changes the conclusions reached in this work--I don't--but as the whole world around me seems to be ramping up into a state of mass hysteria regarding 121221, with Russians grimly stockpiling water and dried foods, North Americans doing the same but pretending they're not, as the Atheist fundamentalists and the Christian fundamentalists square off and crank the volume to eleven, while the Chinese people--who historically have not been prone to doomsday hysteria--riot in the streets, having lost their collective mind in fear centering around a magnetic polarity shift and a resultant three days of darkness, of all things (how biblical of them!)...with all of this happening, does Mr. Mink have nothing more to add to his work from 2009?

Well, no matter, I suppose. It is perhaps a bit late in the game for such things in any case.

I wonder if I will be the last pre-2012-solstice comment on this page? I would think not, as people's interest and inclination to research the subject are reaching an all-time high (so sayeth Google Trends), but as the comment preceding mine was posted in March, I presume they are either reading without commenting, or they are all choosing to visit more sensationalist sites. Hopefully it is the former.

In any case, as (possibly) the final pre-121221 commenter--and in attempt to reign in my rambling--allow me to add my pair of pennies to the pile.
Mr. Mink's work here is titled "2012: Maya Conceptions of Time" with this particular page being "Section C of pt 4/5; Future Predictions or Endless Cycles?" and it is full of fascinating and detailed information concerning the pre-columbian Mayan culture and mindset, their hieroglyphs, their astronomy, their calendars, and their concept of time in which separation between past, present, and future is fuzzy, or even non-existent (an intriguing idea that was nonetheless considered to be non-scientific pseudo-religious mumbo-jumbo right up until very recently, when the results of a series of experiments in quantum causality indicate that our modern view of a steady, immutable time flow is false, while the Mayan concept of time is, in fact, correct, making it perhaps the most wildly improbable anachronism of all time while simultaneously rendering the concept of an anachronism as irrelevant). The bit about how the Maya had no issue with the idea that something could both "be" and "not be" simultaneously (another quantum condition; the Schrodinger's Cat Non-Anachronism) was particularly interesting.
As I mentioned, I do not doubt nor disagree with Mr. Mink's conclusions that the Maya were not "foretelling" any sort of "doomsday" scenario. For one thing, a belief in cyclical time, or quantum timescapes, precludes any possible belief in a literal doomsday.
I do wonder a bit about the claim that Maya did not "predict" things...if they saw the past and future as being conflated with the present, then why should predictions not take place? My logic, or my understanding, may be flawed there.

So no doomsday. But an apocalypse? In the original meaning of the word, "a disclosure, or revealing of information(revelation); an event of great importance," I think the answer is an unequivocal "yes." At this point, with nearly the entire world reacting to the ending of the current 13th Baktun, and the resultant surging of interest in our ancient ancestors and their cultures and monumental works, I think it cannot be denied that this is indeed shaping up to be a genuine apocalypse, a revealing of information and an event of great importance. Even if the Maya did not seem to be predicting anything of the sort does not seem to matter. But considering that the Maya anticipated great change at the end of each cycle, maybe they did predict it in a way. So they did predict it, and they didn't. Which wouldn't bother them at all, I presume.

That's my two cents. I have no prediction of my own, except to echo the one given by a previous commenter with the alias 'salaamarifat': "Everything that transpires becomes funny, eventually." Truer words were never spoken, sir. I think I would enjoy conversing with you, should that somehow come to pass.
To those of you reading this from the far side of 121221: I'll join you shortly. I just want to stick around a bit and see how this turns out.

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