Not surprisingly, there seems to be no shortage of apocalypse theories currently in circulation around the globe. Speculations of galactic cataclysm, global war, or a pandemic seem to be prominent among life threatening scenarios that have become increasingly popular now that December 21 is mere hours away. It seems that there is an increasing global awareness sparked by the topic due to curiosity for some and fear for others. For some people the threat of mankind’s destruction is very real, however, many others simply see the 21st as just another day.
The Mayan long-count calendar is based on a cyclical system of 144,000 days, approximately 396.26 years, known as a b’ak’tun. The calendar states that the end of the current, 13th b’ak’tun, numerically notated 18.104.22.168.0, is at hand. Some proponents of the end of the world theory see the rolling over of the zeros as a signpost marking the end as we know it. Others have taken translations from the Popol Vuh, a sacred Mayan book, and have applied them to the end of the 13th b’ak’tun. One such translation is as follows: “it will rain fire, burning stones; the earth will lift up; there will be floods that will put an end to humanity, to those that have vitiated the Earth.” However, this passage in the Popol Vuh was not meant to be tied to December 21. According to Pastor Franke Zollman, avocational archeologist and student of Mayan history, the Mayans’ view of history was cyclical. It stands to reason that the end of calculated time merely marks the end of one calendar period and the beginning of a new. This is much like the calendar popularly used today which ends in December and starts anew in January, only covering a more extensive period of time. While many scholars are in agreement of the long-count calendar having an actual end date there were no Mayan predictions of the end of existence. The end of the 13th b’ak’tun is believed by many to merely mark the start of a new cycle.
According to one K’iche’ elder, “A better world is possible…as we enter the age of the fifth sun.”Did the Mayan’s feel the cycle of time would just loop infinitely or is this THE end? Infinity can be a difficult concept to grasp for people since we are so heavily rooted in the finite. Beginnings and endings seem to be the easiest of concepts for our minds to comprehend. Time is running out but how much time is there? The answer, at least to this one question, will be known in the hours to come. by: DAVID PASILLAS, PHOTOS BY: GOOGLE IMAGES