Sunday, December 23, 2012

Waiting for the Sunrise

This morning, I saw the first rays of the sun hitting the palm fronds of richly laden coconut trees; the golden coherence dancing off the respiring branches and warming the nubile fruit clutching closely to the trunk.  The light this morning was particularly precious by virtue of the date:  December 23rd, 2012.  Regardless of the calendar employed - Mayan, Gregorian, or Lunar - today's light is the shortest and most fleeting for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and most abundant for those of us in the Southern.  And, as with every other circumnavigation of the solar plane, we anticipate the pilgrimage to the north with spirits of our Roman ancestors who celebrated this moment religiously until, in the 4th century A.D. when a replacement "son's" celebration required the practice to be outlawed.

Waiting in line at Customs at the airport in Cancun, I was thrilled to see the Mexican economy benefiting from a host of pilgrims who had come to the Yucatan Peninsula to be present for the eschatological puzzle that was to unravel (or ravel) on December 21, 2012.  Waiting for nearly 45 minutes in that line, I reflected on the 25 years that I had been married to my wife: our anniversary on December 19th being the proximate cause for our sojourn among our friends in Mexico.  As I often do, my mind tried to piece together the marking of time (my anniversary) and the anticipation of the end of time held by many around me (the end of the Mesoamerican 13th b'ak'tun).  "Time is money," a saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin in his 1748 Advice to a Young Tradesman, appeared to have some phenotypic truth given my surroundings teaming with tourists.  Addressing his friend, A.B., Franklin wrote:

"Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour, and goes abroad or sits idle one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, or, rather, thrown 
away, five shillings besides."

In our collective trips to Mexico during this winter solstice, had we all "thrown away" something of value?  Was our sixpence of diversion or, in my case, sun-soaked idleness, worth our lost days' wages?  What purpose is there in marking temporal milestones - say, anniversaries of vows and covenants?  

On December 21, 2012, the History Channel's multi-year marketing march towards the solar ejection at the galactic alignment foretold by aliens visiting Mayans joined the Long Count of confident predictions of that which was not "meant to be".  And while I've commented in several preceding missives on the error of metrics, what struck me on this morning was the even greater error:  not knowing our point of departure.  Were archeologists correct in assuming that August 11 or 13 of the year 3114 B.C.E. was the beginning of the last deific punch of the stopwatch marking the race to the end of days two days ago?  Are astronomers and 'officials at NASA' more or less correct than their antiquarian colleagues in observing the precessional dynamics of the gyroscope we call our home in the incalculable expanse of the cosmos?  On this solstice, are we going to experience a "transformation of human consciousness" on a scale unseen before?

My humble answer to all of the preceding questions is an unambiguous, "No".

Recognizing that I've: a) committed a heresy punishable by death under the Holy Roman Empire's Christian rules making questioning the calendar a capital crime;  b) had the unspeakable audacity to question the supremacy of prevailing 'scientific' dogma; and, c) thrown a tuning fork of dissonance in the emerging global harmonic; allow me to explain a bit more.

Together with our Mayan and Olmec sojourners, we are plagued with a disease far worse than the conquistador-bequeathed small pox and influenza.  That which defies our limited capacity to understand and our even more limited temporal inquisitiveness is relegated to our priestly classes:
-  religious 'scholars', funded by the tithes of the lost they seek to lead, who treat Greek, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Arabic, and Hieroglyphs as the infallible statement of a disembodied divine fully subject to construction by…, well,… uh, humans;
-  scientists who confidently state - through grant-sponsored research - that we understand about 2% of that which is within us and surrounds us while confidently telling us that the 98% rest is 'Dark Matter' or 'Junk'; and,
-  pop-philosophers who, with the cunning use of prefixes like "morpho", "bio", or "trans", get millions to buy their books and spend thousands of dollars to attend their seminars on emergence.
Oh, and can anyone see the thread that links each of these groups with one another?  And lest the agnostic, secular, or atheist reader thinks they've dodged the bullet, take a look at the 12.12.12 Wall Street Journal (does that date 'mean' something?) in which we were simultaneously told to have "Faith" in banks (pg. C4), ignore the Treasury's "Losses" on taxpayer funded "investments" (pg. C2), and told about the $51 trillion college of cardinals who gather every two months in Basel who are guessing their way through a financial apocalypse created and administered by the SAME individuals (pg. A1 and A16).  Oh, and the economy is obviously too difficult to understand so, thank god someone knows what they're doing.

"If the central bankers are correct, they will help the world economy avoid prolonged stagnation and a repeat of the central banking mistakes in the 1930's.  If they are wrong, they could kindle inflation or sow the seeds of another financial crisis."

For those of you who are not paying attention, that 1930s risk was resolved with a world war killing over 50 million people.  How's that for an apocalypse?  Wow, pardon me for not being impressed!  Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff (co-author of This Time is Different) is quoted as offering the following collegial reassurance.  "Will history decide they did too little or too much?  We don't know because it is still a work in progress."  Kenneth Rogoff is a fascinating fellow.  He is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and was the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize winner in Financial Economics.  In his December 4, 2102 blog post on Innovation or Financial Crisis, he acknowledges the merits of the question if we have become victims of our own innovation crisis.  While he concludes that our problems are of an economic nature rather than a secular innovative failure, he at least has the decency of contemplating a biocular perspective.  What I find noteworthy in his writing is his accessible candor and clarity.  While I find the bias of his institution and discipline embedded in much of his work, he tenaciously holds open the space for multi-disciplinarity which is a endangered attribute among many in our time.

What happened on December 21, 2012?  Did we end something or begin something new?  In fact, only you and those with whom you interact will know.  Here's why.  We're not waiting for an ecumenical convergence, an eschatological resolution, or a great unified theory that explains "it all".  Because if you're among the 'waiting' there's one thing that is certain:  until you animate yourself with purpose, your world will look pretty much the same with each new sunrise.  No winged serpent, cosmic collision, sword-wielding horse, or karmic butterfly will save you.  But if, on this winter solstice 2012, you chose to become an informed, sentient being, one refusing to allow for a surrogacy of life and accountability, then welcome to the New Age which, with each rising Sol Invictus, is ever new!

1 comment:

  1. Powerful and sucinct argument. Dollars as a debt-drug addiction forced on the world as a panacea for WWII recovery needs (plus). What are the signs of a world entering cold turkey? And if the equity markets and bond prices rise today only as the Central banks print money, loan it zero yield adn inflate the balloon (that we call the S&P, NYSE, etc.) - isn't that the last drug of recourse? And when it runs out, everything falls, as a return of gravity in a world that grew up on weightlessness? How long do we have - only the Central Bankers know when they are going to stop the music.


Thank you for your comment. I look forward to considering this in the expanding dialogue. Dave