Countdown to 12-21-2012

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hand Clow and Calleman

Finally finished reading a book by Barbara Hand Clow, called: "The Mayan Code: Time Acceleration and Awakening the World Mind." Hard to get through. That should tell you something. Hard to understand her point. Seemed to be based on one of those arguments that goes something like this: "It's true because I say it's true." A tautology, I think they call it. She seems to think that just because you say something or worse yet, it gets published, it must be true.

As I prepare to teach my course on the Maya and 2012 this summer, I plan to read all the books I can on 2012, even those I think are fringe, because I want to familiarize myself with the "literature". Reading Hand Clow's book was drudgery because she just repeated herself again and again. And, since I have a grounding in academe, I expect someone to make an argument before coming to a conclusion.

Her main point seemed to be the 'truth' of the ideas presented by Carl Johan Calleman in "The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness." Just because someone has a one topic, does not make him/her and expert in everything. I read that book very carefully and for the life of me, I don't understand how he arrives at his 'discovery.' It is one of those constructs for which there is no evidence in Maya belief systems past or present.

Just as there are 'weirdos' in our culture, there are often 'weirdos' in indigenous cultures. Why is it that we think that every Mayan knows the esoteric knowledge of his culture, when most Americans don't even know their 200 year history, let alone the philosophers of Greece? Many years ago while working on my B.A. in Anthropology I had to read a book called "Marginal Natives" for a class. A valuable book, it showed me how anthropologists are fooled and led astray when studying indigenous cultures - either intentionally or by choosing 'informants' who just want to work with the anthropologist, but who know nothing about their culture. In fact, one could make the argument, that only a marginal person would dare speak to an outsider in the first place. What do they stand to gain within their culture by talking about hidden knowledge? At best, they make a few dollars for their efforts, at worst, they are killed by their peers. It's not just anthropologists who are lied to, fooled, given the run-around. I have done my share of fieldwork with native people in California and Mexico. I have had people tell me one thing over coffee and then when the tape-recorder got turned on, tell me something completely different, denying having ever said anything else. I have also watched native people deliberately fool people for a laugh. Haven't you ever done something like that?

In any case, Calleman has developed an elaborate concept and Hand Clow has run with it. After reading both their books, I still don't get it. The only part that makes any sense to me is that time does seem to be accelerating. Everyone I know feels the same way. Of course, most of the people I know are over 50, so that might be why we feel this way.

One thing I found intriguing in Hand Clow's books was a concept of memory of catastrophe that exists within our psyches and has been handed down genetically from around 9,500 B.C. It causes us to be born with a certain amount of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which affects our entire lives. Since we all have this memory, we are easily driven into fear about the 'end of the world', because way back in time, our ancestors experienced it due to floods, asteroids, or other catastrophic 'natural' events. Since we all have this memory deep within, it can easily get activated. Because many are billing '2012' as the 'end of the world', we are reacting in fear instead of seeing it as a beneficial time of transformation.

What do you think? End of the world or time of spiritual transformation?


  1. I don't know what I believe about 2012. I mean, there have been numerous times in the course of my life that I've been told that the world was going to end on a particular day. I want to believe that it will be a time of spiritual transformation, yet there is a part of me that is afraid that it will be the end of the world and I will go to hell cuz I'm no longer a Christian.

    I find what you said about the genetic memory and being born with some degree of PTSD very interesting. I wonder if that has more to do with my fear than the fire and brimstone teachings of the church since I've had this fear of the world ending since I was very young and did not begin attending church until I was an adult.

    Anyway, great blog, I'll be back.


  2. Actually the lack of sunspot activity this year has many scientists quite concerned about a build up of magnetism in the Sun which will have to be released (I think this is a fair, rudimentary explanation of the science), and could well be in the time frame around the Mayan's "end date". In any case the activity will create some dramatic shifts on Earth, which could manifest as BOTH catastrophe and spiritual rebirth. This has happened before in Earth's history (huge natural catastrophes), makes sense it would be part of a cyclic, renewal process.