Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Dealing with 2012 Fears
When I was in Guatemala last winter, one of our impromptu teachers was a man who operated a jade store and Mayan museum. He explained the creation myth to us from the Popul Vuh, and then began to speak about the Long Count of the Mayan calendar.
“But it seems like a lot of people really want the world to end!” he said, as we all laughed. He went on to explain – as my group heard over and over – that there are no predictions from the Mayans about the “end of the world” or doom and gloom. Some poor journalists must have thought they heard “end of the world” when it was only “the end of one calendar cycle.”
“Yes, anything could happen,” he continues, “but it’s good to stick to facts. The Maya don’t say anything about the end of the world. In fact, they have dates listed for several thousand years from now. If they thought the world was coming to an end, why did they use those dates?”
Our main teacher, Miguel Angel Vergara, speaks after the laughter dies down. The December 21, 2012 date completes the 13th Baktun of the Long Count calendar, a 5,125 year long period of time. To the Maya, 13 was the number of completion, transformation, spiritual advancement. So why do so many think of it as a “bad luck” number, Vergara asks us. He offers an answer. Perhaps it is because we know that spiritual transformation is hard work, and it means leaving behind our bad habits and vices. Perhaps they do not want to evolve, he said. To those people, 13 is thought of as “unlucky” because they do not want to give up all the things that hold back their evolution.
Vergara then asked us to list our fears about the 2012 date – either our own fears or fears that we have heard others voice.
The list was predictable, and he wrote them on his white board.
Suffering and pain.
Vergara then addressed these “fears” one by one.
Yes, the unknown is a mystery, he told us. He paused, and then emphasized to us that the past is the past, and is over. The future is the unknown. It is only the present that is our real gift. There fore, we need to simply focus on the present, and not let our minds run away in the past or the future.
Death. Yes, we will all die. We will. And so? Accept it, and then live your life fully.
Suffering and pain. Again, Vergara said, yes, life is full of suffering and pain. That’s life. It has nothing to do with 2012.
Concern for our families. Vergara smiled and said, “They will survive without us.” He acknowledged that everyone is concerned about their families and this is natural. But we need not have an imbalanced worry about whether or not someone else might or might not survive a situation. Just carry on with living your life.
Lastly, he addressed the notion of losing things. We will lose things, he said. That’s life. Whether in catastrophe or in ordinary life, we lose things.
Vergara paused and said loudly, “Think! You all of us have ALL that you need. You have cars, money, homes, and you still suffer. What are you fearing? You are all like millionaires [sometimes he would say billionaires] compared to most of the people in the rest of the world.
“We buy what we need at the supermarket. We have lost our inner warrior. We are weak and we are comfortable. We don’t want to fight.
We need to change our thinking and become fighters again. Nothing is ever for sure.
When I used to visit a friend, we’d go outside and pick oranges outside from the tree. Today, the children are busy texting and they don’t even want to go into the kitchen.
What is the best formula to recover this part of ourselves?
He offered many solutions. He described ceremonies that we could perform to reconnect with the earth, and our divinity. He said Love, Real Love, is a part of our solution. Vergara added that “Ninety-nine percent of the time we fail to solve our problems because we don’t knock on the door of divinity. We think that our ego will solve our problems. We know all the things of the outside world, but we don’t know our Self. Are first task is to Know Thy Self.”
He emphasized the need to avoid fear, and go forward with our purpose in life.
“All these fears,” said Vergara, “are phantoms created by the media. The main purpose of life is Self-Realization.”