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Towards 2013

teafaerie | Musings | Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

When I was ten years old, I thought the world was going to end in a year. An adult that I respected and admired had a big map of the world in her basement, and she was always sticking pins in it whenever there was an earthquake or a volcano or other natural disaster. Watching for the signs, I gathered, from the Bible and the prophesies of Nostradamus. One time I was spying on her, and I overheard her tell another trusted adult that it was only about a year till the beginning of the end. California, where we lived, would fall into the ocean, and then there would be the Tribulation, complete with plague, famine and nuclear holocaust, and then Judgement Day. I was stricken! Unable to ask for clarification from adults who would surely report the matter to the very persons upon whom I’d been spying, and unwilling to burden other children with my terrible secret, I dealt with the matter alone. This was perhaps the first time I experienced strong psychic alienation. From within my own distorted reality tunnel the concerns of my peers seemed trivial. The new Madonna video and junior high fashion trends were not exactly on the forefront of my mind, and it was surreal to watch them making fools of themselves, oblivious to their onrushing doom. I began to think of every annual event in terms of it being the last of its kind. (I celebrated my last Christmas, my last birthday…) I totally flunked out of the gifted classes where I had previously been a star pupil, and I developed an anxiety-related tummy disorder that had me throwing up all the time. It was awful. And then after a long while a year passed and the world didn’t end. For months I waited for the other shoe to drop, and eventually I had an epiphany: I was sitting in my dad’s Catholic church, listening to a Mass which I swear was still in Latin, and it suddenly dawned on me that all of these grown ups had it totally wrong, and that from then on I would only believe in things for which I had personally seen evidence. At least, I thought, I would only believe in things that felt true, rather than just swallowing whatever they put on my plate. I’ve been trying to refine that principle ever since.

When I hear people talking about 2012, it reminds me of that period in my childhood. I worry that there are others out there struggling with the same issues, and it makes me angry. People ask me about it all the time, as far as I can tell because they know that I’m into psychedelics and psychedelic culture. “So, what the heck does the 2012 thing have to do with hallucinogenic drugs?” you might well wonder. It seems that psychedelics and 2012 have developed a sort of brand association in some circles. This is partly due to the influence of a few psychedelic luminaries and commentators who have incorporated the meme into their raps. I think another reason for the link is the fact that one common trope of the psychedelic experience has something to do with a phase shift intuitively felt to be looming in the near future, and all the associated rhetoric naturally gets conflated with the various doomsday and singularity scenarios, both in the consciousness of some practitioners of psychedelic shamanism and in the minds of the consumers of their output.

Psychedelics have always been associated with the idea of precognition. At least on the surface, the purpose of aboriginal shamanism is often supposed to be divinatory. Indigenous people naturally want to know what tomorrow’s weather will be like, or how the hunt will go. Will the baby be a boy or a girl? Will the sick person get well, or will he die? They look to the shaman for answers, and the shaman in turn sometimes appeals to the plant allies for guidance. How well does it work? Reports vary widely. I’ve heard some crazy stories. Nothing I’d flat out call “proof”, though. If drug-induced precognition worked as well as the more credulous testimony suggests, you’d think we’d have it solidly documented by now. On the other hand, I suppose if I came across a group of indigenous people who could actually see the future, I’d be kind of hesitant to out them. There are some well-kept secrets in dusty corners of the psychedelic attic, and perhaps this is for the best. The last thing we need is to reawaken the government’s unwholesome interest in supposed psychedelic superpowers. Still, I wonder. Prophesy is almost always supposed to come out of non-ordinary states of consciousness. Sometimes the state is apparently spontaneous, and sometimes it is said to be brought on by some sort of entity contact, like an angelic visitation. In other cases so-called prophets have induced non-ordinary states of consciousness through ordeal rituals, or with the aid of various psychoactive agents. The famous Oracle at Delphi may have been huffing something out of a crack in the earth, and various theories have tackled this topic. The ancient Mayans might have been nibbling on mushrooms. Nobody knows for sure. Would it make their prophesies any more or less relevant if it were proven that they were indeed catalyzed by psychoactive materials?

I myself have had a few strange experiences with psychedelics and nonlinear perceptions of time. Enough so that I’d say that all other things being equal, I’d give a tripping prophet a tiny bit more benefit of the doubt than a sober one. It’s complicated, though. I’m not even convinced that there is a future to see, for one thing. Maybe there are millions of possible futures. I’m not going to get into the whole determinism versus free will rant here. It’s a trick question and I can argue both sides and suggest obscure alternatives until we all get our brains tied in knots. Time’s fun when you’re having flies, and once in a while when I’m on psychedelics it can seem like I’ve just re-lived the same moment over and over again, or like I’m suspended one second ahead or behind the normal flow of time so that I have a sort of perpetual déjà vu effect wherein everything seems like it has already happened or I feel like I know what’s about to happen right before it occurs. I’ve always figured it for a brain-glitchy echo effect and it’s probably nothing much more interesting. Uncanny when it’s happening, though. I also have a weird one that only occurs when I’m on a combination of LSD and MDMA where I’ll get what I’ve come to call a “flash forward” in which I have a first-person vision of a very brief sequence. For instance, I’m standing on a little wooden bridge with my husband, and we see a falling star. Then years pass and I forget about it, and eventually the scene actually occurs in real life, always while I happen to be under the influence of the same two chemicals. Is it bleed-through between trips somehow, or just some kind of tricksy illusion? I’d say illusion for sure, or maybe false memories, if it were not for the fact that I managed to say a couple of them out loud and got them on the record as flash forwards before they took place. They weren’t the kind of thing that I could make happen just to prove a point. I don’t know. It’s a mystery to me. Also, I sometimes seem to know when I’m destined to trip on days when I have no reason to suspect that I would come into contact with an opportunity. There is a certain sort of tingle that’s never been wrong yet. That one is a mystery, too.

The issue of prophesy is like the entity thing in the sense that it kind of seems dippy to even be talking about it, but when you look at what most people actually say that they believe, it turns out to be a pretty huge deal. According to a CNN/Time poll conducted back in 2002, almost 60 percent of Americans think that the end of the world, as predicted in the Bible’s Book of Revelation, will happen, and 17 percent believe that it will occur during their lifetimes. Now I don’t know what old Saint John was smoking, but I used to have to copy pages out of Revelation when I was bad as a kid, and I can tell you that it’s some pretty psychedelic stuff. It’s also mostly a big bummer. Cast as sinners who deserve much worse, long-suffering mankind flails helplessly as it gets worked over by its loving creator once again. I won’t go into the disturbing details, but it ends with the vast majority of human souls being horribly tortured for all of eternity. Let’s just say that it’s not exactly the kind of thing I’d like to manifest.

Same same with some of the 2012 rhetoric. I don’t mind the woo-woo galactic alignment/phase shift versions so much, though a lot of it strikes me as newage (rhymes with sewage). Most of the apocalyptic versions piss me off, though. I think that kind of crap is dangerous to the point of being potentially self-fulfilling. All the buzz surrounding the new disaster porn movie 2012 has me seething and stomping around the house, bemoaning the fate of thousands of naive children of all ages who got caught up in the brilliant “Search 2012” advertising scheme and probably think that they only have three years to live now. The 2012 movie is rated PG-13. Apparently, depicting the violent death of billions of innocents is considered less damaging than an exposed girl-nipple. Grrrrrr! And sure, everybody has a right to say whatever they want. I just feel that if I were going to export my visions of the future, psychedelically inspired or otherwise, it would be important to me to project a reality that I wouldn’t mind helping bring into being. Most people who say that they believe the dramatic end of the world version are posers, in my cheeky opinion. I mean if you really thought that civilization was going to collapse in a few short years, you’d be burying canned goods and running up the credit cards. And some people are. Good on them. At least they’re not going around scaring gullible people while they hedge their bets in the background. The Teafaerie is calling you out, fearmongers! You know good and well that the sky isn’t falling. Stand up and admit it or come out and challenge me on this point and prepare to look ridiculous in retrospect. If Winter Solstice 2012 passes much more eventfully than Y2K I’ll print this column out and eat it, and I’ll cheerfully go on the record and sing the wrong song to anybody who feels maligned by my scorn. (I was wrong, I was wrong, I was really really wrong, I am almost never wrong…)

Look, I’ve had that trip, too, okay? Everything is leading up to a big phase shift in the near future and it’s all going to collapse into some kind of singularity. I had it long before I knew that it was a thing, I swear. Tons of people get this. So much so that it’s kind of a cliché. It feels true. Does that mean that it’s True or true or “true”? For all we know it could just be one of those strange attractors that’s built into the human mind. Like maybe it’s because we know that we’re going to die, so therefore our own reality is going to die, and we project the situation onto the larger context of reality as a whole. Maybe some people can’t deal with their grief that all the awesome is just going to keep raging on forever without them, and they have to imagine that the whole thing is about to go to Hell anyway and they’re getting out just in time. Perhaps that trip is common because we all grew up in the shadow of the bomb and we have a collective death wish or something. Maybe it’s just that the end of the world absolves us of all responsibility. There’s probably a bunch of other simple explanations for it. It’s not like it’s a new thing. They’ve been predicting the climax of the second act for thousands of years now, and every time the divine curtain fails to fall the prophets either take credit for forestalling the inevitable or chalk it up to a minor mathematical error and redraw the charts to give themselves more wiggle room. I’m not saying that some of these folks don’t believe their own raps, I’m just pointing out that there is a long and ignominious history of being wrong about this. My Mayan scholarship is admittedly for shit, but I have a good friend who wrote a graduate level paper on the topic of 2012, and he was not particularly overwhelmed by the evidence. The ancient Mayans really don’t seem to have been all that into the 2012 mythos, and the modern Mayans almost totally disavow it. It wasn’t really even much of a focus date in the woo-woo crowd until the 60s and it kind of ballooned after the Harmonic Convergence was all used up. Even if every last ancient Mayan indisputably really did believe the world would end in 2012, I wouldn’t be particularly impressed or concerned. People believe a lot of weird stuff that isn’t true. Even mushroom munching mystics who leave cool ruins and know a little too much about astronomy.

Eschatology in general seems kind of irresponsible to me, frankly. If half of the voting adults in America really think the end of the world is nigh, perhaps it explains why we all tend to live like Roman Emperors, consuming obscene proportions of our dwindling communal resources and chucking plastic bottles over our shoulders with decadent abandon. Sorry kids, Big Daddy ain’t gonna come clean up our mess for us. Neither are the aliens. How do I know this? I don’t. And since I don’t know, I’m constrained to live as if we are expected to be the stewards of the earth for hundreds of thousands of years. We’ve got too much riding on this thing to base our strategy on squirrely interpretations of ancient prophesies. We’ve got to act as if it all depended on us. And by us I mean us as we are right now. We can’t even count on some kind of homespun technological singularity to come along and save our bacon. For years I justified my enormous carbon footprint by saying that if we didn’t solve the energy problem and come up with nanotech that could turn Coke bottles back into happy soil in my lifetime, the huge pile of trash that I continued to produce would be the least of our concerns. I thought of each ridiculously over-packaged treat as a vote of confidence in our technological ingenuity. I’ve kind of pulled back from that stance, though. Technological prophesy is science fiction and traditional prophesy is fantasy. On the other hand, business as usual is history and unprecedented change seems inevitable. It’s in our nature and potentially to our benefit to try to model what’s about to happen. This is the shaman’s job. We have choices to make insofar as how we present this stuff. It might even matter.

Spreading fear is totally irresponsible at this point. A lot of us pay lip service to the idea of indirect manifestation through thought or will, and if any version of that is true then we’ve really got to start visualizing some more inspiring outcomes posthaste. Even if you think that junk is bunk you know that despairing people solve no problems. Without hope we’re hopeless. I feel that it is my sacred duty to help raise morale on this spaceship until it’s big enough to fend for itself. I, for one, think we’ve got a fighting chance. Call me an optimist. Maybe I’m just too cowardly to encompass the possibility of failure. In any event I’m a devoted fan of sentient life in general and I intend to go down rooting for the home team. Go humans! Forward escape! The curtain is up and the enemy’s gate is down. Damn the torpedoes and never tell me the odds. If we get through the next 50 years I think we may be able to turn this boat around and stabilize the situation before it goes irreparably awry. Lucky us to be on stage at such an exciting cusp. If we make it we might go on to populate hundreds of worlds for millions of years, and the people of the future will surely salute those who carried the torch through this difficult pass. And if we bite it big time nobody will be around to smirk knowingly with the traitors who stood by saying I told you so. Place your bets where you will.

Yeah, the rate of change is starting to get precipitously steep. You don’t have to believe in magic to wake up and smell the world on fire. Extrapolating the current curve into the future (which is reasonable but not certain—even falling objects eventually stop speeding up) it would seem that we are about to enter a period of literally unimaginable novelty. I always liked the Terence McKenna rap about this, even though I never truly understood the Timewave and yes I totally do blame him for some of the 2012 nonsense. I guess blame isn’t really the right word. In fact I suspect that in his case it was at least partially constructive blarney to get people thinking hard about the rate of change and to get psychedelic people, specifically, prepared to help those less familiar with drastic mode shifts to make a smooth transition. The thing that I most dug about the Terence version of 2012 was its relentless optimism. I saw him speak with Mark Pesce at Esalen Institute in 1998. The theme of the workshop was Technopagans at the End of History and it was really a terrific discussion about all this. Anyway, apparently sometime during the conference Mark asked a friend what the appropriate attitude to take towards the eschaton was, and the person responded with the single word: “Yes”. Thus the Yeschaton list was born. For ten years it documented the impending end of everything with an attitude of amused anticipation. It’s now defunct, more’s the pity, but I think that’s exactly the kind of thing we need more of. […] Excelsior! I’m so over being blasé. This is it! Let’s start getting excited about the situation, because the alternatives are completely untenable.

Visualize a positive eschaton! If the 2012 thing is working for you, lean into it. I have a friend who is trying to promote the end of the Long Count as a massive psychedelic holiday where we all jump in together and try to take it to the next level. He’s been throwing countdown anteversary Solstice parties in New York City for a number of years now. I’m way into it. It’s a lot of fun. If 2012 is getting you excited about the future and prodding you to prepare yourself and others for a world of radically expanded possibilities, then I think that it’s a positive meme and you should milk it for all it’s worth. Anything that raises awareness about the increasing rate of change is probably a good thing. Most people still don’t see it coming, I think. Let’s make it awesome, though. Let’s work together to come up with an end of the world that we can live with. Apocalypse is not the same thing as Armageddon, you know. Armageddon sucks by definition. Apocalypse is a Greek word that just means revelation, like the lifting of a veil. If you have the intuition that we’re about to go through some kind of radical phase shift, let’s try to model it in such a way so as to help people get with the program. Remember that the Winter Solstice in America is the Summer Solstice in Australia, and adjust your associations accordingly. Think of it as a celebration of fullness achieved and the beginning of a time of bounty. Let’s project an eschaton that doesn’t require the intervention of gods or monsters, aliens or time travelers. Let’s tell a story about how we solve our own problems and manifest our wildest dreams by working together and patiently applying love, hope, courage, intelligence and curiosity. Let’s tell a story about how we’re linking up even now, and how the promised singularity is already at hand. I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight. I think it’s already happening. I think we’re soaking in it. 2012 seems as good a demarcation point as any, if we want to put on some sort of rite of passage. Why not? Let’s be sure to build a future into it, though, because we can’t afford to lose our momentum come the morning after.

To be fair I admit the possibility that the ancient Mayans might have really known the score and the doomsayers may be interpreting it right, and these here might be the last of days. I’ve tried to get worked up about it and I just can’t seem to go there. I concede that the end of the Mayan calendar does kind of line up in a freaky way with the current cusp and that it times out with some interesting astrological configurations, but so what? That could just be a coincidence. Or maybe it’s resonance or synchronicity or irony or some even less well understood phenomenon. It doesn’t take a genius to see that we’ve kind of painted ourselves into a tight corner, but if the fractal pattern embedded everywhere within the superstory is indeed as much prophesy as history I think we’ve got a decent chance of pulling through in the nick of time, and with any luck emerging a bit wiser for the wear. I must have used up my quota of helplessness and despair in grade school, because now I seem to be kind of inoculated against it or something. The end of the world is so yesterday, people. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, moving on.


  1. YES!! :D

    Comment by Jockmchaggis — December 3, 2009 @ 7:58 am

  2. Love the musings! A strategic mining engineer by first life, reached bottom about 15 years ago. Died a couple times and awoke strongly still in the old skin, which, as you know, went through 6 very intense months and then years of integration. Currently do consciousness awakening seminars around the western U.S. that radically reframe that which hasn’t already been ‘framed’. IT (the story) HAS BEEN WRITTEN long ago, however, the illumination of the theater has just begun. What we are seeing on the walls of the cave are our projections via the Light that is returning that we’ve never left.

    ~ Respect ~

    Comment by Ron — December 3, 2009 @ 10:59 am

  3. Word. Right on, Teafaerie! Couldn’t have said it better myself. Sign me up for the Yeschaton. The only problem is a culture with a linear concept of time sees the end as a terminally destructive event, as opposed to the arbitrary “starting over” point of more ancient, cyclical models of time (still embodied in round clocks with hands that start over at zero when they reach twelve, after which it’s almost 1 o’clock again!) Not to belabor “le mythe de l’eternel retour” but we Universal Being(s) will be celebrating the Galactic New Year with abandon! As all Death prepares the way for rebirth, I look forward to the funeral wake of our outmoded world-views’ creative destruction. It is not Earth the object who ends, it is our subjective World, the one we constructed millennia ago, with stories like John’s of Patmos, or their popular mistranslations, that shall unravel like a chrysalis torn apart by the butterfly’s stretching wings. “He who hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the seven churches.” -J

    Comment by Jake — December 3, 2009 @ 11:43 am

  4. Right you are, fairy. As much as we humans all seem to long for a sense of finiteness, of closure… we should just accept that our lifespan simply doesn’t extend long enough.

    I think the obsession with eschatology comes from a deep-rooted sense of unfairness because the world will probably go on, but we don’t.

    Comment by Myrdin Wylt — December 3, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

  5. Pessimism is a complete waste of time, what’s the point? Striving for a positive future is worth it even if we know we’lll fail, I see it as an end in itself. What other choice is there? BTW, I was very surprised to see you and burning Dan on the National Geographic LSD show, that made my day!

    Comment by Brent — December 3, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

  6. Tea Faerie should be greatly thanked and congratulated for sharing such a wonderful mind with us. This truly the best community-oriented 2012 essay I know of. For purposes of identification I should say that I am her friend who wrote the academic essay on 2012. I think it is worth sharing at least some of my findings here, since it was not Tea Faeries intent to give a historical overview, but rather to provide us with insightful perspective on how we can relate to the meme. The history itself is quite telling, though, and it is well worth giving a brief primer on 2012 history.
    The origins of the 2012 meme begin in 1966 with the publication of “The Maya” by a then young Maya scholar named Michael Coe. He had a paragraph in the book indicating the end of the Long Count calendar as an “Armageddon” event in the ancient Maya mindset, though he incorrectly uses the date, Dec. 24, 2011. Coe has since recanted, acknowledging that he was guessing and was influenced by his Christian upbringing and has said that he will remove the paragraph from future editions of the book. After 1966, this paragraph is largely ignored until 1975 when 3 books came out all mentioning 2012 (or 2011). Frank Waters’ book “Mexico Mystique” is perhaps the closest to a fully developed eschatological system with many of the same astrological and Atlantean (and many other) themes that are predominant in 2012 thought today. Also in 1975, Jose Arguelles published “The Transformative Vision”, mentioning 2012 as the end of the Mayan Long Count, but focusing more on the Aug. 16-17, 1987 dates that would become the Harmonic Convergence, preceding descent into 2012. Finally, 1975 saw the McKenna’s “The Invisible Landscape”. The 1st edition of this book only mentions the date 2012 twice and with no particular date attached. The later 1993 reprinting is updated to speak of the Maya calendar and mentions many times the specific date Dec. 22, 2012….neither of which were in the first edition. The process of selecting the Dec. 2012 end-date was nearly entirely arbitrary and several earlier dates were tried and abandoned after they failed to pan out. The earliest of these supposed “end-dates” was, self-servingly, Terence’s birthday in 1971, followed by the passage of Comet Cohotek in 1973 (?). After both of these end-dates passed Terence decided that the date should be coming soon (to light a fire under our asses) and that the final 67 year period should start with the bombing of Hiroshima, landing the end-date in Nov. 2012…a few years later he heard about the “end” of the Long Count calendar on Dec. 21, 2012 and decided that since they were so close, he’d just change his Nov. date to match the Maya date. A really convincing history, right? It doesn’t end there. We only know of ONE (count it) Maya writing that mentions the 2012 date and it doesn’t say anything interesting…certainly nothing about an apocalypse or consciousness change anything resembling these. Also, the calendar doesn’t “end” anymore than our calendar ends when we get to Dec. 31….it just rolls over to the next cycle and continues counting upward…in this sense their calendar is BOTH cyclical AND linear, just like ours. The only modern day Maya who mention the date are one’s who have undoubtedly got it from us. 2012 is OUR tradition, not the Maya’s…..and as Tea Faerie so deftly pointed out, the evidence is underwhelming that anything will actually happen on that date. While the phenomenon of change is rampant all around us and demands our presence and attention, we focus on a specific date and handicap ourselves if we cannot act with awareness in response to the actual situation rather than in response to our projections of prophecy from unconvingingly proposed reincarnations of ancient Maya deities (galactic or otherwise) whether it be Arguelles’ Valum Votan or Pinchbeck’s Quetzlcoatl.

    Comment by Bong Man — December 3, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  7. Hello!

    Wonderful writeup! I also think that this 2012 has gotten way out of hand (on the negative side). But on my voyages this eschaton thing got up quite a few times. I have realized that the eschaton will come for humanity in one form or another. I don’t think we can deny that (unless you believe the mind will go on a different plane of reality) and I don’t think it will come in our lifetime. But the eschaton will probably come and humans will have to deal with it!

    Maybe humanity will destroy itself in the process of living (we are quite on a good path to achieve this, but nature will find her way with or without us) or the universe will destroy us. Ok, in the future maybe we can move from one star to another, but that will only delay the inevitable. In most of the theories of the universe it is hypothesized that the universe will end. Either it will get to cold or to hot for life as we know it. In either way human life (personal) or collective has to end. And it is good to end. I only don’t understand people whose life will end (or they think it will end very soon) why they have to get immature. Yes, you have the right for everything you desire, but also, you live with other people in this world. If the world (life) will end, why not be happy about it and spend the remaining time to give as much love as possible?

    Ah, enough of my ranting. I guess I’m just sad to see people ‘see’ the end but not to think about what that means for them. No introspection, no reflection, nothing.

    I saw you on the National geographic documentary – inside LSD! Wonderful! I really hope I could meet you one day! If you ever come to tour Europe, you and your husband always have a home to stay!

    Comment by non3 — December 4, 2009 @ 2:55 am

  8. Totally agree with you TeaFaerie!

    Plus, I love tea! (also psychedelics)

    Kudos for your work!

    Comment by Camilo — December 4, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

  9. Thanks, Tea Faerie, on behalf of all those worried minds who think (mistakenly, of course) that their generation will be the last when it won’t. There’s a good reason why the story of Chicken Little is one of the first ones we learn. Aesop’s fable of “The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf’ is another.

    Terence knew a lot of things and was blessed with the gift of gab, but he couldn’t see into the future any better than the rest of us. I can’t bring myself to believe that psychedelics have been a good thing for Valum Votan’s family. Ego and grasping have similarly been bad for JMJ and Pinchbeck. Other would be 2012 prophets (Hancock, Icke, Calleman, Hand Clow, Drunvalo, Braden, and many, many others) seem hopelessly addicted to spinning bad mythology for co-dependents who share an insatiable hunger for it.

    The more this plays out the worse and kooky psychedelic “insight” looks. When is someone going to ask the “plant teachers” for the answers for how to cure breast cancer, autism, and clinical depression? When will we have answers we can use and role models worth following who have healthy marriages, solid families, and happy kids? We need to embrace our hopes, not our fears, and make our dreams our realities.

    “Speaking words of wisdom. Let it be.”

    Comment by Hoopes — December 4, 2009 @ 10:44 pm

  10. GO SKYNET!!!

    he he just kidding

    Great column, I’m a techno-optimist but my sister is planning on running off to Australia and dealing with the earth changes down there. Good luck to her. I’ve been hearing about the so-called earth changes for so many years that my ears hurt. It makes more sense to me that the New Age merely mirrors the dominant Christian paradigm. Christianity is the ONLY major religion that integrates global doom into its worldview. We need 2012 like we need a hole in the head. Instead, we all need to grow up and abandon traditional Christianity. Christianity is a no-win.


    Comment by Jef — December 7, 2009 @ 7:41 am

  11. Hello Teafaerie!

    I feel you.

    After coming down from my initial “oh dear, the eschaton is inevitable”-phase, I have been looking at 2012 in quite the same way as you – a potentially very useful meme, possibly a self-fulfilling _open source_ prophecy that we can use as a tool to fertilize all kinds of transformative processes.

    More and more, I’ve started to see us as waking up – an reacting to – to the viewpoint that we’re really taking part of a big play – every single one of us as the writer, director, actor, special effects crew, composer and what-have-you. It’s a comedy, it’s a tragedy, it’s all possible forms of story taken. So why not really shoot for creating the best kind of story that we can conceive of?

    And we are. And it’s already working, right here, right now. And we’re apparently getting better at it.

    Eschaton or not, I am placing a strong bet on you having to eat up your article a couple of years from now :)

    Comment by Kasvoi — December 11, 2009 @ 2:37 am

  12. the world as i knew it as a youngster (i’m 55) is very much gone.
    the world as many cultures knew it did indeed end for them.
    even earth herself hasn’t the same health as when i was young.
    and so on.

    i don’t think earth will explode in 3 years, but significantly change? doubtless.

    this too shall pass.

    Comment by Zuma — December 11, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

  13. This is so much better than a traditional debunking. Keep it up Teafaerie!

    Comment by dt — December 12, 2009 @ 11:05 am

  14. I always enjoy reading your posts Teafaerie. But I must say, this one takes the cake. I too have been stomping around lately in light of the turn which the 2012 meme has taken. But in reading your article I remembered how it was actually the ‘Yeschaton’ aspect that got me through college, as I was sinking my teeth into McKenna’s “Archaic Revival” for the first time (as well as many new and interesting substances). As a biochemist, I am a bit more professional now but every bit as compassionate as I was in my youth. It has been my enthusiasm for the collective future which has been mired in doubt as of late (no doubt due to the perversion of the Apocalypse as an Armageddon event) . Reading this post reminded me of how I used to look at things and how it actually kept me moving in the right direction. Time is of the essence no matter what year it is. Reading this post also reminded me why I love the hippie/burner crowd- they are always unapologetically offering new designs for our culture’s development. While some of these models seem better than others, it’s the dialogue that’s important. If anything, I hope for a [near] future when this outlook is the norm, not the exception. Thanks again.

    Comment by gaiaflux — December 13, 2009 @ 2:00 am

  15. I’ve talked to a friend about this, and honestly it always seems like it’s the end of the world. You say you hope for a stabilization, but we’ve been crazy since we started out (our closest relatives, the apes, are violent creatures known to practice cannibalism and genocide. Our early mythologies are stories full of violence and fear. War has been a near constant since we’ve been organized enough to start it.) I say embrace the craziness. It’s just a long crazy ride that never begins and never ends.

    You also said that believing the world was going to end was a very traumatizing experience for you, but you implied that it led to you finally learning to think for yourself. So was it a bad thing or a good thing?

    Comment by dan — December 14, 2009 @ 9:15 am

  16. Also to Jef, Christianity is not the only religion to incorporate some sort of apocalypse into it. (also the apocalypse is not the end of everything even in christianity, it’s more like a death/rebirth) Norse mythology for one has ragnarok. Zoroastrianism predicts a time when things will get worse and worse until final judgement. The hopi indians predict something similar. As does Hinduism.

    Comment by dan — December 14, 2009 @ 9:28 am

  17. Reading the Teafaerie is always a great learning experience. Way to go, Teafaerie! Keep up the awesome writing!

    Comment by Gilson — December 15, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

  18. probably the coolest speech/essay/transmission of opinions, thoughts, emotions and ideas on a variety of subjects all at once i have ever read:) it seems the main subject projected here is 2012, also psychedelics, but you also touched on manifestation, prophesies, and the potential dangers of the two combined, you integrated humor in a few different forms including sarcasm, and you were just all in all super complex yet easy to read all the way through because of the way you didn’t ramble on about one little thing for too long, you summed up all the little things in a beautiful way and without letting them seem summed up. and you didnt get super specific and technical and “big words” on us either, so the majority of people who start to read it, probably read it all the way through with no confusion at all. amazing

    Comment by fred — December 24, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

  19. Very well said Teafaerie. I am more afraid of Big Brother knocking on my perceptive door and invading my right to mind my own business using freaky-deeky malicious tools of frequency manipulation than the idea of the stars falling out of the sky in a rain of fire (solar flares, whatever) in 2012. What I can see is ‘the system’ aka ‘the network’ encourages the doomsday scenario so it will take the collective eye off their own seedy agenda(s) of further control over the masses. Don’t buy into it. 2012 is just another scare tactic like the idea of terrorism and it is deeply rooted in the core of world religion to help give it some sort of divine validity. All I can say is “there is no religious freedom without freedom from religion”. Know this from a psychedelic mastermind: “Whatever we think will happen come 2012 is what it will be not.” Let’s manifest something positive. Just Live, Love, and Laugh.

    Comment by Soufflé ala MJK — December 25, 2009 @ 5:43 am

  20. Back in ’96, I communicated with, then met, Terence McKenna, to discuss certain problems with the mathematical foundations of his “Timewave Theory”. He later named my critique of his theory the “Watkins Objection”.

    This has been discussed elsewhere online, and I’ve already written up and posted a detailed, technical account for anyone who might be interested. However, as 2012 approaches, and this topic generates more and more interest, I’ve decided to write up a brief, non-technical account, for those of you who can’t be bothered to wade through the equations.

    The article is here:


    Despite my objections to his Timewave theory, I will always be grateful to Terence McKenna, because it was he who first got me thinking about prime numbers.

    In my initial email to him, sent while I was working on my PhD thesis, I had offered my mathematical services, should he require them to further clarify or elaborate his theories. In his response, he told me that he had “an idea involving prime numbers” which he wanted me to look at – but he didn’t tell me what it was. I didn’t find out for months (and when I did, it was easy to dismiss it – he was hoping that his Timewave might be able to predict new, large prime numbers, thereby bringing it fully to the world’s attention…anyone who’s studied a bit of higher mathematics and who looks at the way that he generated his graph from the 384 “data points” will immediately be able to see that this is not going to happen!).

    But, in the intervening months (this was ’94 or ’95), I had excitedly tried to imagine what Terence McKenna would be thinking about prime numbers. I tried to “get inside his worldview” and then think about prime numbers. And this led to some very strange thoughts! These strange thoughts were the beginning of my interest in number theory (a branch of mathematics I had previously been largely unfamiliar with), culminating in the recent (June 2010) publication of my latest book The Mystery of the Prime Numbers ( Volume 1 of the Secrets of Creation trilogy).

    Comment by Matthew Watkins — August 23, 2010 @ 4:22 am

  21. I think the most annoying thing about people who predict the end of the world is when they also try to show that today’s times are the worst EVER. I don’t know, 60,000 romans died in one in a battle, and it happened, albet in slightly smaller numbers, all the time. For cripes sake, an atom bomb was dropped on two cities and other cities in Europe were practically decimated, taking an obscene amount of citizen bystanders with them. Modern medicine didn’t exist (not sure if that would matter to some of you, but no judgement. Just an observance). People had to do hard labor to keep their homestead in the feud vs. lord world. There weren’t as many charities to help out. A lot of people couldn’t read until recent generations – maybe 200 years? I forget.. Violent, bloody revolutions were happening all the time. We didn’t have a wealth of knowledge like the internet at our finger tips, and not a lot of people even got a good schooling past 8th grade. Cities were ruled by people who were often 100x worse than the most cutting insult conservatives can throw at Obama. Women and minorities had virtually no rights. There was awful awful taste in fashion (hahaha, just kidding. that’s only true for the 80’s..oook just kidding again :P) I’d say, for all our problems, we are not nearly as bad off as they were. Or maybe we are, but that’s just it. We’re as bad as them, not worse, but definitely not worse to the extent these people rant and rave about. Send them back a few centuries, wipe their memory, and they would be able to come to the same conclusion (“world is done! you’re all going to hell!”)

    Comment by Anonymous — September 10, 2010 @ 12:31 am

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