The book entitled The Secrect Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects by Alexandra David-Neel and Lama Yongden with a foreword by Alan Watts is now a classic of that era and is one of over 30 titles by the author. It was one of my favorites and one from wherein I pretended to get some insights into my otherwise confused state of existence. I opened it to page 64 and read from a section dealing with the "cause and effect" view of Buddhist on how thoughts and forms arise from the mind and then the author jumps to this:
After reading this rather "heavy" thinking for someone nursing a hangover and with a foggy mind I thought: "wow heavy!" yeah, one the one hand one thing leads to another in an endless chain of causes and effects and on the other hand one can never tell!! I put the book down, turned around switched the lamp off and curled up in bed. As I was dozing off into never never land I thought I heard the train. Living in Zone nine at the time one was always subject to strange loud noises. The airport was withing a few blocks and the old Pamplona Trains Station and overpass were only a few kilometers away so it was normal to hear the train in the wee hours of the morning. Then the train got louder and I thought: "My god what did I smoke tonight that can increase my perception like that?" Then it seemed that the train had gone insane and was going down sixth avenue and was headed for my apartment, all of this in a few seconds and with and unearthly increase in volume. Nah definitely the Train would come blasting throught the wall at any minute!! And then it hit me!! Of course after the reading, one could never tell what would really happen next and besides in the Bible it said that the end would come when we least expected it and this was the least expected thing in my life at that precise moment! The End was Here!!
I heard shouts and voices and then, shit! I had forgotten my parents back in the apartment! I ran back put my jeans on, and answered to my Mom's and Dad's appeals for help! their door was jammed. I knocked it down and got them out. The inevitable comments, "Madonna che terremoto" "e tutto distrutto" etc. We got outside looked around in the semidarkness. Our building was in one piece but the massive beams that went over the parking area were bent and the building would be condemned. We had to move. Made a few calls got a hold of Giovanni got some belongings in the car. Went to see my Mom's factory and my Dad's Biz, they were OK but devastation was everywhere.
I never went back. My life had changed for ever. I never lived with my parents again. Guatemala was never the same again. The next three days were like a race through Dante's Inferno on a bad day. At some point I went back and got my things which at the time consisted of the famous little book quoted above, 6 or 7 other books mostly Shambala publications on Bhuddism, The teachings of Don Juan, the Upanishad, one Bible, and a Whole Earth Catalogue, my back pack a sleeping bag, my Svea camping stove, my orange tent some clothes and off I went. Later we saw the clock on the Tower at the Cathedral and it had stopped at 3:04 a.m. it was February the 4th 1976.
So now we have the Mayan Calendar coming to the end of one of it's big cycles. Fist let me say that there is a long and interesting story of what happened after the Earthquaque to me and my buddies. In brief we got together a bunch of friends some with cars and we started first filming the destruction and then we started to carry food and medicine to Dr. Carroll Berhorst and his famous clinic in Chimaltenango. We went through many more adventures in just three days, one more earthquake many more shakes, meetings with VIP's in high places as we were the first to go out to the villages and report back. Giovanni had filmed everything he could around the city, developed it at Carey Productions Lab and then we sneaked into the airport and handed the film to the Pan Am skipper and asked him to send it to ABC news. the ABC did air it and it was the first news of the earthquake out of Guatemala to the world. CARE and World Neighbors and Oxfam would use our "Volunteer Caravan" for days in order to get food and Meds to the neediest villages. On Saturday Dr. Berhorst asked us to stop bringing him stuff and to please go to a very much forgotten out of the way village called San Jose Poaquil as it had many surrounding Aldeas and he was sure no one would have reached them yet.
Destruction was everywhere. Scenes of terror, grief and shock were commonplace, we reopened the road to Antigua through "los Aposentos", this entrance was not destroyed but as the government had been building the sewers in and adjacent (to Antigua) village where the road had to go through the road was all dug up. We got out of our caravan and borrowed shovels from the dumb struck neighbors and started filling in the ditches, soon people started helping and in a matter of an hour so, passage to Antigua was re-established. A Busload of Doctor had been stuck there all day. Every Village we went through was pretty much flattened out, San Lucas, Santiago Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango, Patzizia, Patzun...
|San Jose Poaquil|
Where once beautiful adobe houses with inner courtyards had flanked each other ordered in streets and avenues of Spanish style cities, now nothing stood, one could see clear across towns with just a few piles of rubble and the occasional remains of a big church or a "block" building. People wondered around aimlessly, some congregated at open areas for fear of continuing tremors and the occasional moronic preacher would be vociferating and predicating about the end of the world, inciting sinners to repent!
|Ian Perrone, Don Oso and Marroquines|
I had also lived earlier in Todos Santos Cuchumatan but that's also another story worthy of a few chapters if not a book. Many years later and after much reading like The Mayan Factor by Jose Arguelles , The Forest of Kings and The Blood of the Kings by Linda Schele and again trying to make some sense of my own life I came to this conclusion: Unlike us (Judeo-Christian-Greco Roman descendants) the Mayans were not obsessed with mapping space but they were with mapping time!!
|Boda Chente Sis en Poaquil|
Our culture on the contrary came from shepherding tribes in the desert, wine growers, or from sailors in the Med or Atlantic They traveled far to get things, spices, food that did not grow all year round in their homelands. We had to search the heavens at night to determine where they we were in the daytime. We built cities an domains in grids so we could establish limits and sizes to our properties. We invented the grid (streets and avenues), private property and probably greed a la Wall Street. We built homes and domains with storage for grains, animals and preserves to make it through the winters and figured out routes to get more, the powerful figured out controls to hoard and transport. The Pharaohs, the Caesars, the Venetians the Spaniards, The UK, and now the USA... Well this is a long story too but the point here is: The Mayans figured out how to live according to an elaborate Calendar and going about their business at the right time. We figured out how to get what we needed/wanted through travel and commerce which was established through exploration, conquest and establishing boundaries through Cartesian Coordinates, our "Logic" our "Economics" our values and ethics...We had the bible in one hand but the compass and the chart on the other.
We may never fully understand the Classic Mayan values and ethics, their complete vision of their universe or their calendar. As noted before The Buddhists don't believe in the possibility of accurate Prophecy. Our Ancient Books are a sad collage of badly translated and politically edited materials covering several thousand years and are pretentious in that they claim to be "God's Word" (I bet He cringes at the thought). The Mayan Calendar on the other hand is pretty clear and has gotten down to us as it was used by the Mayans and it clearly notes that 2012 marks the end of an era.
What will happen in 2012? Who knows? The fact is that incredible changes are already underway and as humanity increases in numbers we also accelerate in pace. More and faster changes are underway than ever before in our history. Technology has revolutionized how we communicate. Societies are revolting against old regimes see Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, etc. Economies and Capital are critical and shifting from West to East along with employment. Soon there will be as many people on earth as have ever walked the face of our planet, mind-boggling for those that insist on a linear reincarnation or that only a few chosen (144,000) will be raptured up into the heavens. We are more dependent on technology and machines than ever, however we also have more poor and starving people than ever before. Our cities are turning into madhouses. Drug abuse, it's traffic and collateral violence seem unstoppable. The environment and the Earth will never be the same again and she seems to be belching on our toxic waste. We've had major earthquakes and tsunamis: Indonesia, Chile, Fukushima all strong enough to slightly shift the earth's axis. Our resources are being depleted at an alarming rate and at a inestimable cost to the Environment and well ourselves.
520 years ago, or 20 cycles of 26 years, 10 cycles of 52 which is a magical number resulting(13x4) four times the 13 numbers in the Sacred Calendar times 20 days (A recurring theme in Mayan numerology) would be 1492 our calendar. That year Columbus discovered America to the West, the Muslims were kicked out of Spain and hence mainland Europe, the Jews were kicked out of Spain as well and the Inquisition was set underway in a Europe already under the demand of Reform. Within a few years the world had changed, shipping lanes were established Magellan and Cabot circumnavigated the Globe, the Spanish conquered with a few men vast territories, the other empires followed suit. Technology and arts flourished in the west while the Mayan and their descendants were subjected to unspeakable misery.
Here's some links from people that know more about this:
John Major Jenkins Article on Dec. 21 2012
2012: End of the 5th Sun by Will hart