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At no time in the history of man, have so many eyes been upon the lost Mayan civilization, even during its peak of its empire prior to the year 900 of the Common Era. But, today the Mayans and their Long Count Calendar, which began on August 11, 3114BC, is on the minds of millions as its count turns over to a new b'ak'tun.
Today, December 21, 2012 is the beginning of 220.127.116.11.0 of the Long Count Calendar, and in ancient times the changing of a B’ak’tun was a time for celebration and festivities as it was considered an honor to be alive when the calendar changed to a new B’ak’tun which only occurred once every 144,000 days or 394.5 years. The Long Count calendar was used for much larger measurements of time than the Calendar Round that had a cycle of 52 years, or roughly an average lifespan. So time events on the Long Count Calendar were much rarer in a person’s lifetime in the Mayan civilization.
It wasn’t until modern times, after the Mayan Long Calendar was deciphered, did the notion arise that the end of the Mayan Long Count, and the occurrence of 18.104.22.168.0 on that calendar would be the end of times for human civilization. It is mistakenly believed in many circles that the Mayans knew and understood events that would occur in the future.
At fault too is the fear of change that possesses man and has since the beginning of our history. Man has always looked to change as a thing to recoil from, and what more perceivable and apparent change is there then the changing of years, centuries, and millennia. Man has cringed at the change of centuries since at least the beginning of the common era. Man has looked at millenia change much more so.
The most recent example of end of world theory regarding the calendar occurred in the year 2000. The eve of 2000 brought fears of computer confusion that was predicted to ultimately end with power outages, information disruption, and even nuclear holocaust as computers became so confused that nuclear strike would take place.
It was thought by many religious figures that the year of 2000 was the time of the Second Coming of Christ according to figures such as Jerry Falwell, Jonathon Edwards, Lester Sumrall, Ed Dobson, Edward Cayce and even Sun Myung Moon. Religious psychic Ruth Montgomery predicted that the world would end as the poles shifted in the year 2000.
The turn of the century caused much strife in many a life as people sold their goods and spent their money in anticipation of the end that never occurred. In one most extreme case in Uganda, 778 followers of a Ugandan religious movement headed by Credonia Mwerinde and Joseph Kibweteere would perish by fire, poison and murder, as the leaders of the movement carried out mass killings as their prediction of the end of the world was proved untrue.
Many of the same predictions have been associated with today’s date as well. It was expected by many, that as the celestial alignments of the sun and the galaxy take place, the gravitational pull would tear at the earth causing catastrophe after catastrophe.
But, so far today, the poles haven’t shifted, super-volcanoes haven’t erupted, Armageddon hasn’t occurred, meteors and comets haven’t devastated the planet, and the sun hasn’t erupted in deathly rays cooking the earth. Catstrophic earthquakes are not rattling the planet and aliens haven’t arrived.
But, then again, it could that be we didn’t read the Mayan calendar correctly, and instead of the cycle completing at 22.214.171.124.0; we misunderstood. There are more, longer counts of time in the Mayan calendar, ones that we mistakenly omitted. 13 B’ak’tun isn’t the end of the Mayan Long Count cycle after all. The count goes to 20 B’ak’tun. That is the occurrence of the next Piktun, or completion of a full cycle of B’ak’tuns. We can safely update our doomsday calendars if we wish to connect end of days to the Mayan calendar, that date is a little further away.
It does not occur until October 13, 4772 when the calendar will read 126.96.36.199.0.0.