Hollywood is doing it again. This time it’s the terminal endgame for the planet. The blockbuster 2012 will be released in movie theatres on November 12th. The trailer for this movie paints an ominous planetary apocalypse where man’s greatest fear or in some cases denial becomes a final reality.
In much of Judaic-Christian apocalyptic literature as well as inIslamic Hadiths, end time scenarios paint a future of literal cleansing of the earth by fire and desolation. As 2012 highlights the ferocity of devastating earthquakes which creates record-breaking tsunamis coupled with Category 6 hurricanes which push global temperatures into bizarre fluctuations – the planet tether-totters as it writhes in cosmic agony as a pregnant woman in the labor pain of childbirth.
One may argue that predictions of how the world would end have been around for thousands of years. We can read summations of this eschatology based on the opening of the 7 Seals in the book of Revelation where the  Horsemen of the Apocalypse dole out patrimony in the form of war, famine, plague and death – consummating with the ultimate “Judgment Day” cosmological show-piece following on its heels.
For Muslims, it is the return of the Madhi and Jesus, son of Mary that will bring the final doomsday where the “Sun Will Rise In The West”and usher in the Golden Age.
In 2006, Mel Gibson’s film Apocalypto, a Greek word meaning “an unveiling and a new beginning” was a forerunner to this new film 2012 and it finds resonance and gels with the Mayan definition of the “Fin de los Tiempos” (END OF TIME) where the next prophesied “b’ak’tun”(GREAT CYCLE) will occur on Friday, December 21, 2012.
What’s remarkable is the portrayal used in this movie which is based on Mayans belief conceptualized in a prophetic idea of the “GREAT CYCLE” – in which Mel Gibson & Co. in Hollywood are using to fan the flames of hyper-reality and sensualization with the release of this apocalyptic movie.
According to Mayan prophecy it is said that the Sun will be in alignment during the winter solstice crossing perfectly the equatorial plane of the Milky Way. Astronomers and cosmologists agree that the Solar System only enters this plane twice during this ‘Great Cycle’ producing this epiphenomenon called a GALACTIC REVOLUTION.
The Mayan Popol Vuh’s (Mayan Bible) prophecy of the “Fin de los Tiempos” is based on the Mayans mathematical as well as astronomical calculations and abilities which were unsurpassed as a civilization, devising probably the most accurate calendars known to man, even more accurate than the modern Gregorian calendar – showing through extremely accurate observations of the sun, the planets, the stars and the Milky Way galaxy, possessing knowledge concerning the “Precession of the Equinoxes“, and as they approached the study of “prophecy” they looked at the periodicity of cycles, especially astronomical ones, and their connection to human events (Carreon 2005).
The Mayan Calendar which was based on a 20 day month with  a year, revolving every 20 years, or what is called a “Katun” (generation) – and each 20 “Katuns” was called a “b’ak’tun”, and where  of these made a “Great Cycle” (about 5125 of our years). This “Great Cycle” due to end in 2012.
But is this all ancient religious title tattle concerning THE END? Does anyone really know the future for sure? What does this Mayan long count calendar which was a MesoAmerican calendrical system really tell us about religious faith? Are there other possible ways of foretelling how a sequence of events will usher in the doomsday that even seems to fascinate Hollywood? And what do other religious faiths say about the end of the world as we know it? Let’s see what other faiths have to say concerning the end.
For one, traditional Hindu prophecies, as described in the “Puranas” and other Sanskrit texts, warns us that the world will fall into chaos and degradation where perversity, greed and conflict, will be rife as described in the following statement:
“When deceit falsehood, lethargy, sleepiness, violence, despondency, grief, delusion, fear, and poverty prevail … when men, filled with conceit, consider themselves equal with the Brahmins…that is the Kali Yuga.”
Then according to Hindu prophecy will the “AVATAR” come:
“The Lord shall manifest Himself as the Kalki Avatar… He will establish righteousness upon the earth and the minds of the people will become as pure as crystal… As a result, the Sat or Krta Yuga (Golden Age) will be established.”
Like Hindus, Buddhists also believe in a cycle of destruction and creation. Buddha believed his teachings would’ve disappeared after 500 years because it was in man’s nature to follow the ten amoral concepts of theft, violence, murder, lying, evil speaking, adultery, abusive and idle talk, covetousness and ill will, wanton greed, and perverted lust resulting in skyrocketing poverty and the end of the worldly laws of true dharma. A new Buddha called the “Maitreya” will arise to renew the teachings of Buddhism and rediscover the path to Nirvana. Maitreya is believed to currently residing in the Tusita heaven, where he is awaiting his final rebirth in the world.
In Judaic hermeneutic tradition, the end of the world is called the “Acharit Hayamim” (End of Days). Global apocalyptic events will destroy “the old world order” creating “A New Order” in which God is universally recognized as the Ruler over everyone and everything. Sages of the Talmud say: “Let the end of days come, but may I not live to see them”, because they will be filled with so much conflict, suffering and destruction – no eyes would want to see such devastation.
In Zoroastrianism eschatology which some argue is probably the oldest eschatology in recorded history where by 500 BC Zoroastrians had fully developed a concept of the end of the world by a cleansing by fire. According to Zoroastrian philosophy, redacted in the Zand-i Vohuman Yasht:
“At the end of thy [10th] hundredth winter…the sun is more unseen and more spotted; the year, month, and day are shorter; and the earth is more barren; and the crop will not yield the seed; and men … become more deceitful and more given to vile practices. They have no gratitude.”
At the end of the Battle between the righteous and wicked, a Final Judgment of all souls will commence. Sinners will be punished 3 days, but are then forgiven. The world will reach perfection as poverty, old age, disease, thirst, hunger and death are halted. Zoroastrian concepts parallel greatly with those of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic eschatological beliefs, largely due to the influence Zoastrianism exerted on Judaism whilst the Levant was under Achaemenid control and the subsequent emergence of Christianity and Islam from Judaism.
In Native American prophecy it is said that a “great dwelling place” in the heavens shall fall with a great crash to the earth and it appears as a blue star, and the earth will rock to and fro. It is also prophesized that during the end times the earth would be crossed by iron snakes and stone rivers, (i.e. railroads), and the land would be criss-crossed by a giant spider’s web (i.e. freeways), and seas will turn black (i.e. oil spills). Many will die, but those who understand the prophecies shall live in the places of the Hopi* people and be safe.
But what is science saying?
Finally science is also facing up to the serious challenges our planet is undergoing. In a scientific research city in the heart of Siberia, geophysicists are concerned that the solar system is moving into a highly charged interstellar energy cloud and these renowned physicists are trying to make sense of the fact that the earth’s magnetic field is vanishing. Amongst the vast field of data are concerns based on empirical scientific research on solar data; the increasing incidents ofearthquakes and the growing areas of seismic activity; volcanic activity around Mount St. Helens and a myriad of global issues which impact on every inhabitant on the earth. Research at the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory opens a fascinating window on the awesome beauty of planet and many skeptics cannot imagine that this wonderful planet including the heavens around us will one day go into meltdown.
Whatever your belief – these are the facts, the prophecies and the strands of philosophy which provided the necessary ammunition for all of us to make a decisive choices. Again Hollywood seems to be setting the social, moral and spiritual temperature in our world