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Meditating on the Maya Calendar for 2012

New America Media, Profile, Marcelo Ballvé Posted: Sep 02, 2009

José Argüelles, author of the 1987 New Age classic, “The Mayan Factor,” lives in Jan Juc, a tiny coastal town in southern Australia. At dawn, the 70-year-old art historian says he has been up for three hours already, meditating and reading.

"I find that if I can get up and have two or three hours before the rest of the world wakes up, that's the best time to tune into the cosmic frequencies," Argüelles says, "tune into God, the higher forces that govern the universal order of reality."

Argüelles has lived in Australia since early 2008, lately in a small rented house. It's 100 kilometers south of Melbourne, a 10-minute walk to the sea and not far from a well-known surfer paradise, Bells Beach.

José ArgüellesMuch of Argüelles's energy these days is focused on preparing for Dec. 21, 2012, the date around which the ancient Maya "Long Count" calendar resets, at the end of a 5,125-year cycle.

It's in large part thanks to Argüelles's writings, beginning with “The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology,” that the year 2012 has emerged as shorthand for apocalypse in global pop culture, resulting in a slew of Internet sites, books, documentaries, as well as a Hollywood movie due out this fall. A new authorized biography of Argüelles written by his apprentice, Stephanie South, “2012: Biography of a Time Traveler,” calls him "the man behind the 2012 phenomenon."

According to the biography, Argüelles believes 2012 will bring, not destruction, but "the transformation of the present material-industrial order of the planet into a full renewal of the human mind, where telepathy is universal."

As with any trend in mass culture, 2012 is larger than a single person. But Argüelles was popularizing his ideas related to the Maya calendar and 2012 as early as 1975. He doesn't fret about 2012 going viral.

"Once it has left your hands it goes into the mass mind, it's really not yours to control any more," he says in a phone interview with New America Media.

A-bomb for peace

Argüelles himself has ambitious plans for 12/21/12: a simultaneous worldwide meditation. He led a similar global event, the widely publicized Harmonic Convergence, in August 1987, after publishing “The Mayan Factor.” The Harmonic Convergence attracted thousands of New Age types to gatherings at Maya and Egyptian ruins, New York's Central Park, Hawaiian volcanoes, and California mountainsides. The goal was to emanate positive energy ahead of a 25-year period, ending in 2012, during which Argüelles said the earth would experience a string of cataclysmic events.

Johnny Carson mentioned the event on the Tonight Show.

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