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Apocalyptic predictions are everywhere

The end of the Mayan long count (Tzolkin) calendar is close to one year behind us, and with it all the hype and fringe hysteria over an alleged global apocalypse occurring Dec. 21, 2012. No worldwide natural or man-made catastrophe wiped out the greater mass of humankind. The present-day Mayans celebrated the day with dance and song.

Here in the central plains, the weather was balmy and pleasant, barely a breeze blowing. In their rejection of the 12/21/12 world's-end scenario, the skeptics were vindicated.

Be that as it may, it could be the height of folly to throw out the greater tradition of prophecy with the bathwater of doomsday forecasting. Many of us, including some who don't subscribe to strictly literal interpretation of Biblical scripture, believe various passages therein have accurately foretold the profusion of crises afflicting humanity in our era. Generally paralleling those are the forewarnings and divinations found in other sacred texts, as well as in the writings of gifted seers such as the 16th century French physician and astrologer, Michel Nostradamus.

Not widely known are the prophetic traditions of the Native American Hopi tribe of northeastern Arizona, who trace their origins to the ancient Mayans (indigenous to present-day Guatamala and Yucatan). Theirs also includes a 2012 focal point, and as such has special relevance for we non-Native Americans whose forebears wrought massive death and destruction on native peoples.

Among the singular visions had by the pre-Columbian Hopi shamans were: a "moving house of iron" appearing in tribal lands, an obvious allusion to trains; a great influx of white people ("Bahanna") would come from the east, imposing their way of life on the Hopis (and all Native Americans); many (Hopis) will forsake the Great Spirit's laws for material desires; there will be horseless carriages; men will have the ability to speak through "cobwebs" (telegraph and telephone wires) and through space (wireless communications); a "gourd full of ashes" would be invented which, if dropped from the sky, would boil the oceans and burn the land so nothing could grow for many years, a startling presage of thermonuclear weapons; the destruction of the sacred balance of Hopi life will precede the whole world going off balance.

The wise Hopi elders of today believe we are presently deep into the age of "Koyannisqatsi," as foretold in their prophetic traditions. In English, koyannisgatsi is rendered as "life out of balance," or "the state of things which exists when another way of life is called for." A particular Hopi prophecy not likely to be believed and/or welcomed by patriotic Americans is that, owing to its endemic koyannisqatsi, the U.S. as a sovereign political entity will dissolve in the coming several decades.

Do we see the foreshadowing of such a fate in the much-decried dysfunctionality of our federal government?

The upside of Mayan and Hopi prophecy is that after the period of severe trial and tribulation has been undergone, the shift into a higher level spiritual consciousness will be accomplished, a literal new human world arisen from the ruins of egoism and materialism, the twin evils of koyannisgatsi. Peace and respect between all people will be restored, as well as harmony with Mother Earth.

It is important to understand that no prophecy is virtually unalterable by human action. Through our collective behavior we might still avert much unnecessary suffering in the years ahead. Authentic foretelling of the future is simply the ability to perceive the trajectory of events and predict the unavoidable results if that trajectory is not changed by human attitudes and behavior.

The crux is that the longer and further the established march of events is sustained, the more difficult it becomes to alter its course. The law of momentum applies to human affairs. In which case, we should be preparing for coming major, perhaps tumultuous, change in this generation, of which the initial stage gives all evidence of now being underway.

A. Wayne Senzee, formerly of Hays, is a published author now residing in Salina.