2012: A Spiritual Odyssey

A middle-aged woman hands out a leaflet for an alternative form of healing at a spiritual expo in Delhi. While explaining her therapy, she casually adds, “We all need to do our bit while preparing for 2012.” Why so, you ask. “The earth’s energies are shifting,” she explains. “We’re moving from the third dimension to the fifth. People with higher frequencies will cross over to the new state of being after 2012.”

This comes a year after the release of the Hollywood blockbuster 2012. The film was a sci-fi simulation of what would happen if the earth’s poles turned turtle, a multi-million-dollar cinematic interpretation of an ancient Mayan calendar that ends on December 21, 2012. But surely this was just a director’s imagination, an artist’s fantasy?

Network 2012

Network 2012 is a portal run by peaceniks called Lightworkers.  As with other such groups on the Internet, the underlying belief of all their activity is the impending dawn of a new era.

Shamanist Neo Pachisia, who specialises in psychological astrology, predicts that 2012 will be the beginning of a change on all fronts in the history of mankind – economic, political, cultural, physical and spiritual. Her philosophy for the year is, “Thy will be done.”

Several books released in recent years in the West point towards a certain cosmic coincidence that is to take place in the latter half of 2012.  According to American educationists Barry and Janae Weinhold, 2012 marks the close of several large cycles of time: a 26,000-year Mayan calendar cycle, a 26-million-year earth cycle and the 225-million galactic year cycle.  So are we really headed for a Big Bang Boom in 2012?

The Science

NASA, fielding thousands of queries every year, has refuted all cataclysm theories. “There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on earth would be negligible,” informs its website. It says no meteor is headed our way in 2012, and nor is there going to be a reversal in the earth’s rotation or its polarities.

End-of-the-world rumours are spread by people with little knowledge of astronomy, says Samir Dhurde, public outreach staff at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune. “There are no legitimate experts in favour of these ‘prophecies’, which mostly crop up in idle brains every few years,” he asserts.  Many scientists find the current hullaballoo similar to the Y2K scare of 2000.

Astrologers are skeptical too: “Vedic astrology is based on lunar cycles and is accurate,” explains Delhi-based Pandit Ajai Bhambi. “And absolutely nothing out-of-the-ordinary is predicted for 2012.”

Heal the World

It is a good time, though, to understand what personal and collective evolution as a species means to us. The 2012 prophecy may be the trigger we need to give up destructive behavior and become better human beings. But as Dhurde says, “Fear should never be the impulse to be good. Why wait till the world is about to end to make it a better place?” If we know we have only two years more to live, we would perhaps strive to fulfill our dreams and reach out to our loved ones as much as we can. Can’t we do that now?

In fact, worrying about the future will only ruin our enjoyment of the present. Jasmine Bharathan, a Mumbai-based consultant psychologist who uses energy psychology techniques such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), cautions against trying to figure out all of life’s mysteries. “When we constantly worry about the future, we miss the magnificent things that are happening right now,” she says. We don’t have to be sorted out at all times, she adds; we can let things be as they are, good or bad. “Each moment is perfect as it is. We have to engage with it and flow with it”.

What does the 2012 prophecy mean to the average person? “My sensei, the 13th century Buddhist monk Nichiren Daishonin, said, “Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. For me, that’s what it means to live life at its fullest potential,” reflects 22-year-old Sneha Kapur, an analyst with an IT corporation.

The Right Frequency

What does it really mean when we’re told to operate at ‘higher frequencies’? New-age gurus explain it as a shift in our consciousness with substantial inner growth. According to them, all beings are wave fields of energy, and when we change our inner landscape, we automatically change the frequencies that we radiate to the outside world. As authors Esther and Jerry Hicks explain in Ask and It Is Given, “Every thought vibrates, every thought radiates a signal, and every thought attracts a matching signal back. We call that process the Law of Attraction: That which is like unto itself is drawn.” Whether you mull over ‘heavier’ negative thoughts or ‘lighter’ joyful ones, you will attract exactly those vibrations, situations and people into your life, say the authors.

Eventually, it all boils down to a lightness of being. Jaspal Singh, the 35-year-old owner of Café Wisdom in Bangalore, has this to say: “To have high vibrations means to live without any self-centered activity and to embrace whatever happens. It is to live with a song in your heart!” If each one of us can achieve that personal reality, it will automatically usher in the dawn of a new, harmonious era for all of us.

First published in The Speaking Tree

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