to John Jenkins Review-Essay Critique of
the Greatest Mystery of Our Time - The Mayan Calendar
Carl Johan Calleman, Ph.D.
Author of The Mayan Calendar (Garev, 2001)
I clearly agree with John Jenkins on one point: I feel that the only way for the readers to find out what our respective theories are about is to read our respective books. There is simply no way their content could be faithfully reproduced in a debate such as this and I can only hope that those seriously interested in the prophetic implications of the Mayan calendar will study my work more closely and come to realize that this is not the usual "old stuff." To me, this debate mainly serves the purpose of clarifying the two different opposing views and to highlight their respective consequences for modern people. In this forum I will thus try to minimize discussions of details and I refer those interested in my critique of Jenkins' precessional theory to http://www.ioon.net/mayaonics/Pages/Articles/appendixV.htm.
Jenkins and I also agree when it comes to the true tzolkin count. When it comes to the beginning day of the tzolkin I am however not really sure what Jenkins is trying to say. It seems he is leaning towards agreeing with me that it is 1 Imix, something, which would be consistent with the lists of day-signs in all the ancient codices (but not what is currently practiced in Guatemala where 8 Batz is the first day). I feel that saying that there is no such thing as a first day of the tzolkin is tantamount to saying that "any count goes," an idea that Jenkins has previously fought. The tzolkin is a matrix for structuring the spiritual energies of time, not merely a linear way of marking its passage, and for this structuring to be correct the beginning day must be correct. To be able to use the tzolkin for sensitizing ourselves to the spiritual energies of time we will need to retrieve the ancient starting date 1 Imix. Hopefully Jenkins will eventually agree.
Maybe this is about as far as our agreements go, and when it comes to the nature of time and the deeper meaning of the Mayan calendar Jenkins does not discuss this. What I then find most surprising with Jenkins' Review-Essay Critique of my book is that it does not even address the validity of my theories of how the Mayan calendar describes the evolution of consciousness. Yet, this is what my whole book is about. Maybe he does not think that the evolution of consciousness or the prophetic uses of the Mayan calendar are important, and so has nothing to say about cosmic, biological or historical evolution or predictions for the future, but in this regard I really expected more from Jenkins. Unfortunately he has nothing to say about the evolution of consciousness and is focusing more on petty details or defending his precessional theory, and so the quality of the debate suffers.
The only place where Jenkins discusses historic events is in fact in his book Tzolkin, and there he does so in the context of Babylonian-European astrology! This use of Babylonian astrology to explain historic events shows how entrenched Jenkins is in a materialist notion of time, and it is from this that our divergent views regarding the Mayan calendar emanate. The key to developing a prophetic science of time based on the Mayan calendar is in my view to grasp the distinction between on the one hand spiritual cycles, related to the evolution of consciousness, and on the other astronomical cycles based on the movement of matter. Those that grasp this distinction and radically focus on the spiritual cycles, will be able to understand the evolution of consciousness and the prophetic meaning of the Mayan calendar. This is bad news for Babylonian astrologers and materialists generally. It is good news for those that want to use the Mayan calendar as a tool to help them align their lives with the divine plan.
To base the understanding of time on the movement of matter is also an approach that diverges from that of the ancient Maya, who saw prophetic time as based on a progression through different spiritual energies symbolized by deities with different qualities (That maybe in fact were different manifestations or guises of the One God, but this we will never really know). And so, if Jenkins and I differ regarding the end date of the Mayan calendar it is because we differ in our understanding of the nature of time. I would then like to give a clear answer to his question: No, the Mayan prophetic science of time can not be based on astronomy. And I could make this statement even stronger: If somebody implies that the purpose of the calendar is to predict some kind of physical or astronomical event, such as for instance a solstice, there is every reason to expect that he or she is off the mark. Prophecy can only be based on the existence of a divine plan, and this divine plan, which governs the evolution of consciousness, is primary to all of its physical manifestations. Material manifestations such as planetary movements, etc, in fact are the creations of the divine plan and so play no causative roles in this. Fortunately, we are living in an era that develops an awareness that consciousness is primary to matter, and so an increasing number of people are starting to move in a direction where space and time are perceived primarily as spiritual. Jenkins proclaims that his goal is to reawaken the connection to the transcendent dimension, but in practice he does the very opposite when he emphasizes the purported importance of the physical movements of material bodies, and encourages people to look in the sky for the evolution of consciousness.
That indeed a non-physical, non-astronomical notion of time must be the basis of the Mayan prophetic science of time is evident not only because divination still today is commonly based on the 260-day tzolkin calendar but also because prophecy in the Books of Chilam Balam was based on the 360-day tun period or the 7,200 day katun periods. None of these prophetic time cycles are based on astronomical cycles. In a more obvious way the reason that the Mayan calendar system cannot be based on astronomical cycles is that it goes back all the way to the Big Bang, to a point in time when no matter existed. This was several billion years before our sun and the planets that revolve around it came into existence. So if the Mayan calendar system describes cosmic evolution from a time before any stars or even galaxies existed how could it be based on astronomy? This fact alone makes it easy to sort out as irrelevant many proposals that have been fabricated in recent years to fit the end date of the Mayan Long Count. If they are astronomical, or in any sense material, it is immediately obvious that they are based on too limited an understanding of the Mayan calendar system. Jenkins on his part for instance makes no mention of the 1.25 billion year hablatun cycles, because in such a perspective it becomes immediately evident that the precessional theory lacks relevance.
I feel however that the primary reason that people today are attracted to the Mayan calendar is that many have an intuitive sense that the Mayan calendar is indeed prophetic and has something to say about where the cosmos is meant to go. This then also means something for where we as individuals need to go and from the use of the Mayan calendar we may enhance our sensitivity to this. Because many of us have had experiences that some things were meant to happen and others were not we have reasons to suspect that there is a divine plan in operation and so it is only natural if we want to understand this. The existence and nature of this cosmic plan is what I have demonstrated by matching the empirical facts of modern science with the Mayan calendar. The Mayan calendar describes the rhythm of unfolding of the divine plan. There are many important things to learn from it regarding the process of creation, which has taken us to where we are today.
So the purpose of my book is to reconstruct a prophetic calendar for the future of humanity based on the Classical Mayan calendar system. Because I have corrected the ending date of this system Jenkins tries to portray himself as its defender. Yet, he is the one that ignores the time periods; tuns, katuns, etc, of prophetic time that were used in the Books of Chilam Balam, and coming from someone who builds his whole book on a 26,000-year cycle that is never even mentioned among the Maya it seems like someone "throwing stones in a glass house" to accuse me of not being orthodox enough. Compared to outright inventing a cycle a correction of 420 days is a very small change indeed. Nonetheless, I will not be surprised if the ending date will turn out to be the most controversial aspect of my work, and the focus of the difference between the two opposing views of the Mayan calendar, the consciousness-based and the astronomical. And the issue does go to the heart of the matter as to how the Mayan calendar is to be used. In one view, the precessional, all the Mayan calendar is good for is to tell us that we should wait for an astronomical event (which in Jenkins' case has already happened). In the other view, the consciousness-based, the calendar may be used for tuning ourselves in to the ongoing process of divine creation and the actual wave movement of spiritual energies that this generates. There is no question that I want to make the findings about this available on an as large scale as possible, but to make the Mayan calendar available on a larger scale requires that the existence of a divine plan can be verified based on scientific facts. This requires that these facts may not be dismissed as wishful thinking or unproven intuitions, and are facts that everyone can verify in an encyclopedia.
I then find it unbelievable that Jenkins considers his interpretation of Stele 11 (or similar ones) as "evidence" of his theory that the ancient Maya based the Long Count on the precessional cycle and had targeted its end date as December 21, 2012. [Do you seriously think this would pass in court?] Seeing such suggestions I feel fortunate to have received my scientific training from members of the Nobel Committees in Stockholm and later, before I devoted myself to the Mayan calendar, have made a successful scientific career of my own in some other world-leading scientific institutions. I feel that this background has given me at least some sense of what is fact and what is wishful thinking. Even if some of Jenkins' interpretations (although certainly not the ones about precession and December 21, 2012) are consistent with what is currently in vogue among iconographers and archaeologists, his case is like making a hen from a feather. I am however not going to propose an alternative interpretation to the stele, since I feel we will never really know for certain what pre-historic peoples meant by their myths or art. I would rather suggest that pictures made by ancient peoples would serve well as a diagnostic Rorschach test indicative of pre-conceived ideas of modern observers (When giving talks where I show the sarcophagus lid of Pacal I still sometimes meet people who see an astronaut based on Erich von Däniken's original suggestion). My own theory is instead based on facts such as: "The Thirty Years' War began in 1618" or "Kepler's Harmonices Mundi was published in 1619", facts that do not change over time and, if necessary, would even pass in court. I am certain that Jenkins' would not.
And on one point I feel that Jenkins in his critique article actually intentionally tries to obscure things. This is when he says that the Maya "choose" the year 2012 as the end of their Long Count - an expression that he repeats several times. Jenkins knows, however, or at least should know, that the Maya did not "choose" the end date as the target of the Long Count. The ancient Mayan inscriptions on the matter tell us about what happened at the beginning of the Long Count, when the World Tree was raised by the First Father. The true meaning of this event was transcendental, and since Jenkins can find no astronomical meaning that corresponds to it, he prefers to look away from the descriptions of the beginning of the Long Count that the ancient Maya made themselves in Palenque. It is amazing to see how people sometimes look away from the most obvious evidence right in front of them if this does not fit their pre-conceived ideas: Thousands of inscriptions of the time periods of the tun-based system, their use as prophetic time periods in the Books of Chilam Balam, a clear description of the beginning of the Long Count in Palenque and a complete absence of any mention of a 26,000-year cycle means nothing to someone who have already set his mind.
Somewhat as an aside I want to say that I object to Jenkins' use of the word "Western" at times when he actually means European: "the primordial tradition that survived up to a relatively recent horizon in Mayan sacred science, but which was long ago eclipsed in the West". In what direction then does Jenkins think that the Maya lived? By objecting to this usage I concur with the idea recently voiced by the Czech president Vaclav Havel that we should reserve the word Western for geographical meaning. The use of the term "Western culture" tends to deny the existence of the ancient Western tradition of this planet. Because of their location West of the World Tree the cosmologies developed by the Mesoamericans generally, and the Maya especially, were in fact very much shaped by the consciousness of this location, and so were far more analytical and mathematical than those developed by any of their contemporaries in other parts of the world. To call phenomena that are actually European in origin "Western", only serves to obscure the existence of the ancient Native American tradition and pretend that it never existed.
Because of my background the most common criticism of my work has been that it is too scientific, and this is the reason that The Theory of Everything has not yet been found a publisher. The evidence of the prophetic nature of the Mayan calendar, with references and detailed scientific back up, has thus not yet been presented in its fullness. Because I have sought to adapt to such criticisms my current book, Solving the Greatest Mystery of Our Time: The Mayan Calendar, has a number of shortcomings from a scholarly point of view. An example of this is the lack of references and acknowledgments of sources generally. And so, it was not acknowledged that one of the day tables used for calculating tuniversaries and tzolkin days was in fact taken from Jenkins' book Tzolkin. I apologize for having omitted such an acknowledgment and will try to correct it by adding it in my forthcoming book 13 Ahau - The Mayan Calendar as a Guide on the Path towards Enlightenment. I suspect however that in this regard there are many, probably much worse, omissions in my book The Mayan Calendar. There are for instance no acknowledgments of the scientists who determined that the dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago or that the North Atlantic came into existence at the same time. I can only imagine how extensive the reference list would be if all such acknowledgments were made. I have learned the hard way that this is not what publishers like and to write a book of this scope with reference to all the science behind it would make it illegible for the common reader, who is primarily interested in the meaning of the Mayan calendar.
Knowing and living the Mayan calendar and letting this serve as a guide on one's spiritual path, is in my own view very much like dowsing the energies of time. To do so is to experience the changing energies of the cosmic plan, but for this to work most people initially need some help to be able to experience time cycle shifts. To be successful such "dowsing" thus requires not only an understanding of the Thirteen Heavens and the Nine Underworlds, but also the use of a correctly calibrated tzolkin count beginning on the day 1 Imix, for reference. The value of learning this is that it equips you with a guide on your path towards Enlightenment. Because of the very change of consciousness that is developed by the current Underworld I am convinced that increasingly more and more people will favor a consciousness-related rather than an astronomical interpretation of the calendar. It is almost as if the true calendar is making itself known again. Those with a connection to the transcendent reality will simply know about the speed-up of time because of the now rapidly developing wave movement and then come to realize that it is confirmed by the new understanding of the Mayan calendar. The experience of the energies of the Mayan calendar is returning to people and at the same time the materialist apprehension of time and space is being transcended.
From such a transcendent understanding of the Mayan calendar it is also obvious that the currently (since January 5, 1999) dominating Underworld is identical with what in Christian terminology is called the Apocalypse. The purpose of this Underworld is to bring those that so choose to the timeless consciousness of the Enlightened Universal Human Being. In such an apocalyptic context the reader may however also note that the first day of the tun we are currently in (assuming the true end of this wave movement on October 28, 2011) was 6 Imix (December 25, 2000, see The Mayan Calendar, page 185). Since in ancient days the energy of the first day of a cycle was believed to be especially pertinent for prophecy (Needless to say, Jenkins will raise fingers at me because I do not base the Year-bearer concept on the physical year.) it may serve as food for thought that September 11, 2001 - almost certainly the most impactful and characteristic day of this particular tun - was also a day dominated in the tzolkin calendar by the energy 6 Imix. Maybe in fact there are then some things to be learned from leaving the materialist understanding of the Mayan calendar behind.
My First essay in the debate, September 2001
-website of Carl Johan Calleman
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