By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
As 2012 approaches, more and more people are wondering what
is needed to be able to meet the demands of the changes that are prophesied for
the winter solstice on December 22, 2012. This date refers to the time when
many ancient calendars either run out, or have a shift that creates a dramatic
change to the world as we know it.
In Vedic science, the ancient wisdom of India, the concept of kalpas, or eons
coming to an end as one world ends and another begins, is the subject of much
calculus in the measurement of time. In some of the Vedic schools, 2012 is recognized
as a shifting point.
Like the practitioners of Vedic science, the Mayans, a people who flourished in
Central America from about 2000 BC to 1000 AD, created calendars of great
complexity. Their approach to time is also similar to that of Vedic calendar
scientists. The Mayan calendar was adopted by the Toltecs and the Aztecs, and
many theorists believe their calendar systems were carried north to the Ancient
Puebloans. The Mayans define any given period of time through several different
nomenclatures. One of them is the so-called “Long Count Calendar,” which ends
on the winter solstice of 2012.
The Hopis are a Native American tribe living in the southwestern United States.
They are thought by many to be descendants of the Ancient Puebloans. The
ancient prophecy of the Hopis provides a number of specific predictions along
with instructions on how to meet the challenges of the coming years. According
to Hopi prophecy we are at the end of an era called “The Time of Purification.”
This is a time where those who wish to become “one-hearted” participate in a
process of consciousness expansion through rituals of purification. This
purification process is interesting, and similar in nature to Buddhist concepts
of purification, which involve the idea of karma.
From a Buddhist point of view, karma is defined as the consequences of actions.
Every action we take has a consequence, and with every consequence we have a
choice of how we want to meet it. This meeting begins with the intention in our
reaction, and follows through to the action we take based on that intention.
Once we take action, the natural consequence of that action arises, and the
cycle continues. From a Buddhist point of view, we incarnate again and again
into material existence, largely as a function of karma. Most of us have made
at least some missteps in understanding the implications of our choices in
response to karma, which have created karmic patterns within us that hide our
essential nature from us.
In Buddhist terms, our essential nature is called “Buddha Nature.” This is the
aspect of the self that is fearless, unchangeable, compassionate, and connected
to the cosmic unfolding in an unbroken way. The Hopi tradition has a similar
concept described as “The True Path.” The Hopi concept of a Time of
Purification can be seen as a moment when we have the opportunity to return to
The True Path. In order to return to our Buddha Nature, we must purify our
karmic patterns by becoming more aware of the consequences of our actions, and
making different choices as that awareness broadens. In this way, our actions
will create different consequences, and these choices will lead us back to our
The Hopi prophecy regarding the times in which we live circulate around the
idea that human experience has careened so far from The True Path that
polarities have become reversed. What appears to be good is actually bad. What
appears to be bad may actually be good. From a Buddhist point of view, this
activity takes place over lifetimes. After living several lifetimes, we can
become mired in the misapprehensions that we have been weaving through the
experience of living. This process is well described in Vedic scripture where
at the beginning of a set of kalpas, there is greater clarity and understanding
among beings that are incarnating within the new era. The Hopi prophecies echo
this kind of progression seeing the end of one world leading into the beginning
of the next. According to both traditions, due to the clarity of the new era,
humans are able to maintain a greater level of awareness in the new era.
However, at the end of a set of kalpas, or at the end of a Hopi world, the
darkness of ignorance is strong, and many beings suffer as a consequence of the
accumulation of their ignorant actions. Yet, even as the weight of ignorance
begins to accumulate within the individual psyche, societies, and the human
race as a whole, there is a corresponding increase in the potential for change
and emergence out of that ignorance. In the Hopi prophecies, this is described
as the emergence from one world to the next.
The times of collapse described by Vedic science and Hopi prophecy may well be
evidenced in the groaning of the Earth under the weight of human actions that
have provided terrible consequences for the health of the planet. This
intensification brought on by the degradation of the natural environment could
inspire the awakening of many people. As mentioned before, when the end of an
era, world, or kalpa is upon us, there is a corresponding potential release of
energy that can assist in creating change. This power has the potential to help
drive the processes that separate consciousness from unconsciousness, lies from
truth, in ways that are not always obvious.
From the point of view of the evolution of consciousness, this power can
provide assistance in the process of purification of karmic patterns. From the
Hopi point of view, this participation allows entry into the next world that
the Hopis describe as the Fifth World. As part of this purification, we are
called to engage in the process of resolution of polarities within us. We are
called to begin to understand the nature of karma, and see how we have twisted
away from The True Path, our Buddha Nature, through our limited comprehension
of universal principles.
Regardless of the reality of the 2012 prophecies, we must seek to attain a
level of consciousness that helps us step out of the twists and turns of our
karmic patterns. We must reclaim our capacity to steer our lives. We must seek
teachers who are able to hold the complexity of the current times and who can
educate us with clarity and purpose. We need teachers who can help us listen to
ourselves, perceive where we are out of alignment with The True Path, or our
Buddha Nature, and help us learn to choose a different type of alignment. And
this choice cannot be legislated or forced.
We don’t need teachers who use the threat of danger and doomsday if we don’t
make the right choices. We don’t need a form of judgment external to our own
understanding driving us to make choices out of fear rather than toward
wholeness. We need to be able to participate in the kind of education that
helps us separate truth from lies. We need the type of education that helps us
to listen to the voice of our own Buddha Nature above all others.
It is prudent to begin the work of The True Path. Finding that path is up to
you. If the path you engage in brings you toward a more whole understanding of
yourself, it is probably the path that is right for you. If the path you engage
in brings you toward a wholeness of meaning that is free of delusion,
attachment, or aversion, then it is probably the right path for you. As the
Hopi elders have said, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” Engage in
education that helps you become who you need to be for yourself. In doing this,
you will become an agent to help others become who they have been waiting for,
and you will help increase consciousness on the planet.