So, what do people think is going to happen on December 21st?
You probably know what I think by now, but just in case you don’t, let’s just say that were it possible for me to be surprised in death, if I wasn’t alive on December 22nd I would be pretty surprised.
But I’ve been hearing much less of the impending apocalypse scare-story phenomenon that we’ve seen time and time again (anybody remember the two raptures and the large hadron collider black hole scare of very recent history?) and I’ve been hearing more and more of the new age approach to this.
Perhaps that’s because I’ve been a lot more active in skeptical circles recently, perhaps that’s because people are comforted about the apocalypse by the fact that nobody’s doing anything to try and stop it. I’m pretty sure that if a catastrophic event like the planet X idea was actually in our near future that there’d be a global effort to stop it. Some of you might call that optimism, I call it a trust in self-preservation. Politicians can barely admit that they’re wrong, if they’re that worried about their image you’d think they’d want to make sure that they still have an image come December 22nd.
But the new age-y side of this dubious prophecy tends to proclaim that there will be some sort of shift of our minds/enlightened minds to a ‘higher plane of consciousness’.
That terminology in itself really makes my eyebrows rise, mainly because it doesn’t mean anything, but also because so many people seem certain that they know exactly what it means.
To talk about planes of consciousness is to misunderstand consciousness as a phenomenon and to ignore its place as a product of brain structure and output, at least as far as neurology has taken us so far.
I would also suggest that there’s some astrology woven within this strange fabric as well, not just because we have a vague prediction about the future, supposedly from people looking up at the sky and misunderstanding the cosmos, but because this sounds very much like the age of Aquarius, transition of ages shtick that forms the basic template of many religions.
Astrology’s got its tendrils in our culture embarrassingly deep.