The End Of The World: 2012
What if the end of the world were near? What if 2012 is the final chapter, as is being reported or misreported, “according to the Linear Mesoamerican Long Calendar”? Soothsayers have zeroed in on December 2012 as the time of apocalypse. Theories doing the rounds include the following: The planet could get sucked into a black hole or get smashed by a speeding asteroid; shifting galactic alignment might cause cataclysms, throwing everything out of kilter; human civilisation will come to an end with collective bad karma; tectonic plates could go berserk, causing irreparable damage, and there are more such scenarios being ‘foretold’ – whether by calendar makers, scientists or ancient and modern oracles. Or just fear mongers who like to say, “The End is Now”.
Then you have Kalki Bhagwan, the guru in south India, who says that the year 2012 would mark the end of Kali Yuga and the dawn of a new era, an improvement on the previous one. New Age healers like Paula Horan and gurus like Andrew Cohen see the much-touted portend of cataclysm as something that points, not at all to the physical world, but to the one that is to be played out in human consciousness. There could be a consciousness revolution that would lead to evolutionary enlightenment, paving the way for a new world order. This view is shared by many new faiths as well as forecasters like Bejan Daruwalla.
You can take your pick of perspective, theory or speculation, but it’s not very clear what is meant by ‘end of the world’. Let’s assume for a moment – even if it’s a mere mind game – that what is intended to be conveyed is that it is the h u m a n s p e c i e s that would get annihilated. That would certainly mean the world has ended – for us.
What if all other species except human beings survived the cataclysm, due to some kind of divine design or dispensation? Let’s say you’re a bird. You flap your wings and fly out as usual and find that you don’t have to dodge those noisy flying machines any more. You’re a chicken or goat; no more slaughter shivers down your spine. You’re an elephant that worked for a lumber company; no more weightlifting, nor chains! You’re a circus animal; now cage-free, no more tricks to perform at the crack of a whip.
You’re a tree; no more cringing at the approach of a freshly sharpened axe. You’re a flower; no slow death for you in a vase. You’re a sensuous river, meandering across hills and dales; no more a receptacle of excrement, industrial effluents and chemical toxins. You’re fish; free of baits and nets. You’re a turtle; no more dodging those mechanised trawlers that scoop you up in their monstrous nets without those turtle excluder devices insisted upon by save-the-turtle activists. You’re a silkworm; no more death by boiling.
You’re oxygen; no more choking on blasts from those belching furnaces and power plants. You’re a raindrop, free of acid. You’re a pure snowflake; no more sticky carbon that melts you down. You’re a mighty glacier; no more retraction. You’re the ocean; no more oil spills.
It’s the end of cacophony – leaving only sounds of birds chirping, waters gushing, surf breaking against shores, leaves rustling, wind whistling through trees, bees buzzing...and the pitter-patter of rain. The stars! Species can actually see them; there’s no more light pollution.
Hey, Earth, you can breathe free now. It’s time to celebrate.