We see what we choose to see. Hundreds of thousands of people believe the world will end on December 21st because of hype that has been promoted, largely on cable television programming that focuses on Nostradamus, Mayan calendars, ancient astronauts, and Hopi prophecies. But hundreds of thousands more, if not milions more are predisposed to believing in end times threat and dread because of the insertion of “rapture” into the American version of Protestant doctrine in the 19th Century.
No amount of misinterpretation will take away the lightness and happiness of those who are motivated by love, but closed eyes, minds and hearts can pervert peace and goodwill.
I lean toward inclusion rather than exclusion, I'm a lumper more than a splitter.
The military and political take over of Christianity by the Emporer Constantine and the patriarchal censorship of egalitarian and gnostic texts from politically sanctioned scripture. The reality of Christianity that had vined and blossomed over the 300 years between since a rather heretical Judaic sect rose up in opposition to the collusion of their own leaders with Roman occupiers is manufactured through conjecture as much as anything. My friends who think that Bibles printed in China are the unadulterated word of God surely consider me a blasphemer at best. I wonder why these friends do not open their minds to the marvels of the cosmos. I guess hey need answers and I don't. Wonder and awe are enough for me. Questions inspire my faith.
The brain, mind, spirit triad is fueled by our human inclinations to see patterns and order, even in the midst of chaos. Charlatans take advantage of this. Seekers who feel the need for absolutes can be lured into interpretations that are pure bunk.
Shame on the fear mongers who proseletyze destruction and ending over creation and beginning. I suspect the whole end of the world, Mayan calendrical apocolypse, prophecies of Edgar Cayce, the Hopi, Nostradamus, and Jeanne Dickson (I threw the last one in for Baby Boomer readers) rests firmly on the whole Rapture / End of Days subtext that was developed in the last couple hundred years. The fabric of fundamentalism was woven into the story of a rapture by Darby, in the 1830s, from threads of Puritan interpretation from 150 to 200 years earlier. This 1800s precursor evolved into what we called Holy Rollers when I was a kid and has now mutated into politicized Christianity that wants to impose their equivalent of Sharia Law. This text created the base text over which other negative, fear-based, destructive tales could be layered in the extended millenialism that is currently playing out.
I really, really wish the Mayan books would not have all been destroyed by priests/conquistadores so that we might know more about the next baktun the Mayans believed would unfold from this one's ending, The knowledge of the ancients with the data flow of today would be enlightening to say the least. But we just have to go on with what we have in order to build a sustainable human presence on the Earth.