Predictions of 2012: Transformative and destructive hypotheses

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


2012 mania started slowly, with whispers among adepts of José Arguelles. and Terence McKenna in the 80s and 90s of the significance of the date for global consciousness, ramping up to a more coordinated effort in the oughts primarily led by writers such as Daniel Pinchbeck. It slowly but surely became entwined with concepts of singularity, of exponential technological change, eventually giving way to big budget Hollywood inspired depictions of massive destruction and mass extinction. Amidst the noise about the end of life on earth were calls, insistent although eventually muted by the sound and the fury, for using the date as an opportunity for spiritual and political transformation, seeing past capitalist ideologies to underlying causes, and recognizing not an immediate and spectacular end but rather a more insidious threat to existence that continues to unfold in the form of ecological disaster. The so-called consciousness movement, a loose affiliation of thinkers primarily in technologically advanced western countries who insist that political and scientific solutions to various existential crises facing humanity must fail without a concurrent or ideally precedent mental and cultural paradigm shift, latched on to 2012 as an opportunity to share its views with a wider audience. Pinchbeck concludes that the ultimate effects of cultural products like the film 2012 that offer a literal minded cataclysmic interpretation of Mayan prophecy was to 'curtail any deeper thought or discussion of the subject by making it appear ridiculous.' Still, the widespread notion of a divine intervention that will sweep away the current order may open up a space to eventually conceive of a human intervention that might accomplish a lesser version of such a hoped for cataclysm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandmaiden of Death
Subtitle of host publicationApocalypse and Revelation
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789004374706
ISBN (Print)9781848884137
StatePublished - Jul 22 2019


  • Apocalypse
  • Daniel pinchbeck
  • Ecological communication, 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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