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Reflections on 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck

May 6, 2007

Culled from the archives of my blog @ . .

So what are you doing December 21, 2012? Made any big plans?

The date just a little bit more than five years away, gives one pause for thought. Especially, when one considers the hypothesis put forth in the book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck. Pinchbeck, a writer and founding editor of the literary journal Open City, would on the surface definitely fit into your stereotypical role of member of the East Coast intelligentsia. But that description would probably fit a Pinchbeck from an earlier paradigm.

In Pinchbeck’s first book, Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism we explore one writer’s journey into the world of psychedelic substances and the mysticism and ceremony which accompany them. This is the story of his personal experiences and the realms opened to him while undergoing rituals surrounding such psychedelic plant essences from the Iboga tree and the Ayahuasca vine brew.

Following this, in The Return of Quetzalcoatl, we are given not only deeper insight into his experiences with these substances and their accompanying shamanic rituals, but also a work of scholarship pulling inspiration from knowledge gleaned on the journey.

What if there were phyiscal evidence in the world that suggested our days of living in this plane of existence were strictly limited? What if there were voices around us that told us we were at a true crossroads in our human history and planetary evolution?

I know that many of my fellow Zaadzsters who read these words can almost instinctively taste these ideas without a directed notion from the outside world. After all, it is a commitment that each of us have made to being a part of the change in the world that brought us here.

In Pinchbeck’s book we are treated to a work of scholarship based on a solid editorial background, personal experience, and perhaps most importantly, a record based upon inspired perception.

I came to this book like so many other subjects in my life, based upon the inspiration of fear. I can recall a long line of subjects, people and ideas which societal thinking, mass media and popular opinion told me I should fear. In 1980, when hostages were taken in the country of Iran , I was given the American cultural mandate that all Middle Easterners were savages with aspirations toward killing every American in the name righteousness and riches in the afterworld. As a teenager, I would hear the stories of Tupac Amaru Shakur, a young Rapper who spoke of hatred toward women, whites and the noble American establishment. In each case, curiosity would lead me to removing the mask from the beast, to better understand just what it was that I was supposed to be afraid of. Usually, not only would I come to a place of deeper and more balanced understanding, but a place of great respect and fondness.

And then there’s the biggest fear: The idea that you and I are living in humanity’s end times.

It has been not only a need to remove the beast’s mask, but an instinct that my own perceptions were sensing something deeper at work that led me to pick up the book in an effort to better understand what could be happening.

Pinchbeck postulates that what is going on is a global consciousness transformation that has been pointed to for thousands of years from cultures and records as diverse as the Vedas, Mayan cosmology, Tibetan Buddhism, Mystic Christianity, Kaballah and Native American spirituality. Not only have the recent and near recent voices of Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin spoken of these ideas, but science has gone on to reflect the truths in ideas put forth by these vast and seemingly divergent voices. Why, what we have come to learn from Quantum Physics in the past twenty years and it’s support of spiritual ideas is enough to give one pause for thought.

My experience of reading this book was powerful. I found myself not only amazed and challenged by the ideas put forth in the book, but literally facing a series of shattered assumptions. Despite my desire to read the book in as few sittings as possible, I found myself needing to put the book down so as to give myself an opportunity not only to assimilate the ideas proposed, but to redefine my framework of understanding.

Central to the book is the concept of the idea of callendrical time, and humanity’s seemingly intrinsic need to wield control over the uncontrolable. The book quite rightly asks why in a global culture so fixated on technology and innovation, do we base our daily lives around the Gregorian calendar dating back to 1582, and before that, the Sumerian culture which shifted paradigms of timekeeping from a lunar methodology to a solar model?

The book is full of questions and possible answers to the understanding of the human experience. It also asks us why we operate at such a discord from our own possible true natures and that of the universe we inhabit.

In reading this book, I was not left with some limited idea of the way things may be, should be, or could be, nor some construct based upon a particular “medicinally inspired” contingent’s way of thinking, but more and more pulled away from a reductive way of thinking.

I have for sometime tried to think in expansive ways, frame my behavior and work my processes in ways that allowed for greater possibility in function and understanding, even before I knew beyond an instinctual level what that meant. At a certain level, this way of being and thinking is still at a highly instinctual and nascent level. But I feel as if the learning now taking place within this particular time in my life is tearing out faulty wiring. Destroying false constructs. Confronting paradox and contradiction. Taking greater leaps of faith every time I sit down to create something or consider a challenge. And with all of this I am left with a single core question:

If humanity has less than six years in which it can choose to take part in a positive manner in a coming global shift of consciousness, then what should I be doing with my time?

This question certainly begets other valid questions, but my sense is that the time of debate has past us. The idea of “who is right” is an ideal of humanity set in an adolescent mindset, the idea of being “right” further shackled to an even more childish mindset.

In my childhood, I remember through the specters of nuclear supremacy, terrorism, the cult of Nostradamus and fatalistic Christian end-time ideas, feeling as if I was inheriting a world preparing to flicker out due to it’s own lack of wisdom, and God’s desire to have his way with us all. Now in my own adulthood, I get the sense that the wisdom of humanity is here with us in ever-greater mass, and that the God we imagine is but a pale shadow of the true nature of what we think “him” to be. Instead, I now believe that we are about to inherit a world preparing for a New Era in humanity and a coming expansive nature, infinite in possibilty, unlimited in nature.

But still the big question that one is left pondering is if there are just a bit more than five years to prepare, what should I be doing with my time?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate permalink
    May 6, 2007 8:59 pm

    I can’t wait to read the book, thank you for sharing your insight about this facinating subject!

  2. May 6, 2007 9:08 pm

    It’s a “slightly” mindblowing book. I am sure you will enjoy it!

    Thanks for stopping by!


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