By Helena Lozano
MEXICO CITY – Contrary to the apocalyptic prophecies for 2012 attributed to the Maya civilization, a Mexican archaeologist says that the Mayas were predicting a “strictly cyclical phenomenon,” not a planetary catastrophe.
In the books “Chilam Balam,” which relate the history of the Maya people, prophecies concerning the end of the first era of humanity are mentioned and it is from those references that certain scholars have drawn their conclusions about “seven alleged predictions,” Alfonso Morales told Efe.
He said that these scholars insist that the Mayas were prophesying a series of natural catastrophes that will cause the complete destruction of the planet and the human species along with it.
The predictions, supposed derived from the “Chilam Balam,” claim that “the world of hate and materialism will end and ... humanity will have to choose between disappearing as a sentient species that threatens to destroy the planet or evolving toward harmonious integration with the entire universe.”
In the face of this catastrophic vision, Morales said that the Mayas certainly had their prophecies but they were talking about the end of their own world, not the entire world, as many people recently have interpreted the forecasts.
He said that the Maya predictions “arose long before 2012, in particular with the arrival of the Spaniards, who effectively ended the Maya world, made it run with blood, reorganized their lands, brought hunger and diseases and did not respect their beliefs.
The Spanish conquest of the Maya peoples, who inhabited a vast region of Mesoamerica, was completed in 1697 with the capture of Tayasal, then the capital of the Itza and Zacpeten Maya civilizations.
The last Maya state disappeared in 1901 with the end of the War of the “Castas,” when the government of then-Mexican President Porfirio Diaz occupied the city of Santa Cruz.
Morales said that according to the Maya calendar, the first age of humanity will end on Dec. 21, 2012, with the completion of the 13 Baktun cycle, or the 5,125 years of existence of the civilization that reckoned it has begun in 3114 B.C.
“The Maya philosophy conceives of the beginning and the end as a whole. That is to say, it doesn’t separate life and death because one is the origin of the other, but therefore that doesn’t mean that everything has to end to be able to see a new beginning,” Morales said.
He added that if the Maya government were still ruling in Mesoamerica, “Dec. 21, 2012 would be the most important day in all its history. They would celebrate the arrival of a new sun with ceremonies, banquets and sacrifices.”
He noted that the Maya civilization developed one of the five original writing systems in the world, along with the Chinese, Sumerian, Egyptian and Harrappan in India.
They also used the concept of “zero” before other cultures, maintained complex trade networks with neighboring cities, left an unlimited legacy of works of art and integrated art, mythology and power into their monumental architecture. EFE