John Major Jenkins: The Mayan Calendar

John Major Jenkins on the Mayan Calendar

Tami Simon (intro): This week I interviewed John Major Jenkins, a leading researcher on Mayan cosmology and philosophy. We discuss the significance of the year 2012 from the perspective of the ancient Mayan skygazers, who used an advanced system of “naked-eye” astronomy. Listen in to find out why John Major Jenkins believes that December 21, 2012, marks the beginning of a new world age, a period of tremendous change and potential for transformation.

Tami Simon: So John, I’ve been talking to different authors and luminaries about 2012 and it seems to me that there are two different camps, and then people who fall maybe somewhere in between. But there’s one camp of people who are really date-specific who say changes are going to happen on these dates between now and December 21, 2012, and we can map these dates, and we can map these dates on various calendar systems, etc. And then there are other people who say we’re in a time of great change, of great evolution, and it might happen in 2012, it might happen in 2018, we don’t really know. There’s a wave of change. Where do you fall on this question?

John Major Jenkins: Well, I really think that it’s a process-oriented shift, that any kind of shift that’s going to take place is going to require that we re-think our societies, institutions, and certainly a shift in consciousness can be behind this. But I really think of long-lasting, effective change as happening over a sort of revolutionary period. However, on the other hand, when it comes to identifying what the end date of the calendar is, we can afford to be very specific on that, because it has to do with the correlation of the Maya calendar with our own. So according to the correlation and reconstruction of the Maya calendar, and how it correlates with our own calendar, the end of the 13 Baktun Cycle falls on December 21, 2012. By making that clear identification, it’s not to say that I believe that something specific is going to happen on that precise date.

Tami Simon: So you went through a process of reconstructing and interpreting the calendar and pinpointing this date. Can you tell us a little bit about what process you went through?

John Major Jenkins: Well, my process was involved in looking very deeply at the academic literature, and there was a lot of academic work that had been done around the correlation question. It was coming out of my desire to understand the Maya calendar, and I had to do some testing when I was encountering some things that scholars were saying along with all this material that you can discover as you read the academic literature. I came upon this end date, December 21, 2012, so I had to understand more deeply and test that correlation. In the early ‘90s when I was researching this, I did test it and look at it and question it, and I did basically concur with the scholars that the end date falls on December 21, 2012.

Tami Simon: And is it a coincidence that that’s the winter solstice, or is that not a coincidence, that they understood the solstice dates?

John Major Jenkins: Ah, this is the great question, because once you have that date in front of you, you notice that it’s a solstice. This was my question to scholars in trying to determine whether or not the ancient Maya were intending to target something specific about 2012 and the solstice. Certainly it seems that because it falls on the solstice date, it’s either a huge coincidence or there was an intentional placement of the end date. When I question scholars on this, the scholars were pretty unanimous in saying that, well, yes the correlation does pinpoint December 21, 2012, and that’s accurate, but the fact that it falls on the solstice just must be a coincidence.

Tami Simon: Is that your view?

John Major Jenkins: No, not at all. For me, wanting to approach the mystery of 2012 rationally, it generated questions. One of my approaches was: “Huh, well it seems to me pretty unlikely that would be a coincidence.” So the questions that were generated were, “Let’s entertain the possibility that it’s not a coincidence.” So then you ask, “All right, well where was this Long Count calendar formulated? Do we have any kind of archaeological context for understanding that? And when? When was the long count calendar first put in place?”

Tami Simon: And what did you discover in this search?

John Major Jenkins: Again, accessing good academic literature, I did find the answers to that. It basically focuses on this early Maya site called Izapa in Southern Mexico. This was kind of a transitional culture that thrived about 2,100 years ago, and the Izapan culture, the Izapan civilization was responsible for the development of the long count calendar.

Tami Simon: And in your investigation of Izapa, you found archaeological ruins or other pieces of evidence that helped you reconstruct … and then how did you correlate that with the Roman calendar, our calendar, the calendar we use?

John Major Jenkins: Well, yeah, when I looked at Izapa, the Izapan culture is centered on this archaeological site called Izapa. And that site is a very impressive site because there’s over 60 carved monuments that are depicting the hero twin creation myth. So there’s kind of like a message, there’s a story that’s preserved there at the site. And what I realized pretty early on is that the creation mythology is expressing insights about world ages—how these people thought about cycles and world ages, and what was to occur at the end of a world age. So this is how it connects into the Long Count calendar, which the Izapans were also responsible for, because the Long Count calendar has this 13-Baktun period, which ends in 2012. So the 13-Baktun period would be like a world age. In order to understand what these people thought about 2012, the end of the cycle, you can actually read the carved monuments and understand and study the Maya creation mythology to understand what their beliefs were and what their spiritual teachings were about the end of the cycle.

Tami Simon: And what was Mayan belief about what happens at the end of a world age?

John Major Jenkins: Generally speaking, because it’s a cyclic time philosophy, and the evidence you do see by reading the monuments is that it’s all about transformation and renewal. That is what they believed happens. But there’s an element of free-will choice in this. So this adds an element of complexity to the so-called Maya prophecy for 2012, but it’s very appropriate, because if they were able to make a very specific prediction about what happens to humanity, then it’s like we’re fated to just play out our role in some clockwork universe. But what the Maya really understood is that during these transitional time, humanity must make a choice, and it is the choice between closing down in fear and succumbing to the forces of limitation, or one can choose—humanity can choose—to open up to work together to facilitate a healthy and successful transformation and renewal of humanity, to then move into the next world age.

Tami Simon: So who do you believe the Mayans were? What I mean by this is, some people say, “Oh, they’re a species that came from alien sex with humans, and that’s how this very evolved group of people came into being.” Do you just believe they were an indigenous society that happened to have great insight?

John Major Jenkins: Well, I do believe that they were indigenous people, but they were practicing a kind of “high astro-theology” you might say. They were shamans, they were shamanistic, and one cannot ignore that at the site of Izapa, they basically practiced a kind of psychedelic religion, because we find archaeologically sacred mushroom stones. So these shamans or astronomers that were doing this incredible thing at Izapa, developing this calendar that points to 2012 as a rare time of transformation and renewal for humanity, they were also opening up their minds by utilizing psilocybin mushrooms and other things that shamans use. So I believe they were indigenous human beings, but I believe that they had access to a greater multi-dimensional field of consciousness through which they could understand and have insight, real insights, into the true architecture of reality from a larger perspective.

Tami Simon: What was that term you used? Astro-theology? What does that mean?

John Major Jenkins: Their religion was tied to the cyclic movements of the planets and stars, so they had a kind of stellar religion.

Tami Simon: So what the sky looks like from Izapa, it’s a constantly changing sky, of course. How were they able from staring at the night sky to come up with a calendar system? What correlations did they make between the activity of the planets and the passage of time?

John Major Jenkins: They were adept skywatchers. It’s fascinating what they were achieving even 2,000 years ago with their mathematics, their calendars, and their observation of sky cycles. The Maya learned from nature, so they would look around them at natural cycles of plant growth and they were also paying close attention to the cycles in the heavens. One of the most profound cycles in the sky that ancient people can notice is this vast 26,000-year cycle that is called the procession of the equinoxes. It seems that Maya had become aware of this cycle, and they realized that there’s a certain kind of alignments in this cycle of procession that they believed would signal times of great opportunity for human beings to transform themselves.

Tami Simon: So if I’m looking at the night sky, and of course as modern people who live in urban settings we’re quite at a disadvantage here … I’ve only had a few times in my life when I have even seen an incredible well-lit-up night sky … but still I’m sticking with that in this imagination … what would the procession of the equinoxes look like to the naked eye, and how would I figure out this was something like 26,000 years for a processional cycle to be complete? How would the naked eye see this?

John Major Jenkins: For them, being naked-eye astronomers and sky-watchers, for them a big marker in the sky was the bright band of the Milky Way. It’s kind of like a road. Or even you could imagine it to be like a finish line in the sky. In relation to the Milky Way, the position of the sun on the solstice shifts. The way that they observed procession and tracked procession involved the slow convergence of the position of the December solstice sun in the sky with this bright band of the Milky Way. So you have these two things that are moving closer and closer together very slowly over hundreds of years and thousands of years. For them, this was a mythologically potent idea. Once they realized and they noticed that the stars were shifting and the sky was shifting and procession was happening, they realized that Father Sun, the December solstice sun, which was a potent figure in their mythology, was going to (at some future date) converge with Mother Galaxy, which was also a mythologically potent figure in their mythology. So they became very concerned with projecting forward and calculating when these two things would converge in the sky. That’s what is behind the 2012 cycle-ending date.

Tami Simon: How were they able to come up with this 26,000 years?

John Major Jenkins: That was the technique of tracking and calculating stellar shifting. This is being looked at very carefully by Maya scholars right now. There are several Maya scholars that have always believed that the Maya were capable of noticing procession and calculating it, and there are some scholars right now that are actually finding evidence for it in the Maya hieroglyphs and the dated corpus of materials. Basically, one needs to observe when a star is rising, so one might observe that the star, say Capella, is rising six days after the summer solstice. Then that gets recorded as a piece of data in the star lore tradition. I believe that there were guilds of astronomers that were passing down star positions and data among the ancient Maya skywatchers. But then what happens is that after 100 years or so, you notice that Capella is now rising five days after the solstice. Then another 50 years goes by, and Capella is rising four days after the solstice. So they can then take this information and get a handle on the rate of change, then extrapolate the full 365 days of the year and come up with a pretty good estimate of how long it takes for the full cycle of shifting.

Tami Simon: I’m curious what you think about what their motivation was. Here I am imagining living in an indigenous society, I’m worried about my health, food, health of my children, what’s going to happen tonight, tomorrow … I mean, 26,000 years? Why did they even worry about this idea?

John Major Jenkins: Well the Maya culture was stratified and there were different sections of the society, just like with any culture. So yeah, you had farmers and the rulers, and you also had the guild of astronomers. It was their job to figure these things out. They were the scientists, perhaps, but they were also concerned with spiritual questions. For the Maya, scientific questions involving stellar shifting and movement and cycles in the heavens and our changing relationship to those things are also a spiritual question, or a religious question. So I believe that there was a sector of the society that was dedicated to these more cosmic questions—the skywatchers.

Tami Simon: In your research and travels to Izapa … you’ve been there, right?

John Major Jenkins: Yes, many times.

Tami Simon: What was it that you found there that was of most import to you?

John Major Jenkins: Well, the ball court at Izapa is really where the information on 2012 is found.

Tami Simon: What is the ball court?

John Major Jenkins: The ball court is a long alleyway that is the field of play. There are two high walls on both sides of the field of play, and it’s where their sacred ball game was played. It was played between two teams that represented the forces of limitation and the forces of freedom, or the forces of light and the forces of darkness. The ball game in Mesoamerica has been played for about 4,000 years.

Tami Simon: Okay, so I get the idea of the two teams. But one team is considered the dark team and one team is considered the light team? Aren’t they just two competitive teams playing a ball game?

John Major Jenkins: Well, yes and no. It is like a competitive game, but it wasn’t simply a demonstration of athletic prowess. The ball game was also like a mystery play performance of the events of creation. There was a theological or religious component to the game when it was played, because who was playing the game, all the different players in the game, represented the different deities of the Maya creation mythology.

Tami Simon: So it was more like a theater performance, where the outcome is already established, than it was a true … it wasn’t a sports game?

John Major Jenkins: In a sense, yes, that’s correct. So because the creation mythology of the Maya involves the ball game as a central motif, in a sense the end result had to be performed and played out. So it’s really about the hero twins defeating the lords of darkness, and then facilitating a transformation and a renewal of the world to help the sun get reborn. That’s the central symbol of the ball game. When the ball goes through the goal ring, that symbolizes the sun being reborn at the end of the cycle, at the end of the age.

Tami Simon: If I understand this correctly, there was some kind of theatrical performance that communicated the central creation myth. That was played out on a stage that you’re calling the ball court. Can you briefly tell me, the rebirth of the sun … doesn’t that happen every day?

John Major Jenkins: Yes.

Tami Simon: So what’s the big deal here that they would play out this performance?

John Major Jenkins: The rebirth of the sun happens on several different levels. It does happen at dawn every day, and it happens at the December solstice every year, and it also happens in this larger context of the world ages in 2012, the rebirth of the sun. The rebirth of the sun here in the ball game symbolizes the rebirth of human consciousness. Solar consciousness, the light, the consciousness. Although the end result of the performance of the ball game, of the mystery play of the ball game, seemed to be pretty ordained, there’s this element “human” participating and this element for the observer of the mystery play where they’re not quite sure if the hero twins, the emissaries of light and the twins who are involved in trying to help facilitate the rebirth of the sun … it’s not sure that they’re going to win. There’s always this kind of sense of foreboding.

Tami Simon: But they do win every time this is played out?

John Major Jenkins: Well, yeah … it’s a faithful reproduction of the creation mythology. That’s why the end of the cycle always brings a successful transformation and renewal. Now the reason why this is the prophecy has to do again not so much with some predetermined outcome, but it has to do with this interesting understanding of what prophecy is. A prophecy for the Maya is not simply the prediction of something that is fated to happen. Sometimes we have these prophets or prognosticators that make these kinds of prophecies, and they’re always using terminology like, “This will happen.” I call them pre-dictators, because it implies a kind of certainty about what the future holds. For the Maya, they choose to envision the highest possible outcome. In other words, they choose to envision or evoke a successful transformation and renewal. For them, prophecy is more of an evocation or a visualization of what they would like to happen. So it’s always about not the lords of darkness winning, but the team that is concerned with the rebirth (the successful rebirth) of humanity.

Tami Simon: So still trying to understand this as a dramatic performance … I imagine that I’m in the audience watching this. As I watch the ball game, is it different each time, the theatrical pieces performed?

John Major Jenkins: I guess I should clarify. Certainly the ball game was played as an athletic sport in some contexts. In this early ceremonial context of the ball game at Izapa, which you could think of it as the origin place of the 2012 revelation, or the original place of the creation mythology, it was a ceremonial site. So there’s the ceremonial context in which the ball game is played and performed as a mystery play. But certainly in other contexts in other sites, the ball game was played in a more secular sense, in which it was a game played between teams.

Tami Simon: So it had both … the court was used for both reasons.

John Major Jenkins: Yeah. I guess what I like to focus on, what’s most interesting to me, was how it was an expression of this creation mythology that points to the rebirth of the world in 2012.

Tami Simon: Can you briefly share with me what the Mayan creation mythology is, what the story is?

John Major Jenkins: Sure. First of all, the Maya creation mythology first appears on the carved monuments of Izapa. It was later reported amongst K’iche Maya in the 16th century. We have a document called the Popol Vuh, which is an expression of this creation mythology. It’s been translated. In a nutshell, the Maya creation mythology is a world age doctrine. It starts out by talking about the first several world ages that humanity passes through. At the end of each world age, humanity goes through a transformation and renewal. When it gets up into the present time, we learn about the adventures of the hero twins.

Tami Simon: Yeah, who are these characters?

John Major Jenkins: The hero twins are the twin sons of the deity called Hun Hunahpu. Hun Hunahpu is a sort of central figure in the creation myth. The creation myth really begins with Hun Hunahpu playing the ball game, and he’s making a racket. The lords of the underworld, who are below the surface of the earth, they hear this racket, and they’re angry. So they challenge Hun Hunahpu to come down to the underworld to play the ball game with them. So Hun Hunahpu does this, and he travels through the road to the underworld, and the lords of darkness in the underworld trick him, and they cut off his head. This is a problem. Hun Hunahpu’s head is hung from the branches of the calabash tree, and his head becomes a skull, and it emulated what a calabash actually looks like.

So then a maiden comes along, and Hun Hunahpu’s skull calls out to her and says, “Come over here.” And Hun Hunahpu says, “Hold out your hand.” She holds out her hand and he spits into her hand. And she magically conceives the hero twins. So she travels to the surface of the earth and later gives birth to the hero twins. They don’t know about their father yet, but they discover the ball playing equipment in the rafters of their grandmother’s house. They’re playing the ball game and they too are challenged by the lords of the underworld to come do battle with them.

At this point, the hero twins discover what happened to their father, so they make a vow to avenge the death of their father and to facilitate his resurrection, his rebirth. This is all a symbol for the rebirth of the true consciousness at the end of the age. What’s going on as a subtext in this story is vanquishing the lords of darkness, who are that energy or type of consciousness that seeks to keep humanity controlled through fear and lying and betrayals. So there’s really this dynamic that emerges in the creation myth, it’s a dynamic between two different kinds of consciousness, a consciousness that’s only concerned with its own self-preservation and greed. So it’s really a kind of consciousness that’s exemplified by the lords of darkness, where it’s ego, ego-consciousness—a limited kind of consciousness that doesn’t see anything beyond its own self.

Then what happens is that the hero twins know what the lords of darkness are all about and they successfully trick the lords of darkness and sacrifice them.

Tami Simon: How do they do that?

John Major Jenkins: They’re tricksters. What happens is that they tell the lords of darkness to burn them up and throw them in the river. So the lords of darkness do this, and the hero twins then have set the stage that the fish can gather up their ashes and then do a ritual and facilitate their rebirth, so the hero twins can come back … because they’re magicians. They’re able to facilitate their own self-resurrection. The lords of darkness are amazed at this, and they want to learn how to do this too. So the hero twins sacrifice them and burn them up, but don’t bring them back. So they’re tricksters. They pulled off a trick on the lords of darkness.

The way that tricksters work, it’s kind of … tricksters never really just vanquish the enemy through some kind of powerful act. Tricksters cause the enemy to facilitate their own demise, because they have an Achilles heel. It’s like reflecting a flaw back to the enemy so they basically self-destruct. That’s how it works.

So it’s really a fascinating story—the hero twin myth. At the end, they’re able to restore the head of their father and restore the mind and the body to create this reborn consciousness, basically at the end of the myth, and that symbolizes the rebirth of the consciousness of humanity at the end of the cycle.

Tami Simon: So thinking about this rebirth of the sun (which I guess is the get and the body and the new consciousness born symbolically) when you were speaking about that it’s obvious that the sun is reborn every day when we wake up and even at the winter solstice, it’s the return—that part’s obvious. What you’re saying is that these Mayan stargazers, this special astronomical guild, with the naked eye, was able to say that there would be some procession of equinoxes such that 26,000 years later there would be some kind of symbolic rebirth of the sun in the heavens.

John Major Jenkins: In 2012.

Tami Simon: So what does that final sun re-birth? I’m trying to follow that…

John Major Jenkins: That’s the beautiful part of this whole cosmology, because their creation myth is linked up to 2012 because of this rare astronomical alignment. Their creation myth of the resurrection of the sun and the rebirth of the sun at the end of the age is linked to the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Milky Way galaxy. This is the alignment that takes place in the years around 2012. This is why they perceived a rebirth of the sun, of course at dawn, and of course at a December solstice that happens once every year, but they also conceived of the rebirth of the sun at the end of this 13-Baktun cycle in 2012, because that’s when the December solstice sun is lined up with the bright band of the Milky Way, and that part of the Milky Way that contains the nuclear bulge of the galactic center, which they perceived of as being the womb of the Great Mother—a rebirth place in the sky. So the sun gets reborn when it lines up with the galactic center.

Tami Simon: This nuclear bulge, this is something that’s visible to the naked eye?

John Major Jenkins: Yes.

Tami Simon: And then 26,000 years from 2012, will we be at the end of another great age?

John Major Jenkins: Yes. It’s this profound understanding of cycles, and I guess it remains to be seen whether or not this astro-theology that the Maya had in place really is behind all the change that we see going on around us in the world today. I have a hunch that it probably is, we just don’t have any scientific focus on procession and these kinds of alignments to the Milky Way. I think it’s something that’s possibly going to revolutionize how we understand our changing relationship with the larger universe, and the kinds of things that happen in the larger universe that stimulate change on this planet.

Tami Simon: Do we know anything about what happened 26,000 years ago?

John Major Jenkins: Not so much, but we do have some inklings from 13,000 years ago, which would’ve been the half cycle, which would’ve been another kind of galactic alignment that happened half a procession cycle ago.

Tami Simon: What do we know about what happened 13,000 years ago?

John Major Jenkins: It seems like that was the end of the last ice age. It also seems that there’s some echoes that come down to us from ancient lore. Plato in his book <ital>Timaeus</ital> preserved an ancient lore that he probably got from Egyptian priests about the sinking of this fabled semi-mythical land of Atlantis, that according to the year counts that Plato gives, would’ve happened about 13,000 years ago.

Tami Simon: And what would the importance be of the half great-age cycle?

John Major Jenkins: The importance of the half great-age cycle going back to 13,000 years ago is a reference to the height of the previous golden age of human consciousness. This ties into the understanding of time cycles among the Hindus. The importance of 13,000 years ago is a reference of when human consciousness and human spirituality started to diminish on the planet. So we’ve gone through this 13,000-year half cycle in which there’s been a diminishment of spirituality on the planet. At the same time, there’s been an increase of material technologies. Now here we are at the end of this phase about to turn the corner with the 2012 alignment. One interpretation of this is that we’re about to start returning to a kind of consciousness that’s more concerned with unity, that’s not concerned with division and materialism, a kind of consciousness that is oriented back to the true sources of life and light.

Tami Simon: Now I’ve heard you mention that the idea of sacrifice is important during this end of the great age. What do you mean by that? What are we sacrificing?

John Major Jenkins: Yeah. This seems to me to be the core teaching in the Maya creation mythology around how to successfully facilitate a transformation and renewal. Sacrifice is necessary at the end of the cycle. At the end of the cycle, you have the forces of darkness ruling and ruining the planet, and human beings have been deceived and have been tricked into buying into the power structure of the forces of ego, the ego-consciousness. So we’ve inherited this situation, and as we wake up and reclaim our birthright as spiritual beings, we have to somehow disentangle ourselves from this web of lives. What gets sacrificed is our attachment to the illusions that keep us bound into the structure of limitation that was set up by the forces of darkness. The ironic thing is that what we are called upon to sacrifice are merely the illusions. We’re not called upon to sacrifice anything real. We’re called upon to sacrifice the veil of illusions that keep us from seeing the true nature of reality and the true nature of a kind of spiritual consciousness that we can reclaim as our birthright, so we can move into a healthier era.

Tami Simon: When you were telling the creation myth of the Maya and you mentioned how the hero twins let themselves be burned up, I was thinking about that as an image of sacrifice.

John Major Jenkins: Yes, thank you for noticing that, because that is kind of an image of sacrifice, and the earliest doctrine of sacrifice that we find involve a kind of self-sacrifice that can be portrayed or expressed as a kind of self-sacrifice in which a person throws themselves onto the fire of transformation. But the underlying doctrine is really about sacrificing our false self, our ego self. Again, it’s a transformational image. Fire transforms, and so we want to transform the ego into having a right relationship with the true self.

Tami Simon: What does that mean to you, I’m curious, in more concrete terms, in terms of people sacrificing their illusions or what’s false?

John Major Jenkins: This is something that’s hard for me in particular to language because it maybe goes beyond what I’ve written about in my work, but I have thought about it. I guess I’d say on a practical level it involves the challenge that we all have to sacrifice the things that we’re entangled in that are perhaps feeding an unsustainable world. We have to take a close look at our lives. We all have certain habits of behavior that are perhaps tied into the use of automobiles, and also in the style that we relate to each other, I think there’s certain habits. Some of these things we hold dear, and we hold close, and are very wrapped up in our identities. I think that a practical way that this might play out is in possibly learning how to live a fulfilling life with less stuff, perhaps, is the bottom line that I’d point to.

Tami Simon: I know that you also talk quite a bit about meditation and the value of a meditation practice. How does that fit in at all to this end of a great cycle?

John Major Jenkins: In my approach to this, I have a metaphor that I use that has to do with the cycles of time. Cycles are often thought of as being a wheel, a circle. It’s hard to identify where a circle begins and ends. The metaphor I like to use is the breath cycle. Understanding the way that cycles work, where it’s really more about breathing in, and breathing out. How that applies to the processional cycle is that it’s like moving in and out of relationship with our true selves. In 2012, we’re coming into intimate relationship with our true selves. We have an opportunity to open up to that blessing. The opportunity involves our free will choice to choose to open up, to sacrifice the illusions that are keeping us from knowing that we have that opportunity and have that possibility.

So I advocate vipassana breathing meditation as a way that people can experience for themselves as an inner knowing through the practice of vipassana, which is really about the focusing on the still point between the breaths. The analogy with 2012 would be that the still point at the end of out-breath is analogous to the 2012 alignment. It’s kind of like that crack between the worlds, that place in the cycles of time that provides a little open doorway through which we can catch a glimpse of our true selves.

Tami Simon: John, you’ve studied the Maya and their artifacts so deeply. I’m curious for a moment—we’ll just do a little pretend exercise here—if you were to give voice to what you think they would want us to know right now, what would you be saying? What do you think the Maya want us to know here as we enter 2009?

John Major Jenkins: I guess I would say that the Maya would like us to remember that we are deeply, deeply interwoven with the larger universe. The cycles that are happening around us in the sky, on earth—that we are part of the fabric of reality. We can open up to remember and awaken to a direct knowing of that. When that happens and we have that experience of our implicit and essential unity with all other beings in the universe, then our world can be transformed for the better. It’s kind of like a conversion experience that humanity can have at this time—a metanoia; a turnabout in the deepest seed of consciousness so that we can reorient our priorities away from this ego-system of self-preservation and self-serving interests, so that we can start making decisions based upon the direct knowing that we have that all beings are interconnected.

Tami Simon: Very good. Thank you very much.

John Major Jenkins: Thank you.

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