PALENQUE, Mexico, Dec. 22 — Time ends here 10 years from now.
The Long Count, the 5,200-year cycle of creation and destruction calculated by the Maya, the great astronomers and timekeepers who built this city 1,600 years ago, comes to a close on the winter solstice in 2012.
It is probably not the end of the world. But it might be, says José Argüelles, president of the Foundation for the Law of Time.
If we harmonize time, "the effect on the human mind and nature will be of unimaginable consequence," Mr. Argüelles said in an e-mail message from his aerie on the slopes of Mount Hood in Oregon. If we do not, Western civilization is "programmed for apocalypse" at the end of the Long Count — Dec. 22 (or 23), 2012. Circle your calendars.
The Mayan calendar, on the other hand, is still accurate to within about three seconds — closer to the mark than the Gregorian.
The meaning of the end of the Long Count?
"It's nothing," Mr. Morales said. After all, the Maya say there were four Long Counts before.
"It means nothing for the Chinese," he said. "Nothing for the Jews. Two thousand-twelve is nothing but the completion of a cycle."
Nothing in the Mayan inscriptions at Palenque says this cycle is the last, and while Palenque was abandoned 1,100 years ago, the Maya live on, six million strong.
Foundation for the Law of Time
Palengque on Web:
A search for Mayan Long Count produces interesting results including:
A Free calculator to predict the end:
A Prediction the Poles Will Shift