José Argüelles: Origins of Present Day Mayan Calendar – 2012 Phenomena
The Argüellen Factor
In 1987 Dr. José Argüelles burst onto the world scene with the simultaneous release of his groundbreaking book The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology and his call for world wide gatherings to recognize what he called the Harmonic Convergence.
According to Argüelles the Harmonic Convergence signified the culmination of a Meso-American “prophecy cycle” known as theThirteen Heavens and Nine Hells.(Mayan Factor pg 218) 22 periods of 52 years for a total span of 1144 years.
Argüelles does not say where the prophecy is to be found nor by whom it was written. I did find that the “prophecy” in question is attributed to the Zapotec nation of ancient Meso-America. Though, I could only find a single source on the internet with no further reference. The source reads as follows.
“After Thirteen Heavens of Decreasing Choice, and Nine Hells of Increasing Doom, the Tree of Life shall blossom with a fruit never before known in the creation, and that fruit shall be the New Spirit of Men.”
The idea of prophecy is a controversial, mystical and largely unfounded concept. I do not accept the commonly held notion of prophecy as the prediction of events. The original meaning of prophecy has been corrupted and there is great deal of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding it.
Those wanting a deconstruction on the notion of prophecy are invited to review an article entitled “Prophecy Demystified: The Non-Existent Mayan Prophecies and the Real meaning of Prophecy.”[1A]
The year the Spanish imperialist Hernan Cortez landed in Mexico is widely accepted as the beginning of the nine 52 year hell cycles, which when taken from the perspective of the Native American is understandable.
Tens of millions of Native Americans spanning two continents would fall victim to the European invasion or the New World equivalent of the Jewish holocaust multiplied several times.
What is in question is the precise dating as to which day during the year 1519 is exact start of the first hell period.
It is not the purpose of this report to argue for one date or another. 52 times 9 equals 468 years. Add 468 years to 1519 and you get the year 1987.
Argüelles selects the 16th and 17th of August, 1987 as the days on which to signify the end of the 13 Heavens and 9 Hells prophecy cycle and to initiate the last 25 years of the Mayan Long Count Calendar which ends according to most calendrical accounts on Dec. 21, 2012.
The Argüellen understanding of Maya-Meso-American Calendrics (MMAC) and the convergence of several streams of prophectic lore at such a unique time in human history is interpreted by Argüelles to mean the ending of human history as defined by the one sided and suffocating worldview of Western civilization (Mayan Factor pgs 218 -224) or more precisely the Judeo-Christian-culture complex.
Argüelles foresees a new book on human history which will be defined from a multi-cultural perspective (pg 218 -224 Mayan Factor). A perspective derived from what I call a Planetary Culture.
A Planetary Culture is one which has broken free from the mental cage of enthocentrism to embrace the ecological perspective of humanity as a singular and intrinsically cooperative self-organizing super organism.
A condition which has yet to be fully actualized, but believed by many to be emerging vigorously right before our very eyes.
The transition from a fragmented humanity at the mercy of a few powerful war mongering men to a cooperative and peaceful planetary society is the hope and expectation of what has come to be known as the New Age community.
The Harmonic Convergence
It is Argüelles who puts the year 2012 on the map and onto the global mind field via his book the Mayan Factor and the worldwide event known as the Harmonic Convergence.
On August 16-17, 1987 and at the behest of Argüelles, members of the New Age community gathered around the world and at places of great spiritual regard to usher in the last 25 years of the 5125.36 year Mayan Calendar Long Count cycle and the dawning of a literal and hoped-for, metaphorically significant “new age”.
Argüelles kick starts the popular imagination surrounding 2012 with proclamations of a fast approaching “golden age”.
The “prophecy” of the 13 Heavens and 9 Hells does not elaborate on the specifics regarding the closure of the prophecy cycle nor the year 2012.
Argüelles did embellish the singular phrase attributed to the prophecy by saying that “if 144,000 people could respond to the call of meditating on the dawn of August 16th and 17th 1987, the world would be renewed and humanity would enter a new age”. (pg 218 Mayan Factor).
Contrary to popular understanding, the ancient Meso-Americans, be they Aztec or Maya or any other group, left no oral or written prophecy record about what would or could happen on or about the year 2012 other than a great age of 5125 years would end and another commence.
The Maya did depict in mytho-symbolic terms a rendering of the night sky as it would appear during the closure of the Long Count cycle.[1a]
For a more in-depth look at just what was recorded by the ancient Meso-Americans, please see “Prophecy Demystified[...]“.[1a]
Many authors hoping to catch a ride on the Argüellen-2012 Express seized and built upon upon the words “Mayan Calendar” and “Prophecies” to sell their own version of a poorly presented calendrical system and a non-existent entity. [1a]
The Grains of Truth
Hidden under the present day clamor of apocalypse, prophecies and many other unsubstantiated proclamations of what could accompany the arrival of 2012, is the real gem that Argüelles simultaneously unveils in the Mayan Factor.
Underlying the entire Maya-Meso-American Calendrical system (MMAC) is the enigmatic Tzolkin cycle.
The Tzolkin is a 260 day cycle and it forms the hub of the MMAC system. MMAC cannot be fully understood without understanding the Tzolkin.
The article you are reading initiates a series of articles that begin to reveal the profound nature of the Tzolkin and its implications for humanity.
It is the Tzolkin facet of the MMAC system that compels me to subtitle my next report on the subject, “TheUniversal Relevance of the Maya-Meso-American Calendrical System.”
The Tzolkin is not a conceptual invention particular to some unique culture, but is rather the discovery of a process inherent in the very fabric of space-time itself.
The Tzolkin is no more Mayan than the science of genetics is British. As of yet it is unclear which ancient Meso-American nation discovered it.
In The Mayan Factor Argüelles unveils the centerpiece of the MMAC system, the Tzolkin cycle, and expounds upon it in way that leaves one dumbstruck.
For example, “The Tzolkin is synchronized with the galactic code”. “The galactic code governs the information concerning the operation of the light cycle.”
“The light cycle defines resonant frequency ranges of radiant energy, inclusive of electricity, heat, light and radio waves that in form the self-generative functions of all phenomena, organic or inorganic” (pg 84 Mayan Factor ).
“These constants (Tzolkin components) a coherent system of symbols and numbers, have but a single, all encompassing purpose: to assist us both in the retrieval of galactic information and in the attainment of a condition of galactic alignment” (pg 86 ibid).
“The 260 symbolic pulses woven by the Loom of Maya (Tzolkin) create the entire resonant field which we experience as reality” (pg 88 ibid).
Found and Then Lost in Translation
José‘s formal training was in art history, but his work revealed the genius and creativity of a poly-math or modern day renaissance man. His presentation of the Tzolkin and 2012 bore the mark of a passionate visionary more so than that of a rigorous scientific academic. He attempted to bridge the two domains, but in the end I sense his message was more confusing than clarifying about the nature and workings of the Tzolkin.
Thus, his first presentation of what could be one of the greatest rediscoveries of all times was dismissed by the mainstream intelligentsia.
Then in 1990, Argüelles and his wife Lloydine released the ultra mystical Dreamspell rendition of the Tzolkin.
His Dreamspell interpretation was rejected by the calendrical traditionalists and other Maya scholars for two key reasons.
The first reason was that he proposed a dating sequence that did not correspond to any of the existing traditional Tzolkin counts. That meant somebodies accounting of the Tzolkin’s dating sequence was wrong.
Secondly he made some minor changes to aspects of the Tzolkin’s components and introduced what I call Tzolkin Dynamics.
In my work on Tzolkin cosmology I argue for some of his modifications and amplification of the traditional Tzolkin model, but for now I am explaining why knowledge of the Tzolkin some 22 years after it was first introduced to the world has languished in the murky waters of obscurity and befuddlement. My work is also the first to offer empirical verification of the dating sequence proposed by Argüelles.
Argüelles is thus far the only scholar to attempt such a profound and comprehensive evaluation ofthe Tzolkin.
He not only expounds upon the traditional Tzolkin, but he also builds upon it to expose its previously hidden dimensions. It is the face lift he gives the Tzolkin that ruffles the feathers of the traditionalists.
His work is largely rejected by other Maya scholars in part for it strangeness and also because Argüelles was knownfor not showing his work or offering proof.
I must add, that while I may be an apologist for some facets of his work, his scholarly presentation often lacked the rigor and proof needed to be taken seriously as a scientist. Argüelles was cognizant that he had rediscovered something of great social and scientific value, but he lost credibility as a scientific investigator because he simultaneously donned the robe of a new testament prophet.
Argüelles was prone to make failed predictions about how and when Western Civilization would crumble and how and when the “New World” would begin to appear (Mayan Factor pgs.192-195).
To sum up the Argüellen contribution to the study of Maya-Meso-American Calendrics, I must say he is rediscoverer and re-mystifier of whatI consider to be one of the greatest natural history discoveries of all time!
Argüelles plumbed the many facets and intricacies of the Tzolkin to show the astounding implications of a new and ancient science that is only now coming into greater clarity.
Unfortunately, his presentation and style has sealed off his discoveries from the vast majority of those who might otherwise take note.
Whatever his challenges in communicating a clear message my work affirms what I think are his most important contributions to Meso-Ameircan calendrics and humanity and that is the rediscovery of the correct Tzolkin dating sequence and his elucidation of Tzolkin Dynamics.
Anyone familiar with the story surrounding his journey of discovery will recognize a story of epic proportions. A story that will not be fully appreciated until the implications and nature of Tzolkin cosmology are fully comprehended.
You will find all of my work on Tzolkin Cosmology listed under the Synchronicity and 2012 sections of the website in an ongoing series of articles published under the heading title of The Art and Science of Synchronicity (ARTSOS).