From Publishers Weekly
Anthropologist Jenkins (Galactic Alignment) has been investigating Mayan culture since 1985, helping unveil the Mayan calendar system that predicts a once-in-26,000-years "astronomical alignment"-the solstice sun and the Milky Way with the galactic center-occurring on December 12, 2012, a date that's gained an apocalyptic reputation in the popular consciousness. Jenkins believes that the Mayans, just like their Greek, Indian, Babylonian, and Egyptian contemporaries, have much to teach us, but nothing about a global cataclysm. Applying the concepts of Mayan cyclical cosmology-in particular, a transformation-and-renewal creation myth not unlike other religions'-he suggests that 2012 "basically represents a shift from one World Age to the next" occurring over decades, not hours: "The world is in a crisis. Systems need to be transformed and spiritually centered social activism is called for." He believes that the Indian idea of an "indigenous mind" offers an alternative to modern materialism, "oriented more to... maintaining balance with a sustainable value system." He also finds hopeful signs in farming, beer brewing, energy innovation, and health-food communities, as well as the popularity of meditation and other ways of freeing oneself from "the tangled knot of illusion." This introduction to Mayan culture, from the scientist who uncovered much of it, replaces silly disaster scenarios with something both truthful and provocative.
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"By far the best and most authoritative guide to the 2012 phenomenon. I doubt it will be followed by anything better."
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-Richard Smoley, Quest magazine
"One of the most popular author in the 2012 category, [John Major Jenkins] helped usher in this craze."
-Lisa Miller, Newsweek
"As much as Jenkins has made a place for himself in the 2012 discussion through his independent research on the Maya and precession, he has made an even greater impact by applying academic rigor to the theories of his contemporaries and exposing...their inconsistencies with established Mayanist scholarship."
-Benjamin Anastas, The New York Times Magazine
"The most global and erudite voice of a swelling chorus of Galactic Center theorists. By framing the subject in the context of the Primordial Tradition, he raises it to a new level of seriousness and of reassurance."
-Joscelyn Godwin, Colgate University
"A fascinating journey through the history of the ancient Maya...Combining impeccable scholarship with incisive critical intellect, the author dispels the misconceptions and sensational speculations."
-Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of Psychology of the Future