2012, Science or Fiction?  Produced by Digital Journeys To order, click here

What with 2012? Interview with Philip Coppens by Piotr Cielebias, onet.pl   What is the truth behind 2012 phenomenon? Is there any broader meaning in it? And what did Mayans know? About all this thought-provoking matters we talk with
by Philip Coppens – journalist, writer and author of “2012, Science or Fiction?” Do you think that the world after 21 December 2012 will be different one than today’s?

Philip Coppens: No. And yes. We have been in a great period of change. And that is precisely what the Mayans say: that the last cycle – of ca. 20 years – of one calendar round and the first cycle of the next – overall, a period of 40 years – is one of great change. This last cycle began in April 1993 and when you look at the world of 1993 and ours today, you see a great difference. We have become a global village. Telecommunications allow us to talk to anyone everywhere at next to no cost, and for an average Western monthly salary, we can fly around the world in 48 hours. We have a global economy, and the only thing that is stopping us from being global citizens is that politicians continue to endorse borders – for no real reason, other than self-preservation. So I think that in the next 20 years, we will see a continuation of us becoming one global civilization, one global village. And as such, the world will become different from the world of today.

The main part of 2012 lore is connected with “the end” of Mayan calendar. What they indeed knew about 2012? Who is the mysterious “Bolon Yokte”? Did Mayans indeed prophesize something important or scary to come?

Philip Coppens: The Bolon Yokte are the Nine Lords of the Underworld. They make an appearance every 400 years. When they do so, they make an end to one world and together with the leader of the Mayans, decreed the fate of the next era. The likes of John Major Jenkins have been able to link the Mayan calendar with astronomical events – and so the calendar is pretty much what we know in the Western world as astrologically based: things in the sky have an effect here on Earth. The Mayans do say that in 2012, the Bolon Yokte should return – but the problem is that there are no Mayan elected officials. In Mayan times, certain rituals and ceremonies were performed that summoned these deities. If in December such rituals are not enacted, it is most unlikely anything special will happen. To some extent, the information about 2012 might actually have become inactive, because the Mayan civilization has disappeared. But there is nothing truly to fear. The physical world will not end.

Why and when people started to speculate about 2012? Some say about great disasters, other about mysterious “shifts” of planet or even people’s consciousness. What is expected to come?

Philip Coppens: The 2012 phenomenon rose from the mid 1990s onwards, when people like Maurice Cotterell began to focus on the Mayan calendar. He and others perceived a relationship between this calendar and sunspot activity, which at the time was said to peak in 2012. But sunspot activity is nowhere as predictable or precise as Cotterell and like would have us believe. And it is now known that the big peaks of sunspot activity that are coming up, do not coincide with December 21, 2012. The Mayans have said that 2012 is about social change – it is not to do with catastrophism. Do other prophets or clairvoyants mention this date in their works? Philip Coppens: Well, what is a prophet, right? Some of course have worked it into their material, but I would not take too much notice of that. But it is a fact that this period of time – in the 1960s heralded as the dawning of the Age of Aquarius – has been identified as one of great change. So 2012 is not a standalone prediction of the Mayans.

One of the most interesting authors theorizing about 2012 was Terence McKenna who gave a special role to this date. Can you explain his concept to our readers?

Philip Coppens: I was fortunate to hang out with Terence on a number of occasions and he was one of the most enjoyable people to hang out with! He was given, in the 1970s, by a non-human intelligence, an equation, which was explained to him as a fractal wave, which was a map of time. The problem was how to anchor this wave onto our timeline. The only clue he had was that the wave mapped great periods of innovation, and McKenna identified the atomic bomb blasts of 1945 as one of these. When McKenna realized the importance of 2012, he believed he had to map the timewave to 2012. And discussing it with others, he identified that in 2012, there might be a singularity, in which there was going to be such an excess of new information and novelty, that it would disappear of the scale, propelling us, so to speak, beyond time itself. Now, as exciting as that idea is in itself, it is not in line with what the Mayans think and express about 2012. And even though I think the TimeWave Zero as it has become known is extremely interesting, tying it with 2012 might not be the best solution.

2012 phenomenon is multi-faced one. One of the mentioned elements pertains so-called “shift of ages” – time when people comprehend that there is a need for change in civilization. Some may be disappointed with politics, science and religion. What do you think about this particular aspect of 2012?

Philip Coppens: I think that is precisely it. The 2012 phenomenon is about social change. It is about our understanding that one model of the world is dying and a new one needs to be born. The Mayans say that the first three ages were about physical development of Mankind, and the current age, which began in 3114 BC, about spiritual development. I think we need to continue down this path, but we need to become less religious, and more spiritual. We have lost spirituality along the way, somehow, and we need to regain it. We need to experience the divine directly, once again, realize we are all alike and are all part of one global village; that Mankind has far more things in common and that what drives us apart, is pretty much all made up by people and powers that want us to remain separate. I travel a lot, and mostly, I see unity and beauty.

Due to your appearance in “Ancient Aliens” it’s hard not to ask you about the following matter. Several years ago there was a rush about return of Nibiru – planet from Sumerian mythology that was also connected with 2012 lore. What happened with that myth?

Philip Coppens: It is still there. But it is so linked with Zecharia Sitchin, of whom I am absolutely no fan. In my opinion, there is no Nibiru, there is no 12th planet. And it definitely has nothing to do with 2012. In my opinion, Sitchin misunderstood what Nibiru was: in my opinion, it is a state, just after death, when a soul is crossing from this world to another existence. That is, I believe, what Nibiru is all about – a landscape which the Ancient Egyptians labeled the Duat. It is real, but not physically real, and definitely not a 12th planet.

If the doomsday fails, there will be any new date of similar importance to 2012? Some see 2036 as another fatal year due to Apophis asteroid flyby. Why people long so much to end of the world?

Philip Coppens: I think it has very much to do with the Christian mindset and this expectation of return, and end of the world. In the West, we don’t have cycles of times, like the Mayan, so we truly are facing a timeline which will go on for thousands of years. I think we cannot cope with that, and so we try to break it up in shorter periods, as if there is some validity to 5, 10, 50 or 100 years. But that is not the case. We yearn for this end, because we believe it will signal a finality, the accomplishment of something – the return of Jesus, or another religious figure. And in the absence of those returns, we are currently focusing on 2012 and misinterpreting it, making it into something it is not. The Mayans see these cycles as active – we need to take control over and of our own destiny. These prophecies are all about how someone will appear or something will happen, and then everything will be either all good or all bad. Life simply doesn’t work that way and the Mayans knew that. It seems the Western people are not so much aware of it. Many thanks for the interview!