Posted by: Johan Normark | August 23, 2009

2012: How to spot a prophet’s Maya hoax – designing a personal cosmology

There are several distortions and fabrications of Classic Maya cosmology. One of them is proposed by Carl Johan Calleman. In this Youtube clip he argues that the cataclysmic interpretations of the 2012 date are wrong and that we should go back to the ancient Maya sources. However, he is not practicing what he is preaching. He has created his own personal cosmology with little connection to the ancient Maya.

The only Classic period monument that mentions 4 Ajaw 3 K’ank’in (December 21, 2012) is Monument 6 at Tortuguero. However, this is not the primary date on the monument. It is a calendar round date that equals in the Long Count (AD 669) and relates to the dedication (EL?-le-NAAH-ji-ja) of the building that probably contained the panel. Anyway, the final part of the inscription says that:

Tzuhtz-(a)j-oom u(y)-uxlajuun pik, (ta) Chan Ajaw ux(-te’) Uniiw.
Uht-oom ?, Y-em(al)?? Bolon Yookte’ K’uh ta ?.

This translates as:

The Thirteenth “Bak’tun” will be finished, (on) Four Ajaw, the Third of Uniiw (K’ank’in), ? will occur, (It will be) the descent(??) of the Nine Support? God(s) to the ?.”

It is Bolon Yookte’ K’uh (Nine Support? God(s) ) that has been the target for various interpretations. These are some of the more recent ones by the Mayanists David Stuart and Christian Prager. In 2006 David Stuart wrote that “the enigmatic deity Bolon Yookte’ K’uh has been known for some time from many sources, and I suspect that he (or they) has some tangential relationship to the Principal Bird Deity, as well as war associations. Interestingly, he is a protagonist in the deep time mythology of Palenque, as recorded on Palenaue’s [sic] Temple XIV tablet.”

In response Christian Prager writes that “the deity Bolon Yokte K’u is shown here to have had a consistent association with underworld, conflict, and war from the beginning of the Classic period into Colonial times. Bolon Yokte K’u provides not only an insight into the Maya conceptions of conflict but is also helpful to see how the conceptions were implemented by the elite. The […] deity is a recurrent theme in Classic period inscriptions, Postclassic codices and the Books of Chilam Balam from the Colonial period…. Several monuments can be shown to depict elite persons dressed up as Bolon Yokte K’u. The identification of Bolon Yokte K’u on the “Vase of the Seven Gods” (K2796) underscores its importance as one of the gods that were present during the creation of the present world.”

Later on Stuart wonders “if Bolon Yookte’ K’uh can be seen as a […] gouping [sic] of nine deities, even if these get to be collapsed as a more individual entity (a very mesoamerican concept of divinity, we know). certainly the impersonation of Bolon Yookte’ K’uh by rulers, as on that Bonampak-area panel or stela, implies a more concrete individual.”

So, what does Calleman say about this? He says that nine gods will descend but these gods are in fact time periods as well. Indeed, some deities are associated with time periods. To my knowledge, however, these god(s) are not associated with time periods (I could be wrong but that is not a major issue here). Calleman argues that they are nine evolutionary wave movements that come to an end in 2012 (see my earlier post on these time periods and how they fail to correspond to the phases Calleman claims they correspond to). These gods/time periods he sees as nine underworlds. There are also corresponding thirteen heavens ruled by thirteen gods (oxlahun-ti-ku). However, as Nielsen and Reunert recently have shown, these are not multilayered heavens and underworlds as once thought. This is a creation by postcontact writers. Thus, Calleman’s whole hierarchical schema is based on Colonial period writers, not on Classic period beliefs.

Calleman has a desire to predict future events from the Maya calendar. In the Youtube clip he says that there is a greater plan that suggests a complete makeover of the world. This new world will be completely different with peace, equality, and a sense of belonging to the spiritual universe. Abstract values such as money will disappear. Wishful thinking…  It does not really fit Prager’s interpretation of Bolon Yokte K’u which is believed to” have had a consistent association with underworld, conflict, and war”. I do not see any indication of peace and equality. The whole idea of equality is a modern concept and I doubt the Classic period rulers and scribes had any democratization in mind. This is one of the reasons why the cataclysmic people think these gods (or god) will cause havoc and death.

Number nine is usually associated with the underworld in Maya cosmology. Calleman focuses on some pyramids with nine levels (few pyramids actually had nine levels). He chooses Temple I at Tikal as an example of his distorted personal cosmology. He claims that these pyramid levels also are nine levels of evolution! First of all, the Maya had no knowledge of the idea of evolution. Second of all, Calleman’s use of evolution is completely teleological and essentialist. Everything is predefined according to a cosmic plan that comes to a fulfillment in 2012. That is not exactly evolution since evolution is change and becoming. I have no idea how he equated the nine pyramid levels with nine levels of evolution but it for sure has nothing to do with what the Maya believed. In any case, these underworld levels are: cellular, mammalian, familial, tribal, regional, national, planetary, galactic, and universal. Indeed, the Maya had no knowledge about what a “mammal” was, that is an entirely biological term based in Linnaean categorization. Tribal? Galactic? Well, they knew about the Milky Way but they for sure did not have an idea of galaxies.

As a logic of his own made up metaphysical system he claims that each underworld level was subdivided into 13 heavens. These are all associated with Aztec/Nahua names of gods. This is yet another example of the common mixing of various cosmologies into one great stew of nonsense. For some reason Calleman claims that the thirteen heavens of the Maya are the seven days and six nights of the Biblical creation story (7+6=13)! This is a typical new age strategy of combining various beliefs from completely different sources and suggesting that they have the same origin. The seven day cycle we call a week has nothing to do with the ancient Maya.

Following Calleman’s predetermined schema we learn that each of his made up time period have a purpose of bringing a particular change around. Time periods that are “nights” brings depression and those that are “days” brings prosperity. This is used by Calleman to make three predictions about the economy in the “Galactic Underworld” (the phase we all live in now). As expected they are not that accurate and they are not very surprising if you have some knowledge of historical processes. Calleman claims that the recent global financial collapse began in November 19, 2007 (this was the beginning of the rule of Tezcatlipoca, “the [Aztec…] lord of darkness”). This occurred when the fifth night began. However, Calleman makes the mistake of mentioning that the economists say the collapse began in December 2007. If you claim a collapse begin on a specific day, and you miss it with at least two weeks you have failed to make a prediction. He further predicts that the Western world dominance will end with this crisis. It is not a major surprise that China and India will become or already are major powers in the world’s politics and economy. However, the “world system” with the US and the EU in the center will be quite important beyond 2012. There is no actual date when the “Western” dominance end.

Calleman further predicts that the look for abstract values (“money”) will end and apparently this will occur in Night 6 which begins in November 7, 2009. Calleman says that paper money will lose its value. Just to be on the safe side he says that this is at least a possibility…). By adding “possibility” he can always explain the failed prediction with something else. He says that our control of the events happening in the world is not as great as we once thought. Who has ever thought so except for religions who have attempted to find ways to control a world in constant flux with a predefined model? Calleman is no exception. New age spirituality seeks to unfold a complex divine order through distortions of ancient beliefs and modern science. It can only muddle people’s minds.

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  1. I liked that, especially “one great stew of nonsense”.
    But I do have a question about the translation, just because I am curious. (Tzuhtz-(a)j-oom u(y)-uxlajuun pik, (ta) Chan Ajaw ux(-te’) Uniiw.
    Uht-oom ?, Y-em(al)?? Bolon Yookte’ K’uh ta ?.)
    Why doesn’t it contain something like ‘bak’tun’?

    Since that word is Mayan it seems like it should appear there if it translates as ‘thirteenth bak’tun’.

  2. Baktun is a modern term since earlier epigraphers did not know what the glyph sounded like. Contemporary epigraphers have now deciphered the Classic period glyph as Pik. However, since baktun is a widely used concept it is used in the translations (but not in the transliteration since that follow word by word).

  3. Thanks. Good explanation. I linked back to your post today. Baktun is soooo yesterday. Now I know.

  4. Basically there are two possible approaches to the Mayan calendar. One is that it is based on deities and calendrical time units that we may look upon as superstitions and have no meaning. This is has in its essence been the position of Mayanism and archeology for most of its existence and from this perspective the views of the ancient Maya are regarded as mere curiosities that we have nothing to learn from. The other view is to consider that modern science might have looked entirely different if it would have found its roots among the Maya and not among the Greek, which would require such an overhaul of our modern world view that most specialized disciplines of science very difficult to accomodate. A first recognjition of this approach has come in systems theory where recently a paper honoring the nine underworlds had the distinction of best paper at a recent international scientific conference:
    I see little meaning to respond to the comments by someone who has not even read my books there the prediction of exactly when the economic decline would begin (which of course was not stated as a single specific day) was published ten years ago.
    It is appropriate in this context to ask how many Mayanists, or traditional economists for that matter, that were able to make such a prediction. Maybe the people who insist that the Mayan calendar is a superstition without predictive power are simply missing the point which requires a larger framework of understanding.
    Carl Johan Calleman, Ph.D of Physical Biology

  5. In agreeance with Johan, too often we see aspects of a culture used to base entire theories on (9-step pyramids), without any mention of other aspects that, were they mentioned by the author, would invalidate the seeming importance of their work. We saw the same with JMJ, who originally buried the actual year of galactic alignment in an appendix, causing a massive meme today that speaks of an alignment on Dec 21 2012.

    Given that for quite some time my belief is that, worldwide, pyramids are giant bunkers, constructed for the use of “gods”/mysterious elders, and that we need to be in bunkers in 2012 – when I read the translation of Monument 6 at Tortuguero it is clear to me that the mention of descent in 2012 means the gods will hide in the depths of their pyramids.

    • Bast
      How did these mysterious elders get inside the pyramids? Most of them have been concealed by tonnes of stones. Or where they immaterial beings that need not worry about confronting physical matter?

  6. Calleman:
    You are right that I have not read your books in their entire length, but I have checked out your website quite a bit and I assume it reflects your ideas. I just wonder what Mayanist of today say that the Maya calendar had no meaning? Can you name them (references please)? The calendar(s) had profound meaning for the ancient and modern Maya. In contemporary Momostenango the tzolkin is used for diagnosing people’s health, helping people to plan for future buisness, etc. I agree with you that modern science would have looked different if it was based on ancient Maya ideas instead of Greek ideas but then we would never have had “modern science” without the greeks. You are reducing complex historical processes to being cultural differences between ancient greeks and ancient Maya. What greeks do you mean btw? From Socrates and onwards or the presocratic philosophers? They differ quite a bit.

    Once that paper has been published in a peer-reviewed journal and gone through the whole process I will consider it. My research has also been awarded (the Loubat prize) but it is only publications in peer-reviewed journals that matters. I am following the “orphan line” of philosophers myself (Lucretius, Spinoza, Hume¸Nietzsche, Bergson and Deleuze). These are all against the “State philosophy and science” which you seem to be against. There is therefore no need to choose another, and in my view, heavily distorted version of Maya as a model of history and science.

    What is the point of making a prediction if it is not exact? I can also predict that there will be economic declines in the future. As Dr Phil says: best prediction of future behaviour is past behaviour. Processes of course repeat, it is the eternal return of Nietzsche. But it is never predetrmined like the scheme you have created. This is is a static time and a static universe where evolution only realise preexisting forms. It is this kind of evolutionary ideas that Bergson argued against. There is difference in every repetition.

    New age people always argue that they have a larger framework of understanding. This they do in order to explain away their failed predictions within a smaller framework. This partly fits systems theory. Even if components fail, the whole system may still work. I have a pretty large framework of understanding myself and it is not difficult to find the flaws in your metaphysical system.

    Why is your PhD title always so important that it has to be on the cover of your books and at the end of your comment? You try to legitimize your ideas with a title in a completely different subject.

  7. When I talk about meaning I of course mean objective meaning in the sense of an exact description of evolution from the Big Bang and onwards. This is what is amazing about the Mayan calendar and it is only in such a perspective that things can see that it makes sense. There is no way around reading my books for those that are seriously interested in the higher meaning of the Mayan calendar because no one has taken such an approach previously. YouTube presentations or articles on my web site can never cover and discuss all the qualifications that are involved. For instance the exact quote for my prediction of when the economic meltdown begins reads: Regardless of what forms such a [financial] collapse may take it seems that the best bet is for it to occur close to the time that the Fifth NIGHT begins, in November 2007 (The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness, page 233, published in 2004). This we can now see to be an amazingly exact prediction that no economist (and certainly no academic Mayanist) did ten years in advance. It is in my earlier book too. No serious researcher into the meaning of the Mayan calendar can deny this and I may note that some people that realized that the Mayan calendar has a higher meaning and trusted my prediction saved a lot of money by making investments based on what I wrote. People that have a higher ambition than debunking at any cost will realize that biology, physics and history are not in any sense “different” fields from the study of the Mayan calendar and that it is exactly what this is all about. To look at it as an expression only of a particular culture totally misses the point. Incidentally, publishers put Ph.D., after my name even though I do not want it. When I self-published my first book on this topic in Swedish in 1994 I could avoid that.

  8. Where exactly do we find evidence of Big Bang in Maya inscriptions? Instead of talking about a “higher meaning” of the calendar we should perhaps settle for the evidence we have. Arguing that the Maya calendar(s) reflects the “evolution” of the universe as we now know it is slightly ethnocentric. You are projecting your western ideas and values on this calendar. You basically say that our science (ultimately based on Greek philosophy) has taken us in the wrong direction. All data you try to fit into the Maya calendar are the result of this “Greek philosophy and science”, not of “Maya philosophy and science”. You use the discourse you try to debunk yourself. It can of course never be any other way since you can never be a Classic period Maya. Anyway, if your model fit what is currently known your first Underworld would not miss Big Bang with 2.7 billion years; you would not be almost 300 million years off when it comes to the evolution of “higher” life forms (the second underworld), etc. What about Stela 1 at Coba that records a creation date many times older than the present universe? Claims that this date (and the other dates spanning millions and billions of years into the past) actually are true dates and are indices of a higher consciousness cannot be taken seriously. Although I am against ethnographic analogies I must say that I find it more likely that the current use of the tzolkin calendar in Momostenango is more in line with Classic period calendar usage than what you present.

    You say that “no serious researcher into the meaning of the Mayan calendar can deny this and I may note that some people that realized that the Mayan calendar has a higher meaning and trusted my prediction saved a lot of money by making investments based on what I wrote.” Good for them, but your prediction has nothing to do with the Classic period Maya calendar(s). How many of your other predictions have succeeded? Is your last one perhaps pure luck? How many predictions do you do for every “night” or “day” and how many of these are accurate? Anyway, the economists say that the economy is recovering now so I will await your explanation when money is still around after the sixth night. Btw, why would an academic Mayanist predict contemporary financial meltdowns? It is not exactly what we are doing.

  9. Circular reasoning and deeply flawed logic are at play in Dr. Calleman’s work. I respect his early academic work in microbiology, however, in the case of mesoAmerican history, he has entered the realm of faith and spirituality. It is one thing to develop a syncretic belief from disparate elements, it is quite another to attempt to retroactively substantiate them against the backdrop of science.

    • Yes, I see no major difference between his ideas and other new age beliefs and pseudoscience. If they had knowledge about Big Bang, dinosaurs, darwinian evolution, etc. we should have seen this in their writing. We don’t.

  10. Speaking of number nine – nine gods descending, nine waves coming together, etc.
    Is it true that 9 can mean ‘innumerable”? I just saw this on Wikipedia: “Bolon Dzacab ‘Innumerable (bolon ‘nine, innumerable’) maternal generations”.
    If that were true, then ’9′ could be less exact and more of a general term.
    Just wondering.

    • I am not an epigrapher but most translations I have seen use the cardinal number 9 rather than the adjective many/innumerable. In any case, Calleman’s nine waves of evolution are his ideas only

  11. I am not claiming that the classical Maya knew all of these things. We will never know exactly what the Maya knew or did not knew and to discuss this is the task of Mayanists. My theory is about knowing how evolution in a broad sense works and althrough it is clearly informed by the Mayan calendar empirical evidence is then presented by a broad range of sciences. An amazing number of predictions (but not all) have turned out to be right in this way. Modern mainstream science in general does not even address the issue of why the universe, including human civilization evolves in the first place, but this is a theory that does.

    • But why do you need to refer to the Maya calendar then if all you want to do is to tell your reader how evolution works? Why not buy a book by Dawkins if one want to know something about (biological) evolution?

  12. Regarding the dating of the Big Bang it is not as simple as Normark makes it seem. Yes, the WMAP study came out in favor of 13.7 billion years ago, but it all depends on the assumptions that you make regarding the universe and so the same study came out with 16.5 billion years under the assumption of a “flat universe”. The best estimate of the age of the Milky Way is 14.5 billion years ago and we would have to recognize that there is something amiss if the Milky Way is older than the universe. The point is that the estimate of the Age of the universe has shifted over time depending on assumptions and is definitely not cut in stone. Equally definitely it is in the range of 13 hablatuns.

    • I never said dating the universe is simple and since the estimates of its age are likely to change in the future as well, it is a good indication that the Maya calendar is not showing the age of it either. What about the Cobá inscription where universe is many times older than the current universe? Since I have not read your books in detail, what do you say about the inscription from Palenque that records a date in the next piktun (AD 4772)?

  13. Regarding the multicellular organisms it is true that the oldest ones that have been found in the Ediacaran Hills fauna are dated to about 600 million years old. No serious evolutionary biologist believe that these are the oldest such that have appeared on our planet however. Typical recent estimates places the emergence of multicellular organisms at 800-900 million years ago in very good agreement with my estimate of 820 million years ago (see for instance Ward, Peter D. and Brownlee, Donald, Rare Earth, Copernicus Books, 2004 or Prothero, Donald R., Evolution, Columbia University Press, New York, NY). In my book from 2001 I state that following this initial emergence the evolution of multicellular organisms would follow an alautun rhtythm of 63.1 million years. In the largest study ever of the diversification of species this rhythm has now been verified as 62+/-3 million years (RA Rohde and RA Muller, Cycles in Fossil Diversity, Nature 434: 208-210, 2005.) Again an a prediction that no one can deny since my book was clearly in print several years before the study in Nature was published. Of course no mainstream biologist had made the prediction that I made and still do not know how to make sense of this periodicity, but it is there exactly how I had predicted.
    Again then back to the question whether the Maya knew about details of biological evolution. Personally I consider this as unlikely bordering on impossible. Yet, if you read the Books of Chilam Balam of Chumayel you will find that its author in principle entertained a view of evolutionary events being driven by calendrical energies and there is nothing except the bias of many people living now that speaks against such a view.

    • Indeed, palaeontologists cannot give us a definite beginning for multicellular organisms (speciation is always a problem in a temporal continuum). But we are still talking about millions of years off. In any case, I find that there must be processes that have been equally or even more important than the ones you bring up. The formation of the Earth, the emergence of the earliest life forms, earliest vertebrae animals, earliest mammals, etc. You probably bring them up within the subdivisions of each Underworld, but the only justification I see that you use the ones you use is that they fit the calendar. The main problem with the 63.1 million year cycle you mention is that it appears to fit the evolution of multicellular organism. It also fits other periodicities so why does it associate with multicellular organisms? The time period almost also fit the time from the Chicxulub impact until today. Does that imply the Maya knew when the non-avian dinosaurs got extinct?

      As is quite common in orthogenetic evolutionary thinking, we have a series of stages that ultimateley leads up to humans and to our present time. We are always at the top of the evolution. It is quite a self-centered view. It is also based on the general and the specific. Everything emerge from a more general form to a more specific one. This is Aristotelian, essentialist and arborescent thinking. What evolutionary thinking did was to take the static Christian/Aristotelian hierarchical view of life and just add change to it. It is a predefined schema that actually is the contradiction of evolution as Darwin envisioned it. The irony is therefore that you are heavily entrenched in the “Greek philosophical tradition.”

  14. Regarding why the Coba stele has so many cycles times 13 I do not know.
    We do know that the most significant pyramids that the Maya built (Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque, Pyramid of the Jaguar in Tikal, pyramid of Kukulkan in Chichen-Itza for instance) were built in nine levels apparently because Bolon Yookte has nine levels. We also know that the Maya would refer to the Long Count as the sixth level (ruled by the Six-Sky-Lord). Most importantly however we can only verify empirically that evolution in a broad sense follows the nine Underworlds of Bolon Yookte. Personally I would like to stay away from what cannot be verified empirically and so whether the Coba stele is made by someone who had a different idea about evolution, or if there are cycles we cannot see the effects of, I do not know. Again the empirical verification of my theories are not to be found in what the Maya believed or did not believe, but in the facts of modern science. Hence, it is in principle a falsifiable theory and if for instance the cosmologists would eventually settle that the universe is 100 billion years old I would have to give it up, because this would be too far away from my estimate of 16.4 billion years. But as long as the data line up so amazingly to prediction and I can make predictions that are perfectly verified such as regarding the evolution of multicellular organisms there is no reason to do so.

  15. Dr. Calleman, if I were to read one of your books to get an in depth look at your side of this particular discussion, which book would you suggest? (Time constraints – I can only read one).
    Dr. Normark, I find your point of view easier to understand, so your blog will suffice for your ‘book’. You got right to the point.

  16. Dear Sue,
    I would recommend The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of conssciousness from Bear and Co, 2004.
    Carl Johan

  17. Again, I am not talking about what the Maya knew or did not knew. We do not know that and I am certainly not making any claims about it. The reason that there may also be other phenomena in the universe that follow an alautun rhythm is that several different levels of the universe are synchronized in order to generate living organisms. The orthogenetic evolution of the species comes from the fact that the whole universe is built around its recently discovered central axis, what the ancients would call the World Tree. What the Mayan calendar describes is the vibrations of this and the reason that the Mayan calendar applies both to biological evolution and human history, for instance the economic situation at the current time, is that there is such a time plan behind evolution. Hence, it presents an alternative to the Darwinist idea that the human being is an accident and that life has no direction or purpose. Cosmic history is a directed evolution leading up to 2012. It is an extremely fascinating story far from the fragmented state of knowledge that mainstream science is still in, but it can only be understood from the perspective of systems theory where you can see how all the different organizational levels of the universe need to be synchronized in order to generate life. It takes an enormous fine-tuning between its different levels in order to accomplish this as well as many fine-tuned constants of nature.

    • “The orthogenetic evolution of the species comes from the fact that the whole universe is built around its recently discovered central axis, what the ancients would call the World Tree.” What???

      It seems to me that you argue that the Maya used a calendar that held the secrets to the evolution of a predestined universe. And you claim that they probably did not know this. Did they create the calendar or not? If you claim that they did not know its “higher” meaning, then someone else must have been giving them the calender. This sounds more and more like another form of intelligent design to me. At least there is some theistic evolution in the mix here.

  18. Yes, the Maya definitely developed a calendar system that holds the key to the evolution of the universe. In detail it will be presented in my forthcoming book the Purposeful Universe. I think the Maya knew this in principle intuitively, but not in its details. Obviously, much of Mesoamerican history attest to significant changes taking place at baktun shifts such as the abandonment of the Classical sites at the beginning of baktun 10. These peoples very much experienced the reality of such cosmic energies associated with the cycle shifts in the same way as an increasing number people do so today as we approach 2012. People will be part of this transformation of human civilization regardless of if they are aware of the Mayan calendar or not, but of course it helps if they understand what is going on. Established science however has biases that prevents it from being helpful in this regard.

  19. One of my first articles I wrote concerned changes around baktun endings. Rice discusses similar ideas but focuses on the may-cycle. Nowadays, I find such interpretations to be heavily idealistic and not well grounded in the actual settlement data. Sure, several sites were abandoned before and after 830, but a substantial amount of sites continued to be settled long after this date. Gill’s climate change model, which I criticize in my current research, is, however, a far stronger candidate for explaining the “collapse” than that the very baktun ending itself was the cause. But maybe you include climate change as part of “cosmic energy?”

  20. No, I would not include climate change in cosmic energy. Mayan calendar shifts are quantized and not continuous.

    I would like to step out of this discussion now and I want to thank especially Dr Normark for taking the time to try to criticize my work (in my view not very successfully). It is not a theory that can be evaluated in a piecemeal fashion. It is based on massive empirical evidence that the Mayan calendar indeed describes the evolution of the universe and there is no way it can be explained as the product of some simple error. It basic premises of course threaten the bias of many a scientist who is wedded to the notion of an all pervasive randomness in the universe. Hence the study of the Mayan calendar in this perspective requires an authentic quest for knowing how the universe works. For those that want to go beyond a simplistic randomness and see evolution in a broad context this offers a fascinating path of discovery. For this I recommend the study not only of The Mayan calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness, but also my forthcoming book The Purposeful Universe – How Quantum Theory and Mayan cosmology explain the Origin and Evolution of Life (Bear and Co, december 2009). There is much more to this than can be explained on a web site or on YouTube.
    Carl Johan Calleman

  21. Thanks for the discussion (although I cannot say that all of my questions were answered). I can only disagree with the claim that there is massive empircial evidence for Calleman’s idea(s). Yes, he launches plenty of evidence for orthogenetic evolution but how and why this even relates to the Maya calendar(s) is in my opinion plain wrong. I do not believe in a predetrmined (purposeful in Calleman’s words) universe. His metaphysical system is one of essences, necessary stages of Beings and closed linear systems. Mine is non-essential, Becomings and open non-linear systems that cannot be determined. His arborescent view is based on a master-signifier that seems to be consciousness. I see no such predefined driving causes. To me, the future is open and we have a potential to affect it. This is not the case with the opposite side in this discussion.

  22. Calleman has left the discussion just as I was about to ask him critical questions. What will he do if his prediction on the end of evolution and the emergence of “sustainable advanced Garden of Eden” does not occur on October 28, 2011 (remember he has an earlier “end date” than the other 2012 people)? Will he refine his predictions or will he try to explain away why his model simply does not fit reality? Will he instead switch to 2027, when the next calendar round in the Aztec calendar ends (not unlikely since the Aztec calendar stone his highly visible on his website)? I am just curious since he has set up a deadline for himself.

    • Hello Johan

      You see, The point is that we now need to tune in to our intuition. Our mind is only a tool that we soon doesn´t have the same use for. Rather then just do some thinking and analyse everything: Feel instead! We have not got the time to go around and analyse everything. That´s the old way.

  23. I am in favour of intuition in the Bergsonian way but I guess that is not what you imply. Unfortunately, intuition does not solve any of our current problems. For that we need to break down the world and duration to units that are indeed analyzable. But as Bergson says, these units (actual multiplicities) are only static entities devoid of duration and does not explain the differentiating whole, just static parts. However, what you call mind (which actually includes intuition) is what Bergson calls intellect. These have always coexisted according to him and will do so in the future as well. As another blogger (Terra Incognita) writes: sometimes it is not the right way to stop and turn around (what you suggest), but it is better to continue running. We need more science and technology, not more “new-age” and pseudoscience.

  24. The point I find most enlightening about the whole 2012 movement is that none of the big name authors who started the movement actually seem to have been aware of the single Maya text that talks about 2012 before a couple of years ago. This ignorance is not due to this being a newly discovered or newly deciphered inscription. Epigraphers have known of this date for decades now. I first came upon it in Linda Schele’s “Maya Glyphs: The Verbs”, which was published in 1982. So there is no excuse for these authors who claim to know what the 2012 date meant to the Maya not actually knowing about the ONLY Maya text that even makes reference to the date. In the last couple of years it has been amusing to watch these same authors rush to post quick analyses of this text on their webpages, realizing that their fans may start questioning their ideas without some comment on it. Sadly, each of these writers simply interprets this text as confirming their previously constructed theories. Amazing that these authors were so prescient that they could construct an entire Maya worldview about 2012 without any reference to that single Maya text that talks about this date …

  25. Good points Stan. I guess they all base their ideas on the fact that the last cycle ended on and hence the current cycle should end on as well. Rarely do we see any explanations of the actual dates occuring before and after the present creation. These tend to be sorted out. I just wonder what they all will say in 2013? (too bad for Calleman since he predates the end of the cycle(s)) to 2011. Bad move, one should extend the hoax into the future instead so one can sell more books.

  26. Hi there…
    I was sent this site to view by a friend…
    On it I see all the usual ‘right and wrong’ propositions…
    What does it matter, can you feel it…
    If you really want to know the Mayan Calendar, follow it daily… the Quiche count, the Dreamspell, any count at all, as long as it is the one with the 13:20 Tzolkin as its base, this is a harmonic system and by following it you will slowly deprogram the old paradigms fascination with right and wrong and begin to understand that it doesn’t matter… Your mind will reprogram to harmony, I have been in communication with Calleman some years ago and am really happy to see that altho he is still being pulled into discussions about being right and others wrong he is at least understanding that it is about unity consciousness and the way to that is to have a very expanded consciousness and feel the moment, being guided by the consciousness of the moment…. so hallelujah whichever count of the Maya we follow we will get there…
    On one journey to Mexico I sat at a gathering where there were 7 different people all arguing that there count was the right one…
    My experience of following two different counts at different times over 14 years is that it really does not matter… It is about reprogramming the mind to harmony so that we can live together with each other, the earth and the cosmos…
    if you are present and there is an end date consicousness will inform you…
    To me the greatest gift of the Mayan Calendar is its harmonic pattern, follow and see….

    blessed be

  27. The difference between you and me is that I am a Mayanist/archaeologist and demand that interpretations is based in the data that we do have. Unfortunately, there is no evidence for what Calleman says. He chooses some information, ignores evidence that contradicts his made up model, etc. I suggest you read Barbara Tedlock’s “Time and the Highland Maya”. It is written by a professional anthropologist who has been living with Kiche Maya at Momostenango for many years. She is also a daykeeper. Strangely enough, she does not fall into the New Age nonsense that you refer to. I wonder why?

  28. Sorry guys, but I (and many millions of us are with Calleman). He has many years of research, credibility and proving himself to be true by virtue of his level of education. Sorry, but things are accelerating very quickly. My husband is also an international astronomer and he says you are all wrong about your galactic alignment. The truth will soon set all of us free! Blessing to all and wishing that all of us can stop bashing each other!

  29. Calleman has many years of research based on assumptions and a predetermined idea. Everything he does is to fit data into his own created model. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of world history and Maya history can see that he is a poor scholar (at best). do not be fooled by his PhD title…

    “My husband is also an international astronomer and he says you are all wrong about your galactic alignment. ” OK, give me his name, it must be easy to check him up then. Btw, who is supporting the galactic alignment nonsense on this blog? Not me. I am a Mayanist not a New Ager.

    Many millions support him… Yeah right. That is typically the kind of delusion that 2012ers live by.

  30. and the debate rages on….
    and the maya say nothing…
    just all the so-called experts…
    the old paradigm is so full of those ‘who know’ trying to get those ‘who know they do not know’ to make factual that that is the great unknowable…
    there are Mayans in Momostenango, there are Mayans in the Yucatan, there are Mayans in Belize, there are Mayans in Chiapas, and i know that each one follows their own day count…
    which is the ‘right count’…
    which is the ‘right date’…
    to what ends???
    good luck guys…
    enjoy the game of it all…
    over and out…

  31. The old paradigm? By that I assume you know what Kuhn originally meant by this idea? It was for sure not in New Age contexts.

    You assume that “the Maya” must know more about the Long Count than a non-Maya? Because of ethnic affiliation or what? As a Swede I know very little about Swedish runic inscriptions but I have no problem acknowledging that someone from, for example, the US has better knowledge about it than I have. Most experts on Maya calendars and writing are non-Maya today and that has historical reasons.

    The Maya has a lot of things to say and most of them dislike that “Western” 2012ers have hijacked their calendar for their own questionable purposes. I have to correct your misinformed statement about “so called experts”. Yes, Calleman, Jenkins and other New Agers and pseudoscientists are corrupting the contents of the calendar. Mayanists look into what the Maya themselves have or had to say about the calendar(s).

  32. So as an intelligent debate upon which the whole premise is to look at opposing viewpoints… let me point out that on the one hand you are saying that the Maya may know less than non-Maya and then giving great credibility to what the Maya dislike… It feels that you could be held in a lock there, altho I guess the out is based on respect…
    love polarising viewpoints…
    love the forums for which our minds can play and attempt to figure it all out…
    well it was not quite over and out…
    and yes I am enjoying the game of it all…
    thanks for the opportunity to debate…
    oh and perhaps just to question the box of new agers and your capacity to point out your knowledge of where ‘the old paradigm’ comes from…
    In the way that I work, which is particularly my own and not needing to say it is the only way or put it down others throats…
    My way of studying the Maya is to follow the patterns and feel what I experience and where the resonance lays… in this way I test the systems and my understandings are my own… for me I can read a little of others viewpoints only to feel what resonates and what doesn’t from my experience of the patterns… for me it is more important to be my own authority and share from my experience… It is a question of scientific practice… And I could label myself an internal scientist, which has had little validity within the old paradigm which has chosen to give away individual power of resonance to so called ‘experts’ and those outside themselves. As the old paradigm seeks to disempower by externalising…
    Call it new age if you will… It seems a broad term to place others experiences in, the greatest revelations within evolution have come from those who seek the answers outside of the major paradigm, indeed it is these pioneers of new levels of consciousness that have brought the greatest answers for humanitys journey….

  33. Ehh? As for your first comment about polarising views, you missed the whole point. All I said is that there are more experts on the Long Count that are non-Maya than Maya today. Anyone who knows something about the history of Mayanist research can see that. Then there are some Maya (within the “Maya movement”) who dislike New Agers, etc. (but they also dislike many Mayanists). Then of course there are some Maya (such as Hunbatz Men) who have been seduced by New Age nonsense. You are the one trying to create a polarizing view on me. If it makes you feel better you can just add “some” in front of Maya. Some Maya knows hieroglyphs and some Maya dislike the 2012ers. Most Maya do not care about either.

    As for the rest of your comment of you being a novel thinker and having a particularly own way of working I can just refer to another of my posts about the common tendency of 2012ers. You are not so unique that you think:

  34. [...] 2012: How to spot a prophet’s Maya hoax – designing a personal … [...]

  35. I find it distasteful to criticize the massive work of someone who put 30+ years into his research, culminating in 3 books that revolutionalized our awareness of our existence here, while you NEVER EVEN TAKEN THE TIME TO READ HIS WORK!


    Calleman is a microbiologist, he is into DETAIL! He is not some frills-type New Ager… Your silly arguments do not hold for those of us who actually read his books! The man did his thorough research and will not make statements based on assumptions.

    This is why millions resonate with his work, even after Oct. 28. 11 passed. We all knew, there is not going to be some Armageddon-type change at this date. We are witnessing the subtle, yet powerful changes occuring in our Consciousness. Yes, you may want to get used to this word: It is not a bad word, and even you have it. (don’t you?)

  36. Whoah indeed. Did you miss the fact that I took my information about his ideas from his website? What is wrong with my silly critique then? I guess you don’t even know, you just reacted negatively to someone who exposed your prophet for what he is? I suggest you read some of my later posts on him:

    I have reviewed his latest book in at least seven posts and as usual he is very sloppy and he is far from “into DETAIL”. I am fairly sure this is the longest review of his book. After reading his book it turns out that my critique in this post still holds. So I wasted a couple of hours and contributed to financially support him. I do regret that!

    Calleman is a microbiologist and he should have stayed with that. He knows nothing about the Maya, he has invented a new calendar unknown to the Maya, etc. I have seen undergraduate students with a greater knowledge about the Maya than his 30 years long “expertise”. The difference is that the students read a variety of scholarly books. Calleman’s knowledge about the Maya is highly selected and derives primarily from New Age authors. I suggest you read something not written by a New Age author concerning the Maya. Calleman is a fraud and people who buy into his stuff are ignorant fools. I find it truly distasteful to exploit people’s ignorance, don’t you? It is distasteful to invent a new calendar, a new period (the uaxlahunkin), and claim this is the true calendar and that the ancient Maya did it all wrong. This is an ethnocentric mixture of Christian beliefs, modern science, new age, and a small portion of Maya. It is crap from beginning to end.

    You, and Calleman himself, do not even understand the logic of his own system. He claims there have been quantum leaps in the past (Big Bang, mass extinctions, etc.). There should have been one on the 28th of October. Nothing happened so now he and his followers are coming up with excuses, claiming there should be subtle changes instead. That is not how quantum leaps work! If millions resonate with his work I am really worried about them. But should he not have more facebook contacts if millions followed him (he has at the time of writing not even reached the limit of 5000)? I think you are lying. I hope you do not use his work while coaching other people’s destinies…

    Btw, did money loose its value as he predicted?

  37. Elizabeth, who made the comment above, has a website called Red Lotus Consulting ( Hence, she is also into the fraud business. She charges 80 dollars for 90 minutes of Feng Shui consulting. She has insights in:

    •Relationships, Love, Marriage, Divorce, Re-uniting Lovers
    •Personal Growth – Spiritual Growth, Finding the Hidden Self and true meaning
    •Inner Peace
    •What is Life’s Purpose?
    •Who is the best match for marriage and love?
    •What is the best time to get into a committed relationship?
    •What is the path to achieve the highest success?
    •Guidance on Spiritual Growth
    •Physical Health
    •Planetary Mission
    •Facing career/job changes
    •What is the future of the Financial Systems/ how will that affect us individually?
    •Ascension into 5th Dimension

    This obviously makes her an expert on the Maya calendar. This woman is a fraud and only wants your money. She should be worried about Calleman’s prediction that money will loose its value.

    Should I write a specific blog post about her business? Will she react like Terry Nazon who got upset that my blog post showed up under her website when people google, and therefore ruining her business? I am tempted since I dislike people like this…

  38. Johan, I applaud your patience and efforts here. Thanks for this site and your blogging dialogue (or near dialogue at times) on these issues.

    • Thanks Quetzil. I had forgotten the feng shui lady. Yes, dialogue usually tends to end in ad hominem attacks when one is dealing with 2012ers. I will write a blog post about that, i.e. how academic Maya research and Mayanism never can communicate.



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