Anthropology | 2012:End of Wrld/New Age/Maya
A200 | 35278 | Castanada


This course explores the western fascination with “the Maya,”
specifically focusing on New Age spiritual appropriations of the Maya
and New Age prophesies of a Maya doomsday or apocalypse. Where do
these ideas of a Maya prophesy of the end of the world come from?  Who
believes in this and why?  If there are only 2 more years to the end
of the world why take this course?  Why go to school?  But, then, if
the world is ending, why not!!  why not: Take out a loan, buy a yacht
or a pyramid, forfeit on your loans, go hog wild, crazy doing all
those things you dreamed but never though you would?  What does all
this have to do with ethics, belief, morality, and self?

This course brings together several approaches and perspectives in
order to better understand our own place in the world today.
Participants should note that this course is not an archaeology course
or a course on Maya archaeology or Mesoamerican civilization.  This is
an ethnography course that puts into historical and anthropological
perspectives the 2012 phenomena.  Briefly, this is the idea that
according to New Age interpretations of Anthropological
interpretations of Maya interpretations of calendrical interpretations
of astronomical phenomena, the world is going to end on the day
December 24 in the year of the current Christian calendar two thousand
and twelve “After Death” of Jesus Christ.

This first section of the course introduces students to Maya culture
and civilization.  We read from the sacred Maya books of the Popol Vuh
(also called Pop Wuh) and the Chilam Balam Sacred Books of History and
Prophecy in order to learn first hand what ARE the Maya actually
thinking, saying, writing and prophesizing about creation, end of the
world, and humanity.  In this context we also learn the nuts and bolts
of Maya calendrical systems, e.g., the multiple systems of counting
“years” and the cyclical movements of
stars/planets.   On the basis of this we then turn in the second
section to the emergence of new age spiritualism out of heterodox
Christianities and medical-health cults in the USA, for example,
mesmerism, hydrotherapy, and massage.  In this section we learn about
new agers religious practices, rituals, and beliefs in the USA and in
México.  We read New Age religious texts by José Argüelles, Hunbatz
Men, Major Jenkins, among others.  In this course we have recourse to
various films.