December 12, 2021: Transitions as Opportunities in Our Lives

Friday Nov 16 | BY |
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What do transitions mean to you?

Monday was Nov 12, 2012. Call it the first day of a 40-day countdown to Dec 12, 2021. It’s the winter solstice, and the moment the Mayan calendar turns over—12 baktun 13 ahau. But for average Mayan people, it will be just another day—a day to care for children, hoe corn, listen to grandparents, fix trucks, feed animals, and get the work done.

What does it mean for us?

Cycles of Life
From the universal perspective, existence is cyclical. Nature follows suit. There are day and night cycles, monthly moon phases, and annual seasons. There are four phases of life: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Birth and death are the bookends of individual life. Human history is made up of lives and events coursing between birth and death with landmarks stacked up in the middle. It’s difficult to view the bigger, cyclical picture, and much easier to reduce life to linear events.

Linear time, by the Western calendar, allows for goals that generate purposeful living, which lead to confidence in self-improvement and the accumulation of wealth. Collectives of individual lives make generations—times where local and world history is made. Centuries make up millennia epochs, and big changes occur slowly over thousands of years. Every so often in these cycles, big changes happen, and society shifts viewpoint. But the weakness of only thinking in linear time is that it obliterates time’s recurring cycles and cuts people off from the eternal and from nature.

The fault of post-modern people is that they view Dec 12, 2021 in linear time. The Mayan, and all indigenous ancestral cultures, saw time as living cycles. Every thing is in transition. All is moving in rhythm to the symphony of the universe. The Incas called it Pacha: time, space, and place simultaneously interacting according a cosmic creative design. Pachamama, the great mother, is the representation of the time-space-place, the interconnected biosphere with all things and events, and the universe.

Unlearning One-Dimensional Linear Time
According to Howe and Strauss in The Fourth Turning, true cycles are self-generating. Like the Mayan and Incan views, all things are in continuous transformation. When we believe our personal and social destiny is self-directed along linear time, we lose any sense of time’s recurrence—its regenerative, creative capability. We become out of touch with Pachamama.

To understand Dec 12, 2021, we need to unlearn the need to view events by one-dimensional linear time. Ancestral cultures, like the Mayan and Q’ero in Peru, the last ancestors of the Incas, understand cyclical time better than we do. Oscillations, waves, and multidimensional reality are part of the cosmic vision of these cultures. By unlearning thinking in terms of linear time, and embracing the view of cyclical time, we can let go of the obsessive fear of cataclysmic disaster. We can embrace a singularity—the transformation of one paradigm to another.

A space-time singularity is a breakdown in the geometrical structure of the universe as we know it—a tear in the fabric of space-time. The Mayan singularity is such a moment, a peek into the gears of cyclic time. It is not the end of time, but the turning over of one cycle for another.

Transitions as Opportunities
Allow for the idea that Dec 12, 2021 is an opportunity to create a new myth, one larger than our individual selves. Linear time causes aloofness, leaving us alone, anxious, and afraid that some thing horrible is going to happen. Shifting our worldview to cyclic time allows us to view transitions as opportunities, which generates hope and celebration.

The rhythms of cycles, including human history, suggest that Dec 12, 2021 is a unique moment allowing for us to alter the current trajectory of linear time and the destructive human activity of modern history towards a sustainable, enlightened era. As conscious creatives, we can make a choice to continue towards environmental catastrophe, or work together to turn around the apparently inevitable to something grander. Which direction will we choose?

12 baktun 13 ahau is an opportunity to shift views from the linear time and fear-based model of life to the paradigm of cyclical, living, regenerative time. By doing so, we join together—“I” becomes “we”—and our entirely self-directed, self-made insular personal lives reconnect to the larger, collective planetary self—biosphere consciousness.

Dr. J. E. Williams


Dr. Williams is a pioneer in integrative and functional medicine, the author of six books, and a practicing clinician with over 100,000 patient visits. His areas of interest include longevity and viral immunity. Formerly from San Diego, he now resides in Sarasota, Florida and practices at the Florida Integrative Medical Center. He teaches at NOVA Southeastern University and Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine.

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  1. Jim says:

    Doc – the Winter Solstice for 2012 is the TWENTY-FIRST of December. Not the Twelfth. And the 21st is the significant day on the Mayan Calendar, as well.


  2. Perry says:

    I want to understand this article but I don’t. Isn’t cyclical time just linear time, but repetitious of similar events? It’s still just a line, right. You can’t change the flow of time. Or are you saying a “Change in vibration”, meaning a change in the frequency/shape/etc of the ocsillation? A meta-change, so to speak?

    Please explain the picture and the dates on it as well.




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