More Than Apocalypse: The Deep Cultural Prophecy of Richard Grossinger’s “2013”

Now that we have been suitably flattered and frightened by the purportedly Mayan deus ex machina of 2012, it is high time we rejected its myth of hardwired inevitabilities. In his latest book, “2013”, Richard Grossinger, America’s great unsung cultural prophet, melds his personal explorations and cosmic reflections to elevate prophecy to a more serving and liberating role.

Richard Grossingerimage

I named my book 2013 to acknowledge and get beyond
2012. If 2012 is the smoke-hole to a New Earth, 2013 is the
gathering of the tribe on its other side, the first baby step in a
new universe. Even when subverted into a line of pricey Mayan
clothing by Elijah Sound and the AD 2013 crowd—an echelon
of charismatic young models, electronic music, and hydroponic
communes—the image itself is a carrier wave for a hinge in

Human behavior is not working out all that well these days
for our planet. In fact, things can’t go on much longer this way.
Business as usual is over, and so is Francis Fukuyama with his
cavalier canceling of history. Either we recognize a vaster universe
or we fall out of civilization into chaos and strife without
end. While I don’t foresee international cooperation at the
governmental level with regard to impending climate change,
let alone global satori, I do think we have begun to quitclaim
a one-sided and myopic paradigm. The increasing ranges of adjunct
cruelty, violence, and the spreading banalities of evil are
perhaps not the most auspicious harbinger of good times ahead,
but it is worth considering that the membrane is hardening and
cracking before releasing its chrysalis. The grim stuff then is our
static, resistant part, the sinew that also gives life its structure
and presence within the planetary root.

Each dream to be dreamed, each Dreamtime to be lived out,
casts a nightmare and a shadow that makes it whole. Pure physics.
We emerge from each crisis transformed—the deeper the
crisis, the more profound the transformation. This is a big crisis
indeed, so we expect a comparable paradigm shift. We intuit
big gods and big winds, but instead we may encounter something
more subtle, something homeopathic and deep-acting.

In principle, we don’t have to be this rigidly stuck in a method
of being. Our downloads are all frangible and replaceable.
We are made of sub-atomic particles and psychic energy fields,
both of which are doing incredible, unacknowledged things all
the time, and, as whimsical and bourgeois as it sounds, we are
capable of pretty much anything. Blundering giants in our survival
patterns and civic activities, framers of disingenuous détentes,
we are composed at every other latency by nonlinear
forces and unbounded intelligence.
Barring asteroidal cataclysm or extraterrestrial visitation,
nothing explicit will happen on December 21,2012.This assignation
is not a train-schedule sort of thing whereby a machine-
object arrives on tracks or we see “ships the size of Manitoba
hovering over the Oval Office,” to cite a facetious rendition by
psychedelic explorer Terence McKenna. Instead, it is a seed moment,
a signal for a gap in meaning and consciousness, a threshold
that has been gathering for a long time.

The spirit Savitrie tells us: “The future that is coming in is
vast and well-designed. Cosmic forces are behind it. Nobody
will be abandoned to sheer chaos. This is about world renewal
on the greatest possible scale.”

Who wouldn’t second this motion! But I am not looking for
indications of renewal externally and historically. I am looking
for a gateway inside—inside consciousness, inside DNA potential,
inside the zodiac. My book is not about what is going to
happen (or not) on December 21, 2012 or January 1, 2013 but
a 2013 context for what is already happening and has been happening
since the emergence of our species, the advent of life on
Earth, and the creation of this universe—impossibly big venues
that cannot be queried but that mark abysses we must explore.

I am asking: What is loaded into us, what is inescapable because
it is intrinsic (come hell or high water), and what can
we expect our fortune and ordination to be, given the actual
capacities we have, the real obstacles we face, and the cards that
have already been drawn?

The Earth has been receiving transformative vibrations since
Atlantis and Lemuria and other unnamed prior worlds, or what
they stand for. From the pre-Cambrian to the Jurassic, through
the Stone and Industrial Ages into the Cybernetic Age—all
fancier Stone Ages—the microcosm has been germinating, as
it emerges from the hunt of the beast and the eternal moon to
the lighting of the Labyrinth and the City. One day, we expect
the Universal Peacekeepers, Serene Lamas, and Enlightened
Masters, which means the physics of love (Heart Chakra expansion),
the meta-biology of cell talk (Throat Chakra opening),
and a new politics of compassion and generosity (elevation into
the Buddhic Plane). This is a project launched incomprehensibly
long ago inside primordial bacterial cells and interpolated
into the tissues and organs of multicellular animals.

Though we are not anywhere near apotheosis yet, in subliminal
and unconscious ways human consciousness has been ripening
over a long midsummer night’s Dreamtime. For reasons that
transcend any culture or system of time, on Earth or any other
planet, the universe is working the infinitesimalized pulleys and
gears of a giant metaphysical clock. Enter the Mayan calendar.
class=* * *“center”
For all the fuss about it, the twenty-first of December, 2012,
is hardly an exact calibration. By scientific measurement, the
gun-sighting of the Earth’s solstice Sun to Galactic bull’s-eye
began in 1998 but because of the half-degree width of the Sun,
it takes thirty-six years for full passage, hence 2016 is the midpoint
when the Sun clears the Galactic Equator in 2034.

What exactly is supposed to be lining up? According to Geoff
Stray, the actual “Galactic Center is invisible due to interstellar
dust but has been pinpointed by radio telescopes. When [some]
people speak of the Galactic Center, they mean the bright central
or nuclear bulge; others mean the central part of that bulge
and others mean the radio-telescope-defined center. The ecliptic
(the path traveled by the Sun, Moon, and planets, which is the
plane of the solar system) crosses the Milky Way close to the
fattest, central part of the bulge, just below the dark rift, but the
size of the Sun is such that it would touch the dark rift.… [T]he
radio-telescope-defined center of the galaxy is just off the ecliptic,
and the Sun will be closest to that in 2219 AD. The Galactic
Alignment process described here involves the intersection of the
ecliptic with the Galactic Equator, or, alternately, the intersection
of the winter solstice meridian with the Galactic Equator.…”

Just as the experience of seasonal transition from winter to
spring to summer to fall is spread across days and weeks, so
are millennial cusps of Great Time periods spread over years
and decades. There are roughly twelve zodiacal “years” of 2150
Earth years each in a Great Year of 25,800 years, so precision
down to a matter of days is like trying to separate one millisecond
from another. Plus, the vingesimal acceleration factor built
into the Mayan 5120-year Long Count makes for an exponential
curve that goes right off the chart on any given day, as per
McKenna’s Timewave or Fractal of Time, breaking the illusory
linear structure and crashing over itself in a sequence of increasing
complexity and recursiveness until the past and future
come together—Mesolithic bog-dwellers and Babylonians and
Druids with biotech scientists and virtual-reality surfers. This is
Timewave Zero, at the pivot of all time.

It is worth turning again to McKenna for clarification. During
his 1998 talk in San Francisco, my friend David Ulansey
asked him a point-blank question. Knowing that I was writing
this introduction, David loaned me a DVD recording of the
legendary evening (the source as well of the long McKenna extract
above). I will abbreviate David’s query here in a form that
is still quite long:

“You have said that at a date in 2012 an event will take place
of tremendous or even infinite novelty. You also say that your
Timewave Zero and the Mayan calendar synchronistically point
to the same date. And you say at that time also an astronomical
event will take place, namely the conjunction of the winter
solstice with the Galactic Center, an event that only happens
roughly every 26,000 years. The last time that happened, our
ancestors were painting bison on the walls of caves. It’s a long,
long cycle that brings the winter solstice around the circle of
the zodiac every 26,000 years, and you say that this is going to
happen again in the year 2012.

“As you know, the Galactic Center is not on the ecliptic, is
not on the zodiac, but it is above it. So the Sun of the winter
solstice will never be in conjunction with the Galactic Center—
but an event which is linked with that, and I think far
more precise and significant, is the fact that, not in the year
2012, but right now as we sit here, the winter solstice is moving
into conjunction with the place where the Galactic Equator
crosses the zodiac. This is happening now, 1998 and 1999. So I
wonder why you look to the year 2012 and the imprecise conjunction
of the Galactic Center rather than the more precise
and remarkable return of the winter solstice to the Galactic
Equator where it was 25,800 years ago when the first bursts of
self-consciousness were occurring in our species.”
Terence’s response, almost a half hour long, is critical to any
understanding of 2012. Here is its crux:

“Your statement that the Galactic Center is now transiting
the solsticial node rather than in 2012—that is the only thing in
what you laid out that I would disagree with. Here’s why. When
we say ‘the Galactic Center,’ it turns out that, when you turn
the lights on that concept, it’s extremely slippery. The Galaxy is
not a basketball. It has a center of mass, which we can’t determine
from where we are because we’re out on one limb-edge
of it. It has a center of luminosity. It has a volumetric center. I
mean, how do you in fact even define what the Galaxy is? At its
outer edges it feathers out into extragalactic space.

“Now what we’re arguing over here is a difference of twelve
years if we accept that premise that we’re trying to locate a
point in time where this conjunction of the Galactic Center
and the heliacal rising of the solsticial Sun occurs . . . . This is a
deep subject, very interesting; it raises issues of bioastronomy,
archaeoastronomy, galactic dynamics—complex issues.

“The Gregorian calendar is off-keyed the Mayan by twelve
years, but on a scale of a thousand years, that’s a difference of
.12 percent, and on a scale of a billion years, what is being off by
twelve years? On a scale of a million years, what is being off by
twelve years? You see, we’re such ephemeral creatures in time.
We’re like mayflies who only live for seven days. Our temporal
window of perception is so extreme.…

“We are at the end. The point is that something—the galactic
mind, the intelligence of the species, the integrated Gaian
and Galactic entelechy—something is trying to deliver a message.
It is writ large, this message, in our largest systems of defining
and understanding time. We are at the end of a cosmic cycle.

“The point is: we are there. We. Are. There. We are in parking
orbit around the eschaton.…

“We are pregnant with this eschatological breakthrough.…”
class=* * *“center”
As we look inward from our residence and birthplace in the
Galaxy’s outer wheel toward the core, the cosmic womb where
new stars are being born, we see more luminosity and intuit
more intelligence, more knowledge, more yogic exercises, more
collective psychic output—absolutely incredible stuff that we
could use if we were able to access it, perhaps telepathically in
some as-yet-unknown cosmic language.






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