In January 2012, I was in South India giving lectures at technical institutes and universities in and around the city of Salem, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Some of the professors and students said they were surprised to see me. Usually, when Western researchers come to India, they speak only at the major scientific and educational institutions in the big cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and so forth. They almost never come to the smaller institutions in out-of-the-way places like Salem. Well, I have spoken at the bigger institutions. In previous lecture tours of India, I have spoken at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, the Benares Hindu University in Varanasi, and many others. But I was happy to accept the invitation to speak at institutions in and near Salem. The topic of my lectures was my book Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory. By Vedic alternative, I mean an alternative based on the Vedas, the collective name for the Sanskrit philosophical and theological writings of ancient India. I have given lectures on Human Devolution all over the world, but I especially like giving them in India, which is the source of my ideas.
In Human Devolution, I first show that there is a lot of archaeological evidence that contradicts the Darwinian theory of human evolution. According to evolutionists, the first humans like us appeared less than 200,000 years ago, having evolved from more primitive apelike ancestors. But as I have shown in my book Forbidden Archeology, and other writings, there is archaeological evidence (in the form of bones, artifacts, and footprints) showing that humans like us have existed for many millions of years on Earth, in the course of cyclical time. These humans were coexisting with, rather than evolving from, various kinds of apes and ape-men. All of this means we need an alternative to the Darwinian explanation of human origins.
The Darwinian explanation for human origins, as it is usually presented, is a matter-based explanation. Chemical elements self-organize into some first cell. Multi-cellular organisms form. They develop into apes, ape-men, and finally into humans like us. As for our consciousness, it is, according to most evolutionists, produced by biochemical interactions in the brain. When those interactions cease at the time of death, there is no more consciousness. I do not accept these ideas. In Human Devolution, I offer a consciousness-based alternative to Darwin’s theory. I propose that consciousness exists independently, apart from matter. There is some scientific evidence for this, such as medical studies of out-of-body experiences, during which the conscious self separates from the brain, from the body. I propose that originally we are beings of pure consciousness, existing on some higher nonmaterial level of reality. Matter does not produce consciousness, but some conscious selves become associated with matter. That is what I call devolution. In other words, as conscious selves, we do not evolve up from combinations of matter, but instead we devolve, or come down into contact with matter, from the level of pure consciousness, or spirit. And it is a process that can be reversed, by yoga, meditation, and other spiritual disciplines.
After the talks I gave on Human Devolution, there were, of course, lots of questions. Some questions from the students were about the scientific evidence for a conscious self that can exist apart from the body, apart from matter. Some questions were about archaeological evidence for extreme human antiquity. But there were some questions that were not directly related to my talk. One of the most common of these questions, asked by students at several institutions, was, “Is there going to be doomsday in 2012?”
Why did they ask that question? One reason may be that the Hollywood film 2012, produced by Roland Emmerich, was being shown repeatedly on television movie channels in India. One of the most stunning scenes in the film shows a huge tsunami sweeping up the Indian subcontinent and engulfing the Himalayas. Apart from that, the electronic and print media in India, as in other countries throughout the world, have been flooded with discussions about what might happen in 2012. Of course, this is all related to the Long Count Mayan calendar. This calendar is based on vast cycles of time, one of which, according to some researchers, is coming to an end in December 2012. Some researchers predict the end of the cycle will be marked by a global catastrophe. Some say it will be a time of enlightenment. Some say both things will happen: catastrophe and enlightenment. I know that among experts and researchers, there is a lot of debate about the Mayan calendar, including debates about when the cycle in question really comes to an end (some say it is not December 2012). The Indian students who asked me questions about 2012 were definitely influenced by those researchers who accept that the cycle in question comes to an end in December 2012 and will be accompanied by a global catastrophe.
I replied to the students who asked me if there was going to be doomsday in 2012, “Doomsday is coming but not in December 2012.” According to the ancient Sanskrit historical writings of India (the Puranas), a doomsday is coming, but not any time soon. Actually, doomsdays come at regular intervals. Like the Mayan cosmology, the Vedic cosmology involves vast cycles of time. I explained these in some detail in my last Atlantis Rising column (in the March/April 2012 issue). The basic unit of Vedic cyclical time is the kalpa, or day of Brahma. It lasts for 4.32 billion years. It is followed by a night of Brahma, which also lasts for 4.32 billion years. The days follow the nights in succession. During the days of Brahma (kalpas), life, including human life, is manifest. During the nights of Brahma, life is not manifest. So at the end of each kalpa, there is devastation, called a pralaya. When is that pralaya coming? In about 2 billion years. We are about half way through the current kalpa, according to the Vedic cosmological calendar. It began about 2 billion years ago, and will end in about 2 billion years.
There is, however, a devastation coming before the end of the kalpa. The kalpa, or day of Brahma, is divided into 14 manvantara cycles, each lasting a little over 300 million years. Each manvantara cycle is followed by a pralaya, in which the earth is completely flooded by a cosmic ocean. Interestingly enough, just as in the film 2012, selected intelligent humans and other life forms are preserved in a huge boat. We are now in the seventh manvantara cycle of the current kalpa. This manvantara cycle began about 120 million years ago. It will end in about 180 million years. So doomsday is coming, I told the students, but not any time soon. I advised them to register for next year’s classes.
So what do I think is going to happen in December 2012? Each manvantara cycle is made up of 71 cycles of four ages called yugas (Satya, Treta, Dvapara, Kali). The Satya Yuga is a time of social and environmental harmony, and in each progressive age, things get progressively worse. Then the cycle of four yugas starts again. According to the traditional long yuga calendar, which I accept (see my column “The Long and Short Yuga Cycles” in the March/April 2012 issue), we are now in the Kali Yuga of the 28th cycle of four yugas in this current manvantara. Because it is Kali Yuga, it is a time of increasing social and environmental disturbance. I predict that in December 2012 we are going to see a continuation of the kinds of social and environmental disturbances we see happening around us, perhaps at a slightly increased level of frequency and intensity. But it is not yet time for a global catastrophe, of the kind shown in the film 2012. That will come at the end of the manvantara, about 180 million years from now.
Another thing that is going to happen in December 2012 is that I am going to be one of the many guest speakers on the Mayan Galactic Cruise, which is going to call at ports near Mayan sites in Central America. On the cruise, I will be speaking about the Vedic time cycles and how they relate to the Mayan cycles. For information please go to www.mayancruise2012.com, and if you do register, please select me as your referral.
The real goal of human life is to get out of all these cycles of creation and destruction. We can restore consciousness to its original pure state, in which it is beyond creation and destruction, beyond material time. Let us make 2012 a year of enlightenment, a step on the path back to an existence beyond all kinds of doomsdays and catastrophes.
Michael A. Cremo is the author, with Richard Thompson, of the underground classic Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race. He has also written Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory (see www.humandevolution.com). in e-book formats.