The End of the World

Blog post, December 21 2012

Tor 21 12 12

People gathering on Glastonbury Tor, winter solstice 2012

In an effort to keep fit I have taken to running round Glastonbury Tor every morning. I do this early, as soon as it’s light enough to see where I am going, and usually the only people I meet are one or two early-morning dog-walkers. But this morning there were dozens of people heading up the Tor: oh yes, I remembered, it’s the winter solstice, and not only that but winter solstice 2012 – the end of the Mayan calendar.

“We need to be fit for the end of the world” I shouted to a group who were on their way up as I jogged past. They were mildly amused.

21st December 2012 has been a much-talked-about date here in Glastonbury. Last July I spent a weekend at the annual ‘Glastonbury Symposium’ at the Town Hall, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of many of the speakers. This is the event that began as the ‘Crop Circle Conference’ back in the nineties, and a couple of the speakers were talking about crop circles, but the subjects are now many and varied. This year, of course, they were particularly interested in 2012 and the Mayan prophecies.

The general feeling was that this would be the end of a cycle rather than the end of the world, and that it was about transformation rather than destruction. What impressed me was that one after another they voiced their opinion that it will be hard work putting the world to rights, that we have to take responsibility for it ourselves. The chances are we shall all wake up on December 22nd 2012 and find that nothing appears to have dramatically changed.

This was in contrast to the early days, as one or two of them acknowledged, when everyone was waiting to be rescued by Ascended Masters who would presently be sending a space ship to pick up the faithful and take them somewhere comfortable until the planet had been sorted out.

I think I had known that, and in me it had engendered a cynicism that had kept me away for all these years. But this year they offered a bursary to ‘a local person who has not been to the Symposium before, but who may become a regular once they have experienced the event.’ So I applied (I think I was the only one who did) and got given a free ticket. Some of the speakers were real showmen, hugely entertaining, and – with one or two exceptions – they were all competent and lucid.

Afterwards I got to chat a little with the organisers, and I let them know that part of the reason I had wanted to come was to see if I could manage to become a speaker myself. I was feeling like it would be very challenging – I’ve never done a power point presentation in my life, and standing up in front of all those people would be terrifying – but I told them briefly about my book ‘The Ancient Problem with Men’, which is what my talk would be based on: “If we need to take responsibility for changing the world and actually do something, what’s that something going to be?”

Well, they were very encouraging, and said that was just the sort of thing they would be looking for next year … but I have to admit that there is no sign yet that they will actually be inviting me to speak. Maybe they will have been up the Tor this morning, just to check what actually happens before they commit themselves to putting together next year’s programme.