2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl

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Penguin, 2007 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 411 pages
6 Reviews
Cross Umberto Eco, Aldous Huxley, and Carlos Castaneda and you get the voice of Daniel Pinchbeck. And yet nothing quite prepares you for the lucidity, rationality, and informed audacity of this seeker, skeptic, and cartographer of hidden realms. In tracing the meaning of the end of the Mayan Calendar in 2012, and the imminent transition from one world to another prophesied by the Hopi Indians of Arizona, Pinchbeck synthesizes indigenous cosmology, alien abductions, shamanic revivalism, crop circles, psychedelic visions, the current ecological crisis and the Judeo-Christian Apocalypse into a new vision for our time. The result is an unprecedented and riveting inquiry into where humanity is immediately headed - and its strange and startling congruence with the ideas of the mysterious civilization of the Classical Maya. Throughout the 1990s, Pinchbeck had been a member of New York's literary select. He wrote for publications like ArtForum, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine. Critics acclaimed his first book, Breaking Open the Head, as the most significant contribution to psychedelic literature since the work of Terence McKenna. But the unexpected occurred: Pinchbeck found himself increasingly pulled into the shamanic and metaphysical realms he was reporting on as a journalist. As his mind opened to new and sometimes threatening experiences, disparate threads and synchronicities made new sense: Humanity, every sign suggested, faces an imminent decision between greater self-potential and environmental ruin. The Mayan "birth date" of 2012 could herald the close of one way of existence and the beginning of another, symbolized by the prophesied return of the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl, the mysterious "Plumed Serpent" of ancient myth. In just the nick of time, the skeptical modern mind can reclaim the suppressed psychic, intuitive, and mystical dimensions of being, and institute a new planetary culture. But it is only - and by no means assuredly - possible if we confront the environmental catastrophe staring us in the face. Something is in the air: many, if not most, of us feel that real change - for good or ill - is afoot. Pinchbeck's journey - a metaphysical opus that takes the reader from the endangered rain forests of the Amazon, to the stone megaliths of the English plains, to the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada - tells the tale of a single man in whose trials we ultimately recognize our own secret thoughts and unease over modern life. And a redemptive vision of where we are heading.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - blake.rosser - LibraryThing

Once again, after the equally annoying Breaking Open the Head, Pinchbeck makes it very difficult to get through what should be a fascinating subject: the end of history as we know it, according to the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PallanDavid - LibraryThing

Good news: this is not a doomsday book; Good news: the first third of this book explains what is known about Mayan culture and the Mayan calendar which is set to "expire" on December 21, 2012 (or is ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER ONE
19
CHAPTER TWO
33
CHAPTER THREE
41
CHAPTER FOUR
47
CHAPTER FIVE
56
THE SERPENT TEMPLE
67
CHAPTER ONE
69
CHAPTER TWO
78
CHAPTER FOUR
238
THE DANCE OF KALI
249
CHAPTER ONE
251
CHAPTER TWO
261
CHAPTER THREE
273
CHAPTER FOUR
287
THE LORD OF THE DAWN
301
CHAPTER ONE
303

CHAPTER THREE
89
CHAPTER FOUR
100
LUCIFER AND AHRIMAN
119
CHAPTER ONE
121
CHAPTER TWO
132
CHAPTER THREE
146
CHAPTER FOUR
169
THE LOOM OF MAYA
187
CHAPTER ONE
189
CHAPTER TWO
205
CHAPTER THREE
221
CHAPTER TWO
319
CHAPTER THREE
333
CHAPTER FOUR
344
CHAPTER FIVE
354
CHAPTER SIX
371
EPILOGUE
380
AFTERWORD
395
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
398
BIBLIOGRAPHY
399
INDEX
404
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Author Daniel Pinchbeck has deep personal roots in the New York counterculture of the 1950s and 1960s. His father was an abstract painter, and his mother, Joyce Johnson, was a member of the Beat Generation and dated Jack Kerouac as On the Road hit the bestseller lists in 1957 (chronicled in Johnson's bestselling book, Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir). Pinchbeck was a founder of the 1990s literary magazine Open City with fellow writers Thomas Beller and Robert Bingham. He has written for many publications, including Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. In 1994, he was chosen by The New York Times Magazine as one of “Thirty Under Thirty” destined to change our culture.

Pinchbeck lives in New York's East Village, where he is editorial directory of Reality Sandwich (www.realitysandwich.com). He writes a column, Prophet Motive, for Conscious Enlightment publishing (www.cemagazines.com), which appears in Conscious Choice (Chicago), Conscious Choice (Seattle), Whole Life Times (LA), and Common Ground (SF).

Bibliographic information