We've all seen a lot of speculation concerning the infamous date of 2012, and what the Mayas might or might not have known. All kind of doomsday scenarios have been proposed, and it's true that quite a few people have taken advantage of the popular curiosity to make a few bucks.
Now here comes the news that the star Betelgeuse might go supernova in... you guessed it: 2012 --with so many other warnings being proposed by serious scientists, one being to asks what WON'T happen in that year!
And although this is not exactly news here at the TDG community, what's new about it this time is the claim that for a very brief period of time earthlings will enjoy the spectacle of two suns illuminating the sky.
The explosion will be so bright that even though the star in the Orion constellation is 640 light-years away, it will still turn night into day and appear like there are two suns in the sky for a few weeks.
Already the usual scientific journals and websites are starting to condemn this "nonsensical" claim that might continue to incense the New Age-y doomsday mongers --the way they've done with pretty much every other thing that has been loosely related to 2012, one might add...
No one knows quite when Betelgeuse, which is about 10 to 20 times more massive than our sun, will explode. But when it does detonate, the star, which forms the constellation Orion's right shoulder, won't look like a second sun in our sky, Kaler said.
This post is not about me trying to advise astronomers how to do their jobs, though. This post's goal is about exploring several interesting synchronicities, and the mythical implications this news could have.
I was about 5 years old when I first saw Star Wars in the movie theaters. I frankly don't remember much about it, except that it fascinated me; it was an experience so unlike anything I had previously been exposed to, that it shook me to the core. What I do remember rather vividly about that first contact with the mythos that would change my life forever, is this:
This is probably one of the most powerful and beautiful scenes in the entire history of Cinema. If that tuba solo followed by a river of violin strings doesn't make you shudder, then I'd advise you to go see a doctor, because there's something inside you that's been dead for a while!
But why is is that this particular scene resonates so heavily within many of us?
It does that, because George Lucas weaved together a masterful mythical tale full of human archetypes --although if you read a bit about the making of the original Star Wars, you'll find the production was so plagued with troubles and misshapenings that not until the final moment did all the pieces come together, and the world was changed henceforth.
In this scene, Lucas is trying to communicate to the spectator that Luke, he who is meant to "walk among the stars", presently feels trapped in his earthbound routinary confines, is about to fulfill his destiny and commence what Joseph Campbell coined 'The Hero's Journey'.
So what does that have to do with 2012? you might ask.
Well, probably nothing. The fact is that all this came together to me as an epiphany of sorts after I remembered that George Lucas himself is convinced the world WILL end in 2012 --maybe if we keep watching the awful prequels that came after the original trilogy, it won't bother us THAT much! :P
And now here comes this news that we might experience for a week or so what it feels like to live in Tatooine! Now isn't that a bit... peculiar?
Getting back to the scene in question, if you permit yourself to stop looking at Star Wars as a mere sci-fi film meant to entertain little kids and look beyond the story, you might be open to consider how Luke Skywalker, looking at the two suns of his (adopted) homeworld, is about to embark on a journey of transcendence, expanded consciousness, and discovery of his true self.
Understand, I'm not suggesting here that on the morning of December 22th 2012 you're all going to see a bunch of guys wearing monk outfits and swinging lightsabers at you!
What I'm trying to suggest here, is that maybe someone like Chris Knowles is right when he says that Star Wars is a tale "about (and only about) magic", understanding magic as a "finely tuned expression of our intuition."
The Force is elegant in its simplicity, and plausible in the extreme. You didn't need to buy into the sci-fi reality onscreen to understand the Force. I often wonder if it was the Force that really sold Star Wars to the world. It was a one-two punch: dazzling visuals and action, undergirded by this powerful, simple philosophy of practical magic.
So maybe, *maybe*, something will happen in the years to come (it may happen in 2012, or in another year, I don't know) that will trigger the awakening of a dormant aspect of the human condition. A chance for us to discover our whole potential after we unlearn everything we've learned.
"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter"
It might not be an easy journey --if you think about it, Luke had to pass through a LOT of pain and suffering before he fulfilled his destiny-- but ask yourself this: would you rather stay in Tatooine watching over the moist converters, or would you rather leave it all behind, and go walk among the skies?
I thought you'd say that ;)
[UPDATE] I would encourage the readers of these crazy ramblings (thank you so much for stopping by!) to also pay attention to the first two comments in the thread, which were written for me as a sort of separate addenda.
Also, Big thanks to my good friend Micah Hanks for mentioning this blog at his own site, the Gralien Report —a great way to spend your Sunday evenings is listening to Micah's radio show, which is aired from 8 to 11pm (Easter Time).