The Death Of Time

by | Jan 8, 2010 | POLITICS

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” -Albert Einstein

Have you ever had déjà vu? Have you ever been struck by an inexplicably potent feeling that you’ve been here, in this definable moment, with certain sounds and aromas, with this particular level of alertness and these specific peripheral thoughts drawing tangents in the background of this remarkably familiar foreground? Can you ever shake or explain it with reason?

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” -Albert Einstein

Have you ever had déjà vu? Have you ever been struck by an inexplicably potent feeling that you’ve been here, in this definable moment, with certain sounds and aromas, with this particular level of alertness and these specific peripheral thoughts drawing tangents in the background of this remarkably familiar foreground? Can you ever shake or explain it with reason?

When I arrive, dusk is a whisper beneath the sun-draped leaves. Two fire pits are built. One large, one small, forming two points on the line to a table. Max sits on the table.

Don Carlos Barrios, a Mayan Ajq’ij, or shaman, from Guatemala and member of the Elders Council, begins to speak. He speaks in Spanish, translated by John Oliver, owner of the Aquarian Bookshop, which planned the ceremony. He explains the designs made of chocolate and sugar and herbs he is making on the cleared circular ground of the fire sites: a cross with arrows North, South, East, West, each with relations to elements, races, Light and Dark. The larger fire, further from Max, is stacked with wood, and as night settles into the grass, started with candles. Don Carlos invokes the spirits of sacred places, Mayan deities and The Light. The wind that moves through mountains and continents, that settles in canyons, the water that swirls in prophesized lakes, that drains through waterfalls and ruins, these are called upon. The life that pulsates in planets and the space between, the balance of things, the importance of a thousand civilizations, these are incanted. We face each direction until we have called to the corners of the world, and, wrapping them around us, turn back to the fire.

Max is a crystal skull. His story is the stuff of bad fiction, too outrageous to be bullshit. He is believed to be 36,000 years old. With all our technology, we can’t explain how he was made; there are no tooling marks. Major museums have inspected Max, responding with “no comment” instead of insight. He was given to Joanne Parks, his current guardian, by Norbu Chen, an American-born Red Hat Llama (the highest order of Tibetan healers) and ex-undercover agent for the CIA. Parks is a short woman with deep, dark eyes and a shock of white hair. She wears a necklace made of skull shaped beads and a shawl. She speaks with a Texan drawl. Parks met Chen when her husband was hired to do some cabinetry work for him, and she ended up working as his assistant. Her daughter was dying of cancer and was given three months to live. Chen’s work extended her life by three years.

Chen had received the skull from Guatemalan shamans in Central America as a gift. He used it as a healing tool and claimed to communicate with it. Before he died, he gave it to Parks, telling her that she would know what it was for one day. Parks put it in a box in her closet. For seven years.

Max speaks to Parks. Literally. He started speaking to her in dreams, and then while she was awake. He said there was a man she was supposed to find. One day she turned on the television to find this man speaking on a talk show about the legends surrounding crystal skulls. She called the TV station and has spent the rest of her life taking Max to various indigenous ceremonies and hosting talks and private sessions with him. Parks used to call him “The Skull” until “The Skull” said to her “My name is not ‘The Skull’, it’s Max.” She was “normal” once. This was not the life she had planned.

The Mayan legend of the crystal skulls (not to be confused with that of Indiana Jones) explains that 52 of them will be placed around a sacred lake in America sometime close to 2012. A master skull will then activate the rest, revealing significant knowledge to humanity.

Don Carlos tells us that it is impossible to imagine the importance of taking part in such a ritual at this point in time. He says that we are at a critical juncture, that the balance of Light and Dark must be restored, not good and evil, Light and Dark. Not victory, balance. He says the time for action is now.

The Mayans believe that we are not the first instance of humanity. There have been previous humanities that have cycled through thousands of years, humanities who attained great states of being, connections with other dimensions and planes of existence, spiritual and technological achievements incomprehensible to us now.

The Mayans are incredible timekeepers. Their calendars track astrological movements, cosmic energies, and the pathways of these energies through vast stretches of time. They are astonishingly accurate, and have been since long before western civilization could close to compare its sciences. Because of their unified perspective on the universe, this attunement to the macro- and microcosmic cycles has allowed them great insight into the destinies of individuals and humanity alike. To them, we are all a part of the cosmos. If this sounds “New-Agey”, it’s because in a literal sense, it is.

They believe in, amongst other cycles, 5,200-year periods, or Suns, governed by different prevailing energies, some masculine, some feminine, and the elements: air, water, fire and earth. These periods guide the physical and evolutionary consciousness of humanity.

Past humanities have reached the Fifth Sun. This age is marked by a return to a way of life that is in tune with the Natural Order, an elevation of human consciousness, and is a time in which the transcendence of Najt, or space-time is possible. It is defined by neither masculine nor feminine energies, but the balance of the two. This era carries with it the transmission of great knowledge and wisdom, and enables extreme advancements in scientific and metaphysical capacities. It was during this time that they say past humanities failed. Unenlightened and unbalanced, they allowed ego and vanity to turn to violence and corruption. Their newly attained power proved to be the power to self-destruct. And so the cycle started again. And again.

Sunrise on December 21st, 2012, will mark the beginning of the Fifth Sun for our humanity. Fire ceremonies are one way in which the Mayan Elder’s Council is trying to help prepare us for this transition.

The fire grows larger, the flames are unlike anything I have ever seen. They are sharp, strobing, spaced in strange ways. Don Carlos carries Max to the fire, bends over, and whispering a prayer in a language I have not heard, begins to circle the skull through the flames, around and around, the fire licking the smooth surfaces like a reunited companion. Then back and forth and back and forth, then side to side. He calls another Mayan priest to stand facing him as he lifts the skull into the air, his headdress dangling knotted cords down his back. He asks us to hold hands in a circle, up to the feminine, down towards the masculine, and we kneel and kiss the ground. We all do.

They say that as we near the new aeon, more and more souls will awaken to their purpose on this earth. Souls that have existed in the threshold of this transition before, returning to prepare the world, to help people open themselves to a more enlightened state of being, are becoming conscious of their destiny. They say that now is a time to find traditions of great roots, that there are many Paths of Light. Too many people believe themselves to be following the One True Way.

According to tradition, this is an era of spiritual significance equitable to biblical times, the times of the prophets. All around mystical teachings historically reserved for those devoting their lives to the practice of a religion are being authorized by elders and devoured with voracity by the populace. Across the religious spectrum you can see preparations being made: The popularization of eastern philosophy in western culture, the spread of Kabbalism (Jewish mysticism, not the new-age commercial version) readying the earth for the coming of Messiah, those few genuine Christians acting in selfless charity to ensure the return of Christ. Quantum physics is discovering more about the nature of substance, the constant disappearing and reappearing of matter, indicating the existence of other dimensions, the motion of subatomic particles influenced by physically insubstantial forces, corroborating the power of thought and ancient mysticism. Knowledge, because of technologies like the internet, is being disseminated with unprecedented rapidity. Events like Burning Man increase in popularity, the notions of freedom, radical self expression and reliance, and of decommodification all indicate an interest in a higher, less materialistic and rigid, more interconnected worldview. We are becoming more conscious of our relationship with the Earth, and therefore of that with the cosmos.

The spiritual blindness caused by our avid materialism, our addiction to ceaseless and empty entertainment and distraction, prescription drugs, manipulated religion, and false political dualities is starting to be lifted by the unfulfilled souls residing behind the expressionless façade of our day-to-day routine.

The upheaval of our times is natural. It was expected. It was prophesized. These are times of evolution, the death of old ways, the rebirth of still older ones.

We’ve been here before. In this moment. It’s like a movie I’ve seen a hundred times and I just can’t remember what happens next. And then it happens, like I always knew it would.

One by one the participants are called before the smaller fire, Max’s fire. They stand facing the flames, their back to the shaman. He places Max on their heads, they turn and he presses their foreheads to the skull, he lowers Max to their hearts. He alternates male and female. The onlookers take unlit white candles and speak into them before giving them to the fire.

I wait for nearly all the men to pass before me. It’s my turn. I remove my hat and turn to face the fire. The flames are bright and hot, burning the wax wishes and prayers and regrets and gratitude of the crowd. I feel his arms close, and then the weight. It’s not on my body. My eyes slam shut. Space. Silence. Incredible vibrations. Lights streak, I move through them, galaxies and stars, decades and centuries. The connection between time and space shakes and stretches, swirling in the speeding eternities of existence. Slam. Back at the fire. I hear the shaman whispering an ancient language intensely behind me, into me. Slam. Into the earth now, trembling with the movement of planets, folding through histories, human emotions, desires, memories forgotten and not mine. The entirety of nature birthing and dying and living. Slam. Back at the fire. And… easy now. A light white and pure and silent and soft, brilliant, engulfing. We are inside each other, the light and I. The weight lifts, I turn. Max faces me, pushing into me.

Slower now, like time and space are racing around me the way I sped through them before. I feel the harmony of cellular vibrations, melodies of speech, the entire lifespan of a single flame rising from a tree reuniting with the air and ether.

The shaman lowers Max to my heart, pushing hard. He falls silent and my focus is drawn to his eyes. He is looking into the skull. He looks up at me, the firelight and shadows make paceless arches through the lines in his face. His eyes look ancient, like the fire is ancient. I remember now. This is why I came. They see more of me than I have ever seen. I wait for him to tell me why I saw what I just saw, what I felt. He glances back at Max, then stares into my eyes. And then he speaks to me. He speaks in perfect English.

published in RVA Vol. 5 Issue 7 – Burnt Offerings

R. Anthony Harris

R. Anthony Harris

I created Richmond, Virginia’s culture publication RVA Magazine and brought the first Richmond Mural Project to town. Designed the first brand for the Richmond’s First Fridays Artwalk and promoted the citywide “RVA” brand before the city adopted it as the official moniker. I threw a bunch of parties. Printed a lot of magazines. Met so many fantastic people in the process. Professional work:

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