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Sarasota News Leader December 21, 2012 OPINION Page 48 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MAY THE END OF ONE ERA MARK A BETTER BEGINNING FOR ANOTHER To the Editor: the Great���s tomb with the carved sarcophagus of an astronaut is located. Suddenly, the lights went out and there was total darkness in the tomb. Three of us held hands and experienced a brilliant light in the middle of our circle. The light was pulsing and continued until one of us fell backwards. Dec. 21 marks the end of the Maya Long Count Calendar, said to be a 5,125-year cycle of time that began on Aug. 11, 3114 B.C. There are many theories and stories about the meaning of this date. However, since a Catholic bishop burned all but two Maya Codices, most stories are based on speculation. There are still 10 million Maya living in and around the ruins of the Maya world ��� MexiPersonally, from my many visits to the ruins co, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. But what at Palanque, I believe the date focused on a happened to their civilization, which had dis5,000-year cycle of the Pleiades, or Seven Sis- appeared by 900 A.D. when all the major sites ters, a group of stars in the Milky Way. And were abandoned and reclaimed by the jungle, at 6:13 a.m. on Dec. 21, the exact time of the is unknown. One can walk upon an overgrown arrival of the Winter Solstice, this group of pyramid without recognizing it. stars will be directly over the courtyard of the south group of temples between the Temple Ours is another cycle of great civilizations of the Cross, the sun and the Pileated Cross building enormous edifices, developing great in the Palenque Archaeological Zone. works of art, destroying their environments and then disappearing. The Maya practiced Thirteen years ago, I stood on the pinnacle of slash-and-burn agriculture and burned the the Temple of the Cross at the exact moment trees to make a red plaster to cover huge pyrof the solstice, and the howler monkeys that amids and palaces. Malnutrition is evident in hang out around the temples let out a moan. the bodies found in some of the tombs. This experience was so special that I vowed to be at that same location in 2012. Well, time Let us pray that the End of Time in this cycle has flown by, and just as in 1984, the time has will be the beginning of the light shining on come. So I will be flying out for Mexico on the a new era, when human hearts will fill with 17th. compassion for all sentient beings and honor Mother Earth with respect for all living things. On my first trip to Palenque, in 1975, I experienced the ���light��� down in the bowels of the Johnnie Bohannon Pyramid of the Inscriptions, where King Pakal Sarasota

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