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How to Prepare for 2012: Become A Giver
By Nina Amir
Lots of people are talking about the year 2012 and making predictions. Some say the end of the world is coming. Some say the planet will undergo a transformation or humanity will experience a change in consciousness. Still others say that whatever you believe will happen on December 21, 2012, constitutes exactly what you will experience at that time in history.
Why all the talk about 2012? That year on the Gregorian calendar represents the year when the Mayan calendar abruptly ends. Why do we care? The Mayan civilization, which was known for advanced writing, mathematics and astronomy and which flourished for centuries in Mesoamerica, also was known for its Long Count calendar, which tracks more than 5,000 years then resets at year zero.
Why the calendar stops - or restarts - on December 21, 2012, no one really knows, although lots of people have theories. However, the idea that humanity or the world at large is about to undergo some sort of transformation represents an old idea that spans more than one secular or spiritual culture. In fact, the ancient Jewish mystics predict a change as well, but the world transformation they see coming doesn't happen for another 231 years. That said, like any transformation, it begins gradually, which means it's happening already.
The Jewish mystics, or Kabbalists, say that according to the Jewish calendar, the world's spiritual evolution can be likened to the seven days of the week. The Jewish calendar, which is based upon the cycles of the moon, currently puts the world at the year 5769. The Kabbalists equate the year 6,000 to the end of the sixth work day of the cosmic week. While the Jewish calendar doesn't end at the year 6,000, the Kabbalists believe that that year marks the time when the world will enter Shabbat HaGadol, or the Big Sabbath, when 1,000 years of sacred time and space will begin.
Right now, as we stand at the beginning of the year 5769, it is as if the cosmic world clock has its hands at 12:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, a time when Jews begin preparing in earnest for the Sabbath, which begins at sundown on Friday evening. In other words, we are now in the process of preparing for the Big Sabbath, the approaching transformative era. And when it arrives, when we reach the year 6,000, the Kabbalist predict we will experience "The World to Come," a time likened to what other traditions have called "Heaven on Earth" or "Peace on Earth." This will be a period when mankind's consciousness goes beyond its current state and achieves the ability to have true shalom, or peace.
Shalom, however, does not represent just any peace. While it likely involves peace among nations and peoples of the world, it represents the peace that comes from unity with God. The Hebrew word shalom actually means "completion"; when we connect with our Source we feel complete, and from that completion flows a sense of deep peace and harmony. The World to Come is predicted to be a time when all of mankind will experience this type of peace.
Both Jewish and secular mystics are telling us the same thing, and maybe the Mayans would have reiterated that message had they been here to speak for themselves. The world is experiencing the early stages of a change in consciousness, a change that may begin in full on December 21, 2012, on the Gregorian calendar or 228 years later when we reach the year 6,000 on the Jewish calendar. And those changes will likely continue long after.
What's the point of knowing this? The Kabbalists told us clearly: Our current era constitutes a time of preparation, a time when we can learn how to help the transition be a smooth one by raising our level of consciousness.
And they were very clear about how we should accomplish this: To prepare for the coming changes, we need to change our consciousness from a selfish one to a selfless one, from one of only receiving to one of giving as well. The Jewish mystics taught that one way to achieve unity with Source was to become "like God." However, they claimed that one of the few things we can know about God with any certainty is that God is a Giver. The Kabbalistic story of creation tells of God creating the world to give "goodness" to us, the receivers of that goodness. This explains why we have so many desires to receive "things" for ourselves. However, to help prepare for 2012 - or the Jewish year 6,000 - we want to develop a new desire - the desire for a higher consciousness that wants to receive -since that is our Divine purpose - not for our own sake but for the sake of giving to others.
When we accomplish this, we do, indeed, become "like God." We become givers in our own right. In the process, we remove the perceived separation between Giver and receiver, God and man. We find ourselves one with the Creator of the world and all that it encompasses. When we do this, we become better able to help our fellow "receivers" - mankind - and the planet through the predicted transition. We help uplift their consciousness, and we get a foretaste of that peace that will pervade our planet and all of humanity.
While change can happen in an instant, often it represents a slow process. When we create a change in our own consciousness and in our own state of being, that small change affects not only our own lives but those around us as well. Thus, our little bit of change begins a transformative process. We become change agents. And if everyone begins this process now, maybe we will create the predicted change - mankind's transformation to a higher consciousness - whether or not the Mayan calendar's sudden end or the Jewish mystics' predictions mean anything at all. In the end the result will be the same: We will become better people, and the world will be a better place in which to live.
Nina Amir, a journalist, speaker, nonfiction book editor/coach/consultant, and the holiday and spirituality expert on Conversations with Mrs. Claus, a podcast heard in 90 countries and listened to by over 80,000 people each month, is the author of The Kabbalah of Conscious Creation, How to Mystically Manifest You Physical and Spiritual Desires. She focuses her writing and teaching on offering practical spirituality, human potential and personal growth tools from a Jewish perspective. Read her blog or visit her website at www.purespiritcreations.com.
from the December 2008 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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