I was first presented with what I thought was the Maya calendar during the heady days of the Internet bubble in 1997. I was working in the film production division at the New York online video production pioneer Pseudo.com (long since defunct), whose former CEO recently announced that it was a "fake company".
Fake or not, Pseudo.com produced more online streaming video content than any other website prior to the tech crash of 2000.
Since Pseudo's recording studio was a flight of stairs above my office and I was friends with the producers of "The Infinity Factory" show, I ended up being the subject of three interviews hosted by Richard Metzger, which have long since become museum pieces of the Jurassic Era of Internet history.
One evening, working late in the office, writing a business plan with my boss, along came his new friend with a cosmic-sounding moniker that he’d given to himself. For the sake of his privacy, I'll call him "Starshine."
Starshine was very excited about the "Mayan calendar", which he showed to me. He ranted about how our Gregorian calendar was off-kilter "on purpose, to keep us off-balance" and he raved that if all human beings were to follow the "Mayan calendar", the whole planet would be healed of all its woes, as we took our rightful place in the universe, in cosmic attunement.
Starshine's messianic fervor to convert the planet to the "Mayan calendar" was intense -- and it even made some sense -- until he started to explain it to me: Why would memorizing a calendar with whimsical year-names like "Red Electric Dragon" and "White Planetary Wizard" put me in sync with the cosmos? I found these names to be what New Yorkers like to call "super cheese" or just plain "cheese".
Until I started researching my latest book, "2012: Science or Superstition", I didn't realize that Starshine had been giving me a presentation of José Argüelles’ "Dreamspell calendar" and that his zealotry was fairly representative of many members of the international movement/business that Argüelles founded. In short, Starshine was a fanatical convert to The Dreamspell calendar -- and he was not teaching me about the Maya calendar.
Argüelles has had his scuffles with other scholars, but he is undeniably brilliant, if a bit self-aggrandizing or perhaps a bit touched in the head. He currently goes by the name “Valum Votan”, which refers to his apparent belief that he is the reincarnation of not one but two ancient Mesoamerican Gods -- at the same time.
In his own words:
"The Mayan calendar … Great Cycle [of 5,125 years] … is something like the periodic table of elements, only it's a periodic table of galactic frequencies … not waking up is the difference between the planet going into self-destruction and the planet continuing on its evolutionary path …"
"… If we are to continue, we must open up our receivers so that we can begin to receive the information and know what to do next …”