Most days after Sherpa School I would stop in a nearby village shebeen(two tables,three benches,one concrete floor ,happy for 30p and dead drunk for 50-since you ask l,ocally brewed ratsi-rather like grappa). In the half light I couldn’t make out whether the man in the corner was a trekker or a native. It turned out that Josef had been in Nepal for six months and this was about his tenth visit.
He had left Prague in 1968. Married a Scots girl lived a while in the Hebrides and finally settled and prospered in Sydney. He had recently sold up and was thinking of moving to Tasmania but in the mean time he had paid for his daughter and her Vietnamese boy friend to be out of town on December 22 and be sitting somewhere safe in the middle of the Aussie desert.
For like a lot of moonies around the world Josef believed that some catastrophic event was coming three days before the Baby Jesus’s birthday. Apparently the Mayan calender ends then and for many that must mean, thats it. All over. Goodbye, Dr Strangelove,turn off the light and thankyou. Well blow me. For a start if the Mayans are so smart and know the exact day when the curtain falls and the human race takes its bow, how come they aren’t still around.
It all comes down to believing in God. For if you do that, then you believe that God in whatever shape he comes, one day got thinking, went into his workshop and then next thing there is a world ,mankind and the rest. Now if you believe in a beginning an end is just as easy. And if you really want to keep the people on your side then its good to tell them that the end is nigh. And only those who stay on the religion’s side have any chance of making the big jump to the other side(where God lives). And if you want to really keep your supporters completely cross eyed tell them there are only a few places,reserved for the very special, on the other side.
But why does a sophisticated man like Josef believe in such twaddle. Travelers of course spend a lot of time alone. They also justify their irresponsible lives by claiming to be searching for the truth etc. Shadows turn into ghosts and ghosts into facts so incontrovertible that only someone from the logical ,consumer mad ,West couldnt/wouldnt see the obvious.
Like conspiracy theorists who see some convoluted Mossad,MI6 plots and counter plots behind every delay in the no 22,those who believe in the Mayan way of the dead have looked beyond the superficial facts,grasshopper. Of course there are those who believe there is a deep religious content in Tolkien’s work,some who are convinced in the coherent philosophy behind the Big Lebowski
I have a card in my collection. It has a picture of long haired, silky bearded Jesus. On the top is written Jesus is Coming. Underneath comes the punch line Look Busy. OK if that’s too difficult, you may have a hangover or be in bed with your babes you can spend $49.97 on a Crystal Skull Protection Set,these apparently can “repel negative energy”.
Or you could sit back and let the fifth age go puff, enter the sixth age when man will realise his spiritual destiny,roll the dice go into the sixth age where we realise the God within ourselves, hit me one more time and in the seventh age where we all become telepathic. Trying to make sense of all this hallucinatory dog mess I feel the will to live ebbing away. Roll on the 22nd, bring it on. May A ‘ve this dance. It could be the last.