On Centuries and Years. . .
I continue to be boggled by the power of the internet to answer questions, and provide new answers, in a matter of seconds. And so it is with what has happened tonight -- I was thinking about one topic that I've wanted to write about, that being the idea of the macrocosm/microcosm. As with my other entries, I have something to say about that, in direct relation with what's going in the world these days. So I started to do internet research which inevitably brought me to Wikipedia, where I was reading about events in the 20th and 21st Century, and I stumbled upon the idea that "The Twenty First Century was the first Century Leap Year since 1600."
Now, this stymied me for a second, and I wondered if this meant that we were going to leap a century or so. So I looked up century leap year - "a century leap year always starts on a Saturday, and the February 29th intercalation of such years is always a Tuesday." And I moved from a concept I did not know to a word I did not know.
Intercalation. It actually has two meanings, and the one that pops up more on the internet has to do with chemistry: "the reversible inclusion of a molecule (or group) between two other molecules (or groups)." But it also has this meaning: "the insertion of a leap day, week, or month into some years to make the calendar follow the seasons or moon phases."
So intercalation is another technology associated with the management and measurement of time.
In our current Western Gregorian calendar, the leap year serves to make up for the fact that it takes a little more than 365 days for the earth to circumnavigate the sun, but according to yet another internet source, adding a day every four years isn't quite enough.
"In the Julian Calendar a year is a leap year if it is divisible by 4. In the Gregorian Calendar a year is a leap year if either (i) it is divisible by 4 but not by 100 or (ii) it is divisible by 400. In other words, a year which is divisible by 4 is a leap year unless it is divisible by 100 but not by 400 (in which case it is not a leap year). Thus the years 1600 and 2000 are leap years, but 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100 are not." (Peter Meyer, "The Julian and Gregorian Calendar")
And thus we have this extraordinary practice of getting everyone to add a day every four years, but obviously with some stipulations. Of course, I always knew the logic behind this practice in some oblique way, but I have never thought of the terrific manipulation that goes on to get us all to agree on when, for instance, April 1 is.
Fundamentally, every day of the year would and could be April 1, if we didn't insert days and sometimes even months, as the Julian calendar occasionally had to do, to make sure that April 1 lands roughly on the same day every year.
On Days. . . .
Which gets me to thinking about what a day is - it is nothing but a period of time during which the sun is positioned in such a way as to be casting light in any given direction. But it also has to do with the position of the planets in relation to the sun and the moon. If there really is such a slippage between the names and numbers of days and the actual position of the earth as it takes its weary course, than I find it hard to believe that every time we mark the particular day in September when I was reportedly born, this planet is actually passing the exact solar/lunar/stellar configuration it was in on that blessed day.
So why, ultimately, do we bother? Why must we have dates and months and years, to count off the time?
People who count off the time are generally entrapped in their current predicament, and anticipating release, like prisoners. But what is the nature of the release? We only find ourselves dumped into yet another term of bondage. The only true release is death, and no one really wants that.
Life would be so much simpler, I suspect, if we just weren't paying attention.
On 2012. . . .
Now all this intersects with another thought I've had of late (yes, just because I've been silent here does not mean I haven't been thinking) that I'm certain a few thousand other folks have been having around that planet: did you notice how short March was this year?
I know T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month, but honestly, I often find March to be interminable. But this year it just went by in a flash. And it appears that we are hurtling headlong into Spring, after a fairly brutal winter. (But yes, I have been on this planet long enough to know that April can be the cruelest month, and we may very well still be in for some pretty wicked weather.)
Still, there are a number of factors that allow me to let the following thought cross my mind:
Wouldn't it be amusing and amazing if the earth was actually capable of turning around in its course, and start going in the opposite direction, and during the period of its turning, the days and the years actually began to turn around and get shorter?
Now this rather extraordinary line of questioning is directly inspired by my interest and anxiety about the approaching year 2012. I'm prone lately to take the theory that many of my more pragmatic friends take, that being that the entire 2012 hype is nothing but hype, and in 2013 we'll look back at it with the same amusement that we now look at Y2K. That's my current preferred state of mind.
But at particular points in any given day or month, I am prone to think about the number of prophetic sources that share a similar interest in the year. (If we are, after all, to take the accuracy of the year's numbering seriously.) And whenever I think about that, my stomach drops, a little, the same way it might drop at the top of a steep hill on a roller coaster.
The most interesting and compelling discussion, though, that gets me a little anxious about 2012 is the one about the change in the earth's magnetic polar shift. Here's a quote from a website literally called "2012 Magnetic Pole Reversal", which claims that the sun's magnetic field shifts regularly; however,
"Earth’s magnetic field also flips, but with less regularity. Consecutive reversals are spaced 5 thousand years to 50 million years apart. The last reversal happened 740,000 years ago. Some researchers think our planet is overdue for another one, but nobody knows exactly when the next reversal might occur."
. . . . though many are projecting some time in 2012.
No one really knows what happens when the earth has a magnetic field flip - perhaps an ice age. Perhaps, too, it could be a change or reversal of time itself. It has crossed my mind that shifts in the length of the year are one symptom of an approaching magnetic shift.
The last thing I want to do is create paranoia. I'm more fascinating by the idea of being one of the folks around to witness such an event. But it might be quite the ride.
Ultimately, for me, I find myself thinking about that message that I received, five years ago now, that I refer to a little earlier in this blog. It is a message about a Coming, whether it be a First or a Second, of a Christ. Of a Jesus. And he will come as a Scholar in the Four Days of the Grid. Or the Fourth Age of the Grid. It's hard for me to ignore the fact that the leap years and leap centuries have all revolved around the number four, and we are in a leap year century.
We are two years away from 2012 - a stunning fact, as the earth seems to be spinning faster, and the days grow shorter, and our means for measuring time become less and less accurate. All the more reason to live in the moment. And to treat each breath we take as sacred.