Fringe people live in a different world than I do, and from time to time I find it difficult to really understand what they’re even talking about. That was the case with Carl Johan Calleman’s new(ish) book The Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization, which was originally published in 2014 but is getting a new release this year from Bear & Company, a division of Inner Traditions. Calleman, who holds a Ph.D. in biology, believes that the Mayan calendar holds all of the secrets of cosmic evolution. He says that he gave up being a scientist in 1993 and has devoted the last 23 years to obsessively contemplating the Mayan calendar, which has revealed to him that all the universe is alive with a unitary consciousness.
I did not entirely understand the argument, but in essence he claims that the Mayan calendar proves that consciousness cannot be reduced to biology but is instead something spiritually separate. He claims that this relates to quantum physics, and he proposes an entirely new paradigm of science based on Mayan calendar revelations. I have no idea how to even evaluate The Global Mind’s central claim that “mental holograms” emanate from within the Earth and shape both individuals’ personalities and the overall course of history. Frankly, it sounds a bit like Scientology’s thetans shooting out of volcanoes to infect out minds. The difference is that Calleman believes that all of these holograms and the universal consciousness emanate from God rather than Xenu’s nuclear weapons.
Calleman, who believes he is physically “sensitive” to the movements of the Mayan calendar, also claims that the calendar allows him to predict the future, including the 2007-2008 economic crash and the civil war in Syria. Stupid Mayans never encode anything useful like next week’s lottery numbers. He bases his research for the book on such impeccable sources as Philip Coppens, About.com, and, above all, Wikipedia.
Not surprisingly, Calleman has some thoughts about ancient history, and they all revolve around the Mayan calendar. For example, he believes that this calendar explains why the Egyptians expended so much effort to create the Great Pyramid. He improves on other fringe authors in that he concedes that the Egyptians built the pyramids. At the same time, however, he believes that the cultures around the world all decided to build pyramids for the same reason. This isn’t because, as most would assume, pyramids are the most stable way to raise a tall structure without steel frame construction; instead, he believes that human consciousness is preset to evolve into pyramid-building at fixed intervals on the Mayan calendar. Thankfully, these intervals allow enough wiggle room that virtually any date can fit into one of these intervals, meaning that every pyramid belongs to some Mayan calendar period. For example, he believes that pyramid building emerged from “emanations” from the start of the Mayan long count in 3115 BCE, but he attributes pyramid building from 2500 BCE and Chinese pyramids from 221 BCE to the same “emanation.”
Calleman draws on nineteenth century pyramid speculation, notably the claims from Piazzi-Smyth’s Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, in order to claim that the Great Pyramid encodes advanced mathematical knowledge and geographic knowledge. He adds to these long-debunked claims the idea that the Egyptians gained their pyramid-building knowledge and their advanced mathematical skill not from aliens or Atlanteans but from a “hologram” they “downloaded” from the Earth at the start of the Mayan Long Count. He adds that because the downloaded hologram was new, it was exceptionally clear and therefore the pyramid is more perfect than later buildings.
He also claims that Noah’s Flood was a metaphorical event describing the commencement of the Long Count, and that early myths of the Ark landing on Mt. Judi were meant to tie it to Göbekli Tepe, which he sees as the place of the creation in the earlier Long Count, when the first hologram was downloaded.
Calleman believes that all creation stories reflect the translation from circles to rectangles as the preferred shape, and he argues that this is proof of the existence of God for reasons too complex to explain here. He cites Noah’s rectangular ark as proof, but he fails to note that recently published fragments of the oldest known version of the Atrahasis Epic, an older Flood story that predates the Noah tale by centuries or more, actually features a round ark.
Honestly, I couldn’t read any more of it. I don’t see why we would need to propose magical holograms that shoot out of the Earth to explain why the human mind would produce similar solutions to similar problems around the world.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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