Daniel Pinchbeck's book 2012: the Return of
Quetzalcoatl, (UK softback edition is called: 2012: The Year of the Mayan Prophecy), while being well-written, entertaining, etc. has very
little to say about 2012. Yes, if you do an Amazon "search inside" for
the subject of 2012, you get alot of pages, but that is because the
title appears at the top of every other page...in fact, there are only
about 10 mentions of 2012 in the whole 400-page book (including front
and back flaps)...that's about once every 40 pages.
Extracts from the diagnosis2012 (dotcodotuk) review (find it with the site search engine):
Pinchbeck, a New York intellectual, describes himself as "a clearly deficient, half-dissolute figure, a `freelance journalist' of dubious repute" (p.20), and his 400-page (hardcover edition) book, 2012 - The Return of Quetzalcoatl, is an autobiographical essay that starts with his childhood experiences growing up in New York City. The book is split into six named parts but none of the chapters are named. There is no list of contents, nor are there any pictures or diagrams, nor any notes and references. However, there is an index and a bibliography. The book is well-written, but is not very gripping reading, and when finished, left me wondering if the author could have got his point over with just a short article. So what point is Pinchbeck actually making in this book? A summary of the chapters and their contents would be instructive here, so here are my chapter summaries:
Part 1: A Universe in Ruins 1: Pinchbeck's Youth, Drugs and Quetzalcoatl; 2: Psychedelics; 3: Death of Pinchbeck's Father and Ayahuasca; 4: New Physics and Jung; 5: 9/11
Part 2: The Serpent Temple 1: Daimonic Reality; 2: Crop Circles; 3: Terence McKenna; 4: Christianity
Part 3: Lucifer and Ahriman 1; UFOs; 2: Streiber and Abduction; 3: Glastonbury Crop Circle Symposium 2002; 4; Goswami and Steiner
Part 4: The Loom of Maya 1: The Maya According to Arguelles; 2: Gebser; 3: Deep into Arguelles; 4: Jenkins, Calleman and Arguelles
Part 5: The Dance of Kali 1: Iboga in Mexico; 2: Hawaiian Healing; 3: Symposium 2003, Crabwood Alien, Stonehege and Avebury; 4: Crop Circles - Schnabel, Irving, Martineau, Brown
Part 6: The Lord of The Dawn 1: Burning Man Festival; 2: Pinchbeck's Sex Life; 3: Santo Daime and Channelling Quetzalcoatl 4: Jung on the Book of Job and More Daime; 5: The Quetzalcoatl Transmission; 6: Quetzalcoatl/Akosha/666 = Author, Recommends Global Calendar Change
Epilogue: The Hopi and Calleman
Errors and more errors...see online review for a full list...
Pinchbeck excuses these errors in advance, in the book (p.20), when he declares himself "a generalist, a perceiver of pattern rather than a delver into detail". The pattern that he perceived is that a global transformation of consciousness has been predicted by philosophers such as Steiner, Goswami and Gebser, and is supported by the Psychologist Carl Jung and findings from quantum physics - a quantum leap also fits in with evolutionary theory, in which changes are made in sudden jumps - punctuated equilibrium. In fact, Gebser says we are in the 4th evolving stage - archaic, magical, mythical, and mental-rational., and are on the verge of a mutation, or transition to a 5th stage - "integral and aperspectival, characterized by the realization of time freedom and ego freedom". This fits in well with the Hopi system, in which we are in the 4th World, approaching the 5th World.
Steiner, Pinchbeck points out, also said we are in the 4th incarnation of the Earth, and approaching 5th incarnation, or "Jupiter state". We have 3 bodies already formed - the physical body, the ether body, and the astral body, and in the 4th incarnation we are strengthening the "I" or ego-body, by changing the desires and cravings that "pour into us through the astral body", or "transmuting lower passions into higher energies". This will create a 5th body called the 'spirit self', and in the Jupiter state, the "spirit self will experience its full unfolding".
Although Pinchbeck spends a lot of time looking at Jose Arguelles' ideas, and finds that the 13-moon calendar proposed by Arguelles is faulty, he is convinced by Arguelles' arguments that the following of the Gregorian calendar is the basic problem underlying the major problems in the world, and he recommends "a meeting of minds from various spiritual traditions, indigenous cultures, and scientific disciplines, capable of overcoming factional discord to create a new global standard, one that can meet with global acceptance." This would be "a necessary part of the solution" to "our enslavement by artificial time" (p.377). He recommends that this congress takes place in Glastonbury, which is the UK town that is most densely packed with followers of the Arguelles 13-moon Dreamspell calendar - so holding the event there might prove counter-productive, unless PAN - the Planet Art Network, (who promote the adoption of Dreamspell as the solution) were first persuaded that the 13-moon calendar is not the best one for the job. Pinchbeck also comments on the ego-inflation of the Arguelles channellings, yet surprisingly ends up providing his own transmission.
The book is a rambling autobiographical tale, peppered with quotes from philosophers but it doesn't actually have much to say about 2012, apart from a weakly argued crop circle connection; the ambiguous study of Arguelles, the theory of Carl Calleman, in which the evolutionary shift is actually all over by 2012; a brief mention of John Major Jenkins' work, and even briefer one of McKenna's Timewave. As one enthusiastic reader put it, when he finally finished the book, "...I'm not sure what I learned or if I learned anything tangible that can be described with words..." (from a 2012 Tribe discussion ). However, if the interesting points in The Pattern Perceived, above, had been concentrated into an article, rather than spread out through the book, then that would have made very interesting reading.
Having said all that, I have to admire Pinchbeck's willingness to stick his neck out, bare his soul and tell his story to get this important subject out there and into the mind of humanity.
To read the full review and author's reply, go to diagnosis2012 (dotcodotukslashpinchdothtm)