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Apocalypse Not: Everything You Know about 2012, Nostradamus and the Rapture Is Wrong [Paperback]

John Michael Greer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 Sep 2011
For almost 3,000 years apocalypse prophecies have convinced people all over the world that the future is about to give them the world they want instead of the world they've got. All the end time prophecies splashed across the media in every age have had something else in common: every one of them has been wrong. "Apocalypse Not" is a lively and engaging survey of predictions about the end of the world, along with the failed dreams and nightmares that have clustered around them. Among the stories highlighted in "Apocalypse Not" are: the birth of the apocalypse meme out of archaic star myths in the ancient Middle East; the failed end time prophecies of Nostradamus, Mother Shipton, and other famous prophets; the long and murky road from the Great Pyramid to today's Rapture beliefs; and the real origins of the belief in apocalypse in 2012 (hint: it's not originally Mayan at all).

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Viva Editions (22 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936740001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936740000
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,027,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"With a great deal of humor and a polished writing style, Greer recounts end-time prophecies from our past, many familiar, most obscure."
--"The Rationalist"
"John Michael Greer bookends "Apocalypse Not" with the supposed Mayan prophecy, how the date was calculated and what, according to an assortment of New Age prophets, it is supposed to mean. He is able to debunk it very easily and very thoroughly. In the complex Mayan calendar there is one reference to the date equivalent to December 21, 2012 and no clear prophecy on what's supposed to happen on that day. But the clincher is that there are many hundreds of Mayan inscriptions referring to other dates--and "a fair number of them...look forward to dates well after 2012.""
--Catholic Herald
"Greer has a gift for taking complex concepts and making them accessible, clearly explaining ten centuries of apocalyptic thinking in 178 pages that despite the serious subject matter are laugh-out-loud funny in spots."
--Third Floor with Water View
""Apocalypse Not" is a rich history of the "apocalypse meme," the idea that some great world-ending event is going to occur, destroying the wicked and saving the elect and the worthy. I've written extensively on this myself in various essays and books. It's an idea that goes back nearly 4000 years and has embedded itself deeply in Western civilization, showing up yet again most recently in the predictions surrounding December 21, 2012. To my mind it's a pernicious idea, doing more harm than good, but it's also a seductive notion. In this very readable but extensively researched book, John Michael traces the whole history of this meme and its effect upon the Western mind. As we move through this "apocalyptic" year, I wish this book could be read by everyone and anyone who believes doom will soon be upon us or has to deal with those who feel that way--or who would just like to understand some of the history of ideas that have shaped our culture."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Apocalypse memes and acid trips 16 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
John Michael Greer's "Apocalypse Not" gives the reader a historical overview and critique of apocalyptic thinking. The author is the current head of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), but his own religious views are visible mostly by implication. Often, his criticism of apocalyptic thinking sounds like a version of secular conservatism.

"Apocalypse Not" was published in 2011, so it's hardly surprising that the brouhaha surrounding 2012 is prominently featured. Indeed, the main point of the book is probably to debunk the 2012 phenomenon, with the historical material (interesting in itself) as a gigantic backdrop. I must say that the origins of the 2012 "Mayan" date came as a surprise even to me. They are even sillier than I expected! While it's true that one Mayan calendric cycle does end on December 21, 2012, many others end on other dates, such as October 23, 4772, or even a million years into the future. It turns out that the 2012 date is known from one inscription only, found at a minor Mayan site in Mexico. The inscription is partly illegible, and essentially says that a minor Mayan deity (Bolon Yokte Ku) will descend. Nobody knows from where or to what - the text is damaged at this point. That's it! That's what the entire apocalypse fervour around 2012 was ultimately based on! Well, almost. The *real* source turns out to be modern: during the 1970's, one Terence McKenna had visions of the impending end of the world during a trip on ayahuasca and hallucinogenic mushrooms, and he somehow connected this to the Mayan cycle which ends on the now notorious date. During the 1980's, New Age writer José Argüellés popularized the date in a book and at an event known as the Harmonic Convergence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy Learning about Apocalypse 29 May 2013
By Sky
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this the book immediately after reading, with horror, that 47% of the members of the Republican party believe in some degree or some form of Apocalypse, especially the Rapture. I must admit that I have not read his other books but if they are anything like this one, they'll be terrific.

What is so good about this book? 1st, I am very personally interested in knowing more about this Rapture and 2nd coming phenomenon. It scares and deeply saddens me to know that so many people applaud ecocide because they think it brings them closer to when they will be wafted up into heaven. Before reading Greer's book, I found it unbelievable. Now I believe it and understand where it and other apocalyptic ideas came from. 2nd, John's style is clear, to the point and flowing. Even if you were not especially interested in the subject, it would most likely interest you. 3rd, As a retired technical instructor who is always interested in better methods of presenting material, I like it that John subtly and interestingly follows a method that I learned in my Train the Trainer course. 1st, Tell `em what your going to tell `em - 2nd, Tell `em and 3rd, tell `em what you told `em. There are even cleverly written transitions at the end of each section moving you smoothly into the next point. These things are sorely lacking in most non-fiction I read.
Planet as Self: An Earthen Spirituality
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE END IS NEAR--or maybe not 20 Oct 2011
By Rita Rippetoe - Published on Amazon.com
Easy to read, easy to understand guide to the idea of apocalypse and its effects through history. Greer concentrates on the types of end of the world scenerios that must be taken on faith rather than based on research or statistical studies. From Zarathustra's first assertion that the world would end in a battle between the forces of the good god and his evil opponent to the current preoccupations with Rapture or Mayan prophecies, the idea of an end time has provided a reason to neglect work on real world problems. Why conserve trees if God is going to create a new earth for His followers?

Bibliography and index, as well as clear and concise writing make this valuable for students of ideas.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read If.... 5 Dec 2011
By Mae R van Gils - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A must read for anyone who has ever pondered about, worried about, or prepared for the end times. I suppose this material has been out there before, but I've never read anything like the way a meme is explained and described through out earth's history. After finishing the book, I took a deep breath, and determined to take full responsibility for my life and actions. I realized how the 'end time' meme had taken control of my life for over 40 years. A lot of information that had extreme meaning for me personally in such a small book. I bought copies for all of my family members. Thank you Mr. Greer!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little light reading for the end of the world 7 Nov 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The end of the world has been predicted many times, and all of those prophecies have been wrong (so far.)

In this book, John Michael Greer provides some solid scholarship detailing the prominent apocalyptic predictions of many religions and some secular movements. The book's not exhaustive -- it's too slender a volume for that -- but it does hit all of the major apocalyptic traditions and it's written with Greer's characteristic conversational style and dry wit. It's a fast read, but not a superficial one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apocaplyse Not 8 Dec 2011
By Hermes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I learned of this book listening to Coast 2 Coast, which I often listen to for comedic relief and relaxation.

This book is an informative, well-written and entertaining read. I read "Apocalypse Not" in two days and enjoyed it immensely. I strongly recommend this book, especially if you have friends and/or family hung up on the latest apocalyptic meme that has many wringing their hands in sweet anticipation -- the 2012 doomsday scenario.

I consider "Apocalypse Not" an excellent addition to other works that I have dealing with humans' love for the apocalyptic meme.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making One Re-Think The Hype 10 Aug 2012
By Stone Bryson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must admit, I went into this book with a dose of trepidation. I have been a casual researcher of apocalyptic prophecies for years now, research which I enjoyed greatly. I did not really want anyone throwing water on the happy little fire I was building, but since I respect Mr Greer as a writer I decided to give it a go.

You'll notice I used the past tense when I said 'enjoyed' directly above. Yeah... so much for my research.

This book will make you re-think every notion you have learned about a 'coming' apocalypse. It may not dampen all your ideas, but if you are an active-minded person it will certainly cause you to at least step back for a moment, to pause and reflect. Well written, well researched, and full of timely examples, this book should be required reading before watching any of the innumerable History Channel shows about doomsday. It firmly places the idea of 'end-times' into its proper place - fun for fiction, not for reality.

Even if apocalypse is not your cup of tea you can still find much value here. As a last resort you'll have the facts you need to reassure your more paranoid relatives that all is good - for 2012 and beyond.

Unless the Zombies arise, of course... but that's another story.
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