On 2013, the Mayan Apocalypse, Being Jewish, and Having My Head Frozen


Now that it’s 2013, you dont have to be Freud to figure out what all that “Mayan Apocalypse” stuff was really about. After my recent holiday trip to Tulum (on Dec 21) and Cancun Mexico, I’ve had time to think about it. Also, I’m no longer hung over from New Years eve, sort of.

I will tell you this. It definitely wasn’t about Christ or messiahs, Biblical revelations, Meso-American astrology or numerology. It also wasn’t about 9/11, doomsday, Noah’s Ark, atomic bombs, fall-out shelters, the Cold War, flesh-eating bacteria or zombies that enjoy doing the same.

The apocalyptic “fever” that spread beyond even out own borders and led to mass chanting, hippie drum circles and a few 1%’ers buying concrete bunkers and moving into renovated nuclear missile silos in Kansas is much more likely about the ever present  challenge of being conscious human beings and sentient bipedal creatures on planet Earth. As such, we are left to ponder,confront, and interpret the importance of life and the reality of death. Other plant and animal species dont have to think about it. They certainly dont obsess about it. They just “do” as Yoda would say. Pontificating or writing about our morbidity and mortality is a relatively easy task for me, both as a psychotherapist and as a so-called humorist-blogger.  However, really thinking and feeling about the inescapable fact that we live our lives KNOWING we will expire one day and that our turn in the whole Lion King cycle of life awaits ( like an alarm clock tick-tocking away or a Mayan calendar ending and starting over at zero) is far more disturbing, unnerving and cause for  reflection, soul searching, and a large glass of red wine… or all of the above.

Those of us who have had to face a death in the family, suffered a serious illness, had a near-death experience, or lost someone near and dear know how we are forever changed by it. Both as understandably neurotic young parents with children and as middle aged parents with aging and sometimes chronically ill parents of our own, many of us cant escape the feeling that the “other shoe is going to drop” eventually. We are honestly and quite often fearful that “something bad” might happen.  Sometimes something bad has already happened and we think we cant handle any more emotional pain, loss or tsuris. However, the truth is either we embrace our losses and life traumas and find a way to give them meaning or we add to the existing denial in society and the collective dread, fear, anxiety and angst in our fast paced modern world. Some people dont think about it or just aren’t all that afraid. Historically people have used various individual or shared rituals to control their fears, ie., hop on one foot, dont step on cracks, or even rolling severed human heads down steep Mayan pyramids after first removing their still beating hearts. That last strategy seems rather drastic to me. Also kinda messy……

I’m one of the people who used to lie in bed at nite as a 10 year old boy and creep myself out thinking about “not existing” someday.  I’m not sure I’m much better today but at least I know a few things. I know we can heal our “selves” but we can’t cheat physical death. Once, around age 13, I thought about saving my allowance to have my head frozen in one of those futuristic cryogenic chambers run by companies that store dead bodies for a million dollars in hopes of one day curing their fatal illness. Now I realize that’s dumb because not only does it beg the question of who would want my nasty old frozen head with hardwired mental problems and sleep apnea, but also who’s second hand, defect-ridden body would I no doubt get stuck with?  It’s not like I could ever afford a brand new one, and if I could I  wouldn’t be driving a 2001 Ford Expedition around Atlanta now.

With my luck and my ADD (disorganized sub-type) my freeze dried head would probably get lost, repossessed for non-payment or they’d finally cure my illness and bring me back to life…. on the day before the real apocalypse. Is it really worth it being thawed out and propped up on some stainless steel desk like Robo-cop connected to a laptop and heat lamp in the year 2146 AD just so I could witness a giant meteor hit Miami Beach and turn South Florida into cinders? Actually, now that I think about it…maybe.

Being the cerebral Jewish person that I am, if I do end up like that somebody please remember to at least turn me off before going to bed and for God sakes, dont forget to give me my sleeping pill. I cant seem to live without my Ambien.  Also, I’d really be pissed if somebody in the future decided to use my head for a bowling ball or attempted to roll it down the steps of some blood-stained pyramid. I’m Jewish and we dont go in for that kind of thing. If a Jew is going to throw a ball nowadays, it’s most likely going to be a baseball. Trust me, when the time comes for me,  just light a yahrtzeit candle and say a Kaddish prayer. It’s way more civilized. Until then, “L’chaim” and  Happy 2013!

About captaincliff

Psychologist by day, insomniac Pirate blogger by night, this Child of God likes to share sarcastic social commentary as well as topsy-turvy observations about life, love and the pursuit of zaniness, a functional form of insanity in an increasingly insane world
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