Author Daniel Pinchbeck claims that the Mayans predicted the world would end—or undertake some enormous paradigm shift—on December 21, 2012. Popular culture loves a good apocalypse, of course, and all of a sudden the nefarious date is everywhere: The Day After Tomorrow director Roland Emmerich is even releasing a disaster movie this summer called 2012.
Toward 2012 is a collection of essays from the popular new age website Reality Sandwich (realitysandwich.com). Each essay is loosely based around the idea that in three years, humanity will take a huge evolutionary step. The first essay in Toward 2012, "Homo Luminus," is written by a woman who swears that she grew wings during a particularly uplifting bout of meditation. She's shocked that her husband and her spiritual advisor are unable to see the wings, because she feels them so plainly on her back. Finally, her acupuncturist confirms her suspicions: "I don't see wings," he hedges, "but I do see a lot of energy back there." A little further investigation reveals that "everyone has wings," and the author encounters a shaman who forcibly unfurls the "giant, invisible wing-shaped sails" out of people's backs in a ceremony.
Naturally, in all these essays, the authors have experienced the next step in human evolution—urban farming, Burning Man, wallowing in your own psychic wounds, Twitter—and they can't wait to share it with you. They urge you to "take the red pill" and open your eyes, and they also tell you way too much information about their lives. For instance: "When the outer walls of my labia are hard... my yoni is an enormous orb of hot heat glowing from my root." Another essayist begins a story with "...so began what can only be described as a yoga asana lesson taught to me by a startlingly large praying mantis-like creature during an ayahuasca ceremony in the Peruvian Amazon."
It's all dumb bullshit, of course, just like the whole 2012 phenomena—a quick Google search reveals that Pinchbeck's interpreting the Mayan calendar wrong in the first place—but the sad part is that it's not even entertaining or funny bullshit. This book is like the patchouli-smelling old hippie who sits next to you on the bus and tells you her life story, whether you pretend to fall asleep or not.