John Major Jenkins guest – 2 of 7 On the Road of “2012 NOW – Empowering the Transformation”
Living Dialogues
Duncan Campbell

Episode 93 - John Major Jenkins guest – 2 of 7 On the Road of “2012 NOW – Empowering the Transformation”

Episode Description:

“For human evolution to continue, the conversation must deepen.” – Margaret Mead

This is the second in a seven-part series of “Pilgrimage Dialogues” forming part of and leading up to a Conference Gathering in Fort Collins, Colorado on May 29-30, 2009, entitled “2012 NOW – Empowering the Transformation”, for which I am serving as the Master of Ceremonies and opening presenter. Future Living Dialogues in this series will include other Conference presenters Sobonfu Some’, Stansilav Grof, Richard Tarnas, and Christine Page.

Details and registration information available at

Duncan Campbell: 2012 Now: Empowering The Transformation, a uniquely innovative, interactive and affordable gathering in this time of global uncertainty, will take place Friday night and all day Saturday May 29 and 30 at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in Fort Collins, Colorado. Beyond just information, to practical tools for change and direct experience of participating in the ongoing transformation of our times. Now is the time and the opportunity to synchronize consciousness with the evolutionary pulse of the cosmos. Join world-renowned speakers in as we explore, co-create, and experience together the tranformative dynamics necessary for a successful transit from now through the year 2012 and beyond. More information available on the website, See you there.

The meaning of the Greek word “Apocalypse” is “lifting the veil” or “revelation”. Here are excerpts from this set of revelatory “shared stories” – contemporary 21st century versions of the medieval Canterbury Tales -- on this pilgrimage Road to 2012 NOW:

John Major Jenkins: Well in a word I guess I’d say it’s been transformational, which I suppose is to be expected when you’re engaged with this kind of material. Transformation is not an easy thing necessarily, there’s been lots of challenges. But I think that if you’re not constantly challenging yourself, then you’re going to all back into the muck, as you said. So one thing that I want to point out that I, I think my continuing role as a 2012-ologist is to offer clarity and discernment. One thing that constantly is getting my attention is the, the amount of disinformation and misconception that is thrown at this 2012 topic, and I think that it’s important for people to understand that anything that’s coming out has to be treated with a skeptical eye, you might say, and one has to have an eye towards sensing whether it’s reinforcing ego or it’s reinforcing a large perspective, a selfless perspective. And since you’ve brought up the Barack Obama election, I thought that it’d be appropriate to mention that, without wanting to sound trite, that the, the election process between Obama and McCain was archetypal, absolutely. I mean it was in a sense the fulfillment of the Maya prophecy because these two people represented perfectly ego consciousness, self-interest, the old Vanguard that must pass and be transformed, moved into the next year, and then Obama who represented the more selfless, taking the large unity position. So this is actually what the Maya creation mythology in its own archetypal content was, illustrates for what is to happen, you might say, at the end of the cycle. So it’s really fascinating then to consider how we’re living in an era in which these things are taking place, and I’m just grateful to be here.

Duncan Campbell: I think that’s a beautiful way to put it. When one can say that with real heartfelt sincerity and authenticity, “I’m just grateful to be here”, that’s a tremendous statement, and it’s a statement that indigenous peoples have made from time in memorial, that I wake up and I see beauty before me, beauty behind me, beauty all around me. Today is a good day to die, and that really means today is a good day to live, because the death and rebirth process is happening at every moment, and so today is a good day for me to let go of preconceptions, today is a good day for me to be grateful for that which is before me, today is a good day for me to be grateful for how I can serve others. And you’ve said it beautifully John, that the litmus test for any coming together, any gathering, whether we do it one on one as we’re doing here or around the dinner table or in a meeting or in an election or in a conference like the gathering coming up in Fort Collins, Colorado May 29 and 30, is does the energy exchange that happens there promote a deeper heartfelt appreciation than gratitude, or does it constrict us into some kind of fear-based or maybe even arrogant separation from others or from the rest of the planet? And that I think really is the free-will aspect that you’re talking about, that we can choose a perspective, choose our higher perspective at every moment in our own lives and to come together with that perspective is what we intend to create as a fertile womb so that all the seeds that can be brought together in this conference can bloom. So for all of your lifelong work John, and it’s been such a great pleasure to do these dialogues over the years and watch the evolution of your work, of my work, of our fellows over the last decade, its been a real deep pleasure.

John Major Jenkins: Well thank you Duncan. Thank you for everything that you’re doing. I’ve found our conversations over the years to be scintillating and stimulating, and you’re a person who I immediately thought of to bring on board as our speaker and master of ceremonies, because you have a special way of contextualizing and framing and facilitating a process, it’s a process oriented thing. And our Conference is really about an invitation for people to participate in a transformation. So, there are no guarantees of course. This is something that everybody brings their own energy to it. And it’s our hope that we can model and illustrate, what you might call an “awakening into”. I think, you know, evolutionary terminology I think works well enough for, you know, certain things, but I really like the term ‘awakening’. ‘Awakening’…

Duncan Campbell: I do too.

John Major Jenkins: The awakening of this larger perspective that’s already there. It’s kind of like the unveiling thing. I don’t know how much we’re really trying to create or generate or build something new, I think we’re trying to unveil or awaken something that’s always been there, but that we’ve forgot. And that’s kind of a key thing, and so coming together and discovering that together with other people can just be a glimpse of a higher potential that we all have.

Duncan Campbell: Beautifully put, and I think that’s exactly the etymology of the word ‘enthusiasm’, it means literally to be engodded, but not God as some separate entity, but that sense of the divinity that’s innate within each of us, and when we tap into that we do feel a clarity, we feel a generosity of spirit and we feel an energy that we can bring to our own daily activities, to our families, to our communities, to our participation in the national and international task ahead of us now, to actually take seriously the fact that certain old economic and political forms, and forms of transportation and uses of energy from the fossil fuel economy, they need to end, they have to end because they are not sustainable, and each one of us will be encountering that falling apart in whatever way we do. It could mean loss of income, it could mean loss of many things in our lives, but if we keep our eyes on this particular perspective we’ll have the inner trust and energy and enthusiasm to carry this larger vision forward, so in no way is this 2012 conference meant to be an escapism from everything that’s happening. Quite the contrary. It’s meant to be perhaps one of the most practical things we can do to contribute to and serve our larger communal and planetary societies.

John Major Jenkins: I think Colorado is really ahead of the curve when it comes to innovative community-based experiments in alternate fuel and energy and community-based farming. I’m so glad this is happening here in Colorado, my home state, and bringing people together along the Front Range in springtime, it’s going to be a beautiful time. And, you know, I think that there’s a real chance for lasting connections being built between participants, as we all try to take responsibility for transforming the world into a sustainable place.

Duncan Campbell: Well the time has come where we must close this particular dialogue, and I’ll have to say in once again honoring you and your stories John, that in doing so we’re honoring the stories of all those that are listening to this, and this great invitation is going out here to participate in this pilgrimage, this moving toward a particular gathering. So that next week we’ll be talking with Sobonfu Some’. And as we’re sharing these stories with all the presenters in advance, it’s acknowledging that whatever’s being called forth, once again is being called forth from the people who will be participating in the gathering, and all those that are listening to these dialogues. And so I see it in a sense as a contribution also from the energy field of Colorado. It’s a way that we can share what we experience with people who will be coming -- we know from the ticket sales --literally from all over the world…

John Major Jenkins: Yes.

Duncan Campbell: They will each be coming with their stories to contribute – and time scheduled at the Conference Gathering to share them -- and so I’m very much looking forward, and at the same time staying right here in the present moment., So that’s our invitation to each of you. I’m Duncan Campbell, your host. I’ve been really delighted to have John Major Jenkins with me in this dialogue, and we both extend to you a very warm invitation to join us and all of the other participants at “2012 Now - Empowering The Transformation”, May 29 and 30 in Fort Collins, Colorado. For more information, to register you can go to Be with us again next time as we continue on Living Dialogues.

We invite you and look forward to seeing you at the conference on May 29 and 30, 2009 in the natural beauty of Fort Collins, Colorado, entitled “2012 NOW - Empowering the Transformation”. For further information and registration you can go to

“We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth…. and we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself....For the world has changed, and we must change with it…why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration…" -- Barack Obama Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009

And as we say on Living Dialogues:

“Dialogue is the Language of Evolutionary Transformation”™.

Contact me if you like at Visit my blog at ”. (For more, including information on the Engaged Elder Wisdom Dialogue Series on my website, click on Episode Detail to the left above and go to Transcript section.)

Among other heartful visionary conversations you will find of particular interest on these themes are my Dialogues on this site with Robert Sitler, Richard Tarnas, John O’Donohue, Michael Meade, Eckhart Tolle, Ted Sorensen, Frances Moore Lappe, Stanislav Grof, Angeles Arrien, Sobonfu Some, Matthew Fox, David Mendell, Deborah Tannen, Gangaji, Michael Dowd, Duane Elgin, and Joseph Ellis, among others [click on their name(s) in green on right hand column of the Living Dialogues Home Page on this site].

After you listen to this Dialogue, I invite you to both explore and make possible further interesting material on Living Dialogues by taking less than 5 minutes to click on and fill out the Listener Survey. My thanks and appreciation for your participation.



“Duncan Campbell, I heard about your podcast a few months ago, and have been deeply listening to all the dialogues with your fantastic friends/guests. Your words, ideas, and wisdom are truly inspirational. You have evoked a new appetite for knowledge in me that I hope to share with a starving younger generation. Thank you for doing what you do, and creating a unique space, void of boundaries and classification. A breath of fresh air! Much love and respect.” – Amit Kapadiya

In furtherance of creating and maintaining the planetary dialogues now required in the 21st century, we featured a special series of dialogues with myself and other elders in the weeks leading up to and including the 2008 Olympics hosted by China and the U.S. 2008 elections. Those dialogues can be listened to separately on this site or as gathered as a series on my website under the collective title “Engaged Elder Wisdom Dialogues”. They address various specific political aspects of our planetary crisis, with its dangers and opportunities for creating and sustaining a visionary and evolutionary shift. (We remember that the Chinese character for “crisis” is often described as meaning both “danger” when visioned from a fear perspective, and “opportunity” when visioned from a wisdom perspective.)

In all my Living Dialogues from their inception I talk in various ways about the call to generate dialogues across generational, ethnic, gender, religious, wealth, and national boundaries -- building bridges of understanding and wisdom in the cooperative spirit and reaching out -- required by our 21st century realities, and the essential roles that we all are called to play in our evolution for it to take place.

This is the time for renewed dialogue, for visionary and inspiring discourse producing practical and innovative ways of living and sharing together, to engage the deep spirit and spirituality of our own elder wisdom and youthful inspiration, and in so doing to experience and exemplify that “Dialogue is the Language of Evolutionary Transformation”™.

And that is what we all do, in our mutual roles as host, deep listeners, and guests, when we gather together here from all parts of the globe in Living Dialogues.


The best way to reach me is through my website: Many thanks again for your attentive deep listening in helping co-create this program.

All the best, Duncan.

P.S. As a way of further acknowledging and appreciating your part in these dialogues, and since I cannot personally answer all of them, I have begun to publish from time to time in these pages some of the appreciations received from you.

Duncan Campbell: Welcome to Living Dialogues. I’m your host Duncan Campbell. And for this particular dialogue I’m truly delighted to have as my guest John Major Jenkins. John Major Jenkins is an independent researcher who has devoted himself for over the last two decades to reconstructing ancient Mayan comsmology and philosophy. His books include Tzolkin: Visionary Perspectives and Calendar Studies, Mayan: Sacred Science, his great book, Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 published a few years ago and Galactic Alignment, also very highly praised. He has taught at Escalon Institute and Naropa University, and his work has been featured on the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. To learn more about his work you can go to That’s So John, what a great pleasure it is again to be here, the most recent of many times that we’ve conversed together here in the studio.

John Major Jenkins: Yes, going on about a decade now. Very glad to be here once again.

Duncan Campbell: And it’s so interesting if we look at this perspective because you started your research into the Mayan calendar and into all of the aspects that have lead now to this fascination that the world has with 2012. A couple of decades ago, and we found in a prior conversation that I had received my mission, you might say, a certain revelation to begin these Living Dialogues in 1992, which coincidentally was the beginning of the last of the thirteen k’atun that lead up to 2012, the 20 year period k’atun of the B’ak’tun…

John Major Jenkins: Yes.

Duncan Campbell: which is the 260 year period that leads up to in this case the end of the Mayan calendar. But it’s just a very interesting coincidence, that right around this time when we’re in the last moments of transformation toward this end date, the beginning date, rebirth date, 2012, that we began to really sew the seeds, if we will, of what you and I are now doing together with the conference that’s coming up on May 29 and 30 in Fort Collins, Colorado entitled 2012 Now: Empowering The Transformation. And the reason we call it 2012 Now is that we’re wanting to emphasize as we said in the first of this seven part series with Robert Sitler, another presenter at the conference, we wanted to emphasize that the moment of transformation is available to us at any time. This is a timeless journey that people who’ve left records, either in stone or in tablets or in writing or in oral traditions of the human species throughout history, have engaged in. This is a pilgrimage, a journey that’s both inner and outer a kind of road, as the Mayan’s call it, and so we’ve decided to do this Road to 2012 Now as a seven part series of doing these dialogues with myself, who will be the master of ceremonies and opening speaker, and yourself, who along with Lorraine Tenneson really conceived this and invited me to join you as a co-producer. So at this point I’d like to just ask you to talk a little bit about what you’ve been up to lately because I think that’ll help set the table for why this conference that we’re putting on at the end of May in Fort Collins, Colorado is so timely, and the way in which we’re going to put it on is very different in many regards from the approach taken certainly by the commercial media and others.

John Major Jenkins: Well lately I’ve been busy working on my next book, which is all about 2012 of course, and it’ll be out probably in about a year. But I’ve also been working with Lorraine Tenneson. She’s with a production company in Fort Collins called Golden Jaier Productions, and what we have conceived of doing and bringing you on board for this has been an interesting process, our original conception was to present a 2012 concept that was intended to present different facets of authentic Maya teachings. So, you know, I’ve been involved in many different conferences through the years, and I’ve noticed that there’s been this sort of progression in a sense. There’s a lot of treatment of 2012, and I’ve noticed strangely that conference themes have been getting farther and farther away from even acknowledging that this 2012 date comes from the Maya tradition. My work, going back to being originally inspired by my travels in Central America living and working among Maya, has always been oriented towards reconstructing the authentic original teachings, and there’s plenty there that’s very inspiring for anybody on a spiritual journey. There’s details about very specific Maya traditions, including the ball game, the creation myth and all this is very fascinating, and there’s different facets of what we might call authentic Maya teachings for cycle endings. And so we’ve selected specific speakers to come aboard to address in their own ways these central themes.

Duncan Campbell: And that was one of my first contributions here was to bring in people like Stan Groff and Rick Tarnas and Sobonfu Some’ to stress that really what we’re talking about is as you’ve put it in many of your books, what is sometimes called the primordial tradition or the perennial philosophy, that the Mayan have, in a sense, created a cosmology which is their gift to the planetary species, but it’s not making any pretense of being the be all or the end all or anything unique or having a secret code that no one has ever discovered before. Quite the contrary, even the Mayan themselves really celebrate the teachings that I’ve been exposed to, the linkages as you have helped expand it to what’s called the perennial philosophy, the primordial tradition, we go back to the Vada’s in India, we talk about other indigenous traditions, we talk about Egypt, we talk about Greece, we can talk about the Mesopatamian culture. There has always been a path of discovery, both inner and outer that’s within the human psyche. The Mayans call it ‘the road’. Sometimes in other traditions it’s called ‘the pilgrimage’. Kabir for instance, the great 15th century poet who combines within himself both a Hindu and Muslim background, having been born into one tradition, abandoned as an orphan, raised in the other tradition, then he’s gone beyond these two co-relatives, they have Hindu and Muslim approaches. And he said, “We’re all pilgrims on this earth.” Gurta, the great 19th century poet agree that not only are all pilgrims on this earth, but if we don’t actually make this inner journey, we will remain strangers on this dark earth, meaning that the earth itself is an invitation, as Socrates said, to the examined life, to the looking within to discover the secrets of the human heart and to look without and celebrate and discover the secrets that are open secrets of nature in the daytime and nature at night where we see the celestial bodies in the heavens. Now the Mayans explored both with very close observation, and they made some very beautiful and very stirring observations. In our first of these seven dialogues I explored many of these with Robert Sitler in terms of the earth wisdom of the Mayans. And so part of our conference is to reroute ourselves in a connection with the living universe and go beyond this adolescent fascination with manmade technology, with manmade conceptual wisdom, and with asserting things that maybe are my particular view of the world, but making them exclusive claims as certain religions do these days, as certain political ideologies do, “We are right, you are wrong.” Our approach is very, very different, and it’s going to be joining heaven and earth, and one of the things we’re doing in this second dialogue with you is that we’re going to point our attention to begin with toward the stars. We have examined the earth connection with Robert Site, and now we’re going to talk about the galactic alignment and what was observed two millennia ago by the Mayan priests or astrologers or cosmologists who turned their attention toward the heavens.

For full transcript, please contact Duncan Campbell