The Fifth Earth – Energy Transitions (Part 4) – What Does the Future Hold?

A Five Level Pyramid at Tikal, Tikal National Park, Petén, Guatemala, (2015, JJM)

What does the future hold? 

“It was halfway famine, it was  halfway  feast” [1]

This is the translation of the original Maya prophecy for Katun 2 Ahau (2012 – 2032). In this article and the next one we will match this prophecy with real trends and we will make realistic forecasts for the next fifteen years.

Physical energy configurations such as fossil fuel resources and renewable energies will be factored in and we will make predictions for how human beings are likely to respond to the challenges facing them in the coming years.

Having the right attitude

If we are internally (spiritually, mentally and psychologically) prepared for the external material changes in the world, they will appear to be positive, and our approach to them would be pro-active, courageous, responsible, motivated and engaging.

As above: spiritually / internally

So below: materially / externally

If we are not internally prepared for external changes in the world, on the outside they would appear to us as negative, disastrous, calamitous and unfair, and our approach would be that of fear, denial, evasion, resistance, victimhood and escapism. 

A Concise Prophecy

The first thing that we notice about the prophecy for Katun 2 Ahau is that it is reasonably short: “It was halfway famine, it was  halfway  feast” [1]. This is actually the portion of the prophecy that is considered the most important  part by translators. The rest of the prophecy consists of some additional sentences and we will touch on them later.

The wording of the English version differs, depending on the translation and the codex it was taken from, but “It was halfway famine, it was halfway  feast” is Munro S. Edmonson’s interpretation and is from The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel.

Edmonson’s version comes across as less symbolic than other translations as he has already applied some interpretation to the symbolism, which serves the objectives of this article well as we will use it as a reference point for the rest of our discussion.

Interpreting the Prophecy

Prophecies are usually very symbolic in nature and the words “feast” and “famine” could be further interpreted in various ways. In this article we will consider these words to generally mean “an easy time” versus “a difficult time”.

In Kenneth Johnson’s book, The Maya Prophecies, he explains that most scholars apply mainly two interpretations to Katun 2 Ahau’s prophecy: That half of the Katun would be prosperous and the other half difficult, or that there would be social disparities between the rich and the poor, which would cause a lot of social tensions during the Katun.

Prophecies can in some cases (less commonly) be interpreted literally. The meaning often falls somewhere in-between symbolism and reality. As a thought experiment we will be approaching the prophecy for Katun 2 Ahau from a literal standpoint first in order to see if we can eliminate the possibility of it having a literal meaning.  

First Easy, Then Difficult

As explained in Part 3, Katuns (19.7 year time periods) are divided into two 9.85 year halves and these halves have a length close to that of decades, but Katun-halves do not necessarily start or end at exactly the same time as decades do.

The energy of a Katun ascends during the first half, reaches a peak in the middle, and descends during the second half.  We will therefore assume that the prophecy for Katun 2 Ahau should be read in reverse: that the first half of the Katun (2012 – 2022) will continue to be relatively easy (there will be continued growth) and that the second half (2022 – 2032) will be more difficult (there will be a decline of some sort).   

Forecasting and Probability

In order to arrive at some realistic conclusions and make forecasts with a relatively high level of probability, we will take an open and philosophical approach to this broad and complex subject by consulting mainstream as well as quality non-mainstream sources. Due to our scope being somewhat limited we will keep it as concise as possible at the same time. In the process we will inadvertently be touching on issues or topics that are frequently ignored or avoided for reasons that we will also delve into later, but first, let’s start with some context:

Prosperity and Poverty

Presently we live in the most materially prosperous time in recorded  history, notwithstanding the poverty that can still be found in many parts of the world. Imagining the arrival of “famine” in a real sense is almost impossible for those of us living in the developed world, considering how familiar we are with the abundance of choice in everything that we do and consume.

Poverty, unlike famine, is however something that we can relate to, at least to an extent, because we come across it often enough: Homelessness can be observed even in the richest countries and in recent years the arrival of large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers has added to that.

Some people in the developed world may even have come close to poverty in their lifetimes, due to personal financial crises or temporary local economic downturns. That happened for example in several first-world countries after the global financial crisis that started in 2008.

In reality, the average middle class person is basically only a few lost pay checks away from poverty. However, unlike in the poorer countries, there are relatively good social support systems and safety nets in place in developed nations that can assist people in getting back on their feet.

An Unbalanced World

The abundant living in the first world relies on large volumes of additional resources and supplies coming in from other parts of the world. People in developed countries have over time grown accustomed to having access to a much wider variety of manufactured goods and agricultural produce than their local environments would under normal circumstances have been able to consistently provide [2].

Virtually all under-developed nations rely on imports too, but their reasons for importing have usually more to do with survival or with maintaining a basic minimum standard of living, as opposed to it being based on demands for having as much variety and abundance as possible. Some countries fall somewhere in between with portions of their populations just surviving while other portions live in abundance.

The Making of an Illusion

The result of living in an environment with abundance of choice that has been artificially created, is that people end up losing their psychological self-reliance mechanisms and their natural drive for self-sufficiency. In the process of living out the illusion of never ending, unconstrained abundance, much of the future of the entire planet is being consumed in advance – especially by populations that demand a much higher quality of life than others do [2].

Abundance can only really be measured by consuming what is only locally available in order to see if our own environment can support our consumption habits – and if it can’t, then we are over-consuming. In addition, “abundance” can in actual fact only be maintained by putting back what is taken out, a philosophy held by most traditional indigenous cultures.

The objective of highlighting the above is not to point fingers, or play on people’s guilt (which would be pointless, because people have developed very good mechanisms for dealing with that), but to bring across the fact that all humans are interconnected. What happens in one part of the world can and does affect other parts of the world. 

The side effects of not living within one’s own means as a group means that it makes you reliant upon others and it also puts a strain on them. The same can be said of unbridled population growth worldwide, regardless of whether countries are poor or rich. Ultimately everybody will be impacted.

Limits to Limitlessness

The leading nations of the world have designed an economic system that depends on infinite economic growth, driven by unlimited resource extraction, coupled with endless hyper-consumption as a lifestyle. This economic model has been exported to the rest of the world and virtually all nations have adopted it.

The consequence is that the first world has locked itself and the rest of the world into a very specific and very set trajectory: A one way ticket to endless, infinite, unbridled, unlimited, non-stop material expansion – forever – or at least for as long as the resources would last.

Although it is perhaps not always obvious, we live on a rather small planet with finite resources, so logically speaking it is just a matter of time before we start running out. The only question is: “When?” [3]

Catching Up

In the meantime a lot of consumer goods and technology have in recent years also become available to those that can afford them in poorer nations and that has considerably increased the quality of life for people worldwide.

Technology has in many cases leapfrogged infrastructure development completely, which has accelerated the process. Overall one can thus see a trend where the developing world is increasingly catching up with the developed world and this is happening as we speak.

Huge progress has been made in infrastructure development too, especially in developing countries with booming economies, with China having been a prime example of how fast such developments can occur.  

On the face of it then one could easily arrive at the conclusion that the nations and peoples who were left behind previously, would be able to catch up in the foreseeable future. However, such continued worldwide progress would depend on uninterrupted supplies of affordable fossil fuels and many types of raw materials.

A Precarious Situation

Should, for instance, the flow of resources and food supplies between countries become constrained for some reason, people in all nations would be severely affected. Hardly any countries are self-sufficient anymore and they all rely on imports and exports.

Having said that, some nations are still more self-sufficient than others, due to being naturally endowed with some critical resources or they have favorable conditions for agricultural production and so on. Some countries have smaller populations and thus fewer mouths to feed and fewer cars to run, so there’s an overall lower strain on the environment and a lower demand for fossil fuel.  

In many poorer nations there are still people who predominantly rely on local resources due to subsistence living and agricultural lifestyles. People in city locations in developing countries often still live within cultural environments that are generally more community oriented or based more on a spirit of sharing and supporting each other.

Whose paradigm shift is it anyway?

The San people from Southern Africa, considered to be the oldest living tribe on the planet [4], will not experience a major paradigm shift if, for example, food imports should stop coming into the countries that they reside in. Many of the San still live from the land, usually in very arid areas and they continue to hunt for their food and conserve water as traditional practices. 

The San people are the epitome of human survival due to having preserved their way of life for centuries. They have resilience. Should, for example, first-world city dwellers experience sudden interruptions in food supplies, experience extended power cuts, or find a lack of fuel at filling stations, a complete paradigm shift is guaranteed. Modern world city-dwellers do not have resilience.

Another example of people with resilience is the Amish people in the USA. They have maintained their rural way of life for hundreds of years within a community context based on simplicity, self-reliance and self-sufficiency, without becoming dependent on the assistance of advanced technologies. The most likely paradigm shift for the Amish would be the city-dwellers arriving in their rural areas asking for assistance with survival.

That being said, even the Amish in the USA and (for example) the Maya people living in Central America today rely on goods that are delivered to local markets and those markets are supplied with vehicles that operate on fuel and gas. Therefore, should there ever be fuel supply shortages in general, even the more resilient groups would have to adapt somewhat, but due their inherent survival skills such changes would be much easier for them than for consumer oriented city dwellers who simply have no reference points for “going back in time”. 

To be continued…

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J.J. Montagnier is a futurologist and travelosopher based in South America. His writings on the Mayan calendars are intuitively inspired and are influenced by his knowledge of Jungian psychology. The author visited Central America in 2015 to do research on the subject.

This article has been written for general consumption and some concepts have been simplified. The views and opinions are those of the author.  Creative license has been applied to make some concepts more accessible. Please note that all articles in this series are written in a highly condensed format. Readers are encouraged to do further reading for details and statistics – please see references.

Copyright © 2018 · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café

Please note: References to and excerpts from this article may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content: please use the  page address (URL) in the browser to link to.

References & Statistics:

  1. Edmonson, Heaven Born Merida and its Destiny, p. 228.
  2. List of countries by food consumption:
  1. List of countries by food energy intake:
  1. World food waste statistics:
  1. Which countries waste the most food?
  1. List of countries by oil consumption:
  1. List of countries by oil Imports:
  1. To be explored in the next article – in the meantime please see the Video: Final Warning – Limits to Growth.

Main Resources:

The Mayan Prophecies – The Renewal of the World 2012 – 2072, by Kenneth Johnson, (published in 2012).

The Book of Destiny – Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Mayans and the Prophecy of 2012, by Carlos Barrios (published in 2009). [1] [2].

The Historical Value of the Books of Chilan Balam. Author(s): Sylvanus Griswold Morley. Source: American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Apr. – Jun., 1911), pp. 195-214.

The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, by Ralph Roys (published in 1933).

The Katun Prophecies of the Paris Codex. Thesis by James V. Rauff. Loyola University Chicago.




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4 Responses to “The Fifth Earth – Energy Transitions (Part 4) – What Does the Future Hold?”

  1. JJ,
    Interesting ideas, but I wonder if the paradigm shifts will be what we imagine. First, I wonder if third world countries will wake up and alter their paths before they fall into the same distorted ideas of “progress” that the first world countries brag about. Yes, we have flush toilets and processed food, but are they really better than traditional methods?

    Cultures like the San and the Amish are commendable, but they risk being overrun or undermined by “progress” too. They risk having their land and water poisoned or stolen, for instance.

    I fear for the third world countries that follow the first world’s example, but their governments have been seduced into believing this is the only path to prosperity. Yet the US, for one, is in debt until the sun burns out, and we are drowning in environmental toxins and unsavory attitudes.

    • Jean-Jacques says:


      Thank you for commenting and for the points you raise. I will be elaborating on some of the reasons why we seem to be so stuck on the same path, but in the case of the developing countries – they look up to the developed world and they are inspired and motivated by it to emulate it – the “glittering prize” of reaching the same level of development is much stronger than keeping themselves down. So for this reason, but also others, I don’t think many countries would be holding themselves back – anyway, the only way to remain economically competitive and relevant and to stimulate economies is to keep on going – basically the world’s financial system is integrated and nobody is allowed to fall off the wagon.

      Absolutely correct about indigenous cultures and communities – and in many cases they have been forced to modernise or relocate – due to the things you mention. On the point of pollution and contamination – this is increasingly a problem worldwide – I can see the pollution everywhere where I go to here in South America – and I have also noticed that people don’t seem to care all that much about it either. You also very rightly point out that the economic system is debt based and virtually all countries have debt-based economies, but some are more in debt that others. The illusion of abundance is funded by debt… which means its even a bigger illusion than we realise.

  2. Josh Gross says:

    Hi Jacques,

    Great post. It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that while many Americans believe they are living in the best and most powerful nation in the world, our overconsumption and reliance on other peoples’ resources makes us incredibly vulnerable. Should the flow of resources be stopped, the situation here might get quite dire.

    I can even see this happening in the not-too-distant future. As America’s dominance slips, and as ecological and social crises intensify around the world, people in developing countries may well decide that they’re tired of providing for our hedonic lifestyles. Should that happen, it would not be long before the Sun set on the American Empire.

    As a side note, I’ve decided that if I go for a PhD, I’m going to seriously look into enrolling in a Canadian school. Not that this decision is in any way related to my projections for the US’ future.

    • Jean-Jacques says:

      Josh, I think you have summed up very well the situation for several first world nations that are heavily dependent on external resources, especially fossil fuels and food imports – the smaller nations are less vulnerable, I will elaborate more in my next post about the possibility of an energy crisis and whether we will be able to convert to renewable energies in time before we run out of fossil fuels.

      A PHD in Canada sounds like a great idea – Canada is an amazing country for bio-diversity – I’m sure you will have loads of outdoors exploration opportunities out there. I think some countries are better than others in terms of transitioning to a simpler way of life if/when/should circumstances call for it. For that Canada’s probably a good bet. I haven’t visited there yet, but would love to go – they have awesome trekking and hiking (and photography) opportunities.

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