(6) There Are No Limits To Growth


In this chapter, we will explore why humans are driven to such strong material growth and how we could transition to a less resource-intensive form of growth in light of future physical resource constraints. Given that humans are naturally driven to growth, how do we canalize our will to grow appropriately and in line with the new incoming energy of the age?

Unconstrained Material Growth

During a materialistic epoch, such as the one that we are in, it would be natural for civilizations to generally tend towards material growth, because humans are to a large extent bound by the dominant energy of the age in which they find themselves [see Part 5].

Most cultures would, nonetheless, endeavor to preserve and promote spiritual practices that would offset materialism in order to maintain some balance. There is usually a natural understanding amongst spiritual leaders in all cultures that by abandoning spirituality completely, people could ‘lose their heads’ in materialism – and that would be especially true in a material age. Should that happen, sufficient internal moral codes to limit external material excesses would disappear.

Disconnected Material Growth

Material growth, accomplished with restraint and within an environmentally conscious framework, would require maintaining a connection with the natural environment, but the concept of modern progress in itself depends to a large extent on moving away from nature. Urbanization and modernization go hand-in-hand, which means that physical removal from nature is usually followed by intellectual removal from nature – and vice versa.

The Power of Modernization

Bearing physical constraints in mind would always be the wise thing to do, especially when moving away from nature; however, maintaining such an equilibrium when almost permanently isolated from nature may be easier said than done.

When societies are swept up in the heady currents of modernization, with the driving force being progress at all costs, nature and the environment recede into the background. They are only occasionally focused upon, usually temporarily, mainly when large environmental crises hit news headlines.

The price that we would pay for living within resource constraints would be reduced material growth with limited modernization, while the price that we are paying for powerful, unconstrained modernization is a loss of perception in relation to natural resource boundaries. The more we modernize, the further we drift away from limited resource realities and the more our collective myopia grows.

Severed Connections

A loss of connection with nature results in a loss of empathy for it by not having any direct relationship with it. Indeed, the idea of having empathy for nature would in itself seem odd to many. However, watching National Geographic documentaries about the living earth, with us as part of the biosphere, simply doesn’t suffice.

You have to live in the natural world, or live very close to it, to engage with it and to experience it in order to have a connection with it. When such direct and natural interactions with nature are lacking, a sense of the sacredness within nature is lost. Maintaining a moral approach towards the natural world and the biosphere then falls by the wayside.

When we do not know nature directly, our inclination to appreciate it, respect it and care for it is diminished, and so is the likelihood of feeling a sense of duty or responsibility towards the natural world.

One-Sided Growth

Interacting with nature regularly puts people in a better position to have natural empathy for it, because they would understand that nature has natural empathy for them in the sense that it provides for them. Everything that we use and consume comes from the natural world first and foremost. It is then processed and refined, but the modern mind tends to not make that connection consistently enough.

There is no doubt that incredible human progress has been made through modernization, notably in the sciences and technology. This progress has undoubtedly led to the further development of the human mind, but it has also led to a one-sided form of development due to our intellectual disconnect from nature.

An imbalance has developed in that modern humans do not fully comprehend that they are naturally and fundamentally connected to nature at all times, and that they are an intrinsic component of nature. We are not alien to this world and neither are we aliens in it, but one-sided intellectual development away from the natural world can and does at times lead to such a perspective.

Committed to Material Growth

Our dependence on material growth for modern prosperity, welfare, safety, comforts and quality of life – things that everybody wants and aspires to – means that our capacity for prioritizing anything outside of this paradigm is greatly compromised. Even the idea of limiting material growth would, in many cases, motivate an even stronger commitment to it.

Indeed, having to let go of material growth without anything to replace it would be near-impossible for most people. Much of what they have ever known, especially in the developed world, has had to do with material growth, with a bit of spiritual growth on the side. Therefore, the idea that material growth could potentially come to an end one day would oftentimes be experienced as a looming disaster of epic proportions.

Growth of the Urban Class

Once people are modernized, they rarely voluntarily revert to the pre-modernization state. By the same token, once urbanized, people generally do not return to the land.

It can be observed in developing countries that when individuals from indigenous communities become urbanized and modernized, they tend to consider themselves as having become more advanced than their peers who had maintained their traditional lifestyles in rural areas.

This is a phenomenon that has become clearly visible in the developed world, too. City dwellers often consider themselves to be more educated, more sophisticated and more forward thinking than rural or farm residents. This became quite evident during events that played out during and after the UK-EU ‘Brexit’ membership referendum in 2016 and during the USA presidential election in the same year.

It would appear that on the part of the urbanized population there tends to be a lack of understanding of what it takes to live and work close to the land and how the educational, technological and social requirements would be different.

Urbanized middle and upper classes, therefore, seem to develop a tendency to look down on those who had “stayed behind” in the country. There is, perhaps, a perception that rural people suffer a deficit in education and a lack of sophistication and, therefore, by implication, that they lack class. In spite of such perceptions, the urban class remains fully dependent on farming communities for their food supply.

Although there are many communities worldwide with one-foot-in and one-foot-out of urban living due to spending time in the countryside with family members or by commuting from the countryside to towns or cities for work, once people become fully urbanized and have never known rural life, then choosing to become a farmer becomes a rather remote possibility.

Towards Upward Mobility

There is, presently, a strong, ongoing, worldwide trend towards urbanization [1]. The number of countries where this trend does not feature is no more than a couple of dozen [2]. This means that there is an ongoing trend towards more materialism through the consumerism which is an embedded feature of urbanization and modern living.

When people urbanize, they get access to a variety of goods, services and forms of entertainment that they would otherwise not have access to on a consistent basis. They would also have access to modern infrastructure, amenities and technological conveniences which are lacking outside of urban areas. There are also educational and skills-oriented opportunities available in urban areas, which rural environments simply don’t provide. There is a strong correlation between urbanization and prosperity [3].

The Freedom to Grow

Personal growth in a material sense requires freedom. Community-oriented, traditional lifestyles don’t usually provide many opportunities for fully pursuing personal interests and objectives. Modernization, however, promises to potentially deliver individual achievement and success on multiple levels.

That people would choose to modernize in order to self-realize is simply a logical conclusion of going after opportunities, in many cases pursuing new opportunities that are opening up [4]. It is, therefore, little surprise that given the innate drive of humans to progress and to evolve, people would be drawn to self-realization through modernization within a materialistic paradigm.

Modern progress (through industrialization, mechanization and automation) only becomes a problem when global population numbers grow to the extent that massive environmental degradation is caused by so many people self-realizing through modernization that it ends up threatening the collapse of civilization back into a pre-modern age.

Material vs. Spiritual Growth

The natural close proximity that indigenous people have to nature allows them to maintain – quite naturally – an equilibrium between materialism and spirituality. Indeed, indigenous people are often more spiritual than materialistic, even within the context of a material age.

Human consciousness being predominantly materialistic in its orientation in the present age means that becoming more spiritual and less materialistic within an urban environment could have the benefit of reducing overconsumption on an individual level.

There is, however, a relatively large difference between personal development in a modernized setting compared to nature-based spirituality. Becoming more intellectually spiritual through self-development while living in a city does not necessarily result in having closer contact with nature.

One Foot In and One Foot Out

On the other hand, it is also true that many people do, indeed, manage to maintain some form of balance by getting out of cities frequently for nature-based activities. In addition, they may also maintain frugal and responsible environmentally conscious living practices.

These individuals would probably cope better should a need ever arise to leave urban areas and return to the land. Nevertheless, it remains unlikely that even this section of society would relocate en masse from urban areas by their own volition.

Individually removing oneself on a permanent basis from a city or town could be a solution and would, perhaps, be the only real way to bring about a personal transformation in terms of actively being more in harmony with the environment on an ongoing basis.

Modernization vs Simplification

Even so, should one make heavy use of vehicles or machinery in the countryside, one’s carbon footprint would not be much different from someone living in a megalopolis. In other words, only by reverting to the most basic of lifestyles would one actually reduce one’s personal impact on the environment and the planet.

This is due to exponential global population growth [5]. The more people there are on the planet, the higher each individual’s impact is. If we had maintained smaller numbers, the level of modernization might have been lower and our individual impact less, even when using modern technologies and equipment.

The bottom line is that, for the time being, nobody wants to go back in time in terms of progress and, in the minds of the vast majority of people, progress means modernization, which is, of course, also true for them on a practical, material level. Modern progress is what the vast majority of people want.

‘De-modernizing’, degrowing and deindustrializing go directly against the modern concept of progress and are completely counter-intuitive to the majority of people, regardless of resource depletion realities on the ground, obvious problems related to unsustainable population growth and ongoing environmental degradation.

Negative Progress

Once intellectually modernized through urban living and by embracing modern technologies, there’s virtually no going back. In that sense, one could say that collapse is by design, because there seems to be no reverse gear built into the human psyche once it has become modernized.

Collapse happens when the majority of people within a civilization are unable or unwilling to change their thinking or their behaviors when such change would be the only way to save their civilization. Civilizations, therefore, in some cases progress themselves into collapse.

Destructive Growth

It is well recorded and reported that the environment is taking an extreme toll and showing serious signs of stress globally, while the climate is beyond doubt adversely affected. If we are unable to alter our growth trajectory, we could potentially grow ourselves into extinction through ever-increasing, ever-destructive material growth before we manage to change our thinking or before we run out of physical resources.

Early-Warning Systems

In 1992, over 1,700 scientists – including 104 Nobel laureates – from 71 countries signed a document named World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity [6].

“WARNING: We, the undersigned, senior members of the world’s scientific community, hereby warn all of humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.”

The paper highlighted specific areas in which the environment was suffering critical stresses – namely, the atmosphere, water resources, oceans, soil, forests, living species and population growth.

A section called “What we must do” listed the following recommendations:

  1. “We must bring environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the earth’s systems we depend on. We must, for example, move away from fossil fuels to more benign, inexhaustible energy sources to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and the pollution of our air and water.
  2. We must manage resources crucial to human welfare more effectively. We must give high priority to efficient use of energy, water and other materials, including expansion of conservation and recycling.
  3. We must stabilize populations. This will be possible only if all nations recognize that this requires improved social and economic conditions, and the adoption of effective, voluntary family planning.
  4. We must reduce and eventually eliminate poverty.
  5. We must ensure sexual equality and guarantee women control over their own reproductive decisions.”

In the analysis section, it stresses: “The greatest peril is to become trapped in spirals of environmental decline, poverty, and unrest, leading to social, economic, and environmental collapse.”

The 1992 World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity concludes: “A new ethic is required – a new attitude towards discharging our responsibility for caring for ourselves and for the earth.”

A New Warning

In 2017, a second warning was issued by the world scientists, with a 25th anniversary update on progress that had been made since the original warning in 1992 [7]. The second warning was considered unique in that it was said to have the highest number of scientists who had ever co-signed, and formally supported, a published journal article.

According to the second warning, progress had been made in only one of the critical stress areas since 1992 – namely, a reduction in the prevalence of ozone-depleting substances.

However, according to other reports, the ozone is not actually recovering at lower altitudes above densely populated areas, but only at higher altitudes and, as mentioned before, densely populated areas are, in fact, continually expanding due to ongoing urbanization [8] [9].

The other critical stress areas showed no improvement. From 1992 to 2017, the global population went up (by 2 billion – an increase of 35%), emissions went up, temperatures rose further, ocean dead zones increased, freshwater resources declined and so did reconstructed marine catch areas, the total combined forest area in the world became smaller and the overall abundance of vertebrate species fell (see report for details).

The Economic Growth Imperative

It’s worth doing some analysis on the reasons why very little has been achieved since 1992 in terms of “What we must do”. In a nutshell, it’s all about the economic growth imperative.

Macroeconomics is the study of the overall economic performance of a country, and ‘the growth imperative is an underlying principle of macroeconomics that takes the view that growth is always good for an economy [10]. The reasoning behind it is that continuous economic growth – measured in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – reflects better living standards for the population.

Better living standards become possible when there are more jobs and higher salaries, and that would depend on more manufacturing, more production and more service delivery. These economic activities are driven by the main objective of companies for more profits for themselves and for their shareholders (their shareholders often being employees and ordinary working people.)

Higher industrial output and more jobs result in more taxes from corporations and individuals. More taxes would mean that governments can provide better social support systems, health care services and infrastructure development and can improve overall living standards.

The growth imperative is, therefore, fundamental to modern progress, and it is usually reflected in economic policymaking worldwide as it always aims to stimulate more economic growth for the economies of all countries.

Towards More Upward Mobility

The possibility of achieving better living standards draws people from rural areas towards urban areas which results in more industrial activity – which then causes more environmental degradation [4] [3] . Any long-term decline in economic growth would cause a decline in living standards for just about everyone, except for those who had never had their living standards raised in the first place.

Generally speaking, once living standards rise and people enter the middle classes through upward mobility, they vote for politicians who would continue to secure their living standards. Also, voters usually wish that the politicians they vote for support policies that would provide opportunities for the further raising of their quality of life through sustained and consistent economic growth.

This means that virtually all economically active people support the economic growth imperative, whether in developing or developed nations. The more that people have their material living standards raised, the higher the demand becomes for more material growth which, in turn, exacerbates the negative impact on the climate and the environment.

Sustainable development is, therefore, an oxymoron, because in the bigger scheme of things the economic growth imperative almost always wins out over limited resource realities and environmental concerns. If that were not the case, political parties that champion environmental causes would lead election counts, but they usually trail far behind political parties that champion economic growth.

The Material Growth Trap

This brings us closer to understanding why very little progress has been made since the World Scientists’ report of 1992.  Simply put, virtually all the recommendations made in the report are likely to take a backseat for as long as the economic growth imperative remains an imperative.

To put this further into perspective, let’s revisit the main recommendations made in the 1992 report and explore them in more detail.

Bringing environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the earth’s systems that we depend on … will take a backseat for as long as fossil-fuel-driven industrialization, with its negative impacts on the climate and environment, remains a core component of modernization and economic growth.

Moving away from fossil fuels to more benign, inexhaustible energy sources to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and the pollution of our air and water …  is unlikely to be achieved while the economic growth imperative demands further fossil-fuel-driven industrialization. Renewable energies are unable to drive economic growth to the same extent as fossil fuels because of much lower energy output [11]. The use of fossil fuels will, therefore, continue to be prioritized over renewable energies, because no one is prepared to lower their living standards.

Giving a high priority to efficient use of energy, water and other materials … will continue to be hampered by industrial expansion, modernization, urbanization, intensive farming and population growth, all of which are results of the economic growth imperative. These activities all demand huge volumes of energy, water and other materials. Efficiency can be and has been improved; in the bigger scheme of things, however, it has little impact if there are ever more of the above activities taking place (please see: Jevon’s Paradox).

Stabilizing populations  would require letting go of the economic growth imperative, because sustained  economic growth to a large extent relies on population growth, especially when better levels of productivity and higher levels of consumption by fewer people cannot be generated through optimised productivity and higher levels of consumerism when there are fewer consumers [12] [14].

… improved social and economic conditions, and the adoption of effective, voluntary family planning … has contradictory objectives, because improved social and economic conditions require more modernization and industrialization, which tend to initially stimulate population growth further before it slows down later [15]. Voluntary family planning works to a degree but has limited impact in developing nations.

Reducing and eventually eliminating poverty … is hard to achieve in the developing world with ever-increasing population growth. Reducing and eventually eliminating poverty requires modernization and industrialization. Bringing everyone in the world up to First World standards would require several planets worth of resources, because there are already so many people on the planet [16]. Western standards of living have become the benchmark for what everybody would like to achieve worldwide. The more people there are globally, the more people there are who demand Western standards of living.

Ensuring sexual equality and guaranteeing women control over their own reproductive decisions … have been achieved to an extent, especially in developed nations where a plateau has been reached in terms of birth rates and where, in many cases, fertility rates have dropped [12]. The result, however, is that low population growth often means a slowdown in economic growth, because improved production methods cannot always offset a reduction in the number of people available for the labor force. Due to the growth imperative, economies cannot stagnate for too long and so low birthrates are often compensated for by mass immigration programs to replenish the workforce [13] [14].

To conclude, the possibility of becoming trapped in spirals of environmental decline, poverty, and unrest, leading to social, economic, and environmental collapse – as predicted in the 1992 report – will remain an almost inevitable outcome due to the economic growth imperative which, today, is almost universally embraced by individuals, corporations and governments.

A New Ethic

The World Scientists’ report of 1992 talks about the need for a new ethic, but it’s difficult to see how a new ethic would be embraced while the majority of people hold onto the economic growth imperative. Only a change in our collective inner attitude could change our collective outer conduct.

Should the Spirit of the Age change organically, a new ethic could potentially arrive naturally, (as discussed in Parts 3 and  5), but that would require a shift in the metaphysical energy of the age which would result in a general shift in human thinking. Such a shift will arrive incrementally – but may not arrive soon enough to avoid a collapse of our civilization.

As we know, the problem we are facing is that the material growth imperative is responsible for the consistent destruction of the environment and biosphere because our global industrial civilization depends on the burning of polluting fossil fuels. This continuous destruction threatens to eventually result in our planet becoming uninhabitable.

A time will eventually come when humans will be less materialistic in terms of their thinking and would naturally want to move away from the material growth imperative (see Part 5) but, until such time, everything points to the fact that it would be up to individuals to make such a shift on their own (as far as that would be possible for them), both in thinking and in lifestyle.

When physical resource limits for further economic expansion and continuous material growth eventually set in to the extent that the majority of people are personally and directly affected, a general shift in thinking may occur. Regardless, lifestyle changes will eventually be forced upon people due to a decline in the availability of affordable fossil fuels and due to climate change (See: Limits to Growth – A Final Warning.)

Eventually, the number of people motivated to shift to another form of growth would swell exponentially and they would then follow in the footsteps of those individuals who had made the shift earlier on. In the meantime, all evidence points to the fact that the vast majority of people would only choose to make changes that involve a reduction in quality of life through external circumstances. They will not choose to do so except if it is absolutely necessary.

There Are No Limits To Growth

There are no limits to growth. Although there are limits to external growth, there are no limits to internal growth. One thing that will never change is our will to grow. As humans, we are absolutely driven to grow. The very reason why we are here is to grow – but not only materially so, and that is where we need to change our thinking. What has to change is the way that we grow. We need to shift our approach from being outer-growth-oriented to inner-growth-oriented.

The Great Shift

Growth is cyclical; sometimes it is material and sometimes it is spiritual (as illustrated in Part 5). We have entered an era of exponential spiritual growth while the window for material growth is closing. Most people are so committed to material growth that they are unable to make the shift in advance – and few are even contemplating it.

From Circles to Spirals

Material growth is a closed circle – a self-reinforcing loop that relies on the continuous availability of limited external material resources, some of which we will eventually run out of, without there being any substitutes.

Spiritual growth in the form of inner self-development is an open, ascending spiral with infinite growth potential that draws on unlimited intangible resources within and which can be tapped indefinitely for internal expansion.

Making the Shift

The whole objective of self-development and self-transformation is to grow beyond the general state of being that is the standard level of development of the times.  Those who follow this path become the pioneers who traverse The Valley of Shadows in advance. They transcend the limits of the present paradigm early by living in the next paradigm consciously and practically, while still being in the old paradigm at the same time.

The Inner Growth Imperative

The inner growth imperative will, one day, become as powerful as the outer growth imperative is today. To be in line with the new energy in advance, we would need to switch over from an external economic growth imperative – based on material and physical accumulation and consumption – to an internal self-realization growth imperative that is based on internal expansion and the accumulation of non-tangible inner-wealth.

Once we have made this shift consciously and intellectually, we will have the ability to be happy with less and we will be able to embrace the coming changes more naturally. We will also have reduced our carbon footprint in advance. Individuals who choose this path are a minority, but they will be better positioned to pioneer and conceptualize new ways of living compared to people living exclusively in a material growth paradigm physically and mentally.

The Vision Quest

We have to evolve into creating for ourselves non-material comforts and pleasures. We have to create an environment that would provide peace and spiritual prosperity, notwithstanding having less material abundance. We have to formulate a new ethic that allows for personal and individual freedoms within the context of a renewed responsibility to our community and our environment at the same time.

This and more are achievable, but it would require forward-thinking people who are motivated to make an early shift. While we still have time, we need to envision the world that we would like to live in. It is most likely going to be a low-carbon or post-carbon civilization, meaning that we are going to return to a slower way of life. Taking a positive view of this probable future and having a pragmatic approach towards it would enable us to envision solutions more clearly as we shift.

Towards Simplicity

The meaning of progress and development will change. In the future, it would mean a return to a simpler life, combined with personal inner development, as opposed to a complex life with external development in the form of possessions and status.

We have to revert to the Great Year Within and uplift ourselves. We have to spiral upwards along with the upwards-moving energy on the ascending arc of human evolution. Such a state can only be reached through self-development.

The more people start moving in this direction and combine it with a one-foot-out approach – spending more time in nature – the sooner we will make the transition in advance and the more people will be available to build resilient communities in anticipation of the coming changes.

By J.J. Montagnier

Copyright © · All Rights Reserved · EnergyShifts.net

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.


  1. http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_c/popups/mod13t01s009.html
  2. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.RUR.TOTL.ZS
  3. https://ourworldindata.org/economic-growth#urbanisation-and-prosperity
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_mobility
  5. https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth
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  7. http://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/sites/sw/files/Warning_article_with_supp_11-13-17.pdf
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  9. https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2018-02-07-ozone-layer-thinning-climate-change-chemicals-global-warming
  10. https://www.economicshelp.org/macroeconomics/economic-growth/0
  11. http://euanmearns.com/eroei-for-beginners
  12. https://ourworldindata.org/fertility-rate
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependency_ratio
  14. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-lowest-birth-rates-in-the-world.html
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_transition
  16. https://persquaremile.com/2012/08/08/if-the-worlds-population-lived-like/

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.

(5) The Yin and Yang of Growth

In front of them lie the bright foundations of a New World. Those who have managed to traverse the Valley of Shadows in advance have become transformed by the process. They are now able to add their unique individual building blocks to the foundations of a bright New World while the Old World continues to crumble  behind them.

The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

The evolutionary drive of humans seems to know no bounds, to the extent that it would override obvious resource limits when it comes to material growth. Yet, many indigenous peoples around the world have willingly continued to live within their natural resource boundaries and have continued to do so even during our very materialistic times.

This phenomenon is very likely by design, because for there to be built-in species’ resilience on the planet some foundational cultures need to remain in place in the event of advanced civilizations collapsing. Wiser and simpler ways of living would then still be in place that could be emulated or returned to until new civilizations rise again.

An overlap of civilizations, cultures and communities, with different levels of complexity as a feature, has resulted in the weaving of a rich tapestry that is the history of human progress and development.  For such continuous diversity to unfold, natural breaks in continuity between the rise and fall of civilizations would need to occur from time to time.

Each civilization has a timeline that matches its life cycle. In the same way that humans are powerfully driven to build grand civilizations, civilizations eventually run out of steam and peter out or collapse spectacularly due to forces apparently beyond their control. The Classic Maya civilization and the Roman Empire were cases in point.

The best that could be done when facing a collapse scenario, it would seem, is to aim for a soft landing or a slow decline rather than being caught up in a sudden and destructive unwinding of a complex system.

Keeping an eye out for signs of collapse would always be a wise thing to do and, when they appear, planning accordingly would be the prudent thing to do. However, knowing what to plan for would require an expansive big picture view that would ideally also offer some kind of road map for the future.

Energy Mapping

A big picture view of growth and decline would require a framework that could measure not only material growth, but also human growth in terms of the rise and fall of human consciousness. It is, after all, human consciousness that directs the rise and fall of civilizations.

Such frameworks do exist; they can be found in ancient metaphysical energy-measuring and energy-tracking systems. One such system is the collection of ancient Mesoamerican calendar systems from Central America, composed of numerous overlapping and interlocking calendar cogs and wheels that measure different evolutionary cycles, processes and phenomena. The Maya calendars are the most well-known amongst the  Mesoamerican calendars (as explored in previous chapters.)

The Vedic Great Year

Another such framework is the 24,000-year procession of the equinoxes’ cycle known as the Vedic Great Year from ancient India, as interpreted by the Hindu Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri in his acclaimed book “The Holy Science” published in 1894. In this book, he sets out to correct an error that was made in the calculation of world ages during the Kali Yuga Dark Age (at the time, all ages were erroneously multiplied by 360) [1].

In the Vedic Great Year – which is a combined circular and cyclic system – evolutionary processes flow outwards and downwards from the spiritual source at the top of the cycle into material growth for the first half of the cycle. In Theosophy, this process is described as a descent of spirit into matter and is known as involution [2].

During the second half of the Great Year, after crossing the halfway mark at the bottom of the cycle (which would mark a spiritual low point and a material high point), evolutionary processes start flowing upwards again, this time inwards back towards the original source at the top of the cycle.

This happens through ever-diminishing material growth and ever-increasing spiritual growth as the growth process moves along the ascending arc. In Theosophy, this process is described as an ascent of spirit out of matter and is known as evolution [2].

The shift point from involution to evolution happened in the year AD 498 at the very bottom of the Great Year which marked a low point for human consciousness. Notably, the collapse of the Roman Empire concluded around that time.

Energy Overshoot

We are presently [in 2018] 1,520 years into the 12,000-year ascending arc of the Vedic Great Year [3]. The good news is that we are evolving out of matter as we speak and that we have been doing so for quite some time. On the surface of it, however, it would appear to be the other way around, i.e. that the world is devolving further into matter and materialism, and that is because we are deep into energy overshoot.

The Four Yugas

Each 12,000-year half cycle of the Great Year is segmented into four distinct ages, each with its own characteristics: an Iron Age known as Kali Yuga (2,400 years), a Bronze Age known as Dwapara Yuga (2,400 years), a Silver Age known as Treta Yuga (3,600 years) and a Golden Age known as Satya Yuga (4,800 years) [4].

The Golden Age at the top is the most spiritual age of all; the Iron Age at the bottom is the most materialistic; the Bronze Age has a more subtle materialism; and the Silver Age is quite light in materialism. The higher you go, the less influence material energy has; and the lower you go, the more materialistic it becomes.

The Golden Age at the top and the Iron Age at the bottom of the cycle are ‘cut in half’ by the symbolic shift points from ascending to descending energy and vice versa respectively [See Fig. 3 – Yuga Cycle: descending on right, ascending on left].

To recap: Spiritual energy has its strongest concentration in the top half of the Great Year, covering both the ascending and descending arcs, and material energy has its strongest concentration in the bottom half of the Great Year, covering both arcs, too.

Kali Yuga, the Iron Age, had already been active on the descending arc for 1,200 years prior to the involution to evolution shift point in AD 498. It then progressed upwards on the ascending arc for another 1,200 years until the year 1698 when our present age, Dwapara Yuga, commenced. We have been in this Bronze Age of Dwapara Yuga for 320 years at the time of writing in 2018 [3].

Energy Transitions

As we have learned in previous chapters, all cyclical energy systems have transition phases from one age to the next which cause energy overlap. In the Great Year, these transition phases are known as sandhis – and they take around 200 years to complete.

Dwapara Yuga that started in 1698 (around AD 1700) only became fully active, therefore, 200 years later in the year 1898 (around AD 1900.) This means that, energy-wise, we have only been in it fully for 120 years since the 200-year transition phase was completed. Our Bronze Age is, therefore, still at a very young age and still in the process of ‘growing up’ [See Fig 2: ‘Yuga Spiral’].

This is significant in terms of pinpointing where we are, because it shows that in the big scheme of things we have only just recently stepped out of the Vedic Dark Age (the very materialistic Kali Yuga Iron Age.) In addition, even though the 200-year sandhi was completed 120 years ago, our Dwapara Yuga is still to a large extent under the influence of Kali Yuga (which will be illustrated in detail in a future installment.)

Built into the Cycle

In the overall context of the Vedic Great Year, we can thus observe that material overshoot is, in fact, built into the cycle. In a general sense, that would mean that we are still metaphysically bound by materialism, because – as noted before – materialism dominates most of the bottom half of the Great Year, covering both the descending and ascending arcs.

As Above, So Below

The universe is governed by energy, and the metaphysical configuration of the energy influences what happens materially. The strong tendency for humans to be materialistic is thus explained by this phenomenon – it is due to the influence of metaphysical material energy on human consciousness.

As material energy weakens gradually on the ascending arc of the Great Year, it will incrementally fade out. That will happen to the extent that social, societal and civilizational structures based solely on materialism will start to crumble (we have already entered such a state.)  New systems that are more in line with the new incoming energy configuration would then be required to take the place of the old structures.

However, a gap may develop between the collapsing of old systems and the establishing of new ones due to the energy still being in flux, which could make it difficult for anything of a lasting nature to form. Once the energy has settled, new structures should be able to form naturally. In the meantime, we are in an old-paradigm overshoot – intellectually, philosophically and spiritually speaking – while the seeds of new growth are still forming.

The Great Year Within

It’s worth noting at this point that within every individual resides a symbolic Vedic Great Year. Individuals can be at different levels of spirituality and materialism than the general position would indicate in the Great Year. Some people could still be living in Kali Yuga, while others may have progressed much further along the ascending arc.

The Great Shift

As energy continues to shift upwards, it will become increasingly difficult to hold on to the old paradigm. The more individuals start focusing on inner growth – which is what The Great Shift is all about – the closer they will bring humanity into line with the naturally evolving direction of energy growth that is taking place in the universe, which is a shift from material growth to spiritual growth.

Continue to Chapter 6 >> 

By J.J. Montagnier

Copyright © · All Rights Reserved · EnergyShifts.net

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. 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holy_Science
[2] http://davidpratt.info/cyclicevo.htm
[3] All calculations were made according to the Yuga timeline dates and shift points listed in: Astrological World Cycles by Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) Published in Serial Format in 1932-33
[4] Astrological World Cycles by Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) Published in Serial Format in 1932-33.
Bibliography & Further Reading
Astrological World Cycles by Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) Published in Serial Format in 1932-33.
The Sacred Tree – The Daiva Yugas and The World Cycles of Human Evolution.

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.

(4) 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 the next chapters, 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 on 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 and internally)

“So below” (materially and externally)

If we are not internally prepared for external changes in the world, they would appear to us on the outside 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 the section that is considered to be the most important part by translators. The rest of the prophecy consists of a few additional sentences, which we will touch on later.

The wording of the English version differs, depending on the translation and the codex from which it was taken, 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 used; this 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

The words “feast” and “famine” could be further interpreted in various ways. In the context of our discussion, we will consider these words to generally mean “economic growth” and “economic decline”.

In his book, The Mayan Prophecies, Kenneth Johnson explains that most scholars apply mainly two interpretations to this prophecy – namely, that in half of the Katun there would be prosperity and in the other half poverty 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 sometimes (less commonly) be interpreted literally. The meaning often falls somewhere in between the symbolic and the literal. As a thought experiment, we will consider the possibility of there being a literal meaning, too, during our analyses.

First Easy, Then Difficult

As explained in Part 3, Katuns (19.7-year time periods) are divided into two 9.85 year halves – and the half has a length close to that of a decade. However, 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 should be read in reverse, i.e. that the first half of Katun 2 Ahau (2012-2022) will continue to be relatively “easy” (there will be continued economic growth) and that the second half (2022-2032) will be difficult (there will be an economic 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 concise while being as comprehensive as possible at the same time. In the process, we will inadvertently touch 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. Considering how familiar we are with the abundance of choice in everything that we do and consume, imagining the arrival of “famine” in a real sense is almost impossible for those of us living in the developed world.

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 the phenomenon.

Some people in the developed world may even have come close to poverty themselves 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 cheques 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 standards of living that people are used to in the first world rely on large volumes of 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 what their local environments are 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 as possible. Some countries fall somewhere in between with sections of their populations just surviving while other sections live in abundance.

The Making of an Illusion

Abundance can only truly be measured by consuming what is only locally available in order to measure if the environment can support local population numbers and consumption habits. If it can’t, we are overconsuming. If nobody has local abundance anymore, then global abundance is an illusion and everybody is overconsuming everywhere.

The downside of not living within one’s own means as a group is 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 how rich or poor countries are. Ultimately, everybody will be impacted.

In the process of living out the illusion of abundance, the future, in terms of arriving at a reasonable quality of life for everyone worldwide, is being consumed in advance, especially by populations that demand a higher quality of life than others [2].

Limits to Limitlessness

A global economic system that depends on infinite economic growth driven by unlimited resource extraction, coupled with endless hyper-consumption as a lifestyle, has – over time – been exported around the world and virtually all nations have adopted it.

The consequence of this is that the first world has locked itself and the rest of the world into a very specific and very set trajectory, i.e. endless, infinite, unlimited, non-stop material growth and expansion forever – or for as long as the raw materials and fossil fuels would last.

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

Catching Up

In the meantime, lots of consumer goods and technology have, in recent years, also become available to those who can afford them in poorer nations, and that has significantly increased the quality of life of people worldwide.

Technology has, in many cases, leapfrogged infrastructure development completely, thereby accelerating 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 being 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 be interrupted or become constrained for some reason, people in most 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 important raw materials or by having favourable conditions for agriculture and food production. Some countries have smaller populations and, thus, fewer mouths to feed and fewer cars to run – so there’s an overall lower strain on their environments and a lower demand for fossil fuel.

In many poorer nations, there are still people who predominantly rely on local produce due to subsistence living and agricultural lifestyles. People in urban locations in developing countries often still live within cultural environments that are generally more community oriented or more based on a spirit of sharing and that of 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 should, for example, food imports 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 community in the USA who have maintained their rural way of life for hundreds of years in communities that are based on self-reliance, self-sufficiency and simplicity. Importantly, they have avoided becoming too dependent on advanced technologies. The most likely paradigm shift for the Amish would be city dwellers arriving in their rural areas asking for assistance with survival.

That being said, even the Amish and the present-day Maya people in Central America (for example) rely on goods that are brought to local markets with vehicles that operate on fuel and diesel. Therefore, should there be any form of fuel supply shortages in general, even more- resilient groups would have to adapt. However, due to having preserved and maintained most of their survival skills, along with their orientation towards simple living, it would be much easier for them to cope than for the majority of consumer-oriented city dwellers who simply don’t have any reference points for “going back in time”.

By J.J. Montagnier

Continue to Part 5 >>

Copyright © · All Rights Reserved · EnergyShifts.net

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.

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.

References & Statistics:

  1. Edmonson, Heaven Born Merida and its Destiny, p. 228.
  2. List of countries by food consumption: https://ourworldindata.org/food-per-person
  1. List of countries by food energy intake: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_food_energy_intake
  1. World food waste statistics: http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/world_food_consumption_statistics/world_food_waste_statistics
  1. Which countries waste the most food? https://wastelesssavemore.sainsburys.co.uk/whats-happening/swadlincote/blog/which-countries-waste-the-most-food
  1. List of countries by oil consumption: https://www.indexmundi.com/energy/?product=oil&graph=consumption&display=rank
  1. List of countries by oil Imports: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_imports
  2. To be explored in a future chapter – in the meantime please see the Video: Final Warning – Limits to Growth.
  3. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/worlds-most-ancient-race-traced-in-dna-study-1677113.html

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.

(3) Paradigm Shifts in the Age of Polarity

Mild Paradigm Shifts

An example of a mild paradigm shift happened for many people during and after the unexpected global financial crisis of 2008. That crisis had been forecasted by lone voices for quite some time before it happened. Those voices were independent financial analysts who had been paying close attention to real unfolding non-mainstream events, but few people paid heed to their warnings. Virtually until the last moment, mainstream economic analysts painted a rosy picture and ignored the evident-enough signs.

Although often unexpected, financial crises do happen. They are not obscure or unknown events. In fact, we expect them to roll around every once in a while. In the case of the financial crash in 2008, many people could still remember the Dot Com crash of 2001 which was still etched on the minds of those who had worked in the IT sector back then.

An Instant Paradigm Shift

Many ideas were floated about what could or would happen on or around December 21, 2012 – some of them bordering on the fantastic: duality would disappear, the magnetic poles would switch positions or shift, instant telepathy would ensue, volcanoes would pop, earthquakes would shake and tectonic plates would shift.

Nothing of the sort happened on that day, and the result was an epic let-down for many people who had expected an instant paradigm shift [1]. Thus, most people lost further interest and got on with their lives.

A Real Material Paradigm Shift

An example of a real paradigm shift would be if we had to revert from our present-day, modern, industrial-age lifestyles to pre-industrial, traditional, agriculture-oriented lifestyles in a relatively short period of time, say, within a decade or two. That would constitute a real paradigm shift. However, having to live with limited access to electricity, for example, or without machinery or automation would, perhaps, be just too far-fetched an idea to contemplate.

Going back in time in practice would be completely counter-intuitive to what we would normally conceive of as going forward, which would be to use more-advanced technologies. In modern times, paradigm shifts are often thought of as being linear events, like all jobs being taken over by robots – a shift that would require using more electricity, not less. While holding that thought, let’s consider the concept of paradigm shifts a bit further.

The Shifts of the Short Ages

In the context of the Maya calendars, a shift happening from one short age (which consists of approximately 20 years) to the next would constitute a mild paradigm shift. Such a transition would happen within a short-enough time frame for most people to become aware that many things seem to be changing at the same time, which would make it seem as if time is speeding up; yet, actual changes would be happening slowly enough to not cause a shock to people’s systems. At first, there may be some resistance to some of the changes, but most people would eventually adapt to the new paradigm.

Individuals who are somewhat traditional or more consciously autonomous would usually assess social and cultural changes according to their own personal values, principles and ethics – which they had already clearly defined – and would then make conscious decisions about going along with certain new trends or not.  They may eventually settle somewhere in the middle, retaining some of their old ways and adopting some of the new ones depending on what suits them best.

Energies at Play

Trends happening in post-modern societies these days are generally perceived within the context of moving forward, i.e. “progressing”. Whether negative or positive, they are considered as progress nonetheless – and when changes produce negative results they are perceived as being the price that we have to pay for progress. That is because post-modern Western culture is not values-, principles- or ethics-based (anymore), but trends-driven. Society, therefore, tends to go along with whatever new is taken up by society in general – and that is usually commercially driven.

Nevertheless, few people are aware that there are also energetic movements at play in the universe which can influence real events and trends. On a higher level, metaphysical energy influences the Spirit of the Age (collective consciousness), and when that shifts it causes behavioral changes in people’s ways of thinking which are reflected in their attitudes. These changes are usually most clearly reflected in group attitudes.

By having done away with traditional internal structures in the form of human value systems (which would usually regulate external conduct), group consciousness is today much more prone to being affected by the negative aspects of the Spirit of the Age than before. Today, technology – in the form of personal devices – provides a broadcasting channel for the boundary-less (and anonymous) expression and projection of the negative as much as for the positive elements of the Spirit of the Age.

Decadeology vs. Katunology

When we consult extensive online discussions about cultural changes over the decades – a practice known as ‘decadeology’ – we find that there is consensus in forums dedicated to the subject of when major cultural shifts took place (see appendix).

The objective of decadeology is to identify the distinctive cultural Spirit of the Age of each decade, for example, how 80’s culture differed from 90’s culture. However, ‘decadeologists’ seem to accept that decadeology is not an exact science because cultural shifts never seem to happen exactly at the beginning or ending of Gregorian calendar decades.

A Maya Katun measures 19.7 years, and a half-Katun measures 9.85 years.  The midpoint of a Katun indicates a peak. The two sides (halves) of a Katun are slightly different in character from each other, due to ascending and descending energy. Lengthwise, half-Katuns are almost equivalent to decades but are almost never exactly synchronized with the start or end dates of decades.

When decades are compared with half-Katuns, it can be observed that cultural shifts tend to take place around dates closely matching Katun and half-Katun shift points.

Maya “Katunology” could, therefore, be considered more accurate than Gregorian decadeology, because Katunology is based on finely calculated energy shifts corroborated by centuries of observation, is recorded in mythology and is also embedded in the symbolism of the archetypes and numbers (known as Tones) that are used in the Maya calendars. The Gregorian calendar, however, does not imply any energy shifting, and it does not contain any symbolism.

We can conclude then that the cultural shifts observed and recorded by decadeologists are (unbeknownst to them) more than likely Katun energy shifts observed and placed within the context of decades.

Transition Time Frames

When considering some of the actual cultural shifts of past decades by using discussions in the decadeology community as a source, we can get a feeling for the time frame that cultural shifts took to occur. This may give us a sense of the impact that shifting energy can have on group psychology and group consciousness. On average, energy shifts appear to take between two and four years to complete, due to overlap each way.

The famous Maya calendar symbolic shift point of December 21, 2012 signified both an actual Katun shift point as well as a shift point between Great Cycles (which last 5,125 years each). However, the energy of the new Katun took until around mid-2014 or, perhaps, a bit later to really show itself.

In comparison, the Great Cycle shift from the Maya Fourth to Fifth World will take around 200 more years to reach completion when factoring in its combined transition, gestation and maturation stages. The transition period alone is likely to take around 40 years (as discussed in Part 2).

Instant paradigm shifts are, therefore, very rare occurrences, because even shifts between short 19.7-year Katun ages can take as long as three to four years to complete.

From a Jungian perspective, periodic expectations for instant paradigm shifts more than likely stem from archetypical impulses within our consciousness. Certain archetypes within our psyches (on an individual and on a group level) subconsciously recognize or pick up on imminent energy shifts, but the archetypes are unable to interpret the duration of time that shifts would take to complete or when changes would manifest in practice.

These instinctual archetypical early-warning impulses are – most probably – subconscious markers and indicators that have the purpose of prompting us into action. However, working out how we should act in preparation for change is something that has to be done consciously on an intellectual level, and it has then to be applied on a practical level. Few people follow through on this part of the process, as most people tend to remain in “the sky-is-falling” phase (see: The Inside Story).

An Age of Polarity

Today, in 2017, the polarity of Katun 2 Ahau (2012-2032) is clear to see, but the arrival of such strong polarity with polarization as a result has been counter-intuitive to the expectations that many people had for a post-2012 world, i.e. a linear progression towards harmony. One of the reasons for expectations of natural continuity was that the previous Katun, Katun 4 Ahau (1993-2012), was relatively well balanced in nature.

However, evolution is not linear; it is cyclical. The fact that our Western civilization makes use of a modern, non-cyclical (Gregorian) calendar means that most people have been out of the energy loop. If more attention were paid to Katun shifts as opposed to mainly the Great Cycle shift, and if it were not approached solely from a linear perspective, we might have been more prepared for the very high levels of polarity that we can observe almost everywhere right now.

Having said that, even non-linearity has energetic continuity by design; energetically speaking, Katun 4 Ahau had the natural purpose of preparing us for Katun 2 Ahau. During the highly spiritual Katun 4 Ahau, we were being prepared for the volatile dualism of Katun 2 Ahau.

Spiritually speaking, this could also be viewed from the perspective of human souls being in training. The personal development that had been achieved on an individual level during Katun 4 Ahau is now being tested on a group level in Katun 2 Ahau. For example, do we allow ourselves to be swept up in identity politics (which is a form of group-think), or are we able to remain individually autonomous enough to act only in accordance with our personal value systems?

Younger people who have not experienced Katun 4 Ahau can still benefit from both Katuns as they have the advantage of learning directly from the volatile energies of the present Katun age – while they can also benefit from the Spirit of the Age of the previous Katun by selectively accessing the positive elements of that age through some of its cultural artifacts which can be found in some of its television series, books, cinema and art.

Metaphysical Paradigm Shifts

In the meantime, it is important to keep in mind that there are important underlying Great Cycle factors that have already come online, even if the overall Great Cycle transition will take a long time to complete. These are more-subtle, growing energies and, due to some of them being completely new and unknown to us, their characteristics hold the potential for generating unexpected paradigm shifts.

Exploring Mild Paradigm Shifts

Shift Point 1993: Katun 6 Ahau (1973-1993) shifts to Katun 4 Ahau (1993-2012)

Let us now return to what mild paradigm shifts may look like, and let’s imagine the example of someone who had become stranded on an isolated island with no communications from mid-1991 to mid-1995 – a time period of around four years which consists of the shift point in 1993 with an energy overlap of more or less two years each way. On being rescued and on returning to society in 1995, this person would have been under the impression that things were more or less similar to when they left.

In the meantime, while they were away, trends – such as music, fashion, technology, and attitudes – had changed significantly, to the extent that by 1995 they fully embodied the general trends of the 1990s as opposed to those of the late ’80s (and very early ’90s). Our returnee might have been surprised to find that things had changed so much after they left. Nevertheless, having to adapt to this new paradigm on their return would not have thrown them off-balance completely – notwithstanding the probable light culture shock that they were experiencing. Things were different but not completely different.

There seems to be a relatively strong consensus amongst decadeologists that the actual cultural shift point between the ’80s and ’90s only happened in 1993, and not in 1990 as one would have expected [2][3][4][6]. The year 1993 just happens to be the exact shift point from Katun 4 Ahau to Katun 2 Ahau in the Maya Short Count calendar.

The Spirit of the Age: Katun 4 Ahau

By 1995, the general atmosphere in the developed world incorporated some or all of the following characteristics: a general positive outlook for the future and a sense that peace was increasing in the world (it was post-Cold War and politically, culturally and socially the world was warming up again); a relatively good level of civility and courtesy amongst people and a live-and-let-live philosophy; strong individuality in the sense of personal autonomy; a relatively good level of trust amongst people; a relatively strong concern for the environment; mostly free-range childhoods; and just the right amount of technology [3][5] so that it did not take over people’s lives completely.

Spirituality seemed to be in revival, and books such as The Alchemist and The Celestine Prophecy were popular. The television series Friends was growing in popularity and would later become one of the most watched television series of all time. The film Groundhog Day was notable for its depiction of the trials and tribulations of personal development in a humorous and entertaining way.

Shift Point 2012: Katun 4 Ahau (1993-2012) shifts to Katun 2 Ahau (2012-2032)

Let’s return to our example of a castaway with no communications, but this time let’s imagine that the person was away from mid-2010 to mid-2014 – also, a time period of four years. The actual shift point was in 2012, but the transition took a couple of years to manifest and there was some overlap each way.

Upon returning in 2014, our ex-castaway would probably have been surprised to see virtually everyone, young and old, walking around with Smartphones. That trend had already started in 2010, but it was much less ubiquitous back then. However, by 2014, social networking had more or less completely taken over all social and non-professional communications.

As for music, art, fashion and creativity, there seems to be a consensus on decadeology forums about the lack of many new or original happenings and that there was a general lack of quality in the early- and mid-2010s [6].

The Spirit of the Age: Katun 2 Ahau

By mid-2014, and especially by the start of 2015, the general atmosphere in the developed world already incorporated some of the following characteristics: a general negative outlook for the future and a growing sense that peace was decreasing in the world (the year 2014 was a record year for world conflicts [8][9]); a much-deteriorated level of civility and courtesy amongst people, especially online; a victimhood mentality with the attitude that the world and other people owed people something; weak individuality in terms of personal autonomy combined with high levels of group conformity and finding personal identity in group identity; rapidly deteriorating levels of trust amongst people; a limited concern for the environment; childhoods featuring parents being overprotective on the one hand and outsourcing their parenting to teachers and personal devices on the other; and personal technologies having generally more or less completely taken over people’s lives [5][6][7].

Other impacting features were gender relations taking a turn for the worse; race relations deteriorating; sectarian, cultural and religious conflicts and their negative effects dominating the news more than ever; and protests, especially in the developed world, visibly increasing – and becoming ever more violent [7]. While some of these protests seemed to have legitimate causes, others seemed to be for superficial or artificial reasons, and it often came across as if people were protesting “for the sake of it” or simply to be part of recreational group activities.

The Book Fifty Shades of Grey crossed the 100 million sales mark in 2014, whilst, amongst others, television series such as Black Mirror and Game of Thrones were getting huge ratings. On the big screen, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was raking it in at the box office.

The Yin and Yang of the Katuns

Naturally, neither of the above Katun snapshots tells the whole story – all ages have their positives and negatives and, indeed, their ups and downs. However, the atmosphere of Katun 4 Ahau was well balanced in general, while Katun 2 Ahau is rather unbalanced in comparison, to put it mildly.

From a Maya calendar perspective, the Spirit of the Age of each of these two examples conforms on a basic level to the symbolism found in their numbers known as Tones in the Maya calendars: Tone 4 generally results in a balanced and harmonious atmosphere, while Tone 2 can mean a doubling in strength of duality and polarity.

That’s not to say that positive things are not also happening during our volatile times, but the positives are clearly less evident than the negatives in this Spirit of the Age, compared with that of the one before.

Dealing with Duality    

On the surface of it then, with having some perspective on how the present Spirit of the Age differs from the one before, it should not be too difficult for us to conclude that there are various things that we can do in order to work with the elevated levels of polarity that are present in this age.

More than anything, a starting point for each individual could be to define their personal values clearly. Continuously shifting energy, a strong feature of Katun 2 Ahau, is likely to test individual integrity and group values on a regular basis by highlighting inconsistencies, double standards and hypocrisy.

With the influence of the Fifth Element assisting in exposing inconsistencies, the ideal energetic circumstances have been created by the universe to prompt the clarifying and refining of personal values and personal beliefs, whether ideological or otherwise.

Learning how to clearly distinguish between right and wrong in reference to one’s own conscience is, after all, one of the very objectives of the presence of duality and polarity within our paradigm here on Earth.

Paradigm Balancers and Pillar Raisers

There are also other things we can do to avoid falling into the natural traps of polarization. We could revert to levels of etiquette and social behavior as practised during Katun 4 Ahau; we could treat people online in the same way as we treat people off-line; we can set boundaries, show respect and insist on mutual respect in return; we can wean ourselves off excessive use of personal technologies and set time aside for personal development; we can assume more personal responsibility in shaping our social culture; and we can foster self-responsibility within our children and promote that in society in general, thereby dissolving the all-pervasive victimhood culture present in the developed world today.

The Tzolkin as a Guidance System

Positive values, traits and characteristics are naturally embedded in the energies of the days in the sacred Maya Tzolkin calendar. By following the Tzolkin on a daily basis and by paying attention to the higher qualities contained in the combined energies of each day, we can acquire, embrace and come to embody natural, organic and consistent universal values that would not only serve our own selves but would also serve our communities and our environment, regardless of which Katun we find ourselves in.

This process would strengthen conscious personal autonomy and individual identity by getting to know our intrinsic archetypical traits on an individual level. Moreover, it would make us more prepared for dealing with some of the real paradigm shifts that we will be encountering during the rest of this Katun and the one that will follow.

Continue to Part 4 >>

By J.J. Montagnier 

Copyright © · All Rights Reserved · EnergyShifts.net

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, 

Internet Resources:

[1] http://komonews.com/news/nation-world/thousands-mark-conclusion-of-5125-year-mayan-calendar-cycle-11-20-2015
[2] http://www.city-data.com/forum/history/1729747-did-early-90s-still-feel-like-3.html
[3] http://www.city-data.com/forum/history/1729747-did-early-90s-still-feel-like-5.html
[4] http://www.city-data.com/forum/history/1729747-did-early-90s-still-feel-like-6.html
[5] http://www.city-data.com/forum/history/1729747-did-early-90s-still-feel-like-7.html
[6] http://www.city-data.com/forum/history/1729747-did-early-90s-still-feel-like-8.html
[8] http://www.ucdp.uu.se/
[9] http://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2016/01/Conflict-and-violence-in-the-21st-century-Current-trends-as-observed-in-empirical-research-and-statistics-Mr.-Alexandre-Marc-Chief-Specialist-Fragility-Conflict-and-Violence-World-Bank-Group.pdf
The Book of Destiny – Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Mayans and the Prophecy of 2012, by Carlos Barrios (published in 2009)
The Mayan Prophecies – The Renewal of the World 2012-2072, by Kenneth Johnson, (published in 2012)
The Maya Katun Prophecies, by Bruce Scofield (article: Alternate Perceptions, 1996)
The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, by Ralph Roys (published in 1933)
The Long and Short of the Mayan Calendar (published in The Mountain Astrologer, Dec. 2004 / Jan. 2005), by Bruce Scofield

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.

(2) The Valley of Shadows in the Landscape of Light

After Dark

So-called “dark ages” are not only dark; they are also light. Although we tend to view dark ages with some trepidation or, perhaps, even with fear, they serve an important role. It is during dark times that we seek out our own light and the light of others. Dark times  show up the shadows in the world and bring them to the surface. It is only by being confronted by darkness that we can truly aspire to light. Thus, from darkness comes light.

One cycle leads to another, and one prepares us for the other. In other words, the whole process should be approached with a certain attitude – namely, an understanding that cycles, whether light or dark, are evolutionary in nature and in purpose, and that we are able to work with these energies, either way.

The Mayan Fifth World, a 5,125-year Great Cycle that started at the end of 2012 is said to hold immense opportunity for spiritual growth. Presently, we are still transitioning into the Fifth World, while slowly pulling out of the Fourth. By seeing the opportunities that this transition holds for personal transformation, we can all become conscious co-creators of the new world as we transition.

Knowing the Energies

By understanding the characteristics of some of the energies, we are able to know how to work with them. Being familiar with the energies can enable us to step over some of their negative manifestations and traits, and it can allow us to fully experience their positive aspects and influences – and gain from them. This process happens by honoring their symbolism through integrating their purpose in our thought processes and by then applying that to our daily living. When we are completely unaware of these metaphysical energies, we are at their disposal rather than the other way around.

The easiest way for newcomers – unfamiliar with the Mayan calendars – to start learning about the archetypes that embody the energies is to follow the sacred Tzolkin calendar on a daily basis. This opens up a broader understanding of the cyclical nature – and the interactions – of the characteristics of the various energies with each other. For example, the continuity from one cycle to the next becomes apparent; and the repetitive nature of them in an altered form every time – in a gradual, never-ending, cyclical, but yet overall linear progression of renewal – eventually comes into view.

Where we are presently

Presently (from 2012 to 2032), we are in two very long light ages and one short dark age. Oxlajuj Tiku is a 676-year cycle that started in 1987. The Mayan Fifth World is a 5,125- year Great Cycle that started at the end of 2012. Both of these long cycles are considered to have energetic characteristics that are positive, and so these cycles are regarded as two ages of light. Katun 2 Ahau is a 19.7-year short cycle that started on 22 December, 2012 and will end on 7 September, 2032. This short cycle has symbolism and energy that relate more to a negative cycle, or dark age, due to its polarity.

Katun 2 Ahau appears to have the strongest influence right now, as shorter cycles have a tendency to be stronger in overt influence. The two underlying cycles of light are currently more subtle in their influence. Their influence will increase as time progresses within the context of cycles flowing in a wavelike motion, with a wave being low in energy at its start and high at its peak.

What we are going through

Katun 2 Ahau, which started in 2012 and will end in 2032, will be followed up by another 19.7-year short dark age, i.e. Katun 13 Ahau, which ends on May 25, 2052. These two volatile Katuns add up to 39.4 years in total. Afterwards, on May 26, 2052, Katun 11 Ahau will follow which would be a 19.7-year age with many positive aspects and could be considered an age of light.

As mentioned before – and it is always worth keeping in mind – no dark age has ever been without light and no light age has ever been without dark. Essentially, we are passing through a temporary dark phase during an overall long period of increasing light. Put differently, we are traversing a valley of shadows in the landscape of light.

Where we are going to

Symbolically speaking, the year 2052 should be very significant because from that year onwards we will be in three light ages at the same time, overlapping and blending with each other. It would also be the point at which, if all goes well, we should complete the initial forty-year Fourth to Fifth World Great Cycle transition phase. By then, the energies of the two underlying long light ages would have grown stronger in influence, and we would have progressed out of a significant amount of the Fourth World’s hold. The Fifth World’s gestation period should commence around 2052. Although much of the initial transition turmoil should be behind us by then, some may continue, but new growth and rejuvenation should already be sprouting in earnest around then.

Premature Fear and Ecstasy

The Mayan Fifth World’s energy will only be fully active in a couple of hundred years when all growth stages – transition, gestation and maturation – have been completed. Virtually everyone who wrote about 2012 forgot to factor these stages in, which explains why “nothing happened” on 21 December, 2012. That date simply marked the beginning of a 40-year-long initial transition phase, which would then be followed by two more phases – and we are only five years into the first phase (at the time of writing in 2017.) The upside is that the world hasn’t ended, and we still have time to prepare for the upcoming changes.

Focusing on the Horizon

Naturally, our main interest is in completing the initial transition phase successfully, because this will take up most of the rest of the lives of many, if not most, of us alive today. It is, however, very important to remain cognizant of the bigger picture in order to know where we are going to, so that we can make it through to 2052. While symbolically keeping that arrival point in mind, we would be able to focus more specifically on the intermediate and near future, i.e. the next 15 years – the rest of Katun 2 Ahau (we will take a closer look at that in future chapters).

Transition, Gestation & Maturation

Please see the list of cycles and prophecies in PART 1

Before we continue further, it is important to be aware of how the transition period has been calculated. Although specific information about the length of a Great Cycle’s transition phase is hard to come by, we do (by now) know that all cycles have transition, gestation and maturation phases. Fortunately, details about the duration of time-of- transition phases of other cycles are available, for example, in the case of the 676-year Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle that started in 1987.

In The Book of Destiny, we learn from Carlos Barrios that the Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle’s transition phase lasted about five years – from the cycle’s starting point in 1987 until 1992. Following that, there was a gestation period of nine years, from 1992 to 2001 and then, finally, there was a period of maturation that lasted for another thirteen years, from 2001 to 2014. In other words, this cycle only became fully active 27 years after it had started.

By using the Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle’s details, we can thereby make a somewhat rudimentary calculation to arrive at the approximate length of the Great Cycle’s transition phase. The main objective of this exercise is not to arrive at absolute accuracy, but rather to illustrate further that the transition phase from the Fourth to Fifth World will last for several decades, rather than it having been an instant shift in 2012.

The amount of times that 676 (length of the Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle) fits into 5,125 (length of the Great Cycle), which is 7.581 (seven point five eight one), can be multiplied by the length of the Oxlajuj Tiku’s transition stage, which is five years. Said differently: If the Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle is 7.581 times smaller than the Great Cycle, then the Great Cycle’s transition stage should be 7.581 times larger than Oxlajuj Tiku’s transition stage, which, according to Carlos Barrios, is 5 years.

This gives us a rough estimation, proportionally speaking, of the transition length for the Great Cycle. The result is more or less 38 years (7.581 x 5 years = 37.9 years to be exact), and that figure matches quite closely to the 39.4 years of the combined length of time of Katuns 2 Ahau and 13 Ahau – and it also roughly coincides with the dates of those two Katuns, i.e. 2012 – 2052.

Energetically speaking, it makes logical sense that the transition stage from the Fourth to the Fifth Worlds would happen during the final two Katuns in the last 256-year Katun Cycle of the Fourth World, and that those two Katuns would also happen to be two of the most volatile Katuns overall. It also just happens to be that these two Katuns overlap from the Fourth World into the Fifth World, meaning that they are exactly placed in the position where a transition from one 5,125-year Great Cycle to the next is meant to take place. This point of view is also alluded to by Bruce Scofield, in his article, The Maya Katun Prophecies [3].

Everything has Purpose

It becomes clear to anyone who studies this subject that there is an energetic process at work in the universe. If there is, indeed, a process at work, there must be purpose to such a process. Becoming aware of these energy cycles gives us a glimpse of the evolutionary processes organized by the hidden hand of the universe. Every stage of development has purpose, and each stage is a preparatory stage for the next stage – whether dark or light.

As Above, so Below

As has been pointed out before, the Fifth World is prophesied to ultimately result in a state of harmony at its peak. However, for humans to be compatible with such a state or condition implies that they would have to go through a significant transformation or, as prophesied in Maya mythology, a transmutation process [1]. The process is already underway and will continue throughout the gestation and maturation phases, too.

This should impress upon all of us the significance of the time period we have entered, which will last for several generations. Moreover, the changes, as they accelerate, could very well result in a shock to the system for people unaware of the times in which we live. Being familiar with the evolutionary processes of the universe, as measured by the Maya calendars, could, however, provide much needed guidance in traversing the valley of shadows in the landscape of light.

Taking the Initiative

To date – most probably due to comfort zones and distractions – it would seem that, in general, the majority of humans are most likely not going to be taking the initiative to transform themselves in time before changes in the world potentially end up transforming them. And, indeed, it is debatable whether most people have the wherewithal of doing so all by themselves. For example, we have almost run out of time in terms of altering our approach to resource depletion and climate change; and yet, it is still business as usual. Thus, one could argue that, hypothetically speaking, in order to assist humanity with an internal transformation – a prophetic requirement for transitioning into the Fifth World – the external environment would have to change profoundly in order to bring about such a significant transformation within people.

This scenario fits the prophecies for Katuns 2 and 13 Ahau very well. The energies and circumstances are lined up exactly as they should be in order to bring about a subsequent grand renewal of the world, externally (first) and (then) internally. After the collapse of the old world, a new world with a new approach will arise from the ashes.

Why am I here, now?

At this point, we may wonder why we as individuals have to go through this process – and especially if we factor in the journey of the soul in Maya mythology. We may wonder why we, as journeying souls, would choose to be here, right now. Why would we not choose to arrive in the world at the height of a Great Cycle when spirituality and consciousness would be at their peak? Surely that would be much more enriching and much more fun! The answer is that we have, perhaps, chosen to be in the world at a stage in time that would hold the greatest potential for spiritual growth and that such times are not necessarily meant to be the easiest of times.

If we choose not to take full responsibility for being here right now, we could simply let all the changes sweep us along (and, perhaps, sweep us away) and hope for the best. Alternatively, each person can engage actively with the process by getting to know their energetically assigned role and their higher purpose – and by doing so they can consciously assist in the birthing of the new world. This will allow them to reach their full potential as conscious co-creators in the grand cycles of life.

Individual Purpose

In order to consciously participate in the renewal of the world, individuals would need to become familiar with their own energetic purpose and personal destiny. That can be achieved through the sacred Maya Tzolkin calendar and The Maya Cross. These tools are ideal for comprehensive self-discovery, and readers are encouraged to use them to start exploring their place in the world and to become acquainted with their deep authentic inner selves, which would naturally lead the way.

Continue to Part 3 >> 

By J.J. Montagnier

Copyright © · All Rights Reserved · EnergyShifts.net

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. 

Resources & Self-discovery Tools:

In-depth Mayan Cross readings can be ordered from Mayan Majix and Kenneth Johnson.
Daily sacred Tzolkin posts with integrated mythology can be found at Mark Elmy’s site The Four Pillars. 
Free personal Mayan Cross summarised reports can be found at My Mayan Sign. 


  1. The Book of Destiny – Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Mayans and the Prophecy of 2012, by Carlos Barrios (published in 2009). [1] [2]. 
  2. The Mayan Prophecies – The Renewal of the World 2012 – 2072, by Kenneth Johnson, (published in 2012).
  3. The Maya Katun Prophecies, by Bruce Scofield (article: Alternate Perceptions, 1996).
  4. The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, by Ralph Roys (published in 1933).
  5. The Long and Short of the Mayan Calendar (Published in The Mountain Astrologer, Dec 2004 /Jan 2005) By Bruce Scofield

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.