A movement based on millennial and New Age teachings is finding some unusual bedfellows.
Jose Arguelles, a pioneer New Age leader, has been in the forefront of a millennial movement predicting an imminent period of tribulation and planetary rebirth based on a return to the ancient Mayan calendar. Arguelles is considered a key popularizer of the New Age movement due to his leadership of the Harmonic Convergence, a much-publicized event in 1987 that called humanity to usher in a new era through meditation and visualization.
His more recent themes are also common on the New Age scene, such as restoring the harmonic relationship between humans and nature and attaining a universal consciousness that will wipe out materialism. In an interview with Arguelles in Gnosis magazine (Fall), Richard Smoley writes that Arguelles’ prediction — based on complex calculations — that the year 2012 will usher in this new age is shared by New Age and alternative spirituality leaders such as Terence McKenna and Benjamin Creme.
Arguelles says that his followers are preparing for the “galactic age” by already following the Mayan calendar in groups formed around the world, particularly throughout Latin America, Japan, North America and Europe. In order to form a “Universal Religion” that will promote the “spiritual unification of the species,” Arguelles has made unusual allies.
In the interview, Arguelles announces he has converted to the Nation of Islam. He adds that he has come to a “meeting of minds” with Minister Louis Farrakhan concerning his prophesies and is working with Islamic scholars to “effect radial changes in the Islamic world” based on his work. Arguelles says that one of the reasons for this convergence is that in the past year Farrakhan has recognized the “need to universalize” his faith by embracing all religions.
(Gnosis, P.O. Box 14217, San Francisco, CA 94114-0217)