Thanks for your post and your comments, they are interesting. I believe modern material science has hoodwinked many of us into abandoning our true, spiritual selves and this makes us often extremely uncomfortable. This distress is a sign to us that our present course is wrong, just as the joys you’ve been experiencing are a strong message that the spiritual path is good for you. Yoga and meditation are particularly strong, practical exercises to accompany all the heady ideas ! I hope you continue to thrive on this path.
I believe scepticism is healthy in all avenues and we need to be equally sceptical about modern science’s dogma that the material reality is all there is, when clearly there is compelling evidence of all kinds that this is not so. There are various higher levels of energy, spiritual energy. As you say, it is unscientific to ignore such evidence. Still, it is important to keep one’s scepticism in spiritual matters too. There are many avenues which are either not good or not ideal for our path. One can too easily be overwhelmed or distracted from a path which is useful. Just as the material world can be dazzling and distracting. One doesn’t just want to go for what is the most fantastic and glittering game but for what is useful for ourselves. The Tibetans dedicate all their spiritual work to ‘the benefit of all sentient beings’ and this gives a healthy, valuable focus. Sometimes one has to be concerned about oneself but if one’s ultimate aim is to benefit others, this is usually the best way to look after oneself. Serving others gives real satisfaction and joy.
As to your specific question about the Mayan calendar and the predictions for 2012, I cannot speak with any authority on this. I haven’t seen anything which clearly shows what these prophecies are or even how the date of 2012 has been recognised. There is a good deal of ‘noise’ as you put it, but not much clarity as far as I can make out. Perhaps I’ve missed something.
I work particularly with our own western Christian tradition which I think has great depths, for all that the Church itself is often at odds with its own teachings, it seems. This has been a problem for many centuries : it is an extremely old faith. Prophecy is particularly strong strand in Christianity, following the prophets of Judaism. I discuss some of the prophecies of Revelation in the Destiny section of Heaven on Earth, which is online. I believe the timing of this is linked strongly to the astrological ages which are 2,162 years long. We seem to be at about the same stage in the new age of Aquarius now as when the historical (Essene) Messiah appeared at the beginning of the last age of Pisces. (See my Dead Sea Scrolls sections, p.13,14, History in Heaven on Earth and elsewhere on the site.) The prophecy is the Messiah will return again at the beginning of the new age and I believe this is the same expectation recognised in Hinduism and Buddhism. Exciting times.
I believe Hell is a state of mind rather than a place and the same can be said for the Kingdom of Heaven. For many of us life on Earth is hell, with all the tortures of the damned, disguised as normal life. You seem to have described something of that in your post ! Most of us wouldn’t wish hell on our worst enemies, we would just want them to learn the error of their ways, and we should expect God, or the Universal Spirit, to be rather more loving. We do suffer so that we learn what is wrong. Similarly we don’t want to protect children too much, they have to learn life’s lessons for themselves, which can be painful but there is no other way to learn. That’s perhaps what life is for, a constant series of challenges, some extremely tough. Not as punishments but as lessons to make us stronger. If we understood life better, from a spiritual perspective, we might manage these challenges better.
An American hypnotherapist, Michael Newton, has published a couple of books on the hundreds of interviews he’s had with clients who, under deep hypnosis, have been able to recall precise details, not just of their past lives, but of their lives between lives. These seem to be quite credible accounts, obtained by quite credible methods (Newton has trained many others to perform these sessions) and they give an extraordinary insight into what we’re here for and especially what awaits us at death. We all go to Heaven and are looked after wonderfully, though we do regret our past mistakes and try to learn to do better next time. The main emphasis seems to be on loving one another better : ‘do as you would be done by.’ The idea that our challenges on Earth are designed to help us grow stronger, is an important theme. Michael Newton’s first book is Journey of Souls, the second, Destiny of Souls.