Out on a ledge with Jock Whitehouse

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Or a once-in-lifetime chance to rebalance the globe.

Twenty-four hundred years ago the tribes that would become the Maya created a calendar that stopped on December 21, 2012 A.D. On that day, the Mayans believed the sun would arise from the center of the galaxy and with it would come the end of the Fifth World Age.

For countless writers, including those in Hollywood, that means a modern-day apocalypse, with fires, earthquakes and maybe even a few locusts thrown in for good measure. In moralistic terms, 2012 could bring tragedy of Biblical proportion, visited upon a decadent world that must now pay the price for its excess and conflict. The Rapture on steroids.

While the thought of divine retribution appeals to some, Jock Whitehouse has a more positive interpretation. For him, the end of the Mayan calendar doesn’t mean the end of the world but an opportunity to clean up the mess we’ve helped to create. It’s a chance discover the oneness of all creation, and take some responsibility for its upkeep.

“The tipping point is excess,” Jock says. The answer is to do some soul-searching, to realize we are all divine, one with the creation and part of the solution. With the world wracked by physical and financial crises, from tsunamis to the meltdown in the housing market, Jock has ample evidence of an apocalypse if he wanted to scare people for fun and profit. But he considers that counterproductive. He’d rather bring a message of hope to a world that sorely needs it. He’s also a credible source for these revelations, since like most of us he’s fed many of his own demons.

Ledge of Quetzal coverA former advertising executive who now lives in Mexico, Jock burned out on corporate life and after career, health and family issues went on a quest to find a saner way to live. The result is The Ledge of Quetzal: Beyond 2012, the story of Daniel Bancroft, a corporate refuge who hikes through Mexico to fulfill his spiritual destiny. Along the way he encounters guides, snakes and gods who help him to realize the universal truths that can save the world from its own excess.

I won’t summarize Jock’s three universal truths. Taken out of context they sound like so much New Age mysticism. In the flow of Daniel’s journey they glow like gems, as does the writing itself. It is lean and straightforward. Jock has a deft hand when it comes to shifts in time, and his muscular verbs bring Mexico and its indigenous people to life. The book is a pleasure to read, the revelations a natural progression of one man’s struggle to grow through his pain.

There will be many books and movies over the next three years that will exploit the commercial potential of the Mayan prophecy. The Ledge of Quetzal may offer an antidote to that.

Next: an interview with the author.

— Jeff Widmer