The Story Behind 2012 Time for Change

Interview with Daniel Pinchbeck
Author: Jair Robles

The documentary, 2012 Time for Change, was originally released in 2010. It has been acclaimed at film festivals and continues to be shown at special screenings throughout the United Sates and Canada. SuperConsciousness Magazine reviewed the film for the Spring 2011 issue, “Are You Connected.”

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The Story Behind 2012 Time for Change - Interview with Daniel Pinchbeck

SuperConsciousness spoke with filmmaker, author, narrator and interviewer Daniel Pinchbeck about his intent for the film, the new projects that have emerged as a result, and his personal experiences since its release. Enjoy this exclusive web-only interview!

SC: What was your experience, as an author and conference speaker, during the making of this film?

The Story Behind 2012 Time for Change - Interview with Daniel Pinchbeck

Daniel Pinchbeck: Film is a very powerful media. I wrote the books “Breaking Open the Head” and then “2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl” which came out in 2006. I felt the ideas I had developed in those books were very important, and I wanted to get them out to a greater number of people. Basically, making a film was a natural process. I wanted to put new and controversial ideas beyond the threshold of the people who were already thinking about them. Film is a very powerful tool to be able to do that. I am confident that when I give anyone a copy of the DVD that for those two hours they will think about the crisis we face, the value of psychedelic shamaninc experience, Buckminster Fuller, and transformational ideas about the economy, agriculture and so on. Once those ideas are in their heads, the audience becomes open to them and changed by them.

SC: The film exposes some of the challenges we collectively face, and continues with showing some of the inspiring concepts and actions that some people are engaging to address those issues. Between these two extremes, where do you think humanity is headed?

Pinchbeck: I personally think that we are moving towards a global realization of interdependence. Despite the crises presented in the film, ultimately I think that a unification of humanity will be the result; a kind of awareness of ourselves as being part of a super-organism that is fully integrated with the biosphere.

The Story Behind 2012 Time for Change - Interview with Daniel Pinchbeck

SC: How has the mainstream media responded since the release of the film?

Pinchbeck: The mainstream media has been really negative. For instance, the New York Times review was vindictive and reductive, but I’m used to that. I experienced the same thing with my books, especially the 2012 book.

It appears to me that when the negative programs and practices of a culture are challenged, resistance is automatic, and shows that for the most part, it is difficult for the mainstream to digest. For me, the negative reactions and attacks are actually, in a weird way, a good sign.

SC: In what way has this experience been satisfying for you?

Pinchbeck: I have seen a lot of wonderful, amazing reactions from people who have seen the film. I feel we successfully challenged the audience’s preconceptions and that is one of the more exciting aspects. There are people who are either dismissive around the whole concept of a transformation in consciousness, or those who are cynical to the idea that any meaningful change can take place. When those kinds of people see the film and experience an opening of awareness, that opens up possibilities is an amazing achievement.

SC: One of the important messages in the movie is the idea that change is dependent upon us. Do you find that people are open to the message of self-responsibility?

The Story Behind 2012 Time for Change - Interview with Daniel Pinchbeck

Pinchbeck: One of the main take-aways from the film comes from Lakota Indian Tiokasin Ghosthorse. He talks about the whole concept of a “salvation point mentality,” sees it as very embedded in the Western psyche, and one that indigenous people find very alien. It’s the idea that there is some kind of redemptive course ahead of us, whether it is technology, God or whatever, and that idea robs people of their capacity for self-reliance, self-sufficiency, resiliency, as well as the ability to create in the present moment. That is one of the key things about the film.

People ask me what could happen in 2012. Part of my answer is that I don’t really know, but I don’t really care either. Another part of me feels that 2012 has already occurred. For many people it has already happened which is their shift into the now. This is about realizing in the present moment that regardless of whatever problems you face, there is also a perspective of super consciousness, and that it is a beautiful day. When we get above the rain clouds, the sun is always shining. Beyond whatever is happening at the moment, there is a kind of implicit perfection that is just the nature of reality and its integrity.

There is an integral whole of the nature of what is happening. Rather than being pissed about something that happened or becoming excited about something in the future, it’s more about people connecting with themselves in the present. From that presence of mind, life becomes somewhat organic and we become naturally able to construct a different type of sighting.

The Story Behind 2012 Time for Change - Interview with Daniel Pinchbeck

SC: The book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, is very much about your own personal process of transformation. How has the experience of creating this movie and going out promoting it changed you and influenced your life?

Pinchbeck: To be totally honest, it has actually been somewhat damaging. When my 2012 book came out in 2006 a lot of people were asking me, “What do we do?” I felt like I was put in a position of responsibility, and that I had to help find answers to those questions. Plus, as somebody who had been focusing on the end time of the Mayan calendar, I felt there was urgency due to the potential for catastrophe.

As I looked at what was probably the engineering of 9/11, anthrax attack, climate change with possibility of the ice caps melting, I became overwhelmingly obsessed with the idea of making things happen as quickly as possible. I ended up not really taking very good care of myself and damaging my own health. At this moment I am in a recovery stage. I am trying to learn that while it is an important time, there is also the responsibility to take care of myself, love myself, and be healthy. Perhaps a greater level of responsibility is to find that balance.

The Story Behind 2012 Time for Change - Interview with Daniel Pinchbeck

SC: Is it that we must change ourselves before we change the world?

Pinchbeck: There is a tendency to get stuck, especially when we focus so much on feeling good, and before we reach the phase of recognizing we are cells within the planetary organism (global anatomy). I eventually realized there is no separation, which means while I was having a nice life doing yoga and ayahuasca ceremonies, somebody else is starving in the gutter or being tracked upon by a drone sent out by the US military in Afghanistan, and children get killed by missiles. We all must awaken to a greater spiritual process.

SC: This documentary is your contribution to help raise awareness of the current challenges but also show solutions?

The Story Behind 2012 Time for Change - Interview with Daniel Pinchbeck

Pinchbeck: Yes, we are helping to enact some of those solutions. We created the magazine Reality Sandwich and developed a social network, and now have 45 groups that meet up every month in the US and abroad. Some of the groups are exploring permaculture projects and others are developing healing centers. As we move forward we will be able to see what prototype works best. We will then send that solution through the whole network and beyond. The social network can be found at We are also launching a series of seminars and video courses that are called Evolver Answers.

What are your thoughts about this transformational time? How do you think people will be living beyond 2012? - Tell us below!

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