That's a great point. Like a New-Age, which many do feel it is. Rather than a cataclysm of events happening, it would be a dawning of awakening and realization. However, with all the bad news we hear day in and day out (which I think the media is capitalizing on the fear projecting about 2012, however, none the less, there is a lot of unfortunate things happening at the hands of humans), many feel it could be an end to the physical way of life. Some think the only way for a real cleansing of the mind to happen is if something really terrible happens that forces us to give up "our" self induced stupidity and selfishness by finally realizing how destructive we have been.
I find it really interesting you should bring up Greek, as I've recently heard the new testament was written in Greek, not Hebrew, originally. Considering Revelations is all about an Armageddon, in symbolic language that many in the west adhere to as truth and also potentially correlate to 2012, it's not surprising there is so much fear surrounding the idea. I wonder if some of the words have been mistranslated from the Greek meaning, to have more of a fearful slant, which the west seems to resonate with so commonly.
There are a number of threads on here talking about 2012, you can do a search or click on the tag 2012 (unfortunately though, not everyone tags their threads so not all would come up when searching that way).
Here's a good thread on 2012 you may like.
I haven't read the Lost Symbol yet.