"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Nov 4, 2009

Apocalypse NOT

2013: Or, What to Do When the Apocalypse Doesn’t Arrive

by Gary Lachman

The belief in a coming end of the world as we know it may seem understandable to people living in the first decade of the twenty-first century, but a look at history shows that it has been part of Western psychology from the beginning.

The central figure of Western religion, Jesus Christ, told his followers that the end was nigh, and most people who accepted Jesus believed that the cosmic last call would come in their lifetime. Yet Jesus worked within an age-old Jewish tradition that looked to the coming of the Messiah, a religious and political leader who would set the world to rights and, incidentally, free the Chosen People from whomever it was who had conquered them at the time. As Jesus didn’t free the Jews from the Romans—nor seemed able to free himself from them either—the Jews who denied him seem justified in their disbelief. To them, and to the Romans, the Christians who preached a coming Day of Judgment were rather like the urban oracles who inhabit most major cities today, ranting on street corners and pestering passersby to repent...

In his Study of History, an account of the rise and fall of civilizations, the historian Arnold Toynbee argues that there are two stereotypical responses to what he calls a “time of troubles,” the crisis points that make or break a civilization. One is the “archaist,” a desire to return to some previous happy time or golden age. The other is the “futurist,” an urge to accelerate time and leap into a dazzling future. That both offerings are embraced today is, I think, clear. The belief that a saving grace may come from indigenous non-Western people untouched by modernity’s sins is part of a very popular “archaic revival.” Likewise, the trans- or posthumanism that sees salvation in some form of technological marriage between man and computer is equally fashionable. The 2012 scenario seems to partake of both camps: It proposes a return to the beliefs of an ancient civilization in order to make a leap into an unimaginable future. What both strategies share, however, is a desire to escape the present. Given our own “time of troubles,” this seems understandable enough.

Toynbee also believed in what I call the “Goldilocks theory of history,” and to me it makes a lot of sense. If a challenge facing it is too great, he argued, a civilization smashes. If it isn’t great enough, the civilization overcomes it too easily, becomes decadent, and decays. But if the challenge is “just right”—not too great and not too small—it forces the civilization to make sufficient effort to advance creatively.


At 4:00 AM , Blogger Zoro said...

There only needs to be one sort of God, one that inspires, a permissive God. I can only imagine a God incapable of passing judgement and able to let it be.

There is undoubtedly an ontological crisis that has crept into the lair of civilisation. Namely, a widespread practice of the here and now coupled with universal consumerist greed.

There are many ways in which these buggers combined, give people to day the screaming heebee-jeebees. It just takes some time to think it through.


At 5:49 AM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

Yeah, I know what you mean, it takes more work to come to terms with than most will invest these days.

"Now there's yer problem."

The problem seems to be be more with the belief part than the ineffable aspect that can't and won't go away and leave us alone.

Too much is made in trying to create a God small enough to wrap an imagination around, rather than in sufficiently maturing the imagineer to cope with an all inclusive, big-picture reality.

At 5:55 AM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

Then again,
maybe this IS a virtual reality,
and God IS a puppeteer?


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~There is no God and we are his prophets.~

-Cormac McCarthy-

Man is superior to the stars if he lives in the power of superior wisdom. Such a person being the master over heaven and earth by means of his will is a magus and magic is not sorcery but supreme wisdom



'The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them'.....'Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.'.....'In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.'.....'War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.' George Orwell

war is terror

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