It’s past 8 p.m. CST and the “Rapture” predicted by Harold Camping and much publicized by the media in recent days has not happened. Wait, it could have happened at 6 p.m. PST! Did California go down with a 9.0 earthquake? NOPE. No earthquakes in California, no noteworthy earthquakes anywhere. However, there is a volcano erupting in Iceland, the Mississippi River is cresting at 61+ feet and Sarah Palin has the “fire in my belly” for a presidential run. In other words, the world as we know it is over. It ended a while ago.
Yes, that world in which someone living in Ireland was oblivious to what was happening in Africa is finally over, for better or worse. We are as interconnected as we ever have been and the rate at which information is being thrown at us from all directions is mind-boggling. But isn’t that another sign of the times? Hasn’t at least one apocalyptic prophecy pointed out that in the end of times, there will be a world-wide net and everyone/everything would be inter-connected? Yes indeed. Another theory – Time Wave Zero – tells us that in the end, time will speed up and that this time is now. Terrence McKenna, its creator, explained that time would seem to speed up because events of world significance would be happening a lot faster, as would the evolution of our way of life, aided in big part by the use of technology. And then of course is December 12, 2012 – an exact date for the end of civilization that McKenna arrived at using his Time Wave Zero calculations, claiming to have done so without prior knowledge of the now well-known Mayan calendar which ends on the same date.
Is time speeding up? You betcha. Ask yourself how long ago it was that over 200,000 people died after an earthquake in Haiti, how long since the Deep Water Horizon oil spill or even Japan’s 9.0 earthquake which caused a massive tsunami and a nuclear disaster we no longer hear about. Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? That’s because so much has happened since: the Middle East exploded in protests, monster tornadoes killed over 300 people in the U. S. South, oil and gold kept going up while the dollar kept going down, Charlie Sheen was “winning”, Donald Trump threatened to run for president only to pull out before he ever got in, Obama is an American citizen after all, Osama Bin Laden was killed and record floods hit six states along the Mississippi. It seems that we’ve reached a tipping point. A time in which some much is happening so fast that our tolerance levels to bad news and our attention span have gone up and down, respectively.
So, is the world ending? I don’t know. I am sure that everything that begins must eventually end. If that weren’t the case, dinosaurs would still be stumping around this earth. I also know that three years ago, I planted grape vines in my garden and this is the first time they are bearing fruit. I noticed how small a bunch of grapes is when it comes out and how big it gets. I notice how the wisteria climbing up the column on my porch sprouts a “daughter” leaf for each leaf it produces. Life wants to live. Life likes to perpetuate itself. Nature is invasive, reclaiming, at times destructing, unforgiving and beautiful. I do not claim to know what higher force would have our civilization evolve to this level only to be destroyed, but nature does run in cycles and we are part of nature… our bodies, anyway. That’s where things become interesting.
We are not just a collection of bones, muscles and fat that happen to be at the top of the current food chain. Avatars throughout history have reminded us of our divinity, and the very human experience should hint at the ultimate reality of our transcendence. A reality that can only be felt, in silence and has not yet been proven, o disproven. Our conscience reminds us that we are somehow accountable – to ourselves, to a god, to a system. No human programming can erase this feeling and no amount of suffering can destroy the spirit (however defined). So, these are times when I’m reminded of John 18:36 where Jesus says: “My kingdom is not of this world…”. Pick your prophet, you’ll find similar themes. It could be that this world as we know it is ending. It may be that our civilization has peaked and is now in decline. It is possible that all of this “end of the world” hype is just that. It is certain that physical life is over for those who die a natural or tragic death. Whatever the case, and as scary as the prospect of the end is, I choose to believe that if my body perishes, it is so my spirit can live on – without all the suffering of this flesh, albeit also without its pleasures.