Apocalypse myth captivates humanity

To some, the current state of the world is troubling. In a number of regions throughout the world there is widespread unemployment and poverty, the rise and spread of extremist terrorism and pervasive sickness. Often times, attempting to solve problems such as these can either exacerbate them or create new problems entirely. The apparent futility of this situation is naturally upsetting and leaves people looking for comfort. Therefore, it is not too hard to believe that people find a sort of solace in the legends of an apocalypse or the end of the world.

Some of us feel that our world is beyond help; the only way to really set everything on the right track is to have it completely destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. There are also the devoutly religious who desperately want to prove that their religion is correct. These individuals take the Judeo-Christian Bible at face value.

That is why a group of ultra-conservative Christian scholars argued that the recent lunar eclipse or “blood moon” is one of the signs of the impending apocalypse. This belief comes from a prediction made by John the Apostle in the Book of Revelation at the end of the New Testament.

I believe that all of the conspiracy theories surrounding the eclipse came about due to a desire for attention. As I mentioned previously, people often jump at apocalyptic predictions because they are displeased with the state of affairs in the world and want it all to end. An emotionally-charged religious figure presenting biblical evidence that the end is near is appealing to those people.

When many people believed that the world would end in 2012, I believed it as well, mostly because of the idea that a highly advanced ancient culture predicted it. I grew up learning that the Mayan culture possessed a great deal of knowledge about the world and celestial movements. They managed to draw up a calendar that predicted future celestial events very accurately. Therefore, I was much more inclined to believe that they were able to predict the world’s end.

This belief was further upheld by the fact that most of the world’s religions have an apocalypse myth incorporated into their theology. In fact, the reason why Catholics cannot be cremated is because of the idea that the soul will be reunited with the body at the end of time. Given this compounding evidence, many feel validated in ascribing to the belief that the end of the world is imminent.

Another reason that many people believe in an approaching apocalypse is simply because of the human ego and the thought that our generation is special enough to witness a truly earth-shatter- ing event. I always used to fantasize about what it would be like to witness the end of the world and, most importantly, survive it. All human beings have an ego of some sort, and the idea that we could be strong and resourceful enough to live through the end of days is an expression of that.

Ultimately, society’s fervent obsession with predicting an oncoming apocalypse is fueled by a myriad of factors: disappointment with the world’s current state and a desire to begin anew, the end- of-world legends and rhetoric present in many advanced ancient cultures and major religions and the ego driven desire to witness the unimaginable.

However, it appears that all the apocalyptic fervor may be for naught because, according to NASA, the world is not ending any time soon; NASA officials believe that the Earth will be around for another 5.6 billion years. Given this knowledge concerning the predicted prolonged fate of the planet, we can shift our focus to actually solving the problems and issues that incited the apocalypse obsession in the first place.

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