The earthquakes, tsunami, and nuclear events in Japan this week have the world thinking. I knew it would only be a matter of days before I would come upon stories about it signaling the end of the world.
There have been countless theories throughout time about how and when the world will end. We remember silly ones like the conspiracy theorists who claimed that the Y2K bug was the start of the devastation in the new century that will be our last century on Earth.
There’s Bible prophecy. The Book of Revelation has seven trumpets, two witnesses, a dragon (the devil), the beast (the antichrist) the false prophet, and seven golden bowls. The judgments passed on to our Earth include plague, earthquakes, hailstorms, fire, famine, meteors, and no more drinking water.
Native Americans have their own world’s end predictions.
It’s almost commonly accepted nowadays that humans will eventually destroy the Earth all by themselves. Global warming, pollution, over-population – take your pick.
In the opposite direction, some believe that Earth is slated for another ice age which will kill off all living things.
Astronomers say that billions of years from now, the sun will become a red giant, expanding to a size larger than the Earth’s orbit and consuming Earth in the process.
Robert Frost’s poem “Fire and Ice,” says:
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
If the planet survives that red giant, the sun will eventually shrink, becoming a white dwarf and gradually cooling off until it can no longer warm anything in the solar system.
I have written here several times about all the babble around 2012 and the Mayan calendar. Today I was playing with the HowStuffWorks iPhone app and turned up another 2012 article and podcast.
It’s my current favorite of the Armageddon scenarios because it can be viewed as hopeful. Scientists of repute and on the fringe say the current Great Cycle began Aug. 11, 3114 B.C. making the end Dec. 21, 2012. It’s also the solstice day (in an American election year too) which seems like a wild coincidence, but actually makes sense since the Maya were very connected to those seasonal solar and lunar changes – much more so than modern man.
So, December 21 gets the Mayan mark for being the big day.
My reading in all this leads me to conclude that the Mayan people didn’t actually believe the world was going to end with this cycle. There’s as much (or as little, depending on your point of view) evidence that they believed it would be the start of a new and better cycle and a time of celebration.
What will happen that day? All the usual things.
You use a calendar yourself, don’t you? What happened when 2010 ended? Did New Year’s Day have significant changes? Did you actually feel the new decade begin? Even our own really big calendar cycle – the new millennium – came and went without much greater difference.
I buy into the Mayan reboot on the planet more than the predictions like those of Nostradamus that try to pin down specific people and events.
Our Anglo-Saxon forefathers got so freaked out about the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales in 1086 by William the Conqueror that the resulting Domesday Book took on the tone of the Day of Judgement. “For as the sentence of that strict and terrible last account cannot be evaded by any skillful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to … its sentence cannot be put quashed or set aside with impunity. That is why we have called the book ‘the Book of Judgement’ … because its decisions, like those of the Last Judgement, are unalterable.”
Will there be a December 2012 doomsday or a time of great spiritual awakening or a massive shift in global consciousness?
Spin the Wheel of Fortune and make a choice: Armageddon, the final battle between the Christ and the Anti-Christ in the Christian New Testament, or End times, a prophesied time of tribulation that would precede the Second Coming of the Messiah in Abrahamic religions, or Ragnarök, the ancient Norse prediction of the end of the world or Pralaya, in Hindu mythology or just plain Destruction, in the Brahma Kumaris religion.