Search This Blog

Monday, October 07, 2013

What Is The Nature Of The Present Apocalypse?

People often talk of end-of-times or Apocalypse in the present time, and they present a myriad of reasons and assertions to back up their claims.

The most astute among them do not assign a precise date for the Apocalypse, because it has been amply shown that the perfection of prophetic intuitions fails to take the random nature of the universe into effect; in essence, most prophets are not only without respect in their own country, but they downright miss the mark.
(There is a good study on how failed prophets cope: When Prophecy Fails, Festinger et alii.)

Now, what is the Nature of the Present Day Apocalypse we are facing?
What is the nature of that Apocalypse, which some describe in terms of politics, some as return to a united Jerusalem, some as the economic disaster which finally gets its act together - the disaster having merely tried a few steps in 2008, and which is now ready to go on American Idol and dance like Baron Samedi - some as the coming of the Mahdi, some as a world war Z when a good deal of the populace turns into mindless zombies?

Apocalypses - those things which are hidden to our view - come in pairs.

There is always a complementarity in such great changes, essentially a "good cop" and a "bad cop".

Niels Bohr, the father of Quantum Mechanics, left us with the notion of such complementarity, which we promptly have forgotten, to our dismay.

I believe that every cloud does have a silver lining, and we chose which part of the cloud to view. This choice implies, of course, that we also choose the weather and climate patterns associated with our favorite cloud part: red skies at morning, sailors' take warning, etc.
The cloud and the accompanying storm or calm is a package deal.

Now, what is the momentous alternate to the "bad cop" Apocalypse that even the Reverend Billy Graham is talking about? What is the silver lining? It's hard to say, since no one is talking about it, but we know it is there, skulking around the perimeter of our lynch mob that is carrying pitchforks and torches for the Apocalypse.

Perhaps you have read the recent study of the mathematical analysis of human history:
Science Daily

Math Explains History: Simulation Accurately Captures the Evolution of Ancient Complex Societies

Sep. 23, 2013 — The question of how human societies evolve from small groups to the huge, anonymous and complex societies of today has been answered mathematically, accurately matching the historical record on the emergence of complex states in the ancient world.

Intense warfare is the evolutionary driver of large complex societies, according to new research from a trans-disciplinary team at the University of Connecticut, the University of Exeter in England, and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis

(NIMBioS). The study appears this week as an open-access article in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...

... The study focuses on the interaction of ecology and geography as well as the spread of military innovations and predicts that selection for ultra-social institutions that allow for cooperation in huge groups of genetically unrelated individuals and large-scale complex states, is greater where warfare is more intense...

This study represents the paradigm of our social knowledge of our behavior: a dismal science of acquisitiveness and unbridled desire and political vendettas. It seems that Brotherhood has evolved from the ancient Machiavellian fossil maxim of  "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
There is a missing link which would turn enmity into brotherhood, but it will probably be found to be due to the same alchemy that transforms plowshares into swords.

The Complement of the Apocalypse, the "good cop" to the Apocalypse "bad cop" is the spiritual step which turns away from warfare and violence as the nursery of human change.

More than any destruction, more than any disaster, we fear the demands that the Holy makes upon us!
We fear to discover our beliefs are tinsel.
We fear to find our prayers are vain.
We fear the burdens that Saintliness demands of us!

So we turn to the easier Bad Cop of Apocalyptic Destruction.
At least we may sleep again.


It has been pointed out to me that there is one and one only Apocalypse, and that is when God wraps up the world.

I'm not so sure of that little bit of belief.
I have told the story of those people who have mistaken their own coming pain or their own future deaths for the Apocalypse. It is an easy mistake for the tender-hearted.

Many people and many endings suggest many points of view, many universes corresponding to those points of view, and many endings... some of which could could conceivably be rewritten.

Edgar Guest once wrote:
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
Of all the things absolutes do - such as absolute endings to our story - is they save us from having to do too much of that heap o' livin' in a world t' make it home....

Sometimes we "have t' roam."


No comments: