Five thousand years ago the Hindus predicted that around the year 2,000 A.D. an end would come the age of Kaliki Yoga (The Age of Darkness or The Iron Age) and the Kalki Avatar would usher in the age of Krta Yuga – the Golden Age. Similarly, 5,260 years ago the Mayans predicted the end of the 5th Great Cycle in 2012.
They predicted that the transit between ages would be a period of significant upheaval. The Hopi do not assign dates to their predictions, but their scenarios (the gourd of ashes) correlate very closely with those of the Hindu and Maya.
The Bible, The Torah and The Koran also all speak of cataclysmic times ahead. Indeed, all three speak of a future period of great disruption to be followed by redemption. This period has become known to the Jews as “The Messianic Era,” or to Muslims as “The End of Days,” or to Christians as “Armageddon”.
There is no implication in any of these prophesies that the world will come to an end, but they all do predict a period of significant upheaval followed by a great period of peace. Isaiah 2:2-3 tells us:
“And it will be in the end of days, the mountain of the House of God will be established at the head of the mountains, . . . And they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. And nation shall not lift up sword against nation and they shall no longer learn war.”
In the book of Daniel (1), a number of prophecies describe the End of Days. An angel explains to Daniel that the meaning of the visions will remain undecipherable until the events themselves: “And he said, ‘Go Daniel, for the things are closed up and sealed until the end time.” (Daniel 12:10)
There is a common assumption that The End of Days will come as some kind of heavenly intervention. That would contravene the way God has done things in the past. God seems to prefer using agencies such as floods or earthquakes to effect the transformations He desires – Noah, etc. Consider that an ecological disaster is more in keeping with God’s traditional way of doing things.
What’s happening with our reaction too, is sort of strange if you stop and think about it. We can see the end of the tunnel but there’s no light! It is dark, the end is clearly cataclysmic and yet, we don’t want to make changes that would significantly affect our lifestyle, even to save ourselves. That’s the definition of insanity! Or, is this the way things are supposed to be? Are we witness to “The End of Days”? Daniel Smith writes in the NY Times:(2)
The first decade of the 21st century was shaping up to be the hottest in recorded history. In 2007, the Arctic sea ice shrank to a level not seen in centuries. That same year, the NASA climatologist James Hansen, who has been ringing the climate alarm since the 1980s, announced that in order to elude the most devastating consequences, we’d need to maintain carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a level of 350 parts per million. But we’d already surpassed 380, and the figure was rising. (It has since reached 400 p.p.m.)
Animal and plant species, meanwhile, were dying out at a spectacular rate. Scientists were beginning to warn that human activity – greenhouse-gas emissions, urbanization, the global spread of invasive species – was driving the planet toward a “mass extinction” event, something that has occurred only five times since life emerged, 3.5 billion years ago.
“Mass extinction event!” What or who are we talking about? If you live on either coast – it’s you. Later it will be Chicago, Albuquerque and Omaha – perhaps for your children.
The simple fact is, we need to save the planet from humans. It’s become a cliche`, but if we eliminated people, the earth would flourish. And the “human machine,” as British environmentalist Paul Kingsnorth, puts it, has grown to such a size that breakdown is inevitable. What, then, do we do? Kingsnorth says, “I was just listening and looking at the facts and thinking: Wow, we are really screwed here. We are not going to stop this from happening.”
Certainly our corporations and the government aren’t helping. Governments will kick the can down the road until it’s too late for meaningful change. The corporations are throwing all their considerable weight to deny global warming, support factory food, increase urbanization, environmental destruction, fisheries depletion and general species eradication. So much for the system providing meaningful help. And without the organized mechanisms of society supporting us, we feel powerless to do much on our own.
The facts are increasingly daunting. Kingsnorth said, “You look at every trend that environmentalists like me have been trying to stop for 50 years, and every single thing has gotten worse. . . We are living through the ‘age of ecocide,” . . .
Kingsnorth and many other environmentalists maintain that it’s already too late. They conclude that we’ve turned a corner and there is no going back. The facts seem to support their position. Even if some people do survive, the most optimistic predictions look pretty dire. Daniel Sarewitz writes in Slate:
Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and typhoons, earthquakes, and droughts will afflict more people than ever, at greater costs than ever, in poor nations and rich alike.
Epidemics of infectious diseases will threaten large populations and could even spread rapidly across large swaths of the planet.
Crops will fail and people will starve.
Wild fires, biodiversity loss, forest die-offs, and other signs of global ecosystem stress will continue to rise.
Civil strife will flare up in trouble spots around the world, some predictable, others unexpected, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in a state of misery and despair, prompting waves of migration, outstripping the financial resources necessary to respond, and severely testing our diplomatic and aid capabilities.
Availability of high-quality water will be stretched to the limits in many places around the world.
New extremes of temperature and other weather phenomena will be recorded in more and more places.
That’s right: Millions will die; still more will be displaced; nations and economies will teeter at the edge of disaster as populist demagogues rise, regional stabilities are tested, and environmental despoliation expands.
Is this “The End of Days,” or “Armageddon”? Perhaps. Will humans survive? Possibly. But every indication is that for the survivors, it’s going to be a rough road.
What can you do?
The first thing is to reconnect with your faith (not necessarily your religion). If predictions hold, these events will be bigger and more devastating than any of us can cope with individually. Community will be essential as a survival resource. Get to know your neighbors! Also, focusing your intention through your spirituality will serve as a mitigating influence.
The other thing you can do is to become more self-reliant. Our economic infrastructure is incredibly interdependent and therefore rather fragile. It is unlikely you’ll be able to rely on the supermarket or gas station as you have in the past. In fact, many of the things you rely on today simply won’t be available. Third and Fourth world people have survived without modern conveniences and technology for years and may actually be better positioned to survive than we are.
The specific things you can do: turn that patch of grass outside your home into a vegetable garden and plant some fruit trees. Get some chickens. Learn to save and filter rainwater. Get some solar panels. Re-acquaint yourself with your bicycle. Even if none of the predicted things come to pass, these things will make your life healthier and are far better for the planet.
. . . And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
. . . 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.. . . 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
The Abomination of Desolation
15 So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, . . . 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. . .
The Coming of the Son of Man
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, . .
No One Knows That Day and Hour
36 But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. . . . 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
(1) The Book of Daniel is sometimes edited in Christian texts to exclude the prophesies because they were written after the cut-off date for inclusion in the Bible. The omitted chapters (6-12) can be found at: Daniel Ch 6.
(2) It’s the End of the World as We Know It . . . and He Feels Fine, By Daniel Smith, April 17, 2014, NY Times.
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