Friday, May 20, 2011

Passion Party #363 - The Appeal of the Apocalypse

From the demise of capitalism
to the second coming of Jesus,
history is littered with people that predicted that
The End Of Days is upon us.

I have lived long enough to remember various doomsday scenarios
involving overpopulation, resource depletion
and various calendars that somehow predicted
The End Is Near.
The basic fallacy in all these predictions
is the idea that Someone - or something -
cares enough to destroy mankind,
as if we are so important.

I have first-hand experience in a situation like this.
Back in the '70s I was in a therapy group with a very charismatic leader. One day at our weekly gathering he announced that he was selling everything he owned (including the house we were meeting in) and was moving out of Los Angeles, because the End was Near. He recommended that we all do the same thing and join him.
Although I thought perhaps this was a joke, it soon became clear that it was not. Many of the people in the group took this to heart, and joined the leader in moving out of Los Angeles (which, by the way, was not destroyed in the '70s, except in the movies a few times.)

The lesson I learned from this experience is
when someone predicts the End of the World, run the other way!
What they really are predicting is
the end of Their World.
Whether it ends in a bang or a whimper, that person's world will no longer be the same.
Sometimes it ends in disaster for people, like with Jim Jones.
In my case, it ended with the leader moving out to the desert, where he started a new life with a new wife.
The previous world ended
and a new world begins.
And in this way, their prediction is right.

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