If the warning is Mayan, I’m just not buyin’ | Wally's World

Well, just in case you haven’t heard, the world is coming to an end this year. It’s the Mayan calendar, you know. On the 21st of December – which the Mayans surely realized was the first day of winter because they were really into astronomy – their 2000-year-old calendar comes to an end. And various cults, religions and prophets of one type or another attach a great deal of significance to this.

But Mayan scholars and archeologists don’t interpret the calendar’s end as an apocalyptic event;  instead, they think it merely signifies the end of an era and the beginning of another, in which case next year could be the dawning of a new, glorious age. However, I’m inclined to think the Mayans ended their calendar simply because they were tired of fooling around with the damned thing. After charting full moons, equinoxes and eclipses 2,000 years into the future, the astronomer in charge of such calculations finally laid down his “pen” and said to hell with it. Enough is enough.

Many of you probably saw the film “2012” that came out a few years ago. Holy smokes, what a first-class disaster that was; both the events portrayed and the movie in general. There were famines and plagues and wars and earthquakes and ice and heat and floods and God only knows what all. And if you happened to survive all that, you certainly wouldn’t survive that gigantic tsunami that made the actual catastrophe in Japan look like child’s play.

This is only one of many such films. Hollywood has struck box-office gold with end of the world nonsense.

Unfortunately, most Hollywood sci-fi explores and/or predicts a pretty depressing future, often portraying the earth after some apocalyptic event that is never fully explained.

Since the dawn of civilization, man has been predicting the end of the world---or at least the end of the civilization he’s just built. Apparently, the early Egyptian Pharaohs felt our days were numbered and, needless to say, many Christian scriptures predict worldwide calamity. In fact, a literal interpretation of the flood during Noah’s day claims all life on the planet has already been destroyed once. Christ had quite a lot to say on the subject; famine, floods, earthquakes, “wars and rumors of war.” His disciple, Peter, and convert, Paul, perhaps the most important missionaries in the early days of Christianity, both thought these terminal events would happen within their lifetimes, even though Christ allegedly said no one knew when the end would occur.

Nostradamus predicted one catastrophe after another. In the late 1800s, renowned philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche painted a pretty gloomy picture of things to come.

The apocalypse is currently a popular theme among environmentalists and Christian churches. It’s a topic I frequently debate with my Jehovah’s Witnesses friends.

Given the apparent rise in the number of severe earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados and hurricanes, one can’t deny that the apocalyptic signs seem to be everywhere. Couple these with the earth’s growing population, the spreading famine and the lack of clean water and one has to admit that the future doesn’t look especially jolly. Then too, there’s the threat of nuclear annihilation and Armageddon, the final, cataclysmic war.

Personally, I kinda subscribe to the Buddhist idea: The earth and all life on it compose a living force and, like all vital beings, it wants to survive.

It’s not unlike the Western concept of Mother Nature. If you screw around too much with Mother Nature, she’ll strike back with truly awesome fury and our defenses against such vengeance will be revealed for the flimsy farce they are.

Be that as it may, I still remain reasonably confident we’ll be around to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2013.

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