A thick, poisoned stillness settles over the evening ruins. Lights of the few survivor’s fires gleam from shattered windows like gold coins from between sewer grates. Fear has replaced advancement in the minds of men; for all we thought we would accomplish, our success was rewarded accordingly.
Who survived? Was it the ones that were the most prepared or does chance play its hand in The End? As a child raised in an Armageddon~cult~of~one, thinking that Death’s shroud could cover the world at any moment, I have grown up terrified of being one of those left alive when that elusive End finally came. The Cold War raised me as well, the possibility of surviving a nuclear winter a familiar fear for a new generation.
My siblings and I grew up with a survivalist state of mind. That doesn’t mean we’re prepared for an apocalypse scenario by any means, but we’ve thought about and feared the possibilities most of our lives, along with most humans on the planet.
Every generation fears that it is the last. Religions preach that we’re living in the last days and have driven this message forth every generation for hundreds (possibly thousands) of years. When we look at the grim details of the daily news and the rising troubles of the world we tend to think that the end may, in fact, be sooner than later.
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With this post I set out to write about mankind’s obsession with catastrophe, intending to bring us together and soothe our fears. Once the post was written, called The Irrelevant Apocalypse, I thought that was what I had done. Later that day I realized that my words had only mirrored my own anger in the guise of innocence and sisterhood.
For my lack of fear in the face of possible annihilation, people close to me feel that I am out of touch with current events, ignorant to the state of degradation that the Earth has committed itself to. As described above my family consists of those that sleep with one eye open, whole~heartedly agreeing that the world is going down the tubes. Some believe that Armageddon is at our very doorstep in the form of financial collapse, and experts share those fears. I cannot say that they are wrong, simply that how I look at the facts is different.
My personal journey has been to learn to see the perfection in everything, to see suffering as a tool that we use in order to experience all events and emotions. On comprehending the infinite nature of the eternity before us, possible outcomes that before seemed terrifying become one drop in the universal bucket of water. We have guardians and teachers we don’t realize are beside us. We have gifts that are not visible on the outside, strengths that emerge in times of hardest trials. We have abilities that, when honed, can alter the very physics of the world around us, but these abilities can emerge without honing in times of need. We are not taught these innate survivalist skills in school, and over centuries they have become lost to us, deemed unrealistic, taboo and fantastical.
Most people are so adamant about all that is wrong with the world, and are quick to attack anyone who sees things differently. I can certainly understand how preposterous any positive concept of suffering may seem given the current age. As a youngling in the spirit world, everyone’s attempts to share their fear with me has caused me to become frustrated. This fact was painfully obvious in The Irrelevant Universe. The cure for fear is oneness, togetherness, not trying to be right or pushing against. It was my ego that wrote the previous version of this tale, later a slap in the face when returning to its message in my mind. I couldn’t wait to get home and delete it, and when I finally did get online that evening the site wasn’t working. I saw that one person had read it and was horrified (sorry, whoever you were. Hope it didn’t run you off.)
What I meant to say was that we don’t have to fear Armageddon or the Apocalypse. We don’t have to spend our lives biting nails in wait for The End to arrive and worrying because we are not prepared. If our current comfortable way of life does end we will do what we will do, and only those of us who are schooled in the art of survival can imagine what that will look like.
I am not among them. I would suffer the fate of most people in the world. I would be frightened, but I would set out with the intention of weathering the storm by giving of myself as needs arise. I want to be prepared to act with all the grace I can muster, and I’m sure that wouldn’t be much. Realistically, lessons are lessons, and a catastrophic lesson is one much harder than the rest, but the outcome is the same: emerging from the illusions that we’ve built as walls of a fortress we have become blinded behind. If we can keep that in mind whatever our experience, we can remain as present with ourselves and others as possible.
“Rome will fall,” is a time~tested, iconic quote that most people have heard at least once in their lives. Much of the world could name which countries they feel should fall, and my America is no doubt almost unanimously at the top of this list. I, myself, have feared for my country for its cocksure attitude and often naive opinions concerning the true state of world affairs, as material gain and technological addiction take the forefront where personal growth and acknowledgment of our human family should be. However, large~scale economic collapse has historically affected the entire world, not just one country. If this country falls many others will fall as well. No one wants that to happen.
It has become our way as a majority to fight against current events without any solution in mind, or to believe that one solution trumps another and that whatever solutions is ours is the best. Speaking of trumps, I am the least politically~minded person you will meet, yet even I am outspoken recently against the madmen who attempt to take over this country. The few are judged by the actions of the many, and I can understand the outrage that spreads across the globe while considering the catastrophic possible outcomes of coming elections. Yet, I have no idea how to solve this crisis. I can only observe, vote and hope that the world keeps in mind that we are not all like those who wish to speak for us.
Still, it is too easy to be a Republican anti~Democrat or a Baptist anti~Muslim. We have come to believe that if we like chocolate we should hate vanilla. As well, it is easy to turn on the local news and forget that the media makes it a point to lure us in accordingly, especially in America. My mother often tells a story about sitting around a table at an international center with people from Iran, China, Japan and others, being told that our news tells nothing of the truths that exist in the world, that we only see what they want us to. “How can your country not know what is going on in the world?” one woman asked her. She couldn’t answer. No human knows the true scope of the extent to which we are kept blind.
We have become addicted to the dissent and are quick to take sides in order to place blame. It’s what we want when we turn on the TV at night, even as we are shocked by what we see there. If we weren’t we wouldn’t watch. We buy in to our own destruction, our own bad health and our many frivolous misuses of money, yet are outraged by the rise in terrorist attacks, cancer and the lack of money to feed the hungry. We buy in to every fad and fashion in attempts to divert ourselves from the tragedy around us, to make ourselves feel better about living in times such as these.
Dr. William Larkin of the Applied Neuroscience Institute describes it as a “learned non-use of positive thought”.
Daily reports of the economy become our measures for hopelessness. The power of negativity and negative emotion can teach us “not to use” or “non-use” positive emotions. We forget to go there. We forget about positive emotions. Watch enough reality TV, news programs, the continual CNN loop, or most of television in general, and you can forget to feel joy or love or peace.
This type of thinking is the very mouthpiece bringing our tale as human beings to a close. It’s what is drawing any and every possible scenario closer and closer to us. By consistently pointing out the wrongs of the world we are actually ushering in the very apocalypse we fear the most. None of us have what it takes to stop Isis or cure world hunger alone, but by posting social media blogs that point out every new negative occurrence in the world and complaining about the government doing nothing is to reach out to others who share negativity.
Neither should we sit and say nothing when atrocities occur. By making others aware of what is happening and what they can do to help, we are calling on our fellow positively~motivated sister and brothers to pay attention and to do what they can to heal the situation, even if it is in prayer or simply positive focus. When our hearts cry out with love and sympathy or even rage for the suffering of others it is known as compassion. There is a vast difference, yet a fine line, between complaint and causing world awareness. Positive and negative thought on a world scale literally change the world state for the better or worse.
Marilyn Schlitz, VP of Research for the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Senior Scientist at the Research Institute for the California Pacific Medical Center has published some 200 consciousness studies on the power of thought and its effects on suffering.
There are various ways of responding to the unprecedented convergence we now experience. One is conflict; we need only turn on our radios to see how widespread this response is at a global level. Another response is co-option, where one tradition—typically the Western technological, scientifically based rationalist model—overpowers indigenous wisdom, often in very covert ways. A third response takes the form of creativity: As differences come together, we have the opportunity to birth new ideas and new ways of being together as a collective humanity.
Dr. Schlitz does double~blind studies of research on those with cancer and AIDS, showing concrete evidence that, whatever the affiliation or denomination, prayer and meditation literally alter sickness for the better. If we can reverse cancer with positive thought towards our human family, what can we destroy on a global scale with constant negativity towards them?
I have grown up without television and newspaper, but these days I don’t have to have either to hear about all that is wrong in the world. The state of the planet has only ever progressed “downhill”, as any elder is quick to tell you. Advancements in technology make others suffering more accessible to all and so it is more visible than ever.
What is happening now is more of the same, a larger scale due to a larger population. There are more evil~doers in the world because there are more people. But there are also more people that want to do good than ever before, as well as more resources and advancements that cause us to be able to reach a larger number of those who need help. The news does not report these stories as much, and though most people consider this common knowledge, the inundation of media into everyday society causes us to lose sight of just how mislead we are.
Just because television shows only bad news does not mean that there is only bad news out there. Look at your own life, make your own decisions. Do you know firsthand what’s going on in other countries or do you depend on the news to tell you? In the Sudan, a woman can still be raped in the road and no one says a word, but history shows that this used to be a common occurrence everywhere. In downtown, thriving Budapest, rich executive women use their expensive high heels to kick starving, homeless children in the stomach while cursing at them. History shows that most children worked like adults in factories and on farms (and many died because of the work) not two hundred years ago.
We rely on experts to tell us these things, yet a sad truth is that we can no longer trust experts to give us an unbiased view. Global warming, economic collapse, overpopulation, we hear horror stories every day and are quick to form opinions and take sides against one another, but can any one of us turn back the clock and reverse the process enough to make a difference?
Some studies suggest that overpopulation is just one more point of panic, that the Earth would be able to sustain us if not for our misuse of it. Whatever the case, there is less land and natural resources, less money to house and feed us, less jobs to give us hope. We have under~educated our children on how to be good to the Earth and now we are all complaining about the outcome of our mistakes and looking for someone to blame.
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By our actions, this is the future we have all asked for. It’s the future we are all asking for every day as we fret and worry about the state of the world and our helplessness to avoid catastrophe. We are young souls, ignorant and selfish, drawing on our inherent childlike nature in all the wrong ways. In attempting to satiate ourselves and remove ourselves from suffering we have put ourselves directly in the line of fire.
Everything that we suffer has all been for a good cause, to make ourselves feel good, to nurture that which has been neglected. Every terrorist act, every murder is done with a genuine and unconscious desire to take actions that will result in feeling better inside, a warped view of protecting ourselves or others that has become twisted and unrecognisable in the violence and bloodshed.
Whatever is to come, it will be like iron in the fires of igneous change, melting those who resist it and refining those who wish to learn its lesson. I do not believe that, were Armageddon to come at last, those who ended their own lives would be wrong. Nor do I feel that those who survived at all costs wouldn’t wish they were dead every waking moment of such a hellish existence. Until that moment comes, there is no point in worrying one moment about it. What will be will be. We will do the best we can.
I own the movie The Road, and I make it a point to watch it at least once a year. It is the fate I fear the most, to be starving and alone, forced to stay on the move and to trust no one. I watch it not to be scared by it but to honour those billions around the world who have already experienced catastrophe. There are so many whose entire way of life ended, and once the hype died down the media moved on to the next top story as they continued to suffer. The people of this planet experience Armageddon over and over again. Lives are torn apart and sewn back together, too many to name, each equally devastating to those who survived it. The world doesn’t have to end for people to lose everyone they’ve ever loved and everything they’ve ever had.
This image is what looms in our minds when we think of an apocalypse. Humans tend to perceive that nothing can be won without death and destruction. Because we see war and violence as the root of change, war and violence will be what we draw down upon us if the majority becomes convinced that change is what we need. Now that we have all asked for such a fate we may as well accept responsibility for it. What can we do to accept responsibility?
Live in the present moment. Reach out to those in need around us and do what we can to help them. For a future full of peril and fear remaining steady we will weather whatever storm in the very best possible manner. To live in the fear of unknown possible outcomes is to add to the destruction. To lose all hope, become hysteric and panic is to advance the hysteria and panic of those around us. If we are part of the solution instead of the problem we will lessen the suffering of those around us. Anyone who lives a life of service will tell you that helping others is to help ourselves.
If The End were to occur tomorrow, it would be lunacy to suggest that we could somehow not feel fear. I, myself, would be scared to death. I would worry, I would not sleep. None of us would. Many of us would die, and most of those horribly. But it is possible to do our best to participate in the solution, however afraid we are while we are doing so. It is possible to die knowing that you did everything that you could to ease the suffering of those around you. I’ll save the worry for when that time comes; for now, I won’t waste one minute on trying to imagine what could happen. After all, the future does not exist, nor does the past. We only have this moment, and how we choose to spend it does have consequences on not only us but those around us.
Stay in tune with the needs of the world. Rise up against injustice, make whatever difference is in your heart to make. But base your uprisings on love, not fear. Fear is no companion for such times. It has a powerful ability to destroy, while love has a powerful ability to create that which did not exist before. Love can heal.
It would be best to grow and can your own food, to learn to hunt. It would be best to stock up on supplies, to hoard water or even ammunition. But few of us will accomplish these things, and for this majority of grossly unprepared people, the greatest practice that can be done is learning to still your sails in the storm.
If you don’t have money to stock up on supplies, stock up instead on inner peace and silence. Run survivalist drills of living in the moment. It’s more than just a practice of being clear enough to tend to the needs of others, being calm in the storm can cause miracles to happen to you. Events can work in your favour in ways that you cannot even imagine. Ways are made that would be shut to the panicked crowd, opportunities to survive available even with death all around. Within faith lies the power to defy all odds. By worrying we are literally assuring that none of those miracles will happen to us. We are keeping the very help we desire on the other side of the door.
The world will be what it is. It will shake and break and blister in the fires of change. Let us not cry, cringe and cower before it but stand strong, holding out our hands for anyone who wishes to walk the way together.