Three weeks and counting. 12/21/2012. Let me ramble just a hair. I will disclose some of the inner workings of my smallish, ape like brain. Let's start here...
The Book of Revelations accomplishes exactly what it was designed to do. It was designed to instill fear into folks and scare them into compliance. That's what churches do. If hell didn't exist, they would have to make one up. That's how they get people to comply. Think about the absolute worst thing you can possibly imagine. First we create some horrible place- let's call it hell, and then we tell you that if you do not act according to our wishes- you will spend all of eternity there. Men have been making up wonderful fear mongering stories forever...
So Revelations is this crazy, horrible story meant to scare the hell out of you. I will tell you how crazy I am. When I discover your true intent, I act contrary to that. I have one other piece of biblical fiction to mention...
The story of Job is utterly fantastic and one of my favorites. God sits idly by while Satan kills Job's daughters, strips Job of his wealth, and ruins his health. Not once did Job blame God. God was just trying to prove some sort of loyalty point. Nobody apparently ever questions this stuff.
That's what loving Gods do? They kill your loved ones to prove a point? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_(biblical_figure)
Maybe Job's daughters just died. Simple as that. Where was Satan during the black plague, Stalin, or Hitler? Surely killing tens of millions of people deserves an honorable mention, doesn't it? Will some great future Pope appoint some scribe to write about those things and include them in a bible 2000 years from now?
Who knows? Here's where I am going with this.
Historically speaking, I have noted this fear mongering theme throughout the annals of time. I have noted it throughout my life. It goes like this. Act the way that we want you to and you will get the reward. Act contrary to the way that we want and you to- and you shall feel the punishment. This reward- punishment theme works good on kids and animals. Sometimes it works on adults too. Remember how William Wallace died at the end of Braveheart? Drawn and quartered, his head stuck on a spike. Historically accurate, I might add. Not unlike the crucifixion of Christ. Pretty gruesome.
So human beings can be pretty sick about forcing your compliance and obedience. All that has really changed is that we have gotten a little more civilized about how we kill you when you don't act the way that we want. We give you your lethal injection. Or we drop bombs on you with unmanned drones.
This power, control, reward and punishment theme is everywhere and we have been practicing it for a long time. Fear demands obedience. That's the only thing we know. The Mayans long count calendar ends on 12/21/2012. That's it. There was no doom and gloom, no polar shift, no solar flare predicted. We added all of that ridiculousness because that's what people do. People instill fear in others. Remember the great computer apocalypse of 2000?
The problem with all of this fear mongering, end of times, rapture nonsense, isn't that it won't happen one day. The end of times comes for all of us. The problem I have is sorting out facts from human contrived fiction. There is actually a fantastic precedent for this. Like a good piece of English 101 writing, I shall end where I began.
Historically speaking, and I am certainly not prepared to deliver references here, the Jewish people have been an enslaved and tortured lot. They were looking for revenge about the time Christ showed up. The revenge thing didn't happen. In fact, Jesus was apparently unmanipulated by all of this fear and hatred nonsense, and he never bought in. In fact, Jesus didn't act at all like a fear mongering human being nor did he ever say anything harsh or terrible or promise to come back and kick some ass like the Book of Revelations claims. In fact, because Jesus did not try to scare us, is precisely why I believe that he was the real deal. A universal intelligence delivered here in the hope that we might learn something. I gotta say, so far, it has not exactly been mission success.
Ultimately, you have to make your own decisions on this rock. I have a hard time buying into any of the disaster concepts except- the man made ones. Those you can believe in.