Thoughts on the End of the World

I think the whole “end of the world” mythos that our culture is focused on right now is kind of pointless and boring. Whether it’s a collapse due to peak oil, the ever-popular zombie apocalypse, or natural disasters caused by climate change, the doom-and-gloom about the survival of humanity and/or the planet serves to upset more people than it motivates.

I’m not denying that there are serious problems, I’m saying that there must be a better way to create positive change.

In my four decades here on the planet, I’ve seen several predicted “end dates” for this world come and go, and here we still are. I’m inclined to agree with Rob Brezsny:

“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’ was ‘revelation,’ and in the esoteric spiritual traditions of the West, the apocalypse is regarded as a Great Awakening — a marvelous resurrection. I propose that the apocalypse we’re living through applies in both the degraded modern sense of the word — the end of the world — and in the original sense. In other words, collapse and renewal are happening side by side; calamity and blooming; rot and splendor; grievous losses and unpredictable surges of miraculous novelty. Yes, the end of the old world is proceeding apace; but it is overlapped by the birth pangs of a fresh, hot civilization that will be beautiful beyond all imagining.” – Rob Brezsny

Furthermore, I think this has always been the case. It would be just as easy for people living through the Dark Ages, colonization and slavery, various Ice Ages, and other periods in history to feel like their world was ending. Things are still going, and despite the injustices we still see in modern times, much progress has been made in terms of living conditions, personal rights, and longevity.

Personally, I believe that consciousness and energy are eternal. I’m pretty sure the whole thing never really ends, its just goes on somewhere else. Or perhaps back here, in a different time or probable reality, like in Dr. Who. No, I can’t know that for sure, but I’m willing to take the chance that consciousness continues on in some form. If it doesn’t, when I die, I won’t know the difference.

So if the “world,” aka “consciousness,” never really ends but goes on eternally, then what’s the point of being so discouraged, disgusted, or depressed about things changing, even radically? It’s natural to feel sad about species disappearing and natural landscapes being destroyed. It’s in our nature to protect our people, our tribes, I get that, too. Feel those feelings, then let them move through you. It doesn’t help to get too bogged down.

If something intense is happening to you and yours right now, go and deal with it as best you can.

If not, the best thing you can do is probably to act as if your reality will continue on, and that when your death comes, your consciousness will transition to a new place. When you act from this premise, you are freed up from paralyzing fear about the end times. You’re better able to focus on how you can help create the changes that you see as essential.

How you provide your help to our struggling-and-thriving-all-at-once world depends on your point of view and your personal strengths and preferences. It makes sense to follow the path that is laid out before you, and not try and be someone else. You might be drawn to political action and protesting in the streets, or you might change the world by teaching children to be compassionate and kind. There will probably be many ways you contribute, throughout your lifetime.

When you focus on grounding yourself in the things you can do, and stop worrying so much about what others are up to, you’re living a life of meaning and purpose.

In an eternal cosmos whose creative powers are awesome beyond our individual knowing, I think being the best you possible is more valuable by far than wallowing in old over-played scenarios of death and despair. Unless that’s your thing. In which case, I have some friends who will really enjoy your forthcoming zombie movie.

Tell me what you think!