Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Dead sure about doomsday
Another prophet like so many of his fellows has proven inadequate to forecasting accurately ‘the end of days’. Instead of mass extinction last week, those of us who have not yet succumbed to natural wastage are readying ourselves for the next doomsday pronouncement, the very big one on December 21st 2012. Soothsayers, exactly like the rest of us, have been dropping like flies for centuries suffering desultory demises long after the much promised final moment. Over their lives their apocryphal ambiguities will have hit the occasional mark in the manner of shot from scatterguns. Because one or two pellets strike the target it foments their followers to dance and gibber, express themselves in tongues, while failing or not wishing to see that the vast bulk of lead shot is littering a still living landscape.
How do these would-be shamans magnetise their disciples? I suppose there are many among us who wish to be saved from the horrors of mortality and would rather believe in a bizarre salvation than the occupation of a mundane slab in the mortuary. Others, with exalted thoughts above their station, fall for the notion of being ‘chosen ones’, notwithstanding the fact that all supplicants of all religions have this as a germinating notion at the root of their belief. For others it might just represent a sublimation of suicidal tendencies. Better being part of a mass rapturous exit than a solitary one from a ledge or a bridge. Or is it for some that life is dull and this represents excitement in an otherwise nondescript existence and they are attracted by the buzz of projected mayhem like rubberneckers at a traffic accident up ahead?
Whatever, the fact is that anyone prone to prophesying, no matter how crass and transparently unbelievable he or she appears to the majority, will gather adherents. Most of us are gullible and impressionable given the right circumstances no matter how much we might uphold rationality as our banner, as can be witnessed by the number of atheists and lapsed believers who recant on their deathbeds. The spectre of death drives us into many a strange realm.
“I have seen the future and it is very much like the present, only longer.” Khelog Albran (The Profit).