Fear of the future is part of our condition. We have the amazing power to imagine the deep future, and when we imagine all the things that can go wrong, it’s easy to get alarmed. Global Warming, Economic Chaos, Ecological Collapse, World War, Unstoppable Pandemics: our fears of the future can keep us up at night and even render us paralyzed in our daily lives.
But let’s be honest. As much as we dread Catastrophe, part of us craves it! We may even look forward to it, desperately wanting it to happen, in all of its gore-filled glory. Bring it on, we say. We hate our boring, humdrum lives. We hate being locked into a rut, we hate that we’re stuck running a script that somebody else wrote – and once it’s run, it’s done. We’re done. We yearn for a big event which will disrupt that script and take us off that rail we’re on. Something exciting. Something interesting. A way to really live, even if the whole world has to die in the process. We WANT the Apocalypse!
Prophets have always known this, and this is why Prophecy has always been big business, from John the Baptist to John the Revelator to Ray Kurzweil, and while Kurzweil may be richer than the Johns ever were, their book will never be on the remainder pile. On the other hand, the Baptist’s head ended up on Herod’s silver platter, while Kurzweil’s will likely spend the next several centuries in a stainless steel vat of liquid nitrogen, waiting for his soul to be downloaded into a shiny new synthetic body. He may be in for a disappointment, but at least he is drinking the same Kool-Aid he’s selling.
Meanwhile, life goes on, and even as we imagine we are on the Eve of Some Big Event, we should all be aware of the wise words of Harold Camping, who is rumored to have said, “Prophecy is easy. Comedy is hard.”