End of the World Meme
Today being Easter-Even in the Western liturgical calendar, in the midst of an apparent lock-ward eruption of warmongering... let's visit the natural response to systems not working, mega-stress, and apocalyptic expectation.
Some years ago I watched a moving
German flick, "Vision," filmed in ancient locations about the life and times of Hildegard von Bingen. A
Dark Ages nun and Abbess, she is remembered as a visionary, composer, scholar, as a Renaissance-woman.
The film opens with Hildegard
as a little girl, in the year of our Lord, 1,000 AD. The Church and many
"prophets" had foretold the millennial end of the world and Christ's return in
Much penance, terror, hair shirts, and flagellation preceded the night of reckoning.
The child awakens to New Year's morning among family and neighbors
huddled asleep on the church floor, and it's a life-changer. The wee timing
discrepancy was never adequately explained by Holy Mother Church, the overarching power of
mocking the Book of Revelation? No, absolutely not. But history is of
interest, as is the redundant human condition, subject to fear-mongering
St. John's horrific end-of-everything clairvoyance in the cave on Patmos has had many reruns through the Christian era.
A few years back a charismatic local pastor of a fundamentalist church announced to his faithful that the Rapture was nigh. A burly parishioner carried a huge wooden cross in the long procession toward destiny.
(One wit left a pair of high-topped sneakers by the wayside, with dry ice inside wafting foggy vapor.)
The faithful were not beamed up that day, but it's an expectation of many re-treads.
A Priest friend in ecumenical mode visited a huge wealthy Baptist church in the US Deep South. Chatting with the Pastor, they stopped below a hole through ceiling and roof. The Priest asked if it, uh, leaked?
Not an issue the Pastor replied. He and all his congregation would be whisked upward through the heavenly portal when the last trumpet sounds.
Our own times are waxing stressful following an era of make-believe, mal-investment and me-me-me-ness. Viscerally we feel reckoning, inchoate and monstrous, waiting in the wings.
Do we plunge with the daily news of bombs and bankruptcies into darkness, adding our individual alarums to apocalyptic thought form? Is that the only option and conclusion among us, the long-gullible?
As an aside, historical, impending economic reckoning is strictly avoided by the perpetrators, who traditionally devise an external enemy, and launch diversionary war.
Away from flat screens, am watching butterflies, golden clouds of them, among spring blossoms. Life permitting, what a year for planting a butterfly garden.
Meanwhile, much of the world is celebrating light risen from the dead.