Unless My Prediction Is Wrong
The predictions of the eschaton (Greek for last) or the apocalypse (Greek for uncovering) have been around for more than 2500 years. Zoroastrianism ca. 500 BCE expounded upon the idea of the end time. In the New Testament, many Christians believed that the end time would occur before anyone in the early church had died. At the turn of the first millennium, there was the obvious fear that the world would also end. Nostradamus, who was born on December 21, 1503, predicted a dozen or more eschatological end times before his end time in 1566 when he died.
One of my great advantages in life is being old as the hills. I have lived through many of the more recent predictions without bodily harm occurring to me. Some of the doomsday predictions were bizarre like the one in Leeds, England in 1806. Some farmer possessed a chicken that laid eggs...not golden eggs though. This hen laid eggs with this sentence written on the shell: "Christ is coming." Alas, either the farmer or the hen didn't remind Christ.
William Miller, another farmer, this time in New England, predicted that the apocalypse would come on April 23, 1843. He and his followers were called Millerites, and they sold all they had and waited. After their disappointment, some of them started the Seventh Day Adventists denomination.
The founder of the Mormons, Joseph Smith predicted in a sermon in 1835 that the end would come sometime within the next 56 years. However, nothing had happened by 1888. It wasn't until 177 years after Smith's sermon that Mitt Romney's political world came to an end. Can I hear a "Hallelujah" from you?
Then there was Halley's Comet coming with poisonous cyanogen gas that could kill all living things on earth. The New York Times caught wind of this fear of breathing gases from the advancing comet, which only added to the fear. Flammarion, the French astronomer, said that Halley's Comet "would impregnate...the atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet." However, Haley's Comet passes the earth every 75 years. It was first noticed in 240 BCE and last seen in 1986. It won't be until 2061 before we are exposed to another possible breath of death.
Interestingly, the massive hysteria generated by breathing cyanogen was said to have given the idea to Sir Conan Arthur Doyle of writing The Poison Belt, which was published in 1913...just three years after the appearance of Haley's Comet in 1910.
Pat Robertson, a well-known predictor of everything, mentioned in 1976 and also said in 1980, "I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world." As with most predictions, they either didn't come true or God changed his mind.
Nostradamus returned again like Haley's Comet with another of his predictions about the world ending in August 1999...just two years after the Heaven's Gate suicide. Nostradamus wrote in Quatrain 72:
Obviously, another one of Nostradamus' 800-quatrains wasn't accurate. Nevertheless, on New Year's Day of 2000...less than a half year after the Mongol King would have returned the fear of a massive computer glitch, Y2K. I recall after toasting the New Year with some very expensive champagne that I got at Sam's Club, I did two things: I called one of my kids on my cell phone and tested my laptop to see if it was working also.
While I am not a Mayan, this prediction concerned me since the universe might be ending a month before my 70th birthday on January on the 20th. I have already danced with death twice and fortunately led both times. I am fully aware that I won't be able to always lead. However, I am also more than aware that I probably won't be able to control over the universal dance with death.
There is a great debate about whether we need to be fearful about the end time or whether we could look forward to it as some global transformation of our human spirit. I can't actually determine this. Maybe you can decipher the prediction. Here it is:
Maybe this cheat-sheet would be helpful for those of you who don't know the Mayan Glyph's.
Romney and the radical-right talk about Obama's recent win as apocalyptic in nature. Again, the conservatives have been wrong about everything dating back to the Civil Wars and before. The Robber barons, prohibition, Scopes Monkey Trial, McCarthy's communist witch hunt, segregation, Vietnam War, the birthers, tea party, the 1% and the 47%, etc. are all examples of being wrong.
Oops. I almost forgot. The Mayan end time is supposed to occur on December 21, 2012 - just over half millennia after Nostradamus' birth on December 21st. Some will see a tie in with the end time. Well, I started to write this article on 12/12/12 at 12 noon.
Visit the Dancing with Death page to read more about this topic.