According to some, today marks the End of the World. A few days before Christmas? I refute it! If I am wrong, I most certainly will eat my words. I simply have too much scheduled for the world to terminate today. Who must I converse with to reschedule this dreary bit of news?!
Apocalyptic fascination has been around since Jesus left the earth. Every follower believes they are living in the end times as described in the Book of Revelations. This realization is tragic one as it implies from the time of Christ, and surely, eve before His birth, humanity has been in a state of chaos of wars and mass killings and the earth has produced natural catastrophic mayhem. Fanatic believers arise from time to time.
The 19th century was a ripe with these “prophets” and their followers. They claim to have calculated the second coming of the Messiah and urge the populous to prepare. While convoluted their basic intention was to set people on the righteous path, to shock their sensibilities to behave morally for the Father is watching and shall return for His children. While an admirable objective the psychology of the finality of mortality swings two ways. One is to be good and reconcile past grievances and atone for sins. The other is to throw caution to the wind and behave contrarily, because what is the point of living piously if the person is to cease life tomorrow? This view allows for hedonism because their time is limited. What we see in modern times is a bit more of the middle ground in what has been dubbed a person’s Bucket List, or things they wish to accomplish before he or she “kicks the bucket” and passes away.
Returning to the 1800s, the fervor and fear of the End spawn new religions. The Catholic Apostolic Church, The Church of Latter Day Saints as known as Mormonism, and the Seventh Day Adventist, were all founded during the 19th century with failed claims of the Second Coming. The century was imbued with religious revival that it is often referred to as the Second Great Awakening. It seemed to everyone the end was surely nigh!
However, this modern fervor is peculiar, as it does not have ties with Christianity but with the “pagan” Mayans. I am unfamiliar with the Mayan culture and not quite sure what the Mayans expect for their people to do to prepare for the end of the calendar. Typically, when my calendar ends, I simply purchase a new one. Why the interest in the Mayans? Maybe there is an Aztec calendar archeologists will exhume that will give us a few more years to work with? If today truly marks the end of an era, then that is just lovely. I am eager to see what the next one shall bring. . . . and if today is truly the last day . . . well, then, it was so lovely to meet you.