Lessons From the End of the World

Many religions and civilizations have predicted apocalyptic end of the world events. After the recent passing of the alleged Mayan calendar finale, we now have an opportunity to embrace the world anew and with a fresh appreciation.


| January 7, 2013



Chichen Itza

Archaeologists say that the ancient Mayan people looked forward with an almost ecstatic anticipation to periodic renewals in the world, renewals that swept away the old order of things and created a renewed universe.


Photo by Patryk Kosmider

I’m writing this on the day the world did not end. Or at least it did not completely come to an end.

Dec. 20, 2012 was a day predicted to mark the “End of the World.” Allegedly the ancient Mayan calendar predicted the apocalypse on this date. Experts on Mayan beliefs say the native Mexicans looked forward to the impending change and foresaw the creation of a new, fresh world.

But the world seems no fresher today than it did yesterday morning. Or perhaps it seems just as fresh.

I’m a morning person. I generally wake up in an energetic frame of mind, before dawn. I love the beginning of the day. There is always something new in the first light of dawn.

Archaeologists say that the ancient Mayan people looked forward with an almost ecstatic anticipation to periodic renewals in the world, renewals that swept away the old order of things and created a renewed universe. It’s unclear whether the Mayans actually saw any significance in Dec. 20, 2012; but we do know they predicted specific occasions of universal renewal, and celebrated them.

Many others have predicted the Apocalypse, quite specifically. The Apostle Paul seems to predict, in the Christian Bible, that the human world would be destroyed – and renewed – while the Apostles were still alive. Several eminent theologians predicted, in the Third Century A.D., that in the year 500 A.D. Jesus would return and sweep away all the evil in the world. None other than the Catholic Pope himself, Sylvester II, firmly predicted the end on Jan. 1, 1000 A.D. Martin Luther didn’t think the world could continue as it was past 1600. Christopher Columbus predicted the Apocalypse in 1658. Puritan celebrity Cotton Mather said it was 1697, then 1716, then 1736 as each of his predictions failed to come true. Mather was, evidently, not a man to give up easily.

bryan welch
1/10/2013 10:42:40 AM

Very interesting, Danny. Thanks!


danny haszard
1/9/2013 7:51:12 AM

Jehovah Witnesses are a spin-off of the second Adventist which all came from the Millerite movement.American war of 1812 army captain William Miller is ground zero for Jehovah's Witnesses. Yes,the "great disappointment" of Oct 22 1844 has never died out... it lives on in the Jehovah's Witnesses. The central CORE doctrine of the Watchtower,yes the reason the Watchtower came into existence was to declare Jesus second coming in 1914.When the prophecy (derived from William Miller of 1844) failed they said that he came "invisibly".






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