I was at church on the eve of the new Millennium… December 31 1999 was being hailed by many as the apocalypse. The millennium bug they called it, never quite understood what is was, but it was the talk of the town… computer software’s inability to recognise the “00” as 2000 but instead as 1900, and there would be repercussions, Y2k, Y2k, Y2k… and our world was to radically change at the strike of the clock… It was all very dystopian… Mdu had released the song Y2k saying a lot of nothing in a time of uncertainty, Y2K was the buzzword and people danced but one could sense the uncertainty in the air, people were uneasy. Where I grew up, it was common for non regular church goers to attend Easter and Christmas Services but also the first Sunday of the Year. New years eve was a night of celebrations marked in a final climax by a countdown to the stroke of midnight. But i grew under a tradition that positioned new years eve as a time for Sobriety, reflection on the previous year and at some point decided to gather in fellowship with a few other Christian friends who were fighting the temptation of groove and basslines that carry spirits right into your belly. those damn basslines surfed the night, gliding through the ethers for kilometers, sometimes invading the prayers
That particular New Years eve had the most bums on seats… It was as if the uncertainty had cause the uncertain to find refuge in the church just in case some catastrophic eventuality would befall mankind… Would you believe the electricity went out at the stroke of midnight, there was a strange silence marked by a disappointment. Outside the sounds of people grooving, Shouting ” HAPPPYYYYY was replaced with a disappointed AAAAAAH as the sound systems blaring from a few houses on every street went off. Inside the church an initial panic I guessed as some were anticipating the worst. Needless to say, the world didnt end… and I wonder why no one, to this day, is willing to make that prediction based on that more observable fact, that the world is not going to end anytime soon…
Needless to say I was surprised by my Church friends around this Y2k, we dont know what might happen time, on their insistence that this was an opportune time to be fishers of men and attempt through the monthly Open-air missions, to let people know there is salvation from this impending doom of the Y2K. There were those who were using scripture to justify why it was inevitable the world was going to end because of Y2k and I heard them, understood them. My only contention was this, we were bible based Christians, relying on an apparently ancient book which has maintained its content consistent. As a young critical thinker my question was, the number of instances in history when the people of the time considered the end and those with the resources substantiated it with he biased writings and beliefs? The answer I would find is Countless times, depending on the scale of the atrocity and the people’s experience of it, from incurable diseases, to astrological phenomena, famines and drought and other inexplicable phenomena that require meaning… i got to encounter the concept of the apocalyptic.
I was to realise these were instances of MILLENARIANISM, the notion that Christ will return to the earth to rule over humanity for one 1000 years. This Millenarianism is a form of a belief in an apocalyptic scenario. As you can imagine the instances in history when humans have felt a sense of social, political unease supported and justified by scripture, predictions made only for the predictions to prove not true. But faith when done (in)correctly is hard to shake, sometimes even in the presentation of objective evidence. Texts interpreted as Prophecies in the books of Revelations and Daniel, have led to an implicit belief of the second coming of Christ and upheaval this may cause to the order of the times. and this is the point… the times are governed by certain orders and primary ideologies, and often it is said the world is ending when their perceived world is being overtaken “Disrupted” by Different ideologies, radically so.
It is good to remember that this apocalyptism, described as “a belief in an eminent end of the world” is linked largely to theology, theology is described as the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries… These students go on to be the thought leaders and policy makers, sometimes with a literal understanding of and belief in the scriptural text and events described within. I would learn another word, Eschatology, a part of theology concerned with the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity. It is good to understand history as property that has its ties to the narrative of the victor. This concept is commonly referred to as the “end of the world” or “end times”. And perhaps it is here where we must park our attention. According to Wikipedia, The word arises from the Greek ἔσχατος eschatos meaning “last” and -logy meaning “the study of”, and first appeared in English around 1844. The Oxford English Dictionary defines eschatology as “the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind”.
To cut a long story short, history can be divided into “ages” (aeons), which are time periods each with certain commonalities… These commonalities are caused by a particular order and hierarchy, a class to create the status quo and those who will maintain it through behaviours. One age comes to an end and a new age or world to come begins. When such transitions are the subject of eschatological discussion or its interpretations in the digital age of Mass hysteria, the phrase, “end of the world”, is replaced by “end of the age”, “end of an era”, or “end of life as we know it”. Much apocalyptic fiction does not deal with the “end of time” but rather with the end of a certain period, the end of life as it is now, and the beginning of a new period. In our current climate, perhaps the end of Western Civilisation as espoused by the military might of the west and their various moral grounding founded in the conflation of state and church, colonies and citizens may be coming to and end. the apocalyptic writing notes the transitioning crisis may take the form of the intervention of a deity in history, a war, a change in the environment such as the introduction of a pathogen that requires behaviour control, or in the new age conventions, the reaching of a new level of consciousness. An interrogation of the previous sentence will cause you to realise how this is all very now.
In modern eschatology and apocalypticism both religious and secular scenarios may involve the violent disruption or destruction of the world; whereas Christian and Jewish eschatologies view the end times as the consummation or perfection of God’s creation of the world, albeit with violent overtures, such as the Great Tribulation. The much misunderstood conspiracy theorist, who has become the scapegoat for fake news, dabbles in this modern day eschatology, perhaps working out the end game pertaining to human freedom as envisioned by Christianity and the West’s order of the world, a freedom they believed, in their delusions, was divinely sanctioned. these “End of the world scenarios” are a threat to the fundamental myths and values that translate to “Life as we know it”. The rise of the infiltration of multinationals into societies has resulted in increased interaction through products created by Global multinationals companies with behaviour altering algorithms at their disposal, personalised and ready to be deployed … and that is a superpower like the world has never experienced before… and so the world of democracy, choices offered by capitalism , privacy, sovereignty of the individual inter-mingle to form a global order of profiles and appearances… reality altering games of smoke and mirrors.
A virus has gone viral, the world as it was known, we’re told constantly is gone. Anticipating this and a lockdown restricting people to their houses, panic buying, saints and psychopaths out in full-force, fishers of the uncertain, Forexers & pyramid schemers, selling hopes, potions, remedies, opportunities to make money quickly. I haven’t even begun to note all the inner works and Yoga poses, charcoal hacks, positivity sprinkled with a little bit of outrage, blue pills red pills, all offered by capitalism… one wonders new normal’s implication on good old ideas on divine Freedom. Saints and psychopaths, both delusional, have wide spectrums ranging from personal delusions that are entertained as frivolous thoughts and disregarded as such… to the extreme end where these delusions have exited the confines of the cranium and begin to influence the working class to participate financially, eventually holistically in delusions and concomitant simulations, that sometimes end in cults and deaths. Such have been Ideas of saints perhaps turned to psychopaths craving celebrity, who believed there was an imminent end of the world, a world that has continued to be here, but every now and again the order changes in favour of a new world.