End of the World?

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Is the world going to end soon? There are a lot of Christians who think so, and whether you agree with them or not, I wouldn’t be surprised. It may not totally end. The planet will probably endure a long time yet, at least some humans may survive, but it seems as if we’ve set ourselves up for a lot of death in this century.
George Gurdjieff, the spiritual teacher of the last century, said that when civilizations die there are usually natural disasters, and everyone goes crazy, destroying all kinds of knowledge and other things that have been built up over years, centuries, even millenia. That seems quite possible right now. There’s always a war somewhere, and there will probably be more soon. We have set ourselves up for ecological catastrophe by burning through our natural resources at a tremendous rate, and poisoning our air, water, and soil (to say nothing of ourselves) while we do it. Many of us don’t want to change, and most of us, I think, are afraid.
One form the fear takes is greed: the wealthy have rigged the game to bring themselves most of the profits from their enterprises. I don’t think this is simple greed, at present. I think they’re aware, consciously or not, that the earth is in big trouble, and they’re trying to make sure they have enough supplies to survive.
People with political power are scared too. They try to make sure the wealthy are their friends, most of them, and persecute whatever group they fear, usually dark-skinned or other minority people. Of course, where they dark-skinned people have power, they often persecute lighter-skinned people too. All kinds of people hate each other, and few have clear consciences. Children escaping from their violent and corrupt countries in Central America (the violence and corruption often courtesy of American foreign policy) are feared as terrorists. Ironically, treating them unkindly may well turn them into terrorists. Our fears may incite us to cause the very things we fear.
One of our fears is running out of oil. That’s a rational fear because oil powers our civilization, but it leads us to do irrational things. One of those things is fracking, the technology which allows us to drill more oil, but uses immense amounts of water, polluting as it does. Shortage of water was already going to be a problem; we’re hastening the onset of that problem. Using ground water, as Californians are doing in their drought won’t help.
Rationally, one of the best things we can do is stop using oil altogether, as much as possible. That may not stop the climate change that seems to be beginning, but it would help. Rather than do that, many prefer to doubt the science that says our behavior is causing global warming, which is actually just a part of the greater overall problem of pollution. The internal combustion engine isn’t the cause of all pollution, but it’s a major part. Other countries have progressed much further with solar and other forms of non-polluting power; in this country a propaganda war is being waged against believers in science until energy companies can get the last nickel and dime out of petrochemicals. Our technology is pretty amazing; unfortunately, it’s also poisonous.
Oil isn’t just used for power, it’s used to make insecticides, artificial fertilizers, and plastics too. Fertilizers and insecticides aren’t necessarily bad, if used wisely, but we tend not to use them wisely. They ARE convenient, and that’s all we seem to care about.
Plastics are also convenient, but in the long run may turn out to be very inconvenient for one simple reason: they don’t biodegrade. In nature, everything biodegrades; nature wastes nothing. Our contemporary attitude is that being able to waste shows how wealthy we are. As is not unusual, we allow our egos to get in the way of our survival. Since plastics don’t biodegrade, they get into the ecosystem, breaking down into small bits that animals eat, and die from. Plastic sheeting enters the ocean, and entangles fish and other sea life, leaving fewer fish for us and other animals to eat. CO2 entering the water also kills off marine life. We’re busy making a world we can’t live in–not very many of us, at least.
Exacerbating all these problems is overpopulation. We have WAY too many people in the world. The planet could support about 2 billion pretty comfortably. We have over 7 billion now. Between war, ecological collapse, and hatred between nations, religions, and groups, I’m afraid we’re going to see a lot of death in this century. If we have a lot of natural disasters too, the toll will only go higher. That doesn’t seem unlikely.
Graham Hancock, in Fingerprints of the Gods, writes about a time in which the human race must have just barely survived, the time after the last ice age.
It was a pretty long one, beginning about 115,000 years ago, and ending about 100,000 years later. Our variety of human may have begun about the same time–something about which many disagree, and we don’t know much about that period. Our usual image is people wearing animal skins and living in caves, but that may not have been as true as we think. There’s evidence of high civilization in the past, scientific and technological abilities that may still be greater than our own.
The earliest civilizations we’re aware of are the Sumerian, Egyptian, and Indian, all at least beginning at least as early as 3,000 BC, and developing in the third millenium BC. There were probably American civilizations then too, as well as quite possibly in the Far East. Writing wasn’t developed much before 3.000 BC, and that’s where we get most of our information. Other sources are available, but we’re not aware of many of them.
One such source is legend. While legend may not always be literally true, I think much legend depicts things that actually happened. A nearly universal legend is of the Great Flood. In this country it’s most familiar to us from the Bible, but according to Hancock, there are some 400 such legends worldwide. He adds that the most likely time for the flood to have happened was after the ice age ended.
It ended very quickly. The ice had been building up for about 100,000 years, with particular accumulations about 60,000 years ago, and 17,000 years ago. But by about 15,000 years ago, most of the ice had melted.
We don’t know what happened, but it’s unlikely to have been a natural end for an ice age. Something seems to have accelerated it. One speculation is that a comet landed in the ocean. That would have caused a lot of tidal waves and flooding, and would also have put a lot of water vapor in the air, meaning lots of rain. Since most of the ice had melted in only 2,000 years, there was a geological reaction, as much of the earth was relieved of the weight of 2 miles of ice. As the weight came off, the planet reacted with earthquakes and volcanoes–lots of them, and big ones. Hancock compares them with “a thousand Krakatoas all at once”. Krakatoa was the Indonesian volcano that erupted in 1883 with a sound heard 3,000 miles away, causing tidal waves in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and filling the atmosphere with volcanic ash, which caused a couple of very cool summers. Imagine what a LOT of those would do.
The climate had warmed in many parts of the world, but volcanic ash would send the temperature back down again, making survival difficult for humans as well as animals. During this period some 70 different species became extinct all over the world, but especially in the Americas. Mammoths, woolly rhinocerus, horses, camels,other species of elephants (at least in the Americas), giant beavers, giant sloths, saber-toothed tigers all died during that time. Some died in floods, where they were torn apart, mixed with the carcasses of other animals and humans, and often frozen in mud. A lot of them died in the La Brea tarpit in what is now California, too.
A number of flood victims have been found near the tops of mountains; animals would naturally run for the mountains in a flood, but sometimes the mountains weren’t high enough. Fossilized whales have been found on elevations well above sea level too. There are even reports of the carcasses of arctic and tropical animals being found mixed together.
Perhaps the most anomalous deaths were in northern Siberia, Alaska, and the Yukon, where many mammoths were suddenly frozen to death.
But other things were going on during that period. Few scientists believe that civilization started much before 3,000 BC, but some have been willing to go out on a limb. One thought that the city of Macchu Picchu in northwestern South America, was built about 15,000 BC, based on solar alignments, and an intricate relief carving of many types of animals, some of which have been extinct a long time. There were agricultural experiments going on there too, though the area is high in the Andes, where few crops can grow.
Agricultural experiments started in Egypt too, about 13,000 BC. They continued for about 2500 years, but seem to have been wiped out by tremendous floods through the Nile Valley about 10,400 BC. Egypt wouldn’t return to agriculture for about another 5,000 years.
More things than that may have been going on in Egypt about that time. About twenty years ago a geologist studied the Great Sphinx of Egypt, and concluded that it had been built much earlier than usually thought (around 2500 BC) because it showed extensive water erosion, much different from wind erosion. Egypt’s climate has been mostly dry since about 3,000 BC (some think there were still extensive showers at times during that millenium), which suggests it was built at or before a time when there was a lot of rain.
There are also some buildings in Egypt built with immense stone blocks–hundreds of tons each, which we would probably be unable to move today, let alone set in place as precisely as these were. We tend to think we’re the first people to have great technology. Egypt, Peru, Mexico, and Lebanon all have examples of hardly believable architecture that says otherwise. So do accounts in ancient Indian literature, which describe flying machines and something that sounds a lot like an atomic bomb. Civilization seems to be much older than we’ve ever believed.
Not only that, but they seem to have left us messages. Many myths and legends come with details that relate to precession of the equinoxes. This is the process in whereby the constellation in which the sun rises at the vernal equinox changes not quite every 2200 years. The sun moves 1% through the constellation almost every 72 years. Thirty degrees in the each zodiac sign means the sign changes every 2160 years. These are some of the numbers associated with precession. The messages seem to say that when the constellation changes may be a time of great danger for humans and this world.
The Great Pyramid is certainly what George Gurdjieff called a legomonism. That is, a work of art that exists ostensibly for one reason, but actually sends a different message into the future. The pyramid sends a lot of them.
Its construction embodies the mathematical ratio pi, as well as phi. The phi ratio is the ratio at which many living things grow, so that arms are shorter than legs by a certain proportion, and branches shorter than the trunk of the tree. 2pi is used on the faces of the pyramid, both extraordinarily monumental and precise. Among other things, the pyramid models the northern hemisphere of the earth at a scale of 43,200 to one, and with almost no error. That’s a precession number. The calculation necessary to do this accurately involves 2pi, which translates spherical geometry to planes. Civilizations have to be mathematically sophisticated to do this.
Besides that, the Great Pyramid is the first of a series of three on the Giza plateau. The second is aligned with it, while the third is off to one side. Robert Bauval, who became a friend of Hancock’s noticed that the alignment exactly matched the belt in the constellation of Orion, which was associated by Egyptians with the god Osiris. Bauval looked through a computer program modeling how various constellations would look at various times because of precession. The model on the ground at Giza precisely marked the time of 10,500 BC. This was also when the constellation was at its lowest point in the sky. It has a cycle of 13,000 years when it rises to its highest point, then sinks back to its lowest point. We have about another 500 years to go before it reaches its highest point.
Why did the pyramid builders specify that date? That’s about the time the sun began to rise in the constellation of Leo, and something else seems to have happened too. That’s when the many mammoths probably froze to death.
Charles Hapgood, a professor at Keene St University in New Hampshire, had a theory, on which he consulted with Albert Einstein, who thought it was credible. He believed that under certain conditions large portions of the earth’s crust could move as much as 30 degrees on the earth’s surface. His theory was justified by much archaeology. Earlier ice ages than the last began in Africa and India. Antarctica was once in the tropics, as were islands in the Arctic Ocean. Continental drift could account for part of that, but is too slow to explain all of it.
Hancock had been wondering where a civilization that had developed possibly even beyond our own could have been located. Surely we would have found more of their remains than we have. He thought it needed a large area to develop, an area good for agriculture, with mountains and rivers, and a beneficial climate. But where could such an area be? The answer seemed to come from Hapgood’s theory, because he’d discovered maps from the 16th century that portrayed Antarctica accurately, at a time when no one knew of its existence. Some seemed to be portraying Antarctica without ice. Who could have made the originals of these maps, some of which must have survived until the 16th century, at least one in Istanbul, where maps from the great library in Alexandria may have gone, before that library was destroyed? Perhaps the same people who portrayed the world’s northern hemisphere on the great pyramid? These were probably not the ancient Egyptians, but the civilization which influenced both them and the Central and South American civilizations.
We know that the North Pole was located in the area of Hudson Bay during the last Ice Age. It now lies near Greenland. Most of North America was covered with ice then, as far south as St Louis. By contrast, northern Asia had a very mild climate–until the mammoths suddenly froze to death in Siberia. It hasn’t been mild since.
Antarctica is the fifth largest continent, and we know little about it, since it’s been covered in ice for at least 5,000 years. It would have provided a place for an advanced civilization to develop if it had been in the southern Atlantic, but not so far south as to be in the polar region. When the mammoths died in the north, perhaps it suddenly traveled thirty degrees south to become the South Pole, developing a huge ice pack, which keeps us from knowing much about it.
The people there may have known something like that was coming, and tried to establish outposts elsewhere, also helping other people to survive and learn the skills of civilization. People in the Americas and Egypt. If they did, they were doing things most other people didn’t do. Probably most needed help themselves. A frequent explanation for the flood is that humanity was sinful. I’m not sure how sinful they could have been, but I have a pretty clear conviction about our own time. In this century no doubt natural disasters will kill a good many people, as they did in the last century. What will kill probably a lot more are things we’ve done to nature and ourselves. Some will look natural, but not be.
The people in the legends seem to have tried to leave us messages saying that the time when precession changes to the next zodiac sign is a dangerous one. We’re close to a change today, leaving the sign of Pisces (which began shortly before Jesus was born) and entering the sign of Aquarius. A lot of people will remember the song, The Age of Aquarius, which refers to that change. Maybe that time will be one of celebration, but it doesn’t look like that now.

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