The World has Ended and is always ending
A meditation on a realized eschatology for the third quarter moon of the Way of Awe
I keep hearing people say we are living in an Apocalypse, or this is apocalyptic. I’ve even said it myself. Whether it’s the climate crisis or the ongoing trans genocide, or a devastating event in our lives, periodically, our world ends. In those moments, it is shocking to realize that the earth is still spinning. Our world has ended, how can the world keep spinning?
The truth about the Apocalypse
The word apocalypse means an unfolding. It is the crack in the sky that destroys one mode of life and opens up to something else. We may not want or like that new world, but it is what is.
A lot of modern and postmodern fiction revolves around stopping an apocalypse or living through the aftermath of one. Why?
The Church killed God
It is popular to lie and either say, “God’s not dead” or that science killed God, but the Church did it.
The God we talk about will always be an imaginal, social construct because the reality were are talking about will always be beyond our feeble words to adequately contain. Some confuse this image of God for God, and others construct an idol that will get them all the power, prestige, and money their greedy hearts desire. These preachers of death, as Nietzsche called them, are the ones who killed God in the minds and hearts of so many.
I remember when the Evangelical God died in my heart. It was traumatic. My world ended. The church was my life, and I didn’t know what to do or how to live without it. A friend of mine took me to his rabbi, and he helped me to open my eyes to the new world beyond the apocalypse. Most people will never open their eyes to the Divine again.
Capitalism killed culture and the environment
When everything is about making more and more money, and the priority is always growing wealth, there is no room for life.
Culture is replaced with culture wars and the environment is seen only as a resource to be harvested. Life has no place in capitalism. Money is all that matter. Mammon must be worshipped.
The Apocalypse Cycle
The preachers of death and the neoliberal capitalists farm conflict and atrocity to fill their pews and pockets. If people aren’t divided and suffering, they might see how they are being abused and taken advantage of. That doesn’t serve the market.
I don’t want to take anything away from the natural disasters and unforeseen events that come to our lives, but even in those moments, the preachers of death and the capitalists swoop in to co-opt and gain advantage in our pain.
They want us broken, empty, angry, and under their sway.
A Realized Eschatology
When we realize that the world has ended and is always ending, we liberate ourselves to see the world as it is, always renewing. Cataclysm is a fundamental power of the cosmos. It breaks down old structures so new ones can be built in their place. This realization doesn’t take away the pain of loss or free us from the cycle of tragedy. It does free us from suffering.
There is a difference between pain and suffering. Pain hurts. Suffering attaches us to the pain so it defines us, limits us, and opens us up to the control and manipulation of others.
Acceptance is a superpower. When we learn to stop saying, “This is unfair,” or “This shouldn’t happen,” we can speak truth, “This isn’t right,” or “This has to be changed.”
When I associated the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality to the seasons and the moon phases, It was natural to attach the Via Positiva, the Way of Awe to autumn and the third quarter moon leading to the new moon, because that is the embodiment of Realized Eschatology which is a theme of path one.
We don’t have to make Realized Eschatology into something as fancy as its name. It is a harvest celebration. The harvest is an apocalypse for crop, but it sustains us. That is the lesson we need to let these world ending experiences teach us. It isn’t easy, and yes, it hurts like scythe cutting the crop, but it is a harvest of one thing or another.
The real trick it learning to see when our pain is harvested for the benefits of others. Corporate layoffs so the C-suite can enlarge their bonus. Ecological disasters so companies can profit off the destruction of the world. The surgery or medication denied to boost the profits of the insurance company. Protests against our rights to empower uncharismatic charlatans. Those are the apocalypses that need a Via Transformativa solution (protests, boycotts, and the like). Most others need a Via Negativa (grieving, letting go, and letting be) solution.
In the end, every apocalypse will need a creative solution. We create our way our of grief. It is how we build our future. It can be as simple as baking or as complex as building something new to help others struggling through the same things.
The world has ended, and it is always ending. Let’s build something amazing going forward.