The world is coming to an end.
Perhaps it will be on this year's winter solstice, when the Mayan calendar says that the current pictun or aeon will end, and the universe will be obliterated and reconstituted-- as it is supposed to have been seven thousand years or so ago. (Like Hindus, Buddhists, and many physicists, the Mayans believed that history moved in cycles rather than a straight line.)
Or perhaps it will be in five billion or so years, when the sun goes nova, burning the earth to a crisp.
Or perhaps it will be some other form of metaphysical or manmade apocalypse.
What is certain is that the idea of apocalypse -- the myth of the word's end -- exercises a real, enduring power over the human imagination. Not a year goes by when some would-be prophet or other begins counting down to doomsday. Continue reading The End Approacheth… and Recedeth: Apocalypse as Myth