What Does Apocalypse Really Mean?
As I write this there is a massive wildfire about 20 miles away from me. As the crow flies. My parents had to evacuate their home in the woods because of it. It’s been the hottest and driest summer on record for our area.
A large portion of the western United States is also up in flames, while the East is flooding and being slammed with hurricanes and tropical storms. We are 1.5 years out from the start of a global pandemic that has caused huge disruptions in our lives and sadly, many deaths. Civil unrest has spurred riots and protests. The political climate is ridiculous. Wars, poverty, corruption, famines, pollution, climate change...
Que bloody, brain devouring zombies, nuclear meltdown, and all of us running for bunkers and sporting gas masks.
The end of the world has been a hot topic for the last 18 months with everything that’s going on. And I get it. Between the over-dramatization of the media, movies that hype things up, and ancient prophecies, it’s hard not to be at least a little curious about where all of this is headed.
The Original Definition of Apocalypse
These days, when people hear the word “apocalypse”, images of complete societal breakdown come to mind, cities destroyed, people dead everywhere, few resources, no communication, the mark of the beast, evil running rampant...
But the authors of all the ancient texts and prophecies had a completely different meaning for the word. The modern definition of apocalypse is almost opposite of what it was thousands of years ago.
Apocalypse comes from a Greek word meaning: a new way of looking at things, great knowledge, an unveiling, uncovering, unfolding, or revelation. Only, people focus on all the destructive stuff that happens, hardly taking time to think about what happens AFTER all the truth gets exposed.
Whether it comes from the Bible, other sacred texts, or predictive writings, when these old mystics and prophets wrote stuff about the apocalypse and the end times, they were talking about CHANGE. An end to the madness. Not the end of the world. They were talking about reality and truth being seen for what it is. They were talking about new understanding and some kind of restructuring of life after the chaos.
The only reason they were bringing attention to the dark issues was to give context for the approximate time in which this unveiling would occur.
And of course, this should go without saying, (but I’m gonna say it anyway) we have no way of knowing if:
Any prophecy or writing of the past is accurate until AFTER the thing happens.
-or- The actual time in history or future these people are referring to.
There have been MANY times in human history that the whole world seemed to be in turmoil, headed towards an "event", or like the world was ending, so unless there are strict dates given, things that these writers were referring to could have already happened.
Why Does It Matter?
This definition is important because it changes how we interpret what was said by people who thought they were seeing a glimpse into another realm. And interpreting what was said is important because it affects the way we live.
It matters because entire ways of living are based on predictions of the future that may or may not even happen. It breeds a throw-away mentality...because if humanity is a hopeless bunch that will eventually be destroyed by their own failure and succumb to evil ways, (in the misguided idea about an apocalypse) why try to fix anything?
It takes the responsibility away from us and places it on someone else. And that someone else never seems to arrive or make themself known, or show us reality.
Our life matters here and now.
Not in some future possibility. And certainly not within the vastly different interpretations of ancient texts that are not as clear as many people say.
It could be that the ancient prophecies are all a bunch of bullshit. Wishful thinking to prove out certain belief systems. Crazy ideas formed from hallucinations had on a magic mushroom trip.
Or...maybe people were actually seeing something.
Let’s just say that these predictions and prophecies are accurate and that this apocalypse is something that is unfolding right before our eyes. But let’s run through the scenario with the original meaning of the word, the meaning the writers intended. Not the modern definition we see splashed across film advertisements.
What if the end times doesn’t have anything to do with the end of the world...what if it has to do with the end of a way of living? The end of greed and corruption, the end of striving to win or be the best. The end of things that don’t serve us or the TRUE greater good. The end of imbalance.
Remember, apocalypse means: a new way of looking at things, great knowledge, an unveiling, uncovering, unfolding, or revelation.
Sometimes change looks destructive. And it is...to things that need to be rebuilt.
In many cases, old buildings have to be torn down, foundation and all, before a new one can be built. That tearing down time is messy, ugly, and difficult.
But it has to be done.
The proverbial dirt has been swept under the rug for far too long. Now the rug is old and deteriorating and we're starting to see things that have been hidden. Things that have been covered by lies or perceptions. We’re all pecking at the edges like vultures. As scary and as nasty as it is, we HAVE to see it.
If we don’t know what’s broken, we can’t fix it.
All of the crisis is causing things to be seen for that they are. We are finally coming face to face with so many things we DON'T want. We can't hide from it any longer.
Once we clean up the mess, a new way will emerge and we can rebuild...If there is any truth to prophecies about an apocalypse, we are just beginning. Governments and big corporations are struggling to hold on to the thin shell that hides their corruption.
But it’s not just the big shots that are in need of change...
All of us.
The way we treat each other. The way we treat the planet. Our priorities are all messed up and our focus is out of alignment with what’s important. Many of us are disingenuous to ourselves, avoiding self-reflection because it's painful.
All of it is about to give way to a massive change and it's crazy uncomfortable. But change will bring a new way. A good way.
It’s a way that is inclusive, not exclusive. A way that places ethical, sustainable, and balanced living standards above corporate greed and a power-hungry mindset. A way of thinking that is expansive, borderless, flexible. A way that seeks out honesty, integrity, and authenticity. A way of ease and health and benefit for all, not just a few. A way of oneness and equality where we make decisions about things together for the good of all.
And that’s what we all want right?
For things to be good for ALL OF US???
Personally, I feel like we are on the edge of a shift in human consciousness.
It doesn’t matter if you are a believer in one of the many different interpretations of the Book of Revelations or if you are interested in ancient prophecies in a non-religious form...something is happening.
I know. It sucks.
I don’t claim to know the truth about any of this as I once did. But I do know one thing, leaning into the idea that there is hope for a different future is better than wallowing in the despair of this all ending on a note of pointlessness.
So, let the apocalypse come.
And let us all be reborn.