'The Apocalypse in Religion: The Different Traditions, An Introduction', by Ultan Banan. Ruminations on religion and history.

And I saw heaven opened,

and behold, a white horse…

Stuck for something to write for the blog this week, I came up with the uninspiring idea to do an internet search for things that happened on the 11th April throughout history. (Because sometimes you simply have to scrape the barrel.) I came across the following cryptic entry on some stray website:

“Scientists have reasons to claim that the world might actually end on April 11th. The reason? Past events and simple calculations. Though none of this can be of surety, the results are interesting nonetheless. April 11th according to historians was the day Jesus Christ, the apocalyptic preacher and founder of Christianity, established the Passover and revealed of his second coming that would result in the end of the world. In coincidence, this very day World War I began, Hitler passed the Anti-Semitic laws, Comet Hyakutake and Comet Hale-Bopp crossed the “evil-star” Algol and the earthquakes that almost buried Indonesia occurred. With simple calculations of the days between the above-mentioned events, scientists found a trend that would be hard to disregard, a tally that points to the fact that 11 April might be the day the world ends. In the end, it’s hard to digest that life and evolution is one big circle, and these events just prove that.”

Bonkers, sure, but I particularly liked the quote it was introduced with:

“The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.”

Fucken eh. That’s pretty sweet. From Richard Bach, apparently, whom I didn’t know off-hand but I’ve certainly heard of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, even if I’ve never read it. It raises a point that I’m vaguely familiar with (but by no means expert on) that what is referred to variously as the Apocalypse, Armageddon, or the Malhama (in the Islamic tradition), is not so much the end of the world as the ‘end of history’, rather a ‘revolution’ (in the most elemental sense of the word) or a turning point, the end of one chapter of humanity and the beginning of another. ‘Wiping the slate clean’, you might say, so we can begin over. What that entails, naturally, is tonnes of death, destruction and pillage––because as Malcolm X said, there’s no such thing as a bloodless revolution. Jolly, huh?

But what this article is not, is an attempt to apply religious prophecy to today’s world, in all its wild, comical and bloody mess, though if it’s your wont to do that, we can hardly blame you. It’s difficult to look around right now and not see a horrendous burning maw awaiting us––cause the world’s pretty fucking scary sometimes, and let’s face it, full of lunatics and megalomaniacs. My interest in the subject matter is purely academic and I’ll be dredging up some visionary apocalyptic ravings, and what you do with those prophecies and oracular revelations is entirely up to you.

So come along for the ride and let’s get biblical…

To see books from Black Tarn Publishing, follow the link below:

 ‘The Apocalypse in Religion: The Different Traditions, An Introduction’, by Ultan Banan.  Image by Taton Moïse. Please note: flash fiction, nonfiction and all other content is the sole work of Black Tarn. Ask before republishing.

%d bloggers like this: