End of Days: Predictions of the End From Ancient Sources
How is it possible that the sacred texts of every major world religion (as well numerous other ancient religions and philosophies) we find precisely the same apocalyptic story about the end of the world as we know it? Was there originally a single end-of-the-world story that spread around the world, or did prophets of all religions foresee the same scenario?
These apocalyptic traditions all insist that the time will come when there will be a profound increase of human greed, corruption, destruction, and violence, and an equal and opposite decrease of morality, ethics and religious values. Each of these stories predict a final cosmic battle waged between the supernatural forces of good and forces of evil.
The demon armies will be led by a Satan-like figure, while a messiah figure will lead the angelic forces. The battle between good and evil will be extremely violent and destructive, but it will also be conclusive. The forces of good will ultimately triumph, and when that happens, the present world will come to an end. All of humanity will then be judged. Those who have done evil in life will be banished to the outer regions, while those who have done good will inherit a new world in which even the possibility of evil has been banished.
For Jews, Christians and Muslims, this will be a one-time event. For Hindus and Buddhists, it is part of a never-ending cycle: creation is always followed by destruction, destruction is always followed by creation. But for all religions, the end of the present world is inevitable!
Conservative Christians tell us these are the “end times.” Hindus tell us we are living in the Kali Yuga, the last of four ages—this one ruled over by Kali, the goddess of destruction. Many believe that the Mayan calendar predicts the world will end in 2012. Is it possible that this time the prophets of doom and destruction are actually right? Today we face numerous potential world-ending challenges: climate change, deforestation, dying oceans, mass extinction of species, uncontrolled population growth, terrorism, a marked increase of greed and corruption, the decline of morals, and the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation.
Never before in human history have we faced the challenges we do today. Will we meet those challenges, change our ways, and save ourselves and Mother Earth before it is too late? Or will we continue in our destructive ways and bring out our own end? Do we face a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future, or will destruction somehow lead us onward to new age? What if the End is not only inevitable, but something we should accept as necessary for the evolution of our species?
The author of End of Days examines these issues as he studiously explains and compares humanity’s ancient apocalyptic and eschatological traditions and predictions.
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