Predictions of the Future
She was the greatest psychic known. In her trances she was able to tell of past-lives, explain current problems, and predict the future. She had been uncannily accurate in every verifiable pronouncement she had ever made. She had made many a believer out of skeptics, and now she was being tested once again.
“What predictions do you have for the world in the next 10 years?” The skeptical investigator watched the psychic as she drew in a deep breath, seemed to hold it for just a moment, and then began to talk in a forceful and intense manner.
“I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the world is going to undergo the most massive destruction imaginable; the poles will shift abruptly, whole continents will be inundated, lands will appear, volcanoes and earthquakes will set new records for destruction, and the vast majority (i.e. 95 to 99%) of the earth’s population will be killed in fire storms, bitter cold, wrenching earth shifts, and other clever and very violent natural means. To put it mildly, all hell’s going to break loose.
"That’s the bad news. The good news is that in the 'New Age', everything’s gonna be all better.”
Prophecies of Doom
From time immemorial doomsayers have been prophesying the early end to the earth, man, the stock market, and bad breath. In only one case did the predictions come true (albeit, predictions of the 1929 stock market debacle were few and far between). On a more positive note, religions and prophets have been heralding the coming of a new and glorious age (with appropriate appearances of religious figures) for just as long. Interestingly enough, they too have managed to come up with a few correct predictions. Occasionally. Maybe.
Predictions of doom are almost always newsworthy. Telling the world that this week will be a lot like last week is seldom going to make the six o’clock news, whereas stories of the coming market crash and depression (recently predicted for 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 -- at least it was close! -- 1988, 1989, all of the 1990's, and of course, the biggest debacle of all, Y2K!), always manage to catch someone’s ear, eye, and/or attention. [Strangely, little prophecy was predicted of the crash of 401K's and the stock markets' major downturn during the Bush (Shrub) Administration -- 2001 thru 2003, and beyond?]
It seems as if mankind relishes the idea of its forthcoming demise or destruction, but would rather not hear about how good things are. If one has problems, they certainly don’t want to hear that everyone else is doing great. And since everyone has problems of one kind or another, no one appears eager to hear of another’s good fortune.
Accordingly the market for terrifying predictions has been and is currently enjoying considerable interest. In terms of dollars there is tremendous speculation in the stocks of prophets of doom and gloom. The interesting aspect is the continuing increase and much wider group of doomsayers. No longer limited to the down-trodden (who would just as soon forget their current troubles and start over, going along with whatever catastrophe appeals to their imagination), tales of imminent doom are being made by a vast menagerie of players.
The stock market, for example, has always had more than a few, established and respected members readily acknowledging the imminent doom of the market. Some have even gone to the extreme of predicting the idea of owning stocks becoming extinct (such that the ultimate stock tip is not to own any). Considering the graft and corruption so rampant in the stock market and in the publicly-held companies’ board rooms, this is probably an inevitable result. The tales of Enron, Worldcom, Arthur Anderson, hundreds of crooked CEOs, et al, ad infinitum would constitute a reasonable assumption as to the cause of the inevitable.
If one also considers the basics of the Business Cycle (i.e. what goes up, must come down), then a recession or depression in the near term is inevitable. Not just possible, but guaranteed. A sure thing. And not in the distant future. Worse yet, another aspect of the Business Cycle is that what goes up the highest and stays up the longest, precedes that which goes down the lowest and stays down the longest.
The inevitability of a looming worldwide economic disaster is very real, particularly when, among other things, the United States national debt may rocket up toward nine or ten trillion dollars (the current U. S. debt plus the current “contingent liabilities” -- i.e. the money owed by the U. S. in the event of guaranteed loans from banks, savings and loans, FHA, VA, students, and so forth, all failing in dramatic fashion). The only question is the extent of the disaster, and on this basis, one might become seriously worried. This is due in part to the fact that such forecasts have not even considered recent predictions of changing weather patterns, where much of the rainfall moves to sea, causing yet another dust bowl.
In his book, Memories and Visions of Paradise, Richard Heinberg has written:
“Not only religious zealots but economists, social theorists, technologists, nuclear critics, population experts, ecologists and political ideologues agree that an unprecedented shift in man’s world -- whether catastrophic or beatific -- is inevitable within the next half-century.”
Today the pace seems to be quickening as predictors of doom seem eager to leap upon the end-of-this-world bandwagon. The only real divergence of opinion is whether the expectation is for Armageddon or the flowering of a new planetary culture built upon the ashes and complete with an unprecedented spiritual awakening (including most any scenario lying between these extremes). The more pessimistic of the lot tend to view the turning of the millennium and the march to 2012 AD, as the absolute limit for the culmination of all the horrifying trends. The more optimistic like to think of things changing for the better. This view seems the least defensible in that things almost never change for the better.
On the other hand, the effective elimination of the Infernal Revenue Service would surely usher in a Golden Age!
Certainly, world problems tend to provide fuel for the doom and gloom teams. Mankind is now faced with a proliferation of major problems due to overpopulation, famine, disease, war, and man’s own inhumanity to man. We also have specifics, such as the very real probability of a world debt and financial crisis (which would make 1929 look tame), the possibility of nuclear winter from too many bombs or nuclear reactors, starvation and famine in many parts of the world, and ecological disasters ranging from the extinction of animals and other forms of life to the wholesale elimination of forests, croplands and natural habitats. On top of all this, AIDS (Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome) and its cousin viruses, plagues, and vaccines have all the earmarks of an Armageddon guaranteed to decimate the earth. (How, for example in the case of AIDS, does one quarantine a disease with an incubation period of from one to ten years, a disease transmitted sexually, which opens up the victim to every known infection, plague, and/or virus, and a disease that continually mutates and thus tends to stay ahead of medical researchers looking for a cure?)
The problems seem overwhelming to say the least; but are we overdoing it? Are we over-reacting to our problems, and always seeing the worst? Perhaps. Psychologists believe that every generation prefers to see itself as the culmination of history. In this view, we may be simply attempting to justify our own self-worth, by ascribing to our age, some form of immense importance. That possibility, of course, exists by virtue of the fact we like to think of our “times” as very significant.
The turning of the millennium (as reckoned by our somewhat arbitrary calendar) seems to add fuel to the fire. But as Norman Cohn noted in his study, The Pursuit of the Millennium, fears and expectations of the end-of-the-world tend to show ebbs and flows through the centuries. We may be at nothing more than a crest in the wave, potentially the greatest eschatological wave of all history, but still one that is just a momentary upsurge in the predictable flow through time.
However, in 1971, Jay Forrestor, an MIT professor, disturbed his colleagues and a goodly portion of the public who became acquainted with his work with a paper entitled “Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems.” In this thought-provoking paper, Dr. Forrestor used a computer model to combine the effects of long term trends in population growth, pollution levels, usage and availability of natural resources, and rates of capital investment -- all on variations in the quality of life. His computer model ran from the year 1900 through 1970 (in order to establish a base of known data) and extrapolated expected scenarios or trends to the year 2100.
Dr. Forrestor developed a series of scenarios, most of which caused severe gyrations in the quality of life and population beginning sometime in the years of 2020 to 2040. Since then, only two of his published scenarios have come close to the actual population increases actually experienced since 1971. Furthermore, in the more likely scenario of the two (based on its adherence to more recent history), the population is predicted to fall by 2045 to about 5% of the expected 2015 peak. [Interestingly, this reduction in the population to 5% of what went before is reminiscent of Dr. Wambach’s prediction for 2100.]
With better pollution controls and reduced pollution combined with this same scenario, the crisis was delayed by 20 years and reduced in its destructiveness -- i.e., population fell to only about one third of its 2040 peak. A third and the only scenario considered which yielded equilibrium in world conditions was an immediate leveling off of the population to that of 1970 levels. In the last three decades, we have virtually eliminated any possibility of this third scenario.
Perhaps our time is, in fact, noteworthy... or at the very least interesting. There is an ancient Chinese curse which says: “May you live in interesting times.” The present day would seem to qualify, but then other times would seem equally appropriate. For example....
Mankind has always maintained in its collective memory the myths and stories of humanity on the brink, where its insanity and recklessness have forced upon us the inevitable vengeance of mother nature. Plato’s description of Atlantis and its ultimate destruction is but one example of the end of a civilization run amok. Atlantis did not, according to legend, disappear because of the natural phenomena of earthquakes and tidal waves that just happened to come along and carelessly decimate Atlantis.
Instead, Atlantis brought destruction on itself by pride, unseemly behavior, and wicked coveting. (That doesn’t describe us, does it?) Plato also implied Atlantis’ destruction was intended by the Greek God, Zeus, to return the Atlanteans to the fold and restore their piety. The fact the Atlantean Civilization was virtually wiped from the face of the earth does suggest a bit of overkill, or that Zeus and the gang may have overdone it ever so slightly. Nevertheless, the end result was still due, supposedly, to mankind’s own folly.
Lemuria, another legendary land (but perhaps even more obscure than Atlantis), is said to have met its end for the same reasons. In fact it appears from Edgar Cayce’s description that Lemuria was given more than one opportunity to recognize the inevitable, but in each case eventually fell into trouble, and ultimately was wiped out.
The insistence of myths and tales of lost civilizations being destroyed by the irreverence of its peoples should give us pause. Why must major, worldwide catastrophes be attributed only to the fault of man? Cannot volcanoes erupt without man somehow causing the devastating event? Are earthquakes, no matter how potent, the result of man’s inhumanity to man?
In his book, Worlds in Collision, Immanuel Velikovsky gives a scholarly account of near-collisions between the planet earth and planet Venus on the one hand, and earth and Mars on the other, both during historical times. Using modern physics and the so-called mythologies of ancient peoples throughout the world, Velikovsky explains the miracles of the Exodus, including the biblical passage:
“And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” (Joshua 10:13)
Amazingly, Velikovsky’s theories suggest that the sun did in fact stand still -- or in other words, the earth’s surface, the floating plates, did in fact slip such that the sun appeared to stand still! In the process of explaining this incredible historical fact, Velikovsky also called into question the chronology of Egyptian dynasties, earning him a great deal of fanatical and irrational responses from Egyptologists, pseudo-scientists and ancient historians.
Noteworthy in Velikovsky’s accounts is the lack of a heavenly motive for the massive destruction occasioned by two planets in what could best be described as two near-collisions. There appears to be nothing which tells us that “we brought it on ourselves.” It was in fact a natural catastrophe, and not the result of heavenly displeasure toward man or a group thereof.
One might wonder why man is so eager to accept responsibility for natural calamities. If you are wondering this, then consider the alternative. If mankind is thoroughly good and doing all that can be expected of him (and her) -- and then the world is torn asunder by the random acts of nature -- the inevitable implication is the world and/or the universe is out of control, and is essentially not a very nice place to (try to) live. For if the planet Venus wreaked havoc in 1500 BCE, what’s to prevent a similar occurrence today? If Atlantis were “inadvertently” or carelessly wiped from the face of the earth, could we not suffer the same fate? And even after we’ve been good!? Clearly we could, and this prospect of an uncontrolled nature sporadically and randomly wiping out the good, the bad, and the simply ugly, is often more than egotistical man can tolerate.
Similarly, if Comet Shoemaker-Levy can plunge into Jupiter and cause havoc, then why not have Earth as a target? Earth has almost certainly been hit by a comet in prior times -- wiping out the dinosaurs, or just a small portion of Tunguska, Siberia -- and it's only a matter of time before any one of the thousands of Near-Earth Objects (known or unknown) come a bit too near to Earth and wreck havoc, up close and personal. But is this because the dinosaurs, residents of Jupiter, or early Twentieth Century Siberians were bad?
That seems unlikely. Keep in mind that the accrediting to mankind of worldwide disasters has two motivations. It certainly satisfies man’s ego by implying he can determine the cause of natural events on a massive scale. If by being bad he can destroy his world, and alternatively, by being good save it, then it follows that mankind must be a very powerful and important species. The species may be important, at least to some extent. But don’t bet all the farms on it.
A second motivation of mankind’s ability to cause disaster, is the potential for control by some of the doomsayers. Again we have the implication that if all of us don’t straighten up and fly right (i.e. obey the doomsayer's rules) the world will be destroyed. The onus is on you (and others like you) to save the world by doing what the doomsayer wants to see done.
It’s rather severe punishment for not adhering to what I think is right, but I have to revert to such extreme measures in order to catch your full attention.
Just as we might suspect the objectivity of those who threaten pain and anguish for their followers who do not follow every precept of the faith, one might also doubt the coming Armageddon. God, in fact, may not strike down the wicked and preserve the good, but may simply allow us to continue as before. While we may be facing the distinct possibility of worldwide catastrophes of unprecedented scale and from a variety of causes, our “being good” may have little or no effect in averting the crisis.
A third aspect revolves about one of the motivations for Anarchy. When an individual or a group of people are consistently frustrated in their quest for their chosen pursuit of happiness, they often resort to throwing in the towel and determine to have their persecutors and enemies done in -- even at the loss of their own life. This is the primary motivation of suicide bombers and terrorists. Basically they have nothing to lose, and taking with them those people they consider to be the source of their frustration and wretched life can be very appealing.
But this is not just about terrorism. The popularity of doomsday movies -- from comets hitting the earth, to extraterrestrial invasions -- hints at the frustration of even those people living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. When one feels powerless to correct the injustices of the world -- particularly those of a personal nature -- why not just take out the bad guys with one dramatic and vengeful hit? Did anyone, for example, bemoan the fate of the bank building that failed to give the widowed motel owner a loan when her live-in friend, Archangel Michael, "smote" it?
The Great Purification
Traditions of peoples throughout the world tell of a time of “purification” and the “reawakening of spiritual man.” The Hopi Indians believe that within the next ten to twenty years, mankind will either destroy itself or transform itself into a new spiritual age. They also see famines and other natural catastrophes as one step in the Great Purification. Apparently, the world is about to shake, rattle and roll, despite mankind’s action. Man’s only choice may be whether or not to join in the spiritual awakening.
The Hopis are not alone. The Mesquakie Indians also see the need for massive earth changes in the process of cleansing the earth and returning man to his original state. The Tibetans go a step further and add political strife to a series of global catastrophes before man can enter into the new era of spiritual awakening. Interestingly the Tibetans also believe that mankind is now living at the end of a 26,000 year period of darkness. After waiting that long, it’s no wonder that they are so eagerly searching for “the light at the end of the tunnel”.
There are a multitude of predictions of the coming doom, as well as compensation for the true believers. From 13th century Japanese religious teachers to the founders of today’s major religions, we have the same story of gloom and doom, followed by a time of peace, joy and second comings. The prophet Mohammed, for example, promised peace:
“...when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast and the earth and the mountains are lifted up and crushed with a single blow. Then, on that day, the Terror shall come to pass, and heaven shall be split...”
Buddhist scriptures, being a bit less belligerent, have prophesied the future incarnation of Buddha, in the form of someone named Maitreya:
“Human beings are then without any blemishes, moral offences are unknown among them, and they are full of zest and joy. Their bodies are very large and their skin has a fine hue. Their strength is quite extraordinary... And then (Maitreya) will with a perfect voice preach the true Dharma, which is auspicious and removes all ill... and leads to Nirvana.”
There are now suggestions that Maitreya has already returned to earth and is living in London! Perhaps you caught his news release.
In the 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus’ disciples ask “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus’ answer was:
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24: 6-8)
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthews 24: 29-31)
Many would suggest that the turning of the millennium - a span of perhaps 25 years -- is indeed the “beginning of sorrows,” and admittedly there are noteworthy correlations. However, World War II might easily have been considered a more likely time for the end-of-the-world times and its associated tribulations. And with mankind being rather consistently at war, perhaps one should look for a substantial increase in earthquake activity to herald the coming of troubled times. This view of relying on nature’s signals instead of man’s is often the rationale for more modern predictions of impending doom.
It is noteworthy, however, that in the same 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus repeatedly warns against false Christs and false prophets and being deceived by others claiming to be Christ. If we plan to seriously consider the text of modern day predictions, it might be well to keep in mind this warning of possible deception.
Missing in most of these ancient prophecies are specific dates. If you’re talking about next week, you are much more likely to have everyone’s undivided attention; but if we’re looking at decades or centuries, then perhaps we all have a bit more time to take care of last minute details. The world in 2100 may have only 5% of today’s population, but if we’re talking about something a century away, there would appear to be nothing to worry about. However, if Armageddon is only ten to twenty years in the future, perhaps we should listen to the possibilities a bit more carefully.
Warnings of Armageddon, based on the year 2000 or the end of the second millennium were at one time all the rage. The horrendous possibilities of Y2K even managed to capture the imagination of the business world, as it was their computers who stood to take the biggest hit. Ultimately, of course, the entire things was pretty much a non-happening. But it did get everyone's juices flowing! It did have drama. And comedy. Which is, in the end, what really counts.
There was, of course, nothing particularly important about the year 2000 -- other than the potential for a computer glitch. On the one hand, most scholars believe Jesus Christ was born in 4 BC (qualifying this statement as an oxymoron). This would have implied the end of the world in 1996. Additionally, there is nothing particularly magic about the number 2000.
Mathematically speaking, the year 2000 was derived from a “base ten” numbering system. Such a numbering system is quite arbitrary, and, from a mathematician’s viewpoint, a rather poor choice. A much better choice is base 8, which a computer uses with infinitely greater ease (actually a computer uses base 2, but base 8 is effectively two cubed). In the base 8 system, the year 2000 is actually the year 2400, obviously not a year to which we would attach the same, millennium-madness importance. (For those who would suggest we have ten fingers -- and thus implying the rationale of a base ten system -- please note that in reality we have 8 fingers and 2 thumbs, i.e., the base 8 and base 2 systems. So there!)
On the other hand, the year 2000 is, approximately, the end of the Piscean Age (and the start of the Aquarian Age). While many modern predictions tend to rely on the year 2000 as the height of global changes, others find other dates. Some of these possibilities are even more noteworthy. For example:
The Toltecs and Aztecs of Central America include in their sacred traditions the prophecies given by a priest born about 950 A.D., whom they considered as the reincarnation of Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl was the Mayan God who at the beginning of the world taught his people the rudiments of agriculture, mathematics and theology. His priest, who was light skinned and bearded, prophesied that a man like him in appearance would come from the east in a canoe with huge wings, wearing a feathered plume and a coat that would shine like the sun. Upon his arrival, the white man would initiate a period of nine “hells,” each hell being a roughly 52-year cycle of darkness. At the end of the nine hells, there would begin a time of supreme cleansing and purification, when cities and mountains would collapse and civilization would be reduced to rubble by fire. After the Great Purification, the Christ-like God, Quetzalcoatl, would return to initiate a Golden Age.
In 1519, Cortez arrived on the west coast in a sailing ship (with white sails), wearing brightly polished armor and a plumed helmet. Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, immediately recognized the obvious fulfillment of the prophecy -- which explains in part how the relatively meager contingent of conquistadors were able to fairly easily destroy the Aztec Civilization.
[It is left to the reader to calculate the first year of the supreme cleansing and purification, which will begin with worldwide destruction and end with the start of the Golden Age, i.e. 1519 A.D. + (9 hells x 52 yrs/hell) = _____.) Hint: 1987. (Perhaps we’d better check Cortez’s log again, just to make sure of his arrival date in the New World.)]
It has been pointed out that the Aztecs at the time of Cortez practiced human sacrifice on a grand scale, regularly made war with neighboring tribes just for the purpose of obtaining sacrificial victims (and for some, dying with honor), and in general were not the precise exemplification of what Christians might consider “nice, righteous" people. Whether or not this decline of the Aztecs and their predecessors into sin and loathing from 950 A.D. to the time of Cortez, is responsible for the Spaniard’s arrival is not clear, but, for our purposes, the initiation of a Golden Age might be relevant.
Finally, 1987 was noted by many Mayan Calendar aficionados and was celebrated as the "Harmonic Convergence". It was determined then (and via other means) that the twenty-five years following the big HC would be an interim, drop dead opportunity to clean up one's act, before the END of the Mayan Calendar in 2012 AD. Apparently, we are not quite out of the woods yet.
We have already alluded in an earlier chapter to Edgar Cayce’s predictions of the future and their implications. As a modern prophet, Mr. Cayce was quite prolific. For example, Cayce spoke of the time period 1958-1998 A. D. in terms of physical changes. These included the western portion of American being “broken up”, most of Japan going into the sea, Northern Europe changed in the twinkling of an eye, land appearing off the east coast of America, upheavals at the North and South Poles, eruption of volcanoes, and ultimately, a shifting of the poles -- such that frigid climates would become tropical!
Instead of California falling off into the ocean, we were to have it merely being “broken up”. Presumably New Yorkers would not be too “broken up” by this news, particularly in light of the fact that they were supposed to find new land off their coast for condominium development. Japan, on the other hand (not to mention northern Europe) would have had greater cause for concern. On the plus side, this would greatly decrease the trade deficit with Japan.
But then... it didn't happen. Astoundingly, this lack of disaster was very upsetting to some people!
These disappointees include the purveyors of drastically revised world maps -- such as a particularly nice one going under the headline of "I am America" -- which detailed vanished lands and new continents rising up out of the sea. Many people took the revelations to heart and relocated as a protective measure. Only it didn't happen.
One famous map showed most of the western United States under water, and in particular the city of Sedona, Arizona. Sedona, however, was at the time considered to be a prime center of the New Age movement, and when the placing of an enlightened city underwater was pointed out to the psychic developer of the map, a revised version was promptly dispatched to the faithful! Since then, the residents of Sedona, the state of California, and most of Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado are all now breathing with considerable relief. In other words, nothing happened on schedule.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that something won't happen in the (near) future.
Nostradamus was the 16th century French astrologer we discussed in Chapter XIII. Considering Nostradamus’ rather incredible record of successful predictions, extending over a period of four hundred years, his predictions may carry a bit more weight. This includes those discussed here -- and for the most part of current interest -- which must be considered with some degree of credibility. At the same time, however, we should keep in mind that Nostradamus’ cryptic style does not exactly lend itself to unambiguous interpretations by different scholars!
For example, John Hogue, in his beautifully illustrated book, Nostradamus and the Millennium, for example, made a host of interpretations of Nostradamus’ many Quatrains, all of which have subsequently failed to manifest. Four of immediate concern -- note the dates -- include:
The fact nothing of the sort happened is not necessarily a flaw in Nostradamus' vision, however, but potentially simply a faulty interpretation by Hogue. Of course, Nostradamus might have erred. There is also the possibility of a combination of the two being wrong.
On the other side of the coin, some of the more intriguing of Nostradamus’ prophecies -- also as interpreted by Hogue -- involve the Roman Catholic Church and, specifically, the various Popes during the last four hundred years. These have appeared to be much more on target.
This may be due to the fact Nostradamus’ predictions agree in many respects with the prophecies of an Irish priest named Malachi, who visited Rome in 1138 A. D. and had a vision of the entire succession of 112 popes. Malachi’s prophecies were supposedly unknown to Nostradamus, but both agree on most details and both have proven to be uncannily accurate, even to the giving of actual names.
Points of agreement, for example, include details concerning Pope Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul I. The latter Pope (who reigned as Pontiff for only 30 days) was predicted by both Nostradamus and Malachi to be murdered by members of the Vatican!
Hogue believes the questionable financial dealings of the church were the cause of the death of John Paul I, since this Pope might very well have reshuffled power in the Vatican and delved too deeply into certain financial questionable affairs.
It is not yet clear if these deadly prophecies are correct. But both Nostradamus and Malachi agree that the next two Popes will be named Clement and, following Clement, Peter II. They also claim Peter II will be the last Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. While neither of these prophets may be correct, if the next Pope (after John Paul II) is named Clement, it might be wise to sell any Vatican stock you might still be hanging onto.
Of all the predicted disasters, a pole shift remains the most fascinating. This is something much more substantial than mere earth tremors or limited volcanic activity. Shifting of the poles would result in immense tidal waves, extensive and abrupt changes in climate, wholesale submergence of continents, as well as massive and extensive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. A pole shift involves nothing less than continental movements on a grand scale, and would cause massive destruction as the continents underwent convulsive shifts to new locations. The bulk of the earth might continue to spin, but the outer shell (crust) would be completely changed (in similar fashion to the continental shifts theorized by Velikovsky and his supporters in explaining the day the sun stood still).
The idea of the earth’s crust shifting over a constantly rotating earth has also been discussed in Earth’s Shifting Crust by Charles Hapgood and James Campbell. Hapgood is a professor of history and anthropology at Keene State College in New Hampshire, while Campbell is an engineer who helped develop the Sperry gyroscopic compass. Hapgood and Campbell noted that Antarctica has an off-center ice sheet with its center of gravity located more than 345 miles from the polar axis. The effect of this mass being off-center from the axis is akin to an unbalanced washing machine. Load a washing machine with a heavy rug in one section and you may very well see that machine “walk” all over the room.
An alternative view of the mechanism of the pole shift has been discussed in Allen W. Eckert’s novel, The HAB Theory. The novel was in fact a dramatization of Hugh Auchincloss Brown’s theory that the accumulation of ice at one or both poles could periodically upset the equilibrium of the earth’s spin, causing it to tumble in space “like an overloaded canoe”. Instead of the crust moving over a constantly spinning core, the entire planet would become involved. This is a noteworthy difference in that a shifting of the earth's crust might alleviate the unbalanced planet immediately and thereafter settle down. A tumbling earth on the other hand might continue to tumble for a substantially longer time.
The “HAB Theory” has some support in the writings of Dr. Thomas Gold, one of the world’s most noted scientists, and in the book Continents in Motion, by Walter Sullivan. Gold has gone so far as to suggest that pole shifts have apparently occurred in the geologic past at intervals of millions of years, and as a consequence have brought about great changes in climate and life on earth.
Immanuel Velikovsky has described many of these changes in his books, Worlds in Collision, Earth in Upheaval, et al. While Dr. Velikovsky did not address pole shifts directly, his theories allowed for them as part of the general conflagration, as well as abrupt and major shifts in the continental plates. Importantly, Velikovsky’s theories are based on catastrophic world changes occurring during historical times, specifically about 1500 BCE.
Velikovsky has been viciously attacked by certain scientists since the publication of his first book in 1950, mostly in true Galilean fashion -- science’s method of burying one’s head in the sand. His theories, however, have continued to flourish as new and significant findings have continued to support the theories and Velikovsky’s detractors have failed completely to find flaws. The implication is that not only have there been massive earth changes in the past, but such catastrophic changes may have occurred during historical times and as little as 2,700 years ago.
The question of the exact mechanism of predicted pole shifts is probably of less importance than the question of whether or not we can actually expect such an event in the foreseeable future. One way of looking at such predictions is to consider the track records of the pertinent prophets.
In Edgar Cayce’s case, we need to note some preliminaries. Cayce discussed in some detail the building of the Pyramid, the Sphinx, and a smaller Pyramid of Records. According to Cayce, an alleged Hall of Records, would be discovered in a pyramid of its own, lying between the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid. A sealed room of this pyramid would contain a record of Atlantis, including its early development, its first destruction, the subsequent changes that took place, a record of its activities, and the final destruction. Obviously the discovery of a hidden pyramid near the Sphinx would constitute a major verification of Cayce’s predictions.
There is some indication that Cayce predicted the opening of the Hall of Records in Egypt and/or the rising of the temple of Atlantis during the 1968 to 1969 time period. The discovery of a hidden room had not occurred by this time, or at least there has been no announcement of such. [And considering the degree to which the Dead Sea Schrolls have been kept under wraps so as not to upset the religious dogmatists with possibly new interpretations -- this might suggest that any such discoveries would be unlikely to see the public knowledge light of day.]
Cayce also predicted a variation in the polar star (Polaris) in relation to the lines from the Great Pyramid. Supposedly when this change becomes noticeable, there would be many more souls from the Atlantean and Lemurian Civilizations reincarnating. If one believes Shirley McClaine is from Atlantis and Ramtha from Lemuria, there could be some suggestion that this time is upon us. But this is perhaps greater speculation than Cayce’s predictions.
In the final analysis, Cayce’s predictions have not yet seen enough verification to allow us to make any assumptions as to the validity or invalidity of his other prophecies.
Nostradamus, on the other hand, has a “longer track record”, and has had 400 years for events to either occur or fail to occur. His most famous quatrain predicted the death of King Henry II in 1559, and was so accurate in the details of the jousting accident that killed Henry, that all of the bystanders immediately recognized Nostradamus’ prediction (which had already become well known). We have already mentioned many of Nostradamus’ previous successes in Chapter XIII. However, the difficulty with Nostradamus continues to be the correct interpretation of his predictions.
The Earthquake Generation, by Dr. Jeffrey Goodman, provides an alternative set of catastrophic predictions, and the chance to evaluate their accuracy. Copyrighted in 1979, Goodman’s book predicted a 20-year season of catastrophes beginning with the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Goodman has combined predictions made by a group of psychics and clairvoyants with geological and scientifically based data to arrive at some spectacular and very dramatic conclusions. His predictions for the year 2000 included:
Which looks to be about nine out of nine bad predictions. [But hey! They looked good at the time!]
If we add another six predictions made in Goodman’s book for the period 1980-1985, i.e.,
About the only remote possibility is the last one. But then again, that doesn't take much of a psychic to predict an ineffectual U. S. government!
A few diehards have pointed out that psychic predictions of the future have one inherent flaw. Inasmuch as time is virtually irrelevant in the space between lives, one should not expect any psychic to be terribly accurate with respect to the precise time scale for a predicted disaster. Obviously, this could be merely an excuse for bad predicting. But it might also have a slight justification. Possibly very slight.
Catastrophism versus Uniformitarianism
It is important we do not dismiss predictions of disasters on the basis of arguments which point out that just because natural catastrophes have not occurred in the past on the massive scale envisioned by the psychics, they cannot happen in the future. There is also the problem that catastrophes in the past have been blotted out of our species memory -- if only as a means of not becoming excessively fearful.
Furthermore, evolution as taught in schools today tends to overemphasize the slowness of evolutionary change and what appears to be a basic stability. Everything is viewed as minute modifications spaced over long periods of time. There is substantial evidence such slow, gradual changes are indeed in operation even today. However, there is nothing in this view of uniformitarianism that precludes an occasional catastrophe from completely changing the lay of the land.
Immanuel Velikovsky, in his book, Earth in Upheaval, does an excellent job of documenting the evidence for catastrophism as a standard means of changing the earth and its inhabitants. The evidence for the occasional, very abrupt worldwide disasters is overwhelming to the extent that evolution must be considered as a combination of both uniformity and catastrophe. Uniformitarianism simply carries us from one catastrophe to another. Anyone who insists that catastrophism is a myth is burying his head in the sand.
Interestingly, when evolution is considered to be a combination of uniformity and catastrophe, we find potentially less conflict between its view of history and that of “creationist” theories. If major and abrupt changes are allowed within the evolutionary scheme (catastrophe is perhaps a misnomer, as all abrupt changes would not have to be viewed as catastrophic), then it is possible that certain elements of creationism and evolution would no longer be contradictory. They might even agree.
Wouldn’t that be too bad? No more fun arguing with one another and shooting each other in the foot.
The New Age
Some sources have predicted that human egos will have been completely transformed by the year 2015 (Good luck!). In effect, man will no longer be isolated from his fellow man, but will have shed his fears, paranoia, and mistrust. In this view, man will continue to be an individual, but not one at odds with other individuals. In effect, the “rat race” will have terminated and everyone will be getting along splendidly. [However, it is unlikely there will be an awards ceremony for the winners of the rat race immediately following the conclusion of the event.]
The above scenario is just one of the views of the coming Golden Age. But is love and peace any nearer than wholesale disaster? Will there truly be a “Second Coming”? Edgar Cayce, has predicted the return of Christ to earth in this day and generation, although when queried as to the exact day, Cayce suggested that only the Creative Forces knew.
Added to Edgar Cayce’s predictions are all manner of people assuring everyone of the coming age of love and peace, the end of pain and death, enlightenment for everyone, and the return to earth of Jesus, Buddha, and the rest of the Profound Teachers’ Gang.
Unfortunately, some of these predictions also point out, that there will also be a time of judging as to who gets to live in the New Age and who doesn’t. It is this added stipulation or fine print in the contract of some of the prophets of doom and gloom that makes the possibilities of the New Age less desirable.
Consider for a moment... Would a just and loving God set up a classic pass/fail situation for his beloved children, when the rules were not at all clear? Would he truly damn those who did not know what was expected of them? By the same token, would a loving mother tell her children to be good, and then note, “But if you’re bad, I’m going to throw you out of the house so that you will starve to death!”
The trembling child might respond, “But mommy. What is bad and what is good?”
Mommy would then answer, “That, you have to learn yourself, through trial and error.”
Good luck kid.
If man was sent to earth to learn, to question, to develop his soul; is it now time for one big, single attempt at passing the entrance exam to heaven? Are all the previous incarnations so much smoke if we don’t manage to measure up this one critical time? Trial and error may be okay, provided the consequences of an error on the first trial is not the elimination of any subsequent trials. With each incarnation, we learn more, and hopefully come closer to enlightenment. But with the deadline set, are there no more chances? Was free will just a temporary experiment that has run its course?
One would have to have a very low opinion of God to think he has suddenly displayed uncharacteristic impatience and established a deadline for conversion to the party line. Peace and love are laudable objectives, but threats of missing the really big “bandwagon in the sky,” cannot be condoned. Surely God had more in mind when he created free will than a momentary diversion at seeing what might happen.
One can always question the motives of those who would see a “parting of the ways” in a New Age, between the good guys and the ones with black hats. Clearly the control factor may again be present, where the good guys are earnestly attempting to convince the bad guys to shed their darkened headgear. To “sell the concept,” a deadline has been established whereby today may be the last day the offer can be made. Sign up now or lose your best deal yet!
There is also the possibility these particular proponents of a New Age may be primarily those people who are not making it in this age. If things are not going according to one’s desires, one can always insist that things are about to change for the better -- and in a manner which the bad guys get theirs and the downtrodden good receive their just deserts. It may be emotionally comforting, but it is not self-evident to those who seem to be be doing just fine.
Before closing our thoughts on why have a cataclysm, we might ask one more possibly pertinent question: Is the coming cataclysm an act of mercy? Have things gotten sufficiently bad that The One or more Gods feels the necessity of dropping back ten and punting? Is the almost cyclical nature of periodic worldwide disasters an essential part of the plan?
Perhaps. One common belief making the rounds now, involves the concept of “Gaia”. Gaia is the name of the Greek goddess who gave birth (without a male’s cooperation!) of all the other generations of Greek Gods. Gaia is also the name now given to the earth, when the earth is assumed to a self-contained organism of its own. The theory, accepted by many, is that Gaia is now clearing her throat, so to speak, and clearing out all of mankind’s cluttered garbage. The idea is not quite, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”. But it’s close.
A perceived benefit, therefore, is that Gaia is simply going through a renewal, and mankind may end up getting in the way. In this case, the environmental terrors of ozone holes, rainforest decimation, polluted water and air, and so forth, will be addressed in a rather abrupt manner. The fact that civilizations and cities may also have to go, is, of course, an unfortunate consequence. [As Martin Glass has noted, however: “Maybe the cities ought to be destroyed.”]
As we have mentioned before, many proponents of reincarnation have viewed our continuing reincarnations as a series of courses. Perhaps cataclysms are the ends of semesters where we have the opportunity to check our grades and ultimately urge ourselves to do better during the following school term. Or perhaps the new course, Cataclysm 666, is just another (albeit possibly advanced) course a large number of reincarnating souls have signed up for. Such a thing is possible, of course. But then again, anything is possible. Right?
We might also recall the results of Helen Wambach’s and Chet Snow’s research into the future, as detailed in the book, Mass Dreams of the Future. Dr. Wambach’s research has a fair amount of statistical validity to it, although there is no comparable data to support the idea that the population of the year 2100 will be only 5% of today’s population.
The old advice of there being “nothing to fear, but fear itself” is probably worth repeating. If we think of the possibility of massive, worldwide disasters wiping out 95 to 98% of the population, we can also view it as 95 to 98% of the population going to heaven quickly and with perhaps a great deal less of the pain occasioned by slowly dying in hospitals and nursing homes.
If reincarnation is correct, then everyone planned to be on earth for Armageddon, and the ones not surviving had already decided on this particular fate prior to their incarnation! It can even be viewed that the ones who will be staying a while longer (and struggling through a great deal of basic survival), have also made their decisions before coming into this incarnation! There is thus no such thing as bad news -- just our perception of it. We may indeed be living in very interesting times.
A rather staggering thought, but who knows? It might even be true!
Chapter Fourteen: Communications with the Other Side
Chapter Sixteen: Living with Reincarnation
2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved [Feedback]