Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The End of the World . . . was in 400 CE

I was reading William Dietrich's Scourge of God, a novel of the Hun invasions. 

There was a quote there that I find myself using often:  
The more ordinary a man, the more certain that his time is a culmination of history. 
Just consider the many various horrors and wonders that have occurred in the past. 

For instance, the Hun invasions, as described in the book. The Roman Empire was already on life support when they showed up. "Barbarians" from across the world, they appeared on their sturdy ponies and put everyone and everything to the sword. The "civilized" Romans were sure it was the end—Gog and Magog. But was it? No. Attila eventually died and the Hun conquests ended after a rather brief time.
Another example: The Black Death. A mysterious and murdering disease came and went, decimating entire towns and cities. Day to day life ceased as people remained indoors; loved ones who contracted the ailment were abandoned to die alone; bodies were unceremoniously chucked out of homes to be tossed into mass graves. (Jews did get sick, although not in such high numbers, but the price of their comparative cleanliness left them victim to violent scapegoating.)

If that doesn't qualify as the end of the world, I don't know what does.

I just get irritated how at every comparative hiccup nowadays some immediately invoke the end of the world. Seriously? Consider your position in history. One of trillions. Disasters came and went. Sure, humankind would be low for a bit, but then it bounced back.

Additionally, to God up there, everything is happening at the same time. Past, present, future, all is one. Who are we to say when the culmination of history will be or from what?
Oh, and the book is pretty good too. I recommend it.


Mystery Woman said...

That's a pretty scary thought, actually. We go through things that are huge to us, but some time in the future it will just be a blip in history.

moishe said...

True. From a Jewish standpoint, however, we are getting close to the "elef hashishi" which means Moshiach has to arrive sometime soon.

Princess Lea said...

MW: What's important is to put it into perspective. After all, I am a grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Everything by comparison is kinda weak.

Moishe: Yes, but since the Eibishter is outside of time, and hundreds, thousands of years are nothing to Him, what qualifies as "soon"?