I was told today that we will know the marking of the “end of time” by there being “blood up to the knees in the Middle East.”
I am always slightly startled when I run into people who actually believe this stuff.
On a personal level, my struggle has been to not think less of people who are so sure of things they have never really thought about.
Every time there is an earthquake, a Tsunami, or a new strand of influenza, someone starts talking about how this was all “foretold”.
It troubles me how people speak so assuredly of signs that point to an “end of times” as if there was ever a point in history when there weren’t wars, famine, drought, natural disasters etc.
How can anyone say with a straight face that the fate of everything that exists in the universe rests on the geopolitical factionalism on one piece of land (Israel) small enough to fit inside of Lake Michigan, on one of 17 billion Earth sized planets, revolving around one of 200 Billion Stars, in one of 500 billion galaxies, in one of 10 million Superclusters of galaxies in the observable universe?
When men first came up with the idea that we are all heading towards the “end of times” they thought the Earth was all that is, was, or ever will be. They never suspected that the Earth was just a planet that revolved around a star. In fact, they thought it was the other way around. They didn’t think that the Sun was just another star in the sky or that there were other planets that revolved around those stars too. They never considered that our Sun, like every other star that they saw in the night sky, was a part of a collection of stars called a galaxy, let alone that there were other galaxies. Their level of ignorance of the natural world was so exhaustive it was almost encyclopedic.
If I gave you a choice between a physician practicing medicine in 2014 or a physician practicing medicine in 500 B.C.E, who would you want to diagnose and treat your ailments? I’ve often wondered why we think that people who were that ignorant of so much about the natural world are qualified to tell us how it all works or what is ultimately going to happen to it?
Consider this. Our lonely blue planet, the Earth, is but one planet that revolves around a single star in the Milky Way Galaxy. There are 300 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers’ estimate that there may be as many as 17 Billion Earth sized planets in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. And of those 17 billion Earth sized planets, by some estimates, some 10 billion are harboring life on them.
Now galaxies don’t just float out there in space alone. Some galaxies are smaller than the Milky Way but some are much much larger. But all galaxies are grouped together in neighborhoods called clusters.
Each galaxy cluster may contain anywhere from hundreds of galaxies to thousands of galaxies. In fact the Milky Way galaxy is but one of 1,000 galaxies in our own galactic neighborhood. Astronomers have identified about 10,000 different clusters of galaxies in the observable universe.
And galaxy clusters form clusters themselves which we call Superclusters. So for example, the Virgo Supercluster of which the Milky Way is a part, has 47,000 galaxies in it.
Astronomers have estimated that there are about 10 million different Superclusters in the observable universe.
All in all, astronomers estimate that there could be as many as 500 Billion different galaxies in the observable universe.
500 Billion galaxies, each of which is housing hundreds of billions of stars.
In fact, astronomers estimate there could be as many as 10 sextillion stars in the entire universe.
What the hell is a sextillion? 1 Sextillion is a 1 followed by 22 zeroes.
That’s at the low end. At the high end astronomers estimate there could be as many as 200 sextillion stars.
So this brings me back to the original end of times statement my coworker said to me this morning.
How can anyone say with a straight face that the fate of everything that exists in the universe rests on the geopolitical factionalism, on one piece of land (Israel), small enough to fit inside of Lake Michigan, on one of 17 billion Earth sized planets, revolving around one of 200 billion stars, in one of 500 billion galaxies, in one of 10 million superclusters of galaxies in the observable universe?
That would be the equivalent of a single ant believing that the fate of the entire Earth and everything on it rests on the survival of a single queen. It’s textbook egocentrism.
Every human being walking the Earth shares 99.9% of the same DNA.
All of the variation you see among human beings, all of the different shades of blue, brown and green eyes, pale, olive, bronze and dark skin, blond hair, dark hair, big noses, little noses, thick lips, thin lips, is caused by that tiny 0.1% of our DNA that is different.
So if you are God, why would you place the fate of all that exists in the hands of people who are practically genetically identical but have such a low capacity to love themselves and others that they fight, fuss and argue and even kill each other over the significance they place on that 0.1%?
You aren’t important. You are loved. There is a difference.
A higher level understands this. A lower level thinks these are contradictory.
To be important is to be entitled to more than ordinary consideration.
It’s as Saint Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”
The hard fact is that God views us as children because we are children. Infants even. Our bodies change, mature, grow old and feeble and because of this, we deceive ourselves into believing that we mature and grow wise, along a similar trajectory, but do we?
As Albert Einstein said, “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
Only a spiritual child will believe that they are so important that they decide the fate of anything or anyone other than themselves.