382. Doomsday

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but the world will end this Saturday.  That’s because the moon will pass beneath the feet of the astrological sign Virgo that day.  The sun will likewise be in Virgo and the planet Jupiter will have been passing through Virgo for around nine months by then.

Why is this important? Because, according to Christian numerologist David Meade, these are the celestial signs foretold in the Book of Revelation as signifying that the End Times are upon us.  Revelation 12:1–2 states “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.”  This is taken to mean the astronomical proximity of the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter in the constellation Virgo.

Meade bolsters his claim by noting also that the pyramids of Giza somehow indicate that Sept. 23, 2017 will be the end the world.  And he points to the solar eclipse and hurricanes Harvey and Irma as proof that the process of destruction has already begun.

According to proponents of this theory, the planet Nibiru – an outer planet with a very eccentric orbit that occasionally carries it into the inner solar system – will come so close to Earth that its gravity will cause earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

People have long been predicting the end of the world based on their interpretation of the Bible, the dimensions of the Great Pyramid, or the Mayan calendar. Ancient Sumerian texts are where the planet Nibiru comes from – its existence was first proposed in 1976 by writer Zecharia Sitchin who claimed that the inhabitants of Nibiru created human beings as slaves for them.  Sitchin also claimed that on a past visit to the inner solar system Nibiru destroyed a planet between Mars and Jupiter, thereby creating the asteroid belt.

Never mind that there is no scientific evidence for any of this – a lot of people believe in Nibiru.  And never mind that if another planet were drawing close enough to destroy the Earth we’d be able to see it by now – there are people who apparently believe a collision is imminent.

Author John Steinbeck once described a character as being ‘one of the few men who didn’t believe the world was about to end’ and maybe he was right – maybe most people do think the world is about to end.  Remember Y2K? The world was supposed to end on New Year’s Day 2000.  When that didn’t happen, attention turned to the year 2012, based on a cycle of the ancient Mayan calendar.  And if, by some miracle, we survive Saturday, a new date for our collective demise will no doubt surface soon.

In his recent book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, writer Kurt Anderson explores America’s history of deluded thinking.  Anderson traces it back to the Pilgrims, “a nutty religious cult” who believed that feeling something made it true.  Anderson believes that the “find-your-own-reality” approach of the 1960s fertilized the soil for Sitchin’s and Meade’s ideas, arguing that our culture has “lost its grip on reality.”

If the world ever does end, some doom-sayer may accidentally gain enormous – if brief – vindication.  But for now I’m going to go ahead and pay the bills lest Meade’s prophecy become self-fulfilling – for me, at least.  And if the world does end Saturday, I’ll just stop payment on the checks…

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