One of Not New York’s wonderful readers sent in this pic of a hopeful street preacher spreading the Good News around Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn this weekend.
I’ve been tracking date-setter and president of Family Radio, Harold Camping‘s, latest Judgment Day prediction of May 21st for a few months now. (His earlier date was September 1994, and wrote a book with the conveniently question-marked title 1994? [on sale used for a whopping .94¢]). In that time I’ve noticed that there is a slight misleading nature to the date. You see, according to Camping, May 21st isn’t the end of the world. May 21st is only Judgment Day, the beginning—as his apocalypse Buses o’ Fun tell—of the end. The end of the world is actually sometime in October.
You know what that means?
Best. Summer. Eva!
For the uninitiated, date-setting (setting dates for the End of Times [often] based on biblical calculations) has a long history and dates back in Christianity to at least year 44 when Jewish rebel and supposed false prophet, Theudas, declared himself the Messiah and took four hundred people with him into the desert where he was captured and later beheaded by Roman soldiers. Thus is the legacy of the date-setter tradition. Sad, really. But, sad only if you see these predictions as temporally based, as so many unfortunate date-setters do.
I’m a little different, and perhaps, a little more opportunistic.
You see, I more or less subscribe to the idea of what anarchist comic book writer and mystic, Alan Moore, describes as a mental territory, seeing the mind as the primary place of magickal manifestation. As he puts it in the youtube video below:
“Everything people talk about with regard to magick is absolutely true, as long as you understand that it is happening in people’s minds…. [Magick] must be like treating the space that we perceive inside our minds as a kind of territory. And, I thought that by working with that hypothesis you could explore that territory.”
Therefor, so long as the mind is the environment in which paradigm shifts occur, we’re all good. Because, who doesn’t feel shifts in the mind now and again? Daniel Pinchbeck and the 2012ers certainly take this point of view, turning conventional apocalypse preachers on their heads.
This is not a move without precedent. Understanding, as many spiritual traditions do sorta kinda sorta do, that the mind, and arguably consciousness, is in fact the world itself (think strains of Buddhism, advaita vedanta, perhaps guru Nisargadatta, and defs Barry Long), one can see how a shift in consciousness would by its very definition be a shift in the world. Seeing the apocalypse in this light allows even the most cynical of Bible Bashers a little room to breathe.
So, with that I’m going to fall in line. From now on I too believe Judgement Day falls on May 21st, as it does on every other day, minute, and second of the year. I too believe the end of the world will occur in October 2011, as it occurs on every other October Samhain celebration.
Let the festivities begin!