This world's insane. Prepare yourself for death.
Jon Oliva, "Savatage"
When I was a kid, I always believed that hell was underground. Heaven was in the sky and Satan lurked beneath the earth, waiting to consume the souls of the unrighteous and cast eternal damnation upon the wicked. He digs it there under the surface where it's dirty and dark, an environment that caters to madness and suffering. In my young imagination, miles down into the blackness of this planet's core, tortured souls dwelt there, forever locked into the most excessive states of misery imaginable. I used to get afraid in the dark sometimes; it reminded me of how I thought hell would be like. I didn't want to end up burning in hell, 10 times hotter than the kitchen stove, as my fanatical maternal grandmother warned me repetitively.
One of the ever-ambiguous stories of the Bible teaches that the end of the world will come after a series of series of natural catastrophes, most brought on by the neglectful and transgressive habits of humans. You can find similar stories in most other prominent religious works. Billions of people believe that this planetary home is temporary, only here for a predetermined amount of time as dictated by the ultimately ominous and compassionate creator that willed it into existence. And for them, it's quite natural to develop strong associations between ever-increasing reports of tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, rock slides, mudslides and all of the other types of natural, yet often man made, disasters. Feeling that they are unable to continue coping with the cumulative stresses of this life, they become even more self-justified in their beliefs that the world's catastrophes are definitive signs of the imminent apocalypse.
Longing to witness this ultimate, humanity-ending cataclysm that will mark the permanent triumph over the forces of evil, good hypocrites everywhere join together stronger than ever, welcoming their well-earned transcendence into states of eternal bliss. For the billions of other people that may not be as diluted, those grounded in reality, these natural disasters symbolize something similar, but quite different indeed. You see, death is coming. My death, your death, our pets' deaths and the death of all other living organisms, comes. Maybe not in a flood, fire or hurricane, but we will die and, probably, far sooner than we think.
The people of this planet have allowed their governments and industries to poison the environment, strip them of their personal rights, lie to them, steal from them, commit genocide amongst them - and then persecute, prosecute and imprison them because they rise to face their fears of further torment. Huge corporate entities including pharmaceutical, petroleum and banking firms control weak-minded, unethical political leaders. Massive international police forces violate human rights everywhere, every day. Unemployment, in the United States and around the world, skyrockets. Prescription drug addictions are becoming more prevalent than the entirely preventable health conditions for which these drugs are an ostensibly cure or valid treatment. Trusted religious leaders caught in pedophilic maneuvers. Disrespectful humans continue to devastate natural resources to points of depletion. Greed still rules. Those who attempt to serve others and remain humble find themselves trampled further and further into the dirt, tamped down, inch by inch, into the hell of my childhood imagination.
Yesterday, I heard a news report about a sinkhole opening right in the middle of a suburban housing development. It was surprisingly circular and measured 60 feet in diameter. Out of nowhere, the earth opened up and swallowed everything within its circumference. It all just dropped more than 300 feet towards the core of the earth. That got me to thinking about the earth's core and about how what goes on there might affect what goes on the surface. Sinkholes happen under the oceans causing massive waves to form. Tectonic plates continue to shift as they always have, reshaping the formation of the continents. Long-hidden pressures and liquids are released that no existing man made machinery can manipulate, or even stand up to. Humans are always helpless against the immeasurable powers unleashed when Mother Nature gets pissed off. Volcanoes erupt. 100-foot waves crash and kill. Fires devour and floods extinguish all goodness encountered.
Still, the end of time does not arrive. Instead, just another day to continue the life struggle that only seems to get more difficult.
The end of world is not going to occur with cherubim angels tooting trumpets in the four corners of the sky. Don't expect to see 3-headed lions, whores from Babylon, blood-filled rivers or parted seas. Instead, look around you, right now. The angels are just disguised government-sent manipulators; their trumpets are guns and legal codes. Queer obscenities like 3-headed lions are everywhere, hidden by society's acceptance of anything and everything nontraditional. The youth are emotionally tainted and demotivated to the point where they can't function normally. Whores are absolutely everywhere and all that you'll find changing the empirical formulation of the rivers and oceans are petroleum-based products, and the dispersants used to hopefully make them hidden too. And as hundreds of millions of good people demand environmental responsibility from their governments, true change is still decades away at best. In the meantime, the same governmental lies, environmental poisons, thievery, indecency and increasingly defiant iniquity will continue to dominate the globe.
The total devastation of a planet does not happen overnight like a biblical predicted event; it happens over many thousands of years. From the time that man stood up on two feet, things have been slowly going to hell. The fact is that 6.3 billion is far too large of a number to represent the number of people on this planet. Whether anybody likes it or not, the forces of nature act in concert to regulate, mercilessly, the planetary population as they see fit. When people show there asses too much, when they start feeling that they're just too fancy for the simplistic elements of living, they will die. They will die as surely as the phytoplankton dies now in the Gulf of Mexico. It's down in the depths; it's dirty and dark in that black hell, quickly coming up to envelop all of us.