In a guest post I wrote for Elizabeth A. White last week, I was reminded of one of my favorite passages in history. It reads:
“Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world is evidently approaching.”
This inscription is from a 2800 BCE Assyrian tablet.
Given a quick perusal of the headlines on almost any given day, and once again, almost 5,000 years later, life as we know it is about to end.
Please note: so far, the world is still here.
What might we conclude given these pieces of information?
Our attitudes toward perils are consistent over the centuries. In fact, it is almost axiomatic that the world is about to end based on the data of the time.
All data is theory-laden. We see in information what we think we should see. This is our curse and our blessing. It is also our choice, perhaps the most important one we have.
In Eye of the Moon, Johnny Dodge asks Percy if he recalls the first rule of prophecy and prognostication, and Percy responds with: “All omens are good.”
There is truth in that statement, perhaps even a great truth.
The world is always ending, just as it is always beginning.