The End of Times – Eschatology

End times

The second book is progressing well. Without giving too much away I have found myself looking into the myths and beliefs about the end of the world.

The end of times is an anathema to the Oblivion Order after all their organisation is founded on the avoidance of Armageddon.

The end times, or end of days, is captured in the eschatologies (a great word meaning ‘study of the last’) of many world religions. Generally thought as an event in the future that deals with the end of reality and a reunion with the Creator – although there are some that believe that it is more like some kind of universal reboot (which may actually reflect what some astrophysicists believe about the how the universe was formed, from the collapse of a previous one).

Origins

So where does the concept originate? Zoroastrian eschatology is the oldest in recorded history, with beliefs paralleling and predating the framework of the major Abrahamic faiths. By the year 500 BC, a fully developed concept of the end of the world was established in Zoroastrianism.

It appears in every cultural belief system across the world, from Ragnarök in Norse mythology to the coffin texts of the Egyptians and the Book of the Dead – in which Atum says that he will one day dissolve the ordered world and return to his primaeval, inert state within the waters of chaos.

There is clearly something about the end of days that was formative to the early civilisations, whether as a warning to the faithful to stay on the path or a reflection of the cycle of nature, it has become embedded in the human psyche.

Science

The scientific community has their own theories of course. The heat death or big freeze of the universe, and slightly closer to home, the eventual demise of our sun.

What mythology should I choose as the background for the oblivion of the human race? There are so many to choose from, not including the more realistic ones: that we will try to annihilate each other in some political escalation, or that technology will turn against us (aka Skynet), although these are the models that the Copernicans spend their days speculating on.

Pre-History

Yet part of me is fascinated by the old myths, that something dark and primordial, which harks back to before the formation of the universe, could cause a catastrophe that none could have foreseen, or those that did were treated with nothing but ridicule.

I realise these are nothing more than notes – which I’m sure I’ll look back on one day and realise were too obscure and unfinished to mean much to you, but I’m caught between saying too much and too little when the second book is in such a nascent state.

 

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