From one point of view, Armageddon is heinous nonsense imagined by fundamentalists. Unfortunately, they are working to make it true, in a twisted dream of their own salvation while watching the unelect die horribly. There is no compassion in this image. Unbelievers get what they deserve, while the chosen get to sit on clouds and laugh. Though I am loathe to admit it, Buddhism has its own Armageddon mythology.

(My upcoming book, Buddha is an Atheist, offers an unusual take on this topic, quite different from this post.)

This notion gives one pause. What could be happening here? It could be that any religious, or even secular, mindset includes within it the knowledge that war is a recurring phenomenon. Therefore, massive wars are as perennial as the grass. They will come again. And as these spiritualities speak of this, it makes it true. Through a historical lens, none of these wars were Armageddon. But we wonder if the next one is and will be. Of course, to the people who experienced it, their war was Armageddon. Their family and friends died or disappeared. Their lives and country were destroyed.

But this time it is different. The entire globe can be struck with nuclear arms. There is a space based weapons initiative to drop bunker busting objects from orbit. It is reminiscent of Revelations. Plagues can wipe out millions, potentially billions.[1] The difference is now that humanity can force Armageddon to occur. Before it could not. We can no longer dismiss religious nuttiness as that. Religious nuts now conceivably have the power to destroy the world.

There might have been a touch of prescience in some of these predictions. Perhaps spiritually sensitive souls actually saw the future, not in glorious hope, but in concentrated sadness, and wrote what they saw[BH1] .

Another way to view the various cults of Armageddon, especially in light of the Buddhist agreement, is that it may be happening. It’s easy to trace the three Judeo-Christian-Islamist mythologies to a common source. Islam and Christianity both draw on the Judaic origins. So each believes it because the first believed it. But the Buddhist evidence makes it somewhat more troubling, not because the insight is somehow superior, but as secondary confirmation.

And of course, there is a secular confirmation. The Clash of Civilizations is nothing but a secular version of Armageddon. Is Armageddon in the offing?

[1] Though it doesn’t feel like a Biblical plague, diabetes threatens 1 in 3 children born today. Food, inc.

 [BH1]Include Hopi prophecies.

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