Wait, did I miss it?
Did it happen three days ago, on 6-6-06, a.k.a. Tea Time with the Beast, a.k.a. the Great Day of Reckoning, a.k.a. the National Day of Slayer, all the world crashing down in a heap of hissing steam and belching smoke and balmy gusty breezes sometime around noon just after lunch but not before rush hour and hitting right around siesta?
I might have been napping. Did the Apocalypse finally hit? Did the deep wish of roughly a half-billion zealous believers come to pass and were they suddenly whisked off into the humming glorious divine ether in one big orgiastic load of divine redemption, leaving us heathens and pagans and Wiccans and Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and journalists to fight it out over the last scraps of artisan Gruyère and fine Pinot Noir and gorgeous new Porsche Caymans? I simply cannot be sure.
Because if so, I am sitting here feeling a little gypped. I am sitting here not at all on fire, not at all reeling in unrelenting pain, not at all staring into the hot face of vile eternal doom without a single oscillating fan to cool my aching bones. Yet another portentous day has passed and the Rapture Index is almost off the charts with seething Armageddon certainty, and yet I'm still getting perfectly good cell reception. What gives?
After all, the time is now. The pump of doom is perfectly primed. The elements are all in place: massive BushCo abuse and vicious war and increasingly violent storms and armies of the ignorant and the righteous broadcasting their hate and their abominable fashion sense across the land. Do you not feel it? Man, we are so ready.
And yet still we wait.
I do not exactly know how the Christian right envisions Armageddon (though their new "Left Behind" video game is a happily blood-drenched indicator), but here is how I've always pictured it:
Hordes of the ultra-pious, decked out in "I (Heart) Jimmy Swaggart's Flop Sweat" T-shirts and black socks with sandals, rise to the heavens in giant peach-colored Ford Aerostars to gather in enormous hugging throngs where they are met by a wary and bleary-eyed St. Peter who offers them processed cold cuts and Kraft Singles and lukewarm Diet Dr. Pepper.
There are rusty swing sets with exposed bolts. There are inflatable pools. There is watery decaf coffee. There are large fleets of beige 1997 Honda Civics with cassette players locked down and preloaded with only Mariah Carey and Yanni. Everyone is slowly but surely driven giddily insane by the incessant harp music and the unmistakable scent of angel droppings. All thought ceases.
Yes, Jesus is there, smiling and rocking back and forth and looking just weirdly happy, and the minions gather 'round him in swooning, narcotized glee, everyone feeling more than a little justified for all their nasty deeds while on Earth, all the abortion clinic firebombings and all the protests of "The Da Vinci Code" and that morally nauseating thing with Terri Schiavo back in '05.
Finally, finally they have arrived at a place where no one is having sex and no one wants to marry someone from their same gender and all experience has been filed down to a dull nub of vague, tasteless sensation as liquid Prozac is misted into the air via a giant Glade Plug-In the size of Florida.
Except something is a little off. Something is not quite right. Let us look closer. Why, that's not Jesus at all -- it's actually a big blow-up doll of Jesus, a giant swaying latex toy, a wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube man painted to look like Jesus, bobbing back and forth like a car salesman on meth. Hmm.
But the minions, of course, do not notice. They are all swaying and waving in equally ecstatic response. It is one hell of a spectacle. It is vaguely cultish. It is also, eerily, exactly like a Celine Dion concert. Hmm.
And where's the real Jesus? Why, the true Christ is back on Earth, once and for all and finally, teaching everyone an incredible new dance, preparing the open minded and the nondogmatic for cosmic leapfrog. Turns out that only when the fanatics and the zealots and the demagogues were finally airlifted to the great padded Romper Room in the sky that the real Great Work could finally continue. Isn't that ironic? Isn't that fabulous? Isn't that exactly what you suspected all along?
What a fanciful dream. Indeed, you may think this talk of the Second Coming is just silly. You may think talk of Armageddon is just best left to plasticky televangelists and anti-everything fanatics like James Dobson and people who organize their gun collections by phallicentricity. And you would be very much mostly correct.
But be reminded: As reported here previously, the "Left Behind" series of Apocalypse-porn books has sold upward of 65 million copies worldwide. Many, many in high positions of power in the U.S. government (Hi, Senator Santorum!) see the accelerated deterioration of the Earth as a very good thing indeed, as there is no deed more worthy, no abuse more justified than that which helps hasten the Second Coming. SUVs? War? Oil gluttony? Ozone depletion? Condi Rice? All good, baby. All quickening the imminent Apocalypse.
Of course, there is a divine kicker. There is an entirely different scenario, similar but also completely different. Since ancient, pre-Christian times, the mystics and wise ones have their version of Armageddon, too, though theirs involves far less screaming and much less hellfire and far fewer interminable reruns of "7th Heaven" on local cable.
It does not, furthermore, involve leaving billions behind to fester and kill and drink pig's blood and remain wallowing in hell. It is merely a time when those whose hearts are luminous and whose perspectives are clear and whose minds are open and whose spirits are unpummeled by dogma and monotheistic self-righteousness, well, they will merely slip over to another plane. As for the rest, they will merely be resigned to experiencing this life all over again, and again, and again, until they get it right. It's just like the Christian Rapture, except flipped over and inverted and made transcendent and well lubricated and naked.
It is a time, maybe even just six years from now (2012, according to a very prescient Mayan calendar), when a Great Awakening will occur. It is when those who are ready, spiritually and energetically speaking, to evolve, to take the Next Step, will take a great trampoline backflip into deeper awareness.
You want a sign? You want something to signal you when it's about to happen? Easy enough. You can't miss it: Just look for the sudden, global, collective s---eating grin.
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Friday, June 09, 2006
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