My new book the Omega Point comes out on June 22, and I must say, it seems a very odd time for it.
The story revolves around changes on the sun that are gradually making life on earth impossible, and it asks the questions, what is the last judgment, and, more importantly, is there a plan for us?
This week's New Scientist came in the mail, and I was shocked to see that the cover story is "What's Wrong with the Sun?"
Not that the article says that the sun is about to do something awful, but it just feels like a sort of warning of some kind that maybe there is such a thing as an end to this world of ours, perhaps not tomorrow and perhaps not in 2012, but that it could come.
When one thinks about it, life on earth gets pretty badly beaten up from time to time, so if something big happens to us, at least we needn't be too surprised.
When you look at the increasing number of strong earthquakes, the increasing volcanism, the storms, the incredible manmade danger of the oil spill, and so much else, you really do have to wonder.
The book started a couple of years ago, when I chanced to read the chapter of Revelation about the final judgment: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
As it happens, this is Revelation 20:12. Prior to that, and to all that has been happening in the world in the past few years, I had thought that the 2012 prophecy was basically imaginary.
Now I am not at all sure. The New Testament wasn't organized into the chapters and verses we use now until the fifteenth century. John of Patmos only prophesied, he didn't organize. That was probably done by an Italian monk called Xantes Pagnino.
But why the coincidence? It's the same as the apparent coincidence that the Old Testament was written during the astrological Age of Aires and mentions the ram 72 times, more than it mentions any other animal. Likewise, the New Testament was laid down at the beginning of the Age of Pisces the Fish, and it is about the Fisher of Men whose apostles were fishermen and whose earliest symbol was the fish.
Coincidence? Intention? I don't know, but it is impossible not to see patterns here.
I don't know what the next few months will bring, but if the oil spill isn't stopped, it could be the ruin of a great part of our country. This is because the chemicals in the water will be picked up in storms and deposited all over the Southeast and farther, depending on the way the wind blows. A hurricane could become a toxic horror unlike anything we have ever seen.
In the Omega Point, the judgment takes place and a promise emerges that is the central promise of Christ, as declaimed in the Sermon on the Mount: the meek shall inherit the earth.
This may go against the ideas of Christians who have come to fetishize wealth, but, in fact, it's what was said, and in it I see the suggestion of a post-apocalyptic plan for humankind. I cannot believe that all these billions of years of evolution on earth would lead to a self-reflective creature like us, but one that is doomed to fall to random chance and his own foolish ways.
I think that there are patterns in our world that reflect a higher consciousness of some sort, which is why the bible is written as if in concert with the great precessional calendar that is the Zodiac, and also why the Last Judgment has turned out to be Revelation 20:12.
The reviewers are already out in force against the Omega Point. It part, this is because it was written by that popular whipping boy of conventional intellectuals, Whitley Strieber, and partly because it is more than a little scary, and fear, as I have learned all too well, makes people angry.
The book goes to the heart of something very deep and very hidden in our world, but it does seem to me that now would not be a bad time to heed the call to conscience and join the ranks of the meek, rather than trying to navigate the eye of the needle laden with iPods, iPads, big cars and big plans.
It is time to find the peace that is within us all, that is always as accessible as baptismal waters, and, while it is not necessarily what makes us human, is certainly what makes our humanity.
I have a deep sadness within me nowadays. I see the little children all around, and I wish I could gather them in my arms and protect them, but I'm only one small man, long since discarded as a lunatic worthy only of a laugh and a sneer, so what can I possibly do?
Not much, but that does not prevent me from trying. I will never stop trying. My deepest wish is that the wonder of human life continue, and that the children grow and experience the fullness of life as we have for all these lucky generations.
If the Omega Point does come, though, in a way the innocent will be the best prepared. We can only bow before the future, and hope that what appears now to be a dark and terrible time, will instead blossom into sunlit uplands, and mankind will find a new and better way to live on this jewel of a planet that we have inherited from all the species of the past, who have lived their time and slipped away into memory, and beyond memory into the unknown.
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