Dreaming the Apocalyptic Tango: A Love Letter from the End of the World
This project began after 9/11, when Armaggedon rhetoric ramped up in Western politics, and I wondered, “What gives this “end of the world” idea such tenacity?” From time to time, I thought the project was obsolete, but sadly, no. If anything, the project has revealed itself to have barely scratched the surface.
As an antidote to the violent religious fundamentalist perspective of global catastrophe that signals salvation for the believers and the beginning of eternal mega suffering for the damned, and the secular version in which the ongoing war of us/them is played out with a fervent lemming-like compulsion towards human annihilation and planetwide ecological destruction,I went searching for life-supporting perspectives that point to something we could call sacred Apocalypse. I found the trail of Jungian archetypes and symbolism, and early 20th century writers, including D.H. Lawrence, who delved into mystical perspectives on the Book of Revelation as a manual of initiation.
The word Apocalypse means unveiling: the word suggests that some truth / reality is currently obscured in the collective psyche, the unveiling of which would “end the world” as we know it and help evolve us through the current perils facing humanity.
Is it possible that there is something embedded within the endangered human mythogenetic code of archetypal, mythopoetic, symbolic structures that knows how to die to the conceptual prison of linear time and literalist narratives of greed and destruction? Is it possible for Western consciousness to enter into a cyclical approach from Apocalypse to Genesis? Is it possible for our current predicament to dropkick human consciousness across the threshold into a beneficial way of life on this planet?
All the creatures we share this planet with would breathe a great sigh of relief, and really, what alternative is there? We need a multi-faceted approach to our current predicament, including technology and politics, but if we don’t evolve past violent, greedy, warmongering, destructive habits within human consciousness, what I call the self/other war, what some call patriarchy, then humanity may survive, but it will not thrive.
There are several names given to our times: End Times, Great Unraveling, Great Turning. I like to call it the Great Gamble, given the high stakes that seem to get higher on the daily. Rumi allegedly wrote: “Gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being.”
What might it look like to live as a true human being who gambles everything for the love that manifests as sacred reciprocity? Perhaps that is what humans are designed for and the manifestations of the self/other war — isolation, greed, violence, exploitation in all its forms — are symptoms of an auto-immune disease of the collective human body.
I think of this website as a disheveled notebook, one that I keep trying to configure into something tidy, but so far it remains unruly. The image that returns again and again is of myself sitting in the debris of an alchemist lab, furiously scribbling notes. Alchemical labs are famous for blowing up when the fire gets out of control. And since I first wrote that sentence, when my studies on apocalypse were still in their artsy phase, the literal fires have gone out of control and many of us who haven’t suffered directly have breathed in the smoke of those tragedies. Isn’t it kind of like that on a psychospiritual level as well? Some humans directly suffer, and some breathe it in, however unconsciously.
Welcome to the love side of the apocalypse, if such a glorious adventure exists. We currently live in such a state of uncertainty and delusion, I won’t take it for granted that we can go there, though I used to — but I can’t imagine any other frontier worth going for… or even the existence of any other sustainable frontier.