I think sometime ago there was an idea. The idea was that there would be a catastrophic end to civilization and ultimate devastation that wipes out all intelligent life on the planet. That is the essence of an apocalypse.
Why do we need an apocalypse? Why are we so attached to this idea? Whose interest does global devastation serve?
There are a wide diversity of doomsday cults on every continent on the planet. Every culture in the world is aware that life as they know it could end in overwhelming deadly and uncontrollable catastrophe to “cleanse” the earth. Obviously, it keeps people engaged in a point of unreachable futility to hold pause on commitments to long term pursuits of peace in their lives. Again, I ask you who benefits from the chronic hair pulling and hand wringing over the End of Days?
Young religious people. Young religious people are some of the most socially confined people on the earth. They are also inwardly devastated and hopeless about their future in the shackles of a society heaping endless conditions on the reserve of their humanity. What is supposed to be their salvation and their gate to spiritual purity is so far away from the degradation of human early living the short-change solution is to blow it all up so God can start all over. That’s the only way it will make sense. They need the salvation for their lives now. They need deliverance from evil now. They’re so desperate to get it they will blow up this whole goddamn world. They’ve somehow been shorted on the redemption promised by their faith on the timeframe that their humanity requires.
They have not yet reached the peak of the spiritual refining process; which necessarily requires the shedding the conditions of uncaring and unvested people from places of authority in their lives. People like their peers, strangers, institutional authorities, and even their parents. There’s really no place in their lives where they can catch their breath, exhale or breath in their own reason for being here on this earth. Youth is a treasure. However, it is also a bane for people who have been raised their entire lives with 5 swords hanging over their head for not delivering precisely on conditions of principles that don’t necessarily serve their personal interest. Society condemns them no matter what they do.
Think of all those pastors kids. Children who are brutes, who are committed to evil, understand if they are in charge of the magic tricks, the theft, the illusion of authority and visceral demonstrations of power they will not be subject to another and will rule others. However, they never achieve rule of themselves in any positively formed fashion. Their spiritual growth is forever stunted because they never let the process of an insult go or because they learned how to devalue life before they learned the value of their own humanity as a consequence of not being run by others. Their forked path is free criminal or someone’s prisoner. Not much of a choice once your already committed. They need the apocalypse to end their sentence without it being their fault necessarily.
Children raised in strict religious households are perfect actors, soldiers and when necessary obedient slaves and dogs. They need a reprieve. They don’t need to join a nationalist cause to blow up the planet. They need a different experience.
If you want to defeat a group like ISIS, go to that perfect student from a strict religious household and offer them a tour of foreign environments relatively free from war conflict. They need to see he exhibit of humanity in process without all of the leverages, conditions and communications filters put out there for them. They just need to see what kind of life is possible without the conditions and demands on them.
Perhaps then they could imagine a peaceful life, a full life, without the hopeless precipitation of an apocalypse. The consequences of letting them being led down such a merciless path is signing someone’s death warrant, either their own or someone else’s. Give them an escape valve.