It is human nature to believe in apocalypse
By The New Indian Express | Published: 01st December 2012 12:00 AM |
Ever since the doomsday supposedly predicted by Mayans this year hit the headlines, there have been repeated warnings by self-appointed soothsayers about the end of the world. Although each deadline passed without the sky falling on our heads — a fear which ancient Europeans harboured — the astrologers didn’t lose hope. Now, a new date, December 21, has been fixed for no other reason than the unproved belief that the purported Great Cycle in the Mayan calendar comes to an end on the day. However, it will be safe to prophesy that nothing out of the ordinary will happen on the supposedly fateful day except for personal triumphs and tragedies whose reasons remain unknown. Irrespective of what the Mayans may have foreseen, it is a part of human nature to believe in such conjectures, especially if they forecast an end which pulls the curtains down on life as we know it. It is possible that this apocalyptic death wish is the culmination of a logical progress among mankind from thrillers and ghost stories to the ultimate horror of a violent end.
It is for psychologists to probe this aspect of the human mind which seemingly becomes tired of the quotidian routine of earning one’s daily bread and looks for a fierce shake-up to beat all shake-ups. But, it may be also true that this quest for a termination which will be one of a kind is no more than a parlour game played to liven up an evening’s conversation at a cocktail party. Hence, the never-ending popularity of Nostradamus, who knew how to spin a best-seller.
So, no matter what level-headed scientists may say about the earth having lasted for four billion years and may do so for another four since it is in no immediate danger of being hit by Nibiru, a “planet” discovered by the Sumerians, or by a brown dwarf of the same name, the so-called internet hoaxes will continue to float around. The reason is that gullibility is an undying flame.