When civilizations teeters on the brink of change, typically the breakdown of complex society; beliefs in the “end of the world”, end times prophecies from religions, and other notions of the world as one knows it ceasing to exist grow popular amongst segments of society. This phenomenon has been witnessed throughout history, with a famous account being within the fall of the Western Roman civilization. What became Christianity had elements of some of these end times mentalities that are still present in the religion to this day. One can observe, particularly in the Western world where Christianity is most prominent, a notion that as western civilization faces the challenges of its own in a contradiction; so the appearance that the world is ending is both merited and irrational.
It is undeniable that the social constructed institutions and mechanisms of society, not just in the West but globally, are failing to deal with their own contradictions in terms of economics, politics, religious strife, social discontent, etc. These factors all play a part in the destabilizing of society and the undoing of complex systems of civilization that make up modern life. Added to this, the mechanisms that are breaking down have been for centuries contributing to the slow ecological suicide of anthropocentrism. This philosophical mentality that humanity first and foremost has the right to do whatever humanity wishes with planet, its resources, and the other lifeforms harboring within the biosphere; which has accumulated into the literal breakdown of the massive complex systems of nature. The contradictions of global civilization are creating the circumstances in which the entire biosphere risks collapsing. This indeed would lead to the end of complex human society and possibly the species as a whole. The skies may not rain fire, demons may not rise from the depths of the underworld; but for all intents and purposes, it is likely the closest humanity will come to a self induced Armageddon, short of a global nuclear war.
But this is where an interesting linguistic focus creates distinctly different ideas. Many attribute the idea of Armageddon with the idea of the Apocalypse; but this is largely a mistake from centuries of translation. Apocalypse is rooted in a Greek terminology that essentially means “revealing“, an awakening of perception to reveal the greater truth of reality. Where Armageddon is a distinct idea built around Christian end times mentality; Apocalypse does not imply the end of anything. It does not imply that the world is ending, society is falling apart, civilization is destabilizing; arguably quite the opposite.
The Apocalypse, as a concept, is a moment that offers change in either direction of positive or negative repercussions. The reaction to the revealing of perception and the awakening of what the human species could evolve into leaves us all with the recognition that humanity does not have to die off; we do not have to let civilization collapse. Apocalypse occurred in the past once before, the transitioning of the European dark ages to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. This transitional period allowed a completely new perception of existence for human life to be built out of the knowledge gained from the expanded perception. And considering events like the bubonic plague and other mass deaths occurred during this timeframe, where massive portions of the worlds population died off in a short period of time; the possibility of European civilization collapsing beyond repair was a real possibility. But as we reflect back today, the apocalyptic unfolding of this era proved not to be a breakdown of complexity, but an expanded and energized growth and evolution on scales unseen in Europe for centuries, not since the days of antiquity before the fall of Rome.
So as we humans deal with the stress of balancing civilization in a manner that can prevent complex structures from buckling under the weight of modern life; we must also learn to grow and strengthen the bonds of society and the connection shared between all members the human species. The threat of Armageddon we face is on a global scale; no longer will one region fall into dark ages as others continue on. Twenty First century global civilization means that we are all in this complex situation together. We must therefore recognize that a willful and deliberate Apocalypse is the needed alternative to awaken the minds of the human race in order to create the conscious awareness that we require for survival.