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Why The Turning Of The Age Simply Turns My Stomach

by Gip Plaster on May 31st, 2011

Convoluted religious beliefs have no place in a simple, deliberate life. Simple spirituality, however, fits right in.

Talk of the end of the world or the turning of an age is complicated nonsense, especially since major shifts happen for some people every day.

Since I haven’t written a post directly related to spirituality in a while, I’m taking this day after Memorial Day — when people probably aren’t reading too closely anyway — to make a spiritual point. Maybe my headline will make a few of you take notice and sound off in either agreement or disagreement.

Raptures And Age Endings

Only days ago, a probably-well-meaning old preacher embarrassed himself by predicting the date of the end of the world. His predicted date has come and gone, and we’re still here. The Bible this preacher reads, however, says that no one knows the day or the hour of the end.

Considering the preacher’s advanced age, remaining alive is an accomplishment for him every day. Actually, I suppose it’s an accomplishment for all of us considering that there are devices of death within close proximity to all of us. People, as it turns out, are more durable than some believe.

Others are predicting — based on the Mayan calendar and other equally irrelevant bits of pseudo-information — that the world will end in 2012. For the Mayans, a civilization that no longer exists, the world ended long ago. For us, their calendar is an interesting artifact, but it has no scientific or spiritual value.

Some New Age spiritual gurus have become hangers-on to the end-of-the-world hysteria by predicting that 2012 signals the changing of the age rather than the end of the world. Things will be very different, they say, after 2012.

Things Are Always Different

Here’s where the old preacher and the New Age gurus lack understanding.

Worlds end and ages change every day.

Major life awakenings change lives dramatically every day. Unexpected internal and external changes can jar people from one glorious version of life into a radically different — but perhaps just as wonderful — age of life.

People die every day. Some die with certainty of what comes next. Others believe there’s more to come but can’t explain its details. Still others have studied the universe and conclude that life ends with physical death. All of them, I suspect, are in for some surprises.

A reshuffling of Middle East leaders could be seen as the changing of an age. A liberal young African American man defeating a war hero with a long history of public service to become President of the United States indicates that American values are changing into something new.

Neither of those things changed anything for me.

Simplifying my life makes it better every day, and ever-changing thinking has improved my attitude toward all aspects of my current situation, even if some of those aspects aren’t yet actually improving.

A change in attitude, as it turn out, can change your world more than an atomic bomb.

Why My Stomach Turns

Leaders who predict the end of the world or the changing of an age are asleep at the wheel. They don’t understand how life works. And that makes me sick for them.

Perhaps they’re despondent and hoping for something better for themselves, but a change within any person at any time can make a much bigger difference than any changing of the age.

Group consciousness is a nice idea, but I’m not willing to wait around for the changing of an age that’s never coming.

My life is getting better every day because my attitude and my actions are taking me into better places.

Even New Age gurus can still achieve personal awakening if they want. Maybe nearly-90-year-old preachers who make incorrect predictions can wake up and smell the opportunities of an always-changing world too.

I can see great things ahead, but I won’t make any predictions about a changing of the age.

Actually… Yes, I will.

Nothing will change for you in 2012 or any other time unless you focus on allowing good things to happen.

The world isn’t ending and the age isn’t changing, but you can change anytime. It’s as simple and deliberate as that.

How about now?

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10 Comments
  1. Hey Gip – I like your suggestion that the most important thing we can do is worry about our own attitude and the simple, deliberate changes we make in our own lives.

    I’ll have to admit I don’t really pay attention to the doomsday predictions, but instead I try to live each day as though it’s my last. I’m not always successful, but even waking up with the intention of living each day fully has improved my life greatly.

    I hope you had a nice holiday weekend!
    Jenny @ exconsumer recently posted How to Fix a Leaky Roof

  2. Mary permalink

    I agree with you that we make our own future. Every day is the beginning of the end of our world. We have to stay positive and be thankful for whatever come our way.
    I’m not sure that the changing of American values doesn’t affect everyone in some way. I keep my head buried in the sand and don’t watch much news or political stuff. That’s my way of not letting it affect me, but not sure its a good way. We may all wake up in a country with much less freedom than we are used to. Then your ability to write what you want may unacceptable or even illegal. Obviously if I’m going to comment I need to work on my sentence structure. I haven’t written in a long time.
    I don’t always agree with you but I do enjoy reading what you have to say.

  3. jesinalbuquerque permalink

    Very nice. I watch the comings and goings of these “turning points” with amusement. Remember the Harmonic Convergence a decade or so ago? I camped out with a bunch of women that night awaiting the magic moment. Well, do I need to tell you, there was no magic moment (although we had fun, and maybe that was magic enough). You are so right when you say the world is constantly ending and beginning anew. The magic moment is when we decide to make change happen.

  4. You’re right, Gip. There are so many things that are out of our control, and in many cases, just out of control. Most of those things don’t have a lot of impact on my daily life, and the ones that do aren’t going to change because I fret over them. What we do have is control over our own attitudes and actions. As long as I keep doing the next right thing, my life can continue to get better. If I wallow in worry, it can only hold me back and make me miserable.

    – Mike
    Mike | Homeless On Wheels recently posted Pantry Purge fifty pounds of crap

    • The next right thing is exactly the right idea!

      That may be why things are seeming better for me even if they aren’t yet. I’m out in front instead of reacting from behind a wave of stuff. Something like that.
      Gip

  5. Robert Wall permalink

    Sorry I’m a bit late to the party – it’s been a crazy week!

    Gip, I don’t get sick for the leaders as much as I do for their followers.

    The “May Rapture” guy enjoyed the heck out of the publicity he got from people who (literally) sold all their stuff to spread the message, and got people to funnel money into his organization.

    Now he goes on the radio and says, “well, I never actually technically told anybody to sell their stuff; everybody has to be responsible for their own choices”.

    I think it would be fascinating to see that organization take a bit of responsibility for their own actions.

    As for the rest of it, I agree – “today is the first day of the rest of your life”. This post kind of reminds me of my new years’ post:

    http://www.untitledminimalism.com/2011/01/the-myth-of-the-new-year/
    Robert Wall recently posted All About Me – An Overview

    • It’s been a weird week for me too. I took two days off to go on a quick trip out of town. It was great, but catching up wasn’t fun. I’ll get back in the swing of things next week.
      Gip

  6. We heard very little about this prediction. Very often UK news is dominated by US affairs, but not with this one. Although I don’t read tabloid papers or gossip mags – they may have ran it – not sure.
    I know of a very good (if a little close to the mark) Chuck Palahniuk article that ran in Mens Health about preparing for a death that doesn’t come and as such get your house in order. I loved it. I won’t put a link here as I say it’s a little close to the mark as Chuck always is and may not be for everyone. If anyone is interested in the link get in touch – you know where I am (reckon pretty much you’ve all got my e-mail – won’t put it here either!)
    Jo@simplybeingmum recently posted Simple Indian Flat Bread Recipe – Easy Peasy!

    • Go ahead and add the link if you want. If people read my blog, they can’t be easily offended!

      I’m glad to have you commenting.

      Gip

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