MRS. PROPHET’S PROPHESY OF DOOM
(First written in 1990. Mrs. Prophet is mentioned as an illustration to discuss spirituality that transcends such predictions.)
It was in the news that the world would end on April 23, 1990. This was announced in the United States by a Mrs. Prophet (Elizabeth Clare Prophet, known to her followers as Guru Ma) prophesying such an end. She had apparently prophesied the end of the world in October 1989, but for some reason, the world did not come to an end at that time.
See NY Times, March 1990: [“http://www.nytimes.com/…/thousands-plan-life-below-after-do…]
“Heeding a call from their leader, members of the Church Universal and Triumphant have sold their homes, closed their bank accounts, bade goodbye to relatives and headed to the valley and the elaborate system of concrete and steel shelters that the church has built here. Many have paid up to $10,000 to reserve a spot guaranteeing them a role in planning the future after most of the world is dead.”
Mrs. Prophet apparently has been able to convince a number of people in different parts of the world about the coming of the end by nuclear bombs. She has been stockpiling food to last for several months in bomb shelters in the Montana mountains. Several of her believers will be joining her. They are also stockpiling weapons for some obscure reason, as it will be unlikely that she will be able to ward off the destruction of the world by nuclear explosions. But she could just as well think that the world would be destroyed by Supernatural powers. It appears that she will feel secure in the bomb shelters in the mountains. I wonder if she suspects that the world will come to an end by a huge flood as in the Bible, and for that reason she has chosen the mountains. Or possibly the world will end with hailstorms, or fire. Suppose the world comes to an end by volcanic eruptions that occurred in the very Montana mountains where she is seeking shelter, or by a huge meteor striking the same mountains? How would she and her followers then escape? Science has agreed that all the dinosaurs were wiped out sixty-five million years ago by a huge meteor impact on the earth that raised enough dust to hide the sun for a considerable time, resulting in death of living forms. Or could the world come to an end by man-made atomic explosions and radiation from atomic and neutron bombs?
The end of the world had been predicted many times in the past, and somehow God or any other Supernatural Force, did not fulfill those predictions. The Mayan calendar predicted the world would end in 1912, but it did not happen. Ostensibly, the world is to be destroyed because of the evil or so-called sins that people perpetrate in the world. But the world has all kinds of people from the very evil to the very saintly. How is it possible, logical and proper for a loving and compassionate God, who is thought to be the father of all creation, to commit such an act and inflict destruction on those who are his ardent devotees? He must have a way of inflicting harm on those who disobey his laws, and willfully commit crimes against Divine Law? Perhaps Mrs. Prophet and her followers believe that they are the chosen ones to be saved. But if that were so, then they certainly do not have enough faith in God for sparing their life and destroying those who are the evil ones. If God wants to destroy the world, hiding in a bomb shelter, or hiding anywhere else for that matter, one cannot escape the Omnipotence of the Lord for whom all things are possible, except that it is not logical for Him to destroy his own creation. For God is a Loving God. If He destroys the world then He will cease to be a loving and forgiving God. If he is a vengeful God then I am sure he will have a way of choosing those on whom he must display his vengeance for their evils. It is a Divine Law that people will reap what they have sown. I am sure that you will agree that not all people have sown the same actions in thought, word and deed. How then can they all face the same calamity, which would render the Just and Loving God into an unjust and deceptive God who does not adhere to His own Just Laws.
Many people hold the view that Jesus will be coming again. What will be a more appropriate time for him to come than before the destruction of the world? He certainly will be able to do a great job in trying to reform the people into more spiritual ways. How can Jesus decide to come after the destruction of the world? His mission would be pointless. An enlightened being such as Jesus will certainly want to come at the time when there is calamity in the world, so that he can “save” the world. In India it is the view that whenever troubles afflict the world, God will manifest himself in a physical form to set people on the right path again. It is therefore possible that we should see saints, prophets or saviours coming at such a time prior to the destruction of the world. If they do not come to save the world, then these exalted beings, though being close to God, do not obtain that intuitive knowledge of God that they are supposed to have. And if this is the case, then may God have mercy on all of lesser humanity.
Science says that the world will last for at least another five billion years. That is supposed to be the remaining life of the sun. When the sun explodes into a red giant and then contracts to form a white dwarf, its energy will have been spent, and the earth will then cease to have any life. That is a long time away. The more appropriate way for the world is to be as it has been going on. All things in nature change. Beings are born and they die, to be reborn again. As Bernard Shaw stated it, “The law of life is the law of change.” Nothing is static. All changes involve destruction of what was, into what will become. Let us hope that God maintains his smoothly working laws and not, at any single moment, decide to change His ways and destroy small vulnerable earth.
[Christmas is soon here, so mentioning Jesus is timely.]
Dr. Jagessar Das
http://www.surreyinterfaith.ca (See my blogs in the left sidebar)