End of an Era

by Zachary A. Horn

It seems appropriate that my first post is about the end of life as we know it. Few topics so perfectly represent the generic melodrama of the popular discourse of the Absurd. What follows is a reasonable man’s dissent.

The “end of world” crowds have a secret. Whether their end of world scenario is religious, scientific, or economic; each group shares a common and urgent fear of living. To the desperate, hopeless and overwhelmed the end of existence can be an alluring proposition. It is the ultimate escapism, allowing not only escape from personal hardship, but an end to all human drama and uncertainty.

Yet mankind bounds, crawls and sometimes stumbles forward, day by day, and year by year; narrowly escaping one theory of desolation only to be faced with another.

The radical millenarian who sells all his worldly possessions and gleefully awaits the end of the world is by himself a relatively harmless and isolated figure.  The true and imminent danger to human survival is the agnostic millenarian. This is the man who is passively engaged with the world because he finds the future too disturbing or uncertain to contemplate. He lives for today and yesterday, and his contemplation of the future does not extend past a vague notion of tomorrow or next week. He is a creature of the eternal now, and only tentatively believes in tomorrow. He is a man dangerous not because of his beliefs, but because of his agnosticism. He is the Everyman.

Humanity faces dire but not insurmountable problems. To survive we will have to witness an end of life as we know it. But that does not have to be the end of the world. In fact, it could very well be the dawn of a new era, more prosperous and enlightened than all the others before it. Our true enemy is the inertia of now, and a belief that tomorrow, if it exist at all, will be but a version of today.

Tomorrow’s solutions to today’s problems will be found by fearless minds devoted to reason. It is trite to say, but to survive we must think outside of the box. The unthinkable must be thought, and the unimagined must be materialized. The business of everyday living has a way of moderating and dulling even the brightest and most innovative of minds. We are taught from an early age to go with the crowd, that normalcy is the ultimate aspiration, and that its definition is finite and small. The fearless mind must reject this proposition, and see it for what it is – the frightened absurdity of the doomed.

Let every person with imagination and fortitude devote themselves to one idea: Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

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