Will the end of the world?
The feeling of the approaching catastrophe in our days has become so universal that it seems there is not a single person who would not have asked the question – what awaits us ahead? The threat of a nuclear war is still over the planet, but even it does not seem as inevitable as the threat of an environmental disaster, the ecological End of the World.
Will the end of the world? What will it be? Scientists are trying to give answers to such questions, describing the possible development of events according to the scenarios of a nuclear or environmental Doomsday. But the origins of the End of the World idea are in the ancient prophecies underlying many religions.
The Christian doctrine of the Last Judgment and the End of the World is set forth in the Apocalypse, or the Revelation of John the Theologian, the last of the writings included in the New Testament.
The end of the world, according to this teaching, will come after the Second Coming of the Savior, who will defeat the forces of evil and will do the Last Judgment. The final judgment will be accompanied by a global catastrophe.
What kind of disaster are we talking about? What is behind the word “apocalypse”?
Prescribed in other religious texts, through the prism of modern science, from the point of view of geophysics, which can give an interpretation to the physical mechanism of catastrophes, and from the point of view of historical science, which will allow us to determine which disasters of the past were reflected in these texts.
The study of ancient catastrophes helps to look into a possible future. We kind of transfer ourselves there, get an emotional, imaginative picture of this probable future, as with the increasing man-made pressure on nature, the threat of catastrophes, similar to those described in myths, increases. True, they will not be caused by natural causes, but by the destructive activity of civilization.
The end of the world in the religions of the peoples of the world
Eschatology is the doctrine of the End of the World. Eschatological prophecies are the basis of most religious systems, including Christian doctrine. It is noteworthy that all versions of the legend of the End of the World have similar features.
As a rule, the end of the world is associated with the coming of the Messiah – Jesus Christ, Saoshyant (in Zoroastrianism), Maitreya (in Buddhist mythology) Mashiach (in Judaism). Messiah comes to defeat evil and make the Last Judgment. The background of the Last Judgment is a world catastrophe – the destruction of the world, the flood, the world fire, etc. After purification, the world is reborn again.
The most ancient texts of the predictions about the End of the World are given by the Avesta – the sacred book of the ancient Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism. Religious views of Zoroastrians go back to a common Aryan, Indo-European source, so Zoroastrian eschatology has parallels in the eschatology of other Indo-European peoples. Zoroastrianism was subsequently supplanted by Islam in Iran, but it is still the current religion among the Parsi people in India. Zoroastrian eschatology and the doctrine of the confrontation between the forces of good and evil had a great influence on such teachings, which became an integral part of Christianity, Islam, and Manichaeism.
According to the teachings of the Zoroastrians, the supreme god-creator Ahura Mazda determined the life of the Universe at 12,000 years. In the first three thousand years, Ahura Mazda created the spiritual world and light. At this time, Angro Manyu – the Zoroastrian Devil did not come into contact with the spiritual world, he existed outside of him. Then evil came to the world, then Angro-Manyu appeared. The universal opposition of the good forces (Ahura Mazda) and the forces of evil (Angro Manyu) began.
The remaining 9 thousand years, the Zoroastrians divide into three epochs of struggle of these original forces of creation. At first, in their minds, for three thousand years, Ahura Mazda created the material world, the sky, then water and towards the end of man. Angro Manyu created evil spirits – the devas and embodied evil in the material world – created destructive natural phenomena and monsters. In the next three thousand years, Angro-Manyu burst into the material world with creatures he created. He sent the serpent Ami, who killed the first man Guyomart. But from the seed of the first man, people were reborn again. Ahura Mazda’s forces defeated evil and imprisoned Angro-Manya underground. But from there he continued to harm. He taught black magicians to witchcraft, he sent sickness, old age and death to people.