Koos Kombuis
Koos Kombuis

Has the end of the world been rescheduled?

I must admit I was one of the millions of naïve people worldwide who was duped by the Mayan’s so-called “end of the world” prophecy.

Not only duped, but my marriage was almost destroyed. From December 20 2012 right through to the 23, I insisted on sleeping alone on the sofa in our lounge. I wanted to be close to the TV set. Every hour or two I would wake up with a start, grab the remote, and hop through the international news channels. I was convinced we’d be hit by an asteroid. I was terrified of a full-scale war breaking out in the Middle East. I was watching out for earthquakes, tsunamis, the plague, anything to prove my dearly held New Age beliefs right.

As it were, those three dates were particularly devoid of earth-shattering events. Just about the most newsworthy event was the resignation of some cricket player I had never heard of from the Australian team.

So much for the missing crystal skulls, the alignment of the planets, the earth moving past the equinox of the galaxy, et cetera.

Now, in the aftermath of the Greatest Non-Event ever prophesied, now that all the authors of those best-selling books (books which, oddly enough, disappeared off the shelves of bookstores overnight) are laughing all the way to the banks even though their reputations are in tatters, I ask myself: are we really safe now? What if their predictions were right and they only had the exact timing wrong?

I watched the classic film The Time Machine — based on the book by HG Wells — on TCM recently. I was scared to watch it alone, so I asked my 12-year-old son to join me. Being a science-fiction fan, he loved it. I loved it too, but it raised troublesome questions in my mind.

Interestingly enough, the opening scene of the film depicts a dinner party shortly after the turn of a century: January 5 1900. The citizens of the Victorian Age who meet for this dinner party are totally ignorant of the tumultuous events awaiting them. They have no idea that, in the course of the next 100 years, mankind will invent petrol-driven cars and commercial airliners. They have no idea that two world wars are just around the corner. They cannot form any pictures in their minds of the atomic bomb, nor can they imagine that actual people will set foot on the moon. Not to mention the other forthcoming attractions: the internet, Aids, or miniskirts! As they sip their cognacs and sit around with their clearly uncomfortable hairstyles and all dressed up in their stuffy suits, they have no inkling that the world they know is heading towards a series of events far more incredible than anything they ever dreamed of. They are blissfully unaware that the 20th century will herald more changes than the whole of history combined.

None of these things were to transpire precisely at the turn of that century, though. The biggest news in the London papers that day was some victory the Boer army in South Africa had pulled off against the British. And to them, it was something relatively unimportant that happened on the other side of the globe.

Are we perhaps in the same situation as those Victorian gentlemen, apparently safe in our comfort zone, relaxing in our lounges, not realising how fast the future is hurtling towards us?

Even though the world as we know it did not end during the last month of 2012, I cannot completely shake a lingering feeling of mixed anticipation and dread. And it seems to be an apprehension shared by countless people all over the world. Nothing earth-shattering has happened yet, but what about the days and years to come? When global warming takes its toll, when our population growth escalates out of control, when we start losing the war against terror? When the internet either crashes, or becomes the means used by a united world government to control the masses? The spectre of the “fiscal cliff” and the subsequent economic meltdown has been narrowly avoided by American politicians, but have they really solved the underlying problems? What if the feared economic meltdown and all the subsequent chaos caused by such an event have merely being delayed?

The world did not end. Not yet. The Titanic is still sailing on. For now. Let’s drink a toast to that. But even as we rattle the ice cubes in our drinks, we should spare a thought to the large icebergs that may be lying, hidden from sight, in the uncharted seas ahead of us.

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43 Responses to “Has the end of the world been rescheduled?”

  1. Relax, Koos, live your life. You only get one.
    .

    January 2, 2013 at 1:33 pm
  2. Lennon #

    Unless something on a similar level to the Permian Extinctions occurs, I’m pretty sure we’ll all be fine.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm
  3. And if we’re not all fine, Lennon, we won’t be here to know it.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm
  4. Lennon #

    Quite right Paul. Quite right. :)

    January 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm
  5. ntozakhona #

    The world is dead, long live the world!

    January 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm
  6. John #

    Now I know why your name is Koos Kombuis. It fits. Poor soul.

    January 3, 2013 at 8:34 am
  7. Sk Biyela #

    I must admit to have had similar feelings, though not so extreme also having come from a different place; that of excitement over the prospect of seeing these amazing events!

    January 3, 2013 at 8:41 am
  8. Johannes #

    A good reminder that there are greater threats to humanity than the end of the world. End of the World scenarios are typically what National Geographic called “apocalyptic dreams” – hoping for a quick end when there is some hard thinking to be done in stead.

    January 3, 2013 at 8:53 am
  9. Mareli #

    Just goes to show, cognac has been around for more than a century…

    January 3, 2013 at 9:03 am
  10. Tyler #

    This is a Christian mindset. If you know Science, you wouldn’t believe this rubbish. No end of World in sight until the Sun becomes a big dwarf in billion years to come. Koos enjoy your life in fullest and drink a toast to that

    January 3, 2013 at 9:13 am
  11. Louw #

    Hi Koos, ek’t nie geweet paranoia van dwelms kan na soveel jare nog werk nie, LOL

    January 3, 2013 at 9:13 am
  12. Jack #

    What a very sad way to live your life, full of fear and dread. Come on man, rather do what you can to change what you are able to and stop all the worrying. This world will eventually end, some way or the other, but rather live your life free from fear.

    January 3, 2013 at 9:33 am
  13. Blessed are those that can be consumed by what…if angst, rather than be confronted by real-life crises….

    January 3, 2013 at 9:45 am
  14. Marissa #

    A United world government, now that is an unimaginsble concept!!!

    January 3, 2013 at 9:46 am
  15. Paul Van Uytrecht #

    The end of the world is happening – it’s called climate change, over consumption and over population – most people are just not noticing, like the frog in the pot of slowly heating water.

    January 3, 2013 at 9:47 am
  16. AGMiskin #

    But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:10 am
  17. Greg #

    Koos, many people throughout the world have this feeling, that everything in this world is just not quite right! Nobody seems to have all the pieces to the jigsaw puzzle, but that something i staking place I have no doubt. When you start to read up on the Biblical prophecy, combined with history, especially of the roman empire and the roman catholic church, then read a book titled, “The 4th Reich”, read up on the following:

    The Rothschild family
    The Rockerfella family & foundation
    Council on foreign relations
    Bilderberg group
    United Nations (constitution and its similarity to that of Russian constitution)
    European Union (History, signing ceromony, temple of Jupiter, Tower of babel,and the Pope giving it his blessing-revived roman empire?)
    Helen Petrova Blavatski (Theosophical society)
    Annie Besant
    Alice A Bailey (Lucis Trust-Lucifer publishing company, printer & dissemination of all United nations Material & involved in the UN via other org`s))
    Albert Pike (Morals & Dogma)(Freemasonry)
    Black Pope/White Pope
    The history of Israel
    Occuly signs and freemasonry signs & signals)
    Jessuit`s
    Knights of Malta
    Skull & Bones 322 & Bohemian grove
    Catholsism (Exoteric) & Johannaism (Esoteric-The real religion of the roman catholic church)
    HAARP
    Chem Trails
    Genetically Modified Organisms (Monsanto, seeds of deception, terminator technology)
    Flouried in our water
    Climate change (hoax of the century)
    9/11 truth.org
    Global Financial Crisis (The Money masters)

    January 3, 2013 at 10:21 am
  18. Interesting thoughts. We can either be dismissive of the whole thing or look deeper

    January 3, 2013 at 10:26 am
  19. Frans Verloop #

    And then to think that this century will beat the 20th hands down with new inventions and developments like mining companies on the moon and Mars, each individual with his or her own flying machine to go to work, Work? what’s that, for that we have robots.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:38 am
  20. Greg #

    New World Order
    Illuminati
    Islam, Hinduism & Budduism – All roads lead to Rome.
    Washinton State memorial
    USA Presidential inaugurations (changed for east to west portico with Reagan – Why?) (Also history, relationship of USA Capitol Hill to Vatican Capotilini)
    Statue of Liberty (+ copy in France)
    The oblisk
    New Age Movement
    Scientology
    Sinister Sites (E.g – Denver International Airport)
    The vatican (and symbols & statues inside)
    Anti-Christ & End Times
    DVD series, God`s Final Call – Mark Woodman

    All of the above are key words or resources that will lead the reader to other sites, on and on…somethings going down! these above are all REAL JIGSAW piecies, help build the puzzle, be part of the global awakening, we are not all sheeple.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:43 am
  21. Martin Hedington #

    Well here you go Koos, you can start worrying again, this one ain’t no cock-a-mamy prediction, its a proven scientific fact.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2146716/Huge-asteroid-set-swipe-Earth-February-destroy-satellites–return-hit-2020.html

    January 3, 2013 at 10:53 am
  22. john patson #

    Are you sure they did not just forget to adjust for the Gregorian calendar. Golly Gosh, it is today!!! I had better find my wife so we can be making love when it happens (it worked last month…)

    January 3, 2013 at 11:02 am
  23. sfiso #

    The greatest disservice of the western world to the rest of humanity is its obsession to literilise ancient scriptures. The reason is to be found in the West’s successful use of science. When ancient people wrote Genesis, Revelation, Gospels and Mayan Sacred texts they were doing so from the premise of the Objective scientific Method. The results of this approach are evident everywhere. The day and night are declared in Genesis when stars are not even created; Noah fits all living animals in a boat the size of 4 busses, and the fundamentalists outdo themselves in understanding such childish fables as literal truths. St Paul once declared that the truth is not in the literal but the allegorical but it has always fallen on deaf ears in the west. The Mayan sages should be laughing at us now.One of our enduringmyths is about a man who literally ascended into the skies. Thank God there’s no inquisition today to enforce such stories by violence!

    January 3, 2013 at 11:22 am
  24. sfiso #

    Do I read ancient sacred texts? Yes. They are not the New York Times or News24. They are ancient esoteric writings obsessed with a different agenda than the elicidation of objective cause-and-effect reality. In fact each piece of writing should be seen from 5 perspectives: the literal, the allegorical, the hidden and hintful suggestion, the mystical, and the homiletic. The last one being the whipping boy of evangelical pastors because when given the objective and metaphysical truth in one sentence, the flights of imagination outdo themselves. The reverse danger of this is obvious as well if you treat objective scientific facts as superstition, the consequences are catastrophic. The last example being the way HIV-AIDS is understood and treated by some black communities.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:33 am
  25. sfiso #

    Maybe one day I will get the opportunity to expound the ancient Mayan Sacred Texts. For now December 22, 2012 is gone.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:36 am
  26. Barbra Buys #

    Apathy will probably kill us all in the end, Koos. While we chat to people we do not know online, and not to those near and dear to us…

    January 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm
  27. Stuff #

    It never ceases to amaze me how many supposedly intelligent people were duped. Anyone with half a sense of inquisitiveness should have researched the Mayan prophesies for a few hours. It was loud and clear, and the Mayan elders said on occasions in recent years, those prophesies were about the end of an era (end of that calender), not the end of the world. The Mayans say a new and better era for the world is now emerging.

    For more information see; December 21 2012 Explained by Mayan Elders, Priests and Shamans
    Mayan Priest: THE WORLD WILL NOT END IN 2012
    http://www.maya12-21-2012.com/2012shamans.html

    >>

    January 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm
  28. Shaman sans Frontieres #

    Amusing, Koos, but I suspect you know as well as many others that the thing was not described by 2012 gurus as a physical apocalypse but a shift in awareness, shift in consciousness. See http://www.calleman.com/content/articles/SomeNewReflections.htm

    January 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm
  29. @Tyler – Your post reminded me of an old joke you’ve probably heard.

    The science teacher is explaining to his class that the world must end one day, because in about 3 billion years our sun will expand as it cools into what astronomers call a red giant, swallowing up all the planets. Then it shrivels to a white dwarf.

    At the back, a kid asks in an absolute panic – ‘How long, sir?’

    The teacher repeats it’ll be in around 3 billion years.

    ‘Phew, thank goodness!’ says the kid. ‘I thought you said 3 million!’

    January 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm
  30. MLH #

    I’m with Greg on this. Some of the info abounding is quite fascinating and while I expected nothing of Dec 21, it was fun to yank everyone’s chains.

    The theory I unashamedly like most is that the date heralded the second coming…fits so neatly with the Jacob Zuma prophecy, doesn’t it?

    However, reading only some of Greg’s suggestions must leave you wondering not only whether our children will dodge a fatal car accident each time they leave home, but whether they would cope if only a few staunch people remained to rebuild.

    The idea is not new…I read the Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel series over 20 years ago, which described something similar.

    Great column, Koos.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm
  31. ntozakhona #

    Like the cognac link.

    January 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm
  32. Riman09 #

    Yes, it may not have happened in 2012, but it sure is not going to last for ever! Here have we no continuing city, but we do look for one to come!

    How many past ‘civilizations’ do we find buried in archeological finds? Many you will answer. That is a sign even this civilization will pass, and another take its place.

    Its coming will be catastrophic.

    January 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm
  33. bewilderbeast #

    Koos, for a muso you seem drastically short on some happy substance. Avoid sobriety, its not good for yous ous.

    January 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm
  34. Thandinkosi Sibisi #

    O yes the end of the world has been rescheduled.It could well be lurking around the corner within our lifetime!THe end of the world in my lifetime!

    Indeed why is there so much fascination with end of the world scenarios and doomsday prophesies? The reality is that we shall all die at some stage. Indeed assuming that no newborn baby will live longer than 130 years(the current official record for longevity is 122 years) “we” shall all certainly be dead by 2143.

    Indeed for “our” purposes we can calibrate doomsday as say 2143 (or 130 years from now. When ALL people CURRENTLY alive will EVENTUALLY die.Of course “doomsday prophets” and their disciplesare not comfortable with such a distant date . They want something closer and more threatening like say “within the next 10 years”.I find this fascination with “dsoomsday” rather odd though.Even if doomsday is 1000 or indeed several million years from today there is no guarantee that “you” and I as individuals will be alive in the next 2 years or so (even if we are in perfect health).

    The only real difference between “doomsday” and the demise of individuals is that winth the demise of individuals, there are people to mourn their passing.On the other hand after “doomsday” there will be no one left to know that the world was ever populated by people.It will be like we never existed.

    Of course aliens from a distant galaxy may visit the Earth long after doomsday and wonder how the earhtlings perished. However…

    January 5, 2013 at 10:17 pm
  35. stunned #

    Stunned at how stupid this writer is…pls tell me he didn’t get paid

    January 6, 2013 at 3:28 am
  36. Belle #

    A well written article. The world is ever changing. We have lived thus far, we live throught whatever else. Relax. Have some cognac.

    January 6, 2013 at 9:22 am
  37. @ Thandinkosi Sibisi – Good question. I imagine a proximate answer to why people are fascinated by doomsday is that they originally saw that everything else, including themselves, perishes and so it must include the world itself. All that is left after that is to quarrel about the timing. As you know, people love an argument – and prophets. Businesses are built on it.

    Perhaps there’s a bit of envy In it – the ascetics couldn’t stand to see everyone else having a ball and so were always warning it wouldn’t last.

    Perhaps also people really come to want the world to end in the end. It is a bit annoying to think of it all going on withou us.

    January 6, 2013 at 8:33 pm
  38. DeeGee #

    I’m disappointed the world didn’t end. I spent an absolute bloody fortune this December. Now Nedbank want the money back. Who can I sue?

    January 7, 2013 at 9:33 am
  39. @DeeGee – Don’t sue, cost more money. Hang on in there till the world ends next time. If you die in debt, you’ve won.

    January 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm
  40. DeeGee #

    @ Martin Hedington. I’m not scared of asteroids. We have Bruce Willis. What do asteroids have?

    January 8, 2013 at 11:01 am
  41. Cardo #

    Don’t worry about the end of the world rather worry when and how will your life end.

    April 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm
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    September 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm

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