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A Meaningless Nothing

Things Irreversible. Things Unavoidable. Things Inevitable. A Psalm of the Apocalypse. The apocalyptic nightmare. Possibilities. Actualities. Determinism. Freedom.

When dealing with these words and phrases a Poet might sense romance. A Philosopher might deduce reason. A Politician might respond with rhetoric. A Psychologist might discern regression and repression. And a Preacher might experience revelation. Each has differing perspectives, differing perceptions, differing passions, differing disciplines – that lead them to see things differently.

These words and the vocabulary that we use to clarify their contextual meanings represent different things to different people. To the theologically-minded these words would likely be linked to Christ, the second coming of Christ and the eschatological consummation of all things. For the philosophically-minded the same words would more easily be married to philosophical concepts such as being, non-being and nothingness, oblivion, and the negation of reality.

For AC4, a lead character in The Last Martyr, his understanding traveled between these two polar positions. His interpretative focus? The destination, not the journey. His ultimate concern? A final, end time catastrophic event. The destination? A cosmic collapse that would eliminate, dissolve and annihilate all strands of reality. Implication? The end of the world and of time as we know it.

Since the beginning of time people have been thinking about the end of time. Many have made predictions about how and when the end would happen. Most of us are familiar with Nostradamus, Bishop Ussher, the Mayans or others who predicted the end. Even now the Muslims expect the Mahdi to appear. The Christians are looking for the Christ. Orthodox Jews are looking for their Messiah. Others look for the incarnation of Krishna and still others look for the reappearance of Mohammed. Each of these messianic types are associated with the end of the world.

Most major religions have developed their own cosmologies and eschatological schemes. Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, all have their own view of the end. When members of any of these religious groups hear words like Things Irreversible. Things Unavoidable. Things Inevitable -- linked with a phrase like A Psalm of the Apocalypse. Or, when they hear a phrase like The apocalyptic nightmare. linked with words like Possibilities. Actualities. Determinism. Freedom. – they interpret these words differently than do those outside of their ecclesiastical discipline.

Words, defined by their context, have meanings, meanings that are shaped as much by our internal passions as by our external perceptions. Our perceptions and passions work together, however, to help us discover the relationship between words, which are symbols, and their meanings, which are interpretative. Words, therefore, are interpretative tools of thought that not only reflect our perceptions and passions – but have the power to actually change them.

The words at the beginning of this blog -- and the vocabulary that we employ as Christian authors to clarify their contextual meanings -- this is a delicate task assigned by God to the Christian author as we strive for excellence.

John Dee Jeffries

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