To be read today:
I hereby prophecize that
the world will end tomorrow.
If you believe and practise my teachings well,
there is hope yet!
– Master Knowitall (Part 1)
As the story goes, there was a boy, who cried wolf, not once or twice, but thrice, who eventually lost others’ trust. In real life though, it’s not so straightforward. Repeat offenders seem to get away, time and again, due to mass delusion and unmindfulness. And it’s not for simpler matters such as tending sheep, but for major issues such as how to live life itself, when ye faithful ones are supposed to believe all is on the brink of collapse. This reminds us of Harold Camping, who erroneously predicted the end of the world 12 times, with the most recent date being 21 October 2011. He said there would be no more predictions, but can this be trusted? Will he join the 2012 doomsday bandwagon of ‘soothsayers’? Literally only time will tell! After all, he once said this in 1995, after yet another failed prediction, ‘I’m like the boy who cried wolf again and again, and the wolf didn’t come… This doesn’t bother me in the slightest.’ The Christian Post estimates about $100 million from donors was spent to ‘warn’ the masses of the last false alarm. And yes, there were devotees’ savings depleted, jobs and family trust lost…
Camping isn’t the only predictably wrong one in history. Do a Wikipedia search for ‘List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events‘ and it’s actually a growing list, with some 152 expired dates! Although in Buddhism, Buddhists are taught to be extra discerning with active enquiry, unfortunately, there are still some susceptible to disaster or doomsday prophecies, even when they lack scriptural and scientific backing. (Yes, please check the official NASA website!) Probably because Buddhists seldom hear end of days proclamations by ‘members’ of their own community, which is why such stuff is more quickly and blindly swallowed? The more analytical Buddhists can already accurately predict the explanation that will be given when the end doesn’t come on time… ‘It’s because enough people created enough good karma to save the world!’ Wow! Phew! The ones assumed to be foolish are the unsung heroes! What audacity and ingratitude for non-believers to think any otherwise! Maybe disaster was really averted? Even if not, what’s wrong with a little pseudo prophecy to make us pull up our spiritual socks anyway?
Here’s what’s very wrong… Please reread last line of paragraph one before carrying on… Done? Here’s more… Just as many of that faith lost faith in their ‘prophet’ (Camping) and even religion, a super grave falsely ‘Buddhist-proclaimed’ disaster that doesn’t occur at all can swiftly make shaky Buddhists lose faith in Buddhism – if they link their dubious ‘Buddhist’ source of information with the Dharma, while they become a laughing-stock to non-Buddhists. Till then, fear, conflict and depression can be caused. When a ‘potential disaster’ is projected forward, months ahead, the Buddha’s important teachings on the immediacy of life in the here and now are lost. And why do doomsday faithfuls imagine they can save the world later, when they can’t even prevent relatively fewer people from dying in smaller disasters before that ‘special day’? What if the perished ones didn’t expect ‘premature’ death due to attachment to the (arbitrarily) publicised ‘big day’ ahead? They were not reminded to live fully in the moment in time. What a true disaster! (For more rational views on the 2012 issue, please read the links below.)
To be read tomorrow:
If the world does not end today,
it is because enough believed in my prophecy
and practised my teachings well.
I will update everyone on my next prophecy soon!
– Master Knowitall (Part 2)
Buddhist Questions & Answers on 2012
How To Advise Friends Affected By 2012 Hearsay?
Beware of ‘Buddhist’ 2012 Hearsay
The Buddha’s Warnings Against Demonic False Teachers
Don’t Tell Me You Saved The World
(Although Master Knowitall is fictitious, anyone can make unprovable claims like his)