Why Do We Like the Idea of the End of the World?

Why Do We Like the Idea of the End of the World?A question I received: Why is “the end of the world” such a popular topic today?

My Answer: You’re right. Instead of attaining immortality, people are building the Arctic Doomsday Seed Vault on Spitsbergen to store seeds of all the plant species, so they could restore the planet’s vegetation after a global war or a natural catastrophe. They are also thinking of storing a sperm bank in outer space, and other such ideas. However, people aren’t doing this because of the romantic notion of the end of the world, but out of the sensation of hopelessness. This sensation is alluring and tempting in a way, and this is why the idea of the end of the world is so popular in movies, books, and computer games.

So the answer to your question is that our egoism attracts us to death, lures us toward a catastrophe, and enjoys watching the tired old world disappear, according to the verse, “Revel and enjoy, since tomorrow we’ll die!” (Nuchal ve Nishte Ki Macharo Namut.) Since “tomorrow” is becoming more and more menacing, we are feeling more and more indifferent and indolent to “today.”

According to Kabbalah, if one isn’t on the path of correction yet, then this is actually the next best attitude to have toward the future, because one reveals hopelessness, the fact that there is no solution in our world, and thoughts that aren’t typical of an ordinary person living on the animate level. Later these thoughts and feelings will develop, because egoism will keep growing and it will demand fulfillment – a solution to these problems.

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  1. Dear Rav,
    Today I received a question to send you a blessing from Holland in behalf of the world kli because of your birthday.
    The question by itself overwhelms my heart….but it is easy for me to express the love that comes with it…for me as a person you are the first teacher in my life that teaches me material that I cannot understand with the intellect, you are the first teacher that I listen to at a time I would normally sleep, you are the first teacher who writes books that sometimes fill me and sometimes I just can’t get through them, you are the first teacher who doesn’t give me an exam, you are the first teacher that makes me feel like the ass of a donkey…but you are also the first teacher that I love with all what I have, you are the first teacher that really teaches me that my life does make sense..this is not a small thing and carries a great responsibility.
    And I am sure that if I speak in behalf the world Kli, by just feeling how they are all around me,  that every Student  loves you for this, and respect you for your never ending  patience, your sometimes great sense of humor and your endless love for us…I could go on and on without feeling an end of my deep aspiration to tell you what a blessing it is to be educated by you…but the words and the feelings make me thirsty and I am just imagining now that the entire World Kli raises a glass filled with this burning holy water and say from their deepest intentions…..LEHAIM RAV LAITMAN!

  2. I see that as humans we are wanting the end of the world out of a knowing that we are not all -powerful, coupled with needing an end to our suffering. I recently went out to see the film 2012 and I looked at the person taking tickets, a non- assuming, depressed- looking person .

    I said “I thought I’d come see the end of the world.” This man immediately looked up and made contact with me and smiled and told me he had seen it twice already. He was instantly happy at the thought of the end of the world….which seemed to mean an end to suffering for him.

    I was there also out of a sense of wanting to more sharply “feel” the reality that we are not in control of our destiny and although we might not have had anything in common in a conversation our hearts understood the difficulty of living in a world of false perceptions. I believe humanity is sick of its condition.


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