Apocalypse

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We are heading for a radical revision where you could say we are heading towards the end of the world, but more in the R.E.M. sense than the Revelation sense. That is what apocalypse means – revelation. ~ Alan Moore

Apocalypse (Greek: Ἀποκάλυψις, apokalypsis, literally: the lifting of the veil) is a term applied to the disclosure to certain privileged persons of something hidden from the mass of humankind. In English, the word apocalypse now commonly refers to the end of the world. The current meaning may be an ellipsis of the phrase apokalupsis eschaton (apocalyptic eschatology), meaning "revelation of knowledge of the end of time".

See also:
Armageddon
Book of Revelation
Last Judgment
Revelation

Quotes[edit]

Only Nietzsche and Blake know a wholly fallen Godhead, a Godhead which is an absolutely alien Nihil, but the full reversal of that Nihil is apocalypse itself, an apocalypse which is an absolute joy, and Blake and Nietzsche are those very writers who have most evoked that joy. ~ Thomas J. J. Altizer
Sorted alphabetically by author or source
If we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse. ~ G. K. Chesterton
"Listen," croaked Skuzz. "Got something important to tell you. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ... they're right bastards, all four of them." ~ Good Omens
Wild, dark times are rumbling toward us, and the prophet who wishes to write a new apocalypse will have to invent entirely new beasts, and beasts so terrible that the ancient animal symbols of St. John will seem like cooing doves and cupids in comparison. ~ Heinrich Heine
Throughout most of our history, nothing  –  not flood, famine, plague, or new weapons  –  has endangered humanity one-tenth as much as the narcissistic ego, with its self-aggrandizing presumptions and its hell-hound spawn of fear and greed ~ Tom Robbins
Here's an idea:  let's get over ourselves, buy a cherry pie, and go fall in love with life. ~ Tom Robbins
  • What is most needed today is a fundamental theological thinking, one centered upon the Godhead itself, and centered upon that which is most challenging or most offensive in the Godhead, one which has truly been veiled in the modern world, except by our most revolutionary thinkers and visionaries. If we allow Blake and Nietzsche to be paradigmatic of those revolutionaries, nowhere else does such a centering upon God or the Godhead occur, although a full parallel to this occurs in Spinoza and Hegel; but the language of Hegel and Spinoza is not actually offensive, or not in its immediate impact, whereas the language of Nietzsche and Blake is the most purely offensive language which has ever been inscribed. Above all this is true of the theological language of Blake and Nietzsche, but here a theological language is a truly universal language, one occurring in every domain, and occurring as that absolute No which is the origin of every repression and every darkness, and a darkness which is finally the darkness of God, or the darkness of that Godhead which is beyond “God.” Only Nietzsche and Blake know a wholly fallen Godhead, a Godhead which is an absolutely alien Nihil, but the full reversal of that Nihil is apocalypse itself, an apocalypse which is an absolute joy, and Blake and Nietzsche are those very writers who have most evoked that joy.
  • "The Man Comes Around" is a song that I wrote, it's my song of the apocalypse, and I got the idea from a dream that I had — I dreamed I saw Queen Elizabeth. I dreamed I went in to Buckingham Palace, and there she sat on the floor. And she looked up at me and said, "Johnny Cash, you're like a thorn tree in a whirlwind." And I woke up, of course, and I thought, what could a dream like this mean? Thorn tree in a whirlwind? Well, I forgot about it for two or three years, but it kept haunting me, this dream. I kept thinking about it, how vivid it was, and then I thought, Maybe it's biblical. So I found it. Something about whirlwinds and thorn trees in the Bible. So from that, my song started and... "The Man Comes Around." The song turned out to be "The Man Comes Around."
  • There is always in the healthy mind an obscure prompting that religion teaches us rather to dig than to climb; that if we could once understand the common clay of earth we should understand everything. Similarly, we have the sentiment that if we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse. This is the great truth which has always lain at the back of baby-worship, and which will support it to the end.
  • As for apocalypse, I was imprinted at an early age with the idea of The End of the World (this also courtesy of the Catholic Church). I can remember being terrified of thunderstorms — I'd think, Uh oh, THIS IS IT. I was born in 1957, and grew up in the metropolitan New York area with the Cold War as a backdrop. In kindergarten and first and second grade we had constant air raid drills, sirens going off and that whole "Duck 'n Cover" drill when you cower under your desk or else hide in the classroom cloak closet, waiting for the Atomic Bomb to drop. I had nightmares about that well into my twenties.
  • Wild, dark times are rumbling toward us, and the prophet who wishes to write a new apocalypse will have to invent entirely new beasts, and beasts so terrible that the ancient animal symbols of St. John will seem like cooing doves and cupids in comparison.
    • Heinrich Heine, in Lutetia; or, Paris. From the Augsberg Gazette, 12, VII (1842)
  • To me, when we talk about the world, we are talking about our ideas of the world. Our ideas of organisation, our different religions, our different economic systems, our ideas about it are the world. We are heading for a radical revision where you could say we are heading towards the end of the world, but more in the R.E.M. sense than the Revelation sense. That is what apocalypse means – revelation. I could square that with the end of the world, a revelation, a new way of looking at things, something that completely radicalises our notions of the where we were, when we were, what we were, something like that would constitute an end to the world in the kind of abstract – yet very real sense – that I am talking about. A change in the language, a change in the thinking, a change in the music. It wouldn’t take much – one big scientific idea, or artistic idea, one good book, one good painting – who knows – we are at a critical point where the ideas are coming thicker and faster and stranger and stranger than they ever were before. They are realised at a greater speed, everything has become very fluid.
  • The year 1999, seventh month, [or simply "sept"] From the sky will come a great King of Terror. To bring back to life the great King of the Mongols, Before and after Mars to reign by good luck.
  • There are Seven Seals to be opened, that is to say, Seven mysteries to know, and Seven difficulties to overcome, Seven trumpets to sound, and Seven cups to empty.
    The Apocalypse is, to those who receive the nineteenth degree, the Apotheosis of that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and works of Lucifer. Lucifer, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls! Doubt it not! for traditions are full of Divine Revelations and Inspirations: and Inspiration is not of one Age nor of one Creed. Plato and Philo, also, were inspired.
    • Albert Pike, in Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871), Ch. XIX : Grand Pontiff, p. 321
  • Let us pardon him his hope of a vain apocalypse, and of a second coming in great triumph upon the clouds of heaven. Perhaps these were the errors of others rather than his own; and if it be true that he himself shared the general illusion, what matters it, since his dream rendered him strong against death, and sustained him in a struggle to which he might otherwise have been unequal?
    • Ernest Renan. Vie de Jésus (The Life of Jesus) Ch. 17 (1863)
  • Christians, and some Jews, claim we're in the "end times," but they've been saying this off and on for more than two thousand years.  According to Hindu cosmology, we're in the Kali Yuga, a dark period when the cow of history is balanced precariously on one leg, soon to topple.  Then there are our new-age friends who believe that this December we're in for a global cage-rattling which, once the dust has settled, will usher in a great spiritual awakening.
    Most of this apocalyptic noise appears to be just wishful thinking on the part of people who find life too messy and uncertain for comfort, let alone for serenity and mirthThe truth, from my perspective, is that the world, indeed, is ending  –  and is also being reborn.  It's been doing that all day, every day, forever.  Each time we exhale, the world ends; when we inhale, there can be, if we allow it, rebirth and spiritual renewal.  It all transpires inside of us.  In our consciousness, in our heartsAll the time.
    Otherwise, ours is an old, old story with an interesting new wrinkle.  Throughout most of our history, nothing  –  not flood, famine, plague, or new weapons  –  has endangered humanity one-tenth as much as the narcissistic ego, with its self-aggrandizing presumptions and its hell-hound spawn of fear and greed. The new wrinkle is that escalating advances in technology are nourishing the narcissistic ego the way chicken manure nourishes a rose bush, while exploding worldwide population is allowing its effects to multiply geometrically.  Here's an idea:  let's get over ourselves, buy a cherry pie, and go fall in love with life.

Bible[edit]

  • His feet were like fine copper when glowing in a furnace; and his voice was as the sound of many waters.
  • And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
    • 7: 4, King James Version
  • It has been granted to her to be clothed with bright, clean, fine linen—for the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the holy ones.

External links[edit]

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