A fictional lecture on the apocalypse

My position varies slightly from other theorizing about the apocalypse. Interpreters of the Aztecs say the world will end in floods from hurricanes and tsunamis and melting glaciers; I beg to differ. Robert Frost said ice would suffice but his bets are on fire; I disagree with both postulations. T. S. Eliot claims it will end not with a bang but a whimper, but what if the apocalypse is something nobody can hear, or see or touch, for that matter? Now that we have eliminated two of the four elements, we can argue between air and earth. Yet how would the Earth end with earth? We’ll come back to that problem — though there are conceivable ways the Earth could self-destruct, we will reject the theory for the time being and entertain this curious assumption: that everything begins and ends with air.

The outermost layer of our planet, air is the portal between this world and the rest. The moment we die, we take our last breath, and the moment we are born we start breathing (though some claim that life begins before birth, we will have to disregard that for brevity’s sake). Meanings are transmitted through the air. All that is spoken and heard consists of changes in air pressure. Similarly, every image is electromagnetic energy travelling through ether. Our messages depend on air for transmission; the world as we know it is brought to us by air, and the world as we don’t know it can be too. And since our world is that which we know, this world-as-we-don’t-know-it is a non-world. Ironically, we will be so busy trying to overcome the subjectiveness of our perceptions, to see the world as it truly is, that we will lose the ability to perceive and so lose our world entirely. Then, the air we be useless, empty space full of nothing to transmit: a vacuum. A vacuum engulfing us into God’s dust bag.
This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a flood but a drought.


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