Just a Passing Fracas

The other night I had a vision. On a whim, I asked to be shown how this world ends. Hey, I was feeling comfortably nihilistic, and who doesn’t succumb to a little morbid curiosity now and then?

I was expecting to see a burst of nuclear fire, a giant rock hurtling through space on a collision course with our doomed planet, maybe some giant tentacles flopping around from the murky depths. Something cool. Something so big and so far beyond the control of all us “little guys” that when the end comes, we wouldn’t have anything left to do but gape at it in horror.

That’s not what I saw.

What I saw was an immense throng of two-dimensional, minimalist human forms, like paper dolls. Hundreds of thousands of people crowded together on a great, vast, dusty plane. Some were colored bright red, others bright blue, all of them engaged in a terrible battle with each other. It didn’t seem to matter to them what color they were; every individual seemed to have pitted themselves against every other individual. Maybe there were two sides at one time, with alliances and coordinated efforts, but from where I was watching, it was just everyone for themselves against everyone else. Reds vs. blues. Blues vs. blues. Reds vs. reds.

They were all just SO MAD.

I watched the crowd moving en masse, creeping its slow way across the desert. And there, at the “end of the world,” I saw the cliff over which they were throwing each other.

SO desperately ANGRY, each one trying to pummel everyone around them and toss as many as over the edge as they could before they themselves got tossed.

There were some other people in the scene, too, though. They were of the same basic shape, but colored purple or gray. There weren’t very many of them. They all seemed to be by themselves floating above the chaos, a loose group composed of solitary units, watching the endless waves of frothing anger pass beneath toward the precipice of the falls. I felt as though the purples-and-grays were just biding their time, waiting for the dust to settle. They seemed to accept that this self-selective apocalypse was part of a naturally recurring pattern in their reality, Their world wasn’t ending; some parts of it were just purging themselves.

So–what, exactly, does it mean to be human, and what the fuck are we doing? Are we our own worst natural disaster, driving ourselves to extinction with anger and fear and the ego’s irresistible need to protect itself from any challenge, however small? The need to be RIGHT even when we’re wrong? Is there anything we coulda-shoulda-woulda be doing to change things, or is the craziness of our times just part of a greater order that knows how to take care of itself? If so, how many among us might be capable of patiently rising above, and once the excitement is over, resuming…whatever else there is to do and be?

Like many of my visions and dreams, this one gave me a few new metaphors to play with, but no clear answers.