Part Two, Understanding How The Present and Past Contrast
Addendum: Can Jesus, the Mahdi and the dajjal surpass or even match The Avengers? How our ideas of Prophecy and the Future are Manipulated.
[Part 1: Past Ummahs and Our Delusions – Part 2:Contrasting Present and Past – Part 3:The Trap and Background Music – Part 4:Miracles in the Seemingly un-Miraculous – Part 5:Conclusion, Crux and Solution]
Thank you for joining us again. We left off with the realization that humanity typically entertains very unrealistic expectations of the FUTURE which affects their perceptions of Prophecy. Let’s quickly recap matters and proceed:
To Summarize the Past:
People often have views of The Past, The Future, and Religion itself that at the core are quite cartoonish. However this is often the only way that we can make sense of things. When we retreat into a delusional and unrealistic view of religion, it does not do us much objective good.
As examples, we examined the time of Jesus son of Mary AS, and how the Children of Israel misperceived his reality in spite of being well-steeped in Messianic Prophecies, as well as intense imminent expectations. Our main guiding rule in this whole series is to never underestimate the people of the past: one cartoonish view of The Past is that its people were primitive simpletons. This is not so, the Israelites were just as smart as people today, and many of them could well have been far more intelligent that you or I, or anyone reading this. How is it that they missed the very signs they were looking for when they came to pass?
When the Future arrived for Bani Israel, out of hundreds of thousands of Jews, and perhaps a million people in all Palestine, only a small handful of people recognized Jesus as the Messiah. It is likely that not even 1% of Bani Israel recognized the very Messiah they were waiting for. We saw that the only possible reason for their mis-perception lay in delusion; delusional expectations of how the FUTURE would look when it arrived, and more specifically, delusions regarding the expected nature, appearance, and behavior of the Messiah and other Prophesied figures such as John The Baptist AS.
Yahya, John the Baptist, daily called out: “here he is” – all the while when the actual Messiah walked down the street, the general people did not recognize him within their very midst. In fact so high was the expectation that many of the Israelites fell for false Messiahs, the history of the 200 years before and after Jesus AS is full of Messianic movements and figures. So clearly these expectations were rife.
Lest we overly focus on the time of Jesus, let’s look at the Israelites in Moses’ day. The Children of Israel witnessed countless miracles but still worshiped the calf? Ponder for a moment this, after literally witnessing miracles “of Biblical proportions” you have an entire Ummah melting their jewelry and molding a Golden calf, worshiping it while engaging in the most vulgar orgies, while Haroun, AS, Moses’ brother stood by helpless. Do you ever ask yourself: “How could they reason so badly?” If not, then perhaps you should be asking yourself this question. Think to yourself, if you saw a plague of frogs, the entire Nile river running red with blood, locusts, entire armies being swallowed by the sea after you passed through unscathed, with other signs and portents, would you be so stupid as to disobey the God of your Prophet and leader and worship a molded Golden calf?
we reiterate all of this in order to shed light on the reality of our current situation by direct contrast and comparison with ancient prophetic catastrophes. In theirs and our case, we have theatrical and yet delusional expectations. By this, we illustrate in dramatic terms how people can in effect and practice disbelieve the fulfillment of prophecies whose very words they thoroughly memorize and believe in and whose fulfillment they expected.
Today’s Situation Contrasted:
Let us examine situation today. If the Bani Israel in Jesus’ day were largely melodramatic in their expectations to the point of literally missing him when he arrived and left, how can we be certain that we are not similarly misled?
Do not be so unwise as to dismiss this caution just yet, because our situation is not so dissimilar to that of the Israelites, or that of other nations and Umam. Then, as now, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people were actively expecting and looking for Prophesied figures of Jesus and John the Baptist AS, yet they failed to recognize them.
Today, the Muslim Ummah expects the Mahdi and then the Messiah AS. Moreover we expect many other apocalyptic changes and figures that were prophesied to occur in The Future, such as The Qahtani, The Khorasani, the evil Sufyani – السفياني -, and the accursed Antichrist; al-Masih al-Dajjal – المسيح الدجّال . Such expectations are not only molded by how we read the Qur’an, Hadith, and other Prophetic literature, but also in how trusted scholars through the ages have interpreted and explained these to us. Naturally all of us have our own various personal ideas of how such things will come to pass.
Our expectations do not develop in our minds in pristine isolation. Our religious sources alone do not mold our Future expectations. When you honestly reflect on where we get our ideas about The Future, you will see a more nuanced picture indeed. We all are exposed to a multitude of external sources, all acting as dominant influences in our lives. Such sources mold our culture, language and beliefs, and coalesce to shape our expectations in many ways. They act as powerful, yet dimly recognized influences, and much of what we are prone to believe as original ideas are actually prompted, provoked, and nudged both by impersonal factors, such as the very logic of the language and cultural system we are exposed to, as well as highly personal influences, human and non-human action with volition and motives. We also often act as “echo chambers” to each other, repeating beliefs, axioms, and assumptions to each other, each of us semi-consciously reinforcing each other’s beliefs and disbeliefs.
In every culture lie hidden or unrecognized, yet authoritative, vectors of social and mental influence. They operate at the periphery of our conscious perception and often inform thoughts and feelings we believe to be wholly our own. Collectively they contribute to a shared pool of dominant assumptions that they we rarely question. A skeptical reader may want to deny this, it is an understandable self-preserving reaction which has intractably confounding consequences. There is great personal power in learning to understand the processes of such influences. This process lies in the purpose of our site, we find that we all live in a veritable Cipherverse, and we aim to decode it bit by bit. These processes are only a small part of the science of Memetics.
What we are influenced with, from authoritative or barely perceptible sources, people tend to take for granted. However profoundly they act upon us, we all tend to barely notice them on the sidelines. In today’s Muslim Ummah many social influences are not from Prophetic texts. But they may impact how we internally understand and interpret Prophetic texts.
There has always been, in every civilization, a sort of entertainment media, what we see in the modern world has direct parallels with the past, from storytellers (al-qussas) in the coffeehouse or Suq, or among the Greeks: the theater and drama, the poets and orators. Even our Paleolithic soul-mates had their social engineering in the form of cave paintings of figures drawn on the wall, mad even more impressive by the dance of flickering mammoth fat lamps. This is all directly analogous to our modern communications and entertainment media.
Look at this ecosystem of ideas as a vast echo-chamber, in which we are all groomed from childhood to engage in a type of magical thinking when it comes to our expectations from Prophecy and The Future. Therefore to better understand the Prophecies as they were intended to be understood by the Prophets of Allah, SAAS, we must kill the thought patterns resulting from such magical thinking as we find them in our heads. We must regard these images of The Future as mental idols; false realities concealing the simple reality that when The Future does arrives, there is no reason why it should not be as mundane and real as the world itself.
Think this over.
Series Addendum – Can Jesus, the Mahdi and the dajjal surpass or even match The Avengers?How our ideas of Prophecy and the Future are Manipulated.
[1: Past Ummahs and Our Delusions – 2:Contrasting Present and Past – 3:The Trap and Background Music – 4:Miracles in the Seemingly un-Miraculous – 5:Conclusion, Crux and Solution]