Dear God, was is this Aethyr I am come upon?
What spirits are these, labouring in what heavenly light?
No, this is dazzle, but not yet divinity. Nor are these heathen wraiths about me spirits lacking even that vitality.
What then? Am I, like Saint John the Divine, vouchsafed a glimpse of those last times?
Are these the days my death shall spare me?
It would seem we are to suffer an apocalypse of cockatoos...
Morose, barbaric children playing with their unfathomable toys.
Where comes this dullness in your eyes? How has your century numbed you so?
Shall man be given marvels only when he is beyond all wonder?
- From Hell
by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
What the crap did John see? Do you ever stop and think about that? Do you ever stop and step back from the reverence and religious significance of Revelation and just wonder about what the crap the guy actually saw or experienced? Was it a divine vision of the end times, or a hallucination, or even just something plucked from a wild imagination?
If it was a glimpse of the future, how could he have even comprehended it? We always think that the current time is the end of times and that this age shall be the last. I guess people in every generation are just that arrogant to suppose they must be important enough to witness the end of it all. I've heard various theories trying to interpret the imagery in Revelation as 20th century technology. But here we are in the 21st century, and time and technology are still ticking along. If John, or whoever wrote Revelation (easy now), really did receive a glimpse of the future, who's to say that wasn't still far off in our future?
In From Hell, Alan Moore has Jack the Ripper suffer from several hallucinations or, perhaps, visions induced by occult rituals. This man from 1888 suddenly finds himself standing in a modern day office, simply astounded by all the gadgets that we use on a daily basis. And even more so, he's confounded by our lack of amazement with such devices.
We have technology in our pockets that allows us to call anyone, anywhere, and access a global wealth of information and data. And it is insufficient. We are always waiting, looking for, and anticipating the next big thing, even if it's just a minor improvement on the technology we currently hold in our hands. We have attained vast technological sophistication beyond the dreams of Jack the Ripper, let alone a man on Patmos 2000 years ago. And we are never satisfied.
We went to the moon. We got rather bored with it.
Maybe the apocalypse won't be filled with grandiose chaos and catastrophe on a Michael Bay scale. Maybe the end of mankind comes when we are given all the wonders of the world and they no longer interest us.