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Section Index

  1. Explorations into the Unexplained
  2. X-Filean Monsters
  3. Millennium Monsters
  4. Grotesque
  5. Darkling
  6. Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions
    Interlude: Contradictions
  1. Anticipations
  2. Prophecies
  3. Wait
  4. Worry
  5. Who Cares?
  6. Judgement Day

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caveat: As can be inferred from the date of publication, this article may no longer represent my current views and style. It remains here for archival purposes to provide a sense of documentation and should be treated as such.

1: Explorations into the Unexplained

There is always something special about the idea of the unexplained - for the unexplained resists classification, resists being thrown into a certain scheme, resists being restricted by artificial boundaries, resists being systematically undiscovered, being diminished. Infinity is undefinable, undiminishable - infinity minus something still stays infinite. The unexplained itself, dealing with infinity and eternity and unpredictable phenomena or time frames, belongs to infinity. That's why it is special: it knows no definition. Alas, unexplained.

But - - - well, nothing is that easily to (un)define. Infinity includes some very finite aspects, some very deconstructable properties, some areas where not the result but some of the variables are known, where - to a certain extent - a model can be created to approach the topic from a certain angle, to deconstruct a specific part of the unexplained. We will not be able to deconstruct all the unexplained parts of reality (what the heck is reality, anyway?) - each solution leads to a new puzzle - but we are definitely able to modify the world around us to a certain extent.

This ability of modification, of creation, works in not only one but two different basic directions - conventionally understood as good and evil. Basic directions, because there is in matter no purity - there is always a mixture of elements; the material world is an imperfect one, a world full of risks and dangers. Shadows are the essence of our reality; minds fighting the fight of good versus evil and evil versus good every day anew. Salvation or damnation are states not to be achieved in the material world; as long as we live, there is hope.

I have to admit, I myself am just with this essay being torn from two seemingly different angles - that of science (as a student of fine arts); and that of religion (as a Catholic). So there is pretty much of conflict within both positions - indeed? What seems to be a conflict loses its borders and flows fluently into each other, into an amorphous existence defying any definition. With tendencies within literature and philosophy tending towards a less defined view of reality (namely post-structuralism and transcendentalism), my chances are quite good that the presumed conflict itself is nothing but a construction. We cannot hide behind conventional wisdom nor traditional beliefs. The edifice of understanding has to be built anew, each day, for each individual. Quite a responsibility, isn't it.

So why this pre-talk? A post-structuralist perspective needs to define (or at least to try to do so) all additional variables which might influence the result of any reflections. That's why a post-structuralist (by the way, this really is a damn long and bulky word) perspective would necessarily be a very personal, very private one: for it needs to take into account the character of the individual which is writing or speaking the respective words and phrases. And the resistance of the writer/speaker to reveal all his or her most private thoughts will always lead to a point where the data given would be inconclusive. This is not about proof, it can't be. This is about personal perspectives and reflections, nothing more.

November 8th, 1998

2: X-Filean Monsters

To a certain extent, The X-Files and Millennium are one and the same show - regarding to mood, music, visual appearance, general atmosphere, dialog, creator and the strange phenomena dealt with. But on the other hand, both are very different though: The X-Files dealing with unexplained phenomena and UFO and conspiracy topics with two relatively young FBI agents in charge; while Millennium is dedicated to an even darker, bloodier kind of phenomena, the nature of evil itself, being investigated and fought against by a group consisting of much more experienced and much older individuals. But first I will shift my focus on The X-Files.

The monsters The X-Files is dealing with are first of all strange, and secondly portraying some aspects of humanity in a very special way. Eugene Tooms (1x03 'Squeeze' and 1x21 'Tooms') for instance is a monster, that's true, but he is neither really good nor evil - the behavior he shows seems to belong to his nature. He can't do it otherwise, he is basically governed by his instincts. How much of him is really human, I don't know. He looks human, and he can move within a human society, but both his nest and his hibernation let him appear very different than the average human being. He seems to be a mutation, an experiment of nature - just as the Fluke Worm (2x02 'The Host'), who is the result of radioactivity. Monsters created by mankind, although unintentionally.

Other abnormities in nature are often portrayed as really being innocent, the humans being the the monster - just as in 1x05 'Jersey Devil', where a wild human being living in the woods is hunted down because of fear and profit. The most drastic example for this topic is of course 3x12 'War of the Coprophages' - no single one of the cockroaches accused of murdering people is 'guilty' - they are harmless, innocent creatures, releasing a witch hunt and a general anxiety and panic among the humans. The way those panicking humans act is most revealing: Fighting the roaches and fighting themselves. Another example would be 3x22 'Quagmire' - an ancient lake-dinosaur being searched just for making profit. Even if they don't find the dinosaur but an alligator hunting humans, this alligator is again innocent: It is hunting and eating humans just because its natural food source (the frogs) have been decimated by human influence. The guilty part is humanity - again. Nature strikes back.

There are also monsters intentionally created by humans - like the Eves (1x11), their chromosones altered so that they would be more intelligent. But the monsters created are locked up, afraid of them, unable to see them as human beings and unable to deal with the created problem. The monsters we create, we have to take responsibility for. Another example for the "nature strikes back" story are the ancient killer insects from 1x20 'Darkness Falls', released by humans because they killed old trees out of profit motive.

But then there are also 'real' monsters; psychotic serial killers, obsessions, ghosts etc. The arsenal of horror found within the X-files also includes still unsolved problems which might be man-made to a certain extent. All those conspiracy and alien episodes reveal a certain collaboration and cooperation between the infiltrators, colonists and human contact persons. Irresponsibility on the human part again, out of profit and power again. But there is also pure Evil being discussed, although not as often as in Millennium, as for instances in episodes like 3x14 'Grotesque' and 2x13 'Irresistible' and 3x04 'Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose'. This part of the story has been handed over to Millennium to a great extent.

November 10th, 1998

3: Millennium Monsters

Millennium is a show about Evil, a show about how to deal with Evil, how to fight it, how to stand it, how to live with it. It is a show about past and present and future horrors, a show that was created as a spin-off from The X-Files but which might be the very reason The X-Files were created for. Although The X-Files are by far no mainstream, no family and no 'nice' show, Millennium is even darker and much more drastic. If The X-Files rarely explaines the strange phenomena it dealt with, it at least gives us some context in which to at least catalog the specific X-file.

Millennium then doesn't any more care about explanations, doesn't care about the viewer's peace of mind. The moment perhaps best describing the impact the show might have can be found in 2x09 'Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense'. Frank Black, the protagonist, is asked to imagine some uncomfortable image from his life. Any usual guy would perhaps imagine traffic jams, small accidents or so; others would perhaps need to think back to a personal tragedy from their past; but this man, Frank Black, has seen it all, has seen the Evil - his state of mind is remarkable. His calmness and his concentration are the mask behind which he locks his terror, his unimaginable horror. Somewhere I've read that his face looks like a battlefield - that's exactly what it is.

Frank has abandoned his family to protect it; he has left his beloved wife and daughter behind to keep them away from the horror he sees every day. By this, he himself has become a victim of the things he sees, a victim of his own work, of all the responsibilities given to him by his gift. He can see how an evil mind thinks, he can leave the physical barrier to extend his mind to another level of reality; a level where space and time do not exist. His gift is also his responsibility and his curse - around him, old friends die, his adversary being greater than any single being.

The first season of Millennium focused mainly on human psycopaths, portraying the Evil as it does its 'work' within ordinary people. Some episodes within the first seasons already let us imagine what horrors would follow; and the second season throws us right into it. Prophecies, apocalyptic visions, apocalyptic maniacs, the misuse of those prophecies, the secrets of the Millennium group itself - Millennium is getting weirder than the weirdest X-file.

The monsters Frank Black is fighting have mostly lost their humanity already, they are monsters in the most definite sense of the concept. They cannot be talked into behaving better, they cannot be cataloged - they are just not anymore from this world. The monsters of the first season are seemingly ordinary guys, looking ordinary, but doing things lacking all ordinarity - that way providing the most effective horror effect on the viewer. It could be anyone; it could even be ourselves. Millennium is a horror show, but it is using these elements to make solid statements about humanity and about fighting Evil.

November 10th, 1998

4: Grotesque

For truly to pursue monsters, we must understand that we must venture into their minds. Only in doing so, do we risk letting them venture into ours?[1]

Patterson had this saying about tracking a killer: If you wanted to know an artist, get a look at his art. But what he really meant was if you wanted to catch a monster you had to become one yourself[2].

To me, the very first Millennium episode is an X-Files episode, it's 3x14 'Grotesque', one of the darkest X-files ever, an episode entirely dark, an episode forming something like the ultimate peak of all previous and coming non-conspiracy X-Files episodes. This respective episode tells the story of FBI Agent Patterson, who, after many years dedicated to tracking down a serial killer, has arrived at a dead end[3]: The evil he chased has caught the chaser, the nature of his case now looks pretty much different.

Monsters, serial killers, maniacs, psychopaths, sadists, rapists, all the evil caused by human beings - how dependent is it on the person committing the crime? In fact, the question is whether or not there exists something like evil, an abstract concept coming true, abstract behavior patterns being linked together by a transcendental concept, by a metaphysical entity. Evil as an entity? This would be a deeply religious matter, or a deeply transcendental one if you don't like the word religion in this context. But anyhow, it has more to do with belief than with proof - this doesn't contradict the scientific method, it just enlarges its possibilities.

The question of whether evil does exist or not is also a very personal matter, but it has nothing to do with wanting or not wanting to believe. As Mulder points it out in 4x24 'Gethsemane', answering to Scully's "Perhaps you're just seeing what you want to see": "What makes you think that I would want to see that?". Well, sometimes it might have something to do with wanting or not wanting to see, but only concerning our awareness to certain areas. But wanting to see something somehow also sounds like inviting that something to happen, letting what we are fighting against venture into our mind.

The existence of Evil implies the existence of Good, for each property needs a counter-property to define itself, otherwise definition would not work (although those definitions as well as the properties themselves would - to a large extent - be constructions, created for our own capabilities for understanding). Again, a question of belief. There is no easy answer to that. But back to the first sentence of this paragraph. It also means that the existence of Good implies the existence of Evil. This might look like a dead end, but on the contrary: This is the very beginning of any kind of such argument: Naturally, everyone tends to believe in Good, essentially we tend to see ourselves that way. We want our friends and family to be happy, we want nothing but good and nice things to enter our lives. We do believe in that, we also extend this belief in various religious forms. But how comes it we accept believing in God, but at the same time we laugh about such a concept as the devil, as Evil? Why do we pretend those stories belong into the realm of fairy tales and plain fiction?

To speak more religiously motivated, God doesn't need Evil to show his greatness. Evil isn't necessary to define Good in a religious sense (as said above: that's the way definitions are being made, but those definitions are constructions, created for the human mind to grasp the concept). This might sound like essentialism, and, yes, in a religious context I think in a very essentialist way. But to the one and crucial essence of life, uncertainty and incompleteness belong: We will never be able to grasp reality, not even our selves. How to grasp a concept like Evil? "If you wanted to know an artist, get a look at his art" - It is our deeds, not our words, we speak through, it is our deeds which will show which side we belong to. There is no other answer needed. There is a nice scene from 3x04 'Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose' illustrating this:

Killer: You've seen the things I've done in the past as well as in the future.
Bruckman: They're terrible things.
Killer: I know they are. So tell me, please, why have I done them?
Bruckman: Don't you understand yet, son? Don't you get it? You do the things you do because you're a homicidal maniac.

But the power of Evil does not remove the issue of human responsibility. We do have free will, we have the choice - and until we have decided to give up this choice, to even make ourselves slaves of Evil - we are responsible for our actions. That's the tragic within: A free will can also decide to be unfree, decide also by being too weak against those influences, to become merely a tool. That's what happened in 'Grotesque': The killers looked for the influence of 'it', felt its attraction; but as soon as they had become useless as tools, 'it' abandoned them - to make them face their conscience. For it is not Evil that will be judged but us - we who can decide and make a difference.

We work in the dark. We do what we can to battle the evil that would otherwise destroy us. But if a man's character is his fate, this fight is not a choice, but a calling. Yet sometimes the weight of this burden causes us to falter, bridging the fragile fortress of our mind, allowing the monsters without to turn within, we are left alone staring into the abyss, into the laughing face of madness[4].

November 16th, 1998

5: Darkling

The yang is the light, the masculine, the active, the forceful. In modern terminology it might describe aggression, competition, logic, the material. It is the manifest. Yin is the dark, the feminine, the mysterious, the sublime, the passive, the docile. Today we may think of it as peace, cooperation, subjectivity, the concealed.

Both the yin and yang lay within a circle which represents a marriage, or union, of the two to form the whole. The twisted "S" shaped boundary between the two represents a close interlocking of both characteristics (the boundary connects two offset semi-circles). Laying in intertwined proximity, the symbol depicts opposite attributes, each signifying the incompleteness of one without the other. The two small dots of opposite shades indicate each having a trace of the other; that is, the yang possesses a touch of yin, the yin has a trace of yang.

Yin and yang are counterparts of the One. Thay lay close together, they exchange attributes, one cannot exist without the other. Neither is good or bad, they are merely reflections of one another, two opposing parts comprising the whole[5].

Yin and Yang
The Tao of All That Is

The concepts of Yin [Chin. (Mandarin) moon, shade, femininity] and Yang [Chin. (Mandarin) sun, light, masculine element] might perhaps help to illustrate and - to a certain extent - even make a step to solve the problem now occurring. So what's the problem? The duality issue - the question of dividing the universe into different categories, into good and bad. Does such a division make sense, does it work?

I have some problems with that. Yes, I think that there very well can be made distinctions like Good and Evil. But how to make them, how to assign them, that's the problem. To be precise, this is entirely a religious issue, at the very best a philosophical one. But attributes like Good and Evil as well as issues like sin and redemption are most commonly to be found within religion. In Christian theology, there is the concept of original sin - meaning that no one of us can ever be perfect. We might try, but as long as we belong to the material world we are subjected to failure and weakness.

Departing from religion, I'm now going to discuss some television episodes dealing with that topic, this time Star Trek. The Classic episode 1.05 'The Enemy Within' shows a James T. Kirk who - after a transporter incident - has been divided into two persons, the good half and the evil half of his personality. Soon both halves show symptoms of some kind of incompletedness, the good Kirk uses his strength and command abilities while the bad guy loses the ethical judgement and logical decision-making. The division, a totally artificial act, has produced two separate beings which need each other to survive. Unity - yin needs yang and vice versa.

The Voyager episode 3.18 'Darkling' shows the holographic doctor's efforts to improve his program, therefore trying to include positive personality elements of several famous characters from history, including amongst others Socrates, Byron and Vulcan's T'Pau. The result leads to a disaster for he wasn't able to separate the 'positive' elements from the 'negative' ones - with trying to deconstruct a personality into smallest distinctive, separable units he fails, having ignored the wholeness and intertwinedness of each personality.

Those are merely stories, fables, allegories; but they show a critical aspect though: When talking about Evil, we have to realize that because of the unity of the universe those negative elements belong to us, to our reality, too. We can't just separate those elements, firstly, because it would be technically impossible, and secondly, because there is nothing like 'purely' positive or negative character traits. This kind of over-simplification is not productive; logic and reason as well as hope and belief are our means of control. Behind our masks we try to fight insanity and terror from without and from within, this ongoing fight makes us human beings.

November 22nd, 1998

6: Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions

Millennium episode 1.19 'Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions', the continuation of 1.18 'Lamentation', sets in motion events which seem to direct the show into a much more X-Filean direction, or better, they contribute to the kind of stories like the first two episodes of the show. Millennium gets back to its roots, goes further into the once prospected direction and leads us even beyond what we would expect from The X-Files. The prospect of the show has now changed for ever, these two late-season one episodes signalled a definite change of direction.

So what is so different, and what is so special in these two-parter? What once during season one appeared to be the style of the show and the usual type of stories, i.e. the focus on serial killers and an approach more like a usual crime show (although much better, and much more serious and much darker); all of this is going to come to an end now. The first bunch of episodes has merely been a preparation, a foreshadowing of horrors still to come. The climax of season one is the death of Bletcher - after that, Frank and the show are not the same anymore.

Bletcher dies in Frank's house when trying to catch some stranger in there. But do we see the killer? The suspect is shifting his appearance, but he is no shape-shifter. The subject takes the form of various human beings occuring in the second part; it, for it couldn't be described anyhow else, it also occurs in the excellent season two episode 2.06 'The Curse of Frank Black'. The most easily to recognize shape of it is the shape of a demonous figure, the devil or Evil in general if you want. The forces the Millennium Group is fighting now manifest themselves, Frank gets to understand that what he is confronted with is nothing human anymore.

All those earthly constructions and means of restriction, all those earthly institutions, both material and ideal, all those powers, principalities, thrones and dominions do not matter anymore in front of the confrontations they are confronted with. The Evil that awaits them is not of the individual, personal kind which could lead to it being captured. It operates in a much more less-graspable form, a less structured way: It is not an organization consisting of (human) beings, it is a concept other beings are being subjected to. The individual does not matter.

But like Evil appears in a deconstructed form, so do the opposing forces: The guardian Frank encounters, the boy who sends the businessman away, also is just a tool, but in a different way. He doesn't do it because he is forced to do so, neither is he obsessed by some kind of spirit - the forces of Good and the forces of Evil differ in their measures as well as in their participants. That might sound contradictory, but I think this view originates from the individual position of which of the forces you think superior and prior. To me, there is no doubt at all, not the slightest one, Good is superior to Evil - it was that way in the beginning, it will be in the end - anything what happens in between is a test of time and a test of allegiance. Frank's allegiance doesn't waver, he does understand the offer the businessman proposes to him, he understands who he=it is, and he refuses the offer. That makes him the victor.

November 23rd, 1998

Interlude: Contradictions

As I'm now thinking about what Millennium is about, I'm feeling this kind of uncertainty, this kind of both confusion and certainty, a strange mixture, but not less true at all - contradictions. What are they then? There are no true contradictions except that of Good and Evil, most of which comes to us in a contradictory form is constructed to be a contradiction, constructed by the source as well as by the perceptor, both of them become one by the construction.

In contradiction and diversity often lies hidden a kind of unity which is much stronger, a unity that unifies different aspects, even contrasts, that way creating a unity of a certain range, a certain complexity, and with it a better basis of understanding. Sometimes, contradictions reveal themselves as originating from some kind of relativity, or the contradictory parts are merely aspects of a greater whole.

But despite all possible comtradictions, there is also solidity, reliability, constancy. With seemingly everything around changing and transforming, old stuff disappearing and new stuff upcoming, all those developments take place in the material world, in our world, in the world perceived and re-created by us. The area of steadfastness then would be found in the spiritual realm, in the transcendent area, an area not immediately accessable by us: The area of belief, the field of dreams.

Millennium uses those ideas, uses them and explores them in a certain detail, partly following the course established by shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits as well as Twin Peaks and The X-Files, but also to a large extent establishing a new style, a new pace and a new kind of atmosphere. There is no show darker than Millennium, there is no show being dedicated to dark matters as devotedly as this one.

To finish this, I can't really tell what a show Millennium is. Well, you could of course say that it is a crime show, a horror show, a mystery show, but those are just hollow phrases, lacking substance. They are labels attached to something, but they have not really a content. That would be true for any kind of classification; we might try to classify it, and we do it (me, too) to get a greater overview, to be able to compare a certain issue with others. But at the end, all such procedures prove inappropriate to the content. We can just approach a certain topic, never really fully understand it. We are not supposed to do so, and we don't need to. We might use our constructions but should be aware of them being just that, constructed means to assist us. The truth stays out there.

November 27th, 1998

7: Anticipations

There are very different anticipations all of us have concerning future and life in general; the personal outlooks of any one of us differ depending on who we are, what we've seen and read, and what we were being taught; and what or whom we believe in. So there cannot be a singular statement trying to summarize all possible positions of mankind towards the future; this project has - again - to be a very personal one, a quest which no one else could perform for us.

Anticipations can deal with many aspects of life; with our immediate future, our education, our job opportunities, our family, our work, our retirement, our death, our afterlife. That's a very special thing about man, that we are able to consider past and present and future. But are we in this way describing reality or dividing it up into concepts which are not really there? But I won't now start a discussion about time; not in this essay, not relating to the interconnectedness of time levels. What I am talking about is what our personal outlooks are; to be concrete: the very question of the end of the world, of the apocalypse.

Is there an apocalypse? A definite end of the world? Yes. But the question remains, which form it will take. I will deal with some kinds of prophecies in the next part; for now I want to make some general statements, I want to clarify my own position towards that. There will be an end of the physical world; principally caused by one or all of the following events: Natural desasters (catastrophes, asteroids, novae, big crunch) and man-made apocalypses (wars, destruction of the ecosystem, destruction in general, murder). But I won't think that this is what is meant by the concept of apocalypse.

The end of the world is always a spiritual collapse, a desaster happening in the areas of mind and soul. It is an abstract concept involving abstract concepts like Good and Evil; and basically, nothing else. This might sound like quite an antropocentric view; and for sure it is. What would be the world if it were not inhabited by humans? Well, safer, for sure, except perhaps for some pets. But the answer is very easy: We can't know. As strange as it sounds, our reality is man-made and it is impossible to eliminate the human factor from that equation. Without sentient beings, the world and the universe would cease to matter to those sentient beings. So the end of the world would basically mean the end of humanity; and ultimately it would be our very own death we had to fear, and that of our loved ones.

I do not believe in numbers meaning something concerning the end of the world. The number 2000 (or better 2001 for there is no year zero) indicating the beginning of the new millennium is a very artificial and man-made construct; not even entirely a global thing (just in our arrogant European-American way of thinking) - there have been and are other calculations; so what the number mentioned really means is nothing at all except for the psychological expectation created by it and by the media. An imagined danger becomes a real danger - that's the key. Mind over matter. And anyway, how can we even be sure that our calculation is correct? No, the danger doesn't originate from this specific number but from ourselves.

November 29th, 1998

8: Prophecies

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?[6]

The day of wrath - the day of judgement; this has always been a matter of fascination and fear at the same time; a matter often much too often quoted, over-used, over-interpreted; and though I tend to do the same right now; I want to share with you my piece of interpretation; be it only that I have said it - for anyone has to come to an interpretation of their own. - - - Within the concept of judgement day usually the second word is much overstressed; as if there were a specific time this should happen. But this kind of thinking is kind of flawed: Firstly, it doesn't matter for any one of us: We know about our lifespan more or less, don't need to think about some day far in the past. And secondly, this thinking is based upon our temporal experiences. But time has no meaning outside the material universe - even physicists have discovered that. So does it make sense to apply to this concept a certain date, even a locality similar to an earthly scenario? Even the definition of judgement usually cited is far too human: It looks as if we ourselves would be creating the most horrible dimensions; as if we ourselves would not want to grant us salvation. Doesn't judgement take place all the time? Don't we judge ourselves by our actions and by our conscience? Don't our conscience and our actions judge ourselves?

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time[7].

The book of Revelations describes the heavenly fight against Satan, who is thus defeated but cast out to Earth. There he can play his game for some time but is being captured and imprisoned: His power is only temporary; he has lost in heaven and will for sure lose on Earth; his might does just exist because all the damage he does is irrelevant at last, and all the pain he causes serves as a test of integrity of mankind. His game is that of desparation; he cannot win. One perhaps can understand that better if one is rooted in Christian belief or at least understands the concept behind it: The idea of salvation and charity is at the end always victorious; Earthly pain and sorrow are just temporary, material elements; eternity is different. One of the interesting aspects of the concept of resurrection is the prefix 're-': implying a return: a return to infinity, to eternity, to God. Physical life is an episode embedded into our eternal, spiritual existence: It does matter, otherwise it wouldn't occur, but it is not everything. Consider the famous Shakespearean quote: "All the world's a stage" - there seems to lie some truth in it. Another illustration of this concept could be the motion picture What Dreams May Come.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire[8].

There is talk of years, of temporal location of events; numbers appear - but how to evaluate them? How to judge them? The Book of Revelations is not book giving actual numbers; nor is basically any book of the Bible. Numbers, like that of the number of people being saved, are to be seen symbolically - very large numbers representing infinite numbers; or being just a way of making some allegoric statement. So there is no basis whatsoever to draw any conclusions from those numbers and 'actual' prophesies from biblical sources: This is a book not of history or historical prediction; this is a book of belief, a book of images, a book of allegoric preaching, a book of parables. The aim is not to create terror or horror but to give a bright outlook on life: The Book of Revelation is not about the end of the world but about the beginning, about a new era of peace and of justice and of charity. The reign of darkness is just a temporary one, it will not prevail:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away[9].

But then there is again and still the simple question of time, of causality, of awaiting something. Is there a point of time when all of this should happen? It is definitely stated that the time is not known and that we will never know it (see quote below) - so it would be ridiculous to assume being able to calculate it. And even if we could, what would be the point of reference? Our present time calculation might contain flaws we not even dare to consider; how to use such a narrow basis for a calculation? The Bible definitely says that such a point of time cannot be known - perhaps this could be due to the fact that such a point of time cannot be referred to us, because it would not exist in our time? The end of the physical universe - how could we experience that? Our physical reality ends with our physical death - any estimate beyond that would be nonsense. "Time does not exist here" (cf. What Dreams May Come) - time doesn't exist outside our physical world; outside of it, there is the end of the world. We are constantly linked to this sub-reality; we should not see our momentary perception of the world as the only possibility.

Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father[10].

Prophecies are often vague on some extent; but the prophecies of the Bible aren't - if you don't intent to use them for anything else but for religious purposes. How do the concepts shown in the Book of Revelations and in Mark Chapter 13 manifest in our reality? There is judgement everyday - as stated already. We are celestial entities: Manifested into physical form, which character would be that it is to some extent divided from the spiritual source. But we still remain linked to that source; we are still part of a larger reality, we carry eternity and infinity with us, we are kind of anchors reaching out into the material reality. Judgement and charity - do they coexist or aren't they contradictory? Of course they are - if you would carry on the somewhat simplified picture of "sinners in the hands of an angry God" (Jonathan Edwards), this wouldn't do justice the concept of Christianity. Judgement I see primarily as a logical consequence of our actions; judgement imposed by ourselves on us - the function of conscience. We should not denie responsibility for our actions, and once we have left the world of restrictions we will be able to judge our mistakes by ourselves. But the aim of judgement would not be the judgement itself - but that we learn of the mistakes; and once that's accomplished, we have reached the aim. But then, all I can present are just models and interpretations - constructions which can be nothing than a slight approximation of reality; a thought experiment; the truth will be something not imaginable.

December 1st, 1998

9: Wait

There we are, at the end of the Twentieth Century, of a century that has seen it all: Light and Darkness in the most radical forms; triumphs and tragedies, rises and falls, creation and destruction, progress and war, democracy and totalitarism, liberty and oppression, freedom and restrictions, cures and diseases, victories and losses, prosperity and poverty, technology and decay, civilization and destruction, life and death, grandeur and smallness, magnanimity and small-mindedness, action and passivity, non-violence and terror; as well as indifference. A century we can both be glad to be leaving soon as well as to have lived in.

When we look back at the century now almost past us, we are doing something very important: Studying the past and the processes of the past might give us insight into human nature, into how the world has worked during the previous decades. From this, we might be able to anticipate what will await us out there in the coming centuries, we might see certain tendencies within the past which could become an issue in the future; loose ends that cry for solution, problems in politics and economy, but, as seems the most urgent now, in ecology.

Waiting are we, thereby both regarding what was achieved and awaiting which will demand for action. We need not direct our view at issues so vast and ungraspable as it might be true for politics, science and ecology; we will probably be much more looking into our private lives, into our prospects and expectations, into the confrontations fate has prepared for us. Fate - here seen as a general direction of history, but something nevertheless open, not restricting, responding to individual changes and our free will. And also to us ourselves: For we can determine our fate, can restrict and confine ourselves more than any outside force would.

Alas, a century is but an artificial means of confining time and events; what seems to origin from a specific time or place is in truth most often connected to a much larger extension of spacetime, to a much larger understanding of connections and influences. The processes seen in this century have not occured without a background; nor will future events will lack any continuity or connection to our time and the times past and the times coming. Past and present and future are one.

What are we awaiting then? There will be new joy and new pain, new justice and new injustice, new light and new darkness; but new just to us in a temporal order; basically, it will be the old stuff all over again with a different face and perhaps a different pace and level and new aspects. As well as there are differences there is synchronicity; their will be new frontiers, new perspectives, but our task stays the same: To be human beings, to live within the eternal and divine connection with God and to uphold the light and defy the darkness.

December 3rd, 1998

10: Worry

Entering the future, we confront ourselves with the unknown, with the future itself, with the things related to it. What ever may come, it will to some extent be similar to what we had before; but the similarities most often only appear in the eyes of an historian, some time after the actual event - at a point of time where the greater picture can be viewed more thoroughly. That includes also hidden or lost aspects of the past which are being brought back to light because of an interest of the present; same holds true for literary or other works formerly excluded from the canon but now see with other eyes.

Can we learn from history? Probably the only thing we can do with history is to try to look for similar schemes; but the similarities often are not hindering people of doing the same mistake over and over again; perhaps also because a mistake is not seen as a mistake by others. The present always has to think in a pragmatic sense; but pragmatism does also eliminate other solutions; pragmatism without restrictions of morality is worthless and dangerous. Pragmatism to some extent led to slavery, to the Berlin Wall, to pollution of the environment; blind pragmatism that was applied without knowing all the facts.

Again, a step aback from the abstract movements of politics, a step into the more relevant realm of personal thought, of common interests and ideas. The sorrows and worries of to-day are often distracting from the greater picture of our own, private lives; of what we are and of what we could become. What are worries for if they are not preparing us for what will await us sometime in the future? Worry - about what? The first and probably most suitable level of worrying would perhaps be to be careful. The worst would lead to paranoia.

Worry - what are worries for? To sharpen our mind - or to make us lose it? If I constantly worried about being probably stalked by a serial killer, I couldn't lead a normal life again. What is expected, will occur. If the question of Good and Evil is about our state of mind, we for sure would have more power over it than usually expected - in both directions: We stand in the shadows, between the darkness and the light. We are the ones who can decide.

Do we have to worry about the coming millennium? What should we expect from it? The worst perhaps that will occur at the beginning of the new century might be the Year 2000 problem - but that's something not rooted in the 21st but in the 20th century. Man creates the problems he has to face - again. We also will have to fight with new ecological problems as with minor wars; and the Western world, the former colonial powers, should once and for all take responsibility for what they've done in the past, for what they've done to Third World countries. And yet another issue will be our continuing exploration of space, and the erection of permanent colonies on Mars and Luna. Whatever else awaits us, time will tell. We needn't worry about something we do not yet know about.

December 4th, 1998

11: Who Cares?

Who cares - who cares about whom? About everything, about anything? The question, the issue, as simple and transparent a matter it might seem it is but a crucial and important part of the triad of WAIT - WORRY - WHO CARES? - the motto of Millennium - crucial first of all as it is the only of the three words posed as a question, not an imparative, but including an imperative implicitely. So within the question lies an answer, a presumed answer consisting of action by the audience - by us. We are the ones supposed to care.

Surely, history doesn't care. Great women and men from all ages have come to get some fame, but that can just be a short-lived phenomenon. Others get famous for something they didn't do, others didn't even exist but are mere legends, others don't get the credit for what they've done because they are not that known or because someone decided to leave their contributions out of the history books; as it was done with many women writers and composers and painters. A question of canonization that shows the mercylessness of such an act and of history itself. History is not another word for past; we do not know the past neither the present not the future. What we see as history is a past constructed by us; events and persons treated like fiction in a novel; the mask of scientific exploration guides us into believing it to be real. But the difference between history and fiction doesn't exist - as well as there is no apparent difference between so called dreams and so called reality: What our mind consumes, it makes real - we remember things from our dreams in our reality and from our reality in our dreams; we quote both history and art, both reality-fiction and fiction-fiction[11].

Surely, nature doesn't care, and with nature I refer to the struggle of life going on in the ecosystems of world; the weak will perish. But who are the weak? Size does not matter (even not with Godzilla), neither does force. That has been proved by our little fellows all over the world, those tiny six- or eight- ore more- legged insects and spiders, or even the non-legged single-cell organisms; they constitute the vast majority of the Earth's population, not us. Adaptation to the surroundings as well as cleverness and flexibility and intelligence, but most of all, hope and community - that's the recipe to survive. A predator might look mighty and dangerous, but when his prey disappears, the hunter will go too - but the prey doesn't need a hunter to prosper. It is our own responsibility to survive; when we should once be gone, nature would find someone to fill our place. Nature is indifferent to us - she has to take care of all her children, we are just one of them. That we are the most important ones and the most evolved ones is just a description created by our egotism.

So if it is not the function of history or nature to care about us, wouldn't it be our turn? To take care of us, and also of nature? Better said, we would not exactly be taking care of nature but just be repairing the damage we have done. Our civilization is worthless to nature, it is us who need houses and agriculture and technology to survive. But why do we seem not to care? Well, that notion of 'we' might sound a bit harsh, and for sure it is always wrong to judge all just by looking at few; but that's irrelevant to the outcome. Guilt is irrelevant if there is nothing left, guilt doesn't matter within a war, guilt is something which the conscience and history have to deal with; the consequences will be faced by all. Responsibility is a much broader concept than originally understood.

But even when we think of God caring about us, that's no reason for us not to care ourselves. We are not supposed to lean back, relaxed, awaiting eternal bliss while our civilization becomes less civilized and cultivated each passing day, while our natural environment deteriorates each day a bit more, deteriorates because we destroy it, while each day dozens and hundreds of species of the planet Earth die out, never to come back, die out beacuse of our destructive influence, while each day new people starve or are terrorized by a fanatic and vicious regime with us doing nothing or not enough about it. Responsibility and charity are not just properties one would await of the guilty part; as I've said above, guilt does not matter. We are all connected, we are one. If one part of the body of humanity is hurt, the whole suffers. This is not just irresponsible, it is self-mutilation. But the sad part is, that, whatever logical or emotional arguments are being made by whom ever, they are being ignored out of yearnig for power and profit and egotism. Who cares?

December 6th, 1998

12: Judgement Day

In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand. For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God. He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead. Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed[12].

Nothing on Earth is for ever, nothing will prevail for an eternity. An end is set to all, an end both locally and temporally. Eternity is a concept physical life cannot deal with; physical life is restricted to the confines our reality provides for us; we are by this reduced to certain options and are lacking others. The awareness of these limitaions might lead to a broader understanding about how this world works: We might not understand it entirely, and I for sure do not claim to understand it any better than every one else, but that is the nature of things. And anything which is trying to exaggerate its own importance is being reduced to normal; nothing is unknown, nothing forgotten. Justice doesn't know preoccupation with power and might and glamour; those superfluous attributes will fall even quicker than anything else.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision[13].

With all the greatness assigned to human intellect and understanding and insight and inspiration; with all these masks of deception nothing shall be gained. All greatness is superficial; at the very core of our selves, at the very heart the deconstructed human being still remains rather small; we reach out to the stars and may try and eventually even succeed; but we will succeed not because of our arrogance but inspite of it. Powers define themselves, borders rule themselve, restrictions and confinements are fed by their very existence, the world is often constructed against community and against mankind, the constructors of that injustice seeing themselves as invincible. But they are wrong: They will die, their efforts will fail. Sooner or later the artificiality and blindness of their constructions will be revealed and eventually overcome. Reigns fall, walls are trampled down, borders cease to exist. Nothing on Earth is made for ever.

My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.

Behold, he travaleth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate[14].

The time is now, the place is here. No hiding, no retreat, no second glance, no looking back, no looking forth, no explanations, no justifications, no senseless babble, no arrogance, no lies, no deception; none of that because none of that would be possible. No hiding place, neverwhere and neverwhen, no other time, no distant judgement, no abstract judge, no strange setting, no talk of any of that right then. No more masks, just the plain truth, judgement time not being somewhere comfortably away, leaving us the option now to do something we know is wrong and then later retreating to regrets. Conscience cannot be betrayed, we cannot betray ourselves, we might lull our consciousness, not our conscience. Deep down, uncanny, the truth will stay and remind us everytime of what we have done. Judgement is not imposed upon us by some angry God, it is something we ourselves will be doing, are doing all the time.

They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him[15].

No more double-talk, no more pretensions, no more rationalizations and no more hiding behind traditions, behind human law, behind customs, behind the so called reason, behind what is laughingly denoted as common sense. The conformity of the masses gone, the pressure of time and space and matter relieved we will be able to take a glance at our own life, we will be able to judge ourselves - we will evaluate what we have done; no one can do that for us. In link with the Divine, our conscience will tell, and we will understand. We will learn, and salvation will come. God is not an abstract judge, standing above us like Zeus playing with thunder and lightning. There is a reason for God being called Heavenly Father in the Christian tradition; for He is just.

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after[16].

Vanity is what will be left from our material doings, from our material existence. Our graves also will be empty, not lacking a body but a soul - resurrection means homecoming; a coming home to where we came from and to where we are linked to during all our lives. "The near explains the far. The drop is a small ocean. A man is related to all nature"[17] - or, as put in DS9 episode 6.04, "The ocean becomes a drop - the drop becomes an ocean". But not in vain will be what we bring back into the ocean, what we will be bring back from our lives and experiences and confrontations. Back at that level, there will be no more division, no more separation, dark matters won't matter any more.

December 6th, 1998


[1] Agent Scully, 4x02 'Unruhe'
[2] Agent Mulder, 3x14 'Grotesque'
[4] Agent Mulder, 3x14 'Grotesque'
[5] Robert M. Watkins. Black Holes and Tepee Rings. On Cosmic Mysteries & Spiritual Mythology. Kalispell, Montana: Black Wolf, 1994, p. 195f
[6] Revelations 6,15-17; King James Version
[7] Revelations 12,7-12; King James Version
[8] Revelations 20,7-15; King James Version
[9] Revelations 21,1-4; King James Version
[10] Mark 13,30-32; King James Version
[12] Job 34,20-25; King James Version
[13] Psalm 2,1-4; King James Version
[14] Psalm 7,10-16; King James Version
[15] Psalm 12,2-5; King James Version
[16] Ecclesiates 1,2-11; King James Version
[17] Ralph Waldo Emerson. "The American Scholar". Nina Baym et al, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 4th ed., shorter. N.Y.: Norton 1995, 478

For a bibliography, please check the Selected Bibliography page.

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