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At the end of July 3rd, the fighting between Palestinian armed groups and the Israeli military forces in Jenin, located in the West Bank, extended into its second day. For decades, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have suffered under Israeli military occupation, with few signs of any real progress towards a peaceful resolution. Despite efforts by some Palestinian leaders to negotiate a settlement with Israel for decades, it seems that peace is still far off. Some modern gnostics speculate if the threads holding the current world order together are about to unravel and if this might be one of the signs of the end times predicted in ancient prophecies. Of course, it’s difficult to determine if this truly indicates “the end of the world,” but one cannot ignore that the situation in the Middle East seems to be growing more critical.

Beating the Drums of War in Europe

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, leading to an ongoing war that has yet to be resolved as of July 3, 2023. President Putin has even gone so far as to threaten nuclear war in the event that NATO intervenes in the ongoing conflict, and fears of the possibility of using low-yield “tactical” nuclear weapons on the battlefield have not ceased, as many military and geopolitical strategists fear that President Putin may resort to more drastic means if Ukraine gains an upper hand in the conflict.

Adding to world tensions, some critics have argued that NATO and the West are trying to expand into former Soviet territories in a move to threaten Russia and assert their dominance. They view the expansion of NATO as an aggressive attempt to encircle and contain Russia, leading to increased tensions between the two sides. However, others argue that NATO’s expansion is not solely aimed at Russia but rather a response to the changing security landscape of the 21st century, including challenges posed by non-state actors and transnational threats. While it is important to consider both perspectives and remain aware of the complex dynamics that drive international relations, there is no mistake that President Putin and the Russian Federation view the expansion of NATO as a provocative measure threatening their national security.

Tensions have also flared anew between Serbia and Kosovo after Kosovo’s police raided Serb-dominated areas in the north and seized local municipality buildings, igniting fears of a renewal of the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo. The conflict stems from Kosovo being a mainly ethnic Albanian populated territory that declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Serbia refuses to recognize. Tensions persist between the Kosovo government and the Serbs in the north, who maintain close ties with Belgrade, and there have been constant international efforts to reach a solution. The main players are nationalist leaders who have shown little readiness for compromise, and failure to make a breakthrough could mean prolonged instability, economic decline, and potential clashes. The current flare-up began last November, due to the prohibition of Serbian-issued license plates by Kosovo, which caused Serb-elected officials to protest, resulting in violent clashes and the recent arrest of three Kosovan police officers by Serbia. The situation escalated when Kosovo closed its borders with Serbia, and neither leaders are keen to seek an amicable solution anytime soon.

Making matters worse, Western leaders are concerned about possible Russian interference in spreading disinformation and instability in Europe, given Russia’s close ties with Serbia, and its aversion to recognizing Kosovo’s independence. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the current situation “alarming” and blamed the West, stating that an “explosive situation is brewing in the heart of Europe.”

February 7, 2023 – This year, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward, largely (though not exclusively) because of the mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine. The Clock now stands at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. (n.d.). Doomsday Clock. Retrieved July 5, 2023, from

A Powder Keg in the Pacific

Also in recent years, the Chinese government has been carrying out an increasing number of military-related actions within the Taiwan Strait, while also conducting surveillance operations, including the deployment of spy balloons. The United States’ nuclear launch sites in Wyoming were reportedly among the locations targeted by these spy activities after a balloon was detected earlier in 2023. As a result of this perceived threat, President Biden ordered one of the balloons shot down by an F-35 fighter. Though it has recently been reported that no sensitive intelligence information was actually collected by the balloon. Nonetheless, the diplomatic relations between the two nations have been strained.

On the other hand, China has been engaging in potentially dangerous military exercises in both the Taiwan Strait and the Northern Philippines, resulting in a number of incidents involving Chinese naval and coast guard vessels. Meanwhile, North Korea has continued to launch missiles over Japan, prompting Japan to consider the possibility of installing US/NATO nuclear weapons; while Australia begins a pact with the United States to purchase five Virginia-class nuclear submarines to deter a potential conflict with China, though it is alleged that the sub will not be armed with nuclear weapons. Whether they could be later retrofitted with nuclear weapons, and under what circumstances, is a matter of debate.

Wars, Proxy Wars, and Rumors of Wars

It is against this backdrop of world affairs that the events currently happening in Israel and Palestine are happening, and indeed have the potential to escalate into a global conflict, although it is not inevitable. Conflicts in the region have been going on for decades, and tensions between the two sides have always been high. However, the situation is complex and involves several regional and global factors, including the involvement of other countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. Like the situation in Serbia and Ukraine, if other nations decide to get involved, they could potentially take sides and provide support to one side or the other. This could lead to yet another a proxy conflict, where different countries use the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a battleground for their own interests, leading to a global conflict. Moreover, Israel has a powerful military, including nuclear capabilities, and any escalation of violence could have serious global ramifications. Additionally, any potential conflict in the region could also impact global markets, as the Middle East is a critical supplier of oil.

On the Origin of the World

While the end of the world and the end of one’s life journey are often seen as necessary steps in the process of awakening the soul and breaking free from the illusions and limitations of the material world, some gnostic texts imply an end with universal implications. “On the Origin of the World” is an ancient Gnostic text discovered among the Nag Hammadi Library in 1945, believed to have been written in the late 1st or 2nd century C.E., but its exact origins and authorship are uncertain. The text is generally considered a Sethian text and shares similarities with other Sethian texts found among the Nag Hammadi Library, such as the “Apocryphon of John” and the “Three Steles of Seth.” The manuscript provides valuable insights into the cosmology, eschatology, and creation mythology as understood by certain Gnostic groups. The text ends with an eschatological prophecy that concerns the time period just before the “end of the age,” and some gnostics speculate that we could be living in that time period now. Let’s examine the prophecy in full:

Before the end [of the age], this whole region will shake with loud thunder. The archons will lament because of their [fear of] death, the angels will grieve for their human beings, the demons will weep over their times and seasons, and their people will mourn and cry on account of their death.

Then the age will come, and they will be disturbed. Their kings will be drunk from the flaming sword and will wage war against each other, so that the earth will be drunk from the blood that is poured out. The seas will be troubled by war. The sun will darken and the moon will lose its light. The stars of the sky will abandon their circuits, and loud thunder will roar from a great power, above all the powers of chaos, where the firmament of the female is located. She had produced the first creation, and now she will put away her wise fire of afterthought and put on irrational wrath.

Pistis Sophia will drive out the gods of chaos, whom she had created along with the chief creator, and she will cast them down to the abyss. They will be wiped out through their own injustice. They will be like mountains blazing with fire, and they will consume one another until they are destroyed by their chief creator. When he destroys them, he will turn on himself and attack himself until he is no more.

The heavens of the gods of chaos will collapse upon one another and their powers will be consumed. Their realms will also be overthrown. The chief creator’s heaven will fall and split in half. His [stars in their sphere] will fall down to the earth, [and the earth will not] be able to endure them. They will fall [down] to the abyss, and the abyss will be overthrown.

Meyer, M. (2007). On the origin of the world. In B. Layton (Ed.), The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The revised and updated translation of sacred Gnostic texts complete in one volume (pp. 142-152). HarperOne.

While interpretations of the literal destruction of the world/universe are purely speculative and subjective, they might serve as a way to make sense of the complex and often disturbing events happening in the world and provide a sense of hope and meaning in the face of suffering and uncertainty. But if the international conflicts we are witnessing are indeed signs of a looming apocalyptic event, whether as a literal or metaphorical representation, in that case, a Gnostic might suggest that people should focus on preparing themselves both spiritually and practically for what is to come, and try to balance their everyday life with preparations for the unknown future. They might argue that the key is to focus on spiritual growth and connection to the divine while also being practical and responsible in ensuring individual and collective survival.

Spiritually, they might suggest that people should focus on cultivating their inner divine spark or connection to the divine, as this will be most important in the face of the end of the world. This could involve practices such as meditation, self-reflection, and prayer. In addition, they might argue that people should try to live in accordance with Divine Will, which could be reflected in being good to oneself and others, avoiding harmful behavior, and acting in alignment with spiritual principles. Practically, a Gnostic might suggest that people take steps to ensure their survival and safety in case of disaster. This could involve networking with others, stocking up on food and other supplies, preparing a safe space where they can go into hiding, or learning skills that could be useful for survival in harsh conditions.

Nuclear War, Economic Upheaval, and Climate Change

But on the other hand, regardless of one’s personal beliefs or worldview, everyone should be preparing for potential disasters and emergencies anyway. Natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods, along with human-made disasters like economic collapse, terrorist attacks, wars, or pandemics, can happen at any time. Preparing in advance may also help reduce stress and anxiety that comes with unexpected emergencies. As the world faces economic, political, and environmental challenges, being ready for potential disasters that may arise from these issues is crucial.

In the face of the complex and troubling events happening in the world today, it’s important to remain vigilant and stay informed about global affairs. While some speculate that these events may signal the end of the world, even so, it’s perhaps more fruitful to view them as opportunities to cultivate inner spiritual growth and practical preparedness. Regardless of one’s worldview, it’s essential to prepare for potential disasters that may arise from the economic, political, and environmental challenges of our time. By remaining alert, keeping an open mind, and taking practical steps to prepare, we can help safeguard ourselves and our communities from the impact of unpredictable and destabilizing events.

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