After the End of the World

There are at least two ways of being after something.  After can be a matter of subsequence (like tomorrow is after today), and it can also be a matter of seeking something or trailing along behind it (like a predator goes after prey).  Being after is a lot like following something: tomorrow follows today, a predator follows prey.  This double-sense of after also shows up in German, “nach” (after/toward).

Although we generally know whether someone means subsequence or seeking when the word “after” is uttered, some ambiguity is inescapable.  One can always misread contextual and syntactic clues.  There is no way to completely secure the word “after” from the possibility of being read as pre- and/or post-.

We are after the past and after the future… a dual sense of after, a sense moving in both directions at once.  It is in that sense that we are after the end of the world.  We are not simply post-apocalyptic (or post-anything, for that matter), for we are still waiting, more or less vigilantly, for an apocalypse to come.

Some people might want to put apocalypse behind us and get it out of our future, but they’re just seeking an inverse apocalypse, an anti-apocalypse, seeking an end to all this talk of the end.  No matter how much we want to, we can’t just disavow apocalypse, end, or world.  We can never be after something in simply a “post-” sense.  The end of the world is our inheritance.  What we inherit is what we have coming to us.  The end, the world, the end of the world… they haunt our future, like a past that remains to come.

We’ll always be after the end of the world, and so we cannot just drop the end or drop our sense of the world (Lil Wayne’s ability to drop the world notwithstanding).  There’s nowhere to drop them off, no “away” to throw them.  We’re here in the middle of the world’s ending, going after it, composing a world that has already ended, mourning an end that returns incessantly.  Where are we going?  Immer nach Hause, immer nach Welt.

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3 responses to “After the End of the World

  • Buzz lightyear

    A beginning to an end that stops the creation of beginnings is hard for us to fathom – perhaps the cycle is too big or even that it is truly an end of cycles. The beginning stories we share are just as rich as the end stories so that the mysteries of ends are curve-shaped by adjacent happenings. As we look out and see the apocalypse as an eclipse of our world we point to potential end points that we can see, stars, blackholes etc. as easily digestible options. The end of all life is not part of all apocalypse stories and scenarios because some believe that life may continue somewhere else or that it is independent of world-ending. Some other living entities may be out there considering their own demise.

    An accepted demonstration of higher consciousness is the capacity to plan for the future. We understand and utilize a cause and effect mindset to understand our own death so that an end can be avoided by courageously looking past the inevitable towards spirit or afterlife. Each individual ending is a mini-apocalypse as long as the after cannot be understood.

    So what of the after? At sea, “aft” is used to point towards the rear of the boat which could easily become the front due to the prevailing currents. We’ve are cast off in a world vessel that spins and holds us in just close enough to the end so that we remain magnetized by its mystery. When the world magnet flips its pole are we then cast out again into the after? After all this (acid) rain will we ever be the same?

    If what may come is in a dream or alternate world of imagination then the apocalypse could be a malleable state that allows for non-generational inheritance of a imagined, created and unendable world. But still we are inclined to inquire on ends so inquire within at the end of the line – wherever that is!

  • j

    Great temporal analysis. And gallant prose! It sways and swaggers along, in, and according to the contours of ambiguity. Post-structural flavor, without the bitter aftertaste.

    One thing. Just to join the dance and to add to its polyvalence: There can also be at least two ways of being an end, of ending, of the ending of being.

    An end can be a final event, an eschaton, a revelation or apocalypse (as mentioned) and an end can also be an aim, a purpose, a telos, as the end of a means. End as telos seems closer to after as seeking, where after as subsequence seems more involved in end as eschaton (although, eschaton is a subsequent without subsequence).

    We seek purpose all the while the end sought is what’s after us, the seeking. Our seeking, our being sought after, an end seeking us. Here we are, after the event, seeking The event, in the wake of an aftershock, following an aftermath, seeking an end as to end all seeking. Afterward, inward, toward the end, the beginning, the event.

  • Juliano

    I just like the original Greek meaning of the term ‘apocalypse’ which means an ‘uncovering’. becoming aware of what you weren’t aware of or denied was there. THAT is what it means for me
    It is seeing through mind control. Seeing through the stories/myths which are used and being used to control our sense of reality. The 9/11 false flag is a BIG example of that kind of toxic-myth-making in the making!!

    I have found a very big taboo–even when trying to broach the subject with people (leaders and followers) in the psychedelic community–is the subject of the elite and their occultism. I UNCOVERED this when I felt forced to investigate the 9/11 attacks. I discovered that it was in layers, and this reminded me of what I had learned reading a VERY influential book in my life, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. This was THE book that got me taking myth-making more seriously. Its author, John Allegro, showed the efforts gone into making mythology—the layers where all forms of wordplay, transliteration, symbolism was used, its inner core meant only to be understood by the initiated. Well this is what I saw in 9/11–its inner core is for those initiated in their occultism. But people, in my experience, want to avoid even talking about this—for their own reasons
    A few days I read a VERY deep article claiming to uncover how patriarchy is totally responsible for capitalism. I thought that she would be open to what I had to share about this, but no—she just sent me a few lines saying that ‘black magic is totally out of her remit’ ‘we all have our limits’….
    Hmmmm shouldn’t stop you asking questions! But that is the attitude I have met. At LEAST she responded I suppose. But until people get over their fear and begin LOOKING, and UNCOVERING there will not be any radical apocalypse…

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