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Profiting by Prophecy: The Future Is Ours to See

February 20, 2013 By:
Elyse Glickman, JE Feature
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By now you know that the Mayan prophecy of world’s end did not manifest in 2012.

However, almost everybody has experienced either some sort of vision of the future or received a prediction from a psychic or life coach that had a very uncanny way of panning out. 

As celebrity psychic medium Thomas John sees it, interesting things are in store for both Philadelphia and Israel in 2013.

John projects a great year for Mayor Michael Nutter, including rise to some prominence in the national political scene, as well as Philadelphia playing host to a major sporting event. On the weather front, Philadelphia will continue to experience some challenges including record breaking rainfall. 

He foresees Israel facing continued challenges on the political front, with a health crisis for Ehud Olmert and Meir Porush resurfacing in national politics with a major office.

Even if the future is not bright enough to require Ray-Bans, there is something psychologically comforting about knowing what the future holds — even if the prediction is not overwhelmingly desirable or doesn’t mirror the actual event in every way when it does play out.

Everybody loves a good mystery, complete with compelling clues, and for some, what the future holds can run the gamut from hobby to obsession, even if the topic is the world’s ultimate worst case scenario. 

Justin Deering, author of The End-of-the-World Delusion: How Doomsayers Endanger Society, acknowledges that it is no secret that people like hearing about the possibilities. Even though we survived “the end of the world,” and Dec. 21, 2012 came and went without incident, throughout history people have been intrigued with the notion that the world could come to an end within their lifetime. 

“One of my favorite theories to explain this is the Mortality Maxim, stating that people making predictions about the end of the world are influenced by their own mortality: the end of the world is always going to occur in our lifetime because we can’t imagine the world sailing serenely on without us,” Deering explains. 

“Some experts have noted that these claims actually provide comfort to those who adhere to these beliefs. In other words, the world is getting out of control, but at least it’ll all be over soon.” 

Even among people who don’t believe the world is coming to an end soon, the topic is still compelling, evidenced by the proliferation of movies, television shows (such as NBC’s Revolution) and books (The Hunger Games).

Deering, however, brings up the point that contemplating the end of the world may discourage the conversation of how we can make the world a better place individually and collectively.

“Comedian Bill Maher explained it this way: ‘If you believe that the world is going to come to an end, and perhaps any day now, does it not drain one’s motivation to improve life on earth while we’re here?’ ” continues Deering. 

“With my book, I seek to fight against the doomsayers” proclamations “that the end is near, and persuade people away from that type of thinking.”

New York-based yoga therapist and healer Sarah Gluck (whose family hails from Phil­adelphia) has fielded numerous questions and concerns from clients who feel that, on some levels, their world may be ending regardless of what’s happening on a larger scale. 

She says she believes the various “end-of-the-world” projections and people’s fascination with the topic is a sort of push from behind that informs them they will have to adapt to various changes the world is going through. 

“We are truly living in magnificent times when the world is rapidly changing,” she muses. “We all feel it, though we may not all understand why. The truth is that we are now living more globally and interconnected lives than ever before, and we have to come to terms with the fact the world is no longer the same place our parents grew up in, or even the one that we grew up in.”

Gluck recommends her cli­ents find ways to rise to the challenges the rapidly changing world poses by becoming more community driven and connect with others, which make for a more enlightened, richer existence.

Former broadcaster John Dowd, Jr., meanwhile, sees the end-of-the-world predictions as less of a literal event and more of a paradigm shift that signals the end of certain lifestyles that will give way to more practical and productive ones.

He feels a shift in perception means finding purpose, happiness, hope and stability in our lives by looking inside ourselves rather than outside at exterior things. He also projects the culture becoming more community driven and individuals becoming more inclined to dis­cover their real purpose in life when their chosen professions and jobs evanesce or disappear.

Deborah Grayson Riegel, who promotes herself as a “Jew­ish life coach” (www.myjewishcoach.com) and has clients in Philadelphia and other parts of the country, addresses the mentality behind the subject in her book, Oy, Vey! Isn’t a Strategy: 25 Solutions for
Personal and Professional Success. 

Her advice to her clients, whether it’s the end of the world, or just the end of the world as they know it, is to snap out of it. In lieu of hunkering down for gloom and doom, she suggests clients and readers surround themselves with positive people, maintain a positive outlook and focus on what is right in their life rather than what may be missing from it.

“Why do people focus on doomsday predictions? Some people focus on these so that they feel prepared and not be caught off guard, even if there's nothing they can do about it, as they don't like to be sur­prised,” Grayson Riegel says.

“Some people watch the news and read the articles to feel intellectually superior, while others want to exercise their sense of control, and watch the programs to see if, in fact, there’s anything they could be doing to turn around the inevitable fate of the world.

“Talk about a God complex!”

Grayson Riegel further explains that encouraging people to take more stock in themselves will help them put their own life into perspective, in spite of what is happening outside.

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