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In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . ..Number 9. . .September 11


Emotional Chaos
Weekly Column by Brian Codagnone

January 8, 2004


Since the dawn of time, man has endeavored to predict the future:

Early man 1: "Ngghhhh!!!!"

Early man 2: "Hnguuuhh!!!"

After they developed language, things got a little easier:

Not quite as early man 1: "I'm intrigued by what wonders the future holds for us, Og!"

Not quite as early man 2: "Hnguuuhh!!!"

Once everyone got on the same page, predicting the future became big business. By far the most famous oracle was the Oracle at Delphi. Kings and commoners alike climbed Mount Parnassos to seek its wisdom. The Gods spoke through women chosen for their ability to do really creepy "Exorcist"-like voices while delivering the prophecies:

Ancient Greek: "Wise Oracle, I've come all the way from Crete to learn my future!"

Oracle: "When twelve dawns break clear, the chickens shall roost before the Thracian wind!"

Ancient Greek: "Okay. Well, I don't understand it, but you delivered it on such a creepy "Exorcist"-like voice that it must be true. What else can you tell me?"

Oracle: "All is known by the Gods. What is uttered by the Oracle is the whisper of those divine voices, and unto the curious who seek the infinite knowledge of the Oracle, no refunds shall be granted."

Another famous visionary of ancient times was Joseph. As the Bible tells us, Joseph got a job as a slave in Egypt, which was a rapidly growing field but without much chance for advancement. The ancient Egyptians believed that dreams were full of powerful messages about the future, and those with the ability to interpret them were respected, revered and invited to all the best parties. Joseph developed quite a reputation as an interpreter of dreams and visions, although his average at picking the chariot race winners was only so-so. Still, his talents came to the attention of the Pharaoh, who summoned him to the pyramid to interpret a particularly strange and foreboding dream:

Pharaoh: "Last night I dreamed seven emaciated cows ate seven fat cows, and seven dry ears of corn ate seven healthy ears!"

Joseph: "BWAHAHAHA!!!!! Uh, oh, I'm sorry. You were serious about that? Okay, let's see. I'd say it means that Egypt will have seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine and drought. It would be a good idea to stockpile grain for the next seven years so we can get through the lean times. And it's probably not too early to invest in Microsoft stock."

Not only did Joseph's predictions come true, earning him great esteem in the eyes of the Pharaoh, but he also got a cushy job as grain collector. There's a lesson there for all of us.

Perhaps the most famous of all seers was Nostradamus. A French physician and astrologer who lived from 1503-1566, Nostradamus was known even in his own time as a man who could see the future. He wrote in what were called "quatrains", a form of prophetic poetry that was as vague as it was obtuse:

Sitting alone at night in secret study;
it is placed on the brass tripod.
A slight flame comes out of the emptiness and
makes successful that which should not be believed in vain.

Believers point to his quatrains and say that he predicted World War I, the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany, World War II, the atomic bomb, Nutra-Sweet and the inexplicable popularity of Milton Berle. Although his predictions were pretty vague, and could as easily refer to Grouch Marx as Karl Marx, people put great stock in his premonitions. Some say that his predictions about the end of the world will prove the nonbelievers wrong once and for all, but, if the world ends, who'll be around to gloat?

Another visionary was Edgar Cayce, known as "The Sleeping Prophet". This is a good job if you can get it, as you never even have to get out of bed.

Believer: "My husband went out for a paper and never came back! Will he return? And, if he ran off with the bimbo who runs the drugstore, is there a plague of boils in his future?"

Cayce: "Zzzzzzzzzzz!"

Believer: "Can I take that as a yes?"

Cayce: "Znnnnnx!"

Believer: "I'll let myself out."

An almost forgotten psychic was an Englishman known only as "Cairo". Cairo's most famous prediction warned Lord Canarvon that opening the tomb of King Tutankhamen was a big mistake, even worse than the time he stuck his finger in the light socket (Cairo had warned against that, too, earning Canarvon's trust and confidence). His average slipped after that, and he eventually went into the wholesale plumbing supply business.

Can the future be known? Is it immutable, or with knowledge can we control our destinies? I think Edgar Cayce said it best: "Znnnnnx!".



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Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
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Ginger & Shadow. ..Writer's Block.. ..Cool Links . ..More Cool Links .
Oddities ..Link To Us... Guest Comics . Online Store..
In The Zone. ..Number 9. . .September 11