I have a comment I made on John Michael Greer's "The Archdruid Report" blog that I copied to my clipboard in case Blogger.com ate my comment while I was in the process of posting it. So I may as well copy it here and turn it into a post.
This post provided some very delicious and exotic food for thought as usual. It certainly comes as no surprise that the ancient Greeks were equal to the task of inventing and constructing a working steam engine, at least if their philosophy is any solid indicator of their cultural intellectual prowess.
If you'll forgive me for veering off-topic just a little bit, I read some news today (oh boy!) that spoke of an apocalypse. Well, maybe not really, I just wanted to preserve the meter of the beloved old "Beatles" song! Seriously though, this article in the UK newspaper The Guardian described a coronal mass ejection (CME) event that might have brought down the electrical grid, everything that relies on it, and most modern communication systems too, had our planet been in its line of fire. And we would have been, too, had this CME erupted in the same way a week earlier than it did.
Considering where we are in terms of resource depletion and resulting economic near-exhaustion (a fancy way of describing the way the world's industrial societies are pretty much hanging on by the proverbial thread these days), I really do think this would have precipitated a "fast-crash" event, or something close enough to a fast-crash that it would certainly have been the primary turning point in the decline of industrial society.
It wouldn't have been an apocalypse in the traditional religious sense, but the hardship and mayhem that would have ensued certainly would have resulted in very many people calling it the apocalypse. The fact that it would have happened in 2012 would certainly have added to the temptation to call it just that. I have to admit, the new ager in me has to wonder if that CME would have hit us were it not for the spiritual growth of ordinary humans ultimately redeeming us from being hit with "the worst". What do you think? :-)