“Gog and Magog” is a rather vague biblical phrase referring to people and places that threaten the status quo and are somehow associated with the final apocalyptic vision. Originally perceived as a brutal and barbaric tribal horde living well to the north of Israel, the term is now used more metaphorically to mean the extremely nasty “bad guys” and/or “bad stuff” out there somewhere, aka the ubiquitous bogeyman. In geopolitical terms perhaps it refers to dark shadowy countries like North Korea, Iran or Russia. In Hollywood terms it means Jason, Freddy Kruger, or any homicidal maniac with stringy hair and a meat cleaver that we fail to notice until it’s too late.
In other words, when we envision the end of life as we know it and well before we enter the all encompassing White Light, there might have been certain subtle or overt signs that leave us thinking or feeling “uh-oh”. When I say “subtle” I would not be referring to indelible and irreversible life experiences such as having a drooling axe-wielding crackhead leer over us while we lie completely paralyzed on a hospital gurney or even the too-little-too-late awareness that drinking too much bad whisky has led our vital organs to atrophy to the size of shriveled up prunes. I am talking more about the various intuitive feelings, momentary realizations and gut instincts that occur on a fairly regular basis.
It seems appropriate in this the final days of 2011, and as we approach the apocryphal year of 2012, that we take a moment to meditate on this more personal interpretation of Gog and Magog. Put in simple “Final Destination” movie terms this translates to, “Watch your back, dont take electrical appliances into the bathtub, and definitely look both ways before you cross the…..OH MY God, where did that bus come from?!!” On a less violent and more introspective level we can go further by asking ourselves, “what is it within ourselves that we need to be more aware of and would do well to avoid in this coming year?” Obviously, “bad” cholesterol and Big Macs come to mind (for me) especially after having just watched the movie Food Inc. on Netfix…… In fact, after viewing that I can barely drive by a Burger King without imagining the guy at the drive-up window wearing Attila the Hun garb while asking me, “Do you want to super–size those medium Yak fries?” Of course this is only one example of Gog and Magog’s practical utility. I also realize there are a lot of other important things that I need TO DO that I’m not doing enough of to be truly healthy or to “live long and prosper”as Trekkies would say. Therefore I will attempt to make a few significant life changes that usually involves forcing myself out of my bed-office and lacing up the expensive gym shoes my personal trainer son Eli got me for my birthday. It’s just so damn comfy in my big fluffy king-size cacoon bed and so cold outside. Did I mention how many amazingly stupid programs there are on TV? Wait, why do I keep seeing the same commercials for Zumba, exercise equipment and reruns about the 800 lb. man who had to be fork–lifted out of his house for gastric bypass surgery? Ok, Ok…I’m getting up. Arrgh!
Cliff Mazer. Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist is Atlanta, Georgia. He has an inexplicable thing for Pirates. Contact: 404-932-7193