Several years ago, I was told about a book called Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. The book is about Sir Ernest Shackleton’s epic adventure in August 1914 to Antarctica. As you read these opening words, consider whether you think things are going to go well for these men. Remember, this is the world of 1914, not 2014.
“The order to abandon ship was given at 5 P.M. For most of the men however, no order was needed because by then everybody knew that the ship was done and that it was time to give up trying to save her. There was no show of fear or even apprehension. They had fought unceasingly for three days, and they had lost….
She (the ship) was being crushed. Not all at once, but slowly, a little at a time. The pressure of 10 million tons of ice was driving in against her sides.
Frank Wild, the second in-command, put his head inside the crew’s quarters. ‘She’s going boys,’ he said quietly. ‘I think it’s time to get off’.”
When I had read the first chapter I was ready to stop. Here was a crew of men, who in 1914, found their wooden hulled protection from the brutal outside world being crushed. The ship that brought them to Antarctica would not be taking them home.
Why read the rest of this story? How could anything good come out of this beginning?
Still, the title intrigued me. I quickly went to the final pages of the book and read the ending. Yes, victory!
Now I knew I could go back and read the rest of what today is one of the greatest stories of determination, faith, and courage against all odds to survive.
What Gets Inflated, Can Get Deflated: Remember 2008?
It is also a story, that most of us, including myself, can not relate to at all. We have so many safety nets around us; so many things we depend on every day as though its continuation were as certain as the air we breathe. Yet, if we see any article or news report that scares us, we merely “close the book”, and ignore a larger developing story.
The story coming is the next massive deflationary period of money and financial resources, due to trillions in debt at virtually zero interest, most likely followed by a shift away from the dollar in the global system. The international currency unit, the Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund has had many white papers written about it as a replacement on the global level for the US dollar.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, world central bankers have told us that with trillions upon trillions to “temporarily” assist global markets, things would return to “normal”. As we close out 2014, with history once again breaking many records in extreme behavior and a string of “all time highs” over the last 2 years, deflating financial assets is not the majority view.
Yet powerful forces have been underway during the 4th quarter, producing hundreds of billions in losses already. Let me illustrate my point with two examples. This should be a harbinger to everyone worldwide, that once the largest financial bubble is over, the largest financial bust must commence.
Oil and Argentina
Oil was $94 a barrel at the end of September, and now 11 weeks later, it is in the $50s. This is a massive loss of revenue for major nations around the world, and one of the largest industries in my nation, the United States.
Economic War Goes Mainstream – Oil’s Price Drop is Seen as Proof, Global Economic Warfare, Dec 7 ‘14
Argentina has seen its stock market plunge 34% since the fourth quarter started.
How quickly the headlines changed from September to October.
Sizzling: Argentina’s stock market is up 100%, CNBC, Sept 10 ’14
Argentine Stocks Plunge As Oversight Tightens on Parallel Market, Bloomberg, Oct 9 ’14
These developments impact so many lives, so many nations. For millions this brings cheaper gas, or is taking place in a country that we think has nothing to do with our own daily life. However, for millions this means a lost of revenue for an entire nation or industry that threatens their own day-to-day lives. These events are also large enough in and of themselves, that they have already started impacted other parts of the global economy and markets.
Where’s The Encouraging Ending?
So let’s jump ahead in this story. Let’s look past elaborate computer models, reams of statistics, and thousands of experts. Let’s look past a debt based currency system that connects us to events across the world, and is necessary for our daily survival.
Is there any story from the ancient world for today’s complex world, that points to a time where headlines and book titles could be 180 degrees opposite of what we are seeing today?
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they train for war – Micah 4:3
Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his own staff in his hand because of his age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing. – Zechariah 8:4
I know, I know, none of us alive today have seen a time when the world has been at peace, and certainly not the most controversial religious city in the world, Jerusalem. I know that this is taking the discussion far away from a world the “money makes the world go round” dominant theme of today.
But remember, in 1914, influenza was life threatening, while most strands today are treated like a short term cold. In 1914, Shackleton’s men were closed from the outside world. Today, they would use satellite communications to send out a May Day signal.
So as frightening headlines keep increasing, telling everyone that man has not been able to create a nirvana world free from pain, is it not possible that the historical writings of several Jewish writers could provide hope of a time when the entire world finds what we really ultimately want, peace on earth and true unity between men?
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace – Isaiah 9:6-7
The writings of these Jewish men, translated into more languages of the world than any other writings, have been ones I have read repeatedly over the last ten years of my own life, as I have written about the many “first in history” events. They continue to give me peace, even when the world around me is not.
A path to a time of incredible world peace like no one has ever seen, is fraught with many painful scenarios none of us even wants to consider. Yet without an ending that is more triumphant than the frightening trends facing us all today, it is easier to close the book, and live in a world of illusion until the sound of breaking timbers forces us out on the ice.
Deep things to think about in a world that has taught us that the experts, thinkers, and planners will make sure our world doesn’t shake our own personal plans. But what if trillions more in debt, and legions of people to centrally plan life for the rest of us started breaking apart again? I know, this time it will be different.
A Curious Mind
December 15 2014