Posted here as Twitter’s algorithm seems to shadowban.
Mystical visionary experiences, often inspired by entheogenic plants, were common in the Classical period. John of Patmos had one such mystical vision, a warning about the future so important it ended up in the Biblical canon.
Genesis tells us that God regrets having destroyed the world and promises he will not do it again, granting us the rainbow as a reminder of this promise. And yet in John’s Revelation, the world is again destroyed. How is this possible?
The answer is because it’s not God who destroys the world: It’s now man, who becomes so captivated by fear that he loses his trust in God’s Providence. Man thereby creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, through which the world is once again destroyed.
What happens this time is that the Red Dragon gives authority to a Beast. This Beast is not natural: It has the most fearsome attributes of other beasts. The mouth of a lion, the claws of a bear, on the body of a leapard. It’s spliced together from other beasts.
The Dragon gives the Beast his power. All the absurdities and the inhumanities that the people subject to the Dragon’s yoke must put up with, all the people subject to the reign of the Beast must now also put up with. The Beast conquers the whole world.
The Beast slanders God, his name and his dwelling place. The Beast lies about God. What is the big lie? That this Beast can inflict misery because it’s sanctioned by God and his dwelling place (Nature). This is a lie: Its authority comes from the Dragon. God did not want this.
The warning is prefaced: “Almost everyone will worship the Beast. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for DESTROYING THOSE WHO DESTROY THE EARTH.”
Ultimately, the people are terrorized by wonders, into making an image of the Beast. That is, people are DECEIVED into producing a copy of the beast. Once people made a copy, producing a version of the beast for themselves, those who hadn’t made a copy began to die in droves. What sort of method do you think we use to make a copy of the Beast?
Pressure for people to participate in producing a copy of the Beast increases, until eventually a mark of the Beast is introduced, which people will need to use to prove they participated in making a copy of the Beast. Without this mark, they can’t participate in society.
And that’s when shit hits the fan. We are told of a group of blameless people, who are with the Lamb, they were “purchased from among mankind”. But the people who worshipped the Beast and its image now drink the wine of God’s fury too. And that’s when the reaping starts.
And then we get seven more plagues. The first plague is that those who received the mark of the beast and worshipped its image receive festering sores. The second and third refer to water turning into poison.
The fourth plague refers to humanity suffering intense heat, the whole Earth warning up. People curse the name of God, but they refuse to repent (“CO2 is plant food!”). They continue to destroy the Earth, God’s dwelling place.
It’s obvious to me what sort of warning this is. Not some sort of spiritual warning about how you’ll be condemned to hell forever. It’s a warning from someone who had an intense mystical vision. As someone who has had such a mystical experience myself, it’s impossible for me not to notice. Over time such mystical visions become frozen in rigid dogmatic structures, the meaning lost to those who preserve the message.
We’re being warned, that we’re going to be terrorized and forced into committing an act of copying a Beast granted power by a Red Dragon, which has the actual effect of merely further empowering the Beast.
We’re looking at the best attempt that people have been able to make at transporting this message 2000 years into the future. People who didn’t have Internet, microscopes, or biotechnology, or cell phones.
But rather than focusing on what the great deception is that mankind succumbs to, let us remember how all the Christian churches today fail to recognize what it is that causes humanity to drink the cup of God’s wrath: It’s the destruction of the Earth. It literally says so.
You’re not supposed to fill the world with 8 billion people. You’re not supposed to turn the forests into cattle pastures. You’re not supposed to hurt animals. Almost all the churches are ignoring the implications of this simple fact: That God is incarnate in the creation.
One important part I failed to mention is the “false prophet”, who performs miracles that he attributes to the beast, to terrorize people into getting the mark of worshipping the beast. The beast was not intrinsically very powerful, terrorized people’s own actions empowered it. The power of the beast had to be inflated, to terrorize people into empowering it.
People don’t want to draw the obvious conclusion, because they think it means droves of people go to hell forever. But that’s not what the text says. It just warns we’ll be collectively fooled and terrorized into empowering a Beast. It looks intended to help us limit the damage.