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False Prophets Making Profits - It's the End of the World Again!
Magical Calendars vs. the Reality of Being in the Present Moment, by James Bean
The mystics of each generation have successfully found their Kingdom of God and "second coming". They have experienced the rapture and bliss of spiritual exploration. They found this Reality, not by looking at dates on calendars, but by looking within.
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It's the end of the world again. I hate it when that happens!
I have this old book on "end times" prophecy written back in the 1920's, which is quite revealing and informative about the psychology of prophecy. Some things never change, and that includes the end of the world.
That book shows a black and white photo of a locomotive steam engine with a caption underneath containing a quote from the Hebrew Book of Daniel: "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." Other illustrations include a sketch of a guy on a horse looking up at the sky, watching a meteor shower, with the caption: The Falling Stars, November 13th, 1833. "The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." (Book of Revelation 6: 13) Another image titled, "The Battle of Armageddon", depicts soldiers on horses fighting each other with swords as World War One era biplanes dogfight overhead.
In 1999 many were writing about a quatrain of Nostradamus predicting big stuff happening in the sky, one of the few actual dates mentioned by Nostradamus in fact. Things indeed looked pretty ominous, and yet ..... nothing. So, what did the Y2K prophecy hucksters do when their prophecy predictions fell flat, when they were proved to be utterly, totally, completely wrong? They pretended that everything was fine and simply set their sights upon a new date: 2012, and commenced writing books about that. Fascinating, isn't it? Others expressed disappointment when the world did not come to an end. Oh well. We get to live and complain yet another day. Yay!
Am a great fan of the Gospel of Thomas, a collection of the sayings of Yeshua (Jesus) discovered in Egypt several decades ago. Two partial Greek editions of this book exist, and a more complete copy written in the Coptic language was unearthed in 1945 along with forty nine other codices associated with the Nag Hammadi Library discovery.
In the Gospel of Thomas, disciples are always asking Yeshua when "the end of the world" will take place, when will the "Kingdom come"? And the reply is always something like: "You don't get it. What you're looking for is already here -- you just don't know how to see it."
Saying 52. His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you."
He said to them,"You have disregarded the Living One who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead."
Saying 91. They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."
He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment."
Saying 113. His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?" "It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's Kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."
Saying 5. Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed."
The quotes above remind me of a saying of the Sufi poet Rumi: "Some persons, relying on the promise of 'tomorrow', have wandered for years around that door, but 'tomorrow' never comes. My friend, the Sufi is the child of the present moment: to say 'tomorrow' is not our way."
Most of the world religions have a cosmology of several heavens or planes, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhs, Islam -- the Sufis, Kabbalah. The Gnostic religion, in Pagan or Hermetic, Jewish, and Christian forms, had a system of several heavens also. I recall that Shamanism has them being inside the earth. The old medieval view of the Catholic and Protestant West was/is? that the heavens were physically "up" in the sky or beyond the so-called "dome" of the sky. That series of volumes known as, A Course In Miracles, has a wonderful term for projecting outside one's self realms that are actually within and non-physical, or expecting a material Kingdom of Heaven to descend down from the sky and land on the earth like a flying saucer. The Course calls this: "level confusion".
Another example of level confusion is the belief that magic dates on a calender can suspend the laws of physics, change human nature, or cause the physical universe to morph into the astral plane or some other heavenly region.
Gospel of Thomas, Saying 3: Yeshua said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will get there before you do. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will arrive there first. Rather, the (Father's) Kingdom is within you and it is outside of you.
"When you know yourselves, then you will discover this, and you will realize that you are children of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."
The book of Thomas presents a present-tense Kingdom of God or spiritual Reality which can be seen, heard or accessed in the living present. Prophecy however is portrayed as one of many illusions, diversions and intoxication's of humanity that needs to be overcome so people might move on to seeking the real Kingdom of God or spiritual dimensions that are already available, like radio waves within and all around us that have the potential of being tuned into and experienced.
There is a similar passage in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, another Nag Hammadi or Gnostic Gospel: When the Blessed One had said this, He greeted them all, saying, "Peace be with you. Receive my peace to yourselves. Beware that no one lead you astray, saying, 'Lo here!' or 'Lo there!' for the Son of Man [Seed of Humanity] is within you. Follow after Him! Those who seek Him will find Him.
Those that copied and contemplated the Nag Hammadi books were monks affiliated with one of several monasteries founded by Saint Pachomius in Egypt. For them seeing the spiritual dimension was through mystical practices, chant, prayer, silent meditation leading to visions and altered states. Not far from where the Nag Hammadi books were found are some caves used by monks during the 4th Century AD. The Nag Hammadi books remind me of Buddhism, Hinduism, and some of the teachings of the medieval mystics of Europe, Hildegarde of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Jacob Boehme and many others who reinvented some of the same ideas later in history, a mystical approach of seeing the "Unseen" spiritual part of the spectrum.
Through contemplative meditation, the mystics of each generation have successfully found their Kingdom of God and "second coming". They have experienced the rapture and bliss of spiritual exploration. They found this Reality, not by looking at dates on calendars, but by looking within.