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Friday, May 25, 2007

Tales of Future-tense Kingdoms in the Sky vs being in the Present Moment

Tales of Future-tense Kingdoms in the Sky vs being in the Present Moment
by James Bean

There are some very real apocalyptic scenarios such as a nuclear electromagnetic pulse detonation over North America sending us back to the 17th century by destroying electricity as we know it, frying circuitry of computers, cars, trucks, planes (how food is transported to your local grocery store), all power grids, etc..., a nuclear exchange and the nuclear winter that would follow, climate change effecting the ecosystem, to list a few.

However, when it comes of magic numbers on the calendar, dates for end-times, I see that way of thinking as part of the problem, not the solution. What we need is people-power and true democracy in China, Iran, Russia, the US -- everywhere, since all of those scenarios are caused by corporate greed and demented policies about attacking others, even though the end result would be to attack one's self. I forget the exact number, but I have heard scientists such as Carl Sagan and Michio Kaku talk about how even small number of nukes dropped on one country would be enough to cause the "winners" of a war, assuming only side uses their weapons, to experience nuclear winter, and unacceptable levels of radiation.

When it comes to prophecy I take great pleasure in the approach of the Gospel of Thomas, one of the Nag Hammadi books discovered in Egypt. The book of Thomas seems to advocate a present-tense Kingdom of God or spiritual dimension which can be seen or accessed in the living present. Prophecy however is portrayed as one of many diversions and intoxication's of humanity that needs to be overcome so that people might move on to seeking the real Kingdom of God that is already available, like radio waves within and all around us.

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.

Tales of Future-tense Kingdoms in the Sky vs being in the Present Moment

52. His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you."

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."

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."

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 precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea, ' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.

"When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."

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 sayings above remind me of a saying of 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."

I favor the mystic approach of finding God right now via contemplative meditation and don't find much wisdom in the whole prophecy book promotions tour thang, the latest marketing of the next big date on the calendar. What's most revealing about prophecy is to read, not the current books, but the old books from the 1970's talking about Henry Kissinger's name adding up to "666". I have an old book on prophecy written the 1920's -- THAT I found to be most extreemly informative about the psychology of prophecy!

In 1999 many were writing about a quatrain of Nostradamus predicting major stuff happening in the world, one of the few actual dates mentioned by Nostradamus in fact! Things looked ominous, and yet .....nothing, not even Y2K. A few people were disappointed back then when the world did not come to an end, LOL. Oh well..............we get to live and complain yet another day. Yay! :)

A Picture is worth a thousand words. Here's two thousand words, two images from a book on "end-times" prophecy published in 1926.