We may speak of the Apocalypse in terms of a radical leap in human evolution on psychic and spiritual levels, and perhaps even in terms of a radical leap in material development and evolution. According to Sophian teachings, what this evolution actually represents is an acceleration in the consciousness of humanity, sparked by an influx of supernal light and the corresponding activation of a fiery intelligence—the incarnation of the light-bearer in humanity. The aim of this acceleration of consciousness is the dawn of Messianic consciousness in the collective of humanity. Yet. not everyone in the larger collective is necessarily ready for the acceleration of consciousness and the greater knowledge and power it brings. There are many different levels of development and evolution of souls within the collective of a race of self-aware and intelligent beings. Thus while some or many might be more mature in their development and ready for the acceleration of consciousness, many more are likely not to be ready. Therefore, with an acceleration of consciousness comes an evolutionary crisis and challenge in humanity, one which threatens the survival of every race of self-aware and intelligent beings at some point in their evolution—hence the darker side of the Apocalypse.
In the Gospel of St. Thomas, there are two sayings that are quite illuminating in this regard. In the first, Yeshua says, "I have cast fire upon the world, and see, 1 am tending it until it blazes."1 In the second, he says, "Men think, p:-haps, that it is peace I have come to cast upon the world. They do not <now that it is dissention i have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war. For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father. And they will stand solitary."3 According to Sophian teachings on these two sayings, both reflect the true nature of the Apocalypse, pointing to an acceleration of consciousness that naturally results in a great conflict.
According to the Kabbalah, in the Book of Revelation the great conflict is called Armageddon and, on the most fundamental level, represents the struggle between two inclinations. One represents our evolutionary past, or bestial nature,- the other represents our evolutionary iuture, or divine nature. The former is an inclination to selfishness and violence; the latter is an inclination to self-transcendence and compassion. Although Armageddon is spoken of as an external event in Revelation, in truth, the great conflict is internal and only becomes externalized when it is not inwardly resolved.
According to Sophian teachings, Armageddon is not a single event. Just as creation is viewed as ongoing, and the Apocalypse is viewed as a process already underway, Armageddon is a natural part of that greater process and is occurring inwardly as we struggle to resolve the great conflict within us. Here and there, this conflict breaks out and becomes externalized on earth. On account of the acceleration of consciousness, every time it is externalized, the intensity and fierceness of Armageddon increases. The great conflict continues to grow and increase until it is either ultimately resolved, or humanity enacts its own self-destruction. In this sense, we could consider the two world wars we have already fought—the greater darkness of the second, and the
1. Gospel of St Thomas saying 10
2. Gospel of St. Thomas, saying 16
greater potential for radical darkness and destruction among us today. The challenges we face are perfectly clear, both in terms of outright conflicts between peoples and living in conflict with our environment.
It is in this context that Sophian teachings speak of the Judgment, not as anything brought upon us by a Cod external tc ourselves, but rather as a natural consequence of our own actions a id the choices that we make as individuals and as a collective. We stand in judgment of ourselves by way of a universal law of cause and effect.
On the most simple level, we can speak of the great conflict as the stru of human beings to get into the sanctuary o! the heart, in which we realize our interdependence and interconnection :o one another, to our environment, and to divine being—the sacred unity underlying a!: things. Only when we are able to go and live within the sanctuary of the heart is this great conflict resolved—hence the forgiveness, love, and compassion that form the core of Yeshua's teachings, and which are the foundation of all authentic spirituality. According to the Sophian teachings, until we are able to live within the sacreci heart, we are not vet fully human and cannot realize our innate divinity. Thus, in Gnostic Christianity, the sanctuary of the heart is the cornerstone of all spiritual practices and spiritual living.
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