One can only wonder at the tumultuous transformations that are hidden within a chrysalis as the caterpillar undergoes metamorphosis mto a butterfly. Truly, it must be somewhat horrendous, though something of amazing splendor nrd beauty emerges from it. In a manner of speaking, whatever tumult and horror might occur in the process of metamorphosis, with the exodus of the butterfly from the chrysalis, it is as nothing before: a creature of such awesome and delightful beauty. Something wonderful is revealed through this natural process, which formerly was only a hidden potential, so concealed, in fact, that it is rather hard to believe that a fuzzy eaithbound caterpillar could ever become the winged butterfly. This is a perfect analogy of the Ressurection as conceived among Gnostic Christians, as well as Gnostic teachings on the Apocalypse, for the Ressurection and Apocalypse are viewed as a psychic and spiritual metamorphosis—hence the word mclanoia, which means a "spiritual conversion" or "spiritual transformation."
The l!ook of Revelation presents an amazing picture of a danc. of great horror and great beauty. It is interesting that the term "Apocalypse,' which means "revelation,' has come to be associated almost exclusively with doom and gloom and only the great horror envisioned by the prophets. Truly, as Yeshua himself makes the analogy, whatever terrible or honible aspects might appear in Apocalyptic visions of the prophets and apostles, these are but labor pains, which, once the child is born swiftly vanish before the joy of new life. No doubt, the day of birth is extremely tumultuous for both the mother and child, yet it wili ultimately be a day celebrated with awe, wonder, and great joy. The pain is inseparable from the pleasure, the sorrow is inseparable from the joy, the darkness is inseparable from the light. Such is the true nature of realiry ar.d life, whether on the material, psychic, or spiritual level. This non-dt I view is integral to the Sophian vision ot the divine revelation.
To gain insight into the Sophian view of the Apocalypse, we must return again to the contemplation of evolution. As wc have pointed out, evolution occurs through cycles of progress and.regress, ever striving forwards and upwards towards the highest of life. Likewise in the evolutionary process, while previous life forms sen'!.- as a foundation tc sustain and preserve new and higher forms of life, at the same time old life orms must also give way to new life forms in a constant interaction of destruction and creation. This is reflected in Kabbalistic teachings on creation mentioned above, in which we hear of the vessels of former universes shattered in the process of the creation of new uni\erses—o.'.e form of lile being transformed into another. This same process appears in the Book of Revelation. If one studies the holy book closely, one will find three primary cycles of shattering and reformation '.:. the larger process, as though this heaven, earth, arid humanity must pass away in the process of the generation of a new heaven, new earth, and new humanity—hence, a process of radical transformation that supports the emergence of what amounts to a new species of hu-manity, a divine or supernal humanity.
What is distinct about the Book of Revelation from the story of creation in Genesis is that Revelation depicts an equal and oppovte movement. The story of creation in Genesis relates a process of inv -lution into the material dimension. The story of the Apocalypse le-lates a process of evolution and ascension beyond the material dimension into more subtle and sublime dimensions. The essential message of the Gospel of Revelation is that our present human condition it a transitional state of being, that our present humanity is a temporary stage of evolution moving towards a state that is "more than human," often being likened to the state of the elder races of divine bein: s called "angels."
In much the same way that Christian Gnostics view creation and the Gospel as an ongoing event that continues to transpire in the present, likewise Christian Gnosticism views the Apocalypse not merely in terms of a future event but rather as an advent of supernal or Messianic consciousness transpiring in the present though perhaps hid den and secret. Such is the nature ol all new developments in the evolutionary process. Before they are actualized and revealed, they aie worked out inwardly on a hidden level and then, in due time, burst forth and are made known. In the Gnostic view, though t! • ultimate fruition of the Apocalypse and Second Coming might seem as something of the distant future, in reality it is a present potential being actualized in human consciousness on inner and secret levels, which will emerge in the larger collective of humanity when a sufficient number of individuals are able to embody the higher consciousness represented by Yeshua Messiah in the First Coming.
Essentially, the First Coming is akin to the implanting of a seed of light in human consciousness,- the Second Coming is thr* fruition of that light-seed. In this sense, Sophians speak of the Second Coming of Christ as the attainment of Christ consciousness in any individual— Yesnua representing the First Coming, and each individual essentially representing a "Second Coming." At the same time, the Second Coming is an advent of Christ consciousness in the larger collective of humanity.
Because the collective is composed of individuals, the Second Comingis dependent upon many individuals entering into Christ consciousness. Thus the vi •' of the Second Coming in the individual and collective do not contradict one another, but rather reflect the actual process through which the Second Coming becomes possible
On the most basic level, the Second Coming as conceived among Sophians is not simply 'Jesus appearing in the sky someday," as though an event separate and apart Irom us, but instead is viewed as the product o I a conscious development and evolution of ourselves towards supernal or Mcssianic consciousness. In other words, according to Christian Gnosticism, the Second Coming transpires within ourselves, and ultimately, it is we who will determine our future by the choices we make today.
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This work on 2012 will attempt to note them allfrom the concepts andinvolvement by the authors of the Bible and its interpreters and theprophecies depicted in both the Hopi petroglyphs and the Mayan calendarto the prophetic uttering of such psychics, mediums, and prophets asNostradamus, Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon.