The Revelation to John
QUESTION: Is this a book about the end times or a book of esoteric initiation into the inner soul?
COMMENT: The Revelation to John is really too vast a topic to fit into one brief response.
I don’t think I would describe it as either a book about end times (although it is commonly seen that way in traditional views) or as an esoteric initiation. It’s a vivid summary of the spiritual journey that each of us has come into human form to accomplish —a journey to realize our innate identity as the Christ of God and then express that Christ energy to transform this human experience into the kingdom of heaven.
The important thing to realize is that it is, first of all, descriptive of the specific world and time in which it was written. It is an allegory of the suffering that Christians were enduring at the hands of the Roman Empire, written in a kind of code so that authorities would not recognize themselves in its pages.
Metaphysically, the Revelation to John describes the great journey each of us makes from spiritual ignorance to full spiritual expression. It is the great culmination of the epic journey that began in the first pages of Genesis—the journey of a spiritual being through the distractions and challenges of human consciousness to the higher spiritual consciousness that Jesus describes as “the kingdom of heaven.”
That journey is summarized and concentrated as the epic battles and tribulations described in the Revelation. It all culminates in the realization of Chapter 21: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” The “kingdom of heaven,” then, is not some place beyond the clouds where we will go after death. It occurs in this human experience; it is the perfect spiritual expression of everything that has been imperfectly expressing here on earth. “See, the home of God is among mortals” (21:3).
The promise, then, is that our journey will be joyfully complete when we have removed from our consciousness every thought and false belief of separation from our divine Source, and become clear and nonresisting channels for the creative Power that is God. Then our lives here on earth will be completely infused with the divine, and the kingdom of heaven will not only be at hand; it will be the consciousness in which we live.