THE OTHER SIDE OF “THE GREAT AWAKENING”. A look at our times through the lens of “The Apocalypse of Saint John” and the spirituality that is everywhere awakening.

by Mike Bee

Saint John knew that his words would be needed by individuals of a later time. This is that time. We have come about as far as the earthly intellect alone can carry us. We augment it with something else or we perish. The key question for our time is: how can we take our first steps to transcend our intellectual reasoning without losing our way altogether?


The fact that so many important events are happening backstage of humanity’s main auditorium should convince many who know they are playing a role in The Great Awakening to rouse themselves, at least to some extent, and devote energy to opening their eyes of the spirit. New organs are needed that reveal what is happening beyond what is perceptible to the senses alone.

We live in most interesting times. These times that we have chosen to be born into place a burden upon us such as has not existed in such a form for any earlier generations. The burden is that human beings cannot find real truth in what is happening around them today unless they learn, at least to some extent, to transcend the limited vision of their senses. Spiritual organs are beginning to form in our time, however, these are very new, and bizarre conclusions can be drawn if people lose any of the “common sense” that decades of regular sense experiences have been teaching us. We must open to entirely new realms of experience without losing the ground beneath our feet.

It is possible in our time to follow a trail of genuine research but end up in rabbit-holes that lead nowhere and have no exit. We all know people who are casualties of the rabbit-hole syndrome – who have been red-pilled by what they have learned but have never found the way to balance this with healthy spiritual understanding. Sometimes such people can see only what is dark and hopeless, as if a great black pill was being continually delivered to them.

Guidance to those who set out to open the eyes of their spirit in a healthy way can come from many sources. Charlatans are, perhaps, more numerous than authentic travellers of the spiritual path, but guidance from those who have travelled the way before us does definitely exist. One source of wisdom is the last book in the Bible, known as The Book of Revelation of Saint John or more commonly called simply The Apocalypse. The purpose of this article is to look at a couple of places in the Book of Revelation to illustrate how it is able to shine light upon what is happening in our time and lead us into further explorations of the spiritual path while not losing our bearings for earthly matters.

The word “apocalypse” means a revealing of what is hidden. Our history consists of many such revelations, as later generations are let into secrets not known by those who went before. Yet who can deny that these times we are now living in are fraught with challenges that are deeper in many ways than what previous generations have been faced with? Much that is in John’s Apocalypse is extremely relevant to what we are going through, but it is not an easy work to understand and many misunderstandings abound about it.

Spiritual knowledge can be found in many places. It is something that is experienced very differently from earthly common sense, and there is a saying that God’s wisdom is foolishness to human beings. The converse of that is also true – human wisdom can be foolishness to God. Yet the two, earthly and spiritual knowledge, do not need to clash if the one looking for spiritual illumination has trodden a path that widens and deepens all those faculties that are fundamental to our humanity. This is the reason why everything has to be brought back to the heart, the organ that is most in touch with spiritual reality. We are on the right path if what we learn teaches us better to love, and we have got diverted somehow if this is not the case. However, the heart needs to be balanced by more than emotions alone. This means that head and heart need to come together, but this is not a straight-forward process to arrange. We are faced with the need to suspend our intellectual intelligence alone if we are going to transcend the limited wisdom of the world of the senses.

One way to begin this process is to use the keys that open to us from The Book of Revelation. It has been given to us for a reason, and this moment, as we approach 2,000 years since the great turning-point event of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ (however you imagine that to have been), is a time that is bringing its relevance directly before us. The last book of the Bible can become the first one that opens to our spiritual senses. And in the process we can begin to understand in a new way the significance of what is happening around us, both in the events of our own lives and in what we see unfolding upon and behind the stage of world-events.

The first key to understanding The Book of Revelation is to understand that every word, every image, is an inspiration from its author who is describing quite concrete spiritual experiences he has gone through. What the author has written may echo earlier works such as The Book of Daniel, but John is not simply continuing a literary tradition as scholars will assert but going far beyond the stammering of earlier visionaries. He has seen and understood everything he writes of, and he has left this record to us because this must become a continuing inspiration to humanity – a book that is not finished but needs to be opened and creatively worked with by every individual who seriously studies it. Saint John knew that his words would be needed by individuals of a later time. This is that time. We have come about as far as the earthly intellect alone can carry us. We augment it with something else, or we perish. The key question for our time is: how can we take our first steps to transcend our intellectual reasoning without losing our way altogether?

Near the beginning of the book, John is given seven letters which he is told to make available to “seven churches”. Clear instructions are given in these seven letters, and we can find in them important information that is very relevant to ourselves. The churches referred to were actual communities of the time, but what is said to them goes far deeper than instruction to them alone. The seven churches are seven cultural ages which are unfolding on the earth between the Flood of Atlantis and the War of All Against All that stands (thankfully) many centuries ahead of us, although this dire event casts its shadows continually into our present age.

The first four letters – to Ephesus, Smyrna,  Pergamon and Thyatira – are addressed to ages that have come before us. It was in the fourth of these, the time of classical Greece and Rome, that human beings were gifted with the principle of the Ego or I AM that was to change humanity completely. Before taking possession of the I AM, human beings’ lives were guided by those who were in touch with divine sources of inspiration. After it, our long – and at times lonely – trek into the wilderness began. Our final destination is freedom, but this is no simple quality to attain.

Every word in this fourth letter to the community of Thyatira, where the writer is described as being as one who has passed through an initiation of fire, is addressed to those who first took up the challenge of becoming real earthly personalities. But around the time of the Renaissance a new age opened, the one that we are about a third of the way through today. And Saint John’s fifth letter becomes even more serious than the fourth. It is sobering to earthly pride to take in the words of the fifth letter in the understanding that it is addressed to us at our present stage of spiritual evolution. We are those of the community of “Sardis” who think we are alive but are dead. Our intellectuality has brought rich gifts, and we have “conquered” many aspects of the earth, but it has also lamed our spirits through showing us only one side of reality and made us spiritually as poor as beggars. If we do not connect with the spiritual side of our humanity, we are in grave danger of losing everything. Here are the words that it is suggested that we take to heart:

I know your deeds. You have a name for being alive, but in fact you are dead. Wake up and strengthen what is still left and what is at the point of death. I have not found any of your tasks completed in the sight of my God. Recall, therefore, how you have received and heard the message. Cherish this, and rethink all things. If you fail to wake up (to a higher consciousness), I will come like a thief, and you may never know at what hour I will come upon you.
.                                 (from a translation by Alfred Heidenreich)

This is the message of the Great Awakening to the Spirit – a realisation that unless we fundamentally change ourselves – our orientation to God, to our fellow-human beings and to our whole planet and the stars around it – we are like dead men and women walking! Yes, we must also battle with the deep state, but this must never be only an earthly activity. We are being called to awaken at much deeper levels of our experience than our earth activity alone.

Just as the one who brings the fourth letter was described in terms which related to the experiences of the fourth cultural age, the time of ancient Greece and Rome, so the one who brings the fifth letter has qualities that speak specifically to us. He carries in his right hand seven stars. These are the seven cultural ages themselves, for one of the first steps we must take is to get a genuine experience of how evolution moves in cycles of seven. The period of Earth places us in the fourth stage of an enormous sequence in which the mysteries of God are taking place. The fact that we are in the time that has no name but is called the “Post-Atlantean Epoch” places us in the fifth of seven epochs. And the age we are in that John calls “Sardis” (starting in the Fifteenth Century and continuing for the next two thousand years) places us in the fifth of seven cultural ages.

To understand our own times, we must come to an understanding of times entirely different from our own, both past and future, and see how human consciousness does not always stay the same but is in a process of continual metamorphosis. It is simply another way of saying this when we are admonished to understand the seven stars which the creator of the fifth letter holds in his right hand. If this knowledge remains abstract – if we think it is just a quaint way of admonishing an early Christian settlement who were losing their spiritual mojo – we block ourselves from coming to clarity about our true tasks. However, if we approach John’s words and images as a hypothesis that can teach us – if we are open to him in a spirit of research and with trust in the wisdom of the heart, we shall in time be enabled to bring dead words to life within us. And doing this, we shall receive a gift of the spirituality that is needed to help our tragically over-intellectualised age break through into the new times that are approaching it.

The “white garments” that are promised to those who successfully make it through the trials of Sardis are, of course, the results of a process of purification, of catharsis. No one said this earthly journey was going to be easy, and the fifth step of seven is perhaps the hardest and most lonely of all. And the reference to people’s names being written in the Book of Life is a promise that it is indeed possible to transcend earthly limitations and regain our spiritual stature. However, because the trials of the fifth cultural age involve our earthly ego, our I AM, there are many difficulties on the way. Every person today is definitely undergoing a serious trial, and we can observe many around us grappling with seemingly impossible burdens as they meet the unique challenges of their destiny. Those who can find the immortal part within themselves – who, as the fifth letter says, wake up out of the hypnosis of earthly intellectuality to a higher consciousness – are those who are able to rise to the particular challenge of our times. To find oneself as a spiritual being and to connect oneself to the spirituality of the entire cosmos is to take hold of something that will enable a person to survive and thrive even in such times as those that we are living in today.

The fifth post-Atlantean age will one day be replaced by the age that is identified in the Apocalypse by the community of Philadelphia. The spirituality that is so difficult to establish in our time and that can be carried only by a small minority of spiritual warriors will then be much more the norm, and many of the new values that we are struggling to establish now will be the norm then. Though those in the New Age may tell us that we are at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, Philadelphia is actually still some 1500 years away, but, like the War of All Against All, it sends foreshadowings into our present time. Clues are given about what it will be like in the Apocalypse. Its centre will be in Russia and among the Slavic peoples. This is one of the reasons that there is so much friction in our time between America and Russia. Decadent spiritual brotherhoods in the West who know these things have wished to destroy Russia that they may avoid any transfer of power from their own Anglo-Saxon circles.

Needless to say, such efforts, going against the spiritual streams of world-becoming are doomed, and their failure to impose their will on the divine will of God is one of the key phenomena that we are experiencing now. Yet even in their error they play a role in bringing about God’s will, for it is in overcoming evil that human beings of the fifth cultural age find the strength to transcend the limitations of the intellectual consciousness. This post-Atlantean age has, as it were, issued an invitation to evil to place as many hindrances in our path as possible. Christopher Fry speaks very accurately of this in his play, Sleep of Prisoners:

Thank God our time is now, when wrong
comes up to meet us everywhere,
never to leave us till we take
the longest stride of soul men ever took.
Affairs are now soul size.
The enterprise
is exploration into God.
What are you waiting for?
It takes so many thousand years to wake.
But will you wake, for pity’s sake!

Yes, evil is necessary in our time and serves The Great Awakening, for we are not automatons, blindly carrying out the will of superior beings but divine beings ourselves, though temporarily placed into a physical body that in many ways limits our vision and our powers of will. We are called to find the source of the divine guidance that we have known in the past and renew it in an entirely new way. We are called to go through trials that will teach us, through trial and error, the true nature of freedom.

Evil at this time is given a license to divert us from our tasks and place every sort of obstacle against us. If we look at the world through the lens of the “black pill”, we will start to think that evil is being successful. Those who take the “white pill” attain a perception that does not turn away from evil but finds an accompanying faith that sees through the tragedy of earthly events and can understand how evil is a temporary phenomenon whose time will pass.

Evil plays a major role in the events of the Apocalypse, and, as people often say, the “spoiler alert” is that God wins in the end! However, this “end” is still some considerable time away from us. The Bible starts with Genesis, in the Garden before evil has power. It ends in its last book with the City in which evil has been forever cast off. The vision of the Holy City is still far away from us in time, but it is a real archetype that casts its effects into our life today. The Heavenly City cannot appear until we have first undergone what is described as the Fall of Babylon, another archetype that will only take place fully in the future and yet is part of ongoing processes happening in our times.

In John’s Apocalypse, what is not of the Divine is eventually cast off. Before that can happen, much takes place that involves direct encounter with evil. There is a fiery red dragon who is cast out of the spiritual world onto the earth, and from him come two other opponents of the Divine. Rudolf Steiner, who had a clear perception of what was going on, dated this “fall” of powers of evil from the spiritual world into our own to the last part of the Nineteenth Century, coming to a climax in the year 1879 when the Archangel Micha-el took on a task of leadership on the earth that is still ongoing today. In a lecture cycle that he gave in 1917 during the First World War, Steiner describes very clearly what was happening then and makes predictions for the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries that have become ever more relevant since he made them.

In Steiner’s vision of what is happening, the Twentieth Century is when these two opponents described by John first appeared and were directly experienced by the inhabitants of the earth. It is interesting to look back to the whole Twentieth Century with such a hypothesis in mind. The first opponent of humanity – described by John as a dragon with seven heads and ten horns – rose up to meet humanity in the year 1933. It came “out of the sea” – out of the collective unconscious of humanity. Just as the Christ Being represents the Higher Self of all humanity, so the dragon born from the waters represents a collective “doppelgänger” of all our worst qualities. Totalitarianism forms naturally out of the actions of rulers who know how to manipulate the lower impulses of their citizens.

Later in the century, this force was joined by another entity that opposes us with great power. John says it has two horns and rises up, not out of the waters, but from the dry land. This sub-natural spirit of the digital world has now its time of opportunity, and 9/11 was its message to the earth, foretelling in a public demonstration of its power what was to come as the dominant force of the Twenty-first Century.

Those who follow The Great Awakening know that on an earthly level plans were made after the assassination of JFK to oppose the infiltration of evil into our culture, and that the two alien entities have not at all had things their own way. The Twenty-first Century is so exciting in that earthly events and spiritual events are so linked. To the extent that we are able to become conscious actors in The Great Awakening, we can take a stand in the world against both the seven-headed dragon of unconscious drives and the two-horned beast of illegal corporate and governmental power. If we awaken to them spiritually, then, as well as meeting their activities in the physical world, we can also stand against them in our individual inner lives. “Seven heads” is a picture of our glandular system where there is a need to overcome the hormones that make us reactive and unfree. There is a “swamp” in each one of us, and some of our energy needs to go into draining it. However the swamp-self is not all that we are, for the Divine is within us. It asks us to become creators, independent of the compulsions and obsessions of our doppelgänger-self – and able to hear again the voice of supernatural wisdom that comes to us from the stars.

In a short article it is possible only to give a few hints of all that is contained as wisdom in The Book of Revelation, but I hope I have been able to demonstrate that what is to be found there is no mere collection of dogmatic superstitions but deep wisdom that, if unlocked by healthy understanding, can become immensely fruitful in our time.

At this moment, some fight militarily against the deep state. Others, at various levels of awareness, fight spiritually against what St Paul called “principalities … powers … rulers of the darkness of our age … the spiritual hosts of wickedness in high places.” Just as those in the military have their leaders, so the non-military warriors have theirs, and it is through the discipline of taking hold of a conscious spiritual path that we learn to hear what they are speaking to us. Those who are living together with the rhythms of their heart cannot be black-pilled, for they feel intuitively the activity of the heavenly forces upon earth who wish to become our colleagues. They also feel intuitively the great victories that are being won today, though these may take time to be played out on the earth in full, and they will not become depressed or impatient or argue among themselves about things that are not important.

It is nonsense to assert that what is happening today is in any way similar to an old territorial wars of power between nations or religions. This is a battle for the earth, and all those who value humanity are united in fighting against those who wish to crush the human spirit.

Just as the majority of people today do not understand the physical warfare that has been ongoing since the death of JFK and which has made decisive moves against the power of evil since the year 2017, so few people can silence their clever-monkey of an intellect and listen to what is being revealed inwardly in the picture-language of The Book of Revelation. To those who can do this, immense treasures can be won, and they will find there many clues that will help them to understand aright the deep significance of life in these most interesting times.



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