Friday, July 22, 2011

REVELATIONS(s)? February 26, 2011, edited July 23, 2012..a response to Edward Fudge

Hi Edward(Edward's statements are at the end.)  I think you are so right about the kind of obsession the book of Revelation stirs in people. The model I would use is that these strong  negative, 'certainty' promising archetypes have the capacity to capture and possess the human mind. The folks you refer to have identified, primarily at an unconscious level, with the more negative symbols. They indeed are fascinated by them, have made them their religion.  This indicates that these symbols are very much alive and I'd say are in all of us. Others are drawn to the 'certainty'  promising archetypes that you describe in your closing.  These  correlate with what is also alive in us all... such as day dreams of perfect outcomes, victory, and vindication for all the troubles and fears of life.
It should be no surprise that such a 'Revelation'  of horrific images is seen coming in confessed 'visions' from an author described as all alone and in distress on a forsaken island. He is confronted with a torturing set of real world contradictions and threats. The recent movie  Black  Swan presents a human in similar psychological straights and similar dark images arise( The typical Western audience watches and believes them to be literal and primarily in her outer life.) in her inner struggle to deal with her conflicting natures. Edward, the title  given to this book 'The Revelation' also seems to be an over reach. For are not the gospels also 'revelations of Jesus Christ' and does not Paul's vision constitute a revelation of Jesus?   We should  beware of the archetypes and how they push for dominance in the world of archetypes that surface in our lives. It is a very real thing. They must be questioned by our seemingly weak Ego both for the outlandish  negatives they pour forth as well as their claim for final 'certainty.'  Real life can can be possessed away from us by these monstrous extremes.  Blessings, Jim

Archetypal Images From Book Of Revelation
Response to Second Try!  Dear Edward. Freud alerted us long ago that 'slips of the tongue' are no accident at all. They only speak a truth that we had not 'intended' to speak. So we should listen to them. I appreciate your willingness to apologize but unfortunately ones truth at any moment is for 'certain' part  of ones truth. May I suggest that when we are in the presence of one under the unconscious influence of an archetype we are usually  semi-consciously disturbed by it ourselves. When one of these folks you first describe comes at you loaded, and not realizing it, with a powerful but unconscious archetype it irritates you, frustrates you, and you have the uneasy awareness that nothing you can say and no reason you can give will bring them out from 'under the spell.'  They are unshakable, as unshakable as the archetype that has taken over.  They are possessed by its seductive power and are acting it out. In their mind they are only saying and believing what the Bible says. There it is in front of them.   So that is the reality you are speaking to in the original first paragraph.  And, I think, it is your truth and your experience  when you say the kinds of things you say  in which , to your credit, you acknowledge the overstatements and personal   fantasies such individuals are having. You are right to speak apologetically to them but I think you did mean it when you said it and there is good reason you did.

The more we are aware of being in the presence of one so possessed we are less likely to take on the responsibility of doing battle with their archetype...we never win anyway. And we are left later musing, 'Why in God's world did I say that?'  None of us ever gain anywhere near full control and awareness of the Unconscious, and the archetypes, both negative and positive, it continuously spins to us.  We can only, if we so chose, become more aware. The next time you hear or are in a heated argument remind yourself that one or both parties are  possessed 'again.' For example every unproductive couple argument is a battle of the archetypes being played out on the outside through two individuals.   We have  all  been there , some far more than others. There is nothing more humbling than to do battle with an archetype and lose. We at that moment  know we are not the captain of our own ship. It is a humbling awareness.

At such times we have much in common with Job near the end of his dealings with the powerful and raging Yahweh. Job knows he just may be right in his argument with Yahweh but he is not the most powerful of the two and he also knows that. His is not an easy consciousness to carry but it is an enlightened one. He has witnessed the unspeakable. His response at that point is pictured as 'covering his mouth with his hand.' And the apostle Paul reports having a 'vision' which he 'could share with no man.' Both of these describe experiences where a person 'saw' the unspeakable and decided it was best, for the present, to keep it to themselves. These are also positive examples of a person's Conscious-Ego being strong enough to 'contain the inner archetype' so it does not overwhelm the Ego and  possess the whole mind. It is a major spiritual/psychological victory when a person's ego is  nearly overwhelmed by such a religious archetype but the person's ego manages to not 'act it out in the outside world' or to become severely mentally ill from the encounter. (The Bible has many examples of encounters with  the Archetypal world of the Unconscious. We often fail to see and benefit from  that if we totally literalize the stories.)Would if that were usually the case when the archetypes arrive in human consciousness but it isn't. Usually some level of unconscious possession happens and we say at the least, 'Something has gotten into' such a person. Job nor Paul likely had any therapist or spiritual director in whom they  could confide their  secrets. One can only hope that any person having such an ordeal also be provided a faithful objective human confidant. That is surely what s/he will need.

Blessings good friend. Keep your sense of humor. . Jim


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A gracEmail subscriber says that he hears people refer to the last book of the Bible as "Revelation" and also as "Revelations." Which is correct? Does it really matter? If so, why?
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I wish neither to over-generalize nor to be unkind, but it seems strikingly obvious that Christians who call the book "Revelations" very often fit a particular mold. They attend some evangelical church with decent regularity, think of themselves as serious observers of Last Things (eschatology), do not enjoy or attend Bible studies conducted in their own churches, but become nearly ecstatic over the latest book, conference, or movie that purports to explain the End-time creatures and other dramatic details from the Book of Revelation in terms of the latest-breaking international news.
The book is called “Revelation,” of course—not “Revelations,” as aficionados of the international news approach often call it. The difference involves more than a point of grammar. As the opening words of the Bible’s final book tell us, it is not a collection of assorted revelations or predictions of things to come. No, it is "the revelation of Jesus Christ,” which he sends to his followers in seven towns along the Roman postal route, that reaches all the way from Asia Minor (in modern Turkey) to the Imperial Capital of Rome in faraway Italy, 1300 miles to the West.
More than anything else, these believers need reminding and reassuring. They need someone to remind them exactly who Jesus is--the slaughtered Lamb, risen victorious, waiting at God’s right hand, returning to earth as Lion. They need reminding who Caesar is--certainly not “the Almighty,” as he claims, or even “Lord,” as citizens must periodically confess if they hope to experience their next birthday. These believers also need someone to reassure them that a day is coming when every living soul will know and confess the truth about both men. In short, believers need exactly what they get from this book—the Revelation . . . of Jesus Christ!
Let's Try Again....
A man once read a speech and a critic offered three objections: (1) you read it; (2) you didn't read it well; (3) it was not worth reading. I feel a little like that about the gracEmail a few hours ago which, as early respondents have pointed out, (1) was unkind, (2) was overstated, which (3) weakened the primary point that needed to be made.
I was unkind (please forgive me) and "got carried away" in the first paragraph's description of people who say "Revelations" instead of "Revelation." Many of them simply suffer a slip of the tongue or commit the verbal equivalent of a typographical error. We need to scratch the first paragraph.
The second paragraph made a good point ("Revelation" is "the revelation of Jesus Christ") but I overstated (please forgive me) in saying that "it is not a collection of assorted revelations or predictions of things to come." The opening words of the book go on to say that John is to write "things which must shortly come to pass." Revelation is primarily the revelation of Jesus Christ--but it also includes other revelations.
The above errors weakened my main point, which was correct, and which I stated in the rest of the second paragraph and all the third paragraph. The book is primarily "the revelation of Jesus Christ,” to believers "who need reminding and reassuring" about "exactly who Jesus is . . . [and] who Caesar is . . . [and] that a day is coming when every living soul will know and confess the truth about both men. In short, believers need exactly what they get from this book—the Revelation . . . of Jesus Christ!" Please forget my errors and overstatements--but do remember the main point!

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