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BibleRevelation 4 – 22

Lorin Friesen, January 2016

(All of the scriptural references in this essay are taken from the NASB, because it is usually closest to the original Greek text.)

A follow-up essay on the book of Revelation can be found here. And the sequence that is found in the second half of Revelation also occurs in the book of 1 John.

This essay began as a look at the story of the dragon and the woman in Revelation 12. However, to my surprise, the text kept making sense. Therefore, what follows is a cognitive analysis of Revelation 4 – 22, which includes everything except the numbers and some of the specific names. it was initially inserted in the middle of a look at the first three chapters of Genesis. In order to cut down on file size, it is been placed on a separate webpage. This essay will refer to the concept of mental networks. if this concept is new, an introduction can be found here. In addition, a general knowledge of the different cognitive modules will be assumed, and an introduction to the can be found by clicking on the various terms in the diagram of mental symmetry.

A cognitive analysis of the book of Revelation is important for several reasons. First, I am not aware of any integrated, rational explanation of the book of Revelation. Therefore, if it is possible to use the theory of mental symmetry to interpret this book as a single, connected sequence, then this provides strong evidence that using the theory of mental symmetry to interpret the Bible cognitively is a legitimate form of analysis, especially if other forms of analysis conclude that the text cannot be understood. Second, the book of Revelation is interpreted by most fundamentalists as an orgy of divinely ordained physical violence. This contradicts both the concept of God that has emerged within my mind as I pursue the path of mental wholeness and the concept of God that I acquired through my pacifist Mennonite upbringing. The liberal Mennonite ‘solves’ this contradiction by following tolerance at the expense of biblical content. But I keep finding in my cognitive research that the Bible is a special book that is too clever to have been written by humans, especially by humans from the Roman era—and earlier. Therefore, I am very reluctant to reject the fundamentalist interpretation of Revelation—if that is what the text actually says. That brings me to the third reason. My hypothesis is that the sovereignty of God is expressed as ‘general equations’ that can be satisfied in many different specific ways. This is especially true when dealing with an allegorical book such as Revelation. Thus, if the book of Revelation can be legitimately interpreted in a cognitive manner that avoids excessive physical bloodshed while following the same divine sequence and achieving the same (or better) spiritual results, then one can legitimately pray that God would fulfill this prophecy in a manner that does not require such blatant blood and guts. Such a prayer is doubly valid if the alternative ‘blood and guts’ interpretation lacks coherency. I am not attempting to explain this book away. It has become crystal clear to me over the years that God plays for keeps. However, it has also become crystal clear that the ultimate struggle is not ‘dying for one’s faith’ but rather ‘being transformed by the renewing of the mind’.

Looking at this from a more general perspective, prophetic books such as Revelation tend to be interpreted in one of two ways. If the content is analyzed, then there will be a tendency to interpret everything in physical terms. If the content is spiritualized, then the tendency will be to disregard the content as a collection of vague platitudes. For instance, does Nineveh refer to the real city of Nineveh, or does it describe a worldview? These days, it is primarily American fundamentalist Christians who write books on Revelation, and most of these books interpret prophecy in physical, literal terms. I suggest that this is largely because Americans tend to equate the kingdom of God with the country of America. The Americans are not the first to do this. For instance, when Britain was a world empire, then the British equated the kingdom of God with the British Empire. However, I (and others) suggest that this is a dangerous mindset. One primary danger is that this country will think that spreading the kingdom of God means invading other countries militarily. For instance, from 1707 until the present, “British forces or forces with a British mandate have invaded, had some control over or fought conflicts in 171 of the world's 193 countries that are currently UN member states, or nine out of ten of all countries.” Similarly, “America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776.” This problem is not limited to Christendom. The idea of holy warfare is integral to Islam, and apostasy has historically been punished by execution. More specifically, the goal of ISIS is to trigger a prophetically ordained Apocalypse through violent warfare guided by a fundamentalist interpretation of the Quran.

A cognitive analysis provides a way of interpreting prophecy from a ‘spiritual’ perspective while continuing to respect the content. That is because the theory of mental symmetry provides a map of cognition—a mental landscape of connected mindsets and worldviews into which people and societies can fall. This cognitive map formed within my mind as a result of analyzing cognitive styles. First, I realized that people were not just amorphous blobs of personality but rather could be organized into seven different cognitive styles. Second, as my brother and I looked at the seven cognitive styles in more detail, I realized that people of the same cognitive style varied vastly in levels of maturity. Third, this led to a map of cognitive development, and when I meet a person or encounter a group today, I naturally place them within this cognitive map. As I continue to do research and grow personally, my understanding of this cognitive map also grows. A map of cognitive development may be ‘spiritual’ rather than physical, but it is very solid, because worldviews are extremely difficult to change and they do not emerge randomly but rather follow sequences of cognitive development. This makes it possible to ‘spiritualize’ prophecy while still respecting the content. And a cognitive interpretation does not negate the physical because a worldview will reflect itself in the physical and social structure of a country or culture. But because a cognitive interpretation focuses upon the internal and not the physical, one will not equate God with country but rather realize that every physical country—or physical church—is at best a partial expression of the invisible kingdom of God.

One final point. When one is teaching a new subject, then one must use analogies to convey unfamiliar concepts in familiar ways. John wrote the book of Revelation in a pre-scientific era. Therefore, the only language that he could use was the language of analogy, saying that what he saw was like something with which his audience was familiar. Consistent with this, the word ‘like’ (homoios) appears 45 times in the New Testament, and 21 of these occurrences are in the book of Revelation.

The Dragon and the Woman

The essay on the garden of Eden suggests that the snake in the garden of Eden is a symbol of mysticism, and discusses several biblical references to snakes. The final New Testament reference to the snake is found in chapter 12 of the book of Revelation, and it ties together a number of topics that have been covered in this essay: “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.’ And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth” (Rev. 12:1-16).

We see in this passage a rematch of the encounter between the woman and the snake. However, this rematch does not involve a specific woman and a specific snake but rather symbolizes a general conflict between two worldviews, because the passage begins by saying that ‘a great sign appeared in heaven’ and then adds that ‘another sign appeared in heaven’. The connection with the original encounter in the garden of Eden is established explicitly by the reference to ‘the serpent of old’. The snake is also referred to by other names: ‘the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world’. Satan means ‘adversary’ and devil means ‘slanderer or accuser’. Let us look briefly at these additional terms.

The idea of a dragon is historically curious. On the one hand, as far as we can tell, dragons have never existed. On the other hand, most ancient cultures have concepts of dragons. Why would there be such a widespread ancient belief in a non-existent being? One possibility is that dragons are surviving dinosaurs. Another possibility is that the concept of a dragon is cognitively natural. We have seen that a snake is a visual analog of Teacher overgeneralization. We have also seen that there is a natural drive to use rational thought to try to explain mystical experiences, or to attempt to use the Teacher theory of overgeneralization as a general theory that is applied rationally. That is because Exhorter thought finds a general theory in Teacher thought exciting, which will create a drive to think and talk about this general theory. As a result, many religious and philosophical tomes have been written that attempt to use rational thought to explain the mystical experience. Obviously, using rational thought to analyze irrational thought is an inherent contradiction. That is why one of the common themes in these writings is that too much rational thought ruins the mystical experience. For instance, one author points out that “The term rational is perhaps a bit inappropriate or even misleading when used to describe mystical spirituality. Mystics have often pointed out that the ultimate experience of samadhi, moksha or nirvana transcends the mind and its rationality. These experiences can certainly be studied in a rational and scientific manner. We may try to phrase our findings in a rational way (‘with words’)... but ultimately such a description would only amount to ‘fingers pointing to the moon’.

Visually speaking, a dragon is a large snake that has grown legs and wings. Metaphorically speaking, we have just seen that mystical encounters have a habit of looming large within the mind and growing appendages. This equating of dragons with spirituality is a common thread of dragon mythology. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Dragons are often held to have major spiritual significance in various religions and cultures around the world. In many Asian cultures dragons were, and in some cultures still are, revered as representative of the primal forces of nature, religion and the universe. They are associated with wisdom—often said to be wiser than humans—and longevity. They are commonly said to possess some form of magic or other supernatural power, and are often associated with wells, rain, and rivers.” Notice the various elements of mysticism. Primal force implies a general Teacher theory. Wisdom reminds us of ‘eyes being opened’, while the strange connection with water implies that one is dealing with raw Mercy experiences. Wikipedia adds that “European dragons are more often winged, while Chinese dragons resemble large snakes.” Similarly, Asian culture has traditionally focused directly upon the snake-like mystical theory of oneness, whereas Western mysticism more commonly uses mysticism as a starting point for flying through the air of theory. Finally, Wikipedia says that “European dragons are usually depicted as malevolent under Christianity; pre-Christian dragons, such as Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon of Wales, are seen as benevolent.” In contrast, “In East Asia, the concept of dragon appears largely in a form of a Long, a beneficent dragon-like creature from Chinese folklore.” Similarly, mysticism plays a major role in Eastern thought as well as in many pre-Christian religions, while Christianity replaces the mystical direct experience of God with that of incarnation as an intermediary between man and God, which explains why Christianity would view the dragon as a malevolent being. The connections described in this paragraph are the sort of thing that one would expect if one is dealing with an analogy that is cognitively natural.

Moving on to the label of devil or accuser, I have suggested that mysticism leads to a form of thinking that is amoral. If this is true, then why would the snake morph into an ‘accuser of our brethren’ who ‘accuses them before our God day and night’? While mysticism is amoral with respect to specific content, we also saw that at a universal level mysticism denounces all emotional involvement with the physical world. Similarly, one notices here that the accusation is being directed to the universal being of ‘God in heaven’ and that it is occurring ‘day and night’—or universally. One does not gain the impression that specific thoughts or activities are being addressed but rather that accusation is occurring at a more universal level. These accusations are being directed at Christians as a group of people (‘our brethren’). This relates to the observation made in the previous paragraph that dragons were historically viewed as malevolent creatures within the ‘Christian’ West.

The reason for this becomes apparent if one understands Teacher thought. When two mental networks are triggered at the same time, then each will attempt to impose its structure upon the other. This means that there is only room for one universal theory in Teacher thought, because any general theory that turns into a TMN will generate an emotional drive to impose its explanation upon situations, and the integrity of this mental network will be threatened by any contradictory theories. The most basic Teacher conflict is between content-less overgeneralization and content-full generalization. Should one build general understanding upon facts or upon the absence of facts? Are facts the friend of understanding or the enemy? This conflict becomes more intense when personal emotions are involved. Mysticism does not just use overgeneralization to come up with a Teacher theory of oneness. It also takes the further steps of identifying personally in Mercy thought with this overgeneralization and insisting that this overgeneralization describes the real God. Similarly, Christianity does not just use rational Teacher thought to describe the nature of a universal God. It also takes the further steps of stating that God and man can only be bridged through the content of incarnation, declaring that this incarnation is God, and insisting that one must submit personally to incarnation in order to become reconciled with God. These two approaches are diametrically opposed at a fundamental level. The difference does not involve specific content but rather the general method by which one constructs general Teacher theory and interacts personally with this Teacher understanding. Using religious language, the difference is not at the level of specific doctrine, but rather over the very nature of God and how man interacts with God. One could see why the snake would instinctively accuse the followers of a God of content.

But why would the accuser attack people rather than God? Because mysticism bases universal truth about God upon the personal experience of mysticism: “I felt as if I was unified with the cosmos. Therefore, God is a God of mysticism.” Notice the progression. Teacher thought uses overgeneralization to come up with a theory of oneness. Mercy thought identifies personally with this theory of oneness, leading to a mystical experience. The potent emotions of this mystical experience overwhelm Perceiver thought into knowing that this specific experience defines universal truth. The mystic then believes that the real God is a God of mysticism. (The Christian mystic usually believes that God revealed himself through the content of the Bible. The inherent contradiction between a contentless God and a God of revealed content is then regarded as a paradox, and this paradox is seen as ‘proof’ that God really is incomprehensible. Notice that the mystic is again mentally jumping from ‘I cannot make sense of this paradox’ to ‘The real God is a paradox’. However, if I do not understand, then this does not mean that the topic itself cannot be understood. Instead, the fault could lie with me. But if this is the case, then the method of mysticism is faulty, and admitting this would threaten the core mental networks of mysticism.)

The rational theories of science do not trigger this strong response. That is because science limits its rational understanding to physical reality, and mysticism has already developed a methodology for avoiding the cold, hard facts of reality. The problem arises when rational Teacher understanding is extended to the realm of subjective, because this threatens mysticism on its home turf. Using the Teacher concept of domain, conflicting general theories can manage to coexist if each has its own independent domain, because only one general theory will be triggered at a time. Therefore, objective science can coexist with mysticism because science deals with physical reality while mysticism ignores physical reality, and mysticism deals with subjective feelings which objective science ignores. Christianity, in contrast, states that the non-physical realm is also governed by a God of rational content.

Now let us turn our attention to the woman. One is no longer dealing with an innocent and naïve Eve. Instead, ‘clothed with the sun’ implies a culture that is characterized by the light of Teacher understanding, while ‘the moon under her feet’ implies a mind that is no longer troubled—or deceived—by the lesser lights of reflected glory. What one sees here is not merely female thought as an expression of male thought, as is the case when one goes from the second stage of learning to the third stage, but rather mature female thought as a source for male thought, because the woman is giving birth to a male child. What appears to be happening here is that the third level of learning within some region of existence is being extended to all of existence. The Teacher generalizing is indicated by the fact that the child is ‘caught up to God and to his throne’. And this rational understanding will eventually rule all of personal existence, because the child ‘is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron’. The dragon, with its basis in mysticism, is attempting to squelch the birth of universal rational understanding before it has a chance to become established. Science provides a partial illustration of this sequence, with the woman illustrated by the worldview of Western Christendom. The Christian belief that a rational God had revealed himself to people was one of the primary factors leading to the birth of science, and scientific education is now universally accepted by all cultures as the ruling form of thought—but only over objective reality.

That brings us to the war in heaven between Michael and the dragon. The word Michael means ‘who is like God’, which implies that a battle is being waged in Teacher thought to extend a mental concept of God by using the similarities of normal thought. Eventually, there is no room in Teacher thought for overgeneralization. For instance, when my brother and I began our research, he was naturally driven as a Teacher person to come up with general Teacher theories in areas where my knowledge of Perceiver facts were the weakest. As a Perceiver person, I would then have to learn facts about this new area in order to replace the overgeneralization with legitimate understanding. The very concept of Teacher overgeneralization has now become one facet of the theory of mental symmetry that can be explained rationally by understanding how the mind works. When such a transition occurs, then cognitively speaking, the serpent has been thrown down to Earth. Typically, this is interpreted as replacing the ‘mythical thinking’ of religion with the ‘rational thinking’ of science. However, I am not talking about using technical thought within some specific domain, but rather about using normal thought to integrate the various realms of technical thought. The technical thinking of science covers only the physical domain and it responds to other realms by insisting that they do not exist. When rational thought is limited to the technical thinking of some single domain, then it is only possible to explain some of existence, which leaves the rest of existence still ruled by the Teacher snake of overgeneralization. The extending of rational thought through the unfolding of normal thought provides a cognitive explanation for Jesus giving ‘the keys of the church’ to Peter. Stated briefly, Contributor-controlled technical thought improves understanding within some limited specialization. This limited understanding can then be expanded by using the analogies of normal thought. (Peter was a Perceiver person and Perceiver thought looks for patterns and similarities.)

So far, we have been using metaphorical language. The passage then describes the transition in thinking more directly: “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” This is typically interpreted as physical martyrdom, but I suggest that this interpretation is itself a reflection of the materialistic bias of Western society, because the assumption is that death means physical death. Looking at these three aspects cognitively, there is a rebirth that follows a path of humility, there is verbal understanding backed up by personal application, and there is a willingness to follow this path to completion even if this means that existing core mental networks will fall apart. Speaking from personal experience, I have repeatedly found that my understanding has grown the most when I chose not to protect personal MMNs by ‘standing up for my rights’ but rather viewed unpleasant and unjust situations as an opportunity to learn. In addition, I have come to the conclusion that one will only continue to learn if one does not just pursue abstract theory but can also ‘speak from personal experience’. Finally, I have found that the TMN of a rational understanding combined with the MMNs of Platonic forms provide an alternative emotional source of integration that makes it possible to truly let go of existing core mental networks.

The passage then describes the personal impact of Teacher overgeneralization being replaced by rational Teacher understanding. For Teacher thought and for those who are guided by Teacher thought, the results are emotionally good: ‘For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them.’ However, for those who only have Perceiver facts or who are guided by disconnected MMNs, the result is emotionally disastrous: ‘Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.’ The devil has ‘great wrath’ because the core mental network of mysticism is being threatened and mental networks scream in agony when they are torn apart. The devil has ‘only a short time’ because a threatened mental network does not fall apart instantly but rather takes a short period of time to fragment.

The passage talks twice about ‘the woman being sustained in the wilderness’. The word wilderness does not describe a shifting desert, but rather a desolate, uncultivated, unpopulated place. Cognitively speaking, it is a region of thought that is not governed by MMNs of culture and identity. For instance, I have found that my research continually leads me in a direction that does not lie within any established field of thought but rather ‘falls between the cracks’. I have also noticed that the nature of this wilderness has recently changed. Originally, I was guided primarily by Teacher thought and my primary goal was to build a general Teacher understanding, which corresponds to ‘a place prepared by God’. But for the last few years, my primary goal has been to extend the theory of mental symmetry to cover a broad range of topics, and this has led to a change in the nature of ‘the wilderness’, which has grown from involving just a concept of God to being ‘my place’. This is what happens when the MMNs of personal identity become reborn within the structure of a general Teacher understanding. This is like the difference between studying the laws of nature and living in a technological society that has been transformed by applying the laws of nature. And when a general Teacher theory is expanded to include many aspects of reality, then ‘God’ becomes replaced by ‘the wings of a great eagle’. In other words, Teacher understanding grows from being simply an abstract theory to being a powerful force guided by Teacher understanding that is capable of generating massive paradigm shifts.

We have seen that there is both a historical and cognitive connection between the serpent and water. One also sees this in this passage: “And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.” This relates to the passage in the sermon on the Mount about asking for bread and receiving a snake. Cognitively speaking, Perceiver thought can be overwhelmed by potent emotional experiences, and one sees here that a form of thinking that is based in the absence of Perceiver facts is trying to use a flood of disconnected Mercy experiences to overwhelm Perceiver thought. However, “the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.” In other words, this flood of disconnected Mercy experiences is being placed within the solid ground of Perceiver thought. Instead of being overwhelmed by Mercy emotions, Perceiver thought is categorizing and analyzing the Mercy experiences. The end result is a bridgehead of rational thought within the subjective. Before, mysticism and Teacher overgeneralization ruled the core of thought. That describes today’s world of objective science and technology. Here we see the dragon accepting the existence of the woman within her domain: “So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” The fundamental emotional struggle between the dragon and the woman remains. However, the woman now has her own place and the dragon is leaving the woman alone, which implies that mature female thought is resident within at least some aspect of the subjective. The dragon now attacks those who follow rational thought in an indirect and fragmented manner. First, the dragon attacks those who ‘have the commandments of God’ (the Greek word is echonton, which means to hold or have). This describes the fundamentalist, who holds onto the commandments of God but is not guided by a general Teacher theory of God. Second, the dragon attacks those who ‘hold to the testimony of Jesus’. Here we see a mindset that uses Server thought to follow the example of Jesus, rather than being guided by general Teacher understanding. One can see this mindset in Catholicism as well as illustrated by the pragmatic approach of Dallas Willard.

The First Beast

(The follow-up essay contains a more general discussion of the two beasts.)

That brings us to the next chapter, which is Revelation 13: “And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?’ There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven” (Rev. 13:1-6).

Notice how the dragon has now shifted from the ‘sea’ of raw Mercy experiences to a ‘seashore’ of fragmented Perceiver facts. In addition, a beast comes out of the sea of raw Mercy experiences. A beast is not just a Teacher overgeneralization that has grown appendages but rather a legitimate Teacher theory. However, this general understanding lacks intelligence. Hence, a beast and not a person. The juxtaposition of two beasts that one finds here seems to correspond to what is called the ‘blasphemy against the Holy Spirit’, which is analyzed in chapter 10 of Natural Cognitive Theology. Summarizing, a mental concept of the Holy Spirit is based in Platonic forms that are the indirect result of a general Teacher understanding. Therefore, an understanding of ‘how things work’ makes it possible to come up with internal images of how things could work, as well as how things could work better for me. One sees this all the time with modern technology. Science learns about natural processes, technology uses this understanding to come up with new ways of doing things, and then some inventor uses this new technology to come up with new-and-improved gadgets for people. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit occurs when some transformation occurs, the benefits of this transformation are recognized, and then this partial transformation is treated as the servant of childish identity and anyone who suggests that further transformation is possible is verbally attacked. For instance, we all know that modern technology can be used to generate new and improved weapons. But the rational thought that is being used to make weapons more intelligent is not being used to make human minds more intelligent. Instead, those who suggest that rational thought should be applied to identity and culture are usually denounced as being judgmental and ridiculed as naïve. But if it is good to use an understanding of ‘how the world works’ to transform our devices, then it should be even better to use an understanding of how the mind works to transform our personal relationships. This combination of 1) partial transformation 2) that serves childish identity 3) reinforced by verbally attacking anyone who suggests the possibility of further transformation, defines blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Turning now to Revelation 13, notice that rebirth figures prominently in the thinking of the beast: ‘I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed’. However, this rebirth is limited to one of the heads. There is clearly partial transformation but not total transformation. Instead, what guides most of the thinking of the beast is blasphemy: ‘On his heads were blasphemous names’. This partial transformation leads to a global emotional attraction: ‘the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast’. This is precisely what one sees with modern technology (which began in about the 1880s in what could be called the consumer revolution). One of the primary principles of the consumer revolution is that new technology makes old technology obsolete, and developing new technology requires rebirth. But what is being reborn is not people or culture but rather gadgets. This continual flow of amazing new gadgets now drives the entire globe. The beast is described as ‘like a leopard’, which implies speed. This accurately describes the pace of technological transformation. The ‘mouth of a lion’ suggests a roaring speech of power and domination, which characterizes modern technology with its grandiose claims. Finally, ‘the feet of a bear’ implies that progress is marked by a savage brutality, which one also typically finds in the competitive environment of modern technology.

Let us look now at the interaction between the dragon and the beast. The dragon is delegating authority to the beast, the dragon is being worshiped because it has delegated this authority, while the beast is being worshiped because of its ability to wage war. One can clearly see this sort of relationship in the first world war. (This is discussed in chapter 14 of Natural Cognitive Theology.) As historians have pointed out, World War I was the first technological war. For instance, this war saw the rise of the tank, the submarine, the airplane, and the radio. During this period, technology achieved great status primarily because it could be used to develop potent weapons. But technology does not rule society. Instead, the ruling establishment gives authority to science and technology and the success of technology enhances the status of the ruling authority. For instance, World War I was both caused and controlled by the kings and generals who wanted to fight for dominance. This ruling class was firmly in charge. However, this ruling class gave authority to technology because technology was so effective at waging war. And while the first world war may have led to the downfall of many traditional empires, the idea of a ruling elite definitely survived the Great War intact, and it was only after the second world war that the idea of submitting to warmongering dictators was questioned. In other words, the ruling elite were worshiped because they delegated authority to the March of Scientific Progress. And one of the primary casualties of this period was traditional belief in God as well as the path of following God. After all, who needs a God when scientific progress can deliver such amazing improvements. Notice that this combination is given a specific period of time. Similarly, the first world war added modern technology to traditional warmongering government, while the second world war brought an end to open warmongering. When atomic bombs can destroy the entire world, then open full-scale warfare is no longer an option.

One of the results of the first world war was the communist revolution in Russia. Communism is also an expression of the beast because it believed that people and society would be transformed if workers gained control of technology—or in communist language, if ‘the proletariat seized the means of production’. And many communist regimes tried to maintain a permanent state of war-like revolution, illustrating the connection between the beast and warfare.

Continuing with this passage: “It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints” (Rev. 13:7-10). Notice that this characteristic is distinct from the one that we have just discussed: ‘it was also given to him’. The ‘beast’ of modern technology currently has authority over ‘all who dwell on the earth’. In some cases, technology is used to take people captive either physically or emotionally. In other cases, technology is used to wage warfare and kill people. The modern scientific mindset guides Perceiver facts and Server sequences while the motivation comes from worshiping the system. Consistent with this, I have found repeatedly over the years that people may act and think in ways that are logical and rational, but the underlying motivation inevitably involves ‘selling one’s soul’ to some corporation, government, union, or ideology. In other words, it appears that all who ‘dwell on earth worship the beast’. In order to escape this mindset of ‘worshiping the system’, one must think in terms of eternal principles rather than temporal gain (‘name written from the foundation of the world’), one must pursue an understanding that is based in life and not just gadgets and personal status (‘book of life’), and one must choose not to seek personal dominance but rather be willing to experience personal rebirth (‘the lamb who has been slain’). Speaking from personal experience, I have tried for many years to follow these principles, and while I enjoy modern gadgets, I have also managed to avoid ‘selling my soul to the system’. Following this path has required both perseverance and faith. And a major aspect of this is being willing to listen to the Teacher words and theories of others (‘let him hear’). That is because the primary problem is not a lack of Teacher understanding, but rather that Teacher understanding is being applied incompletely.

One peripheral point before we continue. I suggested earlier that the snake represents the mysticism that comes from Teacher overgeneralization, while here I am implicitly associating the dragon with a ruling elite. I suggest that these two share common underlying cognitive characteristics, because in both cases one finds a direct connection between personal identity and Teacher universality. Mysticism is based in the idea that ‘I am God’, jamming together Mercy identity with a Teacher concept of cosmic unity. Similarly, the underlying assumption of the ruling elite is that their personal feelings embody the desires of the country as a whole. One saw this connection made explicitly in the case of Louis XIV, who declared ‘l’état, c’est moi’, or I am the state. Saying this more clearly, for the mystic, me in Mercy thought = God in Teacher thought, while for a ruling elite, me in Mercy thought = the state in Teacher thought. In both cases, the leap from personal to universal is occurring emotionally and not rationally. A ruling elite does not seek the opinions of the people. Instead, the dictatorial ruler jumps directly from ‘what I want’ to ‘what is good for the state’. One also finds in both cases a mindset that is driven quite strongly by childish MMNs as well as being rather impervious to Perceiver facts or rational thought. For instance, Sonntag makes the following comments about von Hötzendorf, the Austro Hungarian military leader who started World War I: “Conrad traced the development of mankind through the ‘struggle for existence’, from early ‘hordes’ to later peoples and nationalities. ‘In order to persist in the struggle for existence, small national states and small nationalities joined together to defend their interests in a common struggle, either in temporary or in enduring alliances.’ Through this device, Conrad, like Gumplowicz and Ratzenhofer, reconciled basic Darwinian assumptions with the existence and survival of Austria-Hungary... Conrad asserted that ‘the recognition of the struggle for existence as the basic principle of all events on this earth is the only real and rational basis for policymaking’... The passage of time has made Conrad’s aggressive fatalism appear strange, if not insane. In an age of overheated nationalism, in which the military men of Europe habitually express themselves in apocalyptic Darwinian language, such views were common, but also particularly ill-suited to a leading general serving a state as vulnerable as Austria-Hungary. Yet Conrad had plenty of company within his own army.” stated bluntly, Conrad regarded being driven by childish MMNs as the only ‘rational basis for policymaking’, his mindset was shared by many of the ruling elite of his era, and rational thinkers today conclude that this thinking was ‘strange, if not insane’. Looking at this cognitively, if one takes the cognitive assumptions of mysticism, turns it into a guiding philosophy, and then uses this mindset within the real world, then one ends up with the sort of insanity that characterized von Hötzendorf and his fellows. Stating this symbolically, if one adds appendages to the serpent and has the serpent stand on the seashore, then one ends up with the sort of insanity that characterizes a ruling elite. I am not suggesting that everyone who was in charge at that time was insane. But I am suggesting that this kind of insanity defined the norm, and I am also suggesting that the concept of a ruling elite carries with the same irrational assumptions that one finds inherent in mysticism.

Notice the implicit effect that the woman has had upon the dragon. In the previous chapter, the dragon was trying to prevent rational thought from emerging. Here, the dragon is taking advantage of rational thought. For instance, the ruling elite in the first world war were not responsible for the development of technology, and most of these leaders were probably technologically illiterate. The same is true of most political—and corporate—leaders today. But a ruling elite excels at using emotional manipulation to hijack science and technology for its own aims.

Looking at this more generally, the phrase ‘she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne’ in 12:5 is viewed by theologians as a reference to Jesus the incarnation. I suggest that this is an accurate statement, but what is missing is the idea of Jesus being ‘caught up to heaven’. If heaven represents living in Teacher thought, then being ‘caught up to God and his throne’ means approaching Contributor incarnation from the viewpoint of abstract Teacher thought. When one takes this perspective, then one realizes that science, with its interaction between math and natural process, is a partial expression of Contributor incarnation. I do not mean this in some sort of vague handwaving manner. Instead, Contributor thought within the mind naturally splits into the two fragments of abstract technical thought and concrete technical thought. The internal struggle involved in bridging these two halves of Contributor-controlled technical thought corresponds in detail to the description of incarnation given in the Bible. In addition, this same bridging of abstract technical thought with concrete technical thought occurs in science with the overlap between math and the study of natural processes. This is described in detail in chapters 8 and 12 of Natural Cognitive Theology. Saying this more succinctly, science is a partial expression of Contributor incarnation being caught up to heaven, but science does not recognize this because science suppresses the subjective. Theology, in contrast, talks about Jesus the incarnation being caught up to heaven, but it leaves heaven and God largely undefined. For the typical theologian, incarnation means an unknown and incomprehensible God revealing himself through the human form of Jesus, which describes incarnation coming down from heaven to earth. I am unaware of any theological work that actually defines the other direction of incarnation being caught up from Earth to heaven. However, Paul explicitly states that he used to take the fleshly perspective of focusing upon Jesus the man, but now he focuses upon Jesus the incarnation of God. And Paul says that this new perspective leads to personal and cosmic transformation: “Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:16-19).

Applying this to the current passage, I suggest that the general process is as follows: The ‘woman’ of Christendom (by this I mean a worldview that believes and feels that God is a rational being who reveals himself through the content of incarnation) gives birth to incarnation as an abstract concept. If the woman has her own place—a worldview that explicitly regards God as rational, universal, and personal, then this aspect of human existence becomes immune to the machinations of the dragon. When a ruling elite attempts to manipulate the opinions of such a group (or worldview), then people see through the deception and are not manipulated by overgeneralization, emotional associations, or doublespeak. I am not suggesting that the beast is technology. That is because I am not certain that we are currently going through a full-blown version of what is described in Revelation 12 – 13. However, whatever the beast is, I suggest that it will be like today’s emphasis upon technology, and that one can understand the nature of this beast by looking at the way that technology is currently treated.

Looking at this generally, if core mental networks are not guided by a rational concept of God and incarnation, then a ruling elite can use emotional tricks to manipulate people into using a partial understanding of science and technology to worship the dragon. This principle has always been true, and it will become most evident when the beast is fully revealed. Some current examples of a ruling elite hijacking technology are entertainment, which uses high-tech special effects to titillate childish mental networks, the military-industrial complex, which uses high-tech weapons to destroy people, and media, which uses global telecommunications to manipulate social opinion. The seeker-friendly church would also qualify, because it uses high-tech sound and light to manipulate religious feelings. I am not suggesting that everyone in these fields worships the dragon. However, I am suggesting that ‘the children of the woman’ who follow God at the secondary level of ‘keeping God’s commandments’ or ‘following the example of Jesus’ are emotionally vulnerable to being manipulated by the dragon. If one wishes to become emotionally free of this manipulation, then one must follow God at the deeper level of having both an abstract rational concept of God in Teacher thought and a personal relationship with God in Mercy thought.

The Second Beast

Moving on, the first beast is then followed by a second beast. This gets a little complicated because there are now three animals: the dragon, the first beast, and the second beast. Quoting from Revelation 13: “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life” (Rev. 13:11-15).

The first beast came out of the ocean. This second beast comes out of the earth. This implies that rational thought plays a much stronger role in the second beast, and that it does not have its source in the MMNs of culture and identity as does the first beast. Similarly, new institutions and mindsets emerged after World War II that had their basis in the rule of law and not the imposition of personal MMNs. One sees this, for instance, in the United Nations, in the European Union, or more recently in the various free trade agreements that have been signed between nations. This new beast acts like a lamb but speaks like a dragon. On the one hand, one no longer sees belligerent nationalism and blatant racism. Instead, there is an effort to achieve peace and avoid warfare, to reach consensus rather than open conflict. On the other hand, the underlying motivation is typically the idea that ‘we are all one’, which is a form of the overgeneralization of mysticism. One can also see this in religious circles in the ecumenical movement, which strives to reduce religious conflict and unite all religions under the common theme that ‘we are all one and theological differences are of secondary importance’. This too is an example of combining Teacher overgeneralization with the suppression of Perceiver facts. The Olympics are also an illustration of the second beast, because Teacher overgeneralization turns an international sporting event into a ‘celebration of global unity’. However, the Russian 2014 Winter Olympics made it clear that there is only a tenuous connection between these two, because within one month of celebrating the ‘new Russia’ with the most expensive Winter Olympics ever, Putin demonstrated the old Russia by invading and annexing the Crimea. One year later, the Olympic Park in Sochi lies largely abandoned.

This new message of global oneness is only possible because of the global infrastructure that has been built using technology. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, the globe has been contracted into a village by electric technology and the instantaneous movement of information from every quarter to every point at the same time. Saying this symbolically, the second beast of global unity can only exercise authority in the presence of the first beast of technology. Notice that technology (the first beast) is still being worshiped in this kinder and gentler version of global domination, but the emphasis now is even more strongly upon the idea of rebirth. That is because in today’s society, any high-tech company that becomes too large and inflexible will eventually go out of business and be replaced by more agile companies. In order to survive, a company must continually remake itself. But, as before, the rebirth involves primarily gadgets and companies and not people. (The theory of mental symmetry does not fit within the corporate culture because it goes beyond rebuilding companies to rebuilding personal existence.) Saying this symbolically, the second beast causes everyone to worship the first beast of technological progress-through-rebirth.

This message of unity can also be seen in communism as well as in its kinder and gentler version of socialism. The basic concept of commune-ism is that private property should be abolished and wealth redistributed so that everyone has the same. Saying this cognitively, Perceiver facts of individuality and ownership should be eliminated in order to promote Teacher overgeneralization. This same mindset can also be found in communist central planning, which used Teacher overgeneralization to come up with ‘central plans’ that ignore any Perceiver facts that distinguish one situation from another, one landscape and climate from another, or one person from another.

‘Fire down out of heaven to the earth’ implies that Teacher understanding is affecting the human realm of facts and sequences in major emotional ways. I suggest that one could legitimately use this phrase to describe the emotional impact that computers have had upon society. Computers are based heavily in the realm of abstract Teacher thought, and the technology that is required to produce integrated circuits is almost heavenly in its purity, perfection, and dependence upon integrated Teacher understanding. Through the Internet, the personal computer, and the smart phone, computers have totally overturned existing motivation with a new fire of energy, drive, and excitement. Notice again how the second beast is performing these signs in the presence of the first beast. Applying this to computers, the ‘fire from heaven’ requires the technology of the first beast—it can only be performed in the presence of the first beast, but it is guided by the philosophy of global unity—we all belong to one global village. For instance, technology makes it possible to build and interconnect computers, but the philosophy of oneness provides the motivation for building an Internet. This juxtaposition ‘deceives those who dwell on the earth’, because people are fooled into thinking that technology combined with the idea of oneness is sufficient to bring world peace and prosperity. It is interesting to note that the NSA also thinks that technology combined with oneness will preserve world peace and ‘protect the world from terrorism’. That is because its primary slogan is ‘collect it all’. In other words, global surveillance may claim to be guided by a desire to ‘catch terrorists’ but it is actually motivated by the Teacher overgeneralization of the second beast.

However, world peace will only be achieved if the rational thinking of technology is also applied internally to the human person and if global oneness is built upon a foundation of internal and societal wholeness. Instead, the general feeling since World War II has been that any problem can be solved through the rebirth provided by new technology (though this confidence is starting to fade).

Looking at this more generally, the passage specifically talks about ‘the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life’. We saw earlier that technology used to be respected because of the impact that it had upon warfare. This is no longer the primary motivation. Instead, the beast has been cured of its ‘wound of the sword’. What drives technology now is not primarily military application but the consumer society. Similarly, what excites the average person today is not high-tech weapons but rather high-tech gadgets. (The military may have some very high-tech weapons, but this does not capture the imagination of the average person.) Going further, many technologists now predict a coming event known as ‘the singularity’, when artificial intelligence will reach a stage where it exceeds human intelligence. In other words, within a few more decades the beast of technology will in some way ‘come to life’.

Continuing with Revelation 13, “And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six” (Rev. 13:11-18). The first beast excelled at warfare. The second beast exerts economic power. The type of total economic control described in these verses is now possible through the global infrastructure of modern telecommunications. Notice that MMNs of identity and culture are no longer in charge. Instead, what rules is a global system that applies equally to all individuals. The result is a beast that uses technical thought to simulate humanity. The beast has a number, and numbers imply technical thought. The number is ‘that of a man’, which implies that technical thought is being used to simulate the human mind. In modern language, this is known as artificial intelligence. (The typical interpretation of this passage focuses on the number ‘666’. Such a focus indicates that technical thought is being used to analyze the passage. However, what is being described in these chapters is not technical thought but rather a sequence in which core mental networks are being transformed.)

Technology began as an application of scientific thought. When enough technology is applied, then this creates a concrete image of technological thought, and this concrete expression of technology will lead to an implicit general Teacher theory. Cognitively speaking, the image of the beast will start speaking. Looking at current society, it is now very difficult to live in a manner that does not submit to the physical expression of technological thought.

Turning to the mark on the right hand, I have found that it makes neurological sense when Jesus refers to the right or left hand in the Gospels. Using this logic, a mark on the right hand signifies something that affects Server thought, because Server thought resides within the left hemisphere, which controls the right half of the body. A mark on the forehead would signify how one thinks. Putting this together, the technological mindset imposes itself either upon a person’s thinking or upon the Server actions of a person. The one who has the mark of the beast either thinks in a certain manner or acts in a certain manner, and this type of mindset is increasingly required to carry out both physical and intellectual commerce within today’s world. For instance, what matters in academia is primarily methodology—the way that one thinks and the way that one does science. If one discovers important facts but does not follow a methodology that worships the materialistic mindset of modern technology, then these important facts will probably be ignored, and one will be excluded from intellectual commerce. I know from personal experience that this is the case, even within academic institutions that claim to be Christian.

Looking at this in more detail, the initial complaint was that my writing lacked academic rigor, and so I tightened up the rigor and presented several papers at academic conferences. Another complaint was that my writing lacked references, and so I have added numerous references to the latest book. Another complaint was that the material was insufficiently connected with Christianity, and so I extended the cognitive model to include the core aspects of Christian doctrine. Similarly, some have complained that I do not include enough Scripture references, and so I have rectified that through essays such as this one. Others complained that the model was too religious, and so I extended it to include a philosophy of science and analyzed a number of papers written on language and culture. Another complaint was that the theory lacked empirical evidence, and so the latest book contains 70 pages of detailed analysis of recent neurological papers. It has now reached the point where most other books that I read appear inadequate and non-rigorous. Despite this, I find that the typical response continues to be characterized by an initial interest followed by a distinct lack of curiosity. Having eliminated all other possibilities, the only remaining alternative is that a rational analysis of subjective is deeply inconsistent with the core mental networks of society, which means that society is currently ruled by the sort of beasts described in this passage. This does not mean that today’s society is currently at the stage of Revelation 13 with its beasts. That is because an implicit mental network is different than an explicit one. One can see from the examples that modern society is implicitly driven by the dragon and the two beasts described in Revelation 13. But these core mental networks remain implicit as long as no alternative exists. However, if a rational universal theory of the subjective were to emerge, and if this universal theory became widely known, then people would become consciously aware of the beast-like mental networks that motivated society and would have to consciously choose to continue worshiping the beast or follow the new alternative.

As far as I can tell, the theory of mental symmetry has now matured to the point where it is intellectually capable of challenging the beast. However, this battle will only occur if the theory of mental symmetry cannot be ignored or silenced, and so far it has been successfully silenced (which in retrospect is a good thing, because a half-baked theory of the subjective would probably do more harm than good, as illustrated by Bill Gothard’s psychological/fundamentalist approach, which is also based upon Romans 12 spiritual gifts.) We will see later that Revelation 12 is preceded by Revelation 10, in which a universal theory of the subjective emerges, and Revelation 11, in which ‘the two messengers’ succeed in imposing this universal theory upon the general population. This imposition leads to a polarization that turns the implicit beasts explicit. However, while society at large has not experienced these beasts explicitly, I personally have, because I have explicitly tried to develop and follow a universal rational understanding of the subjective, and this journey has brought me face-to-face with these beasts. However, as long as I do not impose my integrated understanding of the subjective upon others, I can interact socially. I should mention that I did not begin my research with some grand plan to ‘fight the beast’. Instead, both the nature and extent of the beast, as well as the power and generality of the theory of mental symmetry, gradually became apparent as research progressed. Each time I discovered a new facet of the theory, attempted to share the theory, and was silenced, this raised the stakes, until I eventually found myself struggling with core issues of personal growth and societal motivation.

Returning now to the second beast, it is interesting to note that the dragon is not mentioned in the section on the second beast. However, one gains the impression that the dragon is still present, pulling strings behind the scene. Similarly, there is considerable evidence to suggest that the world is still being guided by a ruling elite. However, this ruling class tries very hard to maintain a low profile, and to place the iron fist of domination within the velvet glove of a consumer society.

I have suggested in other essays that the process of personal transformation goes through three stages: using truth to form a concept of God, following a concept of God in righteousness, and being reborn within a structure held together by a concept of God. The scientific revolution is a partial expression of the first stage, the Industrial Revolution is a partial expression of the second stage, and the consumer revolution is a partial expression of the third stage. The two beasts discussed in Chapter 13 can be seen as a hijacking of the consumer society. This becomes obvious when one looks at the first world war. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Total war demanded total mobilization of all the nation’s resources for a common goal. Manpower had to be channeled into the front lines (all the powers except the United States and Britain had large trained reserves designed just for that). Behind the lines labor power had to be redirected away from less necessary activities that were luxuries during a total war. In particular, vast munitions industries had to be built up to provide shells, guns, warships, uniforms, airplanes, and a hundred other weapons both old and new. Agriculture had to be mobilized as well, to provide food for both civilians and for soldiers.” A similar hijacking occurred with people. For instance, most of Britain’s professional army died at the beginning of the war. These professional soldiers were replaced by what became known as Lord Kitchener’s army, composed of almost 2 1/2 million British men, mainly well-educated individuals from the middle class, who volunteered to serve as soldiers. Kitchener’s army received its baptism of fire in the meat grinder of the battle of the Somme (over 1 million men were wounded or killed in this five-month battle). As this website says, “The Battle of the Somme was fought principally by the soldiers of Lord Kitchener’s ‘New Army’. These were just ordinary men from all walks of life united by their resolve to put the Germans in their place. They were almost half a million strong, entirely volunteers, and hardly any of them had been in uniform for more than 23 months. At best they were half trained.” Thus, the cream of the crop, cognitively speaking, was turned into cannon fodder. There is not much difference between Lord Kitchener’s army and the killing fields of Cambodia or the purges of Stalin, because they all wiped out an entire generation of educated individuals through government decree.

The standard Protestant Christian interpretation is that the chapters that we have just examined describe The Great Tribulation, in which God judges the antichrist along with anyone who receives ‘the number of the beast’. As a result, Christians groups have rebelled vigorously against any suggestion of a cashless society based in implanted chips. I suggest that this concern is warranted, because many forms of abuse become possible when commerce can be controlled by a central source. However, I also suggest that current society is heading through a great tribulation but not the great tribulation. That is because recent history only provides a partial illustration of the process of societal transformation. As I suggested before, ‘the woman clothed with the sun’ might refer to Western Christendom, the birth of science could be viewed as a ‘male child caught up to heaven’, while ‘the women being delivered to her place’ might describe the Protestant Reformation. However, the correspondence is rather tenuous, which means that the resulting backlash from the dragon is also incomplete. History suggests that a similar partial expression occurred with the birth of science. Science could have emerged before the time of Christ in the city of Alexandria. However, it did not but rather was birthed almost two millennia later during the scientific revolution. Similarly, if the present path of history continues, then theory predicts that our civilization will go through a great tribulation that attacks the dragon while the next civilization will go through the great tribulation that conquers the dragon. (We will see later that Revelation 4 – 9 appears to be describing the first unsuccessful attempt to attack the dragon.) The other option is to carry out Revelation 12 in a more complete manner in order to provoke a more extended version of Revelation 13. Theory predicts that this might be possible. This hope currently provides one the primary motivations for my research. Imagine all of the personal suffering that could have been averted if science had emerged in Alexandria, because Jesus could have become incarnate in a society that already knew how to use abstract rational thought. Using religious language, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” (John 3:12). If science had emerged in Alexandria, then Jesus could have spoken to people like Nicodemus of heavenly things and they would have understood. Similarly, I think that massive human suffering can be avoided if a more complete transformation can be achieved before the current civilization collapses.

Looking at this more generally, I suggest that ‘the great tribulation’ can be viewed both as a description of cognitive principles that apply at all times, as well as a reference to a specific period of time in which society as a whole experiences a great tribulation. On the one hand, the world is currently governed by a mindset that can be characterized by the dragon and the beasts, and this inadequate mindset will have to be overthrown during some period of time. On the other hand, people in all societies face the temptation to ‘sell their soul to the system’ either by submitting blindly to the methodology of the system or by swallowing blindly the philosophy of the system. Cognitively speaking, these people have a mark of the beast on their right hand or their forehead, and such blind submission to the system is mentally and spiritually destructive no matter when and where it occurs. And as long as the external world functions in a manner that is independent of human thought, it is possible to have a mark of the beast, because external structure can then substitute for internal content.

I should emphasize that both scientific methodology and rigorous thought are good and helpful. Instead, the problem lies with scientism, which accepts only empirical evidence and which only acknowledges information that has been gathered in an approved manner and published through official channels. Similarly, business and technology are also good and helpful. The problem lies when pursuing some objective bottom line or producing new gadgets becomes the only valid form of business. When one pursues objective gain while ignoring personal growth, then one is worshiping the beast. (We will see later that this combination defines the whore of Babylon.)

(Note from November 2016. After looking at Matthew 24, I realized that the only time that the word tribulation occurs in Revelation 4-22 is in Revelation 7:14. The term Great Tribulation is used when describing the first sequence of Revelation 6-9, but it is not used when talking about the dragon and the two beasts. This implies that we are currently entering into the Great Tribulation and that another label needs to be used to describe Revelation 13. This makes sense if one remembers that the word tribulation means primarily squeezing and not suffering. I suggest that Revelation 7 and Revelation 13 are describing similar situations, but with a different emphasis. Whenever the focus is upon objective technical thought, then the subjective void will be filled by ‘selling one’s soul’ in some way to the system. In Revelation 7, the explicit focus is upon technical specialization, leading to The Great Squeezing, while selling one’s soul occurs implicitly, generally starting as a mere formality and taking several years to work its way into the core of personal identity. In Revelation 13, objective technical thought is still being emphasized, because the focus is upon economic control. However, ‘selling one’s soul’ is now occurring explicitly, because no one is being allowed to buy or sell without the mark of the beast. This change in emphasis occurs because the proclamation of Revelation 11 has drawn people’s attention to the importance of the subjective.)

Mount Zion

Revelation 14 begins “Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless” (Rev. 14:1-5).

If earth represents a mental landscape of Perceiver facts and Server sequences, then a mountain would be mental content held together by a general Teacher theory, because one can see the entire landscape from the top of a mountain. This interpretation is reinforced by the idea of the name of the lamb and the name of the lamb’s Father written on the foreheads of a group of people. A name is a Teacher label (Teacher thought uses words) that describes a person. Applying this name to a forehead implies that the Teacher label guides thinking. Notice that two names are involved: The name of God the Father (a universal Teacher theory) and God the Son (incarnation in the form of a lamb). The idea of being guided by a general Teacher theory is further enforced by ‘a voice from heaven’, and the universal nature of this theory is seen in the ‘sound of many waters’. Teacher thought works with sequences, and we have compared Teacher overgeneralization with the ‘string’ of a snake. A harp uses many strings to produce an integrated sound, and the passage talks about ‘many harpist playing on their harps’. Combining the sound of many strings to produce an integrated song is quite different than taking one string and treating it as a universal theory (which is literally being done when one chants the syllable ‘om’). This integrated approach becomes possible when one uses Contributor incarnation to bridge Mercy identity with Teacher understanding.

This group sings a new song. A song is speech with melody. Speech involves Teacher thought while tone and melody are interpreted by Mercy thought. (A melody can be interpreted cognitively as personal identity going on a journey away from home and then returning back home. (This is a reasonably common interpretation in music theory.) What is significant is that a group of people is singing a new song before the throne of God which the others before the throne cannot learn. Thus, we are dealing with a paradigm shift expressed as a new form of personal existence. This is not just a new theory, but a new song. The scene of worship before the throne of God was described in Revelation 4, which portrays endless worship before God. Such ceaseless worship implies a mindset that is guided by the religious attitude, with its self-denial, fervor, and transcendence. (A video explanation of the religious attitude can be found here.) The new group described in Revelation 14 is interrupting the Revelation 4 worship by singing a new song that the existing worshipers are incapable of learning. Using cognitive language the new group is approaching God using the Teacher perspective that was described in the previous paragraph, while the existing group is approaching God from the Mercy perspective of personal status, which leads to the religious attitude with its endless worship. This new group has been ‘purchased from the earth’, which tells us that a cost is involved. Anyone who has struggled to construct a general understanding and attempted to hold on to this understanding in the midst of emotional pressure knows what this cost involves.

This group is described as ‘virgins who have not been defiled with women’. The term ‘virgin’ is unusual because in normal Greek it is used with a feminine ending to indicate a woman, while this passage uses the masculine plural ending, which implies a mindset that is ‘virginal’. Female thought emphasizes emotions and mental networks, and the snake and the dragon also function at the level of motivation and core mental networks. A virginal mindset that ‘is not defiled with women’ implies a person who has not ‘sold his soul to the system’ by building his mind around flawed mental networks. I suggest that we are dealing here with something that is different than original sin. Original sin describes the MMNs that the mind of the child naturally acquires through embodiment. Here we are looking at being defiled by female thought. In terms of the three stages of learning, original sin describes corruption at the first stage of learning. Because of this initial corruption, the student needs to be re-taught with revealed content. Being defiled with women implies corruption at the third stage of learning, in which one has become an expert at acting and thinking in a corrupted manner.

This new group no longer passively worships God but rather actively follows the lamb wherever he goes. Teacher overgeneralization suppresses Perceiver thought. In contrast, these individuals combine Perceiver honesty with Teacher words, because ‘no lie was found in their mouth’. Finally, these individuals are described as ‘first fruits to God and to the lamb’, telling us that they are a starting point for using incarnation to bridge Mercy identity with Teacher understanding. This starting point will then be extended in the following chapters.

The Three Angels

The implications of this new Teacher understanding are described in the next few verses: “And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.’ And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.’ Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. ‘And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.’ Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Rev. 14:6-12).

An angel is a person who lives within the realm of Teacher words (the word angel means messenger). An angel flying in midheaven implies a theory that is being applied to human experiences. The first angel proclaims a universal theory (‘an eternal gospel’) that applies to all MMNs of identity and culture (‘every nation and tribe and tongue and people’). The content of this theory is that the TMN of a universal concept of God has power over MMNs of culture and identity (‘fear God and give him glory’) and this TMN is about to impose its structure upon MMNs of culture and identity (‘the hour of his judgment has come’). This universal TMN rules over Teacher thought (‘heaven’), Perceiver and Server content (‘earth’), raw Mercy experiences (‘sea’) and motivational sources of Mercy experiences (‘springs of water’).

The second angel declares that ‘Babylon the great is fallen’. I mentioned earlier that Babylon straddled the river Euphrates, which traditionally divides East from West. (This interpretation can be seen in Revelation 16:12: “the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.”) My hypothesis is that Babylon is based upon a juxtaposition of Eastern mysticism with Western rational thought. (This juxtaposition is described in more detail in this video segment.) Such a juxtaposition was the theme of Revelation 13, and one can see that the first angel’s message of a universal rational theory would lead to the downfall of Babylon.

The third angel warns that a universal concept of God will bring major emotional pain to anyone who has submitted their mind to the juxtaposition of Babylon. Saying this more personally, the global trend today is to function rationally when dealing with science and technology while being motivated by irrational MMNs and overgeneralized TMNs. A concept of God naturally forms when the TMN of a general understanding applies to the MMNs of personal identity. The mental concept of a universal rational God will bring feelings of divine wrath to a mind that is split between irrational subjective and rational objective thought. That is because a mental network imposes its structure upon thought when it is triggered. If the mental concept of a universal rational God emerges, then it cannot be ignored because it will continually being triggered by rational objective thought, but it will also leads to emotional pain because it will attempt to impose its structure upon irrational subjective thought whenever it is triggered. This will impose great emotional pain upon core mental networks. These individuals are ‘tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and the lamb’. Brimstone implies Perceiver structure that burns; truth that hurts. ‘In the presence of the holy angels’ suggests that the split mind is coming face-to-face with rational thought in the subjective. This conflict is unavoidable, because it is based in two incompatible ways of programming Teacher thought. The current world is split between objective and subjective in the manner of Babylon. It is difficult to remain mentally integrated in such a split environment and the natural tendency is to ‘sell one’s soul’ and become ‘corrupted by women’. However, ‘the saint perseveres’ by holding on to an integrated concept of God and incarnation in order to avoid becoming split later on when a unified concept of God is revealed. This same principle is described by John in his epistle: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). Interpreting this passage from a cognitive perspective does not mean that God does not exist or that God is not judging. Rather, it means that even if God does not exist and even if God does nothing, cognitive mechanisms by themselves will impose the type of feelings that are described in this passage.

The next verse says, “I heard a voice from heaven, saying, ‘Write, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!”’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them’” (v.13). This verse mentions three benefits of having a concept of God based in a universal Teacher understanding. The first benefit is that personal rebirth becomes much less painful because the pain of fragmenting MMNs is balanced by the pleasure of growing Teacher understanding. Second, Server actions can now be guided by the emotions of a Teacher understanding, which allows a person to emotionally ‘rest from their labors’. This is the cognitive mechanism behind righteousness. Third, when Server actions are guided by a Teacher understanding of God, then Server skills survive personal rebirth, because rebirth makes the MMNs of culture and identity consistent with a general Teacher understanding that is already guiding Server skills.

The Reapers

The rest of the chapter talks about reaping grapes: “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.’ So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles” (Rev. 14:14-20).

Grapes and blood are both liquids, which implies Mercy experiences. Both of these liquids are normally encased within containers, and both become apparent when the container is damaged or destroyed. This suggests that MMNs are being taken apart in order to access the specific Mercy elements within the MMN. Crushing grapes leads to wine, and wine is a common drink. Idolatry internalizes the MMNs of culture without thinking. Drinking wine enjoys the MMNs of culture but also processes them mentally in order to fit these experiences into an internal grid of understanding. If experiences become too distant from MMNs, then ‘the wine will ferment’ and the result will be ‘drunkenness’ in which one experiences the moment without thinking of either the context or the consequences. (As far as I can tell, this also characterizes the mindset of real drunkenness.) Blood is encased within the container of the physical body, which would correspond with the Mercy experiences contained within the MMNs of personal identity, because the mind uses MMNs to represent people and the physical body is a primary source of the MMNs that represent personal identity. Physical blood is spilled as a result of physical fragmentation, and the result can be death. Similarly, when MMNs of personal identity fragment, then raw Mercy experiences will ‘spill out’, and the MMNs may fall apart and die. Because childish MMNs are inherently flawed, becoming mentally whole means the spilling of cognitive blood, because childish MMNs must fall apart and die. This explains why “according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). (We saw in the conflict between Cain and Abel that this ‘shedding of blood’ became necessary after the fall of Adam.)

Fire also destroys physical matter, but the destruction comes from heat and oxygen, and not from physical trauma. Fire can generate useful work, but only if it is contained. Looking at this symbolically, fire is a Teacher mental network that ‘eats up’ Mercy mental networks. The phrase ‘fire from heaven’ often occurs in the Bible. Cognitively speaking, this implies that strong Teacher emotions are imposing their structure upon incompatible MMNs.

Returning now to the passage, we are told that ‘the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe’. Looking at this personally, I have been harvesting research that was done by others, because most of my current work involves taking what others have found and placing this information within the theory of mental symmetry. What makes this research unusual is that I am constructing a general theory that includes MMNs, while most researchers collected their data by using rational thought that tries to avoid MMNs. This type of secondary research has a finite window of opportunity. If my Teacher understanding is insufficient, then I will not be able to put together the pieces that have been gathered by others. But if the theory of mental symmetry were widely known, then this would bias the research of others, leading to inaccurate and distorted facts. The previous passage described a new group of people that are guided by a general Teacher understanding. The next passage will describe the emotional impact that this general Teacher theory has upon the population as a whole. Between these two stages is an ideal time for harvesting knowledge. This idea of postponing the fragmenting impact of a general Teacher theory is consistent with the reference to ‘another angel, the one who has power over fire’.

These verses, and succeeding verses, refer several times to a ‘temple in heaven’. This implies that a religious split has occurred in heaven as a result of the new group with its new song that the original worshipers cannot learn. If the worshipers of Revelation 4 are responding to God with a religious attitude of self-denial and fervor, then it makes sense that they would also respond to the new group by treating them as ‘holy and special’, leading to a temple in heaven.

The harvest is being guided by ‘one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head’. The term ‘Son of Man’ was commonly used by Jesus to refer to himself, and the crown indicates being in charge. This implies that the goal of this harvest is to acquire knowledge and expertise. The focus is not upon female mental networks, but rather upon male facts and skills. This knowledge and expertise is then being exposed to the light of a general Teacher theory, because the grapes are being thrown into the wine press of the wrath of God. While wine is being gathered, blood is emerging. Similarly, I have found that when one uses the theory of mental symmetry as a meta-theory to analyze the ‘grapes’ of technical knowledge, the end result is not just wine but blood. That is because a universal Teacher theory extends objective facts and skills to include the subjective, and this extension will end up attacking existing MMNs of identity and culture. Saying this another way, I have repeatedly found that the implications of objective research are damning to the conduct and mindset of objective researchers. I am surprised at how many theories of personality fall apart when one attempts to apply these theories to themselves. For instance, postmodern thought says that all theories are imposed upon the general population by power groups. If this is true, then this explanation itself is merely an opinion being imposed upon academia by the current power group of postmodern academics.

That brings us to the famous phrase of the blood ‘reaching up to the horses’ bridles for a distance of two hundred miles’. This is typically interpreted as a massive bloodletting. But this is physically impossible. The average human has 5 litres of blood. There are currently 7 billion people on earth, which means that there 35,000,000,000 L of potential blood to be spilled, which would have a volume of 35,000,000 m³. A circle with a radius of 200 miles has an area of 320,000,000,000 m². Thus, all the blood of every person on earth spread out ‘for a distance of 200 miles’ would only reach a depth of 0.1 mm, which is less than 1/10000 of the distance of 1.5 m from the ground to a horse’s bridle. Even if 200 miles describes the diameter of the circle and not the radius, one is still dealing with only a depth of 1/2 mm. However, this phrase does make sense cognitively. Horses are traditionally viewed as instruments of political and military power, and until the development of modern technology, horses were a primary source of both military and industrial power. Looking at this symbolically, the analyzing and fragmenting of mental networks increases to the level of ‘the reins of power’. In other words, one is not just using a general theory to come up with better techniques and improved strategies. Instead, one is using a rational concept of God to analyze people’s motives. When the blood ‘reaches the horses’ bridles’, then one is using rational thought to analyze the motives, deceptions, and strategies of ‘the reins of power’. Today’s ruling elite manipulates the population primarily by forming and triggering mental networks. This deliberate use of public relations began with the research of Sigmund Freud’s nephew.

I do not know what ‘200 miles’ means. The original phrase is ‘1600 stadia’. Generally speaking, I have tried to avoid interpreting numbers in Revelation, partially because those who use technical thought to analyze this book tend to fixate upon these numbers. It is quite possible that these numbers have meanings, but I think that one should start with a cognitive analysis that focuses upon mental networks, which can then provide a context for analyzing the numbers. In my experience, focusing upon numerology can lead very quickly down a rabbit hole that is mentally deceiving and spiritually damaging. That is because it suffers from the same cognitive flaw that is being described in Revelation, which is using technical thought while ignoring mental networks. For instance, Isaac Newton (yes, that Isaac Newton) tried to use technical thought to analyze biblical prophecy, and much of Isaac Newton’s research was devoted towards biblical numerology.

The Seven Bowls

Revelation 15 describes what happens when a universal Teacher-based concept of God is imposed upon a world that is objectively rational and subjectively irrational. It opens by saying, “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished” (v. 1). In other words, the events of this chapter will succeed in fully imposing the Teacher theory of a concept of God upon a society that is split between objective and subjective. The ‘wrath of God will be finished’ because the inconsistencies between people’s worldviews and a universal rational Teacher understanding will be removed.

The chapter then looks at the people who are guided by Teacher understanding: “And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God” (v.2). Glass is solid but it also transmits light. Instead of seeing the details of an object, one sees the light being transmitted through the object. Cognitively speaking, this corresponds to Platonic forms. Perceiver thought organizes Mercy experiences into objects. A Platonic form is an imaginary image that forms within Mercy thought when Teacher thought works out the simplified essence of a Perceiver object. Saying this another way, it is the internal image that forms when all the Mercy details are removed from Perceiver facts and are replaced by Teacher simplicity. If a sea of glass is mixed with fire, then the MMNs of culture have been turned into Platonic forms and this is being guided by the fire of Teacher understanding. It is interesting to compare the various ‘seas’ in Revelation. The woman of Babylon in Revelation 17 ‘sits on many waters’, while in Revelation 21, ‘there is no longer any sea’. In Revelation 15, there is something ‘like a sea’ but it is solid glass mixed with fire.

The people standing on this ‘sea of glass’ have overcome the mental split of the beast as well as the mental split inherent in the physical expression of the beast (‘and his image’). They have also overcome technical thought that is based in this split (‘the number of his name’) and at a personal level they function in a harmonious manner held together by a concept of God (‘holding harps of God’).

The mindset of these individuals is revealed in the song that they sing: “And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED’” (Rev. 15:3-4). Moses delivered the Jews from Egypt and gave the law of God to the Jews. The process of deliverance involved plagues upon Egypt. (Egypt was governed by a ruling elite and the Pharaoh was regarded as a god. Egypt also had significant knowledge and expertise that was manipulated by a ruling elite, as illustrated by the pyramids and royal tombs.)

A ‘sea of glass’ also suggests that one is dealing with an initial version of Teacher theory in which all of the implications of the theory have not yet been worked out. A more developed Teacher theory would be described as a mountain or a city. This is also expressed by the song is being sung, which celebrates deliverance from the childish MMNs of ‘Egypt’ rather than entering into the ‘promised land’ of transformed MMNs. (The journey from Egypt through the wilderness to the promised land is a well-known allegory of Christian growth, and it corresponds well to the three stages of salvation. In order to ‘leave Egypt’ one must construct a new concept of God. In the wilderness one learns the righteousness of following the TMN of a concept of God. And one enters the promised land in order to live in a world of new MMNs.)

This song emphasizes the righteousness of God. If one wishes to apply a general theory to personal experiences, then then one must go beyond words to include actions. This is one of the main differences between philosophy and science. Analytic philosophy uses logic to analyze language, while science studies how things work. The focus of this song is upon how God has worked throughout history. This rethinking of ‘how things work’ is important for overcoming science and technology, because they also are based in a study of ‘how things work’ and are held together by methodology. (This focus upon methodology to the exclusion of content is described by Dallas Willard.) Notice also that the focus of the song is not upon humans acting righteously rather upon the righteousness of God. Before one can begin the second stage of becoming righteous by allowing Server actions to be guided by a Teacher understanding of God, one must first have the mental concept of a God who acts righteously. After all, if God only speaks and does not act, then how can one act in a way that is consistent with the character of God?)

The chapter continues, “After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished” (Rev. 15:5-8).

Notice that the ‘tabernacle of testimony in heaven’ is being opened. A ‘testimony’ is a set of Teacher words that describe Server actions. These connections between Teacher words and Server actions provide the raw material for righteousness. This relationship is described in John 3:20-21: “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” In other words, if my actions are consistent with the light of a general Teacher understanding, then when this understanding appears I will be attracted to this understanding. In contrast, if I have acted in a way that is inconsistent with understanding, then when this understanding appears I will try to hide from the light. Going further, if heaven is populated by people who practice the fervor and self-denial of Revelation 4, then this raw material of righteousness will have to be kept ‘in a tabernacle’ that is distinct from the general mindset that pervades heaven. These specific Teacher-Server ‘segments’ of righteousness are now being placed within the light of a universal concept of God. Saying this another way, all of the specific links between Server actions and Teacher words are now being used to bridge the concept of a universal Teacher understanding of God with the Server actions of people on earth. During this period of paradigm shift, it will be difficult to act in a manner that is consistent with Teacher understanding, because Teacher thought itself will be undergoing major upheaval.

Six Bowls of Wrath

That brings us to chapter 16 and the six bowls of wrath. The first three bowls involve the Mercy world of experiences: “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.’ So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image. The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, ‘Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.’ And I heard the altar saying, ‘Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments’” (Rev. 16:1-4).

Humans are finite beings who live within specific Mercy experiences. When the concept of a universal rational God is unveiled, the typical human mind will first realize the specific impact that this general understanding has upon me: “This theory makes me feel bad. This theory condemns me.” In today’s politically correct climate, words and theories that ‘make me feel bad’ are censored. However, we are looking here at a situation in which censorship is no longer an option. Instead of the MMNs of personal identity imposing themselves upon TMNs of understanding, the TMN of a universal understanding of God is now imposing itself upon childish MMNs, which will lead to ‘loathsome and malignant sores’ in personal identity.

The second bowl is poured out into the ‘sea’, which tells us that the effect of the universal theory is spreading from MMNs of childish identity to MMNs of culture and nationality. The end result is to cause all of these inadequate MMNs to fragment: the water ‘became blood’ and ‘every living thing in the sea died’. A partial example can be found in the cultural impact that Western Europe had upon African tribal culture during the period of colonization. This is only a partial example because, as we saw when looking at the first world war, the European mindset of this time was only partially rational.

This is followed by the ‘rivers and springs of waters’ turning into blood. The implications of the general theory are now becoming apparent, because the MMNs that are falling apart now involve goals and motivation (‘springs of water’) as well as general patterns of behavior (‘rivers’).

A comparison is then made between this current suffering and the previous suffering of the ‘saints and prophets’. I have suggested that ‘blood’ is related to the fragmentation of MMNs of personal identity. When one tries to follow God in a society that is peripherally rational but emotionally irrational, then one will find that one continually has to pull back from personal involvement because of the personal cost that is demanded. For instance, when I was in grade 12, I was assistant concertmaster of the Saskatoon Symphony. I was told that I had to join the musician’s union in order to continue playing professionally. I chose not to join, because the musician’s union in Saskatchewan is a closed shop union that tells musicians where they can play and how much they should charge. I could not become a member of a group that imposed itself upon its members and others in such a fashion. As a result, I never played again professionally in Saskatchewan. Cognitively speaking, my MMNs of personal identity spilled blood, because I could not live as a musician. When one is faced with such a situation, the alternative is either to give up or to become motivated by the TMN of a concept of God rather than the MMNs of childish identity. Using religious language, one can only continue by becoming righteous. In a similar manner, when the concept of a universal righteous God imposes itself upon a split society, then those who have ‘sold their soul to the system’ will be forced to ‘drink blood’. This is a righteous judgment because the same cognitive mechanism applies in both cases: both sets of individuals are experiencing fragmented MMNs of personal identity as a result of Teacher understanding. When the same general sequence applies to two situations that appear superficially distinct, then that is an example of divine righteousness. This type of divine righteousness is important if one wishes to dispense justice while remaining mentally integrated.

The next bowl affects Teacher thought: “The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory” (v.8). A sun is a picture of a universal Teacher theory, and many religions have either worshiped the sun or else viewed the sun as the image of a universal God. That is because the sun is ‘up in the sky’ and it throws light upon the entire earth. The unveiling of the concept of a universal God is now turning into the mental concept of a universal God, and this mental concept is ‘scorching men with fire’. People are responding by attempting to use Teacher words to attack the verbal concept of a God: ‘they blasphemed the name of God’. In contrast, repentance submits MMNs of personal identity to the TMN of a concept of God and allows this TMN to impose its structure upon personal MMNs. One can tell that the battle is now raging within Teacher thought because the name of God is being verbally attacked.

The bowl of the fifth angel finally affects the core mental networks driving the system of the beast and this system becomes darkened, indicating that it has lost the illumination of Teacher understanding: “Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds” (v.10-11). The general principle is that one can only replace one universal Teacher theory with another universal Teacher theory. The ‘throne of the beast’ may have began with simple Teacher overgeneralization, but it has morphed into a grandiose system backed up by a worldwide physical infrastructure and way of functioning.

One sees that ‘they did not repent of their deeds’. This long-term stability of ‘how we do things’ has become apparent to me in my exposure to postmodern thought. Postmodernism tries to question everything. What survives after all of this deconstructing is methodology: how we do things. That is because one can always acquire Server confidence by repeating actions. The blasphemy also continues, but it is now more intelligent. Instead of just blaspheming the name of God in Teacher thought, the general structure of ‘God of heaven’ is being blasphemed. However, this blasphemy is losing its effectiveness because Teacher words are now uncomfortable (‘they gnawed their tongues because of pain’) and the Mercy pain has become inescapable and widespread (‘because of their pains and their sores’). One would not think that modern educated individuals could exhibit this level of stubborn resistance to rational understanding. However, my interaction with academia has convinced me that the average individual trained in today’s university system really would respond in such a fashion.

The sixth bowl removes the split between objective and subjective: “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east” (v.12). Notice that this split is removed by adding content: the water of the Euphrates is dried up. From my limited understanding of Greek grammar, it appears that this passage could also be translated as ‘The water of the great river Euphrates was dried in order to prepare the path that belongs to the kings of the rising Sun.’ In other words, it is not that a path is being opened up from East to West but rather that the path of the East is being defined (and the phrase ‘kings of the rising Sun’ is in the original). This gives the impression that path of mysticism is being analyzed and placed within the rational understanding of a universal concept of God. One of the primary characteristics of mysticism is that it cannot survive rational analysis. When someone (like me) comes along who analyzes mysticism rationally, then this analysis will usually be rejected as obviously false because it disagrees with centuries of exalted experts. And quoting experts, or even using technical thought to analyze and compare the words of experts, does not threaten mysticism because it leaves the underlying foundation of irrational mental networks intact. This passage may be describing a turning point in which this defense mechanism can no longer be used.

I should emphasize that this interpretation of the six bowl does not minimize its impact. Anyone who genuinely attempts to question the modern split between objective and subjective will realize that it is a ‘Berlin wall’ with barbed wire and armed guards that cuts through the heart of every aspect of both modern and and postmodern thought. Saying this more generally, when everybody submits to a mental network, then people are often not even aware that this mental network is present. It is only when a mental network is violated that its presence becomes apparent, because it will then generate a strong urge to suppress the contradictory input. This is similar to the way that a person who is addicted to some habit usually does not realize that he is addicted—as long as he continues to carry out the habit. The addiction becomes apparent when a person attempts to quit.

One sees this sort of instinctive repulsive response in the next verses: “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (‘Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.’) And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon” (Rev. 16:13-16).

My hypothesis is that the spiritual realm interacts with the mind via mental networks. In other words, spirits inhabit human mental networks and give them additional power, while the ‘external reality’ of the spiritual realm is heavily determined by mental networks. (As far as I can tell, the spiritual realm is different than the angelic realm, and this distinction is clear when one compares biblical references to spirits with biblical references to angels.) The point is that core mental networks within the dragon and both beasts are being threatened, this is triggering an instinctive spiritual response, this response is being echoed worldwide, and the gut response of everyone is to make war on God. Har-Magedon is typically interpreted as a physical location, but a cognitive interpretation becomes immediately apparent if one looks at the meeting of the Hebrew word. ‘Har’ means mountain and ‘Magedon’ means a place of crowds. I suggest that one is dealing here with a worldview: a general theory (mountain) of how people interact (place of crowds), and this worldview is turning into a concept of God. On the one hand, the ‘God of heaven’ starts with a universal Teacher understanding of ‘how things work’, and this understanding leads indirectly to the formation of Platonic forms (or spirits) that provide internal motivation for Mercy thought. On the other hand, the system of the world starts with Teacher overgeneralization, this gradually mutates into an entire system of existence, this system turns into a Mercy spirit when it is finally challenged and threatened, and this spirit becomes viewed explicitly as a mental concept of God in Teacher thought that must be defended at all costs.

In the middle of this description is the parenthesis about staying awake and keeping one’s clothes. When the mind is overwhelmed by strong emotions, then rational thought ‘goes to sleep’. One can see this falling asleep illustrated by Peter (a Perceiver person) in both the Transfiguration and the garden of Gethsemane. Clothes seem to symbolize the MMNs of culture while nakedness indicates the MMNs of personal identity, which one does not normally reveal in public. (Adam and Eve were ‘naked but not ashamed’, which suggests that their MMNs of personal identity did not have to be hidden from others.) Putting this together, if God ‘comes like a thief’ then this implies that one is dealing with an instinctive response that happens suddenly and is not the result of conscious thought. The reference to shame and nakedness suggests that this instinctive response will cause people to reveal their true nature, and the results will not be pretty. The challenge will be to cover one’s nakedness with the clothing of some sort of rational response.

This may give the impression that Armageddon is nothing more than a hateful mob accompanied by more reserved citizens who are stating ‘tut tut’ in measured tones. However, if the current worldwide split between objective and subjective were ever to be successfully challenged, then the response would not be insignificant. One partial example comes from the wars of independence by which Africa eventually rejected colonialism. A better illustration might be the response that would happen if aliens showed up on Earth and made their presence fully known. (And if the angels in the book of Revelation are real angels, then this passage is describing a gut rejection to a version of alien disclosure.) The point is that analyzing the book of Revelation cognitively means that one would not have to experience the sort of physical destruction portrayed in the Left Behind series. But one would experience emotional trauma of an extreme nature, and this emotional trauma would be experienced globally. Going further, I suggest that a ‘Left Behind’ interpretation of Revelation actually worships the beast because it views the situation primarily from an objective, physical perspective—which describes the mindset of the beast.

This instinctive rejection of the God of heaven is followed by the seventh bowl: “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, ‘It is done.’ And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe” (Rev. 16:17-21).

‘It is done’ tells us that God has now succeeded in imposing the TMN of a concept of God upon human society. Note that this statement is not coming from the throne but rather ‘out of the temple from the throne’, which is associated with the new song of ‘righteousness’ rather than the old song of ‘praise and worship’. When there is a paradigm shift, then everything will be viewed in a slightly different light. Here we are dealing not merely with a paradigm shift but with a change in a universal concept of God. The corresponding shift in viewpoint would be much greater, which is described as a ‘great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth’. Cognitively speaking, ‘coming upon the earth’ means learning to think rationally using facts and sequences. When there is a paradigm shift, then lesser theories also come into question, which explains why ‘the mountains were not found’. An island is a piece of land in the middle of the sea. If the ‘islands flee away’, then this suggests that the fragments of solid structure that have been constructed from the sea of Mercy experiences all crumble. One thinks, for instance, of of the many organizations and bureaucracies that bring islands of solid structure to the sea of human experience. If the ‘cities of the nations fall’, then this means that existing governmental and societal structures also become questioned. One saw something like this in Nazi Germany at the end of World War II when everyone knew that the German government was about to fall. The passage says that ‘the great city was split into three parts’. At a general level, this tells us that the core mental networks that used to integrate the system of the beast now become permanently fragmented. More specifically, these three parts might refer to the dragon and the two beasts, with the ruling elite losing their hold over technology and their connection with global unity.

The attention then turns to Babylon, which is the topic of the next chapter. One might gain the impression from this phrase that God is forgetful, but I suggest that we are dealing instead with a problem within a problem. The major problem for Teacher thought is the split between objective and subjective. That problem has now been solved. But buried within this major problem is another problem that now becomes apparent to Teacher thought, which can now be addressed by Teacher thought. This is followed by a reference to 100 pound hailstones. In the original Greek, the term is actually ‘about the weight of one talent’ and a talent is a measure of economic exchange. If stones are solid Perceiver facts, then a stone from heaven is a Perceiver fact that emerges from Teacher understanding. If this fact is related to a measure of economic exchange, then this implies that Teacher understanding is impacting the way that value is being calculated. This change in value is causing people to blaspheme Teacher understanding, because the value of everything is being affected (‘its plague was extremely severe’). Saying this more crudely, as we shall see in the coming versus, a concept of God is starting to affect people in their wallets.

Babylon

I suggested previously that Babylon involves a juxtaposition of Eastern mysticism with Western rational thought. Saying this another way, objective experiences are ruled by rational thought, while the subjective is dominated by irrational mental networks. This has an indirect impact upon trade and commerce, which can be seen by analyzing prostitution. Revelation 17:5 describes Babylon as ‘Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth’. A harlot is a woman who sells sex for money. Sex is an emotional exchange between individuals that involves both physical life—by producing babies, and internal life—by bridging MMNs of personal identity at a very deep level. In other words, both sex and money are a form of business, but sex is an exchange of life while money merely exchanges objects of value. Prostitution ruins personal value in order to gain monetary value. It sacrifices the greater in order to gain the lesser. As Jesus says in Matthew 16:26, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Economic prostitution (forfeiting one’s soul in order to gain the world) is a natural byproduct of a split between rational objective and irrational subjective, it cannot be cured until this mental split is removed, and removing this mental split will lead to a massive readjustment in how value is calculated, as symbolized by the hailstones from heaven. This explains why God ‘remembers’ the problem of Babylon after successfully imposing the concept of a universal God. In order to eliminate economic prostitution, one must first change people’s worldview, and that requires removing the split between objective and subjective.

The relationship between value and practical Contributor thought is described in another essay. In simple terms, value requires a combination of emotional Mercy experiences and solid Perceiver facts. An object, experience, or service is valuable because it creates a positive emotion or removes a negative emotion—it provides a benefit or meets a need. But value can only be calculated by comparing the value of one item with a value of another, and this comparing is done by Perceiver thought. If emotions overwhelm Perceiver thought, then the mind will be incapable of doing this comparing of value, and each emotional item will be viewed in isolation. When there is a split between objective and subjective, then everyone will want subjective emotional items, but it will only be possible to calculate value when considering objective emotional items. This means that business will focus upon objective value, because this can be calculated, while being blind to greater values involving the subjective realm. Saying this another way, the businessman sells his soul because he lacks the mental ability to calculate the value of souls, while he tries to make a buck because he is mentally capable of calculating the value of money.

This behavior becomes self-reinforcing because of the nature of Platonic forms. A Platonic form is an idealization of many existing items. Perceiver thought organizes Mercy experiences into categories, and then Teacher thought comes up with a general theory that describes the essence of this category. A Platonic form is the invisible, idealized, internal image within Mercy thought that forms indirectly as a result of Teacher thought. This means that the repeated economic exchanges that occur in business will lead to the Platonic form of ‘money’ as an idealized, internal image of economic value. Thus, even if business is limited to the non-emotional realm, the Teacher emotion that is inherent in a Platonic form will eventually turn money from a medium of exchange into a Platonic form with strong emotions, and this Platonic form of ‘money’ will emotionally drive the businessman. Even though the businessman may explicitly regard his personal identity as priceless and not for sale, he will eventually become emotionally willing to sell his soul in exchange for the Platonic form of money. That is why ‘the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil’ (1 Tim. 6:10).

Finally, advertising will discover that the best way to create a desire for an object is by connecting this object with some desirable MMN. One of the classic examples is that of the ‘Marlboro man’, which promoted cigarettes by associating smoking with ‘the rugged man’. However, as the Wikipedia article points out, “A number of models who have portrayed the Marlboro Man have died of smoking-related diseases.” In other words, if one uses rational thought to evaluate the value of smoking, one concludes that smoking is not associated with the pleasant MMNs of ‘the rugged man’ but rather with the unpleasant MMNs of ‘the diseased and dying man’. This type of marketing by association is effective when subjective thought is irrational and governed by fragmented MMNs, because desire can be created by triggering mental networks and rational thought will not interfere with this triggering of mental networks.

I should add that the issue of inadequate value is not a trivial problem nor is it limited to blatant areas such as prostitution and smoking. Instead, every field that I have entered so far has been policed by Contributor persons who impose a set of inadequate values upon the field, and who reject any knowledge about deeper value as meaningless and worthless (The Facilitator person can also act as a policeman. Typically, he will pretend to be friendly while secretly censoring anything that violates the status quo.) This is one of the byproducts of living in a modern society that focuses upon technical specialization. Whenever thought or action is limited to some technical field, then Contributor persons who are conscious within technical thought will naturally excel, working within this field will cause implicit mental networks to form (as illustrated by the Platonic form of ‘money’), and these mental networks will drive the technical specialist to emotionally belittle anything that either lies outside of the specialization, questions the specialization, or does not meet the standards of technical thought within that specialization. This occurs both with abstract technical thought (logic, math, philosophy, and other forms of academic rigor), and with concrete technical thought (business, sports, and other pursuits of some bottom line). Similarly, verse 15 says that “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues”, which suggests that one is dealing with a mindset that is common to a multitude of cultures and societies, as well as to theoretical structures (‘tongues’). And the ruling nature of this mindset can be seen in verse 18: “The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

Now that we have the general context, let us look at the passage. “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, ‘Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, ‘BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.’ And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly” (Rev. 17:1-6).

Notice that the speaker is one of the angels from the previous chapter. Angels live in the realm of abstract thought. This suggests that the unified concept of God that was acquired in the previous chapter makes it possible to use abstract thought to analyze value. Looking at this cognitively, concrete thought can come up with simple calculations of value, such as ‘juice is more healthy than pop’. However, if one wishes to include aspects of deeper value such as long-term implications or personal development, then one needs a rational concept of God. This concept must be rational because one uses rational thought to compare the value of one option with another. It requires a general understanding because one is using knowledge about many areas to determine value more accurately. And a concept of God is needed because this Teacher understanding is being applied to emotional Mercy experiences, including MMNs of personal identity.

Going further, business requires economic and political stability. It must be possible to make and enforce deals, and this require some sort of government enforcement, which is why the passage refers to ‘the kings of the earth’ and ‘those who dwell on the earth’. However, there is an instability at the deeper emotional level of mental networks. That is why Babylon is a woman, because female thought focuses upon mental networks. A person who is drunk is only aware of the immediate situation and is no longer ruled by general rules of appropriateness and conscience. ‘Made drunk with the wine of her immorality’ implies that one is enjoying mental networks without thinking about the overall consequences, and that one is pursuing peripheral value without maintaining central value.

This woman is ‘sitting on a scarlet beast full of blasphemous names’. We are dealing here with a culture and a worldview of trade and commerce, represented by the woman, and a method of functioning, characterized by the scarlet beast. The culture is based upon the method of functioning. When one is pursuing inadequate value, then the natural tendency will be to verbally belittle anything that suggests the inadequacy of these values. Thus, the beast is full of blasphemous names. When a businessman ‘sells his soul to get rich’, then the system that makes this possible is the beast. This leads to a whoring financial culture, represented by the woman. The woman is ‘adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls’, which indicates that great honor is being given to the culture that is based upon inadequate value. The woman is called ‘Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth’. ‘Babylon’ implies a juxtaposition of objective rationality and subjective irrationality. ‘The great’ tells us that this split has become a dominant aspect of thought and society. ‘Mother of harlots’ tells us that this split describes the thinking behind prostitution (of all sorts). ‘Abominations of the earth’ indicates that rational content ‘from the earth’ is being used in a corrupting manner.

The woman is described as being ‘drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus’. This is traditionally viewed as referring to Christian martyrs. That may be true, but when one constructs the concept of a universal God, then a larger picture emerges that extends beyond the Christian who ‘dies for his faith’. Business does not create anything new. Instead, it takes advantage of new things that others create. Ethical business makes it possible for inventors, creators, and producers to market their products. However, what typically happens is that the businessman takes control of a product that has been created by someone else. The businessman gets rich selling the product, while the creator of the product typically does not. This kind of exploitation occurs depressingly often. Going further, the word ‘Jesus’ means salvation, and a ‘witness of Jesus’ is someone who is personally following a path of salvation. The ultimate path of salvation is the path of personal salvation that one follows by calling on the name of Jesus. Christianity teaches this, but only partially comprehends what it is teaching. The inventor of some new product is also, to some peripheral extent, a witness of Jesus. Thus, when business exploits products created by others, then it is based upon ‘the blood of the saints’ and ‘the blood of the witnesses of Jesus’. And when business does not think of the larger implications of this exploitative practice, then it is being ‘drunk with the blood’. Again, I am not trying to minimize the sacrifice of Christian martyrs, because I think that the same cognitive mechanism is involved. The typical Christian martyr is also killed for pursuing higher goals by those who have an inadequate sense of value, and martyrs teach people that it is possible to be personally guided by a higher set of values. These examples provide moral backing for the societal law and order that make it possible for business to exist. I am also not trying to promote some version of liberation theology, because that too is a version of Babylon: spiritual value is reduced to eliminating economic exploitation and value is replaced by the Teacher overgeneralization of redistributing wealth in some socialist manner. Instead, I am suggesting that one is dealing with universal principles that extend to all areas of personal existence, and not just to what we call the religious realm.

Summarizing, an inadequate sense of value gets ‘drunk on the blood of the saints’ in four primary ways: First, the truly valuable is ignored, because the focus is upon pursuing objective wealth. Second, the accomplishments of those who pursue deeper value are stolen. Those who come up with new concepts and products have to pay a price. However, the person who usually gets rich is not the inventor but rather the businessman who sells product. Third, deeper values are used to promote inferior products. For a simple example, think of the ways in which adjectives such as ‘hearty’ or ‘natural’ are used to sell foods that are neither hearty nor natural. But the product that is being promoted feels valuable because it triggers mental networks of deeper value within the mind. The end result is to corrupt these deeper values. Fourth, deeper values are prostituted in order to seek material gain.

I should emphasize that Babylon includes economics but goes beyond economics. The field of economics actually recognizes that value is ultimately a subjective emotion, but because emotion cannot be measured, economics focuses upon the symbols of value while ignoring value itself, which is an expression of the whore of Babylon. (I know that this is strong language, but ‘whoring’ is a technically accurate term for most modern economics.) In most general terms, I suggest that value is the ability to use rational thought to compare the desirability of emotional memories and mental networks. Notice that this defines value in a way that includes both concrete and abstract thought. In addition to objects and services having value, ohimne culture may be more valuable than another, or one paradigm can be more valuable than another. Today, merely combining the words ‘culture’ and ‘value’ in a single sentence is rejected as politically incorrect. But I suggest that this sort of response confuses value with racism and xenophobia. Racism regards the mental networks of my culture as good and the mental networks of other cultures as bad. Value compares the elements of different cultures and looks at the larger and long-term impact of these various elements. With racism, culture provides the standard. Political correctness claims to go beyond racism but the basic unit of thought is still the culture and the race; MMNs of culture and identity are still imposing their structure upon thought. Value requires a standard that is independent of culture, which can be found in the TMN of a general understanding of how the mind works. This means that cultural elements that are contrary to mental wholeness are less valuable than those that support mental wholeness or lead to mental wholeness. Similarly, paradigms that explain only limited areas are less valuable than meta-theories that can explain many fields. But because academia is divided today into technical specializations, it is very difficult to compare one paradigm with another. Therefore, the typical technical specialist only becomes proficient within one paradigm and is not capable of comparing paradigms in an intelligent manner.

Returning to the text, the angel then explains the beast: “I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast” (Rev. 17:7-13). This passage contains a lot of numbers, and I do not have an explanation for those numbers. But I think I understand what is meant by ‘the beast that was, and is not, and is about to come out of the abyss and go to destruction’. I have suggested that the scarlet beast is related to corrupt business. (Chapter 18 talks about the fall of Babylon and the extensive impact that this has upon trade and commerce.) I have noticed that business tends to be most corrupt at the beginning and the end, and that the corruption that occurs at the end is different than the corruption at the beginning. When commerce emerges in some region (this could be a physical region or a new technological field) then initially there is a free-for-all in which anything goes. Often those who get richest during this period are the businessmen who are most willing to violate the MMNs of culture and accepted practice—the ones who are willing to ‘sell their grandmother’. This describes the ‘beast that was’. This Wild West mentality is followed by the imposition of regulations that attempt to govern these abusive practices. As a result, the beast ‘is not’. However, that is not the final stage. Instead, the regulations themselves turn into a system that is backed up by mental networks, and these mental networks will cause businessmen to assume that the system of regulations that makes business possible will continue to exist forever. In addition, because the ‘commercial system’ is mentally represented by a TMN within the minds of businessmen, it becomes mentally possible to question MMNs of culture to an extent that could not be done before, leading to a far deeper form of corruption. Therefore, when the beast returns, then it ‘comes out of the abyss and goes to destruction’. It ‘comes out of the abyss’ because at this point nothing is held sacred anymore; everything is up for grabs. It ‘goes to destruction’ because this new corruption will end up destroying the commercial system itself. This self-destructive behavior of business became apparent recently during the 2008 financial crisis, when the foundation of business itself became threatened by corruption, and the massive bailouts (eventually in the trillions of dollars) threaten to undermine the very existence of global commerce.

Saying this another way, there are two kinds of business corruption. ‘Third world corruption’ affects the rational thinking of concrete technical thought. Will business rules prevail, or will one have to satisfy MMNs of culture and identity through nepotism and bribery? This kind of corruption occurs early in an economy. ‘First world corruption’ affects the rational thinking of abstract technical thought. Will the laws of economics be fair, or will large corporate entities formulate the ‘universal’ rules in such a manner that disqualifies others and qualifies themselves. This kind of corruption occurs late in an economy. This distinction is discussed further in another essay. Third world corruption prevents the ‘playing field’ of commerce from functioning, while First world corruption tilts the playing field so that it is no longer level.

Verse 8 says that “those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.” In other words, those who think purely in terms of rational thought (‘dwell on the earth’) will be caught unaware by the second form of corruption. That is because they are not thinking in terms of eternal principles that describe human nature.

The self-destructive nature of corrupt business can be seen in the succeeding verses: “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful. And he said to me, ‘The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled. The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth’” (Rev. 17:14-18). Notice that ‘the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire’. In other words, the system of corrupt business will end up destroying the culture based upon inadequate value. First, the woman will be made desolate and naked, telling us that MMNs of culture and social interaction are being destroyed. Then, her flesh will be eaten, which means that the corruption now extends to core aspects of business culture. Finally, she will be burned up with fire. Fire implies content being consumed by Teacher theory. This suggests that the Mercy-based culture of business will turn into a Teacher-driven ‘science’ of business.

One illustration of this transition can be seen in the Black Scholes model, a way of a mathematically evaluating securities. As the Wikipedia article states, this equation ‘does not capture extreme movements such as stock market crashes’. Stating the problem more generally, it is possible to approach the natural world scientifically because ‘how the world works’ does not change. But ‘how the economy functions’ will only stay the same if people submit to a system of financial regulations. If these regulations are removed, or if people manage to successfully undermine financial rules, then attempting to approach business in a scientific manner becomes financially cannibalistic, because people within the system are getting rich by consuming parts of the system. However, a mindset that is based in inadequate value will try to use rational thought to undermine the foundations of finance. Saying this another way, Wall Street will be ruined by psychopaths. In other words, when the system is a harlot, then the fire of Teacher understanding will inevitably ‘burn her up with fire’. That is because ‘how the mind works’ describes a set of principles that is more fundamental than ‘how the economy functions’. This relationship can be seen in verse 17: ‘For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled.’ In other words, what really drives economics, including corrupt business, is the MMNs that reside in people’s hearts, and these MMNs can be analyzed using the TMN of a universal concept of God.

Looking at this once more from a more technical viewpoint, concrete technical thought is based in sowing-and-reaping, in which one performs some Server sequence in order to achieve a Mercy result. Science ignores the Mercy results and focuses upon the Server sequences, changing sowing-and-reaping into cause-and-effect. Science then uses abstract technical thought to compare one Server sequence of cause-and-effect with another, resulting in general laws about natural processes in Teacher thought. For instance, sowing-and-reaping notices that throwing my grandmother off a cliff will probably injure or kill her, while throwing a stone off a cliff merely leads to a satisfying thunk when it hits the bottom. Science ignores whether a stone, my grandmother, or some other object is falling off the cliff and instead focuses upon the Server paths that are taken by these objects as they plummet to the bottom. Comparing these Server sequences leads to mathematical laws of gravity. Science can ignore subjective Mercy emotions because the physical world is guided by unchanging natural processes that are independent of personal feelings. But this method fails when it is applied to the sowing-and-reaping of business, because economic value is fundamentally based upon personal Mercy emotions. Whenever a general theory continues to be used, then this general theory will turn into a TMN, and this TMN makes it emotionally possible to question other mental networks. Therefore, when abstract technical thought is used in a ‘scientific manner’ to develop a general understanding of ‘how business works’, then the resulting TMN will make it possible for businessmen and economists to question the MMNs that form the ultimate basis for value, and when these MMNs are questioned, then this will undermine the foundation for business.

High-frequency trading provides an example of this principle, because it ignores the underlying value of stocks and makes its money by being aware of the process of trading a few milliseconds before the competition. High-frequency trading is now changing from fiber optic cable to microwave towers, because electromagnetic waves travel a little faster through air than they do through cable. For instance, 15 custom microwave networks were built between Chicago and New York between 2011 and 2013 at a cost of about $250 million in order to cut the time to transmit financial data between the two cities by 2 ms. That is 1/500th of a second. High-frequency trading is justified by saying that it ‘adds liquidity to the market’. It is easier to buy and sell a stock when it is being actively traded. But that is only true if one can participate in this trading, while the primary purpose of the direct link is to ‘butt in line’ before others have a chance to trade, preventing them from participating. When those who have a direct connection can trade before those who do not, then this describes a playing field that is tilted in favor of a privileged few. And high speed trading firms now control most of the trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Looking now at the previous verses, the beast will ‘wage war against the Lamb’. A lamb implies a way of functioning that is not arrogant, while the typical corrupt businessman is full of arrogance. When the world is split into objective and subjective, then the corrupt businessman can usually outwit and defraud the simple investor. However, the tables have now turned because this split has become unified by a universal Teacher understanding. It then becomes possible to follow a longer perspective by backing schemes that are ‘called’ by Teacher understanding, ‘chosen’ because they are consistent with the plan of incarnation, and ‘faithful’ because they pursue long-term goals and not just short-term profit. This becomes possible when the simple investor is backed up by a universal understanding that bridges various specializations. Thus, the lamb is described as ‘Lord of lords and King of kings’. This portrays a domain that rules over other domains, which integrates these various subdomains. In a similar fashion, I have found that the theory of mental symmetry can be used as a meta-theory (or theory of theories) to integrate other theories.

The Fall of Babylon

The previous chapter described the nature of Babylon. Chapter 18 describes its downfall: “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality” (Rev. 18:1-3).

We have seen how a system of commerce that is based upon inadequate value naturally destroys itself. When some economic empire falls, then it is usually replaced by some other center of trade and commerce, which then goes through the stages of corruption, repeating the cycle. Babylon as a general system can only fall when the underlying split between objective and subjective is removed. While an integrated rational universal theory in Teacher thought is necessary, it is not sufficient. Instead, value will only be altered if this abstract understanding has sufficient power to impose itself upon the world of trade and commerce. Using symbolic language, an angel with great authority has to come down from the heaven of Teacher understanding to illuminate the earth of rational thought with the glory of an abstract understanding. Nothing less has the ability or authority to say that Babylon is fallen.

When the focus is upon gaining peripheral riches, then money (or fame or academic reputation) can be used to support personal corruption. One sees this most blatantly with the rich person who uses wealth to live a life of debauchery. Physical riches give the impression of value, physical riches allow one to purchase valuable items and people, and physical riches allow one to buy one’s way out of painful consequences. As a result, Babylon becomes ‘a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit’. Similarly, physical riches can be used to support destructive ideas (‘unclean birds’). This debauchery becomes imprisoned by riches for four reasons (the word ‘prison’ is used three times in verse two in the original Greek). First, it is incompatible with reality and cannot survive being exposed to a real environment, because it violates ‘how things work’ in massive ways. Second, because it violates how things work, it produces destructive results, and will become hated by those whose lives are ruined either directly or indirectly by the debauchery. Third, living such a lifestyle is very expensive. Therefore, only the rich can afford to be so debauched. Fourth, it must be hidden from others in order to protect the reputation of the rich, because those who have fame and honor would lose their reputation if others ever found out how they really lived.

Verse three describes three types of interaction with this corrupt economic system. First, people from all specializations and cultures have become emotionally motivated by MMNs that are not based in value (‘drunk of the wine’). Second, those who use rational thought have prostituted themselves by seeking peripheral value at the expense of core value (‘kings of the earth’). Third, those who do business have become rich by exploiting people’s MMNs (‘wealth of her sensuality’).

The passage continues, “I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW, and will never see mourning.’ For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong” (Rev. 18:4-6).

We saw in an earlier chapter that no one could buy or sell without the mark of the beast. In other words, it was impossible to escape the stranglehold of inadequate value. An alternative now exists. When one is dealing with core mental networks such as ‘the system of the beast’, then free will only becomes possible when there is an alternative system and one can choose between these two systems. A new system guided by integrated Teacher understanding has just been proclaimed, which makes it possible for people to choose to perform economic activity guided by Teacher understanding. Notice that people are not being told to stop doing business, but rather to ‘come out of her’, or in other words, to leave the mental networks that guide the corrupt system. Saying this cognitively, the TMN of rational understanding is calling people to let go of the MMNs that motivate the system of inadequate value, because this system is about to be destroyed and those who are emotionally attached to this system (‘participate in her sins’) will become emotionally devastated (‘receive of her plagues’) when the system collapses. For an illustration, one can turn again to Germany just before the end of World War II. The Nazi regime was about to collapse. An alternative was (literally) on the horizon. When the regime was in power, then the average person did not have much free will. But now that the government was about to fall, one’s long-term well-being depended upon extricating oneself from the system.

‘Her sins have piled up as high as heaven’ tells us that this corrupt economic system has grown from being merely a way of commerce to a general understanding within Teacher thought. In other words, there is now an intellectual field of study called economics (as well as other fields of study) that ignores value while focusing upon the symbols of value. The word ‘iniquity’ is actually unrighteousness, which means performing Server actions that are inconsistent with a general Teacher understanding of God. Inconsistencies between Teacher understanding and specific Server actions only become apparent when the Teacher theory is extended to include these Server actions. The beginning of this chapter extended the general Teacher understanding of God to include economic activity. This extension will reveal inconsistencies between ‘how things work’ and ‘how the economy works’, which will cause the unrighteousness to be remembered by God.

Notice that the judgment is stated in economic terms. She is to be paid back. Economic activity is an expression of practical Contributor thought, which is an aspect of incarnation. Thus, the goal is not to destroy economic activity but rather to use the system to pay back those who have abused the system (remember that we are viewing economy as more than just using money to buy and sell things). In addition, she is supposed to be paid back as she has paid, and to drink the same cup that she has mixed. As we saw earlier, divine righteousness uses the same general equations to bless and to bring justice. For instance, technology is amoral in the sense that it can be used either to create weapons that destroy people or to create laborsaving devices that help people. Similarly, a system of justice that is based in Teacher understanding will use the same general mechanisms to deal with both good and evil.

This principle is mentioned in the sermon on the Mount: You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:43-45). Justice that is based in MMNs will treat neighbors differently than it treats enemies. In contrast, a God that is based in the TMN of universal understanding ‘causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good’. Those who want to behave in a way that is consistent with the character of God (‘sons of your father who is in heaven’) need to act in a similar manner (‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’). Love is a Mercy response while praying involves Teacher thought. This does not mean that one ignores evil, but rather that one responds to both good and evil in an integrated manner.

The double payback may come from the fact that one is now dealing with two competing economic systems. Previously, the choice was between being part of the economic system of the beast or being excluded. Those who chose not to participate were not rewarded. Now, those who are part of the corrupt economic system will find that they both suffer loss because of being part of the old system and do not acquire gain because of not being part of the new system. Saying this more simply, the original group only suffered loss, while this group both suffers loss and does not acquire gain. And becoming part of the new system is not just a matter of putting up a new set of signs and buying new inventory. Instead, it involves acquiring a totally new set of habits, skills, knowledge, and ruling loves, because one is replacing an economy that prostitutes core mental networks with one that examines the value of core mental networks and does business in a manner that increases the value of these core mental networks. One can see from the next verse that this payback involves core mental networks: ‘To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning’.

This inadequate economic system is based upon a fundamental self-deception: ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning’. The culture based upon inadequate economics thinks that it is a grand culture with a vast domain—a queen. That is because it is a culture that comes from global trade which uses its riches to live a sumptuous lifestyle. But in actual fact it is a widow, because the corrupt system destroys the mental content from which this culture emerged. Saying this more simply, economic culture was ‘married’ to the ‘Protestant work ethic’ with its rule of law. But that male content is now dead, and Babylon is a widow. But the inadequate economic system has deceived itself into believing (‘says in her heart’) that it is still married to some set of rational rules and regulations. It also deceives itself into believing that the present prosperity will always continue (‘never see mourning’). The primary reason for this is that concrete technical thought, which lies at the heart of economic activity, always works within some context while assuming that this context will not change. Saying this more bluntly, the average businessman is incapable of seeing around the corner. Because of this self-deception, when the underlying system changes, then there is usually a stock market crash and not just a correction: ‘For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine’. The stock market crash provides a partial illustration of this principle. However, we are dealing here with a more fundamental economic crash in which the entire inadequate economic system comes crashing to the ground, ‘burned up with fire’ by general Teacher understanding. That is because the universal concept of God in Teacher thought has grown from being merely an understanding to ‘a strong Lord God who judges’. One can find a partial illustration in the Industrial Revolution, in which old ways of functioning were made permanently obsolete by the newfangled machines with their mechanical source of power. The Industrial Revolution replaced the MMNs of cottage industries with the TMN of objective science. Here, the core mental networks of the inadequate economic system are being made obsolete by the TMN of a universal concept of God.

The Downfall of the Old Economic System

The passage then describes the downfall of the inadequate economic system in more detail: “And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more—cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives” (Rev. 18:9-13).

Notice that those who follow an inadequate sense of value do not try to protect Babylon. That is because they have learned how to function objectively. Therefore, when the economic culture of Babylon falls, then everyone responds in an objective fashion by maintaining emotional distance. However, from this objective viewpoint, people notice that core mental networks of commerce are now being threatened. Notice also that the items being bought and sold still remain, which implies that they are not destroyed in some sort of major war. The problem is that nobody wants to buy these items anymore. And it is this lack of demand that brings sorrow to the businessman. This is like a maker of slide rules crying over the invention of calculators because it ruins the market for slide rules. But we are not dealing here just with a transition from slide rules to calculators but rather with a transition from an economy based in money, power, and fame to an economy based in value, one that is driven by Platonic forms that are deeper and more meaningful than the Platonic form of ‘money’. (Money is useful as a medium of exchange, but when it becomes a motivating Platonic form, then it becomes hoarded for its own sake, which ruins its role as a medium of exchange.) Notice also that the emotional focus of those who were part of this inadequate economy is upon the loss of the old economic culture. Those who came out of this culture earlier were motivated by the TMN of a new general understanding, while those who remain within the culture will focus emotionally upon the loss of this culture when it is destroyed.

We saw earlier on that when a Teacher-based concept of God is revealed, then it takes time for the implications to become apparent. There may be a similar progression in this list. It begins with luxury items, which are expensive but serve no real purpose. What is affected next is manufactured items. After that comes personal entertainment and personal enhancement. Then food and necessities are affected. Eventually, the core mental networks of political and economic power as well as personal identity are affected. A similar progression occurred when communism fell. But we have seen that in the case of Russia, core mental networks of power and identity have survived the fall of communism largely intact, because capitalism limits rational thought to the realm of the objective and assumes that ‘the customer is always right’. Luxury items go first because they serve no rational purpose, but rather are meant to enhance MMNs of personal status. Manufactured items are questioned next because they are non-emotional and depend upon the current level of understanding. For instance, in computer storage, the cassette tape was replaced by the floppy disk, which itself was replaced by the compact disc, which is now being made obsolete by the memory stick. The average person did not build strong mental networks upon experiences with computer storage, and thus found it easy to abandon the old and embrace the new. The final three categories affect identity in increasingly personal ways, which means that they are the most difficult to change because, unlike manufactured items, they are based in potent mental networks.

Implications of the Fall of Babylon

Continuing with Revelation 18, “The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her” (Rev. 18:15-20).

The mourning has now progressed from ‘I cannot sell my goods’ to ‘this wonderful system has collapsed’, from ‘I am losing money’ to ‘this epitome of wealth has been destroyed’. This tells us that what is dying now is the Platonic form of ‘money’ (along with similar Platonic forms). This Platonic form is falling apart within the minds of those who pursue ‘money’: ‘the merchants of these things, who became rich from her’. But the attitude of objectivity still remains, because these merchants still ‘stand at a distance’.

If the sea is a picture of a world of disconnected MMNs, then those who ‘make their living by the sea’ are the service industries that focus upon personal Mercy needs. This would include various forms of entertainment, pop psychology, and personal well-being. These all get rich by attaching themselves in some way to the MMNs of culture and identity—‘the great city’. The TMN of rational understanding is revealing the inadequacy of these MMNs, and these service industries have no alternative source of mental networks. In response, they ‘throw dust on their heads’. We saw this metaphor when looking at the snake eating dust in the garden of Eden. The idea is that these ‘snake oil salesmen’ are attempting to add legitimacy to their product by sprinkling it with isolated Perceiver facts. One sees this in pseudo-health products that try to appear legitimate by claiming to be backed up by medical research. Except here we are looking at the entire service industry attempting to prove to the world at large that it has rational legitimacy.

We turn finally to a positive response, but it is one that has to be prompted. From a Teacher perspective, what is happening is good. The saints who pursued long-term goals, the apostles who worked out new ways of existence, and the prophets who tried to share Perceiver truth are now being vindicated. The reluctant response of these individuals may be related to a common trait of the Perceiver person. The Perceiver person will typically preach some Perceiver truth, and then have doubts when people listen to what he is saying or the implications of this truth become apparent. Similarly, one gets the impression that there is a difference between preaching that the system needs to be judged and actually experiencing this judgment firsthand. Those who judged the inadequate system need to be reminded that God in Teacher thought has created a change that is good for personal identity in Mercy thought: ‘God has pronounced judgment for you’.

The general principle is that action by a universal being is always troubling to finite creatures because it is so total. When a universal God steps in, then there is universal change, and the natural tendency of people is to want some change but not total change. But a general Teacher theory wants general principles to apply without exception.

So far, the merchants have all been viewing the downfall of the economic system from a distance. The destruction now becomes more personal: “Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth’” (Rev. 18:21-24).

The analogy of ‘a millstone being thrown into the sea’ also occurs in the Gospels: “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him” (Luke 17:1-4). A stone is a set of solid Perceiver facts. (For instance, the apostle Peter was a Perceiver person, ‘Peter’ means stone, and Jesus gave Peter this name when they first met (John 1:42). The relationship between Peter the Perceiver person and Jesus the Contributor person is explored here.) Going further, a millstone is used to grind bread, and stone is compared with bread in the temptations of Jesus, as well as in the sermon on the Mount. Thus, a millstone would be the set of Perceiver absolutes that one uses to evaluate the raw material for one’s ‘daily bread’ or intellectual sustenance. If a millstone is thrown into the sea, then these Perceiver absolutes are being overwhelmed by the Mercy experiences of culture. One sees this in the typical older person today who feels lost and disoriented because the old principles no longer apply. And that describes what one finds in Revelation 18, because the entire culture has now changed to the point where old principles no longer apply. Applying this to Jesus’ parable in Luke, two situations in which Perceiver facts become overwhelmed by Mercy experiences are being compared. The first is the ‘stumbling block’. The person who is a stumbling block is acting in a manner that causes others to reject the Perceiver absolutes that are associated with this person. For instance, “If that is what a Christian is like, then I do not want to have anything to do with Christianity.” The second is the person whose Perceiver absolutes are being overwhelmed by the Mercy experiences of culture. Jesus is saying that it is better for me to have my personal Perceiver absolutes overwhelmed by the experiences of culture than for me to impose experiences upon others that cause them to question these Perceiver absolutes. If one wishes to prevent this from happening, then two responses need to be followed simultaneously. First, hypocrites who preach Perceiver absolutes but do not follow them need to be rebuked. Second, the overall focus should not be upon condemning others but rather upon assisting others, in order to move past the mindset of judging others.

Returning to Revelation, when such a fundamental cultural shift occurs, then one of the first things that changes is the hype and the marketing, because it no longer communicates. For instance, we find advertising from several decades ago humorous because it is so disconnected from our current culture. Thus, ‘the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer’. What changes next is the skills and expertise. For instance, a cooper used to be a common profession, but today the average person does not even know what this word means. Using the meaning of a millstone, if the ‘sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer’, then this means that scholars move on to study other areas, and once the scholarship stops, then there is no longer the light of Teacher theory.

Finally, ‘the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer’. This statement is interesting because the theme of the next chapter is a wedding. In the same way that the transformed value system that led to the fall of Babylon was preceded by ‘hailstones of a talent weight from heaven’, so the ‘marriage supper of the lamb’ is preceded by the end of a previous concept of marriage. We saw in our look at the garden of Eden that mental wholeness involves a marriage between mature male thought and mature female thought. This type of integration is now possible. On the one hand, ‘male’ rational understanding is now guided by ‘female’ TMNs of a universal concept of God. (I am not suggesting that God is female, but rather that female thought lives within mental networks.) On the other hand, all female MMNs are now placed within a universal male system of value.

In contrast, what one finds at the end of chapter 18 is not a marriage but rather the voice of the bride and bridegroom. In other words, the marriage does not last and the interaction is limited to words. Similarly, it is common today for business ventures to verbally predict the wonderful effects that they will have upon culture, but for some reason, this ‘marriage’ seldom seems to last. One hears the voice of the bride and bridegroom, but not much else. One can tell that one is dealing with a form of widespread deception, because the next phrase says ‘for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by her sorcery’. Once this deception ceases, then the truth comes out: ‘in her was found the blood of prophets and saints and of all of the slain on the earth’. In other words, inadequate value leads to a con game in which business markets content that it steals from other sources.

Hallelujah

Revelation 19 begins with a positive emotional response from heaven: “After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.’ And a second time they said, ‘Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.’ And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, ‘Amen. Hallelujah!’ And a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.’ Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns’” (Rev. 19:1-6).

The realization of what has happened seems to go through stages. First, those who reside within Teacher thought recognize that there has now been an extension of Teacher universality. That is because the TMN of a concept of God has now been applied to human activity in a way that is both true (respects Perceiver thought) and righteous (respects Server thought). Second, those who live in Teacher thought realize that this is a permanent solution. Third, this leads to a transformed concept of God reflected by the living creatures worshiping God. Finally, this transformed concept of God is applied to all cultures and situations within Mercy thought: ‘the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters’.

The Marriage of the Lamb

(The idea of Jesus as imaginary friend is discussed in the follow-up essay.)

Revelation 19 continues: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Write, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy’” (Rev. 19:7-10).

We now come to the marriage between male and female thought. Theologians regard ‘the lamb’ as referring to Jesus the incarnation. Cognitively speaking, Contributor thought ties together Perceiver facts with Server sequences, and a concept of incarnation emerges when Contributor thought integrates abstract thought with concrete thought. Thus, incarnation is an expression of integrated male thought. Incarnation is described here as ‘a lamb’ because 1) it is meek: instead of imposing itself upon others, it submits to underlying principles of how things work; 2) it is a sacrifice: it goes through death and resurrection in order to achieve a higher goal. The ‘bride has made herself ready’ implies that all core mental networks of female thought have now been transformed. This same analogy can also be found in Ephesians: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:25:27). Notice the sacrificial path that incarnation follows in order to use Teacher thought (‘the word’) to cleanse Mercy experiences (‘washing of water’). Notice also that the church is guided by mental networks of female thought that are not fragmented by childish MMNs (‘having no spot’) and that are made smooth by the TMN of a general understanding (‘no wrinkle’). Finally, ‘holy’ means set apart to God and ‘blameless’ means MMNs that are consistent with the character of God. The bride is then given the clothing of a culture that is righteous, which is full of Teacher understanding (‘bright’) without Mercy faults (‘clean’).

The phrase ‘blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb’ implies that one is dealing here with at least three different classes of people. First, there are the individuals who are part of the group that is the bride. Second, there are those who are invited to the marriage ceremony. Third, there are those who are not invited. John, the author of Revelation responds to this description by falling in worship at the feet of the messenger. This instinctive response suggests that the attributes of the bride will be sufficiently godlike in perfection to cause those from an earlier age, such as John the author, to respond in worship. One could compare this to the apostle John visiting a modern city. Much of it would appear godlike to a citizen of an earlier age. However, in the case of the visitor to a modern city, disillusionment would set in fairly quickly, because only some aspects of the modern city are transformed. In contrast, we are dealing here with the birth of a new civilization in which all aspects of thought, behavior, and culture are guided by an integrated concept of God.

The messenger responds by saying that people of all cultures and all civilizations are ruled by the same universal concept of God: ‘I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren’. The previous society held to ‘the testimony of Jesus’. In other words, it did not have a general understanding of God in abstract thought, but rather followed the example of Jesus in concrete thought. It needs to turn its focus from words based in the concrete example of Jesus to an abstract understanding of God: ‘worship God’. This transition is possible because words that are based in the concrete example of Jesus lead to Platonic forms that predict what will happen when a concept of God is fully followed: ‘the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy’.

Continuing with chapter 19, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

Thomas Kuhn describes normal science as ‘mopping up’: “Mopping up operations are what engage most scientists throughout their careers. They constitute what I am here calling normal science. Closely examined, whether historically or in the contemporary laboratory, that enterprise seems an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies” (Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p.24). I suggest that what is being described here corresponds to normal science, but within a larger context. The intellectual mopping up can be seen in the invitation to theoreticians (‘all the birds which fly in midheaven’) to analyze all of the various fields (‘eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses...’). Thomas Kuhn says that this sort of re-evaluation occurs in the aftermath of every major paradigm shift. Science focuses upon ‘how things work’. Similarly, the birds are told to ‘eat the flesh’, and the flesh is literally the part of the physical body that acts, as well as representing in the Bible the part of the mind that is based upon embodiment. This invitation is given by ‘an angel standing in the sun’, which implies that abstract thought is firmly placed within the ‘sun’ of a universal Teacher understanding. While science studies the Server sequences of ‘how things work’, science generally avoids dissecting MMNs of identity and culture—especially in a way that leads to feelings of guilt and personal condemnation. Here, the analysis is ripping these MMNs apart in a manner that would be regarded today as politically incorrect and rejected as a violation of ‘safe zones’. I should emphasize that there is a difference between an attitude of tribalism that attacks MMNs of culture and identity because they are different than my culture and my identity, and the analysis being described here, in which a TMN of a universal rational understanding motivates researchers to analyze all MMNs of culture and identity. The first attacks anything that is different than my culture and ‘how we do things’, while the second questions thinking and behavior that contradicts ‘how things work’.

This analysis is occurring within the context of a Contributor incarnation who rules over technical specializations (‘King of Kings and Lord of lords’). But Contributor incarnation is using interdisciplinary thought (‘on his head are many diadems’) that cannot be subsumed within any specific technical specialization: ‘a name written on him which no one knows except himself’. This meta-ruler is accompanied by a heavenly army that functions within a transformed culture (‘clothed in fine linen’) as well as transformed institutions of power (‘on white horses’). Science is guided by an understanding of general processes. Similarly, incarnation ‘judges and wages war in righteousness’. Technical thought can only be interdisciplinary if rebirth is an aspect of the culture, because going from one specialization to another always involves a form of rebirth. Thus, incarnation ‘is clothed with a robe dipped in blood’. Interdisciplinary incarnation is guided by a universal theory of God (‘his name is called word of God’). This submission of Contributor incarnation to a universal theory of God can be seen in Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane when he prays “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 20:39). (This is discussed on page 275 of Natural Cognitive Theology.)

One of the key aspects of technical rethinking is to to clarify definitions in order to have a better understanding of general process. This is known in philosophy as explication. Thus, ‘from his mouth comes a sharp sword’. Finally, ‘a rod of iron’ implies a standard that has been tested in fire. Notice that this type of extended technical thought is only possible when male thought is ‘married’ to female thought. On the one hand, the various specializations are being integrated by the TMN of a meta-theory of God. On the other hand, technical analysis includes MMNs of personal identity.

The chapter ends by describing the capture of the beast and the false prophet: “And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:19-21).

We saw in Chapter 12 that the dragon is cast out of heaven by limiting the extent of Teacher overgeneralization, which is done by using analogies to extend a mental concept of God (‘Michael’ means ‘who is like God’). We see here that the beast is captured by using technical thought to rethink all of the various domains. And when the first beast of objective rational thought (which expresses itself through technology) is seized, then it is no longer possible to fill in the subjective core with the second beast through vague appeals to global unity. These two mindsets survive intact but reemerge within a different context. We saw earlier that the sea represents fragmented MMNs of culture and identity. When rational thought is used to analyze these MMNs then Mercy thought will change from being an emotional sea with islands of rational thought to a solid landscape with a few remaining lakes. But these will be lakes of fire because they will experience the impact of Teacher understanding. They will also ‘burn with brimstone’ because those who live within these lakes will be emotionally troubled by the continual invasion of Perceiver facts. One can find a partial illustration in the spread of the Internet. It used to be that only a few individuals and institutions were connected and that most individuals lived separate lives. This corresponds to a sea with islands of connectivity. Now almost everyone is connected to the Internet except for a few individuals. Thus, there is now a landscape of interconnectivity with a few lakes of disconnected individuals. These disconnected individuals continually experience a push to become connected, as indicated by the lakes of fire, and they continually encounter facts that demonstrate the shortcomings of not being connected, as represented by the brimstone. The same cognitive principles would be involved here but on a much grander scale.

The mindset of individuals within the lakes of fire is characterized by the beast and the prophet. These individuals may know how to use gadgets, but they do not understand the underlying principles. This epitomizes the attitude of the beast. Instead of understanding the principles, they simply believe in Teacher thought that ‘everything works together by magic’, representing the attitude of the false prophet. Today, this mindset characterizes the average individual, because the beast and the false prophet rule society. If rational understanding were to become ubiquitous, then everybody would have at least a general understanding of how everything works. (It is not possible for everyone to become technically proficient in every area. But it is possible for everyone to gain at least a general understanding of how things work. Similarly, it is not possible to know the character of God exhaustively. However, it is possible to gain a general understanding of the character of God.) These two mindsets are compared in Habakkuk: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14). When Habakkuk was writing, there was only concrete thought. Therefore, the waters covered the sea. (This societal inability to use abstract thought can be seen in John 6.) Habakkuk is predicting that time will come when all rational thought will be seen as an expression of a universal teacher understanding of God.

The other inadequate mental networks are torn apart through the use of careful technical thought. As was mentioned, the process of carefully defining terms is a key aspect of analytic philosophy, and the result is extensive understanding (‘the birds were filled with their flesh’). In other words, I suggest that technical specialization is appropriate when it occurs within the larger context of a universal concept of God. That is because technical thought always learns more about some limited context. The category mistake occurs when technical thought is used to try to come up with universal answers. One cannot use the rules of hockey, for instance, to explain all of life. Technical thought is being used here to rethink all of the details within the new context of integrated male and female thought held together by a universal concept of God. Saying this another way, technical specialization is only possible when people live in an integrated economy in which people can exchange goods and services. When people are isolated, then everyone must become a generalist in order to survive; specialization is not possible. Thus, specialization always occurs within a larger context, but this larger context is currently provided by the physical infrastructure of civilization rather than by an internal universal concept of God.

The Millennium

(The millennium is discussed further in the follow-up essay.)

Revelation 20 describes what is commonly known as the millennium: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years” Rev. 20:1-6).

Once everything has been technically re-analyzed in the light of a universal Teacher understanding, it then becomes possible to imprison the ‘serpent of old’. Notice that the passage restates the four names of dragon, serpent of old, devil, and Satan. The mysticism of the ‘serpent of old’, with its direct emotional path between Teacher and Mercy thought is not possible when Teacher and Mercy thought are totally interconnected through the indirect content of Contributor incarnation. This means that it is no longer possible to use the Teacher overgeneralization of the dragon to jump from specific person to grandiose Teacher claim. And when all MMNs are placed within a grid of content held together by the TMN of a concept of God, then a satanic (Satan means adversary) adversarial attitude of one MMN versus another is also eliminated. Finally, if truth does not depend upon the MMNs of personal opinion, then there is no purpose in slandering one another, because that would be like blaming my neighbor for the law of gravity.

Teacher overgeneralization can be limited, but it cannot be removed, because it is a mental strategy. Instead, it is left with nothing to work with and thus becomes imprisoned within the abyss. Using religious language, mysticism gets to experience Nirvana, but this Nirvana is not the nothingness of denied content, but rather the nothingness of being blocked off from all content. (All faulty mental networks are self-contradictory, and can be defeated by uncovering the self-contradiction. Mysticism says that it wants to experience the nothingness of Nirvana, but it is only capable of stating this because people live in a physical world of solid, inescapable content. If mysticism ever were to fully experience the emptiness of Nirvana, then the resulting angst would cause it to shrink back in horror.)

What has been described so far in our analysis of the book of Revelation is the process of setting up a system that is guided fully by the concept of a universal, rational God. It is now possible to actually live in this system. Those who wanted to live in such a system but were denied the chance are now given the opportunity. Two groups are mentioned. In both cases, there is both a Teacher and a Server component. The first group followed the example of Jesus in Server thought and the word of God in Teacher thought. ‘Being beheaded’ implies that they were prevented from following this in an intelligent manner. The second group did not submit MMNs of personal identity to the beast and they did not allow Teacher thought to be governed by the methodology of the beast.

What we have examined so far in our analysis of Revelation could be interpreted purely from a cognitive perspective, as something that only happens within the mind. I am not suggesting that the ‘great tribulation’ will only happen within people’s minds, but I do suggest that the primary battle of the great tribulation involves the transforming of people’s minds, and that this process of personal transformation can be rationally analyzed using cognitive mechanisms. We are now looking at a situation that clearly goes beyond just the mind, because people are being brought back to life. When one loses the opportunity to live life and life is gone, then if one is to have this opportunity then life must be renewed. Notice that the general purpose of bringing people back to life is not to violate natural order but rather to make it possible for people to live intelligently in a system that is guided by rational understanding. In other words, one is not dealing here with miracles that are exceptions to the rule but rather with miracles that are guided by rules of justice which make it possible for people to live within the rules.

We have seen so far that each societal transformation is preceded by a mental transformation within a smaller group of people. Similarly, before the physical realm can be transformed, what is first needed is a group of people who are mentally capable of living in such a transformed realm. In other words, the millennium describes a group of people with transformed minds and a transformed worldview living within a non-transformed environment. Those who use their transformed minds to create a transformed society do not have to fear when the environment becomes transformed. That is why ‘the second death has no power over them’.

Does the millennium last exactly 1000 years? My guess is that 1000 years indicates a complete era rather than a precise length of time. That is because, in my experience, God’s school of character development is not like undergraduate school in which one graduates after one has completed four years of courses. Rather, it is like graduate school in which one has to complete a certain set of requirements and one graduates when these requirements are met, regardless of how long it takes.

At the end of this period Satan is released temporarily: “When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:7-10).

The topography of this description is interesting. There is a single ‘beloved city’, the earth is a ‘broad plain’, the adversaries are like ‘the sand of the seashore’, and they ‘gather together’ to ‘surround the camp of the saints’. This gives the impression that integrated Teacher thought resides in one central location which is surrounded by many fragmented MMNs. In other words, in the same way that Adam and Eve tried to hide from God in the trees of the garden, so one gains the impression that MMNs of human existence are trying to hide in the corners from the central TMN of a concept of God. This separation might be internal, it might be physical, or could be some combination of the two. The point is that an untransformed environment makes it possible to separate Teacher thought from Mercy thought. For instance, modern society does this by limiting most abstract thought to the physical location of a university. If one wishes to study, then one goes to university. When one is not on a university campus, then one can ignore Teacher theory. This separation is possible because physical topography can substitute for mental content.

When such a separation occurs, then those who follow Teacher thought and live ‘in the city’ will become more prosperous than those who live in fragmented MMNs out in the boondocks. (Or alternatively, mental networks that are connected with Teacher understanding will become more developed than those that remain separate.) When Teacher overgeneralization is released within such an environment, then the conclusion will be that such inequalities are unfair and need to be eliminated. For instance, this describes the thinking behind socialism. People who follow goal-oriented behavior will naturally become more prosperous than those who are locked within MMNs of culture. Teacher overgeneralization sees this and concludes that ‘everyone should be the same’, which it then tries to accomplish through the adversarial approach of eliminating Perceiver facts of ownership. Notice again the familiar combination of Teacher overgeneralization and the suppression of Perceiver facts.

In response, ‘fire comes down from heaven and devours them’. Looking at this cognitively, this envy ends up extending the realm of Teacher thought, because all of the specific MMNs become incorporated within the TMN of universal understanding. In other words, the application and extension of Teacher understanding occurs both willingly and unwillingly. It occurs willingly for those who live in the city, while it occurs unwillingly for those who avoid understanding and focus upon details, because these details eventually get incorporated within the general understanding. For instance, most of the authors that I have studied try to avoid the concept of a universal, rational God. However, as long as they do research honestly, it is still possible to place this research within the general framework of a concept of God.

The devil (which means slanderer) is then thrown into the ‘lake of fire and brimstone’. The beast and false prophet were placed within the Lake of fire when technical thought re-examined all the various specializations in the light of a general Teacher understanding. The underlying attitude of Teacher overgeneralization and mysticism can only be defeated by using personal existence to explore all of the possible MMNs of culture and identity and then placing these within the framework of a universal Teacher understanding. This is now a permanent solution that lasts ‘day and night forever and ever’.

The Great White Throne

(More details to be found in the follow-up essay.)

Revelation 20 finishes by saying, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:11-15).

Now that all of the Mercy implications of human existence have been explored and incorporated within the framework of a universal Teacher understanding, it is possible for a universal concept of God to question all remaining independent content. One sees this portrayed by ‘Earth and heaven fleeing away’ from the presence of God and ‘no place was found for them’. If this passage describes the universal unveiling of a universal God, then one is dealing with all dimensions, including the physical, the spiritual, the social, the angelic, and the cognitive. But if everything is being questioned, then judgment is only possible if an independent standard exists that survives intact when everything else falls apart. This is found in the ‘book of life’, and a person’s final status depends upon one’s name being written in this book of life. ‘Life’ tells us that we are dealing with mental networks, because the mind uses mental networks to represent life and mental networks provide life for the mind. A ‘book’ says that one is dealing with mental networks in an integrated fashion held together by a general Teacher understanding, because a book is a physical picture of a rational Teacher theory (and learning from a textbook or holy book helps to develop rational understanding). The fact that this book of life can be used as a standard of judgment implies that an integrated understanding of mental networks is a universal standard that survives intact in the presence of a universal God when everything else crumbles. Similarly, I have found that the theory of mental symmetry with its basis in the ‘life’ of cognitive modules and mental networks appears to be a universal theory that can handle everything—including a concept of God—and remain intact.

When there is a regime change, such as the fall of communism, then the new system will automatically judge everyone according to their deeds. Does a person possess the skills that are required to survive in the new regime, or has a person acted in such a way that is incompatible with how the new regime works? Notice that there are two aspects to this judging. In order to avoid being thrown into the Lake of fire, one’s name must be written in the book of life. In other words, core mental networks must possess a Teacher structure that is compatible with the universal Teacher structure of life. But one is also judged by what one has done. In order to flourish in the new regime, one must have skills that are compatible with the new regime.

This judgment is applied by a universal Teacher theory that applies to all MMNs of culture (‘the sea gave up the dead’) and which extends beyond the material to include unseen realms (‘Hades’ means the realm of the unseen where the dead exist). If death and Hades are thrown into the Lake of fire, this tells us that the ideas of an ‘unseen realm’ or ‘life after death’ themselves become obsolete concepts because Teacher understanding now covers everything. Similarly, I have found that in addition to being able to explain human existence within a physical realm, the theory of mental symmetry can also naturally explain personal existence as a disembodied spirit, as well as unseen spiritual and angelic realms.

One might gain the impression initially that this type of cognitive analysis explains everything away. That is because the underlying assumption today is that God is irrational. Therefore, if one uses rational thought to analyze theological concepts, then one presumes that nothing will remain. I suggest that this assumption is itself an aspect of worshiping the beast and the dragon. However, if God truly is a universal, rational being, then rationally analyzing God and divine judgment makes God and religion more powerful rather than explaining them away. Using an analogy, explaining a magical trick explains the trick away. But explaining electricity does not explain electricity away because electricity follows rational laws. Similarly, I have found that a rational explanation of God and Christianity turns these subjects from magical concepts that might affect me sometime in the future into universal principles that already affect me inescapably. And this universal rational understanding stops me from playing the game of saying that I believe in God while actually worshiping and serving the beast. More and more I find that even Christians (and Christian academic institutions) who claim to be evangelical actually worship a God of mysticism, serve the beast of scientism and technology, and no longer believe in universal moral principles.

New Heaven and New Earth

Chapter 21 describes this transformed environment: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:1-4).

Looking at this from the perspective of cognitive development, childish minds come into existence without any internal content. Therefore, they must be programmed by content from the external environment. People will only learn if they are forced to learn, which means that the external environment must impose itself upon the mind. But this makes it possible for people to control each other by using external input to affect the mind. Saying this more simply, people will only learn from the world if ignoring the world leads to painful results. But if the world can impose painful results upon people, then people can control each other by using the world to impose painful results upon other people’s minds. Thus, the current choice is between evil and stupidity. Similarly, the mind will only interact with the world if the physical world is also a source of pleasant experiences. But if the mind can experience pleasant input from the physical world, then one can use physical input to provide shortcuts to pleasure. For instance, I can eat even when I am not hungry. Here the choice is between hedonism and stupidity. The long-term solution is to reshape the external environment to remove both physical vulnerabilities and shortcuts to pleasure. But this is only possible if internal content will motivate people in the absence of physical necessity, and if internal content is sufficient to achieve long-term pleasure. In other words, if all people’s needs are provided, will they turn into couch potatoes who live on welfare and watch sex and violence on television, or will they pursue intelligent, rewarding goals.

This explains why a new heaven and a new earth have to be accompanied by a new Jerusalem. Suffering no longer exists in this new environment: ‘There will no longer be any death; it will no longer be any morning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away’. Despite the absence of physical necessity, there is a city in which people actively pursue goals rather than becoming passive or worshiping God in self-denial. This city is described as a bride, which implies that it is characterized by the integrated mental networks of mature female thought. These mental networks provide a positive source of motivation in the absence of physical necessity. In this holy city, the TMN of a concept of God interacts with MMNs of identity and culture: ‘the tabernacle of God is among men, and he will dwell among them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be among them’. Mysticism is based in the belief that ‘I am God’, and it creates a direct emotional connection between Teacher theory and Mercy identity. However, mysticism cannot handle content. One finds a similar coexistence of the TMN of a concept of God with MMNs of culture and identity in the new Jerusalem. However, this coexistence occurs within the content provided by a city. Instead of a snake, one finds a woman. Instead of mysticism, there is a holy city. Instead of me having the feeling of being God, God inhabits the content of human existence.

Notice that there is no longer any sea in this new environment. In other words, fragmented MMNs no longer exist. The childish mind contains fragmented MMNs because the current physical environment can impose emotional results upon people’s minds. But if this environment is changed, then there is no longer any source of fragmented MMNs.

The next verses describe the requirements for living in this new environment: “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death’” (Rev. 21:5-8).

If a person sitting on a throne makes all things new, and if this monarch says that this should be written down because it is ‘faithful and true’, then this tells us that one is dealing with a new set of general laws. It is as if a country is coming up with a new written constitution to govern its affairs. Except, one is dealing here with a divine throne coming up with a new set of legislations, which implies a new set of natural laws. And this is a universal rewriting of law because ‘I am making all things new’. There is also a new source of motivation. Previously, physical needs forced learning to occur, but crying, pain, and death have now passed away. But there is still the motivation of thirst, which is an internal longing for water, or in cognitive language, an internal desire for Mercy experiences. The solution to this internal need is also internal: a spring of the water of life. In other words, there is now an internal source for Mercy experiences rooted in the preservation and growth of mental networks (‘life’).

The phrase ‘beginning and the end’ suggests that one is returning to a situation that is like the garden of Eden. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden and God now dwells with mankind in the holy city. Notice that this concept of recapitulation is stated using both the concrete language of ‘beginning and end’ as well as the abstract language of ‘Alpha and Omega’ (Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the final letter.)

My hypothesis is that the structure of this new environment is in some way dependant upon the internal structure of the mind. This is similar to Swedenborg’s description of heaven as an external environment that is an expression of internal ruling loves. Saying this more generally, the spiritual realm appears to interact with the mind through mental networks. Therefore, a disembodied mind that lives within a spiritual realm would be irresistibly drawn to an environment that expresses core mental networks, and this environment would be reinforced by core mental networks. My guess is that the new earth is in some way a combination of the current spiritual realm and the current earth, while the new heaven would be a combination of the current spiritual realm and the current angelic realm. This is consistent with Paul’s description of the resurrection body: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” 1 Cor. 15:42-44). Summarizing what Paul says, the current physical body is vulnerable and can be killed, the resurrection body is not. The resurrection body is ‘glorious’, which means that the external is in some way an expression of the internal. The resurrection body also has power, which implies that it can influence Perceiver facts in an angelic manner. The current body, in contrast, is limited to using Server thought to perform actions. Finally, the current body is natural while the resurrected body is spiritual, telling us that there is an interplay between spirit and matter. Paul then repeats that both natural and spiritual bodies exist. My hypothesis is that in the same way that the current physical body is composed of physical matter, so a future ‘spiritual body’ would reflect the nature of a new heaven and earth.

This hypothesis is more than just idle speculation, because we are currently experiencing a partial version of a holy city descending from heaven down to earth, and while the effects of a real holy city would be far more intense, I suggest that they would be similar to what we are experiencing today. Science is based in a general Teacher understanding of natural processes. This is a partial version of heaven with its focus on Teacher thought. Science is now descending to earth in the form of technology. We have seen that technology is a beast because it is limited to the material and the objective. However, if one focuses upon what technology is currently doing within the realm of material and the objective, then this is like a holy city descending to earth. It is holy, because it is an intense expression of Teacher understanding. Anyone who tries to work with modern technology, and not just use it, knows that it is governed totally by rational understanding. Technology is also a city, because it has progressed beyond being a collection of novel gadgets to being an entire way of life. The whole world now walks in the light of this new city of technology. Platonic forms play a key role in this city of technology. On the one hand, much of the movement is invisible. One cannot see information being passed from one part of the computer to another, or from one part of the Internet to another. Instead, one must construct an internal map of Perceiver facts guided by Teacher understanding. For instance, I have found that one of the major reasons that the average person has problems with computers is because they do not know where the information is and how it travels: “Your data is stored on the hard drive. It is then transferred into RAM in order to run the program.” On the other hand, the objects of technology are almost Platonic in their purity and perfection. For instance, silicon chips are constructed out of silicon ingots that weigh about 100 kg each. Each is composed of a single crystal of silicon that is 99.9999999% pure. This city is also populated by ‘heavenly beings’ known as computers, which process information guided by the written instructions of computer programs. Computers are not alive, but they are a form of artificial intelligence that is objective and material. Saying this another way, computers are programmed using messages, and the word angel means messenger. The point is that, cognitively speaking, we now live in a society that is a combination of the ‘earth’ of physical reality and the ‘heaven’ of technology, computers, and messages. Most people now spend a significant portion of their time staring at screens, pushing buttons, and sending and receiving messages. Technology has progressed to the point where the line between reality and thought is beginning to blur. It is now possible to spend hours a day living in virtual realities that are created by computers as expressions of people’s imaginations. Going further, flying a military drone is like playing a videogame, but these drones fly through the real world, and when one presses the button on the ‘videogame’ then real people die.

This is also changing the nature of personal need. In the past, people were driven primarily by physical needs such as finding adequate food, avoiding physical danger, and recovering from illness. Thanks to modern technology, the average Western individual can ignore physical needs for most of the time. Instead, what troubles the typical individual today is infoglut and stress. How can a person stay internally integrated with the continual flood of new ideas and new gadgets, especially since the average person is now always connected and can no longer retreat into a personal, private world. Finally, the idea of a multi-faceted concept of God is illustrated by the modern computer, because the computer is both a specific object and a miniature world. The average person now carries with him a smart phone that is not just a phone but also a video camera, a guidance system, an entertainment center, a library, a newspaper, a television, a gaming system, and an encyclopedia. Describing this small rectangular object as a miniature world is not an exaggeration. Summarizing, the description in Revelation 21 and 22 appears to make sense if one takes the current partial illustration of technology descending to earth and extends this to cover all of existence and not just the objective and the material.

Returning now to Revelation, the requirements for living in the new heaven and earth are described, and these requirements make sense if one is attempting to live in a realm in which mental networks affect the external environment. In order to live in such an environment, one must ‘overcome’, which means having sufficient internal content to survive external pressure. One then enters the transformed environment by inheriting, which means that one must acquire a personal identity that is compatible with this new environment. One does not merely earn the right to enter this environment. Instead, one must become the type of person who can live in this environment. Using religious language, one must become a ‘son of God’.

This is followed by a list of character traits that make a person unable to handle the requirements of this new environment. The cowardly and the unbelieving are incapable of entering because they allow external input to govern the mind rather than being guided by internal content. The abominable are driven by destructive mental networks, while murderers destroy mental networks. If mental networks affect the environment, then one can only survive in this environment by building mental networks rather than destroying them, and by building healthy mental networks rather than disgusting ones. We have already looked at immorality, which pursues peripheral value while ignoring core value. In order to survive this new environment, one must improve core mental networks and not just secondary mental networks. A sorcerer tries to manipulate the external world using MMNs of similarity and magical connection, instead of being guided by a TMN based in how things work. An idolater builds the mind upon MMNs acquired directly from the external world, which is not possible when the external world is an expression of internal mental networks. Finally, a liar speaks Teacher words that do not hold together. But in order to survive this new environment, one must use a general Teacher understanding to hold together internal content. Saying this another way, a person can lack internal integrity when the external environment has physical integrity, but mental integrity is required when physical integrity depends upon mental integrity.

Holy City

The new Jerusalem is then described in more detail: “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:9-14).

I have suggested that personal transformation goes through three stages of building a concept of God in Teacher thought, allowing this concept of God to guide behavior through righteousness, and then becoming reborn in environment that is an expression of general Teacher understanding. Revelation 12 – 20 describes an entire society going through the first two stages. Revelation 21 describes the third stage of a society becoming reborn in a new environment. (These general principles also apply to the individual and the smaller group, but Revelation appears to be portraying The Big Picture.) I have also mentioned that Platonic forms emerge within the mind when Teacher thought works out the idealized essence of Perceiver categories. When one is constructing a concept of God, then Platonic forms emerge as an internal vision of how things could be, which provides the raw material for an internal concept of the Holy Spirit. During the third stage of rebirth, these Platonic forms descend from the ‘heaven’ of Teacher theory down to the ‘earth’ of human existence, and these Platonic forms provide values that guide specific goals within Mercy thought. We saw in Revelation 16 how the seven bowls of wrath impose a Teacher-based concept of God upon humanity. John, the author of Revelation, is looking forward to the coming time when Platonic forms will descend from heaven to Earth, because ‘one of the seven angels with the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues’ speaks with John and shows him ‘the bride, the wife of the lamb’. In order to ‘see’ this future event, John has to adopt a spiritual perspective (‘ carried me away in the spirit’) and adopt the viewpoint of a universal Teacher understanding (‘to a great and high mountain’).

A Platonic form represents the essence of a number of objects or experiences. For instance, a line in geometry is perfectly straight, extends forever, and has no width. Similarly, a circle in geometry is perfectly round and is drawn with a single curved line. A Platonic form is valuable because all of the imperfections have been removed and replaced by Teacher characteristics such as elegance, symmetry, grace, smoothness, curves, and simplicity (these are all examples of Teacher order-within-complexity). For instance, all real circles have imperfections. A mathematical circle is free of imperfections and is characterized instead by a single, unvarying, smooth curve. The holy city is described as having the brilliance of ‘a very costly stone’ that is ‘crystal clear’. As I mentioned before, when an object is totally clear, then instead of seeing the Mercy surface of this object (Mercy thought is aware of texture because it adds specific details to an object) one sees the Teacher light that travels unimpeded through the object. This means that a transparent valuable object is a cognitively natural metaphor of a Platonic form, which implies that the holy city comes down from heaven as a Platonic form.

This city has twelve gates upon which are written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. It also has twelve foundation stones upon which are written the names of the twelve apostles. A gate is something which one travels through using Server thought, while a foundation stone is something which one builds upon using Perceiver thought. Judaism emphasizes Server thought, because the focus is upon doing the rituals that were revealed by God to Moses, and Jews have a strong sense of tribal history, based upon the Jewish people carrying out the Server sequences of the plan of God. Christianity, in contrast, emphasizes Perceiver thought, because the focus is upon believing the truth that was revealed by God in the Bible and applying this truth to personal identity. Contributor incarnation combines Perceiver and Server. Similarly, the new Jerusalem combines the Perceiver beliefs of the Christian apostles with the Server paths of the Jewish tribes. The three gates on four sides might refer to the four simple modes of thought (Teacher, Mercy, Perceiver, and Server) being approached from a Trinitarian viewpoint that combines Teacher understanding, Mercy spirit, and Contributor incarnation. However, that is purely speculative.

The city is then described in more detail: “The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements. The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (Rev. 21:15-21).

I have no idea about the symbology of either the numbers or the precious stones. The distance in the original Greek is 12,000 stadia, and we have already seen the number twelve, while the thousand years of the millennium imply completion. Again, this is speculative. A square city implies that the four simple modes of thought are used in a balanced manner that extends equally in all directions. This is not the case with current Christian (or Jewish) denominations, which are usually characterized by doctrinal and spiritual imbalance. Thus, Christian history has generally been a case of stumbling from one extreme to another.

Both the walls and the streets of the city are described as being made of gold that is like transparent glass. Streets provide paths for Server thought. Streets of transparent gold implies that the Server sequences that guide people within the city are composed of Platonic forms. This corresponds to the scientific concept of an exemplar, which is a characteristic Server sequence that represents many similar sequences (exemplars and scientific thought are described here). It is interesting that the walls and streets are described as made of gold that is like transparent glass. A Platonic form is an invisible image that is an idealization of existing objects and experiences. While existing objects can approach the perfection of Platonic forms, no real object can actually achieve the perfection of an invisible Platonic form. For instance, it is possible to make circles that are almost round, but it is not possible to create a circle that is perfectly round. However, if one ‘descends from the heaven of Teacher thought’ through technology, then it is possible to make circles that almost perfectly round. Looking at this more generally, modern technology produces objects that are more Platonic in their perfection than anything that was made several hundred years ago. Similarly, the walls and streets are made of gold, which is valuable, stable, and does not tarnish, but they are like the Platonic form of transparent glass. The author adds that human measurements are the same as angelic measurements. This implies that there is now one integrated form of technical thought that combines the natural law of the physical universe with the universal principles of the angelic realm. This is mentally possible if practical Contributor thought becomes integrated with intellectual Contributor thought, which is what happens with incarnation. (Jesus is both man and God, but Jesus is also the ‘son of man’ in the New Testament and the ‘angel of God’ in the Old Testament.)

Finally, a pearl is a precious item that grows over time within the body of an oyster in response to an irritant. Similarly, the mind will only develop a higher strategy if some irritant prevents the mind from pursuing a lower strategy, and the extent to which a higher strategy is developed depends upon the extent and duration of the irritant. It is interesting that the twelve gates are each described as being made of a single pearl. This implies that one can only enter the city by using a higher strategy that develops by being forced to deal with an irritant for a sufficient period of time.

Continuing with Revelation 21, “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:22-27).

A temple is needed when God is viewed as distinct from normal existence. Similarly, we saw in the millennium that physical space was used to separate a concept of God in Teacher thought from normal experiences in Mercy thought. Temples are no longer necessary—or possible—if the very fabric of space/time has been altered to require mental wholeness. Looking at this cognitively, when one goes through the third stage of personal rebirth, then one of the byproducts is that God no longer appears ‘up there’ and humans ‘down here’. Instead, one sees the character of God illustrated in many ways and at many different scales. Saying this mathematically, a concept of God becomes fractal. In other words, ‘the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it’ because a concept of God is no longer seen as something bright out there. Instead, the illumination is provided by illustrations of the character of God that fill normal existence. Hence, ‘the glory of God has illumined’ the city. This kind of multifaceted concept of God requires both a universal Teacher that rules over all of existence (‘the Lord God the Almighty’) as well as a Contributor incarnation that adds details to this universal concept of God (‘and the lamb’). This idea of a fractal concept of God is discussed further on page 293 of Natural Cognitive Theology. When a concept of God pervades everything in this manner, then Contributor plans are guided by the ‘lamp of the lamb’ because one can always see some aspect of the character of God wherever one is. Saying this another way, no one needs to ask ‘what is the will of God’ because everyone always knows how to think and act in a way that is consistent with the character of God. This may sound limiting, but it is not, because the character of God is expressed in general statements that can be realized in myriads of different specific ways. When a concept of God pervades everything, then there is no such thing as a secular realm that can cause the ‘sun’ of a concept of God to set. Instead, it is always day. This also prevents anyone who ‘practices abomination and lying’ from entering the city, because destructive mental networks as well as a lack of internal integrity become immediately apparent. Instead, only people whose mental networks functioned in a manner that is consistent with the new universal law of ‘the lamb’s book of life’ would be capable of entering the city. This might initially give the impression that entering the city would be a simple matter of putting on a new set of core mental networks. But reprogramming mental networks is not a simple matter, as anyone who has tried to break a habit knows. And reprogramming core mental networks is only possible if one can choose between alternative sets of mental networks. However, one is now dealing with a new heaven and earth in which the TMN of a universal concept of God pervades everything. Given such an environment, it is quite likely that massive personal change would not be possible. Thomas Kuhn concludes that old scientists are essentially incapable of adopting new paradigms. If that describes the situation in the current natural world, one can only imagine how difficult it would be to adopt a new paradigm in a new heaven and earth.

This multi-faceted concept of God is different than mysticism, which says in a handwaving manner that ‘God is in everything’. Instead, the way that everything behaves provides illustrations of the content of God’s character. However it leads to the same emotions as saying that ‘God is in everything’ because one can see the character of God expressed and illustrated in everything.

In the millennium, interaction between the city of God and the experiences of humanity eventually broke down. Here there is continuing interaction between the holy city and the other nations, because we are told that the ‘gates are never closed’. That is because the very fabric of the universe now overtly expresses the character of God. (The deep structure of the physical universe is already implicitly consistent with the character of God and incarnation, but it is currently possible to ignore this relationship. In a new heaven and earth, it would no longer be possible to ignore this relationship.) If the fabric of the universe explicitly expresses the character of God, then one does not have to live in a holy city to come up with godly goods and services. Instead, it is possible to ‘bring the glory and the honor of the nations into’ the city. In a similar manner, I have found that I can learn about the character of God from pagan researchers who ignore God because they are studying a natural universe that reflects the character of God. A similar principle would apply on a grander scale here.

This would force one to function at the level of mental integration in order to survive. In other words, people in the new heaven and earth would no longer experience physical weakness and physical necessity. Instead they would need maintain internal integrity in order to survive this new realm. This suggests that there would be three primary levels of existence in this new realm. Those who lived in the holy city would be guided by a multi-faceted concept of God. For them, all aspects of existence would be illustrations of the character of God, and the ‘glory of the Lord would illumine the city’. One could refer to this as Einsteinian thinking. Those who lived in the nations would be guided by a concept of God ‘out there’, because the nations ‘walk by the light of the city’. This could be referred to as Maxwellian thinking (because one is dealing not just with a new earth, but rather a new heaven and earth). Finally, those who are incapable of existing in such an environment would find themselves in the lake of fire. And if internal content affected physical reality, then this would be both a spiritual and a physical lake of fire.

The River and Tree of Life

Chapter 22 describes life within the holy city: “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 22:1-5).

Mysticism uses Teacher overgeneralization and Mercy identification to form an emotional bond between God and identity. When the mind is fully integrated, then this emotional interaction returns, but it is now compatible with content rather than destroying content. Looking at this more technically, Teacher emotion is based upon generality, while Mercy emotion comes from specific experiences. General is not the same as specific; the universe is not the same as me. Mysticism juxtaposes these two emotions by saying that I am the universe. This works because Teacher emotion feels like Mercy emotion, even though these two emotions have vastly different sources. When one acquires a multifaceted concept of God, then Teacher emotions of universality become compatible with Mercy feelings of personal experience because personal experiences are now also illustrations of universal concepts.

One sees these same principles described in Romans 8: “The whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:22-28). The focus of this passage is living in transformed bodies within a transformed environment, and like Revelation 21, it occurs at the end of a long description of the process of personal transformation. Paul is being guided by the internal Platonic forms of the spirit and is being driven by a hope that is based in the unseen. This leads to a new form of prayer which is a direct emotional interaction between the Holy Spirit within Mercy thought and God within Teacher thought (‘groanings too deep for words’). This works because mental networks of identity are now guided by the Platonic forms of the Holy Spirit, and these Platonic forms are compatible with the Teacher understanding of God (‘he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God’). The end result is that Teacher emotions of generality lead naturally to Mercy emotions of personal goodness (‘God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God’). This harmonious interplay between Teacher emotion and Mercy emotion does not occur for everyone but rather is limited to those feel and act within a structure held together by the TMN of a concept of God (‘to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose’). I am not suggesting that this passage applies only to those living in the holy city, but rather that it applies most perfectly to people who have reached this level of interaction with God. Before this point there will continually be a struggle between following the will of God and personal goodness. Following the will of God may lead eventually to personal goodness, but will also probably lead through temporary personal pain. However, I suggest that the general principle is the same, and that this similarity is itself a general principle, because ‘God causes the rain to fall on both the ungodly and the godly’. The ways of God are universal, but they are expressed in different manners at different times. That is why it is possible to find partial illustrations of a new heaven and earth in present society.

Turning now to Revelation 22, there is ‘a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street ’. Water indicates Mercy experiences; God inhabits universal Teacher thought. When water flows from the throne of God, then there is a direct emotional interaction between Teacher universality and specific Mercy experiences. However, these Mercy experiences have the purity of Platonic forms, because the water is ‘clear as crystal’. And there is a general Server sequence, because the water flows along a river, and this general Server sequence is backed up by specific Server actions, because the river is ‘in the middle of its street’. A similar interaction occurs within the mind whenever mathematical equations are used to solve problems in physics. The laws of physics are written as general mathematical equations within Teacher thought. But these equations also describe general processes that can be used to solve specific situations. However, these general equations are always applied to idealized versions of specific situations. For instance, the physics problem may start by saying “Imagine a mouse falling onto a horizontal meter stick that is pivoted at the center. The mouse clings to the meter stick. How fast is the meter stick rotating when it is vertical?” This is a real situation from the real world—and also a real problem from a real physics textbook. This real world situation will then be idealized: “The meter stick has a uniform mass, the pivot is frictionless, and the mouse clings to the meter stick when landing and does not move.” The problem is solved by going through a process that is both a mathematical sequence and a specific path. In this particular situation, potential energy turns to kinetic energy as the mouse falls, angular momentum is conserved when the mouse collides with the meter stick, and potential energy is converted to rotational energy as the stick with the clinging mouse rotates from horizontal to vertical.

Saying this symbolically, a stream of idealized experiences flows from the throne of universal natural laws, and this stream flows in the midst of the road of human Server actions and sequences. This flow is possible when specific situations are viewed as illustrations of universal laws, which becomes possible when Contributor incarnation bridges specific Mercy experiences with universal Teacher laws. That is why it is ‘the throne of God and of the Lamb’ and not just ‘the throne of God’. When Teacher and Mercy thought are emotionally integrated in this manner, then there is peace and rest, but this peace brings harmony to human existence rather than ignoring or suppressing human desires, and this rest comes not from doing nothing but rather from thinking and behaving in a flowing manner.

The passage continues by saying that ‘On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations’. The physical realm is ruled by natural cycles such as days, months, and years, and it appears that both the body and the mind require such cycles. Seasons and cycles remain in this new environment, but instead of being driven by the clock of time, they are driven by the natural progression of mental networks (‘the tree of life’ that ‘yields its fruit every month’). The idea of a monthly cycle guided by ripening fruit from the tree of life may be significant, especially within the context of the holy city as the ‘bride of the lamb’, because the female body is currently subject to a monthly cycle that is in a very real sense ‘guided by ripening fruit from the tree of life’. Going further, if the environment in some way depends upon the mind, then the nations who focus more upon specifics mental networks would need regular healing from the tree of life in order to remain mentally and spiritually integrated.

The final description sums up what is been mentioned previously: “There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.” The curse that began in the garden of Eden is now finished. Innocence has now been replaced by wisdom, because people submit to a concept of God in Teacher thought as well as being guided by Contributor incarnation. Mercy identity no longer shrinks from approaching universal Teacher understanding ‘face-to-face’ because the Teacher name of God guides thinking. This universal Teacher understanding never darkens, and it never becomes obsolete. (This does not mean that there are no more paradigm shifts, but rather that these paradigm shifts now occur within the general context of a meta-theory that holds everything together.)

Back to the Past

The end of the book shifts from a description of the future back to John’s current world: “And he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true’; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.’ I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, ‘Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.’ And he said to me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end’” (Rev. 22:6-13).

The phrase ‘these words are faithful and true’ occurred in the previous chapter when describing the new heaven and earth. This describes the relationship of a universal theory in Teacher thought to the rest of the mind. The Teacher words are true because they are an accurate description of reality, and they are faithful because they can be relied upon to produce changes in reality. Looking at the details, if the Perceiver facts of ‘the prophets’ are combined with a Teacher understanding of God, then this will lead to the Platonic forms of the Spirit. That describes the first stage of salvation. During the second stage of righteousness, ‘angelic’ abstract thought guided by a Teacher concept of God is combined with the Server actions of ‘bond-servants’ who are submitted to God. These first two stages show a person how things could be, which lays the foundation for the third stage of living within this transformed realm.

It may seem strange to describe this as something that will happen quickly when the book of Revelation was written almost 2000 years ago, but the word quickly means ‘without any delay’. I suggest that this phrase makes sense if one uses the right kind of Server sequence. Clock sequence means that something occurs after a certain period of time. Step sequence means that something occurs after the previous step has been finished. According to clock sequence, the message of Revelation is not quick. But we have seen that Revelation 12 through 22 is a connected sequence of steps based in cognitive necessity; each step makes the next step possible. According to step sequence, ‘quickly’ means that there is no delay between the steps; each step is followed immediately by the next step. Since the previous sentence summarized the sequence of steps that are required to live in a new heaven and earth, this implies that if one follows these steps, then there will be no delays between the steps. Therefore, it is worthwhile using the book of Revelation as a guide to the future: ‘blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book’. This is like saying to a college student, ‘If you meet the course requirements, then you can graduate without delay’. If the student wants to graduate as quickly as possible, then it is important to hold on to the list of requirements, because these indicate the courses that must be taken in order to graduate.

John’s initial reaction to this vision is to worship the angel. This same instinctive response occurred back in Revelation 19 at the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’. In both cases John was seeing the future state of transformed humanity. In Revelation 19, it was a group of transformed individuals as a beautiful bride. Here it is the words as a prediction of what will happen in the future. When a person worships some finite creature or vision, then a separation is being constructed within Mercy thought between MMNs of personal identity and the MMNs of the item being worshiped. This worship will prevent the goal from being reached, because one can only reach a goal by taking the required sequence of steps, as described in the previous paragraph. The solution is to worship the TMN of a concept of God, because a concept of God holds everything together as well as giving emotional pleasure to the process of getting from here to there. The angel responds to John’s worship by saying that he is a ‘fellow servant’ with John and should not be regarded as special within Mercy thought, together with those who use Perceiver thought (‘the prophets’) and those who hold to the Teacher understanding described in Revelation (‘heed the words of this book’).

Because Revelation describes the sequence of steps that must be taken, it is important not to ‘seal up the words of the prophecy of this book’. When one gets a vision of how things could be, the natural temptation is to try to force others to comply with the requirements: “Why are people so stupid? If they would just listen? Why don’t they change?” But the entire thrust of the chapters that we have analyzed is that people cannot be changed instantly. Instead, a transformation needs to go through a series of steps that recognizes and utilizes the power and stubbornness of mental networks. Stating this bluntly, ‘let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.’ This does not mean that one does not try to help others or attempt to share the message of salvation with others. Instead, one does not bash one’s head against the wall in a futile attempt to overturn the core mental networks of others. That is because following the message has its own intrinsic reward (‘my reward is with me’), this reward will come without delay (‘I am coming quickly’), and receiving this reward depends upon how I respond to the message (‘to render to every man according to what he has done’). This principle has guided me for many years. Whenever my research leads me to new insights into how the human mind could function, my natural tendency is to want to share this message with others verbally. And when the worldview of others prevents them from accepting my words, then my natural desire is to push my words upon others. What keeps me going is the belief that the primary goal of understanding the mind is to get my mind to work so that I can experience the benefits of a transformed mind. In my experience, it is possible to follow such a path without going crazy from frustration as long as there is continual progress—as long as each step follows the previous step without delay. As long as I am making progress in some way, I can remain positive in the midst of a society that worships the beast with its peripheral transformation.

John describes the current dichotomy: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying” (Rev. 22:14-15). What really matters is meeting the entrance requirements for this transformed existence. ‘The tree of life’ is a mode of existence that preserves and develops mental networks. One can only live in this manner if mental networks are healthy, which means choosing now to purify the mind of unhealthy mental networks by ‘washing one’s robes’. In order to enter the city one must go through a gate that is composed of a single pearl. That is why a person ‘washes his robes’ even if those around do not, because a pearl grows as one responds in a positive manner to the presence of an irritant.

This positive response is contrasted with those who are ‘outside’. There are dogs. Jesus says in the sermon on the Mount, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matt. 7:6). In other words, a dog is someone who responds to the Mercy vision of something better by attacking the messenger. As we saw earlier, a sorcerer uses MMNs to try to transform situations rather than the TMN of rational understanding (I am assuming that sorcery uses sympathetic magic). An immoral person disregards personal value. A murderer ‘solves’ problems by eliminating unwanted MMNs of personal identity (Jesus looks at the mindset behind murder in the sermon on the Mount). An idolater builds his mind upon MMNs that come directly from the external world. Finally, lying allows MMNs of identity and desire to govern Teacher words rather than Perceiver facts, while ‘loving lying’ means being emotionally guided by the TMN of rationalization (because rationalization is a more systematic and theoretical form of lying). Each of these mindsets will prevent Teacher understanding from transforming childish MMNs.

Revelation 22 continues, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (v.16-17). Jesus means salvation, and Jesus was Contributor incarnation in practical form living on earth. David was an Exhorter person who was described as ‘a man after God’s heart’ (Acts 13:22). He was unusual because he found excitement in thinking about Teacher words about God and the commands of God (this is clearly portrayed in Psalm 119). Looking at this cognitively, Contributor thought is the root of Exhorter desire because without Contributor plans, Exhorter energy is merely dispersed without being channeled. But Contributor thought is also the offspring of Exhorter desire, because Exhorter desire provides the motivation to carry out Contributor plans. ‘The morning star’ refers to Venus, which appears in the night sky in the early morning before the sun comes up. Similarly, transformed Contributor thought regards Platonic forms as values to be actualized—small lights that precede a brighter and larger light.

Platonic forms add to this motivation by extending Teacher theories beyond words to include images. That is why ‘the spirit says come’. The integrated mental networks of mature thought also provide a motivation, which is why ‘the bride says come’. Therefore, the person who reads these words also needs to go beyond a verbal understanding in Teacher thought to a reality that expresses Teacher understanding. In other words, ‘the one who hears’ needs to say come. And if current existence is unsatisfactory, then this can also provide motivation to turn theory into reality: ‘Let the one who is thirsty come’. Finally, the one who has strong desires should focus upon mental networks of life without worrying about costs or benefits. For instance, the motivation of paying a cost in order to gain some reward long ago ceased to be an adequate motivation for my research. Instead, the motivation that remained after all other motivations failed was a fundamental desire to seek life no matter what the cost, because I did not want to end up in some form of death.

This is followed by a strange set of warnings, which make sense if one interprets Revelation from a cognitive perspective: “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (v.18-19). If the book describes the steps that must be followed to reach personal and societal wholeness, then ‘adding to the words of this book’ means inserting extra steps that are not required by ‘how the mind works’. This will ‘add to the plagues’ because one will have to unlearn the added steps in order to follow the required steps. Going the other way, if anyone ‘takes away from the words’, then they will not complete the process that is required to reach wholeness, and therefore will not be able to eat from the tree of life or enter the holy city.

The book then ends by saying, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” (v.20-21). These final words reemphasize that one is dealing with a goal to reach and not just a set of words and doctrines to debate. Teacher understanding wants to be implemented without delay. Personal identity in Mercy thought needs to agree with this (‘Amen’ means ‘let it be so’) and submit to the plan of incarnation (‘come Lord Jesus’). And this plan of incarnation also includes the ability to follow the plan (‘the grace of the Lord Jesus be with all’).

Amen, or in the words of Captain Picard, ‘Make it so’.

Revelation 4 – 11

We have seen that Revelation 12 – 22 makes sense as a single cognitive sequence that leads from the development of a general understanding in Teacher thought to the Holy City. The sequence is based in cognitive necessity because each step lays the mental foundation for the next step and makes it possible. This sequence makes cognitive sense at both a general and a detailed level. In addition, this cognitive interpretation uses metaphors that emerge naturally within the mind. These various factors give me reasonable confidence that this essay presents a valid interpretation of the second half of the book of Revelation.

Revelation 12 – 20 almost seemed to explain itself as I read through the chapters, because the description resonated with either with my personal experiences or with my research. When I started looking at the first half of the book, two verses from the letter to the church of Philadelphia popped out: “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name” (Rev. 3:12-13). The phrase ‘I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name’ is striking because it describes precisely the contents of this essay so far. We began our analysis of Revelation with a view of God as a universal, rational being whose character can be described by a universal theory in Teacher thought. In other words, we began by describing the ‘name of God’. We then looked at the process by which a universal Teacher understanding of God becomes imposed upon human thought and society, and how this culminates in the new Jerusalem descending from heaven to earth. In other words, we described ‘the name of the city of God which comes down out of heaven from God’. Finally, we looked at Contributor incarnation as a universal being based in a Teacher understanding of God, who bridges and integrates all of the specializations of technical thought. In other words, we described the ‘new name’ of Jesus. And the phrase ‘I will write on him’ implies that the person who overcomes becomes the book upon which this message is written, which goes beyond merely revealing a message or helping a person to understand a message. Similarly, the theory of mental symmetry has grown beyond being merely a subject of research to something that is intertwined with my personal identity. This has been both a passive process of responding to the circumstances of life as well as an active process of struggling to overcome various difficulties. I am not suggesting that this is the primary interpretation of this verse. The letters to the seven churches are often interpreted as referring to different stages in church history, and since Revelation 12 – 22 appear to be describing primarily a future historical process, it makes sense that the letters to the seven churches might also have a historical interpretation.

Moving on, Revelation 4 – 10 describes a sequence that is similar to the sequence that we have examined in this essay, but if one compares these two sequences, it is obvious that the first sequence is less effective than the second sequence. Let us compare these two sequences.

The 144,000 are mentioned twice, in Revelation 7 and in Revelation 14. In Revelation 14 they have ‘His name and the name of his Father written on there foreheads’, which implies that they are guided by a general Teacher understanding of God and incarnation, and they sing a new song, which tells us that MMNs of personal identity have been transformed. In contrast, Revelation 7 describes this group as ‘bond-servants of our God’ which implies behavior based in obedience rather than guided by understanding. And instead of already having a name written on their foreheads, a seal is placed upon their foreheads. Thus, the second group is clearly functioning at a higher cognitive level than the first group.

In both cases, the 144,000 are followed by a larger group of people standing before the throne of God. The first group is described as “the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). This tells us that they have been the passive recipients of extensive pressure by others which has led to a transformation in the MMNs of culture. Verse 16 says that “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat.” If the sun represents a general Teacher theory, then this tells us that they have been oppressed by a general Teacher theory that has been imposed upon them by others. The situation in Revelation 15 is quite different. Instead of surviving oppression by others, this second group is described as being victorious: “And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.” And it is clear from the song that the second group sings that instead of being oppressed by a general Teacher theory, they are victorious because they have a concept of God that is based in a general Teacher understanding: “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED” (Rev. 15:4).

Both of these larger groups before the throne are followed by a series of plagues. The first group is followed by the seven trumpets in Revelation 8, while the second group is followed by the seven bowls in Revelation 16. It is obvious that the bowls are more effective than the trumpets, because the trumpets only affect 1/3 of what they strike, while the bowls are 100% effective. The overall effect is also different. The trumpets result primarily in a darkening: the third trumpet causes a star to fall from heaven while the fourth darkens the sun, moon, and stars by a third. In contrast, the bowls throw light: the fourth bowl brightens the sun while the fifth bowl darkens the kingdom of the beast, causing people to blaspheme God. In other words, the trumpets attack an existing general Teacher theory, while the bowls replace the beast with a general Teacher theory. The effect upon the Euphrates River is also different. The sixth trumpet releases an army at the river Euphrates which kills one third of mankind. Symbolically speaking, this suggests that the split between objective and subjective eliminates a significant portion of rational thought. In contrast, the sixth bowl dries up the Euphrates, implying that the split between objective and subjective is removed. The sixth trumpet leaves the underlying inadequate mental foundation intact: “the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the work of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood” (Rev. 9:20). In contrast, the sixth trumpet attacks the core of society’s inadequate worldview (Rev. 16:13-16).

Finally, the end result of both of these series of plagues is different. The seven bowls succeed in imposing a universal concept of God upon society: “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, ‘It is done.’ And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty” (Rev. 16:17-19). In contrast, the seven trumpets make it possible to start addressing the split between objective and subjective. This is described in Revelation 10, which we will now examine.

Revelation 10

Revelation 10 begins: “I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them’” (Rev. 10:1-4).

Notice that the angel is standing ‘with his right foot on the sea and his left on the land’. ‘Right foot’ corresponds with Teacher thought and ‘left foot’ with Mercy thought’. This means that Teacher thought is being used to analyze Mercy experiences, and Mercy thought is being added to rational thought, and this is being done in an integrated manner because a single angel is standing on the sea and the land. The ‘angel comes down out of heaven’, which tells us that we are dealing with abstract thought guided by Teacher understanding. ‘Clothed with a cloud’ implies that the MMNs of culture have become vague and have lost their substance. A rainbow emerges when white light is divided into seven different colors. If ‘the rainbow is upon his head’, then this tells us that thinking is being guided by the light of an understanding that divides Teacher theory into seven different aspects. Similarly, the theory of mental symmetry began by dividing people into seven different cognitive styles, and this eventually turned into a meta-theory of thought, behavior, religion, and existence. This universality is portrayed by ‘his face was like the sun’. ‘Feet like pillars of fire’ suggests that both ‘the right foot on the sea’ and ‘the left on the land’ are being impacted by the fire of Teacher understanding, and that these two sides are acting as pillars to hold up the general theory. Similarly, I have found that the theory of mental symmetry can be extended either by using Teacher theory to analyze the MMNs of culture and identity or by extending the theories of others to include subjective MMNs, and that building a solid understanding requires a combination of these two approaches. Finally, ‘a little book’ tells us that a simple integrated theory is being constructed.

John is told to ‘seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken’. I suspect that the danger is to ‘thunder out’ the message before it is ready. A lion roars to indicate dominance over others. Thus, if the angel ‘cried out with a loud voice, as when the lion roars’, then this suggests that the instinctual response is to verbally impose this understanding upon others. I know that for decades I personally have wanted to ‘thunder out’ my message and impose it upon others and that I have been repeatedly thwarted from doing this. Looking back, I can see that most of the development of the theory of mental symmetry occurred because I could not talk or proclaim but rather had to continue doing research, continue applying this research, and continue to find higher motivations for doing research.

Continuing with the Revelation 10, “Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets. Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, ‘Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.’ So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.’ I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. And they said to me, ‘You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings’” (Rev. 10:5-11).

The angel ‘lifts up his right hand to heaven’. The right side of the body is controlled by the left hemisphere. When the right hand is being referred to, then this appears to describe Server thought, because Server thought is the left hemisphere strategy that controls detailed movement. This correspondence is examined in the description in the sermon on the Mount on ‘cutting off one’s right hand’. Using this correspondence, when the right hand is lifted up to heaven, then Server sequences are being used to guide Teacher understanding, and if the angel ‘swears by him who lives forever and ever’, then Teacher thought is focusing upon universal laws that do not change. Summarizing, Teacher thought is being driven by an obsession to integrate the objective and subjective by looking for eternal principles of ‘how things work’. I know what this means, because that has been my obsession for a number of years. My goal was not merely to come up with a general understanding of the mind. Instead, my desire has been to build an understanding that integrates objective science with subjective religion based upon cognitive mechanisms—Server sequences that describe how the mind works. To my surprise, I have found that these cognitive mechanisms lead to a meta-theory that is capable of extending far beyond the material and the temporal. Going further, I have found that the theory of mental symmetry can explain Teacher thought (‘who created heaven’) as well as those who inhabit Teacher thought, such as mathematicians, philosophers, academics, theologians, angels, and aliens (‘and the things in it’), the ‘earth’ of normal thought with its rational Perceiver facts and Server sequences, and the ‘sea’ of Mercy experiences with its MMNs of culture and identity. The final result is a rational, universal concept of God that no longer has to appeal to mystery (‘the mystery of God is finished’), and the content of this rational understanding is consistent with the content of the Bible (‘as he preached to his servants the prophets’).

A book is a physical example of a general Teacher theory. When a book is being eaten, then this tells us that some person or group of people is ‘chewing’ on the content of this general theory and ‘digesting’ it. A general theory that applies to personal identity has two contradictory emotional results. Understanding how things work leads to Teacher pleasure. Thus, ‘in my mouth it was sweet as honey’. However, the consequences of this general understanding lead to Mercy pain because the Teacher theory reveals the inadequacies of childish MMNs. Thus, ‘my stomach was made bitter’ because the facts are hard to swallow. This universal understanding that bridges objective and subjective makes it possible to repeat the sequence of Revelation 4 – 9 in a more adequate manner: “And they said to me, ‘You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings’”.

This leads us to the following general hypothesis. Revelation 4 – 9 describes a sequence in which a group of people who obey God go through a period of tribulation imposed by an inadequate world system. The response of these people to tribulation causes a partial transformation of society which culminates in the development of a rational Teacher understanding that bridges objective and subjective. This ‘little book’ then makes it possible to impose the TMN of a rational concept of God upon the rest of society, as described in Revelation 12 – 22. This corresponds to my earlier suggestion that if current trends continue, then the current civilization will fall apart and the next civilization will succeed in bridging science and religion. However, if a universal theory that integrates subjective and objective can be developed, then it may be possible to avoid the coming dark ages, just as science could have emerged in Alexandria before the time of Christ.

The description in Revelation 4 helps us to understand why the first sequence is inadequate. Teacher thought uses words to construct general theories. Using words to build a verbal understanding is an essential aspect of learning. But words can only describe universality. A verbal theory can only be talked about, and a concept of God that is limited to words can only provoke worship. This is what one sees in Revelation 4: “The four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.’ And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever” (Rev. 4:8-10). Notice how everyone is fixated upon talking about God and worshiping God, and how nothing else either distracts from or intrudes upon this worship.

The second sequence is preceded by some person or group taking the book and digesting it. Revelation 5, in contrast, introduces a book that is sealed up with seven seals but ‘no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it’ (v.3). Therefore, the first sequence is preceded by the realization that no one is able to open the book. Because no one is able to open the book with its general understanding, the first group must respond passively to a general Teacher theory imposed upon it by the rest of society. This describes the situation in which Christianity finds itself today. Secular thought has the general theories and most Christian scholars feel that is their duty to adjust their beliefs to fit the general theories of secular academia. Those who do not are rejected by the mainstream as irrational and unscientific. I used to feel this way, but I do not anymore. Instead, I now feel emotionally driven to extend my rational concept of God to include the theories of others.

In the end, the lamb (which represents incarnation) is the only one worthy to open the book: “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals” (v.5). The endless worship continues, but now the focus of worship is upon the lamb rather than God: “‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever’” (Rev. 5:12-14).

The cognitive implications of this passage are interesting. A mental concept of incarnation emerges when abstract technical thought is combined with concrete technical thought, and there is an extensive correspondence between a mental concept of incarnation and the deep structure of science. Over the last several hundred years, we have seen the triumph of Contributor-controlled technical thought. As Dallas Willard points out, every specialization is now expected to recognize the preeminence of technical thought. Quoting from an essay on the Dallas Willard website, “Reason is viewed in modern thought as a faculty not used by most people, most of the time. Rather, to be rational is reserved to those who have mastered the activities of the mind through the application of methods of inquiry that are rational. This seems like a specialized task that philosophers should take up. This is precisely what has happened in modern thought, and is behind the central role played by epistemology and logic in modern philosophy. Epistemology and logic in modern thought are largely driven by the task of mastering the activities of the mind through the creation, critique and refinement of rational methods of inquiry. For the assumption in most modern thought is that the mind, to be rational, must learn to rule over itself and its power to know. Once the power to rule over one’s mind is created by the specialists within philosophy, it is generally assumed, these rational methods of inquiry can then be disseminated to the other disciplines in the academy, thus allowing their inquiries to be governed by reason rather than tradition or vague intuition. One could thus be forgiven for thinking that, until one has learned rational methods of inquiry from the philosophers, one is not using reason in his everyday life or is using it only by accident every once in a while”. Saying this more bluntly, the modern secular world appears to be locked in ceaseless worship of Contributor-controlled technical thought. Everything else is rejected as being unworthy of opening the book of knowledge.

There is some truth to this conclusion, because Contributor-controlled technical thought can begin to function in an atmosphere of blind faith. For instance, Galileo began thinking about the movement of a pendulum when he was watching a lamp swing to and fro during a church service in a cathedral. Even though Galileo’s surroundings were based almost totally in religious blind faith, he was able to use technical thought to analyze some portion of his surroundings—the oscillation of a pendulum. Going further, the primary reason that I have been able to use Perceiver analogies in a semi-rigorous manner is because many specialists have used technical thought in a rational manner to analyze fragments of existence, and I have used Perceiver thought to compare one technical specialization with another. In my experience, most individuals who use analogy and metaphor try to apply it to non-rigorous realms, such as culture, poetry, and mythology, and this non-rigorous kind of normal thought is not worthy of opening the book of knowledge.

One finds a similar fixation in Christian thought. Generally speaking, the consensus is that the unknowable and transcendent God was revealed to man through the person of Jesus. How God actually thinks is regarded as unknowable. But it is believed that one can learn something about God by looking at Jesus. This also regards incarnation as the only method that is worthy of revealing the book of God’s character. However, this is not what the Bible says. For instance, Paul says that others will ‘become conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brethren’ (Rom. 8:29). Jesus is also described as ‘the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything’ (Col. 1:18). And in the sermon on the Mount, we are instructed ‘to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect’ (Matt. 5:48). In other words, transformed personal existence may begin with Jesus the incarnation—the ‘lamb who was slain’, but this transformation is supposed to extend to others and one is supposed to follow the general pattern of God and not just the specific example of Jesus.

Putting this together, what one finds in today’s society is a mindset that regards only Contributor incarnation as worthy of ‘opening the book’. If this is the starting point, then Revelation 6 – 9 appears to describe the resulting sequence. Summarizing, one of the key principles of Christianity is that God in Teacher thought can only be reconciled with man in Mercy thought by incarnation in Contributor thought. There is no direct mystical path from God in Teacher thought to man in Mercy thought. That is a fundamental principle, and I am not questioning this principle. But Contributor connects Perceiver and Server, which means that Contributor incarnation is based upon a foundation of Server sequences and Perceiver facts. This explains why Jesus the incarnation lived as a Jew. Judaism with its emphasis upon Server actions laid the mental foundation for incarnation in Contributor thought. Going the other way, Peter the Perceiver person was given the ‘keys of heaven’ that could extend the message of incarnation, which was illustrated by Peter preaching the original sermon in Acts 2, and by extending Christianity to the Samaritans in Acts 8 and the Gentiles in Acts 10. Similarly, we saw in Revelation 12 that the message of incarnation is unfolded using normal thought, as illustrated by the battle in heaven between Michael and the dragon. However, to a large extent this unfolding has not occurred. Instead, the message of Christianity is relegated primarily to the religious domain. But if incarnation is God, as Christianity claims, and if God is a universal being, as Christianity also claims, then incarnation should be apparent in all aspects of life and not just in what we call the religious domain.

The Four Horsemen

The four Horsemen in Revelation 6 make cognitive sense if one examines the development of thought that occurs when only Contributor-controlled technical thought is regarded as worthy. The first horseman conquers: “Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, ‘Come.’ I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer” (Rev. 6:1-2). Historically speaking, technical thought has been very effective at understanding how things work and it has conquered all other forms of thought.

The first horseman has a bow for a weapon. The biblical word for sin is hamartia, which originally meant to shoot an arrow at a target and miss. Sin is traditionally viewed in Christian circles from a Mercy perspective as being personally associated with MMNs that are regarded as bad or taboo. Thus, avoiding sin largely meant staying away from forbidden places, unsavory people, and immoral experiences. However, ‘missing the mark’ describe sin in terms of sowing-and-reaping: If the path that an arrow takes is incorrect, then the desired endpoint will not be reached. Using the language of mental symmetry, if one performs a Server sequence that is inconsistent with a general Teacher understanding of ‘how things work’, then instead of achieving good results in Mercy thought, one will miss the mark and achieve painful Mercy results. Notice also that an arrow flies the air, and air represents the realm of Teacher thought. Saying this more generally, the childish mind views sin in terms of forbidden Mercy experiences, but sin should actually be viewed from the Teacher perspective of ‘how things work’. In a similar manner, science is a study of natural process; it studies Server sequences such as a path of an arrow through the air. This provides a possible explanation for the weapon of a bow.

Moving on, the second horseman eliminates peace: “When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come.’ And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him” (Rev. 6:3-4). It does not say that the second horseman causes war but rather that the horseman eliminates peace. Technical thought does not directly bring conflict, because its goal is to optimize and improve. However, when technical thought is used in isolation in a society that is driven by childish MMNs, then the indirect result is extensive conflict. Technical thought also divides integrated existence into specific specializations. This hacking of life into separate chunks is implied by the wielding of a ‘great sword’.

Looking at this in more detail, on the Mercy side, technical thought will choose some area of expertise and then question all mental networks within this area. For instance, the most successful athlete, businessman, or soldier is usually the one who questions traditional MMNs and adopts novel strategies. But technical thought is still guided by existing MMNs outside of this area of expertise. For instance, the goal of the professional athlete is to perform better than other athletes, the goal of the businessman is to defeat the competitors, while the goal of the soldier is to win a war. In addition, we have already seen that technical thought emerges most easily in objective areas that are less emotional. The end result is that technical thought allows a person to pursue childish goals more effectively, more efficiently, and more brutally. Technical thought turns a fistfight into a knife fight, and then into a pistol duel, which turns into an artillery exchange, which itself mutates into firing ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. Turning to the Teacher side, whenever technical thought continues to function within some limited area, then the TMN of a general understanding will emerge under the surface, turning the athlete into the professional athlete, business activity into the profession of business, and thuggery into the professional soldier. A professional specialist is guided by a Teacher understanding that places the knowledge and skills of that profession within a systematic framework. As we saw with the beast eating up the whore of Babylon, the TMN of a profession makes it possible to ignore MMNs within the profession. This turns the professional athlete into the competing machine, the professional businessman into the cold and calculating businessman, and the professional soldier into the heartless killer. All that matters is carrying out one’s craft in the most efficient and professional manner possible regardless of the carnage that this causes. Again, the underlying problem is not the use of technical thought, but rather that technical thought is being used to bring sanity and professionalism to some limited, peripheral aspect of existence.

The third horseman changes commerce: “When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, ‘Come.’ I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine’” (v.5-6). Measuring is a core aspect of technical thought, and the ‘weapon’ of the third horseman is a set of scales. When isolated technical thought becomes the dominant method of thought, then everything must be measured. But this technical obsession for measuring will tend to focus on important facts rather than everyday facts, because everyday facts are not regarded as valuable. In addition, because technical thought finds it hard to deal with emotional topics, subjective MMNs will not be measured but instead regarded as unmeasurable. We saw this illustrated by the attitude of economics which recognizes that economic value is ultimately a subjective personal emotion, but focuses upon money rather than subjective emotion because money can be measured and subjective emotions can not. This distinction is illustrated by wheat, barley, and oil and wine. Wheat was eaten by the upper crust of society (pardon the pun), barley by the common person, while oil and wine were luxury items. In this verse, wheat is the most expensive, barley is less expensive, and oil and wine are untouched. Similarly, the measurement of technical thought focuses most upon ‘wheat’ and less upon ‘barley’, while ignoring ‘oil and wine’. Looking at this symbolically, we have seen that ‘eating one’s daily bread’ is a symbol of gaining daily understanding. A denarius was a day’s wage, and a quart of wheat was a daily ration of wheat. If a daily ration of wheat costs a full day’s wage, this implies that technical thought with its measuring will turn research into a full-time job. In order to gain any understanding, one will have to make a full-time occupation of pursuing understanding. This will apply especially to ‘wheat’—information that is regards as important, and less to the ‘barley’ of normal life. We have already connected wine to the MMNs of culture, and ‘oil’ is regarded by most Christian scholars as symbolic of the spirit, which corresponds mentally to the MMNs of Platonic forms. If the oil and wine is left untouched, this means that technical thought is ignoring subjective MMNs, which is precisely what objective science does.

The fourth horseman brings death: “When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come.’ I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth” (v.7-8). When everything has to be measured, then this makes existence inhuman. Instead of being a person, an individual becomes just a number. This inhumanity causes the MMNs of identity to die. If Hades follows death, then this means that technical thought does not stop at killing the mental networks of human meaning, but rather makes people continue to function in some mindless routine after dying inside, existing merely as cogs in some machine of production. There are four types of death described: A ‘sword’ cuts and divides. The death here comes from the precise dividing and splitting of functions in order to increase efficiency. ‘Famine’ is a lack of food. If food represents daily understanding, then famine means a job that teaches nothing but rather dulls the mind. ‘Pestilence’ is actually ‘death’ in the original Greek, implying that personal MMNs cease to function. And ‘beasts of the earth’ portrays MMNs based in rational thought that are not fully human. Animals have limited intelligence. Similarly, technical thought is sane within a limited area of expertise.

This inhumanity is devastating to those who are attempting to follow God: “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also” (v.9-11). The ‘soul’ appears to describe the inner person as a whole. Technical specialization kills the soul because it fragments human existence. Those who follow ‘the word of God’ are attempting to be guided by a general understanding in Teacher thought that extends beyond some fragmented specialization. When rational thought (‘those who dwell on the earth’) is equated with technical specialization, then those who attempt to live in an integrated lifestyle will find that the blood of core mental networks will be shed by the fragmentation of specialization. The long-term solution is to follow the TMN of a universal concept of God, but we are dealing here with a society that lacks this concept and which regards technical thought as the only valid means of building Teacher understanding. Thus, all that can be done is to fill the subjective vacuum that technical thought leaves untouched with the ‘white robe’ of a wholesome culture. The long-term solution of a general Teacher understanding can only be achieved when enough of existence has been transformed and analyzed by technical specialization. Similarly, the theory of mental symmetry only became possible when technical thought became capable of constructing computers and analyzing topics such as psychology and neurology. Saying this more generally, mental symmetry builds a general Teacher understanding of God and humanity by using the normal thinking of analogy to compare the findings of different technical specializations. But this is only possible when existence is covered by a sufficient number of different specializations.

Revelation 6 finishes with the sixth seal: “I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” (v.12-17).

These verses contain several obscure symbols. But the passage makes sense if one compares it with what is happening in today’s technologically driven society. One can definitely state that the landscape of established knowledge and skills has experienced a great earthquake as a result of research and technology. Thanks to technical specialization, the sun of an integrated Teacher understanding has been almost completely blackened. Instead, the various specializations of thought have replaced the sun of an understanding with the culture or cloth of academia, which is constructed out of ‘hair’—the ‘strings’ of sequence that grow out of the ‘head’ of thought. This is a culture of ‘sackcloth’ because everyone is expected to go beyond what already exists and come up with something new that has never been done before. (For instance, a PhD thesis must do novel research. Similarly, modern art could be defined as doing something new with confidence.) The ‘moon’ provides light through reflection; this is the Teacher understanding that one acquires implicitly by how one lives and behaves. (An implicit concept of God is discussed here. This implicit Teacher understanding is usually expressed in Mercy thought as a worldview.) Today, the dominant worldview of Western society is that of continual progress, in which the old inevitably dies and is replaced by the new. Thus, there is a ‘whole moon of blood’. In addition, the ‘stars of the sky’—the great political, religious, and scientific luminaries of the past—are ‘falling to earth’ as historical scholarship reveals them to be mere mortals like the rest of us. When a fig is in the final stages of ripening, then it is only loosely attached to the tree and can be blown off by a strong wind. The implication is that the wind of Teacher thought is so strong that fruit is blown from the tree before has a chance to ripen. In other words, science and technology are progressing at such a rapid pace that there is no time for the fruit of a culture to ripen.

In addition, modern specialization is causing the sky of Teacher theory to ‘split apart’. We have already seen that a book (in Roman times, books were scrolls) represents a general Teacher theory. If the splitting of the sky is like a scroll being rolled up, this implies that each area of knowledge is becoming more specialized so that each area of expertise covers less and less of knowledge as a whole. This describes what is happening today, because the typical technical specialist is increasingly unaware of knowledge in other fields. This specialization and fragmentation of knowledge is occurring because every field of knowledge is exploding with new discoveries and it is only possible for specialists to keep up with new discoveries in their limited field. Thus, ‘every mountain and island’ is being ‘moved out of its place’.

People are responding to this explosion of technical development by looking for something solid to hang on to. We saw previously that a ‘stone from heaven’ is a solid Perceiver fact that comes from a general Teacher understanding. People are now asking to be ‘hit on the head’ with some sort of solid truth, withdrawing to a cave of some limited set of solid facts, or hiding among a collections of solid Perceiver facts that are an aspect of some mountain of general understanding. The point is that people today are looking for stability—something solid that does not change. That is because the impact that technical specialization is having (‘the wrath of the lamb’) is so pervasive and so total that no one can stand it. And the implications of this change are so frightening in Teacher thought that no one can face these implications head on (‘hide us from the face of the one sitting on the throne’). It is interesting that the name ‘God’ is not mentioned. Instead the original Greek talks about ‘the face of the one who is sitting on the throne’. Similarly, we now live in a secular society where the average person does not have a concept of God in Teacher thought. But the average person does have an implicit Teacher understanding of ‘the march of progress’ and the average person is hiding among the rocks of specific facts and truth rather than facing the implications of what it means to be guided by a universal Teacher theory of technical and scientific progress.

In conclusion, Revelation 6 appears to be an accurate description of what happens to society when Contributor-controlled technical thought is regarded as the only valid form of thinking.

I found Revelation 12 – 22 fairly easy to understand because it describes the path of reaching mental and societal wholeness when one starts with a general understanding in Teacher thought. This mirrors the path that I have been trying to follow as an individual by extending and applying the theory of mental symmetry. Revelation 5 – 6 is also fairly straightforward if one understands the limitations of technical thought and the stranglehold that technical thought has had upon recent history. Revelation 7 – 9 is not as straightforward and I present the following as a more tentative hypothesis. That is because growth is being generated by juxtaposing opposing forces. One can see what this means by looking at the birth of science in Italy during the Renaissance. Science requires a heavenly mindset combined with an earthly focus. On the one hand, one must believe that the universe is ruled by a rational universal being who reveals himself through words. Otherwise one will not use Teacher thought to look for universal rational laws. But on the other hand, if one has such a high view of God then the natural tendency will be to ignore physical reality and focus upon worshiping God. Therefore, what is needed is a society in which a strong focus upon Christianity is being replaced by humanism. This will provide a window of opportunity during which people are focusing upon the earth but still being guided by the mindset of Christianity. This juxtaposition occurred especially in Italy during the Renaissance and lasted for about 200 years.

Revelation 7

Revelation 7 begins, “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads’” (Rev. 7:1-3).

We saw at the end of Revelation 14 an interlude between a group of people acquiring a general Teacher concept of God and this concept being imposed upon the rest of society through the seven bowls, because this was an ideal time for reaping: research before this lacked a general Teacher theory in which to place information, while information gathered after this was distorted by the imposition of a general Teacher theory. Similarly, Revelation 7 describes an interlude before the seven trumpets of Revelation 8. Whenever core mental networks are threatened, then there is always a backlash (unless an alternative set of core mental networks exists), but this backlash does not occur immediately because it takes time for mental networks to experience total fragmentation. One can see this delayed response in the colonization of Africa. Initially, African culture adapted to Western influence. However, eventually a point was reached where the average African felt like a stranger in his homeland because everything had changed so radically. When this point was reached, then the white foreigner had to be kicked out at any cost in order to preserve African identity.

When the march of progress has the impact that is described at the end of Revelation 6, then there will eventually be a backlash, which one is already starting to see today at the beginning of 2016. However, an emotional safety valve currently exists that is preventing this backlash from occurring, which is the rise of mysticism. The mystic can find peace by temporarily turning his back upon the complexity of modern society in order to contemplate the ‘ultimate oneness of the universe’. For instance, the Mayo clinic promotes meditation as “a simple, fast way to reduce stress. Meditation can wipe away the day’s stress, bringing with it inner peace... If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace.” This rise of Eastern mysticism seems to be indicated by ‘another angel ascending from the rising of the sun’.

Looking at this from another perspective, we saw when looking at the serpent in the wilderness that mysticism can temporarily have a positive benefit when the general context is one of rational content and mysticism is seen as something positive to look up to. Thus, the ‘angel ascending from the rising of the sun’ is described as ‘having the seal of the living God’. When one lives in a purely technical, mechanistic environment, merely asserting that there is some sort of living God is itself a positive step. Going further, free will becomes possible when one can choose between competing mental networks. The response at the end of Revelation 6 indicates that people are now looking for an alternative to ‘the march of progress’. A general Teacher understanding of God does not exist at this point (that will emerge in Revelation 10). Therefore, the alternative at this point appears to be between viewing mysticism as spirituality without content or as a spiritual dimension that extends beyond physical reality to a living God. This explains why the angel says ‘do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads’. If the backlash against modern civilization occurs immediately, then people will not have the opportunity to associate God with content, because content will become discredited—and partially destroyed. A person who is ‘a bondservant of our God’ is behaving as if God is guiding behavior, and if this becomes ‘sealed on his forehead’, then this attitude is affecting the way that he thinks and is not just an external behavior. This is quite different than the typical individual who practices mysticism as ‘a simple, fast way to reduce stress’.

Verses four through eight describe the sealing of 144,000 from every tribe of Israel, and the names of the 12 tribes are given in a specific order. The tribes and their meanings are: Judah = ‘he shall be praised’, Reuben = ‘behold a son’, Gad = ‘a troop’, Asher = ‘blessed’, Naphtali = ‘wrestling’, Manasseh = ‘forgetting’, Simon = ‘harkening’, Levi = ‘joined’, Issachar = ‘reward’, Zebulun = ‘a habitation’, Joseph = ‘let him add’, Benjamin = ‘son of the right hand’. If one looks at these words as a sequence, it does seem to make sense as a process that begins with ‘praise and worship’, leads to the development of male thought (‘behold a son’), ‘wrestles’ through issues rather than simply regarding reality as illusion, ‘harkens’ to words rather than viewing them like mysticism as vague ‘fingers pointing to the moon’, follows goal-oriented behavior in order to achieve some ‘reward’ rather than viewing desire as the cause of suffering, looks for the content of ‘a habitation’ rather than the emptiness of Nirvana, uses male thought to ‘add’ content to understanding rather than ignoring content, and then ends with incarnation ‘at the right hand of God’. In other words, a simple overview of these terms makes it clear that one is going beyond the Teacher overgeneralization of mysticism. One can also see that ‘praise and worship’, which is regarded in many Christian churches as the epitome of religiosity, is only the first step in a long stage, because Judah is the first name in the list. Even if this list is not a sequence, the passage makes it clear that 12,000 are sealed from each tribe, telling us that ‘praise and worship’ is only one aspect of Christianity. It is interesting to note that none of these terms are related in any way to self-denial, implying that the solution does not lie in a religious attitude of self-denial. In addition, the tribe of Dan (which means ‘judging’) is missing from this list, implying that the fundamentalist tendency to divide truth and people into good and evil is not a characteristic of this group.

The end result is a vast multitude standing before the throne of God: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen’” (Rev. 7:9-12). I suggest that this ‘vast multitude’ is the result of a window of opportunity arising from rational scientific thought being replaced by postmodern mysticism. Neither of these two viewpoints is mentally whole. However, it is possible to discover major aspects of mental wholeness when one embraces spirituality within the context of rational scientific thought, just as science emerged when humanism was embraced within the context of a God of Christendom.

Comparing this scene with the previous one in Revelation 5, the message is similar because in both cases honor is being given both to God in Teacher thought and to the lamb in Contributor thought. However, in Revelation 5 the living creatures and elders are the instigators of the worship (5:8), which is then echoed passively by everyone else (5:13). In Revelation 7, a great multitude from ‘every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues’ proclaims the message, which is then repeated by the living creatures, elders, and angels. Looking at this cognitively, this portrays the distinction between absolute truth and universal truth. Absolute truth is proclaimed by some source of truth and then accepted passively by the rest of thought. Similarly, in Revelation 5, truth about God and the lamb is proclaimed from the throne and then echoed passively by everyone else. Universal truth, in contrast, is based in observation and repetition. One notices that the same principles occur in many different areas, and this repetition leads to the conclusion that these repeated principles describe universal truth. That is what one sees in Revelation 7, because a multitude from many cultures and specializations is proclaiming the message about God and the lamb, and this is then being accepted as truth by the elders and living creatures. (For instance, I recently heard Josh McDowell speak, and he said that he no longer talks about absolute truth but rather refers to universal truth.)

Summarizing, when only Contributor-controlled technical thought is regarded as ‘worthy’, then knowledge and behavior will eventually split into a myriad of technical specializations. This mental and societal fragmentation will drive people to find peace and meaning in various forms of mysticism. Teacher emotion comes from order-within-complexity; Teacher thought comes up with general theories by finding simple explanations that apply to many specific situations. The second sequence in Revelation 12 – 22 begins with a general understanding of God in Teacher thought. That understanding does not yet exist in Revelation 7. Instead, all that exists is the facsimile of a general understanding of God, because people are being faced with the complexities of numerous technical specializations and they are being driven by mysticism to believe that behind all of this complexity lies a universal God who ties everything together. However, this facsimile of a general theory of God is only helpful for those who are ‘bond servants of God’, who regard God as a personal being who ties everything together whose words need to be obeyed.

During the second sequence, these two fragments of technical specialization and overgeneralization will turn into the first beast and the second beast. But during the first sequence these two fragments have not yet become set in stone. In other words, during the first sequence one is dealing with a set of implicit divisions, while during the second sequence these implicit divisions become solidified into explicit worldviews. Saying this another way, the average person has not thought about what he believes, but when a person is challenged and forced to think through his beliefs, then these implicit beliefs will turn into explicit doctrines and systems of belief. I noticed this distinction when living in Korea. The average person in North America knows precisely what he believes when it comes to issues such as abortion or the theory of evolution. That is because these topics have been debated extensively and views have crystallized. In contrast, the average Korean has not yet thought through these issues and thus can be convinced either one way or the other. In the second sequence, a universal concept of God has emerged which crystalizes the views of people during the period of the two witnesses in Revelation 11. This crystallization has not yet occurred in the first sequence because a universal concept of God has not yet emerged and been proclaimed.

This crystallization is described by Jesus: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well” (John 15:22-23). In other words, the preaching of Jesus turned an implicit worldview that ignored God into an explicit doctrine that hated God and incarnation.

Continuing with Revelation 7, “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes’” (Rev. 7:13-17). ‘The great tribulation’ is typically viewed as a time of great persecution and bloodshed, but the Greek word is ‘thlipsis’, which means ‘pressure, narrowness, removal of choices, or squeezing’. Technical specialization does not necessarily bring misery but it does squeeze the professional into the small box of some specific field, force the individual along the narrow path of accepted procedure, and remove choices that are regarded as unprofessional or outside of one’s specialization. If all of existence were segregated into technical specializations, as is now largely the case in Western civilization, then this could accurately be referred to as the great tribulation.

When the transition is made from absolute truth to universal truth, then the same facts will be viewed from a different perspective. This is reflected in the curious interchange between John the author and one of the elders. The elder who was worshiping God comes to John and asks about the identity of this new group of people. John replied that the elder knows, and the elder then proceeds to give an answer. The word for ‘knows’ is ‘eido’, which means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’. Similarly, an attitude of absolute truth does not know how to relate religious truth to secular experiences. The solution is to replace the revelation of absolute truth with the ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ of universal truth. If the absolute truth that was revealed is accurate, then this will not change the content of truth, but it will change the way that one defines truth. Saying this another way, the elder is believing the right thing for the wrong reason. Therefore, the elder needs to think through the truth that he already knows. The elder then realizes that these have ‘come out of the great tribulation’. In other words, they have gone through a process of acquiring content, and this content has squeezed them into going beyond specific specialization to a general concept of God, because they are now worshiping God. (Remember that a higher strategy will only develop if a lower strategy cannot be used.) They have also created a culture of growth through rebirth: ‘they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb’. Instead of just being passive consumers of modern progress or escaping into the mindlessness of mysticism, they personally follow a path of progress through rebirth. Because rebirth is something that they do personally, they can ‘serve God night and day’. One can see what this means by looking at the history of the typical church denomination. What usually happens is that a denomination starts by emphasizing some new aspect of the nature of God or Christianity. But when the next step comes, then most denominations are unable to adapt but rather continue insisting that the aspect that they emphasize remains forever the primary focus of Christianity. They then end up opposing the next step. Using the language of Revelation, they serve God for one day but they are unable to serve God ‘day and night in His temple’ because they do not have a culture of progress-through-rebirth. ‘A tabernacle over them’ implies that they have a sufficient Teacher understanding of God to guide them as they make progress, but this is not a complete understanding because a tabernacle is only a tent and not a building. They are also capable of following the path of incarnation in a semi-intelligent manner, because the Lamb is described as ‘their shepherd’, implying that they are sheep. And they are capable of being guided to find internal sources of motivation in Mercy thought, because the shepherd ‘will guide them to springs of the water of life’.

Compare this with the second group of 144,000 described in Revelation 14. The first group is standing before the throne of God worshiping God and the lamb, while the second group is standing on mount Zion with the ‘name of the lamb and his Father written on their foreheads’. In other words, the first group may have discovered some universal truth, but they still regard God and Teacher thought as something that is ‘up there in heaven’. In contrast, the second group has a rational understanding of God in Teacher thought that guides them on the ‘earth’ of Perceiver facts and Server sequences. The first group is capable of regarding the lamb as their shepherd, while the second group intelligently follows the lamb around. The first group will be guided to ‘springs of the water of life’, which suggests that they are capable of passively accepting help from some other source. The second group are described as ‘first fruits to God’, which suggests that they are capable of actively generating sustenance from an internal source.

Revelation 8

Revelation 8 begins by describing a transition in heaven: “When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Rev. 8:1-5).

Words form the basis for Teacher thought and heaven is a realm of Teacher thought. When heaven is silent for a period of time, then this tells us that Teacher thought is rethinking general theory. We just saw this in the questioning of the elder. Cognitively speaking, there is a transition from viewing words as the building blocks for Teacher theory to using words to describe a general theory, with Teacher thought realizing that the generality of a theory comes from what the theory describes and not from the words themselves. For instance, F = M * A and G = N * B are both simple equations using variables and mathematical symbols. But the first one is very general because it represents the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration. The second one has very little generality because it represents nothing, although it could acquire generality if these symbols were used to represent something. One can tell that Teacher thought is being used in a different manner because with the seven seals, the lamb broke the seal and the living creatures did most of the talking. Here, ‘seven angels who stand before God’ are being given trumpets to blow. We saw a similar transition previously in Revelation 15 in which ‘the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished’ (15:8). However, in Revelation 15 Teacher thought was hyperactive, whereas in Revelation 8 Teacher thought is inactive.

In Revelation 14, the 144,000 are followed by an angel proclaiming a universal Teacher understanding of God together with the fall of Babylon (14:6-8). In Revelation 8 an inadequate understanding has to be emotionally inflated to generate something that is like a general understanding. A prayer is a request that Mercy identity makes to Teacher thought. The ‘prayer of a saint’ is a Mercy request to Teacher thought made by someone who is attempting to live in a manner that is guided by a concept of God. ‘The prayers of all the saints’ would take all of these various theoretical fragments and attempt to combine them into an integrated package. One can tell that the resulting Teacher understanding is inadequate because ‘much incense’ has to be ‘added to the prayers’. I mentioned earlier that smell triggers mental networks within the brain. If incense is being added to the prayers, then they are being emotionally bulked up through the use of mental networks. Saying this more simply, the overgeneralization of mysticism, which suppresses the facts, is being replaced by exaggeration, which amplifies the facts. This is an intermediate form of Teacher understanding (which is discussed in chapter 7 of Natural Cognitive Theology.) This combination of prayer and incense is then going ‘up before God’, telling us that a pseudo-understanding is being constructed out of a melange of people learning lessons from life combined with exaggeration. This describes most Christian writing today. There is some Teacher understanding. However, it is not an integrated understanding but rather a collection of lessons learned primarily through the school of life by those who are attempting to follow God. The resulting fire of Teacher ‘understanding’ is being cast down to the earth of rational thought, and the resulting earthquake indicates that it is having an impact upon rational thought.

Continuing with Revelation 8, “And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them. The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter” (Rev. 8:6-11).

The first response is an attack upon rational thought, because ‘a third of the earth was burned up’. This is the backlash to rational thought referred to earlier. ‘Burned up’ tells us that Teacher understanding is the source of this attack. The fact that part of the earth and part of the trees burn up tells us that the Teacher understanding that is being used is only partially rational. None of the seven bowls from the second sequence, in contrast, attack either the earth or the trees. Instead, the bowls turn water into blood, indicating that irrational MMNs are being questioned.

Notice that all of the green grass is burned up. Grass being burned up is also mentioned by Jesus in the sermon on the Mount: “Why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:28-33). This passage tells us to seek the kingdom and righteousness of God, which means acting in a way that is consistent with Teacher understanding in a society that is governed by Teacher understanding. Technology shows us what happens when one follows this advice in the realm of the objective and the material. Physical needs are met with a continuing flow of new-and-improved gadgets. The byproduct of this continual progress is that the newfangled gadget of today quickly becomes the obsolete relic of yesterday. Using symbolic language, the grass that grows from the field of knowledge today is burned up tomorrow by the heat of new Teacher understanding. And yet, these gadgets that quickly become obsolete are far more impressive than the handcrafted artifacts of bygone eras. Jesus seems to be saying that if this principle exists within the realm of newfangled gadgets, then it applies even more to the personal realm. Returning to Revelation 8, ‘all the grass being burned up’ gives the impression that the modern throwaway consumer society with its continual flow of new gadgets is being rejected. In simple terms, people are understanding that a lifestyle of continually getting new toys is shallow and empty, and they are rejecting it.

With the second trumpet, ‘something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea’. A mountain is a general Teacher theory based upon the ‘earth’ of rational thought. A ‘mountain with fire’ is a Teacher theory that has turned into a TMN and is imposing itself upon the rest of thought. This mountain is being ‘thrown into the sea’, which tells us that Mercy experiences are being re-evaluated in the light of some pragmatic understanding. The first trumpet was a gut response against rational thought and the consumer society. The second trumpet questions the MMNs of culture and social interaction. Notice that this mountain is not thrown from heaven, but what is being thrown is a mountain and not just a pile of earth. This gives the impression that common sense is being used to question culture. This common sense (which is becoming increasingly less common in today’s politically correct society) succeeds in overturning a significant portion of the MMNs of culture (‘a third of the sea became blood’), many of the MMNs of childish identity (‘a third of the creatures which were in the city and had life died’), and much of the industry that appeals to these MMNs (‘a third of the ships were destroyed’).

The third trumpet is guided by a general Teacher understanding, because ‘a great star fell from heaven’. Thus, what began as a gut response against the system is now becoming more intelligent. This new understanding impacts the general streams of society (‘a third of the rivers’) as well as underlying motivations (‘the springs of waters’). ‘Wormwood’ is a plant that is known for its bitterness. If a star has the name ‘wormwood’, then this tells us that a general Teacher theory of unpleasantness is being applied to the streams and motivations of society. In other words, people are thinking about their lifestyle in general terms and are coming to the conclusion that it is miserable: “Why do I get up every morning and drive to work in order to slave at some repetitive job that I do not enjoy, in order to make money so that I can buy new gadgets that only give me momentary pleasure? What is the point? Such a lifestyle is distasteful!” However, this is not just someone posting on Facebook that ‘life stinks’, but rather a deep understanding that it is repulsive to exist as a human rat in a herd of human rats who are continually crawling over each other in order to win the rat race and be rewarded by a few morsels of rat pellets.

Revelation 8 finishes by saying, “The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way. Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’” (v. 12-13). The previous trumpet constructed a general Teacher theory of questioning. This theory is now affecting the ‘sun’ of explicit understanding, the ‘moon’ of implicit worldview, and the ‘stars’ of accepted theoretical experts. Notice that during this first sequence, the primary effect is an attack on the existing world system, rather than the building of a new system as one sees in the second sequence.

When core mental networks are threatened and no alternative set of mental networks exists, then there will be major repercussions. The fourth trumpet has finally reached the the level of threatening the ‘sun and moon’ of universal thought. When the fifth and sixth bowls (16:10-12) threatened the core mental networks of society, then there was an instinctive gut response, as illustrated by the unclean spirits coming out of the mouth of the dragon and the beasts and the war of Har-Magedon. This explains the voice in midheaven warning ‘woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels’. These remaining blasts will bring woe because core mental networks will fragment. It is interesting that ‘an eagle’ makes this announcement rather than ‘an angel’. This implies that one is dealing with abstract thought that is not fully functioning at an intelligent level.

One can understand what is about to happen by looking at the progress of ‘human rights’ over the previous centuries. Many unjust treatments have been eliminated as a result of ‘human rights’, such as slavery, child labor, racism, colonialism, and sexism. However, the general thrust of ‘human rights’ has not been the establishing of principles but rather the tearing down of prejudice. The underlying assumption is that power groups are imposing themselves upon the rest of the population and that ‘persecuted groups’ need to be freed from such domination. In today’s postmodern era, this attitude of ‘freeing people from oppression’ has turned into a universal un-theory of deconstructionism. In simple terms, the general consensus now is that there is no such thing as truth. Instead, everything that calls itself either truth and every supposedly general theory is regarded as merely the opinions of some dominant minority using its social status to impose its views upon the rest of society.

Similarly, we have seen that the first four trumpets are primarily an attack on the system—a deconstruction of existing theory. In the same way that phrasing human rights as an attack on injustice leads to the questioning of postmodernism, so it appears that the attack on the system described in Revelation 8 will lead to a form of questioning that that is like the postmodern thought of today, but extends much further.

The Bottomless Pit

Revelation 9 begins: “Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them” (Rev. 9:1-6).

A ‘star from heaven’ implies a Teacher theory that is a general but not universal. If ‘the key of the bottomless pit’ is given to this star, then this suggests a pervasive theory of nothingness, similar to what one sees in the questioning of postmodernism. And if this star ‘falls to the earth’, then this implies that the questioning is being applied to rational thought, which one also sees in postmodernism. The average person on the street does not realize how pervasive this questioning is in academia today. However, I have presented at enough conferences to know that it is now the dominant mindset in the soft sciences. Dallas Willard describes the nothingness of postmodern questioning.

The description in Revelation 9 gives a flavor of this nothingness. What arises from the pit is smoke, but this intellectual smoke is like a great furnace in that it uses Teacher thought to burn up existing structure. Instead of providing the light of understanding, the sun of universal understanding and the air of Teacher thought are both darkened. What emerges from from this smoke is not the intelligent theory of an angel, or even the semi-intelligent theory of an eagle, but rather the devouring of a herd of locusts. Academia gives the impression of being full of great wisdom and intelligence, and one can still find a lot of solid, careful research. However, I know from personal experience that most postmodern questioning can accurately be described as a herd of locusts, driven by a deep desire to destroy all so-called oppression. It is smoke and not light, but this smoke is presented in a rigorous fashion and described using esoteric terminology.

Going further, postmodern questioning has not affected the flow of new technology—the ‘grass of the earth’ has not been hurt. In addition, postmodern thought asks legitimate questions; many of the systems that are being questioned need to be deconstructed. Thus, it is possible to learn from postmodern thought and to become immune to the locusts of postmodern thought—if one places postmodern questioning within the positive framework of building a general understanding. This explains why those who ‘have the seal of God on their foreheads’ cannot be hurt by the locusts.

The passage says that the locusts ‘were not permitted to kill anyone’. Similarly, postmodern questioning does not kill academia. The methodology and the rigorous thought continues but it becomes devoid of meaningful content. The cognitive reason for this is that Perceiver thought acquires confidence from other sources as one notices facts being repeated, while Server thought can build confidence simply by repeating an action. Thus, postmodern questioning will destroy belief in Perceiver truth and Server sequences, but Server confidence will then be regained by the methodology of postmodern questioning. For instance, science began as a study of natural processes in which one used Perceiver thought to look for repeated connections in the Server sequences of ‘how the natural world functions’. But science is no longer defined today as a study of how the world functions, but rather as a description of how a group of scientists behaves. Because of postmodern questioning, the average scientist no longer really believes that the natural world is guided by universal law. But the average scientist still continues to function as a scientist, guided by Server confidence in the methodology of accepted scientific practice. This change in the definition of science can be seen in the appendix to Thomas Kuhn’s book on paradigm shifts. This explains why the locusts do not ‘kill anyone’.

Going further, postmodern questioning is self-defeating because it merely replaces one dominant group with another. The postmodern scholar may say that he is trying to free the average person from the oppression of dominant minorities, but the postmodern scholar himself is part of a dominant minority that is imposing its views upon the average person. Saying this another way, the liberal scholar who attacks prejudice is usually very prejudiced in his views. As a result, every attempt to ‘die’ to the injustice of prejudice ends up perpetuating the injustice of prejudice, as illustrated by this cartoon. In the words of Revelation, ‘men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them’. This ‘sting’ of prejudice emerges at the tail of an episode of questioning, because the prejudice re-emerges when the questioner himself becomes an entrenched member of the establishment.

There are also other more virulent forms of nihilism. For instance, the 2015 terrorist attack in Paris was described in one recent radio interview as a new form of terrorism that is different than the terrorism of the 1970s. Terrorism used to have a purpose; terrorists would take hostages in order to gain the release of prisoners or to deliver some message. The recent terrorism that is associated with ISIL has no positive message or goal. Instead, it is driven purely by a deep desire for destruction.

Revelation 9 continues, “The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon” (Rev. 9:7-11). ‘Appolyon’ means ‘destroyer’ and the fact that this angel is mentioned at the end of the fifth trumpet implies that this nihilism eventually turns into an explicit philosophy of nihilism. The name is mentioned both in the religious language of Hebrew as well as the secular language of Greek, implying that this nihilism affects both religious and secular thought. In my experience, the same kind of postmodern questioning is currently occurring both in secular thought as well as in different branches of religious thought.

The locusts are described in some detail and it is possible to speculate about what this means. The appearance is ‘like horses prepared for battle’. ‘Horses’ may correspond to organizations and corporations, because they are institutions of power. This suggests that the questioning has institutional backing. ‘Crowns like gold’ implies being crowned by the highest of motives, such as human justice and equality. However, the text does not say that the crowns are made of gold but rather that they are like gold, which means that one is dealing with something that looks like the highest motives but is not. ‘Faces of men’ suggests that the social and verbal interaction is happening at dignified levels of human politeness. ‘Hair like the hair of women’ implies that thought is being guided by ‘strings’ of Teacher theory, while ‘teeth like the teeth of lions’ suggests that opposing theories are being torn apart in a vicious manner. A breastplate protects one’s vital organs, which would refer cognitively to core mental networks. Paul in Ephesians 6:14 talks about ‘the breastplate of righteousness’, while 1 Thessalonians 5:8 describes a ‘breastplate of faith and love’. These are the sorts of qualities that protect the core mental networks of the transformed mind. A ‘breastplate of iron’ would imply a mindset that protects core mental networks by putting them through some sort of testing, purifying, and refining process. One can see this in the academic process of peer review and the hoops that one must run through in order to get published. This process is meant to ensure academia only builds upon data that has been tested and purified. However, the original Greek says that the breastplates are ‘like iron’ which means that it appears that facts and theories are being tested through peer review. That is because one can only test facts and theories if one believes in the existence of facts and theories, which postmodern thought no longer does. Therefore, the peer review process still remains, but it turns into rejecting that which is inconsistent with the current party line. ‘Wings’ make it possible to move through the ‘air’ of Teacher thought. If ‘the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle’ then one gains the impression that a lot of intellectual activity is occurring in which competing ideas are struggling for dominance. However, in actual fact, all of the participants are ‘locusts of destruction’ who agree that there is no such thing as truth or abstract theory. (This accurately describes the predominant attitude that I encountered when presenting at the Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religion in 2015.) Finally, ‘tails like scorpions’ implies that today’s ‘rigorous thinker’ who questions everything turns into tomorrow’s ‘intellectual tyrant’ who rejects anything that questions his view of truth and reality.

I do not know if this is the only interpretation of this description. However, I am acquainted with the current mindset of postmodernism, and history indicates that the way that intellectuals think and behave today is usually a precursor to how the average person will think and behave in the future. Thus, my suspicion is that what is being described in Revelation 9 will be like postmodern thought but far more pervasive and it will express itself in a number of different forms.

The Army from the Euphrates

Chapter 7 began with the rise of Eastern mysticism. The sixth trumpet describes the emergence of a powerful mindset from the river Euphrates, which juxtaposes Western rational thought and Eastern mysticism: “Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind. The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm” (Rev. 9:13-19).

This is often interpreted as an army of 200 million men from China, but there is no reference to the ‘land of the rising sun’ in Revelation 9. Instead, the focus is upon the Euphrates River.

The voice comes from ‘the four horns of the golden altar’, which suggests that the experience of mystical worship provides the attraction. ‘Before God’ suggests that a concept of God is indirectly involved, but the attention is not upon God but rather upon the worship of God. This leads to the ‘release of the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates’. In the second sequence, the Euphrates River dries up, indicating that the split between objective and subjective is removed. Here we see the objective/subjective split becoming all-powerful.

The reference to timing implies that there is a short window of opportunity. One can see why this would be the case. First, the locusts of postmodern questioning are destroying all content. Much of this content does need to be questioned because it is based in MMNs of social status. However, if the questioning continues, then there will eventually be nothing left. Second, postmodern questioning thinks that is driven by lofty ideals of justice and equality. The longer the questioning continues, the more apparent it becomes that this is not the case. Third, rational inquiry is being replaced by ‘how we do things’. The longer this continues, the more difficult it becomes to do actual research. Fourth, both the postmodern questioning and the incessant progress of technology are stressing core mental networks of existence. If this pain continues, then it will turn into full-blown angst leading to a major backlash of fundamentalism and explicit nihilism, in which people cling to blind faith or perpetrate traumatic distraction in order to impose some sense of ‘knowing’ upon Perceiver thought. Fifth, researchers will only think about thinking for a short time during postmodern questioning. As Thomas Kuhn says, the typical scientist does not think about why he is doing science. Such introspection is one of the first expressions of postmodern questioning. However, I have noticed that thinking about thinking naturally turns into thinking about doing. Instead of studying what is happening within the mind of researchers, what is studied is the social interaction that occurs in research. One can see this shift, for instance, in the thinking of Fairclough. But thinking about thinking is precisely what one must do if one wishes to reach mental wholeness. One can already see all of these factors present within current Western society, but they are still operating at the fringe and have not yet affected the core of Western thought. More generally, one can see that there is only a finite window of opportunity because the Euphrates River with its bridge of East and West is an unstable juxtaposition of two incompatible ways of thought.

Let us turn now to a description of the horsemen. When people are riding horses, then one would think that the focus of attention would be upon the person and not the horse. But the persons are merely referred to as ‘those on the horse’ and the only thing that is said about them is their breastplates. This tells us that the horse is important and not the person. The locusts had breastplates that were like iron. The breastplates of the riders are ‘fiery and hyacinth and brimstone-like’ (in the original Greek). ‘Fiery’ tells us that Teacher thought is having some impact upon core mental networks, while brimstone-like means that Perceiver facts are imposing themselves upon personal identity but these facts do not necessarily correspond to truth, because it is merely brimstone-like. If a horse represents an organization, then one can guess what this might mean by looking at the typical ‘corporate person’. A corporation needs employees, just as a horse needs a rider, but the individual working for a company is not usually viewed as a person but rather as an employee of the company or a spokesman of the company. Being an employee is ‘fiery’ because one must submit to the Teacher structure of the organization, and it is also brimstone-like because each corporation has its set of ‘truths’ that are imposed upon employees, but these ‘truths’ do not necessarily correspond to universal truth. Saying this another way, every corporation is guided by a set of official regulations that govern conduct within the corporation.

Turning now to the horses, ‘The heads of the horses are like the heads of lions, and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone’. Normally, a person does the talking, but in this case, the fire, smoke, and brimstone is proceeding out of the mouth of the horses. In fact, it explicitly says that ‘the power of the horses is in their mouths’. If a horse represents an institution or organization, then what is speaking here is not the individual members of an organization but rather the organization itself, which is what one typically finds in the modern organization. If ‘the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions’, then this means that the thinking of the organization is guided by a desire to hunt, kill, and eat prey. Such predatory behavior also describes today’s typical large corporation. And if actual ‘fire, smoke, and brimstone’ is proceeding out of the mouths of of the horses, then the pronouncements of the organizations are being imposed upon people. One can see why this might be the case because corporate sovereignty is in the process of subverting and destroying democracy.

Revelation 9 describes the effect of these horses: “A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm” (v.18-19). Unlike the locusts, the horses have a devastating effect, killing ‘a third of mankind’. One can see why this might be the case by looking again at the behavior of the modern large corporation. Corporations have a natural tendency to act like psychopaths, because they are mandated by law to follow an objective bottom line of money and, according to American law, a corporation is legally a person. In addition, individuals who are in corporate leadership have a higher tendency to be psychopathic than the average person. People are killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke, brimstone, all which proceed from the mouths of the horses. If the horses represent organizations, then these organizations are passing verbal regulations that kill MMNs of personal identity in one of three ways. ‘Fire’ forces MMNs of personal identity to submit to the TMN of a general theory. One sees this in the typical large organization, because personal MMNs are irrelevant. Instead, all that matters is submitting to the TMN of official procedure. The average individual encounters this when crossing the border from one country to another. The border official does not care in the least about the impact that his decisions have upon personal MMNs. All that matters is following official procedure. The border official himself has no choice, because if he allowed his personal feelings to intrude, then he would be reprimanded or fired. The typical border official today still has some humanity, but shortly after 9/11 I had an experience with an American border official when I crossed into the United States that was definitely inhuman and psychotic. ‘Smoke’ obscures the light and fills the air. Similarly, corporate pronouncements often obscure the light of Teacher understanding by imposing regulations upon individuals that contradict both themselves and natural law. One is so busy attempting to avoid violating corporate procedure that one cannot even think clearly about ‘how things work’. Finally, ‘brimstone’ means that Perceiver facts that burn are being imposed on identity. One can see what this means by looking again at a corporation. A corporation does not just impose regulations. Instead, it creates facts, these facts come from verbal corporate decisions, and they can have a devastating impact upon MMNs of culture and identity. For instance, a multi-billion-dollar court case has been continuing for decades over extensive environmental damage done by Chevron in Ecuador. The point is that corporations do a lousy job of regulating themselves, and the natural psychotic tendencies of a corporation means that they need to be regulated to prevent them from harming others.

Verse 19 says that ‘the power of the horses is in their mouths and their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm’. We have equated a serpent with the Teacher overgeneralization of mysticism. If the tail of a horse is like a serpent, then the end result is to create a mindset that is like mysticism (the original Greek says ‘they have tails like serpents with heads’). One can also see this in the mindset that a corporation engenders. The individual person within an organization views himself as an embodiment of the organization; his personal identity in Mercy thought is the same as the Teacher generality of the corporation or organization as a whole. Saying this another way, when people see an employee of a company, then that employee is viewed as an embodiment of the company, and people will judge the company by the behavior of the individual employee. This mindset is not evident right away but emerges over time as an employee continues to work for a corporation.

One might initially conclude that I am basing these statements upon a flimsy connection between a horse and an organization. However, this hypothesis becomes more reasonable if one examines the description at the end of the chapter: “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:21). First, people ‘did not repent of the works of their hands’, which tells us that ‘how we do things’ survives intact. A demon is a ‘spirit or divine power’ that is not submitted to God. Therefore, ‘worshiping demons’ would mean following isolated Platonic forms that are not expressions of a general Teacher understanding. These would describe the ‘corporate visions’ that motivate employees of a company or organization. ‘Idols of gold and silver and of brass and of stone and of wood’ suggests manufacturing items in order to attract the worship of people. These idols ‘can neither see nor hear’, which means that each organization functions in a specialized manner, largely blind and deaf to the larger picture. And if idols cannot walk, then major change is also not possible. Using the language of Thomas Kuhn, everyone is performing normal science, which means solving technical problems within some limited paradigm. Finally, childish MMNs are still in charge. ‘Murder’ means that the goal is to destroy the opposition, practicing ‘sorceries’ means using marketing schemes that manipulate MMNs, ‘immorality’ pursues objective gain at the cost of personal loss, while ‘theft’ regards content as something objective that can be ‘stolen’ from others. Putting all of these traits together, one ends up with something that resembles the typical corporation.

I have mentioned that corporations are in the process of undermining democracy. It is possible that the problem is even worse. There is evidence that a cabal of large corporations is manipulating markets in order to transfer ownership from the official economy to a black budget based economy, and that a significant portion of this new invisible economy involves interaction with aliens. I know that it is politically and scientifically incorrect to talk about aliens, but since we are analyzing the book of Revelation with its multiple references to angels, we cannot ignore the topic of aliens, especially since aliens appear to inhabit the same supernatural realm as angels. In simple terms, the following scenario may be occurring: Alien artifacts were retrieved after World War II and these were turned over secretly to corporations for investigation and development. Funding this research required black budgets. This has now morphed into what some refer to as a breakaway civilization characterized by advanced technology, extreme secrecy, alien interaction, and a ruling elite attempting to achieve total societal domination. It is difficult to determine how much of this scenario is true, because everything is shrouded in layers of secrecy, deception, and ridicule. However, one can state with certainty that since 9/11, strong political forces have been hell-bent (literally) upon eliminating human freedom and privacy. One can also state with certainty that the world economy was deliberately robbed of trillions of dollars in the financial crisis of 2008. And one can state with certainty that many large corporations are currently doing their utmost to undermine democracy. If one is dealing with such potent forces, then one can see that it would be critical to ‘release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates’ at the right ‘hour and day and month and year’. Who knows. Maybe the release of bound angels actually refers to a release of angelic (in this case alien) forces.

Notice that this ‘alien scenario’ is an extreme version of the Euphrates river with its split between objective rational thought and subjective irrationality. On the objective side, the primary goal appears to be the acquisition of new technology by corporations. Technology is an expression of objective rational technical thought, and corporations use rational thought to pursue an objective bottom line. The situation is totally different when dealing with the subjective. Corporations are governed by a ruling elite who manipulate MMNs of society in order to impose MMNs of personal status upon society. Similarly, the beings from elsewhere also appear to act like a ruling elite who manipulate MMNs of human identity with inhuman coldness.

In contrast, my hypothesis is that humans, aliens, and angels all have the same internal mental structure, but they acquire vastly different core mental networks by living within totally different environments. This is the impression that one gains from the comment of the angel to John in Revelation 22 when he tried to worship the angel: “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God” (v.9).

Let us now step back and look at the big picture. Pursuing technical thought will eventually lead to an explosion of fragmented knowledge that will cause people to look for something solid to hang onto. This will be followed by a growth in Eastern mysticism, as people look to meditation and spirituality to find peace in the complexity of life. Most individuals will pursue spirituality without content, while some will attempt to serve an integrated concept of God who lies behind the complexity. Eventually, there will be a backlash against the system that will lead to a general understanding of how one should not live. This will lead to extensive questioning but this questioning will not solve the problem. However, one gains the impression that the backlash combined with the questioning will succeed in overturning many of the existing forms and structures of society. This will then be followed by the dominance of corporate-like organizations, which will totally change the MMNs culture and identity. The ultimate end will be the downfall of current Western civilization.

This first sequence began with Contributor-controlled technical thought being regarded as the only valid form of thinking. It ends with the corporation, which is the ultimate expression of Contributor-controlled technical thought: Jobs and specializations are clearly defined, rules and procedures guide behavior, activity is guided by some bottom line in Mercy thought, and research is limited to expanding specific Teacher theories and technical processes.

If God is in charge of history, then why would God allow corporate-like entities to destroy Western civilization? Going further, how can chapter 9 be followed by chapter 10 with its eating of a book of understanding that bridges subjective and objective? I suggest several reasons, some positive, some negative: First, Contributor-controlled technical thought makes thinking more rigorous. It forces people to be rational and to think clearly, and that is a good thing. Second, as I mentioned before, when existence becomes filled with technical specializations, then it becomes possible to use normal thought to compare the technical findings of one specialization with another, leading to a more general understanding. Third, technical thought questions the MMNs of culture and if one wishes to experience personal transformation, then these childish mental networks have to be questioned. Fourth, whenever technical thought focuses upon some field, then this field will eventually become guided by the TMN of a general understanding. Replacing the MMNs of childish identity with the TMN of rational understanding is an essential aspect of the process of personal transformation. Fifth, technical thought implicitly combines rational thinking with an emotional bottom line, because rational thought is being driven by some emotional goal. This emotional goal may be inadequate and the rational thinking limited to some restricted specialization, but to some extent head and heart are getting together. Sixth, when existence is divided into many clearly-defined but unrelated specializations, then Teacher thought will be strongly motivated to bring order to this complexity. Seventh, when a person or corporation is locally rational, then this becomes distasteful to those who are affected by this behavior, because the person or corporation should know better. This blatant hypocrisy helps to build conscience by providing illustrations of how one should not behave. Finally, when people become faceless cogs in a corporate machine, then this will provide a strong motivation to add meaning to personal existence by using rational thought to analyze the subjective.

Revelation 11

Revelation 10 with its little book was discussed before. Therefore, we will continue with Revelation 11. I presume that what is being described in this chapter is the result of eating the little book from the angel astride the earth and sea. I know from personal experience what it is like to construct a general theory that integrates objective and subjective. Therefore, the interpretation of Chapter 11 will be a guess based upon an extrapolation of my research as well as the response to this research that I have received from others.

The chapter starts: “Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, ‘Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.’ These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire” (Rev. 11:1-6).

The chapter appears to begin with an analysis of God and religion, because a measuring rod is being used to measure the temple and those who worship in it. Similarly, one can see from this list that my research has focused upon core aspects of culture, religion, and concepts of God. When one extends rational thought to the subjective realm, one quickly realizes that there are big questions that have to be answered. Eventually everyone will die. What will happen then? If death is the end, then everything is absurd. One cannot ignore these questions the way that the secular world does. But one also cannot enter into religious worship without thought. Instead, the temple needs to be measured. I gradually came to the conclusion that core religious doctrines—from all religions—are the result of cognitive mechanisms. Peripheral doctrines may vary between cultures, but it appears that one can measure core doctrines using the ‘measuring rod’ of mental wholeness. For instance, what is the cognitive mechanism behind fundamentalism, and what are the mental costs following such a mindset? This does not mean that all religions are equivalent. A religion that is based upon incarnation is mentally more whole than one that is rooted in mysticism or fundamentalism.

The two witnesses may be related to the ‘right foot on the sea and his left on the land’ mentioned in the previous chapter. I do know that I have personally tried for decades to follow two seemingly incompatible standards that are related to these ‘two legs’: 1) rational thought must be used to analyze every field no matter how much it hurts; 2) the Bible is an accurate book that describes the nature of God and humanity. The first standard submits the MMNs of identity to the personal implications of rational thought. For instance, if the mind is composed of seven interacting cognitive modules and if each cognitive style is conscious in one of these cognitive modules, then this means that subconscious thought has a right to exist and should not be trampled by conscious thought. For a more specific example, if the Exhorter person has a right to exist, then Exhorter thought also has a right to exist within the mind of the Perceiver person, and it needs to be treated with care and respect. The second standard uses rational thought to analyze subjective MMNs. The Bible is generally regarded as true because the source of the Bible is mentally represented by a MMN with great emotional status. But the Bible is not automatically false because people place blind faith in it and attach strong emotions to it. Instead, one needs to look for the universal cognitive mechanisms that lie behind emotional topics and emotional responses. These ‘two witnesses’ of using rational thought to analyze subjective MMNs and extending the TMNs of rational theory to include subjective MMNs will build a powerful mental concept of God, because a concept of God emerges when the TMN of a general theory applies to MMNs of personal identity. And these two witnesses will be ‘clothed in sackcloth’ because they will continually reveal personal and social shortcomings that need to be mourned over and changed.

Going further, I have found that every theory that I have examined so far can be analyzed by the theory of mental symmetry. Either the facts fit into the theory of mental symmetry as a subset, or else mental symmetry explains why the researcher thought the way that he did. Using the language of Revelation, I have found that the ‘fire’ of Teacher understanding ‘flows out of the mouth’ of the theory and ‘devours enemies’ by making them subsets of the theory of mental symmetry and ‘kills’ those that attempt to ‘harm these messengers’ by explaining the cognitive mechanisms that motivate their inadequate thinking. This swallowing up of opposing theories occurs wherever one turns, or in other words, ‘as often as they desire’.

In addition, the theory of mental symmetry ‘turns water into blood’ by revealing the MMNs behind the experiences of culture and it ‘strikes the earth with plague’ by revealing the inadequate motivations behind supposedly rational thought. Rain is water that comes from the sky, and water represents Mercy experiences. If ‘the sky is shut up’ so that ‘rain does not fall during the days of prophesying’ then Teacher understanding is shutting down the normal flow of Mercy experiences. Similarly, I found that my research continually blocked me off from the normal world of Mercy experiences that everyone else seemed to enjoy.

Revelation 11 continues, “When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 11:7-10).

Cognitively speaking, postmodern thought is a ‘beast that comes out of the abyss’ because it uses deconstructionism to question everything without building a replacement. It is academic suicide that is in the process of destroying academia. In my experience, the postmodern scholar is unteachable because he is convinced that his questioning of truth is the only valid form of thought. I have tried to interact with such scholars at conferences and through e-mails and found that it is impossible. They ‘know’ that they are right because they are part of the current academic status quo and because they are experts at the mechanics of scientific methodology. Thus, I know intellectually what it would be like to be killed by ‘the beast that comes out of the abyss’.

‘Sodom’ was known for its homosexuality, and ‘Egypt’ is a picture of the MMNs of childish thought. These two mindsets are becoming increasingly dominant in postmodern thought. Looking at this literally, homosexuality has now become an overriding issue that trumps all other topics. Looking at this cognitively, a split between objective and subjective will eliminate interaction between male thought, which emphasizes object of facts and skills, and female thought, which focuses more strongly upon Teacher emotions and Mercy emotions. The end result is that interaction becomes cognitively homosexual. Specialization with its ‘male’ technical thought remains within the realm of technical thought without considering either the MMNs of culture and identity or the TMN of a more general understanding, while those who express emotional thought or study emotional topics become increasingly immune to rational thought, but rather regard all truth as opinions imposed upon the population by some dominant minority. However, when ‘male’ technical thought ignores content and focuses upon methodology, and when ‘female’ social consciousness believes that all content is based in MMNs, then all that remains is the childish MMNs of the untransformed mind, which is represented by ‘Egypt’.

This brings to mind the progression described by Paul at the end of Romans 1: “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (Rom. 1:25-32). A concept of God emerges when a general Teacher theory applies to personal identity in Mercy thought. A split between objective and subjective prevents a concept of God from emerging because it separates general Teacher theory from personal identity. When a society kills the two messengers that bridge objective with subjective (extending rational objective to include the subjective, and using the rational objective to analyze the subjective) then this leads cognitively (and physically) to homosexuality—which is Sodom, as well as the exaltation of hedonism and childish desire—which is Egypt. This same mindset also ‘crucifies incarnation’ because Contributor thought requires a combination of objective and subjective to function. (Concrete technical thought is guided by value, which uses rational thought to compare the costs and benefits of emotional memories and mental networks. Similarly, abstract technical thought uses rational logic to improve Teacher emotions of order-within-complexity.)

John says that they ‘will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb’. Placing the body in a tomb implies analyzing a ‘dead’ system or structure in order to see where it fits within the general framework of knowledge. What has struck me about my interaction with educated individuals is that the overwhelming response is to ignore any research that attempts to bridge objective with subjective. Similarly, one notices that the dominant response of postmodern questioning to the ‘dogmatism’ and ‘morality’ of the past is to publicly display it as an illustration of misguided antiquated bigotism and rejoice that this bigotism is now dead, while refusing to give it the burial of honest analysis. The morality of the past has not been analyzed and shown to be wanting, rather it has been rejected as obsolete without being analyzed.

Continuing with Revelation 11, “But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Rev. 11:11-13). When one violates universal laws, then there are unpleasant consequences. When enough people publicly violate cognitive mechanisms, then Perceiver thought eventually notices the repetition and wakes up to the fact that there is such a thing as sowing-and-reaping. The end result is a powerful concept of God, based not in edicts imposed by ruling groups, but rather in an understanding of how things work. ‘A loud voice from heaven’ implies that principles of sowing-and-reaping are coalescing into a general Teacher understanding. One can tell that something positive is happening in Teacher thought because people ‘gave glory to the God of heaven’. This new understanding is sufficient to change some of the established facts of society, as represented by the earthquake. And the end result is a conscience guided by the TMN of a concept of God, because people ‘are terrified’. Speaking personally, a shift occurred within my mind when I realized that the theory of mental symmetry could explain core Christian doctrines. At that point I felt that the theory was no longer my theory but rather God’s theory and that I was a custodian of this theory and needed to treat it with respect.

Revelation 11 finishes by saying, “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever. And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.’ And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm” (Rev. 11:15-19).

These verses describe the paradigm shift that signifies the beginning of the second sequence, because ‘the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ’. ‘Loud voices in heaven’ implies that a major shift is occurring within Teacher thought. Until now, those who followed God were passive recipients of a rejection imposed upon them by the TMN of a secular world system. From now on, those who follow God will have the backing of Teacher understanding and will go on the offensive, as indicated by the phrase ‘he will reign forever and ever’. Notice that this is a kingdom of both God in Teacher thought and incarnation in technical Contributor thought, one that combines the Teacher emotion of a general understanding with the rational thinking of incarnation, and which is a kingdom that applies to personal identity in Mercy thought.

The focus of the 24 elders also shifts from a fixation upon God and the lamb to a kingdom of God that rules over finite existence. In Revelation 4, behavior was limited to using words to worship God in Teacher thought. This then turned in Revelation 5 into a worship of Contributor-controlled technical thought. Now the realization is that a Teacher theory of God is supposed to rule over all of existence and not just be limited to either words or technical thought. This realization is just starting to sink in because God has only ‘begun to reign’. This will result in a battle to extend the Teacher understanding of God to the various aspects of existence and competing TMNs will become ‘enraged’ as they experience the ‘wrath’ of a universal TMN that wants to impose its structure upon all of existence. It is now time to ‘judge the dead’ by rethinking the body of knowledge in the light of this new understanding. ‘Bond servants’ perform Server actions that are obedient to the Teacher words of God, ‘prophets’ proclaim Perceiver facts that are consistent with an understanding of God, those who ‘fear your name’ refers to people who submitted personal MMNs to the TMN of the character of God, and ‘saint’s are those whose personal MMNs are consistent with the TMN of a concept of God. When the TMN of a concept of God is revealed, then it becomes possible to reward these individuals. Notice that this reward is independent of personal status in Mercy thought because it applies to both ‘the small and the great’. The phrase ‘destroy those who destroy the earth’ is appropriate because until now society has been dominated by individuals and groups who insist that there is no such thing as a universal law. Saying this another way, the mindset of deconstructionism itself needs to be deconstructed. There is also a literal side to this statement, because those who reject law also have a tendency to destroy the physical environment. However, I suggest that the underlying problem is the mindset that attacks the concept of a mental landscape of truth and righteousness, and that one of the byproducts of this mindset is the destruction of physical nature.

As I mentioned before, a temple is required when people make a distinction between the MMNs of normal existence and special MMNs. If the predominant mindset in heaven has been one of worship, then a new paradigm will naturally lead to the emergence of a temple in heaven. Saying this more simply, the average person following God will look at these new individuals and regard them as holy and special. This ‘temple in heaven’ is now being open, a covenant between God and man is being revealed, and this is having an impact upon the rest of thought, as illustrated by the lightning, thunder, earthquake, and hailstorm.

Conclusion

This essay presents a new way of interpreting Revelation 4 – 22. This interpretation has several positive features:

  • It examines the text in detail rather than focusing upon a few names and numbers.

  • It provides a rational, connected explanation for the content instead of just describing the text or quoting other authors.

  • It uses the same cognitive approach that has been used to analyze Christian doctrine, develop a philosophy of science, and explain human behavior in general.

  • It uses symbology in a manner that is consistent and cognitively natural.

  • It replaces the concept of a judgmental, vindictive God who is intent upon destroying the world with that of a rational, caring God who is determined to bring mental wholeness to the world.

  • It includes America and American Christendom without regarding America as the center of the universe.

  • It makes the message relevant for today by connecting with broad trends of society rather than looking for obscure references to names and numbers in the news.

  • It focuses upon personal transformation and general principles instead of dealing objectively with specific events.

Return to the essay on the first three chapters of Genesis.