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BibleA Historical Analysis of Revelation 4 – 11

Lorin Friesen, January 2021


Revelation was the first biblical book that I analyzed from a cognitive perspective, back in 2016. I started reading chapter 12 and discovered to my amazement that the text was making sense. I analyzed Revelation from a symbolic perspective because everyone knows that Revelation uses symbolic language. I discovered later on that it is possible to use the same symbolic cognitive analysis on other books of the New Testament, and possibly also the Old Testament.

My initial analysis of Revelation provided the general sequence that I have used to analyze other biblical books. However, this initial analysis was not very detailed. At that point simply recognizing that the book of Revelation contained a rational cognitive sequence was a major breakthrough. After having gone through the book of Matthew from a prophetic cognitive perspective, it is now possible to return to Revelation and examine it in more detail. In particular, we will look at the chapters that appear to cover the same period of history that is described in Matthew 2-24.

The general principle is that Revelation 5-9 describes what happens when the Lamb is regarded as worthy to open the scroll (5:5). Standard Christian interpretation says that the Lamb represents incarnation, and mental symmetry uses this standard interpretation. Mental symmetry adds the additional information about how a concept of incarnation forms within the mind: A mental concept of incarnation is based upon technical thought but extends beyond concrete technical thought to save people rather than things, and extends beyond abstract technical thought to be guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought rather than just the paradigm of some specific specialization. This leads to the cognitive interpretation that ‘the Lamb being regarded as worthy to open the scroll’ represents technical thought being regarded by Western civilization as worthy to open the scroll of knowledge. This is more general than the standard Christian interpretation. That is because Christianity verbally states that Christ is the ‘Word of God’, but either acts as if Christ is only an extrapolation of the religious Jesus, or else talks about Christ using overgeneralized terms that do not apply to reality.

Looking at a lamb in more detail, a sheep appears to represent a social follower of some verbal message of incarnation. This interpretation comes from the passage on the Good Shepherd in John 10, where Jesus says that the sheep know his voice. Behaviorally speaking, sheep are intensely social creatures. Thus, theologians would be an example of sheep, as would academia. In both cases the words of abstract technical thought are being followed at a social level. One of the guiding principles of theology is that one is not supposed to come up with ‘private interpretations’, but rather follow theological consensus. Similarly, academia uses peer review to filter the views of the individual through the consensus of the community. This type of social system will eliminate many errors, but it will not eliminate systemic errors that affect the entire community. For instance, a theological community will not eliminate errors that are the result of approaching the Bible with a mindset of absolute truth. And peer review will not eliminate errors that are the result of suppressing the subjective emotions of the individual.

As usual, I will be quoting from the NASB. And when the NASB gives a literal translation in a footnote, I will be using this literal translation. The NASB is not perfect, but it is quite accurate, and any differences from the original Greek will be pointed out by quoting the definition of the Greek word given in I should also mention that this analysis is only possible due to the detailed definitions provided by

I should emphasize that finding a relationship between some verse and a period in Western history does not mean that this verse applies only to that historical period. That is because the divine plan of history uses cognitive mechanisms. Therefore, every verse can also be interpreted as a universal cognitive principle that applies at all times. The historical sequence comes from the way that these cognitive principles follow one after another. This is like a school curriculum which takes many facts and principles and teaches them in a certain order. However, one should avoid constructing general doctrines upon isolated verses. This principle is already taught by theologians, as demonstrated by the common saying that ‘a text out of context is a pretext’. A similar principle can be found when studying a school textbook, because facts will often be presented in a way that is appropriate for a student at some level of learning.

John’s vision begins in Revelation 4. This chapter describes the mindset that existed before society recognize the preeminence of incarnation. Our analysis will start with verse 5, because I am not sure how to interpret the various colors and precious stones mentioned in the first four verses.

Table of Contents

4:5-6 The Seven Spirits of God. The ultimate source of cognitive styles.

4:6, 8-11 The Four Living Beings. Religious mysticism.

4:7 The Appearance of the Living Creatures. Mysticism expressed as primal urges.

5:1-2 A Book with Seven Seals. A Holy Book.

5:3-4 A Closed Book. Irenaeus versus Gnosticism.

5:5-6 The Lamb. A Holy Book versus Roman Virtus.

5:7-9 Taking the Scroll. Origen and Theology.

5:10-11 A State Religion. Constantine and Christianity.

5:12-14 An Official Message. Augustine’s City of God.

6:1-2 The First Horseman. The Spread of Christianity through Europe.

6:3-4 The Second Horseman. The Viking Era and the Crusades.

6:5-6 The Third Horseman. Feudalism, Universities, and Guilds.

6:7-8 The Fourth Horseman. The Crisis of the Late Middle Ages.

6:9-11 The Fifth Seal. The Inquisition and the Protestant Movement.

6:12-13 The Sixth Seal. The Birth of Science.

6:14-17 A Splitting Sky. Science splits from Scholasticism.

7:1-3 An Interlude. Science Develops while Society Preserves.

7:4-8 The 144,000. The Growth of Science during the Enlightenment.

7:9-10 A Multitude. The Industrial Revolution.

7:11-12 Revitalized Worship. Pietism and Liberal Theology.

7:13-17 A Paradigm Shift. Technical Specializations Emerge.

8:1-6 The Seventh Seal. An Emotional Backlash to Technology.

8:7 The First Trumpet. Romanticism and Protestant Christianity.

8:8-9 The Second Trumpet. World War I; Pentecostalism.

8:10-11 The Third Trumpet. Communism and Nazism.

8:12 The Fourth Trumpet. The 1960s Counterculture.

9:1-6 The Fifth Trumpet. Postmodernism.

9:7-12 The Locusts. Postmodern Deconstructionism.

9:13-16 The Sixth Trumpet. Corporatism.

9:17-21 The Horses. Corporate Culture and Marketing.

10:1-2 The Strong Angel. An Integrated Theory of Objective and Subjective.

10:3-4 A New Proclamation. Proclaiming Cognitive Styles.

10:5-7 A Meta-theory. The Theory of Mental Symmetry.

10:8-11 A Small, Small Scroll. Developing a Cognitive Theory.

11:1-2 Measuring the Temple. A Cognitive Analysis of Theology.

11:3-4 The Two Witnesses. The Complete Mind and the Transformed Mind.

11:5-6 Devouring the Enemy. A Theoretical Approach.

11:7 Killing the Two Witnesses. Suppressing Cognitive Principles.

11:8-10 A Larger Perspective. Misusing Cognitive Science and Psychology.

11:11-12 Resurrected Witnesses. Re-emerging Cognitive Theory.

11:13-14 A Great Earthquake. Opening the Door to the Supernatural.

11:15-17 A New Kingdom. The Theoretical Return of Jesus.

11:18 A Spreading Kingdom. Fighting to Preserve Inadequate Theories.

11:18-19 Spiritual Technology. A Transformation of Morality.


The Seven Spirits of God 4:5-6

Before we begin, I should explain that our discussion of chapter 4 may seem rather bizarre to someone who is used to reading the typical academic paper. The rest of this essay will include many historical details from Western Civilization. But if one wishes to understand Western society, then one must examine the fundamental motivations of Western society. And Chapter 4 describes the source of the fundamental emotions that drove Western society during the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. And that motivation will feel bizarre to someone who has grown up in a modern secular world. Finally, if a discussion of strange heavenly beings feels uncomfortable, then simply interpret them as cognitive archetypes.

Verse 5 mentions the seven spirits of God: “Out from the throne came flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.” (Any words that are in italics are written that way in the NASB to indicate that they are not in the original Greek.) The seven spirits of God are only mentioned in Revelation, where the phrase occurs three times. Relating this to mental symmetry, I have attempted over the years to determine exactly what cognitive style is. On the one hand, each cognitive style appears to have a natural mental awareness that is not shared by other cognitive styles. On the other hand, everyone has a similar brain, and the thinking of each cognitive style corresponds to the function of a certain region of the brain. The only way to make sense of this is to postulate that cognitive style reflects a difference in consciousness. However, I do not know of any physical brain differences that correspond to cognitive style. This suggests that consciousness reflects something non-material or spiritual. Thus, my hypothesis is that the seven spirits of God are the ultimate source of the seven cognitive styles. In other words, a Perceiver person has been given a small fragment of the Perceiver spirit of God, and so on.

Wikipedia actually provides this as an alternative interpretation. “An alternative view is that the seven graces (‘charisma’) of Romans 12:6–8 reflect the seven spirits of God. The Holy Spirit manifests in humankind through these graces, reflecting the seven spirits of God. The seven graces are: 1. insight (prophecy); 2. helpfulness (service or ministry); 3. instruction (teaching); 4. encouragement; 5. generosity (giving); 6. guidance (leadership); and 7. compassion.”

Looking at verse 5 in more detail, the verb come actually means to ‘go out from, emphasizing the outcome of going through a particular process or passage’. This word was used once before in 1:16 to describe a sword coming out of the mouth of incarnation, and the next use will be in 9:17. In addition, the preposition from out of is explicitly added. In other words, something is emerging out of the throne, which changes in nature as it leaves the throne. Thrones are mentioned numerous times in Revelation, but the preposition ‘from out of’ is not used with the word ‘throne’ until 21:3 and 22:1 when referring to the New Jerusalem.

A flash of lightning would represent a ‘flash of insight’, a brief illumination of Teacher understanding. Voice means ‘voice, sound’. This implies that Teacher thought is generating sounds but these sounds are not necessarily intelligent speech. Thunder refers to a more general sound that comes from the sky of Teacher thought, but this term also suggests the absence of rational understanding. These three terms will reoccur several times throughout Revelation, but they will be followed by intelligent speech. In verse 5, no intelligent words follow.

Looking at this cognitively, this combination can be seen in mysticism. Mysticism uses overgeneralization to come up with a theory of cosmic unity in Teacher thought, such as ‘All is One’. Overgeneralized theories cannot handle rational facts, because facts limit sweeping statements. Stated bluntly, ‘All is not One’: A rich person living in a mansion experiences quite a different reality than a homeless person living on the street. To suggest that these are both the same is beyond vulgar. But Teacher overgeneralization will lead to the feeling of having a general theory in Teacher thought. And continuing to think about this feeling of having a general theory will cause the ‘theory’ to turn into a TMN, and this Teacher mental network will drive the mind to explore this theory and to write about this theory. Using the language of verse 5, Teacher noises of various kinds will emerge out from the throne of mysticism, and as they emerge they will change in nature and acquire the impression of intelligent thought. Thus, the mystic will be driven to write many words about the experience of mysticism, but any attempt to reduce the mystical experience to words will fail: On the one hand, mysticism assumes that words have no meanings, while on the other hand, mysticism drives the mind to use words that have meanings.

The seven spirits of God are mentioned in this context. “… and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.” A lamp is ‘a hand-held torch’. This provides personal illumination, consistent with the idea of cognitive styles. Fire provides light and heat by consuming some material. Fire is interpreted as some form of frustration, in which a person is driven to perform some activity in a self-destructive manner. The verb burning emphasizes this self-destructive behavior. These seven burning lamps are ‘before the face of’ the throne. Looking at this cognitively, the conscious thinking of cognitive style is acquiring its motivation from Teacher feelings of overgeneralized worship. But this is not leading anywhere, because the seven spirits remain standing before the throne. Compare this with 5:6, which describes the seven spirits of God being sent out into all the earth in connection with the lamb. In addition, there is no mention of burning or fire in chapter 5.

The seven spirits are described as being ‘of God’, but the lightning and thunder is proceeding out from the throne and there is no mention of God. Looking at this cognitively, the mystic thinks that his Teacher overgeneralization of cosmic unity corresponds to the real God, but the real God is actually being expressed through the conscious thinking of the seven cognitive styles.

This frozen state of existence is also portrayed in verse 6. “And before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal.” The NASB adds the words ‘there was something’, giving the impression that the passage is talking about objects, but mysticism requires going beyond the realm of things. There is no ‘thing’ before the face of the throne of mysticism, because things by their very nature contradict the overgeneralization of cosmic unity. A sea represents the realm of Mercy experiences. Glass means ‘glassy, made of glass, transparent’, and this word is only found in Revelation, where it is used three times. A ‘transparent sea’ suggests that one is living within the sea of Mercy experiences, but looking through these experiences at something else. This describes mysticism, which achieves Teacher feelings of order-within-complexity by looking beyond the world of Mercy experiences to see cosmic unity. Notice that mysticism requires a sea of experiences as opposed to the ‘dry land’ of rational thought. That is because the facts of rational thought will get in the way of the overgeneralization that is used by mysticism. What is before the throne in verse 6 is not really a sea of glass, but is like a sea of glass. In other words, mysticism is not actually looking beyond experiences in a transparent manner. Instead, it is using a mental trick that cognitively resembles looking beyond experiences in a transparent manner. This ‘like a glass sea’ is described as being ‘like crystal’. Like in this case means ‘resembling, the same as’. Crystal means ‘crystal’ and comes from the word that means ‘frost’.

A sea of glass is mentioned one other time in Revelation 15:2. However, there is no mention of a throne in that verse and the ‘like a sea of glass’ is mingled with fire, implying that the practice of mysticism has been frustrated. 15:2 also says that the beast has been conquered, and I suggest that the power of the beast is based in mysticism. In verse 6, the sea of glass is by itself, implying the contentlessness of mysticism. In 15:2, people with harps are standing on the sea of glass, suggesting that a new form of worship has been discovered which includes the individual and transcends the worship of mysticism.

The Four Living Beings 4:6, 8-11

Verse 6 finishes by introducing the enigmatic four living creatures: “And in the middle of the throne and around, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.” (If the quote does not seem to match the NASB, this is because I am using a literal definition given in a footnote.) The word living creature means ‘something alive’, with ‘life’ referring to either spiritual or physical life. These beings are only mentioned in the New Testament in Revelation, but four similar beings are described in Ezekiel 10 as well as in Isaiah 6. In all three cases, the four beings are closely associated with the presence of God. The basic characteristic of God is that God is infinite and deals with generalities. Thus, a living creature that exists in the presence of God would have to be some sort of elemental being that expresses life at a very fundamental level.

I have suggested that Revelation 4 describes a mindset of mysticism. The basic premise of mysticism is that ‘All is One’. Cognitively speaking, Teacher thought uses overgeneralization to come up with the ‘theory’ that everything fits together. Merely stating that ‘All is One’ is insufficient, because Teacher emotion comes from order-within-complexity. The human mystic solves this problem by living within the complexity of human existence and then breaking through this complexity to the realization that ‘all is one’.

These two elements can be seen in the description of the four living creatures in verse 6. On the one hand, the four living creatures are attempting to mentally ‘inhale’ all of their finite existence because they are ‘full of eyes in front and behind’. Eyes are normally used to scan the environment in order to build a mental map. But there is no scanning with the four living creatures because they are full of eyes. The word full means ‘fully occupied with, loaded to capacity’. In other words, the living creatures are attempting to fill their entire minds with input from the environment.

On the other hand, the four living creatures are ‘in the middle of the throne and around’. The first phrase is more literally ‘in the realm of the midst of the throne’. This describes the attitude of mysticism, which tries to identify fully with the Teacher overgeneralization of a transcendental God. The scene is different in 5:6, because the position in the middle of the throne is taken up by the Lamb representing incarnation. The word around comes from the word ‘circle’. It is used three times in Revelation, each time in the phrase ‘around the throne’. This may be significant because the circle plays a major role in Teacher overgeneralization. This can be seen in Aristotle’s cosmology. Quoting from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “The stars and planets seek to imitate the perfection of the unmoved mover by moving about the Earth in a circle, the most perfect of shapes. For this to be the case, of course, the heavenly bodies must have souls capable of feeling love for the unmoved mover. ‘On such a principle,’ Aristotle says, ‘depend the heavens and the world of nature.’ Aristotle is prepared to call the unmoved mover ‘God.’” Notice how the overgeneralized perfection of God is being circled by circles and this is being regarded as the ultimate theory that explains everything. Verse 6 is describing this kind of mindset.

There is another relationship between the four living creatures and mysticism. That is because the two visions of the four living beings in Ezekiel are historically associated with the development of Jewish mysticism, known as Merkabah mysticism. And Judaism still regards God as an incomprehensible overgeneralization that transcends rational thought. This is discussed further in the essay on Kabbalah.

Verse 7 describes the appearance of the four living creatures. We will examine this in a few paragraphs, but I would like to look first at the idea of physical appearance. My guess is that the living beings do not have any inherent shape. Humans grow up in physical bodies with specific shapes and appearances, which we use to recognize specific humans. Thus, humans naturally assume that all intelligent beings have inherent shapes. For instance, if the living beings have eyes all over in verse 6, then the assumption is that the living beings always have eyes all over. In contrast, I suggest that the living creatures have ‘bodies’ that are more elemental than some specific shape, and that the current shape of a living creature would express the internal content of that living creature.

Looking at this more generally, I suggest that aliens and angels also do not have inherent physical shapes, but rather are capable of inhabiting shapes that are compatible with their way of thinking. Instead, angels and aliens appear to have specific names, as reflected by the term ‘angel’, which means messenger. Thus, one could think of angels and aliens as professionals who are ‘physically’ locked into some profession. This means, for instance, that if an alien is described as reptilian, then this does not mean that the alien grew up in a reptilian body, but rather that the alien has developed a reptilian mind and feels comfortable inhabiting a shape that is reptilian. This is developed further in the essay on aliens. Applying this to the four living creatures, their appearance in verse 6 would express their current fundamental mindset, which is a mindset of mysticism.

The four living creatures are mentioned again in chapter 6 with the first four seals. But in chapter 6 these living creatures are interacting with others rather than fixating upon God. The very fact that the living creatures are behaving in chapter 6 indicates that they have snapped out of a mindset of mysticism.

In contrast, 4:8 describes the four living creatures as fixated hypnotically upon God: “And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they have no rest, saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’” Notice again the reference to being full of eyes, indicating a desire to fill the mind as much as possible with the entire environment. These eyes are described as being around, which comes from the word ‘circle’. And within means ‘from within’, a word that is only used twice in Revelation. This tells us that the four living creatures have internalized a mindset of mysticism, because they now have internal eyes and they are viewing their environment through eyes that have been organized using the perfection of the circle. The word rest means ‘cessation, rest’. It is used twice in Revelation. In verse 8, the four living creatures ‘day and night have no rest’. And in 14:11, the worshipers of the beast ‘have no rest day and night’. My hypothesis is that the beast represents a future kingdom in which the mindset of mysticism will be fully applied to physical reality. One can see a partial expression of this kind of thinking in the intolerance of universal tolerance, because universal tolerance is based in the Teacher overgeneralization that ‘we are all one, and we just need to forget about all our differences’. The parallel between verse 8 and 14:11 is consistent with the suggestion that the four living beings are practicing a form of mysticism.

Mysticism is based in an overgeneralized concept of God in Teacher thought. This overgeneralization can be seen in the words of the four living creatures: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’ I know that this kind of fixated worship is often portrayed as the ultimate goal of Christianity, but it still describes a mindset of hypnotic fixation upon an overgeneralized concept of God. And one can conclude with certainty that this is not the ultimate goal of Christianity, because one does not find this kind of endless worship described later on in the book of Revelation. Instead, Revelation describes new groups coming along singing new songs that the existing worshipers are incapable of singing. One might think that I am overreacting to mysticism, but I have found over the years that the greatest enemy to mental symmetry is a mindset of mysticism, whether it is expressed religiously as worshiping a transcendent God, secularly as universal tolerance, or explicitly as Buddhism.

Looking at more closely at the words of the four living creatures, the word holy means ‘different from the world because, like the Lord’. The basic premise of mysticism is that God transcends all facts about physical reality. That is because an overgeneralized theory in Teacher thought can handle rational facts as long as the theory is regarded as more general than the facts and the facts are regarded as inconsequential. The word ‘holy’ is used 235 times in the New Testament, but this is the only time that three holies are used in a row in one verse. Holiness is a genuine concept, and we will look later at different ways of constructing a concept of holiness. But a fixation upon holiness to the extent of saying ‘holy, holy, holy’ indicates a mindset of mysticism, because the fundamental premise of mysticism is that one thinks about God in a different way than one thinks about physical reality. I am not suggesting that God is the same as physical reality, because that describes a form of pantheism. God is different than physical reality, but one still uses the same mind to think about God and to think about physical reality. Mysticism pretends that one is using a different mind to think about God than the mind that one uses to think about reality.

Almighty means ‘unrestricted power exercising absolute dominion’. God is Almighty, but a fixation upon God as Almighty is another symptom of mysticism, which believes that God is unrestricted by any facts of creation. This is totally different than the Lamb who will emerge in the middle of the throne in chapter 5, because a Lamb is the opposite of Almighty.

Another symptom of mysticism is the coalescing of past, present, and future into a single eternal overgeneralized moment. One can see this in the Reformed theology of Berkhof. It is true that God transcends time, and a similar phrase will be seen in 11:17. But in Chapter 11, thanks is being given to the God who is starting to rule over human history. This is quite different than the God of mysticism, who transcends human history and has nothing to do with human history.

Similarly, the God of chapter 4 has no connection with human history, because the words of worship in verse 8 are followed by the elders fixating upon God and worshiping God. As described in verses 9-10: “And when the living creatures give glory, 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.” That describes a hypnotic fixation, because the endless worship of the four living creatures is providing the motivation for the worship of the elders.

When means ‘whenever a specific condition is fulfilled’. Thus, whenever the four living creatures have a certain kind of mystical moment, the 24 elders reflexively follow. However, the language of verse 9 also suggests a cognitive progression. Verse 9 does not say that every act of worship by the four living creatures is followed by a response from the 24 elders. Instead, the 24 elders respond in worship when the four living creatures say specific things about the one who is sitting on the throne. The four living creatures are not thinking about a throne or about someone sitting on a throne in verse 8, because they have become locked in a mindset of mystical worship. In contrast, the elders respond when the living creatures say specific things about someone who is on the throne. This may sound like a trivial distinction, but mysticism does not associate God with a person, let alone a person sitting on a throne, and mysticism is very clear that no attributes can be ascribed to its overgeneralized object of worship.

Looking at these three attributes, glory means ‘exercising personal opinion which determines value’. This views God as the source of physical reality and as the ultimate value. This implies that mental connections are developing between God and reality. Saying this another way, the transcendent God is becoming imminent. Honor means ‘what has value in the eyes of the beholder’, and value implies that one is comparing one thing with another and deciding that one thing has more value than another. This is another indication that the gap between God and creation is being mentally bridged. Thanks means ‘thankful for God’s grace’. This same word will be used in 11:17, and it also indicates a connection between God and creation, because it assumes that God is interacting with creation. God is also described as living forever. A living God is different than the Aristotelian concept of God as the unmoved mover because life implies movement. A mystical God, in contrast, cannot move, but must remain the unmoved mover.

Looking at this cognitively, mysticism may be mentally hypnotic, but it also sets a direction for thought. Applying this to chapter 4, the four living creatures do not have to live in reality because their elemental forms allow them to fixate fully upon God. The 24 elders, in contrast, appear to be more connected with finite reality. Similarly, mysticism has no connection with physical reality, and monks over the centuries have occasionally attempted to focus as fully upon God as is humanly possible. This fixation upon God has set the direction for other people who live in reality, causing them to focus upon the idea that God is associated with a general theory in Teacher thought.

For instance, I referred earlier to the reformed theology of Berkhof. Reformed theology does not practice mysticism, but it does attempt to build a systematic theology upon an overgeneralized concept of God in Teacher thought. On the one hand, this leads to the strange theology of people such as Berkhof. But on the other hand, I found that Reformed writers tend to approach Christianity from a mindset of Teacher thought more than other Protestant denominations. In other words, Teacher overgeneralization may fixate the core of the mind, but it will also set a direction for the rest of the mind. One can see this in the response of the 24 elders, because they are responding in a direction towards God whenever the four living creatures mentally slip up and associate the transcendent God with reality.

Verse 10 describes the behavior of the elders. “The twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying…” The topic of this chapter has been worship. However, this is the first time in the chapter that anyone falls down. And it is also the first explicit mention of worship, which means ‘to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior’. This is significant because mysticism does not think in terms of worship, because worship implies that the worshiper is distinct from the person being worshiped, and Teacher overgeneralization cannot handle such distinctions. Instead, mysticism emphasizes being one with God, or becoming swallowed up in the infinite. However, when the four living creatures inadvertently think in terms of someone sitting on the throne, then this causes the elders to worship the one who is sitting on the throne. This kind of mental ‘slipping up’ is inevitable for humans, because humans occupy physical bodies that live within physical reality. Similarly, a living creature would still be a finite being, occupying some fragment of created existence adjacent to some kind of divine throne.

Looking more closely at the cognitive mechanisms driving mysticism, mysticism starts with some Teacher overgeneralization of cosmic unity. Teacher thought naturally makes sweeping statements, but the extent of these statements is usually limited by Perceiver facts. For instance, ‘It always rains on the weekend! But it didn’t rain last Sunday.’ When Perceiver knowledge is limited, then nothing will stand in the way of Teacher overgeneralization. Perceiver facts also distinguish between me and other people, and between one object and another object. The mystical ecstasy occurs when Perceiver facts get out of the way, allowing Teacher thought to make some sweeping statement of cosmic unity, and Mercy thought to identify personally with this cosmic unity: ‘All is One, and I am united with God.’

Mystical feelings can only be repeated as long as Perceiver facts do not intrude. This explains the abhorrence that mysticism has for rational analysis. But whenever a theory continues to be used, it will turn into a Teacher mental network (TMN), and the mind uses mental networks to represent living beings. Thus, what began as an irrational mystical encounter will turn into the mental concept of a living eternal God, as described in verse 10.

Going further, any theory that turns into a TMN will exert a mental pressure to explain situations in terms of this theory. But overgeneralization is an un-theory; it is acquired by suppressing facts about reality. This will lead to the feeling that human existence by its very nature is offensive to God, because humans live within the facts of reality, and facts threaten Teacher overgeneralization. This explains the lack of rest mentioned in verse 8. More specifically, the lack of rest will motivate the mystic to focus completely upon God and to deny physical reality as fully as possible. The average person will then regard the self-denying mystic as a holy man and look to this holy man for wisdom regarding life within physical reality. This secondary response can be seen in the worshipful behavior of the 24 elders, which is being prompted by words about God being made by the living creatures. However, the living creatures are actually attempting to follow mysticism and not worship.

The word crown in verse 10 is ‘a wreath, awarded to a victor in the ancient athletic games’. Looking at this cognitively, the example and teaching of the mystics will lead to the concept of religious self-denial in the average person. This will motivate the average person to perform acts of self-denial, leading to ‘wreaths of victory’, and this feeling of self-denial will be reinforced by ‘casting their crowns before the throne’: ‘I did nothing. God did everything’.

Verse 11 is the first reference to creation in Revelation. “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they were, and were created.” The living creatures in verse 8 referred to ‘the Lord God, the Almighty’, giving the impression that only God exists, consistent with the mindset of mysticism. In verse 11, the elders refer to ‘the Lord, and the God of us’, indicating that they are making a distinction between God and finite creatures. This describes the mindset of the laity, who will view God as someone different than self, and will mentally associate God with the mystics who are practicing mysticism.

The living creatures in verse 8 also mentioned glory and honor. But they simply gave glory and honor without giving any reasons. That is because mysticism cannot handle reasons, even reasons that support a mindset of mysticism. In contrast, the elders in verse 11 are giving a reason, because they are saying that God is worthy to receive glory and honor. Worthy means ‘drawing down the scale’, and this is the first use of this word in chapter 4. In other words, one is using a balance scale to measure two items, and deciding that they are of comparable worth. One can only use a balance scale if more than one item exists, and the fundamental premise of mysticism is that nothing can be compared with God.

The elders use another word that has not yet been used in chapter 4, which is power. A God of mysticism creates feelings of being united with God, but it is powerless to affect creation because it has no connection with creation. The elders, in contrast, are connecting God with creation, and the elders explicitly refer to God as the creator. The word create means to create ‘out of nothing’. This word is used three times in Revelation, twice in this verse, and once in 10:6.

God is described as the creator of everything. This is a natural cognitive byproduct of living alongside a mindset of mysticism. A mindset of mysticism can survive contact with the details of physical reality as long as the concept of God is regarded as more general than the details of physical reality. For instance, ‘I live within the world, but God is an incomprehensible unity who transcends the world in which I live.’ This will lead to the concept of God creating everything out of nothing, because a God of mysticism is associated with nothing.

The elders add that ‘because of your will, they existed and were created’. The word will actually means ‘to desire, wish’, and this is the only time this word is used in Revelation. This is a breakthrough from mysticism, which feels at a gut level that God has no desires, because how could the ultimate being desire anything. Mysticism also thinks that it is a sin to exist, for existence contradicts the oneness of God. In contrast, the elders are saying that it is God’s will for creation to exist. Looking at this cognitively, Teacher emotion comes from order-within-complexity. Thus, Teacher thought appreciates specifics if they add details to the general theory. Summarizing, the average person is regarding God as transcending physical existence, and physical existence is being viewed as an expression of the transcendent God.

Turning now to the bigger picture, the hypothesis of this essay is that Revelation can be mapped onto Western history. We have seen that what appears initially to be a general description of worship can actually be interpreted as a cognitive progression. A similar combination of elements can be seen in the late Roman Empire during the early stages of Christianity. Orthodox Christianity claims to be the original and authentic version of Christianity. Examining the theology of Orthodox Christianity leads to the conclusion that it is basically Buddhism in Christian guise. If this sounds like an extreme statement, then please examine the essay on Orthodox Christian theology. I am not suggesting that Orthodox Christianity is Buddhism. The Orthodox theologian will go to great lengths to describe in precise detail the distinctions between Orthodox theology and Buddhism. But the very fact that these precise details are required indicates that there is a family resemblance.

Stated more clearly, I suggest that Orthodox Christianity heads as far as possible in the direction of Buddhism without explicitly violating the words of the Bible. For instance, Orthodox Christianity believes in apophatic theology, which means that one can only describe what God is not, and not describe what God is. Orthodox Christianity emphasizes the mystical, actual experience of God called theoria. Orthodox Christianity states that Jesus died on the cross not primarily to forgive human sins, but rather so that humans could become united with God in theosis. If Revelation describes Western history, then it makes historical sense to start with mysticism, because the earliest surviving form of Christianity focuses heavily upon mysticism.

One can also see a cognitive progression. Christianity was originally persecuted by the Roman authorities, reinforcing the idea that following Jesus means denying-self. Wikipedia describes what happened when this persecution stopped. “The legalization of Christianity by the Roman Empire in 313 gave Anthony a greater resolve to go out into the desert. Nostalgic for the tradition of martyrdom, he saw withdrawal and asceticism as an alternative. He insisted on selling all his material possessions—he left his younger sister a small amount of money to live her life in a convent, and donated the rest to the poor. When members of the church began finding ways to work with the Roman state, the Desert Fathers saw that as a compromise between ‘the things of God and the things of Caesar.’ The monastic communities were essentially an alternate Christian society. The hermits doubted that religion and politics could ever produce a truly Christian society. For them, the only Christian society was spiritual and not mundane.” Notice the idea of focusing upon God by denying self and withdrawing from physical reality. These early monks became known as the Desert Fathers. Like the four living creatures, they attempted to focus fully upon God: “Hesychasm… is a mystical tradition and movement that originated with the Desert Fathers and was central to their practice of prayer. Hesychasm for the Desert Fathers was primarily the practice of ‘interior silence and continual prayer.’” The Desert Fathers also demonstrated an attitude of self-denial when interacting with fellow humans. Wikipedia relates that “Helping a brother monk who was ill or struggling was seen as taking priority over any other consideration. Hermits were frequently seen to break a long fast when hosting visitors, as hospitality and kindness were more important than keeping the ascetic practices that were so dominant in the Desert Fathers’ lives.”

Wikipedia adds that “There are many different collections of sayings of the Desert Fathers… It was those first editors who used the word apophthegms (meaning: saying, maxim or aphorism)… This collection contains about a thousand items.” Thus, the Desert Fathers became regarded as sources of wisdom by the average person. The primary focus of these sayings appears to be focusing fully upon God. For instance, the first saying mentioned in Wikipedia is “A hermit said, ‘Take care to be silent. Empty your mind. Attend to your meditation in the fear of God, whether you are resting or at work. If you do this, you will not fear the attacks of the demons.’”

And the Desert Fathers provided an example that guided Christendom over the next centuries. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Desert Fathers had a major influence on the development of Christianity… The eastern monastic tradition at Mount Athos and the western Rule of Saint Benedict both were strongly influenced by the traditions that began in the desert. All of the monastic revivals of the Middle Ages looked to the desert for inspiration and guidance. Much of Eastern Christian spirituality, including the Hesychast movement, had its roots in the practices of the Desert Fathers.”

The Appearance of the Living Creatures 4:7

We skipped over the description of the four living creatures in verse 7. The living creatures are mentioned again in chapter 6. Presumably, the second living creature in verse 7 is the same living creature as the second living creature mentioned in 6:3, the third living creature in verse 7 is the same as the third living creature in 6:5, and so. Thus, one can gain a clue about the four living creatures by looking at their behavior in chapter 6. Applying this to the previous paragraph, the mysticism practiced by the Desert Father had a major influence upon the direction of Christianity. This is portrayed by the four living creatures practicing mysticism in chapter 4 and guiding the initial course of Western history in chapter 6.

The four living creatures are only mentioned during the first four seals in chapter 6. I suggest that this is because the fifth seal describes saints who are being persecuted because they are following God in a way that is inconsistent with the dominant mindset based in mysticism. Similarly, the sixth seal describes the emergence of scientific thought, and science uses rational facts to construct general theories in Teacher thought, as opposed to mysticism, which uses overgeneralization to make sweeping statements within Teacher thought, which are then maintained by suppressing rational facts.

The next few paragraphs will jump ahead to the first four seals of chapter 6. We will introduce the interpretation here and look at it in more detail when examining chapter 6.

The first living creature is described in verse 7 as ‘like a lion’. This is the first reference to a lion in Revelation, and the next reference is in 5:5 which refers to the Lamb as being ‘the lion that is from the tribe of Judah’. Judah means ‘praised’. Lions are mentioned nine times in the New Testament, and they are usually described as either roaring or else devouring with their mouths. This conveys the concept of worship as something that is proclaimed emotionally, which devours people. This describes the mindset of emotional ‘truth’, which uses emotional experiences to overwhelm Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ what is ‘true’. For instance, ‘God is Great! I am nothing compared to God. God deserves my full devotion. I must deny myself and allow myself to be consumed by worship of God.’ This accurately describes the attitude of the Desert Fathers.

My hypothesis is that the opening of the first seal represents the initial missionary activity by which Christianity was spread throughout Europe. Most of the first missionaries were monks who spread a message of worshiping God, and the message of the monks was accepted primarily because the monks were the last remaining representatives of the fallen Roman Empire. In other words, the missionaries were living representatives of the knowledge and glory of Rome coming to illiterate barbarians. Notice that the mystical idea that ‘God is transcendent within Teacher thought’ is emotionally supporting the idea that ‘missionaries represent the transcendent empire of Rome within Teacher thought’. Saying this another way, mystical feelings of God and religious self-denial have turned into core mental networks that are driving the behavior of society.

The second living creature is described as ‘like a calf’. A calf means either ‘young shoot’ or ‘young bull’. The second living creature in 6:3 removes peace from the Earth. This happened in Western history during the Viking Age, which lasted from 793-1066. The Vikings could use their long boats to sail up rivers, making it possible to raid any town or city without warning. The Vikings were regarded as the epitome of evil, not so much because they were so violent, but rather because they showed no respect for monks and holiness. Wikipedia explains that “In 793, a Viking raid on Lindisfarne caused much consternation throughout the Christian west and is now often taken as the beginning of the Viking Age. There had been some other Viking raids, but according to English Heritage this one was particularly significant, because ‘it attacked the sacred heart of the Northumbrian kingdom, desecrating “the very place where the Christian religion began in our nation”’”. The Viking Age happened when Western civilization was merely a ‘young shoot’ and it eventually turned Western civilization into a ‘young bull’. That is because the violence of the Viking Age was eventually redirected towards the ‘holy land’ through the Crusades. The first Crusade was motivated by strong feelings of holiness and religious self-denial. Wikipedia relates that the “call was met with an enthusiastic popular response across all social classes in Western Europe. Mobs of predominantly poor Christians numbering in the thousands, led by Peter the Hermit, a French priest, were the first to respond.”

The Crusades have been viewed from many angles, but they succeeded in using feelings of religious devotion to expand the knowledge and trade of the growing European civilization. Wikipedia summarizes that “Crusade finance and taxation left a legacy of social, financial, and legal institutions. Property became available while coinage and precious materials circulated more readily within Europe. Crusading expeditions created immense demands for food supplies, weapons, and shipping that benefited merchants and artisans. Levies for crusades contributed to the development of centralised financial administrations and the growth of papal and royal taxation.” Notice again how the feelings of religious fervor that began with mysticism in chapter 4 are being harnessed to drive Western civilization in chapter 6.

The third living creature is described as ‘having the face as of a human’. In 6:5, the third living creature carries a pair of scales in his hands and talks about the price of food. This is normally interpreted as famine, but the word translated pair of scales actually means ‘yoke’, and is translated as ‘yoke’ the other five times it is found in the New Testament. We will see when looking at chapter 6 that a form of government emerged during this time known as feudalism, which yoked people together through mutual bonds of responsibility. And if one interprets food as intellectual food, then chapter 6 refers to the growth of various forms of knowledge.

A ‘face of a human’ implies some form of intelligent personal interaction between people. This can be seen in the commendation ceremony, by which the bonds of feudalism were formally initiated. Notice both the personal interaction as well as the feelings of religious worship that are present in the following description from Wikipedia. “The would-be vassal appeared bareheaded and weaponless as a sign of his submission to the will of the lord and knelt before him. The vassal would clasp his hands before him in the ultimate sign of submission, the typical Christian prayer pose, and would stretch his clasped hands outward to his lord. The lord in turn grasped the vassal’s hands between his own, showing he was the superior in the relationship… The physical position for Western Christian prayer that is thought of as typical today—kneeling, with hands clasped—originates from the commendation ceremony… The vassal would then place his hands on a Bible, or a saint’s relic, and swear he would never injure the lord in any way and to remain faithful.” In other words, mystical feelings of respect for God are being harnessed to create the structure of government for society. As I suggested earlier, a modern person reading this description finds it bizarre to imagine that people would actually be driven by core mental networks to behave in this manner.

Intelligent personal interaction can also be seen in the form of education that developed in the Middle Ages. The higher education of scholasticism focused upon studying books that were written by authoritative experts. The cognitive foundation for scholasticism lies in the mindset of absolute truth, which regards people with emotional status as sources of wisdom. Similarly, the common man learned education through the personal interaction of apprenticeship, as seen in the development of guilds. Scholasticism and guilds will be examined further when looking at chapter 6.

Eagle means ‘eagle, bird of prey’, and is mentioned three times in Revelation. A bird flies through the air of Teacher thought. Thus, a bird represents some form of academic thinking. An eagle is a bird of prey, which implies a meta-theory that ‘consumes’ other theories and feeds upon a diet of theories. A ‘flying eagle’ would represent a meta-theory that is actively using Teacher thought to bring order to lesser theories. For instance, mental symmetry is an example of a ‘flying eagle’.

The fourth living creature in 6:7 brings forth death and Hades. This corresponds historically to the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages. This includes the Black Death, which killed about half of Europe’s population. What happened historically was that feelings of religious fervor were pitted against one another in a manner that led towards greater Teacher understanding. Fading religious fervor will normally collapse into mental and societal chaos. But it can lead to greater Teacher order if two systems that are both driven by fervor pit themselves against one another over an extended time. This will create a Teacher drive to come up with a more general Teacher theory that transcends the combating systems. This happened in several ways in the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages. The Western Schism from 1378-1417 divided the Catholic Church into two rival camps, each led by a pope who claimed to be the true pope and who excommunicated the other pope. Similarly, the Hundred Years’ War from 1337-1453 divided Western Europe into two rival camps, each led by a royal house that claimed to be the legitimate heir to the kingdom of France, which was the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The Great Famine of 1315-17, combined with the Black Death of 1347-1351, provided the rest of the cognitive equation by causing people to question existing meta-theories of existence.

Finally, these same four stages can be seen in the progression of mysticism that was described earlier. Mysticism begins with the ‘lion’ of worship, in which one focuses fully upon an overgeneralized concept of God in Teacher thought. This is followed by the ‘young bull’ of religious fervor, which motivates a person to live within reality guided by feelings of mysticism and religious self-denial. This leads to the ‘face of a human’ of bringing order and structure to human life, as one attempts to ‘yoke’ human existence with the transcendent perfection of God. The final stage is the ‘flying eagle’, which regards a concept of God as ‘flying over’ all other theories involving rational human existence.

A Book with Seven Seals 5:1-2

We have looked at the relationship between the mysticism of Revelation 4 and the first four seals of Revelation 6. In between these two is chapter 5, which introduces the Lamb. Chapter 5 starts with an ‘and’ and not a ‘then’. This suggests that chapter 5 describes something that is happening in the midst of chapter 4, and not necessarily something that follows after chapter 4 is finished.

Looking at this another way, we have examined how mysticism expressed itself in the Desert Fathers, but Christian mysticism did not start with the Desert Fathers. It already existed in the form of Gnosticism. One can see the various elements of mysticism that we have discussed in the following quote from Wikipedia. “Gnosticism is a collection of religious ideas and systems which originated in the first century AD among early Christian and Jewish sects. These various groups emphasized personal spiritual knowledge (gnosis) over the orthodox teachings, traditions, and authority of the church. Viewing material existence as flawed or evil, Gnostic cosmogony generally presents a distinction between a supreme, hidden God and a malevolent lesser divinity… who is responsible for creating the material universe. Gnostics considered the principal element of salvation to be direct knowledge of the supreme divinity in the form of mystical or esoteric insight. Many Gnostic texts deal not in concepts of sin and repentance, but with illusion and enlightenment.”

Summarizing the description of gnosticism: 1) One encounters God through the direct experience of mysticism. 2) Mysticism leads to the feeling that existence itself is evil. 3) The God of mysticism transcends the facts of physical reality. 4) The structure of physical reality is a result of falling away from the perfection of God in some manner. 5) One learns about mysticism by transcending words that have been written about God. 6) Mysticism naturally emerges at the beginning of a religious movement when established facts are minimal.

This form of thinking existed within the earliest Christianity. Not much is known about this gnosticism because most gnostics books were destroyed. In the words of Wikipedia, “Gnostic writings flourished among certain Christian groups in the Mediterranean world until about the second century, when the Fathers of the early Church denounced them as heresy. Efforts to destroy these texts proved largely successful, resulting in the survival of very little writing by Gnostic theologians.” This means that Revelation 4-5 can be viewed as a historical sequence. The mysticism of Revelation 4 was not just evident in the Desert Fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries but already existed within first and second century Christianity. Revelation 5 describes the process of moving beyond mysticism to Christianity based in theology.

Verse 1 introduces the new concept of a holy book, which is required for theology. “I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.” The word scroll means ‘a small book’. This word appeared once before in Revelation in 1:11 where John was told to write his vision down in a book. Thus, the book of Revelation would be an example of a holy book. There are two other Greek words for book. The generic word for book is used in 3:5 and 20:15 to refer to the ‘book of life’. And a word that means small, small book will be used three times in Revelation 10.

Cognitively speaking, a book is a physical example of a rational Teacher theory, because a book takes many words that have meanings and arranges these words into sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. These arranged words are then packaged within the object of a book. Revelation refers to three levels of books. The ‘book of life’ is presumably a fairly large volume, regardless of what form in which it exists. A holy book is smaller than the book of life, because it is not possible to contain all the principles of life within the words of a single holy book such as the Bible. The Bible may be an amazing book, but it is still a finite volume. The booklet in Revelation 10 appears to be a small summary of essential principles, and the theory of mental symmetry is the only candidate I know of that satisfies the description in Revelation 10.

Chapter 4 talked about mysticism, which is based in Teacher overgeneralization. Overgeneralization is naturally opposed to Perceiver facts, while a book requires Perceiver facts to give meanings to the words of the book. A holy book will naturally emerge over time from religious experiences, including religious experiences of mysticism. We saw this progression happening at the end of chapter 4 with the words of the Desert Fathers being written down for posterity. A person who is alive can make new statements as well as contradict existing statements. When a person dies, then all that remains of his statements are the words that have been written down. And there can be no new words, because the source of these words is gone. A holy book will result if the author of the words has sufficient emotional status and if the written words of the author are copied and distributed to many people. For instance, Paul wrote his letters to the churches when he was alive. When Paul died, his letters were preserved and eventually became part of the recognized canon of the New Testament.

As Wikipedia explains, most of the books of the New Testament were unofficially recognized as special by about 200 AD. But the canon of officially approved books was still not completely determined by the first Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The first reference to the current list of New Testament books using the word ‘canonized’ was in an Easter letter by the Bishop of Alexandria, written in 367 AD. Comparing this timeline with the Desert Fathers, Anthony the Great launched the movement of the Desert Fathers in about 270 AD, and this movement became popular after 313 AD, when Christianity became officially legalized. Thus, the canonization of the New Testament happened slightly later than the beginning of the Desert Fathers.

A holy book will emerge even when the starting point is mysticism, but a contradiction will arise between the holy book and the practice of mysticism. One can see this contradiction in the writings of Buddhism, because Buddhist experts continually emphasize that one can only discover mysticism by letting go of the words of the books that talk about mysticism. What happens cognitively is that mysticism comes from Teacher overgeneralization, which suppresses Perceiver facts. But any theory that continues to be used will eventually turn into a TMN, and this TMN will exert emotional pressure to explain situations in the light of the theory. This will create a desire to write words about something which cannot be explained using words. And these words will eventually be regarded by followers as a holy book.

Returning to verse 1, this is the only time in Revelation that an object is associated with the throne. Thus, this would refer historically to the development of the New Testament canon. This book is described as being ‘on the right hand’, which would refer to left hemisphere thought. A book in the right hand would refer to a new way of thinking of religion in terms of the words and sequences of left hemisphere thought. Historically speaking, this corresponds to the development of theology. NT Wright suggests that Paul invented theology, because he was the first to base religion in the intelligent words of a systematic understanding. This created a natural conflict between two views of a holy book: Mysticism leads naturally to holy books that one must not try to understand rationally. Paul’s theology, in contrast, is contained in holy books that one must use rational thought to understand.

This conflict between two kinds of holy book can be seen in the writings of Ignatius of Antioch, one of the earliest Church Fathers. The idea of the Word living with God and being God is stated by John in John 1:1. Presumably the same John wrote the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation. Wikipedia explains that “The first extant Christian reference to the Logos found in writings outside of the Johannine corpus belongs to John’s disciple Ignatius (c 35-108), Bishop of Antioch, who in his epistle to the Magnesians, writes, ‘there is one God, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word, not proceeding forth from silence.’”

This was described more explicitly by a later follower of John. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Irenaeus (c 130-202), a student of the Apostle John’s disciple, Polycarp, identifies the Logos as Jesus, by whom all things were made, and who before his incarnation appeared to men in the Theophany, conversing with the ante-Mosaic Patriarchs, with Moses at the burning bush, with Abraham at Mamre, et al., manifesting to them the unseen things of the Father. After these things, the Logos became man and suffered the death of the cross.”

Notice how the ‘living word of God’ is being connected with real events and people of physical history, a connection that mysticism would regard as blasphemous. Irenaeus directed most of his attention against gnosticism. Wikipedia summarizes that “his best-known work is Against Heresies, often cited as Adversus Haereses, a refutation of gnosticism, in particular that of Valentinus. To counter the doctrines of the gnostic sects claiming secret wisdom, he offered three pillars of orthodoxy: the scriptures, the tradition handed down from the apostles, and the teaching of the apostles’ successors. Intrinsic to his writing is that the surest source of Christian guidance is the church of Rome.” Notice the contrast between gnosticism and a holy book with rational content supported by rational words spoken by religious experts. Notice also the start of a transition from Orthodox Christianity, which became centred in Constantinople, to the Church of Rome.

Gnosticism was eventually declared to be heresy by the Christian Church, and the primary weapon used against gnosticism by Irenaeus was the words of a holy book backed up by the words of holy people. (The official New Testament canon had not yet been established at the time of Iranaeus.) Symbolically speaking, a scroll appeared in the right hand of the person sitting on the throne.

This book is described as being ‘written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals’. The verb write was used several times in the letters to the seven churches, but it was not used in chapter 4 in the context of mysticism. Inside means ‘from within’. It is used one other time in Revelation in 4:8 to describe the four living creatures being full of eyes within. Cognitively speaking, these two uses of ‘inside’ suggest an internal shift from thinking in terms of the Teacher overgeneralization of mysticism to the Teacher generality of a book. This is a stupendous mental shift, indicating a shift from mysticism to theology. On the back, which means ‘behind, after’, is also found one other time in Revelation in 4:6 to refer to the eyes of the living creatures. Presumably, this describes how one interprets history. Does one view human history as a sinful falling away from the mystical perfection of God or as a process of God interacting with human history, as illustrated by Iranaeus’ references to the pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus in the Old Testament.

However, this book is ‘sealed up with seven seals’. Talking about theology is one thing, but understanding theology is another. More specifically, having a holy book that contains the theological writings of Paul is one thing, while understanding Paul’s theology is another. The early Christians may have had a holy book and may have respected this book, but they lacked the paradigms that were necessary to interpret this book. Looking forward to chapter 6, it will take most of Western history to unlock these seals one by one. Saying this more specifically, I have found that a mindset of absolute truth prevents a person from understanding the Bible adequately. The Bible makes sense when approached as a textbook of cognition, but a mindset of absolute truth will not approach the Bible as a textbook of cognition. I know that this is the case, because the vast majority of evangelical Christians run away from mental symmetry precisely because it treats the Bible as a textbook of cognition.

This leads to a chicken-and-egg problem. The Bible will only be respected if it is regarded as a holy book. But treating the Bible as a holy book will lead to a mindset of absolute truth that causes a person to misinterpret the Bible. The solution is to start by regarding the Bible as a holy book, use this to jump-start science, and then have people re-examine the Bible using the rational thinking that was developed using science.

I am not suggesting that current interpretations of the Bible are totally wrong. They are close enough to lead to significant personal transformation and significant rational thought. But they are not close enough to come up with a rational understanding of core Christian doctrines. One can tell that this is the case because theologians themselves assert that core Christian doctrines are incomprehensible statements that must be accepted ‘by faith’. In contrast, mental symmetry can be used to come up with a rational cognitive explanation for core Christian doctrines

Verse 2 describes the resulting emotional conflict. “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?’” This describes a new kind of mystery. Mysticism is based in the idea that God is mysterious and that the mystery of God can never be revealed to rational thought, but can only be directly experienced through mystical encounters. This summarizes the basic approach taken by Orthodox Christianity. The biblehub dictionary describes the current Christian definition of mystery. ‘In the Bible, a ‘mystery’ is not something unknowable. Rather, it is what can only be known through revelation, i.e. because God reveals it.’ In other words, what was mystery can be revealed through the Bible. A mystical concept of mystery leads to an absence of curiosity, because one knows for certain that the mystery will never be revealed to humanity. The biblical concept of mystery, in contrast, leads to intellectual curiosity, because it is based in the belief that mysteries of God can be uncovered by studying theology. Verse 2 describes a motivation of intellectual curiosity, because people are feeling driven to try to open the book and break its seals. Looking at this cognitively, Exhorter thought, which provides the motivation for the mind, will not travel along mental paths that Perceiver thought deems to be impossible, but will pursue options that Perceiver thought regards as unlikely.

Mental symmetry goes one step further by suggesting that Biblical doctrines can be placed within the rational package of a meta-theory that can be used to explain both objective science and subjective religion and culture. That transition is described in Revelation 10, where another ‘strong angel’ proclaims in 10:7 that the mystery of God as proclaimed by the prophets is finished, and then gives a small, small book to a human to read and digest in 10:9.

The language of the angel in verse 2 is consistent with a mindset of absolute truth. The angel ‘proclaims in a loud voice’. Angels appear many times in Revelation, but this is the only time in the New Testament that an angel proclaims, which means ‘to herald, proclaim’. Loud means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’, which can be interpreted as referring to Teacher generality. The basic premise of absolute truth is that truth has been proclaimed by some source with great emotional significance, and this emotional significance will be interpreted as Teacher universality. For instance, ‘The Bible needs to be believed in all situations because it is the Word of God’. The struggle of today’s church is to move beyond this mindset of absolute truth. The struggle of the early church was to establish such a mindset of absolute truth in order to go beyond idolatry and mysticism.

Studying a holy book will be interpreted in moral terms. Thus, the angel asks, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?’ Worthy means ‘weighing as much as’, which implies comparing one thing with another. This word is used six times in Revelation. It was first used in 4:11 where the elders described God as worthy. It will be used four times in chapter 5 in connection with the Lamb opening the book. And it will be used in 16:6 during the third bowl to say that those who are judged are worthy of their punishment. Cognitively speaking, absolute truth can only be interpreted by those who are judged to have personal status that is similar to the status of the source of truth. For instance, laity will regard clergy as worthy of opening a holy book because they will feel that clergy have sufficient religious status. In contrast, the average clergy will feel that they are nothing compared to either the clergy or the original author of the holy book: ‘Who am I to even dare to pretend that I am worthy to understand the Bible!’

Open means simply ‘to open’. One would think that opening a book is a simple matter, but that is not the case with a holy book that is imbued with great emotional status. Break means to ‘release or unbind so something no longer holds together’. A holy book is held together by Mercy MMNs of religious fervor. Thus, interpreting a holy book will be viewed as gaining sufficient personal status to be able to question the MMNs supporting the holy book.

This concept of ‘being worthy to open the scroll’ is repeated again in verse 4 where John weeps because no one is worthy. It is also repeated in verse 9 when singing that the Lamb is worthy to open the scroll, and it is repeated again in verse 12 by myriads saying that the Lamb is worthy. But it is not used in verse 5 when actually talking about the Lamb and opening the book. Instead, the word overcome is used, which means ‘to carry off the victory’. In addition, the Lamb is not described as breaking the seals, but rather as opening the seals, and in chapter 6 the seals are described as being opened and not broken. This implies a new way of thinking that is able to evaluate a holy book without destroying seals of reverence for that book.

A Closed Book 5:3-4

Verse 3 reports that “no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it.” The word able means ‘to be able, to have power’. Strength refers to Server ability, while power is an attribute of Perceiver thought. Power multiplies strength. This can be seen in a power tool which multiplies the strength of a worker. In the same way that electric power involves going beyond the concrete realm of normal human strength, so personal power goes beyond the concrete realm of personal strength and status. Instead of attempting to use personal status to overcome the personal status of the author, one is attempting to use Perceiver thought to examine the facts of the author. For instance, suppose that some expert makes a statement. One can either challenge the expert by saying ‘I am the real expert, not you’, or one can bypass the question of personal status by suggesting ‘let us examine the facts that you are proclaiming as an expert’.

The phrase ‘under the earth’ is only found in the New Testament in Revelation 5:3 and 5:13. The obvious interpretation is that this is referring to the dead, because they are buried ‘under the earth’. However, the word underneath is usually interpreted in the New Testament as being below someone else in personal status. The word earth means ‘the physical earth; the arena we live in which operates in space and time’, and this is the first use of this word after the letters to the seven churches. Cognitively speaking, the earth represents the rational mental content that is acquired from living within physical reality. There are several references to ‘those who live upon the earth’ in the seven trumpets, referring to the mindset of materialism, which assumes that only physical reality exists. In contrast, ‘under the earth’ would describe a mindset that acts subservient to physical reality.

This can be seen in the Desert Fathers. Wikipedia describes the behavior of Anthony the Great: “Anthony maintained a very strict ascetic diet. He ate only bread, salt and water and never meat or wine. He ate at most only once a day and sometimes fasted through two or four days… After fifteen years of this life, at the age of thirty-five, Anthony determined to withdraw from the habitations of men and retire in absolute solitude. He went into the desert to a mountain by the Nile called Pispir (now Der-el-Memun), opposite Arsinoë. There he lived strictly enclosed in an old abandoned Roman fort for some 20 years. Food was thrown to him over the wall. He was at times visited by pilgrims, whom he refused to see.” Anthony supposedly had spiritual encounters. Wikipedia relates that “he moved to one of the tombs near his native village. There it was that the Life records those strange conflicts with demons in the shape of wild beasts, who inflicted blows upon him, and sometimes left him nearly dead.” Similarly, mysticism seems to lead to spiritual breakthroughs. However, I think it is significant that Anthony is described as encountering demons rather than angels. Stated simply, if one attempts to break through to the spiritual realm by denying human existence, one will naturally encounter spiritual beings who deny human existence.

Unfortunately, such a mindset is not worthy to open the book of the Bible, because it reinforces an attitude of religious self-denial. Similarly, a mindset that lives upon the earth of human existence will not be worthy because it is thinking purely in physical terms. And a mindset that lives in the heaven of Teacher thought will also not be worthy because this will lead to gnostic tendencies which emphasize knowledge that has nothing to do with physical reality. The underlying problem was that the Roman civilization emphasized these fragmented forms of thinking. Greek philosophers were men of leisure who lived within the ‘heaven’ of Teacher words while delegating physical reality to slaves. Slaves lived ‘under the earth’ because they were forced to submit personally to the hardships of physical reality. And religion itself was ‘on the earth’ because shrines and rituals were intimately connected with normal, physical existence. In other words, verse 3 describes how the Bible was interpreted within the context of the Roman civilization, and not how it will be interpreted within the coming context of Western civilization.

This inadequacy leads in verse 4 to an emotional response. “Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.” The word weep means ‘expressing uncontainable, audible grief’. This is the first time it is used in Revelation, it will be used again in the next verse, and then not until chapter 18, where it is used four times during the fall of Babylon. Cognitively speaking, this implies deep Mercy pain that is spilling over into Teacher thought. Greatly ‘emphasizes the quantity involved’, which implies many Mercy experiences rather than Teacher generality. This common word was used once previously in Revelation in 1:15 to describe the voice of Jesus as ‘like the voice of many waters’, and water represents Mercy experiences. And the focus is still upon being worthy, which also suggests a focus upon personal status.

But two new words are used. Find means to ‘learn, discover, especially after searching’. And look means ‘to see something physical, with spiritual results’. This describes what happens to mysticism when it leads to holy books. Scholars will try to learn about mysticism by searching the holy books; they will study the holy books in order to achieve spiritual results. However, they will find that their learning and discovering will prevent them from breaking through to mystical experience. That is because mysticism is based in Teacher overgeneralization, and rational learning inhibits overgeneralization, even when one is learning rationally about mysticism.

This struggle between mysticism and rational books can be seen in Irenaeus, who lived 130-202. Wikipedia relates that “Irenaeus wrote a number of books, but the most important that survives is the Against Heresies… The purpose of ‘Against Heresies’ was to refute the teachings of various Gnostic groups; apparently, several Greek merchants had begun an oratorial campaign in Irenaeus’ bishopric, teaching that the material world was the accidental creation of an evil god, from which we are to escape by the pursuit of gnosis. Irenaeus argued that the true gnosis is in fact knowledge of Christ, which redeems rather than escapes from bodily existence.” Notice the focus upon being saved within the world, rather than escaping from physical reality.

Irenaeus emphasized the study of Scripture. “He classified as Scripture not only the Old Testament but most of the books now known as the New Testament, while excluding many works, a large number by Gnostics, that flourished in the 2nd century and claimed scriptural authority. Oftentimes, Irenaeus, as a student of Polycarp, who was a direct disciple of the Apostle John, believed that he was interpreting scriptures in the same hermeneutic as the Apostles. This connection to Jesus was important to Irenaeus because both he and the Gnostics based their arguments on Scripture. Irenaeus argued that since he could trace his authority to Jesus and the Gnostics could not, his interpretation of Scripture was correct.” Notice that the book of Scripture had not yet been ‘taken out of the hand of the one sitting on the throne’. On the one hand, many of the ‘holy books’ were gnostic works based upon a mindset of mysticism. On the other hand, Irenaeus used his personal status to tell people which books were truly holy and which were not.

Irenaeus’ concept of basing Christianity in personal authority had a long-term impact. “In a passage that became a locus classicus of Catholic-Protestant polemics, he cited the Roman church as an example of the unbroken chain of authority, which text Catholic polemics would use to assert the primacy of Rome over Eastern churches by virtue of its preeminent authority. The succession of bishops and presbyters was important to establish a chain of custody for orthodoxy.” Saying this more clearly, both Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity base their spiritual authority upon a historical chain of officially approved experts who have personally transferred their authority from one generation to the next. This is known as the chain of apostolic succession. Using symbolic language, a chain of apostolic succession believes that the only legitimate book of religious authority is one that remains within the hands of the person sitting on the throne.

The primary concept emphasized by Irenaeus was the idea of personal growth and maturity. Wikipedia summarizes that “According to the Gnostic view of Salvation, creation was perfect to begin with; it did not need time to grow and mature. For the Valentinians, the material world is the result of the loss of perfection which resulted from Sophia’s desire to understand the Forefather. Therefore, one is ultimately redeemed, through secret knowledge, to enter the pleroma of which the Achamoth originally fell.” In other words, physical reality is inherently evil, and one can only be saved by becoming free of physical existence. In contrast, Irenaeus taught that “God’s intervention has saved humanity from the Fall of Adam and the wickedness of Satan. Human nature has become joined with God’s in the person of Jesus, thus allowing human nature to have victory over sin.” But Irenaeus still had a mixed message, because he taught that this personal growth happens within the context of eventually becoming reunited with God. “Reconciliation is also a theme of Paul’s that Irenaeus stresses in his teachings on Salvation. Irenaeus believes Jesus coming in flesh and blood sanctified humanity so that it might again reflect the perfection associated with the likeness of the Divine. This perfection leads to a new life, in the lineage of God, which is forever striving for eternal life and unity with the Father.”

Irenaeus also recognized that the holy book was in the right hand, because he interpreted the Bible as an integrated Server sequence of history held together by a general Teacher understanding. Quoting from theopedia, “Irenaeus viewed the Scriptures as organically connected from the Garden of Eden to the summing up of all things. He understood that the organic feature of revelation is an unfolding drama that leads to the eschatological person and work of Christ.”

Summarizing, Irenaeus illustrates a shift from the throne to the book held in the right hand of the person on the throne, as well as a shift from attempting to focus fully upon the throne in endless worship to wanting to gain a deeper understanding of God and his plan. However, the book of written revelation had not yet become separated from the emotional source of the book, and some mystical teachings were still mixed in with the book of Christianity.

The Lamb 5:5-6

Verse 5 describes a new kind of thinking emerging. “And one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to be able to open the scroll and its seven seals.’” Weeping means ‘expressing uncontainable, audible grief’. The word stop is a very common word, but it is almost always translated as ‘not’ rather than ‘stop’. The idea conveyed by ‘not’ is that a wrong mental strategy is being pursued: One should not think in terms of Mercy emotions. And the word ‘worthy’ is not used in verse 5. Instead, the word overcome is used, which means ‘to conquer, prevail’. The word behold was previously used in 4:1 to introduce John’s vision of heaven and implies that a new focus of attention has appeared.

It was suggested earlier that a lion combines roaring with devouring. This represents the mindset of emotional ‘truth’, which uses emotional experiences to overwhelm Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ what is ‘true’. Tribe refers to ‘the descendants of a common ancestor’. From means ‘from out of’. And Judah means ‘praised’. This combination suggests a mindset that emerges as a descendant of emotional ‘truth’. This describes absolute truth, because absolute truth is a descendant of emotional ‘truth’: The sayings of some people who are praised are being written down and succeeding generations are viewing the recorded statements of these now-dead experts as absolute truth. We saw when looking at Irenaeus that this transition from emotional ‘truth’ to absolute truth was not yet complete.

David means ‘beloved one’. A root of David would mean something growing out of the foundation of a ‘beloved one’. One of the fundamental principles of mysticism is that people are not beloved by God. Instead of having a relationship with God, one becomes swallowed up in the infinite and loses one’s identity in God. One can see this contrast between being swallowed up and being beloved by God in Irenaeus. Wikipedia explains that “The central point of Irenaeus’ theology is the unity and the goodness of God, in opposition to the Gnostics’ theory of God… Irenaeus uses the Logos theology he inherited from Justin Martyr. Irenaeus was a student of Polycarp, who was said to have been tutored by John the Apostle.” John refers to himself in the Gospel of John as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’ and John himself was probably a Mercy person. Saying this simply, there is a fundamental emotional distinction between mysticism and Christianity. Mysticism ultimately regards physical reality and personal identity as evil and opposed to God. Christianity, in contrast, teaches that God loves me and wants me to exist.

This is not a trivial statement, because I suggest that the only way to come up with a reasonable theodicy is by recognizing that existence is more fundamental than suffering. Using normal language, people ask why God allows suffering in the world. But I suggest that this is not the most fundamental question. God must first ensure that created beings continue to exist independently of God. God can only deal effectively with the problem of human suffering after having dealt conclusively with the matter of human existence. Guaranteeing finite existence means eliminating mysticism, because mysticism leads to the fundamental feeling that creation has no right to exist. Therefore, as long as mysticism continues to be present within religion, God cannot deal with the problem of suffering. And every theologian and every religion that I have encountered so far contains at least a kernel of mysticism.

Coming to this realization involves overcoming. One normally overcomes an enemy, and most of the uses of ‘overcome’ in the New Testament describe overcoming some foe. However, verse 5 describes overcoming leading to the positive result of opening the scroll. Looking at this cognitively, Perceiver thought has to gain sufficient confidence to believe that thinking is possible. This is different than using Perceiver thought to evaluate absolute truth. Instead, it is the more basic idea that it is possible for me to use Perceiver thought to define the words of absolute truth and use technical thought to manipulate these words. In other words, one may still be thinking about absolute truth, but one has started to think. This level of confidence can be seen in Irenaeus. “Irenaeus argued that since he could trace his authority to Jesus and the Gnostics could not, his interpretation of Scripture was correct. He also used ‘the Rule of Faith’, a ‘proto-creed’ with similarities to the Apostles’ Creed, as a hermeneutical key to argue that his interpretation of Scripture was correct.”

In addition, “Before Irenaeus, Christians differed as to which gospel they preferred. The Christians of Asia Minor preferred the Gospel of John. The Gospel of Matthew was the most popular overall. Irenaeus asserted that four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were canonical scripture. Thus Irenaeus provides the earliest witness to the assertion of the four canonical Gospels.” Again, the confidence is not at the level of going beyond absolute truth, but rather at the level of organizing and interpreting absolute truth.

Verse 6 describes the cognitive result. “And I saw in the middle of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders a Lamb standing, as if slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” This is the first reference to a lamb in Revelation. Sheep are described in the Gospel of John as recognizing the voice of the shepherd. Thus, sheep can be interpreted as followers of some verbal message. Sheep are strongly social creatures, leading to the idea that a sheep represents following a verbal message as part of a group. In other words, one is not just studying the Bible as an individual, but rather studying as an individual within the context of a socially accepted system of Biblical interpretation.

A lamb is ‘a sacrificial lamb; a young sheep without blemish’. This describes the ideal student: 1) A lamb lacks the social status that tends to blind an officially approved expert to the evidence. 2) A lamb is a young animal who is still open to new ideas and has not become mentally paralyzed by institutional knowledge. 3) A lamb without blemish is able to think clearly, without being mentally clouded by personal shortcomings or political maneuvering. 4) A sacrificial lamb is willing to pay the personal price that is required to go through a paradigm shift.

This type of imagery can be seen in Ezekiel 34. The first part of that chapter emphasizes the need for shepherds to feed their sheep. Feeding represents the consumption of intellectual food. The second part of the chapter talks about God gathering his sheep together, feeding them, shepherding them, and stopping sheep from fighting one another for personal dominance. This portrays emotional ‘truth’ based in personal status being replaced by universal truth guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought.

Notice that the Lamb emerges in the midst of the living creatures and the elders, which implies that a new form of thinking is emerging within the context of mysticism. Saying this another way, chapter 5 is emerging within the framework of chapter 4. Looking at this historically, the Church Fathers that we have discussed so far in chapter 5 were functioning within the persecuted church before the time of Constantine. This lack of official status forced the developing Christian church to function as a lamb. It could not act as a lion because the propaganda of the Roman Empire was the dominant lion.

A transition from lion to lamb can also be seen in the Roman concept of virtus. Wikipedia explains that “Virtus was not universally applicable to just anyone – generally (although not always exclusively) only adult male Roman citizens would be thought of as possessing virtus.” Going further, “Virtus was primarily attributed to a full grown man who had served in the military.” Sallust, a contemporary of Cicero, “asserted that it did not rightfully belong to the nobilitas as a result of their family background but specifically to the novus homo through the exercise of ingenium (talent, also means sharpness of mind, sagacity, foresight and character). For Sallust and Cicero alike, virtus is situated in the winning of glory by the execution of illustrious deeds (egregia facinora) and the observance of right conduct through bonae artes.” Finally, “The struggle for virtus in Rome was above all a struggle for public office (honos), since it was through aspiring to high office, to which one was elected by the People, that a man could best show his manliness by means of military achievement which would in turn cultivate a reputation and votes.”

Putting this together cognitively, virtus describes male technical thought being used primarily in physical combat in order to achieve political standing. Using the language of Revelation, the goal of virtus was to become a lion who could roar and devour one’s opponents. A lamb represents a new way of using technical thought. That is because the Lamb in Revelation represents incarnation, and a concept of incarnation emerges from technical thought. Saying this simply, one could use male technical thought to gain personal status and power more effectively, or one could use male technical thought to gain a more precise understanding of the holy book of the Bible. One could not pursue both of these paths at the same time, because virtus assumes that the goal is to become a source of truth in Mercy thought, while studying a holy book requires accepting that one is not a source of truth in Mercy thought.

The Roman man had to overcome feelings of personal inadequacy in order to gain the status of having virtus. Similarly, studying a holy book also required overcoming feelings of personal inadequacy. And both of these individuals had to overcome feelings of social and religious pressure. Roman religion was heavily integrated with social status and social approval. Wikipedia explains that “It was the duty of every aristocrat and would-be aristocrat to maintain the dignitas which his family had already achieved and to extend it to the greatest possible degree, through higher political office and military victories.” Similarly, the writings of Christianity were still intertwined with feelings of deep personal reverence for Jesus and the apostles. Irenaeus was attempting to maintain the dignitas of being descended from the ‘family’ of the Apostle John.

This overcoming can be seen in the word standing. While everyone else is bowing, the Lamb is standing. And this is the first use of this verb in Revelation after 3:20, which talks about Jesus standing at the door and knocking. This is a strange juxtaposition, because a lamb normally lacks the strength that is able to stand in the midst of power. In addition, the lamb is ‘as if slaughtered’, and as is a comparison word. This is the first use of the word slaughtered in Revelation, which implies random violence.

‘As if’ means that the lamb is not actually slaughtered, but rather gives this appearance. This is an important distinction because when the actual slaughtering of official persecution stopped, then the Desert Fathers adopted a lifestyle that perpetrated actual slaughtering by heading off into the desert to live on the edge of physical death. In contrast, using technical thought to analyze a holy book is ‘like’ being slaughtered. On the one hand, one is dying to the idea of using technical thought to promote personal identity. On the other hand, one is standing in the midst of the throne by using technical thought to analyze the scroll. On the one hand, one is proclaiming some book as superior to the words of the Emperor. On the other hand, one is submitting personally as a lamb to the words of this book.

Historically speaking, the slaughtering came from the largely random persecution imposed by the Roman Empire upon Christians. This persecution meant that a Christian could not pursue virtus. But if a Christian was willing to die to the idea of virtus, then a new way of using male technical thought emerged, leading to the mental concept of a lamb in the midst of the throne. Wikipedia explains that virtus was “a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors, and was personified as a deity—Virtus.” Similarly, a Lamb standing in the midst of the throne is a personification of the deity of incarnation, a concept of deity that replaces the Roman incarnation of the Emperor.

I should add that we are looking here at two related concepts. The first is the lamb-like behavior of Jesus when faced with the might of the Roman Empire. The second is a mental concept of incarnation as a lamb. Jesus, the incarnation of God, acted as a lamb when living on the earth, but people still had to form the mental concept of incarnation acting as a lamb. This essay is discussing the second aspect of forming a mental concept of incarnation as a lamb, a mental concept that had to displace the Roman concept of virtus.

Verse 6 describes the Lamb as ‘having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.’ The seven spirits of God were the first mentioned in 4:5, and we equated them with the seven cognitive styles. Saying this more carefully, every person has a mind that contains all seven cognitive modules. A person’s cognitive style defines the module in which a person is conscious. A person is aware of conscious thought and can control conscious thought. For instance, I am a Perceiver person. Facts and connections are obvious to me because I am consciously aware of them. And I can consciously choose how I will use facts and connections. These two features can be seen in the terms ‘horns’ and ‘eyes’. A horn is ‘an instrument of power’. And eyes imply awareness. Using the language of Revelation, the seven cognitive styles are seven different kinds of ‘horns’ and ‘eyes’.

In 4:5 the seven spirits were burning before the throne, implying that they were locked in frustration by a focus upon worship. This describes the path chosen by the Desert Fathers, who chose to frustrate personal desire in order to focus completely upon God. Saying this cognitively, a general Teacher theory which asserts that I have no right as a finite person to exist will prevent me from developing and using my cognitive style. In contrast, the overcoming of a lamb standing in the midst of the throne will also enable me to develop my cognitive style. Looking at this more generally, I am not aware of anyone before the 1970s who interpreted Romans 12 spiritual gifts as cognitive styles. (I have heard that someone around 1900 originally came up with this idea, but I have been unable to trace this lead any further.) Instead, all of the books that I have read from an earlier time that discuss Romans 12 are locked into a mindset of religious self-denial.

In verse 6, the seven spirits are being ‘sent out into all the earth’. Send means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’. And earth refers to physical space and time. Mysticism pulls the mind away from physical reality. A concept of incarnation as a lamb, in contrast, gives the mind freedom to live within reality. Saying this more carefully, technical thought uses Contributor thought to guide all seven cognitive modules in an integrated manner. Into means ‘to or into’. This implies that the seven spirits are not yet living in the realm of space and time, but they are heading in the direction of all of space and time. Similarly, technical thought may use all seven cognitive modules, but it uses them in a limited manner. They can exist, but they live on a leash.

This living on a leash can be seen in Clement of Alexandria, who lived 150-215 AD, and was the teacher of Origen, who will be discussed later. Wikipedia describes Clement’s attitude regarding rational thought and the Bible. His “second book is largely devoted to the respective roles of faith and philosophical argument. Clement contends that while both are important, the fear of God is foremost, because through faith one receives divine wisdom. To Clement, scripture is an innately true primitive philosophy that is complemented by human reason through the Logos.” Notice that rational thought is encouraged, but is being kept on a leash. Similarly, Clement acknowledged Greek philosophy, but interpreted it as proceeding from Judaism, “arguing that most of the important figures in the Greek world were foreigners, and (erroneously) that Jewish culture was the most significant influence on Greece.” Clement advocated a similar attitude of ‘living on a leash’ regarding the experiences of life. “Clement argues for a simple way of life in accordance with the innate simplicity of Christian monotheism. He condemns elaborate and expensive furnishings and clothing, and argues against overly passionate music and perfumes, but Clement does not believe in the abandonment of worldly pleasures and argues that the Christian should be able to express joy in God’s creation through gaiety and partying.”

Taking the Scroll 5:7-9

In verse 7, the scroll is taken by the Lamb. “And He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Take means to ‘actively lay hold of to take or receive’. It was suggested earlier that the right hand refers to technical thought that examines Server sequences and Teacher words. Looking at this cognitively, technical thought is controlled by Contributor thought, and Contributor connects to Perceiver and Server. Perceiver thought deals with facts while Server thought deals with sequences. Contributor thought connects Perceiver facts with Server sequences. This leads in abstract thought to precise definitions and in concrete thought to cause-and-effect. These provide the building material for technical thought but are not technical thought. Technical thought begins when Contributor thought takes some collection of Perceiver facts and Server sequences and treats them as the rules and procedures of a system. For instance, one can see concrete technical thought illustrated by the rules of a game, because the rules provide the Perceiver facts and permissible Server actions for the game. Similarly, abstract technical thought starts by taking some collection of written statements and treating them as the rules of some ‘game of logic’. Using the language of verse 7, abstract technical thought takes some scroll out of the right hand.

Because technical thought is taking its facts and sequences ‘from next-door’, this means that technical thought can work with either the absolute truth of some holy book (or textbook) or the empirical findings of science. All that matters for technical thought is that the rules of the game are sufficiently solid, and this solidness can come either from Perceiver thought being overwhelmed by emotional pressure, or else from Perceiver thought gaining confidence by noticing repeated connections. Similarly, Server thought can gain certainty by repeating Server actions or by seeing sequences repeated, either in natural processes or in the sentences of a book. Going further, a book can be separated from the emotional status of its author. Symbolically speaking, a book can be taken away from the throne that was its source and studied in less emotional surroundings away from the throne.

Taking the scroll out of the hand of the person on the throne can be seen in Origen, who lived about 184-253 AD. Origen wrote the first systematic exposition of Christian theology, entitled On the First Principles. More generally, Wikipedia relates that “Contra Celsum became the most influential of all early Christian apologetics works; before it was written, Christianity was seen by many as merely a folk religion for the illiterate and uneducated, but Origen raised it to a level of academic respectability.” I suggested earlier that Paul invented theology. That may be true, but it appears that Origen was the first after Paul to analyze Christianity from a theological perspective. In other words, Paul wrote part of the holy book, while Origen used technical thought to analyze the holy book.

I have mentioned that abstract technical thought begins with precise definitions and a collection of officially accepted statements. Wikipedia explains that “By far the most important work of Origen on textual criticism was the Hexapla (‘Sixfold’), a massive comparative study of various translations of the Old Testament in six columns.” Thus, Origen provided the intellectual tools that were necessary to study the existing Jewish Old Testament as a holy book. And “The Hexapla was the cornerstone of the Great Library of Caesarea, which Origen founded. It was still the centerpiece of the library’s collection by the time of Jerome, who records having used it in his letters on multiple occasions. When Emperor Constantine the Great ordered fifty complete copies of the Bible to be transcribed and disseminated across the empire, Eusebius used the Hexapla as the master copy for the Old Testament.” In addition, “Origen is the main source of information on the use of the texts that were later officially canonized as the New Testament.” Thus, Origen provided both the precise definitions and the collection of officially accepted statements that made it possible to use abstract technical thought to construct theology.

Looking at this in more detail, Origen had an encyclopedic knowledge and used technical thought. In his commentaries, “Origen applies the precise critical methodology that had been developed by the scholars of the Mouseion in Alexandria to the Christian scriptures. The commentaries also display Origen’s impressive encyclopedic knowledge of various subjects and his ability to cross-reference specific words, listing every place in which a word appears in the scriptures along with all the word’s known meanings.”

Origen also studied Greek philosophy, but his starting point was the Bible. “Origen bases his theology on the Christian scriptures and does not appeal to Platonic teachings without having first supported his argument with a scriptural basis. He saw the scriptures as divinely inspired and was cautious to never contradict his own interpretation of what was written in them.

Revelation 5 refers to a Lamb as if slaughtered. This description also applies to Origen. His debating style was less caustic than his predecessors: “The debate between Origen and Heracleides, and Origen’s responses in particular, has been noted for its unusually cordial and respectful nature in comparison to the much fiercer polemics of Tertullian or the fourth-century debates between Trinitarians and Arians.” The innocence of a lamb can also be seen in his pacifism: “Origen was an ardent pacifist, and in his Against Celsus, he argued that Christianity’s inherent pacifism was one of the most outwardly noticeable aspects of the religion. While Origen did admit that some Christians served in the Roman army, he pointed out that most did not and insisted that engaging in earthly wars was against the way of Christ.” The phrase ‘as if slaughtered’ also applies to Origen, because he was unjustly persecuted for much of his life by Demetrius the Bishop of Alexandria, the city in which Origen lived and taught. Demetrius was driven by feelings of jealousy to suppress and defame Origen, even when Origen became respected as a leading intellectual by other bishops.

Turning now to the theology of Origen, one can see the Lamb emerging from amidst the throne of mysticism in his teachings. I have connected the Lamb with abstract technical thought and the Logos of God. This was explicitly taught by Origen. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Logos is the rational creative principle that permeates the universe. The Logos acts on all human beings through their capacity for logic and rational thought, guiding them to the truth of God’s revelation. As they progress in their rational thinking, all humans become more like Christ.” Notice how the logos is being equated with Christ, the abstract side of incarnation, and that one constructs a concept of Christ by using the logic and rational thinking of abstract technical thought.

But Origen still regarded God in Teacher thought as rooted in overgeneralization that transcends rational thinking. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Origen’s conception of God the Father is apophatic—a perfect unity, invisible and incorporeal, transcending all things material, and therefore inconceivable and incomprehensible. He is likewise unchangeable and transcends space and time. But his power is limited by his goodness, justice, and wisdom; and, though entirely free from necessity, his goodness and omnipotence constrained him to reveal himself.” Apophatic means that one can only say what God is not, but cannot use rational language to describe what God is.

And Origen’s theology explicitly contains the idea of moving away from mysticism to rational thought. In the words of Wikipedia, “One of Origen’s main teachings was the doctrine of the preexistence of souls, which held that before God created the material world he created a vast number of incorporeal ‘spiritual intelligences’ (ψυχαί). All of these souls were at first devoted to the contemplation and love of their Creator, but as the fervor of the divine fire cooled, almost all of these intelligences eventually grew bored of contemplating God, and their love for him ‘cooled off’ (ψύχεσθαι). When God created the world, the souls which had previously existed without bodies became incarnate. Those whose love for God diminished the most became demons. Those whose love diminished moderately became human souls, eventually to be incarnated in fleshly bodies. Those whose love diminished the least became angels.” Origen is basically restating what we just analyzed from a cognitive perspective when looking at chapter 4. This suggests that our cognitive analysis is accurately describing how the mind naturally develops, because Origen’s theology was obviously guided by the structure of his mind and not by any knowledge of mental symmetry. The fact that this is one of Origen’s main teachings means that this describes a major mental transition made by Origen. More generally, I suggest that one’s major struggles will tend to turn into core mental networks that shape one’s thinking.

Origen says that the ‘falling away’ from mysticism to rational thought was driven by boredom. This is cognitively insightful, because boredom is related to Exhorter thought. Exhorter thought provides the motivation for the mind (through dopamine) primarily by focusing upon emotional mental networks. However, Exhorter thought gets bored when there is no change or variation. For instance, Exhorter thought would eventually regard the practice of endless worship in Revelation 4:8 as boorrrinnnnggg!!!! (Usually stated with a rolling of the eyes.)

Wikipedia relates that “For centuries after his death, Origen was regarded as the bastion of orthodoxy, and his philosophy practically defined Eastern Christianity. Origen was revered as one of the greatest of all Christian teachers; he was especially beloved by monks, who saw themselves as continuing in Origen’s ascetic legacy. As time progressed, however, Origen became criticized under the standard of orthodoxy in later eras, rather than the standards of his own lifetime.” In other words, Christian theology needs to be viewed from the perspective of cognitive development, the way that we are doing in these essays. Origen made a key transition from mysticism to theology, but theology developed further after Origen. Similarly, Martin Luther made a key transition from Catholicism to Protestantism, but this does not mean that every aspect of Martin Luther’s theology should be accepted.

This key transition is described in verse 8. “When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” In chapter 4, the living creatures were engaged in endless mysticism, while the elders fell down in worship when the living creatures referred to physical reality. In verse 8, both the living creatures and the elders are falling down before the Lamb. Cognitively speaking, this means that mysticism is recognizing the preeminence of technical thought. One can see this in the theology of Origen, who treated theology as something that was superior to mysticism. Notice that this transition happens when the scroll is taken, which means separating the holy book from the emotional status of its author and then using technical thought to analyze this holy book.

This is the first mention of a harp in Revelation, which is more accurately a ‘lyre’. The mention of a harp as something new is historically significant, because “The use of instruments in early Christian music seems to have been frowned upon. In the late 4th or early 5th century St. Jerome wrote that a Christian maiden ought not even to know what a lyre or flute is like, or to what use it is put.” The reference to a stringed instrument is also intellectually significant because Pythagoras discovered the mathematical relationship of musical intervals in strings and pipes and this became the basis for his philosophy. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The fact that mathematics could explain the human sentimental world had a profound impact on the Pythagorean philosophy. Pythagoreanism became the quest for establishing the fundamental essences of reality. Pythagorean philosophers advanced the unshakable belief that the essence of all thing are numbers and that the universe was sustained by harmony.” Summarizing, instrumental music played a major role in helping the Greeks to develop abstract technical thought. Thus, it is appropriate to mention musical instruments in the context of developing abstract technical thought.

Bowls are only mentioned in the book of Revelation, and this is the first reference to a bowl. The word cup is used elsewhere, which refers to a ‘wine cup’. Both a bowl and a cup are containers for liquid, and liquid represents Mercy experiences. It was mentioned that mysticism combines Teacher generalization with Mercy identification. A harp represents moving beyond overgeneralization, because strings whose lengths are mathematically related will vibrate in harmony. Harmony is an expression of Teacher generalization, in which different elements come together in a structured manner. Mysticism, in contrast, rejects the very idea that different elements exist that are capable of coming together.

Similarly, a bowl distinguishes between one collection of Mercy experiences and another, contradicting the identification that is used by mysticism. This separation into distinct entities is emphasized by the word each, which means ‘each individual unit viewed distinctly’. This is only the second use of the word ‘each’ in Revelation, which was previously used in the letter to the church of Thyatira. This word ‘each’ will be used next in 6:11 when referring to the persecuted saints in the fifth seal. And the word ‘bowls’ is in the plural, indicating that one is not approaching God in a mystical manner by identifying in a generic manner with all of existence. The description of the four living creatures in verse 8 is also quite different than 4:8, which said that they were filled with eyes in front and behind. The rest of verse 8 makes it clear that the elders and living creatures are approaching God with a new perspective of personal individuality, because the bowls are described as “full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” A God of mysticism leads to the ultimate conclusion that created beings have no right to exist. In contrast, God is now being approached with golden bowls filled with the prayers of the saints—personal feelings are being brought to God.

Looking at this further, this is the first mention of incense in Revelation. Neurologically speaking, smell triggers mental networks. This is also the first mention of prayer in Revelation, which means an ‘exchange of wishes’. In other words, a concept of God is no longer based in Teacher overgeneralization that suppresses all mental networks of personal identity. Instead, God is being associated with a mental network that is different than normal human mental networks, which interacts emotionally with human mental networks. This may sound trivial, but the ultimate goal of mysticism is not to interact with God as a distinct created being, but rather to lose one’s identity in God.

Verse 9 emphasizes that this is a new form of worship. “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slaughtered, and You purchased people for God with Your blood from every tribe, language, people, and nation.’” The word new means ‘fresh in development or opportunity because not found exactly like this before’. And this is also the first time that the words sing and song are used in Revelation. The next reference will be in 14:3, which also talks about a group coming along that sings a new song. Cognitively speaking, a song is a form of nonverbal speech. Speech is normally guided by Teacher emotions, but a song takes normal speech and places it within a Mercy package of tone and pitch. Saying this more carefully, a melody is a musical picture of identity traveling on a journey and returning back home. This all implies a concept of God that is capable of handling human existence.

The word break actually means ‘open’, which suggests that people are thinking in terms of understanding a book rather than becoming an expert who is capable of breaking the seal. This new understanding can also be seen in the description of atonement. The word purchase means ‘to make purchases in the marketplace, as ownership transfers from seller to buyer’. This description of atonement as a form of purchase is historically significant. Wikipedia summarizes that “The ransom theory of atonement is one of the main doctrines in Christian theology relating to the meaning and effect of the death of Jesus Christ. It originated in the early Church, particularly in the work of Origen. The theory teaches that the death of Christ was a ransom sacrifice, usually said to have been paid to Satan, in satisfaction for the bondage and debt on the souls of humanity as a result of inherited sin.” Thus, it is appropriate to associate Origen with the opening of the book, because Origen developed the purchase theory of atonement, which is specifically mentioned in the new song being sung. Notice that purchase assumes individuality. Ownership of objects can only be transferred from one person to another if specific objects and persons exist. Going further, God can only deal with sin at the level of purchase if God thinks in terms of specific objects and persons. A God of mysticism does not think in terms of specific objects and persons.

Mysticism uses Teacher overgeneralization. Generalization, in contrast, brings many specific elements together to form a general Teacher theory, leading to order-within-complexity. This bringing together of many specific elements is seen in purchasing people ‘from every tribe, language, people, and nation’. This concept can also be seen in the theology of Origen. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Origen was a Universalist, who suggested that all people might eventually attain salvation, but only after being purged of their sins through ‘divine fire’. This, of course, in line of Origen’s allegorical interpretation, was not literal fire, but rather the inner anguish of knowing one’s own sins. Origen was also careful to maintain that universal salvation was merely a possibility and not a definitive doctrine.” I am not suggesting that Origen’s doctrine of universal salvation is correct, and Wikipedia mentions that Origen himself postulated this merely as a possibility. Similarly, verse 9 does not say that everyone will be saved, but rather says that the Lamb has purchased to God ‘out of every’ tribe, tongue, people, and nation. What matters cognitively is that Origen is teaching the concept of a God of order-within-complexity, who regards creation and created beings as worthy of salvation. This is quite different than the Desert Fathers who gave their lives to the concept that physical existence is evil. (Notice also that Origen’s symbolical interpretation of fire is similar to that used by mental symmetry.)

A State Religion 5:10-11

Verse 10 describes a new system emerging: “You have made them into a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth.” Made means ‘to make, do’ and refers to Server actions. The word kingdom means ‘the realm in which a king sovereignly rules’, and this the first use of this word after John’s introduction in 1:9. Priest means ‘sacred because belonging to the Temple’, and this word was used once before in Revelation in 1:6 in the introduction. It will be used one more time in Revelation in 20:6 to describe the millennium. This word does not say that the priests actually have a relationship with God or are performing services that are approved by God. Instead, it emphasizes the system of the Temple. The NASB adds the word ‘into’ to give the impression that this making involves character transformation, but there is no ‘into’ in the original Greek. Instead, they are ‘reigning upon the earth’. Reign means ‘to reign as king’. This verb is used next in 11:15 to describe God and Christ reigning on the earth after the theoretical return of Jesus. And earth refers to physical space and time.

Putting this all together, one concludes that Christianity is being made the state religion that rules over the physical earth. In the words of Wikipedia, “During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (AD 306–337), Christianity began to transition to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire… Under the Constantinian dynasty Christianity expanded throughout the Empire, launching the era of State church of the Roman Empire.” This reference in verse 10 to Christianity being made the state religion provides corroborating evidence that the interpretation of Revelation 5 given in this essay is historically appropriate.

It also suggests that it is incorrect to regard the official recognition of Christianity as a denial of the Christian faith. Becoming the officially enforced religion did have a decaying impact upon Christianity, especially in the Byzantine Empire where state and church became intertwined. But this official recognition also played a major role in the maturing of Christianity and theology. Looking at this from personal experience, I have discovered that one must avoid two extremes. The first extreme is to think that studying only the Bible is sufficient. The other extreme is to think that one should follow scientific thought and abandon the Bible. In contrast, I have found that every excursion away from the Bible into rational secular thought has given me tools to analyze the Bible more effectively when I returned to the Bible. Similarly, I suggest that it was cognitively necessary for Christianity to become the official religion of Rome—for a while. This official status only lasted a century in the West, because Christianity became officially accepted in 313 AD and Rome was sacked in 410 AD.

Verse 11 describes a broadening of the message. “Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders.” Heard means ‘to hear, listen’. This common word was previously used in 4:1 to describe John hearing a voice at the beginning of his vision. The word around comes from ‘a circle’ and was first used in 4:6 to describe the four living creatures full of eyes around the throne. As was pointed out earlier, Greek philosophers regarded the circle as the most perfect shape. But the Platonic perfection of the circle was associated with the endless worship of mysticism in 4:6 while in verse 11 it is being connected with the Teacher words of many angels around the throne. This describes the uplifting of abstract technical thought. But the reference to a circle also indicates a somewhat overgeneralized understanding of Christian theology. One can see this juxtaposition in the Nicene Creed, which uses technical language to carefully define the mystery of the Trinity.

We have looked at the mystical thinking that was present in the Desert Fathers. We have also examined the struggle that early Christianity had with gnostic mysticism. And we just saw Christianity becoming the official state religion of the Roman Empire. Many Christians to think that it was a disaster for Christianity to leave its Jewish roots and become transformed into a Roman religion. Therefore, I would like to look briefly at the Jewish roots of Christianity and how this relates to the shift away from mysticism to theology.

Wikipedia observes that Christian gnosticism probably had Jewish roots. “Contemporary scholarship largely agrees that Gnosticism has Jewish Christian origins, originating in the late first century AD in nonrabbinical Jewish sects and early Christian sects. Many heads of gnostic schools were identified as Jewish Christians by Church Fathers, and Hebrew words and names of God were applied in some gnostic systems. The cosmogonic speculations among Christian Gnostics had partial origins in Maaseh Bereshit and Maaseh Merkabah… Quispel sees Gnosticism as an independent Jewish development, tracing its origins to Alexandrian Jews, to which group Valentinus was also connected.” In other words, the Jewish roots were infected with mysticism, and this had a major impact, either directly or indirectly, upon early Christianity.

The relationship between Judaism and mysticism is explored in the essay on Kabbalah. In brief, Judaism does not have a theology. Instead, Kabbalah takes the place of theology in Judaism. For instance, if one searches for Christian theology on Wikipedia, one reaches a huge section of pages. However, if one searches for Jewish theology, then one is redirected to Jewish philosophy, along with the explanation that philosophy and Kabbalah are two common approaches to Jewish theology. Kabbalah attempts to construct a system of psychology by starting with an incomprehensible, transcendent, overgeneralized concept of God. And it does an admirable job of constructing a system of something upon a foundation of nothing.

My hypothesis is that it was God’s original plan for science to emerge before the time of Christ in the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria. (We saw earlier that Origen taught in Alexandria using the methodology developed by scholars in Alexandria.) I am not saying this as an offhand remark. Many elements of science did emerge in Alexandria, but the scientific revolution was stillborn. If science had existed during the time of Christ, then Jesus would have been able to preach his message to a completely different audience. Instead, he had to preach primarily in parables, because his audience was incapable of grasping the concepts that he came to teach. This predicament is discussed extensively in the essay on the Gospel of John. This does not mean that God’s plan was thwarted, but rather that it was postponed, because science eventually did come to birth after the Renaissance. I noted in the essay on Kabbalah that Judaism ended up embracing mysticism instead of science, and the previous quote from Wikipedia refers to the Jewish mysticism of Alexandria.

Going further, evidence suggests that the priests in Jerusalem were secretly practicing a form of proto-mysticism based in the Merkabah visions of Daniel during the time of Christ. I strongly suspect that this proto-mysticism was one of the primary factors that caused the Jewish leadership to reject and kill Jesus. I say this because the response of the Jewish leaders to the raising of Lazarus was too insane to be caused by normal cognitive mechanisms. Therefore, one has to appeal to cognitive mechanisms—such as mysticism—that function at the level of existence. I am NOT suggesting that the Jews were Christ killers. Instead, I am accusing most of the Jewish priesthood in Jerusalem of being Christ killers, and I am suggesting that the religious elite of Judaism became Christ killers centuries earlier when they chose to pursue mysticism rather than science in Alexandria. That is because mysticism can only function by killing a concept of Christ. Looking at this more carefully, Christ refers to the abstract side of incarnation. A concept of Christ believes that God in Teacher thought expresses himself through the Logos of the rational technical thinking of Christ. Mysticism, in contrast, believes that God in Teacher thought transcends all rational technical thinking, and that one can only encounter God in Teacher thought by killing any mental connection between God and rational technical thought.

Lest I be accused of anti-Semitism, I want to point out that most Christian leaders are committing the same sin today, because they reject the idea that Christian theology is compatible with scientific thought—while at the same time using the technology of science within church services to promote the preaching of Christian theology. I do not know how far this Christian guilt extends. What I do know is that almost all Christian theologians have shown no interest in mental symmetry, even when the very existence of Christianity is being threatened by a post-Christian world and mental symmetry is capable of comprehensively explaining Christian doctrine. This also illustrates a level of insanity that cannot be explained by normal cognitive mechanisms.

Early Christianity had to overcome this Jewish-inspired Gnosticism. As was quoted earlier, Wikipedia explains that “Gnostic writings flourished among certain Christian groups in the Mediterranean world until about the second century, when the Fathers of the early Church denounced them as heresy. Efforts to destroy these texts proved largely successful, resulting in the survival of very little writing by Gnostic theologians. Nonetheless, early Gnostic teachers such as Valentinus saw their beliefs as aligned with Christianity.” I have Messianic Christian friends who deeply bemoan the loss of Jewishness that happened to Christianity when it became the official religion of Rome. And I agree that it is profitable for Christians to explore their ‘Jewish roots’. I also come from a Mennonite background, and John Yoder, possibly the most famous Mennonite theologian, suggested that Christianity experienced a Constantinian Shift when it became the official religion of the Roman Empire. But cognitive analysis leads me to the conclusion that getting rid of Jewish-inspired Gnosticism was more important than preserving the Jewish roots of Christianity, especially since Jewish law had become overcrusted with centuries of human-inspired additions. Of course, all of this could have been avoided if the Jews and Greeks had discovered science in Alexandria before the time of Christ.

Verse 11 describes a shift away from mysticism, because the living creatures are actually talking with the angels and the elders instead of endlessly saying ‘holy, holy, holy’. This is not an overstatement because the endless worship practiced by the Church Fathers eventually morphed into the hesychasm of the Jesus Prayer. The ‘Jesus prayer’ consists of some variation on the sentence ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner’. Wikipedia relates that “The practice of the Jesus Prayer is integrated into the mental ascesis undertaken by the Orthodox monastic in the practice of hesychasm. Yet the Jesus Prayer is not limited only to monastic life or to clergy. Anyone may practice this prayer, laypeople and clergy, men, women and children. In the Eastern tradition the prayer is said or prayed repeatedly, often with the aid of a prayer rope.” Wikipedia adds that “Monks may pray this prayer many hundreds of times each night as part of their private cell vigil… The monk aims to internalize the prayer, so that he is praying unceasingly.” Going further, “Once this is achieved the Jesus Prayer is said to become ‘self-active’ (αυτενεργούμενη). It is repeated automatically and unconsciously by the mind, becoming an internal habit like a (beneficial) Earworm. Body, through the uttering of the prayer, mind, through the mental repetition of the prayer, are thus unified with ‘the heart’ (spirit) and the prayer becomes constant, ceaselessly ‘playing’ in the background of the mind, like a background music, without hindering the normal everyday activities of the person.” This literally describes attempting to behave like the four living creatures in 4:8.

Cognitively speaking, there are two ways of constructing a general Teacher theory. One can come up with a theory that actually explains things, such as the theory of mental symmetry. Or one can use verbal repetition to create the illusion of having a general theory, because a simple set of repeated words will feel like a universal theory if it accompanies everything that I do.

Verse 11 continues by saying that “the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands.” The word number is the source of the English word ‘arithmetic’. This is the first use of the word ‘number’ in Revelation. Cognitively speaking, reducing qualities to numbers is a fundamental step in imposing technical thought upon a subject. Technical thought does not have to use numbers, but when technical thought is imposed upon the physical world, then numbers will invariably be used. For instance, economics uses concrete technical thought to analyze commerce by using numbers to represent the emotional desires of consumers and suppliers. A myriad is ten thousand. I do not know exactly what a myriad represents, but this word is only used in Revelation in 5:11 and 9:16. Verse 11 refers to myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, while 9:16 refers to twice myriads of myriads. Thus, 9:16 appears to describe a balanced multitude with myriads of myriads on both sides, while verse 11 refers to something more lopsided, with only thousands of thousands on one side.

Going further, 9:16 describes the sixth trumpet, which I will suggest is related to the corporatism of current society. This implies that verse 11 may be referring to a similar corporatism that existed during the late Roman Empire. The balanced number of 9:16 implies that the corporatism of today’s society is more complete than the corporatism of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire did develop a substantial economy that included financial institutions, industrial level mining, and a huge trade in commodities supported by a vast infrastructure of roads and ships. According to Wikipedia, “Inscriptions record 268 different occupations in the city of Rome, and 85 in Pompeii. Professional associations or trade guilds (collegia) are attested for a wide range of occupations, including fishermen (piscatores), salt merchants (salinatores), olive oil dealers (olivarii), entertainers (scaenici), cattle dealers (pecuarii), goldsmiths (aurifices), teamsters (asinarii or muliones), and stonecutters (lapidarii). These are sometimes quite specialized: one collegium at Rome was strictly limited to craftsmen who worked in ivory and citrus wood.” Similarly, “The latifundia of Roman history were great landed estates specializing in agriculture destined for export: grain, olive oil, or wine. They were characteristic of Magna Graecia and Sicily, Egypt, Northwest Africa and Hispania Baetica. The latifundia were the closest approximation to industrialized agriculture in Antiquity, and their economics depended upon slavery.” In other words, Roman society reduced much of societal existence to the numbers of technical thought. But Roman society could only do this to some extent because science had not emerged. Modern science and technology have led to the development of a much more extensive form of corporatism, which will be discussed when looking at the sixth trumpet.

An Official Message 5:12-14

Verse 12 describes the message of this throng: “Saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing.’” The words glory, honor, and power were used in 4:11 by the 24 elders. Verse 12 adds the additional words wealth, wisdom, might, and blessing, and this is the first time that any of these four words is used in Revelation. Wealth means ‘abundance, possessions of many kinds’. Wisdom actually means ‘clarity’. Might means ‘force to overcome immediate resistance’. And blessing combines ‘good’ with logos. (This word is only used in Revelation in verse 12, verse 13, and in 7:12.)

Applying these terms to the Constantine Church, Wikipedia describes the wealth that the church received. “After his victory, Constantine took over the role of patron of the Christian faith. He supported the Church financially, had a number of basilicas built, granted privileges (e.g., exemption from certain taxes) to clergy, promoted Christians to high-ranking offices, returned property confiscated during the Great Persecution of Diocletian, and endowed the church with land and other wealth.”

The church also received clarity in the form of ecumenical councils that brought clarity to doctrine. Quoting again from Wikipedia, “The first seven ecumenical councils, from the First Council of Nicaea (325) to the Second Council of Nicaea (787), represent an attempt to reach an orthodox consensus and to unify Christendom. All of the original seven ecumenical councils as recognized in whole or in part were called by an emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire and all were held in the Eastern Roman Empire.”

The church acquired the might of official power, which provided force to overcome immediate resistance. In the words of Wikipedia, “Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, and after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy. The Church generally regarded the definition of doctrine as the responsibility of the bishops; the emperor’s role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity.”

Jesus Christ is called The Logos in John 1:1. Therefore, logos is being interpreted as the paradigm that lies behind some specialization of technical thought. Mysticism does not speak good of logos, but rather regards technical systems as obstacles that stand in the way of Teacher overgeneralization. Speaking good of logos means respecting the Teacher theories that lie behind technical specializations. This can be seen in the ecumenical councils, because their goal was to reach orthodox consensus by using abstract technical thought to define the paradigm of Christianity. The very fact that these councils existed indicates that people were speaking good of logos.

Speaking good of The Logos can also be seen in the content of the first Council of Nicaea. Wikipedia relates that “Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the divine nature of God the Son and his relationship to God the Father.” And “The Council declared that the Son was true God, coeternal with the Father and begotten from His same substance, arguing that such a doctrine best codified the Scriptural presentation of the Son as well as traditional Christian belief about him handed down from the Apostles.” Stating that The Logos is ‘true God, coeternal with the Father’ is, by definition, speaking good of logos.

Looking at the praise of verse 12 more generally, we saw earlier that Origen presented Christianity as a system of theology based in Teacher understanding. One of the byproducts of Christianity becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire was that Christianity became viewed as a city and not just a theory. This viewpoint defines the theme of The City of God, written by Augustine after the sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410 AD.

In other words, the imposition of Christianity upon the city states of the Roman Empire made it possible to think of Christianity as a city of God that transcended human cities. This was the theme of Augustine’s City of God. Wikipedia explains that “The sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410 left Romans in a deep state of shock, and many Romans saw it as punishment for abandoning traditional Roman religion for Christianity. In response to these accusations, and in order to console Christians, Augustine wrote The City of God as an argument for the truth of Christianity over competing religions and philosophies. He argues that Christianity was not responsible for the Sack of Rome, but instead responsible for its success. Even if the earthly rule of the Empire was imperiled, it was the City of God that would ultimately triumph.”

Going further, The City of God “presents human history as a conflict between what Augustine calls the Earthly City… and the City of God, a conflict that is destined to end in victory for the latter… In this war, God moves (by divine intervention, Providence) those governments, political/ideological movements and military forces aligned (or aligned the most) with the Catholic Church (the City of God) in order to oppose by all means—including military—those governments, political/ideological movements and military forces aligned (or aligned the most) with the Devil (the City of the World).” Using cognitive language, God is using technical thought to manipulate history in order to carry out his plan. This replaces the Roman concept of virtus with the plan of God. This is different than mysticism, which states in overgeneralized terms that God somehow transcends physical reality.

Verse 13 goes further. “And I heard every created thing which is in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, or on the sea, and all the things in them.” Verse 3 mentioned ‘in heaven, on earth, and under the earth’. This was interpreted as the heaven of Teacher thought, the earth of physical existence, and the ‘beneath the earth’ of slavery. While ‘the earth’ is mentioned several times in Revelation, this type of phrase only occurs one more time in Revelation in 10:6, where the strong angel swears by heaven, earth, and sea. Instead, the phrase ‘dwell on the earth’ is used. Cognitively speaking, ‘in heaven, on earth, and under the earth’ indicates an adversarial relationship with the ‘earth’ of physical reality. This describes the pre-scientific thinking of the Roman Empire, which either pursued abstract philosophy that avoided the earth, attempted to coexist with the earth, or was forced into submission under the earth. In contrast, ‘dwelling on the earth’ suggests that one is using an understanding of natural law to harness physical reality rather than fight it or avoid it.

Verse 13 adds ‘on the sea’. Water represents Mercy experiences; therefore, the sea represents the world of Mercy experiences. Applying this to the Roman era, the sea would represent the barbarians beyond the borders of Rome.

This is evident in the respect that was shown by many barbarians for Christianity. For instance, Wikipedia relates that the sack of Rome in 411 was “by the standards of the age (and all ages), restrained. There was no general slaughter of the inhabitants and the two main basilicas of Peter and Paul were nominated places of sanctuary. Most of the buildings and monuments in the city survived intact, though stripped of their valuables.”

More generally, the Christian church eventually became the sole remnant of the fallen Roman Empire in the West. In the words of Wikipedia, “Christianity also served as a conduit for preserving and transmitting Greco-Roman literary culture… Major works of Greek and Latin literature, moreover, were both read and written by Christians during the imperial era. Many of the most influential works of the early Christian tradition were written by Roman and Hellenized theologians who engaged heavily with the literary culture of the empire. St. Augustine’s (AD 354-430) City of God, for instance, draws extensively on Virgil, Cicero, Varro, Homer, Plato, and elements of Roman values and identity to criticize paganism and advocate for Christianity amidst a crumbling empire. The engagement of early Christians as both readers and writers of important Roman and Greek literature helped to ensure that the literary culture of Rome would persist after the fall of the empire.”

Notice how the technical thinking of the Lamb has now spread in the West to include all secular knowledge, because the church became the sole guardian of all education and not just religious education.

This new status can be seen in the message being proclaimed in verse 13. “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion forever and ever.” Blessing combines ‘good’ with ‘logos’, and this is the second of three times that this word is used in Revelation. This describes the intellectual respect that was given to the church after the fall of Rome. Honor means ‘perceived value, worth’. The barbarians now had the physical power, but the Christian Church still had perceived value. Glory means ‘what evokes a good opinion’ and also is the external representation of internal value.

The church of Rome became the glory of Western Christendom and ‘evoked a good opinion’, especially under Pope Gregory I. Wikipedia describes that “The circumstances in which Gregory became pope in 590 were of ruination. The Lombards held the greater part of Italy. Their depredations had brought the economy to a standstill. They camped nearly at the gates of Rome. The city itself was crowded with refugees from all walks of life, who lived in the streets and had few of the necessities of life… Gregory sent out a small army of charitable persons, mainly monks, every morning with prepared food… These and other good deeds and charitable frame of mind completely won the hearts and minds of the Roman people. They now looked to the papacy for government, ignoring the rump state at Constantinople.”

The word dominion means ‘dominion, exerted power’ and comes ‘from a root meaning to perfect, complete’. It is used one other time in Revelation in 1:9 to refer to Jesus Christ. Looking at Western history, the foundation for Western Civilization has now been laid. One primary characteristic of Western civilization is that the technical thinking of incarnation will be regarded as superior to other forms of thought. This will eventually lead to the modern Western world, which will regard technical thought as the only valid form of thinking. And the use of technical thought has been the primary element that survives the deconstructionism of postmodernism. Going further, I suggest that future civilizations will not destroy technical thought but rather add to it. Similarly, verse 13 says that these qualities will survive ‘to the ages of the ages’.

Notice that verse 13 does not mention the power, riches, wisdom, or strength of verse 12. These qualities were lost when the Western Church lost the backing of the Roman Empire. What survived from verse 12 was honor, glory, and blessing—attributes that refer to character an understanding rather than official might and power. The institutional might of the Roman Empire was replaced by a different kind of dominion that was more perfect and complete.

Thus, I suggest that it is valid to complain that the church became corrupted when it acquired official status. This corruption can be seen in the caesaropapism of the Byzantine Empire. However, the combination of church and state only lasted for about a century in the West before the state fell and only the church remained. Wikipedia summarizes this shift. “When Rome fell and the faith of many Christians was shaken, Augustine developed the concept of the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material City of Man. Augustine’s work defined the start of the medieval worldview, an outlook that was later firmly established by Pope Gregory the Great.”

Verse 14 concludes, “And the four living creatures were saying, ‘Amen.’ And the elders fell down and worshiped.” The word amen means ‘so let it be’ and is basically a statement of agreement. Thus, the living creatures have gone from fixating upon God in 4:8 to agreeing with the earthly dominion of incarnation. This will be expressed in Chapter 6 by the four living creatures harnessing the primary urges of mysticism and religious self-denial in the first four seals to lay the foundation for the birth of science with its technical thought in the sixth seal. These primary urges of religious self-denial are illustrated by the behavior of the elders who ‘fall down and worship’. Fall down means to ‘fall prostrate’. And worship means ‘to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior’.

The First Horseman 6:1-2

This chapter describes the infamous four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. When I first looked at this passage back in 2016, I recognized that it describes what happens when Contributor-controlled technical thought is regarded as the only valid form of thinking. And I attempted to analyze the passage in the light of that principle. This analysis will take advantage of four additional principles: First, the four Horsemen are being led by a Lamb, which implies an unusual form of ‘innocent’ behavior. I put the word ‘innocent’ in quotes because this behavior may not look that innocent to those who are looking back through the lens of history. The second principle is that the New Testament appears to be describing Western history in detail. This is backed up by a 640 page analysis of Matthew 2-24, which points out that there is a detailed correspondence between the book of Matthew and the events of Western history. Third, the same four living creatures that practiced mysticism and religious self-denial in chapter 4 will be driving the four horsemen in chapter 6. This means that one will see the four horsemen exhibited as gut-level drives that express deep feelings of mysticism and self-denial. The fourth principle is that science seems to matter to God. I do not mean by this that one should use the theory of evolution to interpret religion, but rather that one can learn a lot about theology by looking at the fundamental characteristics of scientific thought, characteristics that both theologians and scientists tend to ignore. One book that does discuss some of these characteristics is Thomas Kuhn’s well-known volume on paradigms and paradigm shifts. This correspondence is discussed in a paper that I recently wrote.

The idea that God appreciate scientific thought makes it possible to nail down the identity of the sixth seal at the end of Revelation 6. This is typically interpreted as global cataclysm. But the beginning of the vision in 4:1 describes how the vision should be interpreted. John is told to come up to heaven, which means that Revelation needs to be interpreted from the heavenly perspective of Teacher thought rather than the earthly perspective of Mercy experiences. Similarly, John says in 4:2 that ‘I was in the realm of spirit’, which also indicates that Revelation needs to be interpreted spiritually rather than physically. Thus, the major shaking at the end of Revelation 6 needs to be interpreted as an intellectual and spiritual earthquake, which describes what happens when there is a paradigm shift. Thomas Kuhn says that the biggest paradigm shift is the shift into scientific thought itself, because scientific thought, which is driven by a paradigm, is fundamentally different than pre-scientific thought, which has no concept of a paradigm. Thus, I suggest that the end of Revelation 6 refers to the Scientific Revolution, during which modern science itself began. This means that the four horsemen describe periods of Western history before the scientific revolution. With this in mind, we will turn to the first horseman.

Verse 1 begins: “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!’” The word saw often means ‘to see with the mind, spiritually see’. This is consistent with the idea that mental and spiritual effects are being described. The word broke simply means ‘to open’. The Lamb is doing the opening, implying a form of innocence rather than the raw imposition of force. The living creature is talking, but this is like a voice of thunder. A voice implies the Teacher words are being used, but not necessarily at the level of general understanding. And thunder is a sound that comes from the sky, suggesting that the words are being viewed as words from heaven.

Verse 2 describes the first horseman. “I looked, and behold, a white horse, and the one who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” A horse represents military and organizational might, because horses used to be the epitome of military might and required organization to maintain. The only other reference to a white horse in the New Testament is in 19:14 and 19:18, which describe a glorified Jesus returning to Earth on a white horse, accompanied by an army on white horses. White is the color of purity and light. Thus, a white horse represents a form of military might that is associated with light.

The rider on the horse is given a bow, and this is the only time that this word is used in the New Testament. A bow is used to shoot arrows, and the word sin originally meant to shoot an arrow at a target and miss. This implies that the first horseman is armed with the ability to point out sin. The horseman is given a crown, but the crown used here actually refers to ‘a wreath awarded to a victor in the ancient athletic games’. This is consistent with the idea of being armed with the ability to point out sin. That is because the victor in a game does not win by attacking his opponent, but rather by performing some task better than his opponent, such as shooting an arrow at a target. This is different than 5:10, which referred to reigning over a physical kingdom. Went out suggests that this winner is moving out from some location. The word conquer means ‘to conquer, prevail’ and is used twice, which implies that the horsemen achieves unusual success at overcoming his foes.

One can see these various factors in the spread of Christianity throughout Europe during the Dark Ages. Wikipedia summarizes that “As the political boundaries of the Western Roman Empire diminished and then collapsed, Christianity spread beyond the old borders of the empire and into lands that had never been Romanised. The Lombards adopted Catholicism as they entered Italy. ”

Christianity spread throughout Europe primarily as a result of missionary activity, and not as a result of military conquest. This explains the color white. However, these missionaries did not go to the common people, but rather went to tribal leaders, who then adopted Christianity and imposed Christianity upon their followers. This explains the presence of a white horse. Tribal leaders adopted Christianity because the Christian Church was all that survived of the fallen Roman Empire.

Clergy knew how to read, while even tribal leaders were illiterate. And the learning of the ancient Greeks and Romans was preserved within the monasteries. Wikipedia explains that “Some monasteries held a scriptorium where monks would write or copy books. When the monks wrote, they used very neat handwriting and would draw illustrations in the books and decorate the first letter of each paragraph. The efficiency of Benedict’s cenobitic Rule in addition to the stability of the monasteries made them very productive. The monasteries were the central storehouses and producers of knowledge.”

Thus, tribal leaders adopted Christianity because they felt inadequate compared to the representatives of the church, and missionaries often took on the role of official advisers. This explains being armed with a bow. Christianity spread throughout Europe in this fashion, explaining the ‘going out’. And Christianity spread to regions of Europe that had never been conquered by the Roman Empire, including Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. This explains the conquering and prevailing. Finally, the voice of thunder suggests that the verbal message of the missionaries was not fully understood, but was regarded as a voice from heaven, backed up by the grandeur of the fallen Roman empire.

This describes the type of victory that a lamb would achieve. More specifically, it describes victory being achieved by technical thought acting as a lamb. The technical thinking of literacy and education is being used to show up tribal leaders as inadequate, rather than being used to come up with technical plans of military victory. This does not mean that there was no fighting. The tribal leaders of the Dark Ages were basically warlords who were continually at war with one another. But Christianity overcame by showing the way to a better alternative.

Wikipedia summarizes this missionary movement. “As early as in the 5th century, missionary activities from Roman Britain into the Celtic areas (Scotland, Ireland and Wales) produced competing early traditions of Celtic Christianity, that was later reintegrated under the Church in Rome. Prominent missionaries were Saints Patrick, Columba and Columbanus. The Anglo-Saxon tribes that invaded southern Britain some time after the Roman abandonment were initially pagan but were converted to Christianity by Augustine of Canterbury on the mission of Pope Gregory the Great. Soon becoming a missionary centre, missionaries such as Wilfrid, Willibrord, Lullus and Boniface converted their Saxon relatives in Germania.” Notice how the earlier missionary activity was carried out primarily by individuals in the church.

However, missionary activity eventually became a political tool guided by political leaders. Continuing with Wikipedia, “The largely Christian Gallo-Roman inhabitants of Gaul (modern France) were overrun by the Franks in the early 5th century. The native inhabitants were persecuted until the Frankish King Clovis I converted from paganism to Roman Catholicism in 496. Clovis insisted that his fellow nobles follow suit, strengthening his newly established kingdom by uniting the faith of the rulers with that of the ruled. After the rise of the Frankish Kingdom and the stabilizing political conditions, the Western part of the Church increased the missionary activities, supported by the Merovingian kingdom as a means to pacify troublesome neighbour peoples.”

The Second Horseman 6:3-4

The second horseman is described in verse 3. “When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come!’” This is similar to verse 1 except the words no longer resemble the sound of thunder. Instead, there is normal communication, implying that Christianity has now taken root and is regarded as part of normal society.

Verse 4 describes the second horseman. “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 people would kill one another; and a large sword was given to him.” The first horseman was described as going out at the end of the verse. In this case, the going out starts at the beginning. Red means ‘red, fire-colored’. Red is the color of blood, and it is also the color of strong motivation. The Greek word ‘red’ is also related to fire, and fire is interpreted symbolically as associated with motivation being frustrated in some manner. Earth refers to ‘the physical earth; the arena we live in which operate in space and time’. The word peace means ‘wholeness, when all essential parts are joined together’. This is related to the common idea of peace being the absence of war, because war fragments society and prevents the various parts of society from functioning in an integrated manner; however, the primary meaning of peace is wholeness and completeness.

Notice that this horseman does not cause war, but rather takes peace away from the physical world. This leads indirectly to people ‘killing one another’. Kill means ‘to slay, slaughter’, which implies widespread, random killing. Verse 4 says that people are ‘killing one another’, indicating a society of random violence rather than the invasion by some armed force. A sword is ‘a short sword or dagger mainly used for stabbing’, and this is the only reference in the New Testament to a ‘great sword’. Great means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’, which is being interpreted as referring to Teacher generality. This is a strange juxtaposition because the sword usually destroys Teacher order—as was mentioned in the previous paragraph. However, this is a sword that brings Teacher order.

Turning to Western history, this second horseman can be seen in the period of the Vikings and the Crusades. The Viking Age officially extends from 793-1066 AD. The Vikings had long boats that allow them to travel up rivers and show up without any warning with a raiding party. The result was to ‘remove peace from the physical earth’. Wikipedia relates that “Vikings were portrayed as wholly violent and bloodthirsty by their enemies. In medieval English chronicles, they are described as ‘wolves among sheep’.”

However, the Vikings actually had a long-term positive impact upon the development of Europe. Wikipedia clarifies that “While the Vikings are perhaps best known for accumulating wealth by plunder, tribute, and conquest, they were also skilled and successful traders. The Vikings developed several trading centres both in Scandinavia and abroad as well as a series of long-distance trading routes during the Viking Age.” Going further, “Trade routes would play an important role in rebuilding the economy of Europe during the Viking Age. The collapse of the Roman Empire significantly reduced the European economy. Prior to the start of the Viking Age trade had begun to rise again but was highly dependent on bartering, meaning that all trade hinged on ‘a double coincidence of wants’. Viking trade and raids helped reintroduce coins and other valuable goods that were either traded for or stolen back into the economy.” Thus, it is accurate to describe the Viking Age as a ‘great sword’ and not just as a ‘sword’. The bringing of Teacher order can also be seen in Scandinavia itself. Wikipedia summarizes that “During, and as a result of the Viking Age, Scandinavia moved from a loose coexistence of tribes and petty kingdoms to the three Nordic countries that still exist today.”

The Lamb can be seen in the way that the Vikings were eventually overcome. The Viking Age did not come to an end because of military conquest, but rather because of conversion to Christianity. In France, the king gave the Viking warleader “Rollo the title of duke and granted his followers and him possession of Normandy. In return, Rollo swore fealty to Charles, converted to Christianity, and undertook to defend the northern region of France against the incursions of other Viking groups.” Similarly, “In Scandinavia, the Viking Age is considered to have ended with the establishment of royal authority in the Scandinavian countries and the establishment of Christianity as the dominant religion.”

I am not suggesting that Christianity was all peace and light at this time. On the contrary, “The start of the Viking Age, with the sack of Lindisfarne, also coincided with Charlemagne’s Saxon Wars, or Christian wars with pagans in Saxony. Bruno Dumézil theorises that the Viking attacks may have been in response to the spread of Christianity among pagan peoples.” Notice how the end of the first seal led naturally to the opening of the second seal. The first seal was missionary activity motivated by religious feelings of holiness and self-denial. This came to an end when missionary activity turned into ‘Christian wars’, leading to the second seal of the Viking Age. Examining this connection in more detail, “One common theory posits that Charlemagne ‘used force and terror to Christianise all pagans’, leading to baptism, conversion or execution, and as a result, Vikings and other pagans resisted and wanted revenge. Professor Rudolf Simek states that ‘it is not a coincidence if the early Viking activity occurred during the reign of Charlemagne’.”

The Third Horseman 6:5-6

The third horseman is described in verse 5. “When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, ‘Come!’ I looked, and behold, a black horse, and the one who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.” The third seal, like the second seal begins with normal talking, suggesting intelligent conversation. The word pair of scales actually means ‘yoke’, and is translated as ‘yoke’ the five other times it is found in the New Testament. The Bible dictionary explains that a balance scale connects two items in a swiveling manner similar to a yoke connecting a pair of animals. This is the first reference to a hand since 1:16, and hands are used to perform detailed movement. Thus, hands are interpreted symbolically as using technical thought.

Putting this together, the third horseman is yoking people together in a technical manner. This describes the governmental system of feudalism. Wikipedia explains that “Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was a combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships that were derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labor.” Notice that feudalism is bringing structure to medieval society, indicative of ‘hands’, and that people are being yoked together through reciprocal responsibilities.

This yoking together happened officially in a commendation ceremony. Wikipedia explains that this “was composed of the two-part act of homage and oath of fealty. During homage, the lord and vassal entered into a contract in which the vassal promised to fight for the lord at his command, whilst the lord agreed to protect the vassal from external forces… Once the commendation ceremony was complete, the lord and vassal were in a feudal relationship with agreed obligations to one another.”

As was mentioned previously, feelings of religious holiness added emotional solemnity to the commendation ceremony. Wikipedia relates that “The vassal would then place his hands on a Bible, or a saint's relic, and swear he would never injure the lord in any way and to remain faithful… Once the vassal had sworn the oath of fealty, the lord and vassal had a feudal relationship.” Notice that religious feelings are being used to build a societal relationship that goes beyond mere brute force. The noble in a feudal situation is bound by feelings of conscience and not just by fear of physical retribution.

Verse 6 begins, “And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying…” So far, the three living beings have spoken. I am not sure what they exactly represent, but they appear to function at an elemental level. Similarly, Western society until this point has functioned at the elemental level of basic survival. The mention of hands in verse 5 indicates that some form of organization is now starting to emerge. This development of something larger is illustrated by the voice in the center of the four living creatures. This is described as ‘like a voice’, which means that there are no formal rules of organization in Teacher thought. In the words of Wikipedia, “Feudalism, in its various forms, usually emerged as a result of the decentralization of an empire: especially in the Carolingian Empire in 8th century AD, which lacked the bureaucratic infrastructure necessary to support cavalry without allocating land to these mounted troops.”

Verse 6 continues by describing what the voice says, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.’” A denarius is described in Matthew 20 as a day’s wage. Wheat is ‘a generic term for any edible grain, typically wheat’. Barley is mentioned once in the New Testament, and was the ‘poor man’s bread as opposed to using the more expensive grain’. Biblehub adds that a working man typically ate a quart of wheat a day. Grain is interpreted as intellectual food. A distinction between wheat and barley suggests that two kinds of intellectual food are emerging, one for the upper class and one for the common person.

If it takes a day’s wage to buy a day’s portion of wheat, then this implies that pursuing upper class intellectual food turns into a full-time occupation. Wikipedia describes the ‘upper class wheat’ of scholasticism. “The 13th and early 14th centuries are generally seen as the high period of scholasticism. The early 13th century witnessed the culmination of the recovery of Greek philosophy. Schools of translation grew up in Italy and Sicily, and eventually in the rest of Europe. Powerful Norman kings gathered men of knowledge from Italy and other areas into their courts as a sign of their prestige.” This consumption of ‘upper crust’ intellectual food turned into a full-time pursuit through the development of universities. Quoting from Wikipedia, “All over Europe rulers and city governments began to create universities to satisfy a European thirst for knowledge, and the belief that society would benefit from the scholarly expertise generated from these institutions. Princes and leaders of city governments perceived the potential benefits of having a scholarly expertise develop with the ability to address difficult problems and achieve desired ends.”

The ‘barley’ of the common man can be seen in the rise of guilds. In the words of Wikipedia, “In medieval cities, craftsmen tended to form associations based on their trades, confraternities of textile workers, masons, carpenters, carvers, glass workers, each of whom controlled secrets of traditionally imparted technology, the ‘arts’ or ‘mysteries’ of their crafts.” Guilds controlled the education of craftsmen. “The guild was made up by experienced and confirmed experts in their field of handicraft. They were called master craftsmen. Before a new employee could rise to the level of mastery, he had to go through a schooling period during which he was first called an apprentice. After this period he could rise to the level of journeyman. Apprentices would typically not learn more than the most basic techniques until they were trusted by their peers to keep the guild’s or company’s secrets.” Three quarts of barley for a day’s wage suggests that one has to work for knowledge, consistent with the idea of being an apprentice, but one can also sustain oneself financially while gaining knowledge, guilds being able to support themselves financially.

Moving on, oil means ‘olive oil’, and represents the Holy Spirit. This is the first reference to wine in Revelation, which represents the fruit of culture. Damage comes from the word unrighteousness, and righteousness can be defined cognitively as Server actions that reflect Teacher understanding.

The mention of ‘oil’ could be interpreted as a reference to medieval monks and monasteries. The monastic movement was revitalized during the Middle Ages through the mendicant orders, such as the Dominicans and Franciscans. The mendicant orders had many shortcomings, but they preserved righteousness. On the one hand, they renounced the new wealth that came from commerce. Wikipedia explains, “The twelfth century saw great changes in Western Europe. As commerce revived, urban centers arose and with them an urban middle class. New directions in spirituality were called for. Church reform became a major theme of the cultural revival of this era. In response to this, there emerged the new mendicant orders founded by Francis of Assisi (c. 1181–1226) and Dominic Guzman (c. 1170–1221). The mendicant friars were bound by a vow of poverty and dedicated to an ascetic way of life, renouncing property and travelling the world to preach.” On the other hand, they became guided by systems of Teacher order. “In another innovation, the mendicant orders relinquished their principle of stability, a classical principle of ancient monasticism, opting for a different approach. Unlike the Benedictine monks, the mendicants were not permanently attached to any one particular convent and to its abbot… Consequently, they organized themselves differently in comparison with the majority of monastic orders. Instead of the traditional autonomy that every monastery enjoyed, they gave greater importance to the order as such and to the Superior General, as well as to the structure of the order Provinces.” Notice how righteousness is being preserved, because the mendicant orders are letting go of places, objects, and wealth within Mercy thought in order to adopt the Server actions of ‘traveling the world’ guided by the Teacher structure of their religious order.

This righteousness may have given rise to the brutality of the Inquisition, but it was a form of righteousness. And even the Inquisition began as a desire to bring righteousness to religious persecution. “One reason for Pope Gregory IX’s creation of the Inquisition was to bring order and legality to the process of dealing with heresy, since there had been tendencies by mobs of townspeople to burn alleged heretics without much of a trial. According to historian Thomas Madden: ‘The Inquisition was not born out of desire to crush diversity or oppress people; it was rather an attempt to stop unjust executions.’”

Turning now to the wine, preserving the righteousness of the wine of culture can be seen in the overwhelming influence that the church had upon medieval culture. Wikipedia summarizes that “The cultural influence of the Church has been vast… During the Middle Ages, the Church rose to replace the Roman Empire as the unifying force in Europe. The medieval cathedrals remain among the most iconic architectural feats produced by Western civilization. Many of Europe’s universities were also founded by the church at that time. Many historians state that universities and cathedral schools were a continuation of the interest in learning promoted by monasteries. The university is generally regarded as an institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian setting, born from Cathedral schools.”

The third horseman sits on a black horse, and black represents darkness, and the lack of light. This suggests that the various factors that we have just discussed had an overall darkening impact. Going through the list, feudalism started as a yoke of reciprocal responsibility, but it also condemned the majority of the population to a peasantry that was largely denied the light of education. Higher education brought universities, but the method of scholasticism tended to obscure the light of knowledge in layers of complicated logic based in esteemed experts. The guilds also obscured the light of knowledge by fragmenting understanding and locking up knowledge behind years of apprenticeship. The mendicant orders started as a pursuit of simplicity but became administrators of the Inquisition, which attempted to stop the common man from learning about God and the Bible. And the Catholic Church had an uplifting effect on medieval culture, but it also attempted to prevent Western Christendom from being enlightened by other societies. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Catholic Church’s peak of authority over all European Christians and their common endeavours of the Christian community… helped to develop a sense of communal identity against the obstacle of Europe’s deep political divisions. The popes, formally just the bishops of Rome, claimed to be the focus of all Christendom, which was largely recognised in Western Christendom from the 11th century until the Reformation, but not in Eastern Christendom. Moreover, this authority was also sometimes abused, and fostered the Inquisition and anti-Jewish pogroms, to root out divergent elements and create a religiously uniform community.”

Notice again how the seal ends through a form of self-destruction. Feudalism used religious feelings of holiness, responsibility, and self-denial to shape government. This eventually led to the formation of a strong Catholic Church that used religious feelings to manipulate people. Wikipedia depicts the underlying feeling of religious piety. “The desire of Christians for a more effective Church was evident in increased piety. Pilgrimage to the Holy Land expanded after safer routes through Hungary developed from 1000. There was an increasingly articulate piety within the knighthood and the developing devotional and penitential practises of the aristocracy created a fertile ground for crusading appeals. Crusaders motivations may never be understood. One factor may have been spiritual – a desire for penance through warfare.” In other words, the people of the early Middle Ages were driven by feelings of religious devotion that modern people living in Western civilization find incomprehensible. Similarly, the modern liberal mindset finds the expression of such religious feelings in evangelical Christians to be incomprehensible.

Wikipedia describes the progression from religious fervor to political machinations. “The first crusade was advocated by Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095, promising absolution for the participants’ sins… Papal protection, penance and salvation for those killed was extended to participants in the suppression of heretical sects in 1179 during the Third Council of the Lateran… From the 1220s crusader privileges were regularly granted to those who fought against heretics, schismatics or Christians the papacy considered non-conformist.”

But here too, a focus upon building Teacher order can be seen, because the Catholic church brought legal structure to Western Society. Wikipedia summarizes that “The Catholic Church has the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West, much later than Roman law but predating the evolution of modern European civil law traditions. What began with rules (‘canons’) adopted by the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem in the first century has developed into a highly complex legal system encapsulating not just norms of the New Testament, but some elements of the Hebrew (Old Testament), Roman, Visigothic, Saxon, and Celtic legal traditions.” Wikipedia adds that “The actual subject material of the canons is not just doctrinal or moral in nature, but all-encompassing of the human condition. It has all the ordinary elements of a mature legal system: laws, courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code for the Latin Church as well as a code for the Eastern Catholic Churches, principles of legal interpretation, and coercive penalties.”

The legal structure of the Catholic Church was formalized during the High Middle Ages. Wikipedia explains that “The first truly systematic collection was assembled by the Camaldolese monk Gratian in the 11th century… Gratian is the founder of canonical jurisprudence, which merits him the title ‘Father of Canon Law’… In the thirteenth century, the Roman Church began to collect and organize its canon law, which after a millennium of development had become a complex and difficult system of interpretation and cross-referencing.” These various factors can be seen in Pope Gregory IX (pope from 1227-1241), who was responsible for instituting the Papal Inquisition, integrating Catholic Canon Law, institutionalizing the church suppression of Judaism, and descending to a new low of kingdom building in his struggle with Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor.

The Fourth Horseman 6:7-8

Verse 7 introduces the fourth horseman. “When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come!’” The NASB places the phrase ‘the Lamb’ in italics to indicate that it is not in the original Greek. Instead, the Lamb is only mentioned explicitly in the breaking of the first seal. The other seals use the verb ‘opened’ and ‘he’ is implied by the conjugation of the verb. This can be seen in the nature of the four horsemen. The first horseman with its missionary activity is consistent with the innocence of a lamb, and the color white consistently represents moral purity in Revelation. The succeeding horsemen lack this kind of purity. Thus, it makes sense that the other seals do not specifically mention being opened by the Lamb. This descent from purity can be seen in the start of the Viking Age. This age was partially triggered by Charlemagne’s military imposition of Christianity upon the Saxons, and it officially began with the Viking destruction of the defenseless monastic community on ‘the holy island of Lindisfarne’.

Verse 8 describes the horseman. “I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and the one who sat on it had the name Death, and Hades was following with him.” The Greeks says more literally, ‘name of him the death’, adding the definite article to death. This goes beyond experiencing death to thinking about death from a Teacher perspective as a name to regarding The Death as a fundamental Teacher theory. Such a transition happened during the Black Death. Wikipedia claims that “The Black Death… was the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history. The Black Death resulted in the deaths of up to 75–200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.” Wikipedia adds that “The Black Death was the second disaster affecting Europe during the Late Middle Ages (the first one being the Great Famine of 1315–1317) and is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population.”

The personification of death can be seen in the danse macabre. Wikipedia summarizes that “The deathly horrors of the 14th century such as recurring famines, the Hundred Years’ War in France, and, most of all, the Black Death, were culturally assimilated throughout Europe. The omnipresent possibility of sudden and painful death increased the religious desire for penance, but it also evoked a hysterical desire for amusement while still possible; a last dance as cold comfort.” Notice that this goes beyond death as personal tragedy in Mercy thought to death as a general Teacher theory that summarizes personal existence. More generally, “The Black Death had a profound effect on art and literature. After 1350, European culture in general turned very morbid. The general mood was one of pessimism, and contemporary art turned dark with representations of death.”

Hades refers to ‘the invisible realm in which all the dead reside’. It is mentioned four times in Revelation, each time in connection to death. 1:18 describes Jesus as having the keys of death and Hades, and in 20:13-14 death and Hades give up their dead and are cast into the lake of fire. The word follow means ‘to follow’ and is based upon the word ‘road, way’. Looking at Western history, the Black Death was accompanied by a series of catastrophic events known as the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages, which included the Great Famine of 1315-17, the Black Death of 1347-1351, the peasant revolts of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Hundred Year’s War of 1337-1453, and the schism of the Catholic Church between 1378-1417. Wikipedia describes the general climate of society. “In 1337, on the eve of the first wave of the Black Death, England and France went to war in what would become known as the Hundred Years’ War. Malnutrition, poverty, disease and hunger, coupled with war, growing inflation and other economic concerns made Europe in the mid-14th century ripe for tragedy.” This can be summarized as Hades following Death. And this following goes beyond a single event to a path that involved over a century of Western history.

Verse 7 adds more details. “Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, and famine, and death, and by the wild animals of the earth.” Authority means ‘conferred power’. This word implies the existence of a government system that is capable of conferring power. This word was used in Revelation once previously in 2:23 in the letter to the church of Thyatira. Applying this to Western history, a significant portion of the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages was a result of conflict involving conferred power. Reference to a fourth of the earth is numerically accurate, because the Black Death “may have reduced the world population from an estimated 475 million to 350–375 million in the 14th century.”

Four types of death are mentioned. The word sword is ‘a large, broad sword that both cuts and pierces’. Speaking literally, ‘killing with sword’ would describe warfare, which can be seen in the Hundred Years’ War. Famine can be seen literally in the Great Famine of 1315. The word death is the generic word for death, and is reflected in the Great Plague. Beast is ‘the generic term for wild animal; figuratively, a brutal or bestial nature’.

The bestial nature can be seen in the Avignon Papacy, the period from 1309-1376 during which the pope resided in France, which eventually resulted in the Great Schism. Wikipedia explains that “The period has been called the ‘Babylonian captivity’ of the popes. When and where this term originated is uncertain although it may have sprung from Petrarch, who in a letter to a friend (1340–1353) written during his stay at Avignon, described Avignon of that time as the ‘Babylon of the west’, referring to the worldly practices of the church hierarchy. The nickname is polemical, in referring to the claim by critics that the prosperity of the church at that time was accompanied by a profound compromise of the papacy’s spiritual integrity, especially in the alleged subordination of the powers of the Church to the ambitions of the French kings.” The term ‘beasts of the earth’ is appropriate because earth refers to physical space and time. The Catholic Church turned into a beast primarily because it attempted to build a kingdom upon the physical earth.

Before we go further, an important question needs to be addressed, which is why a Lamb would precipitate such death and destruction. The only answer I can come up with is that science had to come into being. I suggested earlier that science could have emerged in Alexandria before the birth of Jesus. But it did not. Thus, God had to ensure beyond a shadow of a doubt that science would come to birth in Europe during the Renaissance. One of the fundamental principles of science is that life must be guided by unseen laws of nature, rather than by the visible elements of society. Another basic principle of science is that scientific progress leads to the death of existing culture.

Looking at this another way, when scientific thought does not exist then society has to be guided physically through the horsemen of political and military might. Once science emerges, then society can be guided through the invisible power of paradigms and worldviews, rather than having to kill and torture people physically. This also explains why the God of the Old Testament appears so violent. One also sees in the Old Testament that God is continually trying to bring people past the level of physical interaction to something that is more humane. But God has to start with the physical and the inhumane in order to lay the foundation for higher thought.

The Fifth Seal 6:9-11

The next seal specifically states that the death must continue for a sufficient length of time. Verse 9 sets the scene. “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained.” As with the previous seal, the Greek does not explicitly mention ‘the Lamb’. Altar means ‘the meeting place between God and the true worshiper’, and this is the first use of this word in Revelation. Moving up vertically is being interpreted as generality. Thus, being underneath the altar would mean regarding a personal relationship with God as something general in Teacher thought under which personal identity resides. Soul is ‘psyche’, which is being interpreted as the integrated mind. Putting this together, this describes the idea of building the integrated mind upon a Teacher theory of a personal relationship with God. This summarizes the essence of the Protestant message.

The word killed means ‘to slay, slaughter’ and was previously used in 6:4 during the second horseman. We interpreted that as the slaughter of the Viking Age. The souls in verse 9 have been slain for two reasons. The first reason is the ‘word of God’. Word is ‘logos’, which means ‘a word, being the expression of the thought’ and Christ is referred to the logos in John 1:1. Logos was mentioned in 3:8 in the letter to the church of Philadelphia, and in 1:2 in the introduction. However, this is the first reference to logos after the letters to the churches. Logos is interpreted cognitively as the Teacher theory, or paradigm, that lies behind some technical specialization. This is consistent with the idea of logos being an aspect of incarnation that exists with God in Teacher thought.

I suggested earlier that God has to deal with people at the level of physical reality until people are capable of abstract thought. A ‘logos’ provides the foundation for abstract thought. Cognitively speaking, a ‘word of God’ means using the precise definitions of technical thought to construct a mental concept of God. This is radically different than mysticism, which uses Teacher overgeneralization to form a concept of God that transcends all technical thought and precise definitions. Applying this to the Protestant movement, people are studying the content of the Bible, this study is constructing a concept of God in Teacher thought, this is leading to an internal relationship between personal identity and a concept of God, and the mind is being integrated around this relationship with God. This would include various proto-Protestant movements, such as the Waldensians and the Lollards.

The second reason is ‘the testimony which they had maintained’. The word testimony means a personal witness, and is the source of the English word ‘martyr’. The meaning of the word ‘martyr’ has changed over the years to mean being willing to die for one’s faith, and in verse 9 people are dying for their faith. However, the word actually means ‘testimony’. What matters is that these people are not just studying abstract theology, but also allowing this theology to affect their personal behavior. In a similar manner, I am not just attempting to understand the mind, but also following a personal path of developing my mind. Thus, I can give a testimony about mental symmetry and not just explain it theoretically. This testimony is described as being maintained, which means ‘to have, hold’. One can find a distinction in the New Testament between ‘having’ and ‘being’. ‘Having’ is something that I possess, while ‘being’ is something that I am. One can see this distinction in the proto-Protestants, who tended to regard ‘holding to a testimony’ as the opposite of ‘holding onto physical property’. Thus, following God often included making a vow of poverty. Notice again the motivating role being played by religious feelings of self-denial.

There is a historical relationship between the ‘slaughter’ of the second horseman and the ‘slaughter’ of the Protestants. The Viking Age came to an end around 1066 with the Norman conquest of England. Wikipedia describes the state of Europe during this time. “The breakdown of the Carolingian Empire in Western Europe created a warrior caste who now had little to do but fight among themselves. Violent acts were commonly used for dispute resolution, and the papacy attempted to mitigate it.” In 1095, Pope Urban II made his infamous speech in which he called for European warriors to retake the ‘holy city’ of Jerusalem. This led to the Crusades. Part of the pope’s goal was to export European violence to some foreign land. In the words of Wikipedia, “Urban complains about the lack of justice and public order in the Frankish provinces and calls for the re-establishment of the truce protecting clergy from violence. In the Historiography of the Crusades, there is a long-standing argument as to how much the pacification of the Frankish realm was designed to go hand in hand with the ‘export of violence’ to the enemy in the east.”

What matters is that the Catholic Church embraced slaughter and promised that slaughtering the infidel would lead to forgiveness from God. Quoting from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Indulgences emerged in only the 11th and 12th centuries when the idea of purgatory took widespread hold and when the popes became the activist leaders of the reforming church. In their zeal, they promoted the militant reclamation of once-Christian lands—first of Iberia in the Reconquista, then of the Holy Land in the Crusades—offering ‘full remission of sins,’ the first indulgences, as inducements to participation.” Focusing upon physical kingdoms abroad turned into the Catholic Church acting like a political power at home. This transformation was especially apparent during the Avignon Papacy. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The temporal role of the Catholic Church increased the pressure upon the papal court to emulate the governmental practices and procedures of secular courts… Overall the public life of leading church members began to resemble the lives of princes rather than members of the clergy.” Similarly, slaughtering the infidel abroad turned into slaughtering the infidel at home, as exemplified by the Albigensian Crusade of 1209-1229. These two viewpoints eventually coalesced into treating those who questioned the physical authority of the Catholic Church as infidels and slaughtering them in the name of God. The fifth seal describes (primarily) these proto-Protestants who were slaughtered by the Catholic Church in the name of God. This does not mean that the Catholic Church has always been evil, or that it is evil today. But during the high Middle Ages, the Catholic Church became quite evil.

Verse 10 describes the message of the persecuted believers. “And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on those who live on the earth?’” Notice that this language sounds like a religious crusade against the infidel. The martyrs are not asking God to bless them, but rather to judge the enemy. This is a sign of an incomplete understanding, because one is thinking in terms of us-versus-them in Mercy thought. Looking at this in more detail, cry means to ‘cry out loudly with an urgent scream or shriek’, and this is the first use of this word in Revelation. This indicates a verbal outburst based in an incoherent, gut response. This is then followed by the semi-coherence of ‘a loud voice’, which then leads to the intelligent words of ‘saying’. (The weeping of 5:4-5 was a purely nonverbal response based in Mercy emotions.)

Looking now at the message itself, ‘how long’ is literally ‘until when’, and when is used once in Revelation. This describes the response of somebody who is in an unpleasant Mercy situation and wants the pain to stop. The word lord ‘implies someone exercising unrestricted power and absolute domination’. This is not the normal word for ‘lord’ and is only used once in Revelation. This also describes a Mercy-based mindset of viewing God as the most important person in Mercy thought to whom one submits unconditionally. God is described as holy, which ‘has the technical meaning different from the world because like the Lord’. This is the first time in Revelation that humans are referring to God as holy.

We will see later that holiness can be defined either from a Mercy perspective as being separated from the secular world or from a Teacher perspective as following a Teacher understanding of God more completely than others. A Teacher perspective will think in terms of righteousness, whereas a Mercy perspective will tend to focus upon truth—usually in the form of absolute truth. The word true means ‘true to fact’, and this is the first reference to truth after the seven letters to the churches. A focus upon truth can be interpreted in various ways. First, the Protestant movement emphasized the truth of the Bible as opposed to the truth of the Catholic Church. Second, the Protestant movement realized that the truth being proclaimed by the Catholic Church was not consistent with the facts of reality being created by the Catholic Church. This was a major step forward, but it still reflected an incomplete understanding.

Judge means ‘to pick out by separating’. This implies using technical thought to clarify thinking in order to make a more accurate decision. Similarly, the Protestants studied Scripture, examined the behavior of the Catholic Church, and advocated judicial decisions based upon clearer thinking. Avenge means ‘to dispense justice, carrying a judgment completely through’. It is used one other time in Revelation in 19:2. This conveys the idea of God stepping in as some ultimate authority in Mercy thought to impose his will upon earthly powers. The focus upon Mercy thought can also be seen in the reference to ‘our blood’. Blood represents the fragmentation of MMNs of personal identity, because blood is spilled when personal identity falls apart. The blood of incarnation has been mentioned in 1:5 and 5:9, but this is the first mention of ‘our blood’.

Finally, the phrase ‘dwelling on the earth’ occurred once previously in 3:10 in the letter to the church of Philadelphia and will be seen several times in the final three trumpets. Dwell means to ‘settle down as a permanent resident’. Earth refers to physical space and time. This describes a materialistic mindset that is comfortable living within physical reality. One of the primary complaints of Protestants was that the Catholic Church had turned into a physical kingdom that was too comfortable living within physical reality. This was quite different than the original Church which was looking forward to a more permanent home in heaven. Notice that the souls of verse 10 are not being motivated by the positive goal of a kingdom of God based in Teacher understanding. Instead, they are being motivated by painful Mercy experiences being generated by some physical kingdom. In other words, they are being driven primarily by the stick of persecution rather than the carrot of the kingdom of God. I am not trying to minimize the personal price paid by these martyrs, but rather attempting to explain why they are told in verse 11 to wait a while.

Giving a personal example, our family went to Germany in the mid-90s and performed in the Umsiedler churches, populated by Mennonites who had ‘suffered for Jesus’ in Soviet Russia and had recently emigrated to the freedom of West Germany. Many of these emigres had suffered significantly under communism. But I learned that following God under persecution is different than following God in prosperity. Somehow, one must transform a negative message of not submitting to the kingdom of the world into a positive message of building the kingdom of God, and this is not a simple task. The fifth seal describes Christian believers who have learned the negative message of not submitting to the kingdom of the world.

Verse 11 gives the answer. “And a white robe was given to each of them; and they were told that they were to rest for a little while longer.” A robe is ‘a long, flowing robe worn by the elite’. This the first use of this word in Revelation, which will next be used three times in 7:9-14 describe those coming out of the great tribulation. Clothing represents the fabric of social interaction. Each means ‘each individual unit viewed distinctly’. And light represents light and purity. Putting this together, the early Protestants were characterized by a form of social interaction that was characterized by light and purity, and this public behavior demonstrated what it really meant to be part of God’s elite. This social interaction could not function at the group level because of persecution, but it could describe the social behavior of individuals.

For instance, this emphasis upon behaving as individuals in public in a different manner can be seen in core attributes of the Anabaptists. Wikipedia summarizes these attributes. “The believer must not swear oaths or refer disputes between believers to law-courts for resolution… The believer must not bear arms or offer forcible resistance to wrongdoers, nor wield the sword… The believer belongs to God’s kingdom, so must not fill any office nor hold any rank under government, which is to be passively obeyed… Sinners or unfaithful ones are to be excommunicated, and excluded from the sacraments.” Notice the focus upon public behavior as well as the desire to be separated from the kingdoms of the earth.

Rest means ‘to give rest after the needed task is completed’. It is used one other time in Revelation in 14:13, which says that rest will now be possible for those ‘who die in the Lord’. In both cases, the verb is in the future tense, suggesting that this rest has not yet been achieved. While is the word for clock time, as opposed to ‘time as opportunity’. The next use of this word will be in 10:6, which says that clock time shall be no more. The implication is that society is still functioning at the level of physical sequences and physical time, which implies an inadequate internal world. However, this remaining physical time it described as little, which is normally translated as small in personal status. This could be interpreted as the era of physical sequences coming shortly to an end, or as regarding physical time as being unimportant. In either case, the proto-Protestants are making a major transition to being driven by an internal world, but this transition is not yet complete.

Verse 11 finishes by saying how long this waiting should continue. “Until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers and sisters who were to be killed even as they had been, was completed also.” The NASB contains a number of words that are in italics, which indicates that they are not in the original Greek. The verb complete means to ‘fill to individual capacity’ and is at the beginning of the phrase in the original Greek. This verb conveys the idea that the Protestant movement is in some way incomplete and needs to be filled up. Two other groups are mentioned. Fellow servants combines ‘closely identified with’ and ‘slave’. Brother literally means ‘from the same womb’. This describes two kinds of relationships. A Protestant would regard fellow Protestants as brethren who come ‘from the same womb’. But there are also ‘fellow slaves’ who are following the same master. This would describe the proto-scientists who were attempting to uncover the Teacher order of God’s creation.

Saying this another way, the Reformation and the Renaissance were not necessarily brothers, but they were fellow servants. These brothers and fellow slaves shared the common characteristic that they were about to be killed. About means ‘at the very point of acting’. And killed means ‘to kill’ rather than slaughter, suggesting that society has gone beyond random violence to more focused punishment. However, these various groups will be killed in a similar manner. Looking at this historically, both proto-Protestantism and proto-science were persecuted by the Catholic Church.

We saw earlier that the previous seals began with high motives of religious fervor and self-denial, but ended up as another form of normal politics and violence. This shift also happened with the Protestant Reformation. What started as a protest of faith against the Catholics turned into a series of European wars of religion.

One can see this shift from faith to violence, more specifically, in the person of Martin Luther. This was evident in his persecution of the Anabaptists. The Mennonite Encyclopedia explains that “In the earlier period of his activity, as Köhler points out, in the high confidence which Luther had in the victory of the truth he was proclaiming, Luther was quite willing to let others speak, in the confidence that the true Word of God would overcome all heresy. Later, shaken by the Peasants’ War and the ensuing reaction, as well as by general evidence that the support of the populace for true spiritual religion was not all that he expected or considered necessary, he leaned more and more on the arm of flesh, the ecclesiastical and political power to guarantee the success of the evangelical movement. At that point it was safer to call on force than to risk the free contest of ideas.”

Wikipedia relates that Luther’s attitude regarding the Jews underwent a similar shift. “In the early phase of Luther’s career—until around 1536—he expressed concern for their plight in Europe and was enthusiastic at the prospect of converting them to Christianity through his religious reforms. Being unsuccessful in that, in his later career, Luther denounced Judaism and called for harsh persecution of its followers, so that they might not be allowed to teach.”

The Sixth Seal 6:12-13

The sixth seal is typically interpreted as extreme physical catastrophes. But it makes historical sense when interpreted cognitively as applying to the mind rather than to physical reality. In other words, the statement of a just little more physical time is not just poetic license, but actually refers to an upcoming transition from physical sequences to cognitive sequences. This does not mean that physical suffering and physical sequences will come to an end, but rather that they will cease to be the driving force. The sixth seal describes what it feels like for a society to make a transition to this new way of paradigm-driven existence. Using the language of Thomas Kuhn, the sixth seal describes what happens when a society moves from pre-scientific thought to scientific thought. Stated simply, I suggest that the sixth seal refers to the Scientific Revolution.

Verse 12 begins. “And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood.” This is the first of several earthquakes in Revelation. An earthquake describes the shaking of ground that has been assumed to be solid. Similarly, a cognitive earthquake describes the shaking of a mental foundation that has been assumed to be solid. The Catholic Church had been the bedrock of Western Christendom. This foundation was shaken during the Protestant Reformation. Similarly, the earth had been assumed to be the center of the physical universe. This was shaken by the Copernican Revolution, which recognized that the earth travels around the sun. Going further, people’s concept of physical reality was shaken by the discovery of the New World of North and South America. The earthquake in verse 12 is described as great, which refers to Teacher generality. The Scientific Revolution was a great earthquake, because existing worldviews were shaken in major ways.

Revelation 9:2 talks about the sun being darkened, but this is the only time that the sun becomes black. A sun refers to the light of a general theory that shines upon the earth of human existence. A black sun is a physical oxymoron, because a sun is a source of light, while black indicates the absence of light. Verse 12 does not say that the sun stopped shining. This contrasts with 8:12, which says that the sun and moon will not bring light during one third of the day and night. In verse 12 the sun continues to shine, but the color of its light is black. A similar combination can be seen in Matthew 6:23: “If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Cognitively speaking, this describes holding to the wrong Teacher theory, and being driven by Teacher feelings of generality to interpret situations in a way that brings darkness rather than light. Applying this to the Scientific Revolution, the existing theoretical mindset of scholasticism was not just a lack of scientific understanding, but rather a system of abstract technical thought that prevented scientific understanding.

This inherent limitation of scholasticism can be seen in Francis Bacon’s description of his new method of scientific thought. Wikipedia summarizes that Bacon “argues in the Novum Organum that our only hope for building true knowledge is through this careful method. Old knowledge-building methods were often not based in facts, but on broad, ill-proven deductions and metaphysical conjecture. Even when theories were based in fact, they were often broad generalizations and/or abstractions from few instances of casually gathered observations. Using Bacon’s process, man could start fresh, setting aside old superstitions, over-generalizations, and traditional (often unproven) ‘facts’. Researchers could slowly but accurately build an essential base of knowledge from the ground up.” Notice that existing methods of scholasticism are being rejected as leading away from understanding, and that facts are being gathered from the ground up, implying a major cognitive earthquake.

The ‘black sun’ is described as being ‘as sackcloth made of hair’. Sackcloth is ‘a dark coarse stuff made especially of the hair of animals’, and wearing sackcloth was a sign of mourning. The word hair refers to the ‘hair of the head, or of animals’. Hair represents intuitive thought. (This interpretation is discussed in another essay.) Verse 12 says that the sun became black like sackcloth of hair.

This phrase contains two Greek words that will show up numerous times and need to be considered carefully. The first is the verb become which means ‘to come into being’. This means that something which was one thing is turning into something else. In this case, the sun is becoming black. The second is the adverb like which means ‘as, like, as’. This indicates that one thing resembles another thing but is not the same as the other thing. In this case, the sun is like sackcloth of hair. This ‘like’ is not always present. For instance, in verse 13, the stars of heaven fall to the earth, indicating a reference to the true nature of something. But this falling is ‘like’ a fig tree dropping unripe figs, indicating a comparison.

Returning to the sun becoming black, what started as a universal Teacher understanding that shone light upon society turned into an impediment to understanding. And this impediment is like the crude intuition of mourning. Looking at this cognitively, scholasticism is the careful study of official texts, such as the Bible or the Greek and Roman classics. But the basic premise is that these books are sources of absolute truth, and absolute truth believes that the author of the book has much greater Mercy status than personal identity. This is similar to a mindset of mourning, which emotionally focuses upon personal loss and stops thinking about personal identity in order to focus upon sources of truth. In other words, scholasticism uses rigorous logic, but this rigorous thinking is like a combination of intuition and mourning. This similarity becomes apparent when scientific thought starts to emerge. The new scientists are looking at the old scholasticism and saying, ‘What you think is general understanding is merely your intuition being biased by an attitude of religious self-denial’. I feel a similar reaction when reading most theological texts. I do not want to write off these authors, but most of what I read feels like intuition biased by an attitude of religious self-denial.

I am not saying that scholasticism is full of mourning. Instead, I am suggesting that if one starts with a general hypothesis that humans are nothing and God is everything—that God is so far above humanity that humans are incapable of comprehending the nature of God—and then bases academic interaction upon this assumption, then one will lead to conclusions that resemble thinking intuitively about mourning. I do not know enough about the content of scholasticism to state this with certainty, but I do know that this describes most Christian theology, which uses a form of thinking that is like scholasticism, and I also know that theology written several hundred years ago exhibits this characteristic far more than theology written recently. By extrapolation, medieval scholasticism would exhibit this type of thinking fairly purely. I also know that the average evangelical Christian is blind to this cognitive bias, but it becomes obvious when one starts analyzing the Bible from a cognitive perspective. Similarly, I suggest that the cognitive bias of scholasticism would have become apparent as a result of emerging scientific thought.

I should also add that there is nothing inherently wrong with using intuition. For instance, the physicist Lawrence Krauss made the following statement about fellow physicist Richard Feynman: “Feynman once said, ‘Science is imagination in a straitjacket.’ It is ironic that in the case of quantum mechanics, the people without the straitjackets are generally the nuts.” In other words, intuition is helpful if it has been shaped by the right ‘straitjacket’ of mental content. Feynman’s intuition was shaped by a deep understanding of physics. Similarly, I use intuition to develop mental symmetry, but this intuition has been shaped by decades of allowing mental symmetry to place both my thinking and my behavior within a ‘straitjacket’.

The next phrase says that ‘the whole moon became like blood’. The moon is a reflected light, and this is the first reference to the moon in Revelation. A moon represents the light of Teacher understanding that is reflected by the structure of human society. That is because it is a light in the ‘sky’ of Teacher thought, but it is a reflected light. For instance, the technical infrastructure of Western civilization is a ‘moon’ that reflects the ‘sun’ of scientific understanding. Blood indicates the spilling of mental networks of personal identity. In verse 12, the whole moon becomes like blood. This does not say that society becomes bloody or that there is a fixation upon blood. Instead, I suggest that this describes another paradigm shift, in which the ‘moon’ of Christendom takes on the appearance of the blood of personal harm and hurt. Notice that the whole moon becomes like blood. In other words, people are examining the various aspects of Christendom and coming to the conclusion that all of it is pervaded by the cognitive blood of personal self-denial. This does not mean that everyone is denying themselves all the time, but rather that this mindset colors the entire mood of medieval civilization.

This shift in thinking can be seen in the Renaissance. Wikipedia summarizes that “The intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that ‘man is the measure of all things.’ This new thinking became manifest in art, architecture, politics, science and literature.” Notice the focus upon being a human. The Renaissance attempted to study what it meant to be human. For instance, “Florentine painters led by Masaccio strove to portray the human form realistically, developing techniques to render perspective and light more naturally. Political philosophers, most famously Niccolò Machiavelli, sought to describe political life as it really was, that is to understand it rationally.” More generally, “The Renaissance could be viewed as an attempt by intellectuals to study and improve the secular and worldly, both through the revival of ideas from antiquity, and through novel approaches to thought.”

Putting this into the larger context, we saw earlier that Western Civilization replaced the Roman concept of virtus with the innocence and religious self-denial of the Lamb. The mindset of the Lamb is now coming to an end because only one seal remains. This final seal will be broken in 8:1 and will be followed by a new set of responses based in the proclamation of trumpets. A trumpet implies proclamation, which describes the way that religion will naturally respond within the context of the rational abstract thinking of science. Religious self-denial will still be present, but it will be seen as the servant of absolute truth.

Similarly, humanism did not return to the Roman version of virtus, because the focus on human development was now accompanied by scientific understanding. The Renaissance version describes what would have emerged if there had been a scientific revolution in Alexandria before the time of Christ.

Verse 13 continues, “And the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.” A star is a smaller light in the sky, and would represent the various luminaries within Teacher thought. If the stars of the sky fall, then this indicates that the established authorities of society are no longer being regarded as sources of light within Teacher thought. Instead, they are falling to the earth, which means that they are being brought down to the level of physical reality.

This new realistic treatment of the stars of society can be seen in the following quote from Wikipedia. “The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy describes the rationalism of ancient writings as having tremendous impact on Renaissance scholars: ‘Here, one felt no weight of the supernatural pressing on the human mind, demanding homage and allegiance. Humanity—with all its distinct capabilities, talents, worries, problems, possibilities—was the center of interest. It has been said that medieval thinkers philosophised on their knees, but, bolstered by the new studies, they dared to stand up and to rise to full stature.’” Notice how religious self-denial is being replaced by a focus upon humanity living within physical reality. Notice also that the ancient writers are still being studied, but they are now being studied as people living on Earth rather than as stars in the sky.

Verse 13 compares this to ‘a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind’. The fig tree is the first tree mentioned by name in the Bible. In Genesis 3:7 Adam and Eve sew fig leaves together in order to cover their nakedness. This implies that fig leaves represent an attempt to cover deep personal inadequacies. Figs, in contrast, would represent an adequate method of dealing with personal vulnerabilities. An unripe fig is mentioned once in the New Testament. The word drop actually means ‘to throw’ and would represent movement through the air of Teacher thought. Thus, a fig tree throwing its unripe figs would mean dealing intellectually with deep personal inadequacies in an incomplete manner. Shaken is the verb form of ‘earthquake’ used in verse 12. However, this shaking is coming from ‘a great wind’, and this is the first mention of wind in Revelation. Wind will be mentioned two more times in 7:1. The great wind is the new way of thinking in Teacher thought being espoused by the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution. What is happening cognitively is that a major shift in Teacher thought is causing people to examine deep emotional issues in an inadequate manner.

The Prince by Machiavelli provides an example of what this means. Wikipedia summarizes that “The types of political behavior which are discussed with apparent approval by Machiavelli in The Prince were regarded as shocking by contemporaries, and its immorality is still a subject of serious discussion… Some commentators justify his acceptance of immoral and criminal actions by leaders by arguing that he lived during a time of continuous political conflict and instability in Italy, and that his influence has increased the ‘pleasures, equality and freedom’ of many people, loosening the grip of medieval Catholicism’s ‘classical teleology’, which ‘disregarded not only the needs of individuals and the wants of the common man, but stifled innovation, enterprise, and enquiry into cause and effect relationships that now allow us to control nature’.” Notice how a rejection of the religious self-denial of Catholicism is leading to a theoretical discussion of deep personal issues in an amoral manner. Saying this more generally, the rational analysis of ancient writings tended to result in an inadequate analysis of fundamental emotional topics.

A Splitting Sky 6:14-17

Verse 14 describes a more general impact. “The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” The word split apart is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘to separate, part asunder’. And sky refers to the heaven of Teacher thought. Thus, verse 14 is saying that Teacher thought will become split into two different segments. This can be seen historically in the separation of scientific thought from scholasticism. Cognitively speaking, a division emerged between absolute truth and universal truth. Absolute truth acquires its Perceiver facts from sources that have emotional status. For instance, ‘This fact is true because Aristotle said that it was true’. Universal truth, in contrast, bases its Perceiver facts in connections that are repeated. For instance, the law of gravity is true because objects always fall to the ground when released. I should emphasize that both scholasticism and science use abstract technical thought to manipulate Perceiver facts, but these two differ in the method by which they acquire these Perceiver facts. This distinction was discussed earlier in the essay.

Wikipedia summarizes the method of scholasticism. “The scholasticists would choose a book by a renowned scholar, auctor (author), as a subject for investigation. By reading it thoroughly and critically, the disciples learned to appreciate the theories of the author. Other documents related to the book would be referenced, such as Church councils, papal letters and anything else written on the subject, be it ancient or contemporary. The points of disagreement and contention between multiple sources would be written down in individual sentences or snippets of text, known as sententiae.” Notice how the starting point is the absolute truth of some book written by an esteemed auctor, and how technical thought is being used to compare the absolute truth proclaimed by various authorities. This scholastic method is still used today by most theologians to analyze the Bible and theology. In contrast, these essays are using a Teacher understanding of how the mind works to analyze the words the Bible, and we are also using an understanding of how the mind works to explain the thinking of theologians as a cognitive progression.

I should add that the Perceiver person has a unique ability to use conscious thought to jump between absolute truth and universal truth. Therefore, a Perceiver person can make a gradual transition from absolute truth to universal truth. I have attempted to use this ability to redefine Christian theology from a cognitive perspective to the extent that it is possible to treat Christianity completely from the perspective of universal truth. And I should also point out that universal truth does not imply universal salvation. Universal truth means that the same Perceiver facts apply everywhere; universal salvation means that everyone goes to heaven. These are not the same. Absolute truth equates ‘truth’ with people. But facts are independent of people; that is one of the principles of universal truth.

Verse 14 compares this ‘to a scroll when it is rolled up’. The word scroll is the same word that was used several times at the beginning of chapter 5 to describe the book with the seven seals. Rolled up is used twice in the New Testament. Rolling up a scroll is the opposite of opening a scroll. A scroll is unrolled to read it, and it is rolled up to put it away. The idea is that the split in Teacher thought will be like rolling up a scroll so that it can no longer be read.

This describes a major outcome that resulted from the split between absolute truth and universal truth—between scholasticism and science. On the one hand, scholasticism ignored the empirical facts that were being gathered by scientific observation, because these facts were not backed up by sufficient personal authority. On the other hand, science ignored the statements being studied by scholasticism, because these statements were not backed up by empirical evidence. The end result was that the scroll of knowledge became rolled up for both of these viewpoints, because each lost access to the knowledge of the other. Verse 14 describes this as something that is happening: ‘being rolled up’. Thus, this splitting of the sky happens gradually as each method of gathering truth continues to develop. This rolling up of the scroll is not deliberate, which explains the use of the comparison word ‘like’. However, as science develops, it will continue to evaluate and automatically reject the facts of scholasticism as having insufficient basis in reality. Similarly, as scholasticism continues to function within science, it will increasingly reject the facts of science as having nothing to do with ‘real truth’. A similar distinction can be seen between today between fundamentalism and science.

Verse 14 continues, “and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” This is the first reference to a mountain in Revelation, and it is mentioned three times in this section. A mountain is a high point of land from which one can gain a big picture of the surroundings. This represents a pragmatic form of general Teacher theory. An island is a pocket of land in the middle of the sea. This would represent a fragment of Perceiver facts in the middle of the sea of Mercy experiences. Applying this to Western history, medieval thought was not irrational. There were many mountains of pragmatic understanding within academia as well islands of rational thought within the various guilds.

A place would refer to a certain location in Perceiver thought. Move means more precisely ‘to set in motion’. One could interpret this as the new scientific thought questioning existing factual knowledge, but it could also be interpreted as moving from thinking in terms of the static places of Perceiver thought to thinking in terms of the movement and sequences of Server thought. This transition from Perceiver facts to Server sequences was a major element of the Scientific Revolution. Aristotle’s system of elements taught that everything has a natural place to which it desires to return. For instance, smoke goes up because smoke is composed of the element air which ‘lives’ in the sky. Science, in contrast, analyzes natural processes and the movement of objects.

Verse 15 describes the personal response to this new way of thinking. “Then the kings of the earth and the eminent people, and the commanders and the wealthy and the strong, and every slave and free person hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains.” A king is a ruler over some domain, and earth applies to physical space and time. Eminent people means ‘the chief men’ and is derived from the word ‘great’, which is being interpreted as Teacher generality. These two terms both contain inherent contradictions. On the one hand, a king is a source of absolute truth. On the other hand, the physical earth is ruled by scientific law. Thus, a ‘king of the earth’ would find his authority being questioned, because ‘king’ and ‘earth’ would fall on opposite sides of the split emerging within the sky of Teacher thought. A similar situation would arise with ‘chief men’. On the one hand, such a person is being regarded as having great status in Mercy thought. On the other hand, the words of this person are regarded as having generality in Teacher thought. But a distinction between absolute truth and universal truth would reveal that Mercy feelings of personal status are not the same as Teacher emotions of generality; what an important person says does not automatically apply universally.

This realization then spreads to ‘the commanders and the wealthy and the strong’. A commander is ‘a commander of a thousand’. A commander brings Teacher order to the behavior of many people, but how does this relate to the Teacher order of the natural world? Rich means ‘wealthy’. A wealthy person has many objects in the physical world, but does this have anything to do with the personal status of this person in Mercy thought? And strong is used ‘originally and generally of physical strength’. What exactly is physical strength? Is it the ability to use force to impose absolute truth on others, or is it the ability to manipulate objects within physical reality?

This finally impacts ‘every slave and free person’. A slave is ‘someone who belongs to another’, while free means ‘not a slave’. This is actually a secondary distinction, because everyone is a slave of the laws of nature. Calling a person ‘free’ does not eliminate this slavery while making a person a slave does not override a person’s slavery to the laws of nature. I am not suggesting that slavery is irrelevant, but rather pointing out that slavery to people cannot override slavery to physical law. This would become apparent as people started to distinguish between absolute truth and universal truth.

Verse 15 continues by saying that these people “hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains.” Hide means ‘hide, conceal’, and in means ‘to or into’. In other words, people are trying to run away from these implications by entering some mental place. A cave is an opening within the rock. Cognitively speaking, it is a fragment of Teacher air encased within the rock of solid Perceiver facts. Continuing with this cognitive interpretation, people are responding to the implications of developing scientific thought by hiding personal identity within a fragment of Teacher thought surrounded by solid Perceiver facts.

For instance, one can see this kind of approach in the absolute truth of fundamentalism. The fundamentalist hides from the implications of scientific thought by surrounding personal identity with the solid facts of absolute truth. The fundamentalist then uses Teacher-driven technical thought to perform analysis within this environment of absolute truth. Saying this more clearly, the first step is to create walls of absolute truth: ‘The Bible contains all the truth that matters. All other truth is ultimately irrelevant.’ The second step is to construct Teacher theories within this environment: ‘The Bible needs to be studied carefully and regularly.’ Notice how Teacher thought has moved from the generality of a mountain to the intellectual refuge of some cave within the mountain.

The hiding happens ‘among the rocks of the mountains’. A rock is ‘a mass of connected rock’ as opposed to some small boulder. This word is used twice in Revelation, in this verse and in the next verse. Normally, Teacher thought would be attracted to the generality of a mountain. But the focus has now shifted from generality to stability, because people are looking for ‘masses of connected rock’ that can act as sources of truth for Perceiver thought.

Verse 16 describes the next stage. “And they said to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the sight of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.’” ‘Mountain’ and ‘rock’ are the same two words that were used in verse 15. Notice the inherent contradiction of talking to inanimate objects. I suggested earlier that Teacher thought is happening within the limited realm of some cave. Verse 16 clarifies that this Teacher thought involves words, because people are talking to the mountains and the rocks. One of the characteristics of absolute truth is that important people are making verbal statements and these words are being written down. Thus, absolute truth implicitly assumes that the words of experts have some bearing upon truth. But the law of gravity did not start to function when it was verbally described by Newton’s laws of nature.

Fall means to ‘fall, fall under, fall prostrate’. ‘Fall on us’ would mean coming into contact with personal identity. The basic premise of absolute truth is that the rocks of solid truth and the mountains of general theory are intimately connected with personal identity. Thus, it makes sense to try to ‘talk to the rocks’. The fundamental premise of science is that the rocks of solid truth and the mountains of general theory have nothing to do with personal identity, which means that talking to truth is pointless. Verse 16 describes the response of absolute truth to an onslaught of universal truth. Universal truth will point out that Perceiver facts are independent of personal identity in Mercy thought. Absolute truth will then respond by using words to attempt to reconnect facts with people. One can see this in the continual fundamentalist preaching and Bible teaching. The primary goal of this endless preaching is not to gain an understanding of the Bible, but rather to regain the sense of certainty that comes from having absolute truth fall upon personal identity. There is nothing wrong with studying the Bible in detail; we are doing precisely that in this essay. However, these essays are analyzing the Bible in order to gain a deeper understanding of universal cognitive principles. In other words, we are studying the Bible as a textbook of cognition rather than as a holy book of absolute truth.

Verse 16 points out that the purpose of having ‘the rocks fall on us’ is to ‘hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne’. Face was mentioned once previously in Revelation in 4:7 to describe one of the four living creatures. Face implies personal communication, both verbal and nonverbal. In verse 15, people were hiding themselves in the caves, indicating that they were heading towards something. In verse 16, the hiding is away from someone. What is happened cognitively is that the inanimate mountain has been replaced by a living person on a throne. Saying this more carefully, solid truth used to be seen as a support for absolute truth: ‘We have the source of truth in the Bible and our religious leaders and do not need to listen to anyone else’. But what happens when science becomes viewed as the source of solid truth? This method of running towards solid truth no longer works. Instead, the authority of scientific truth will be seen as a personal attack upon absolute truth, and the primary goal will be to hide from scientific truth by restoring the certainty of absolute truth.

This transition can be seen with evangelicals during the presidency of Donald Trump. Evangelicals used to talk about the content of biblical morality. But this content is now seldom discussed. Instead, the primary goal is to re-impose absolute truth upon American society through any means possible. Thus, evangelical Christians embraced a leader who is amoral and has no concept of truth. However, Trump has honed the skill of using his personal status to restore a sense of certainty within Perceiver thought.

The final phrase is ‘from the wrath of the Lamb’. As before, the direction is ‘away from’. Wrath indicates ‘settled anger’. A lamb is mentioned 29 times in Revelation and once in John 21 and this is the only reference to the Lamb behaving in an aggressive manner. Scientific research is like a lamb in the sense that scientists recognize that personal status stands in the way of discovering how the natural world functions. This is quite different than absolute truth, which proclaims itself by emphasizing its personal status. Scientific truth, in contrast, is discovered, and it is discovered and taught most clearly by those who do not allow their personal status to get in the way of truth. While the lamb of scientific thought avoids Mercy feelings of personal status, it is motivated by paradigms of understanding within Teacher thought. Settled anger is an expression of Teacher thought, which reacts emotionally to those who deliberately suppress Teacher understanding. In verse 16, science has developed to the point where it views scholasticism as an impediment to rational understanding that needs to be removed. A similar conclusion has been reached regarding evangelical Christians today, because the coronavirus has made it clear that the absolute truth of evangelical thought is an impediment to the study and application of science.

I should add that science today is no longer an innocent lamb, but rather is quite willing to use the personal status of academia to squelch dissenting voices. In contrast, early science during the Scientific Revolution was far more innocent and lamb-like, because the early scientists had no social status that they could impose. In addition, I am not suggesting that liberals who oppose today’s evangelicals are totally rational. The typical liberal may be rational when it comes to physical facts involving viruses, quarantines, and masks, but the same liberal tends to be irrational when dealing with moral truth and principles of moral cause-and-effect. Thus, while the relationship between scholasticism and science is similar to the relationship between fundamentalism and science today, the social context in which this interaction is happening today is vastly different than the social context that existed during Scientific Revolution.

Verse 17 concludes, “For the great day of Their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” A day literally means ‘the period from sunrise to sunset’, and this is being interpreted as a period of time during which society is lit by the ‘sun’ of some general Teacher theory. This day is described as great, which is being interpreted as Teacher generality. This describes the Scientific Revolution, a period of time during which society was lit by the Teacher ‘sun’ of scientific progress. More specifically, I suggest that this refers to the Enlightenment. A ‘day of wrath’ suggests a period of time during which scientific progress is gradually swallowing scholasticism. This happened historically, because scientific thought and scholasticism existed side-by-side for a number of years.

Wikipedia describes this growing tension between scholasticism and scientific thought. “There was considerable reluctance on the part of universities to relinquish the symmetry and comprehensiveness provided by the Aristotelian system, which was effective as a coherent system for understanding and interpreting the world… The creation of new scientific constructs during the scientific revolution, and the epistemological challenges that were inherent within this creation, initiated the idea of both the autonomy of science and the hierarchy of the disciplines. Instead of entering higher education to become a ‘general scholar’ immersed in becoming proficient in the entire curriculum, there emerged a type of scholar that put science first and viewed it as a vocation in itself. The divergence between those focused on science and those still entrenched in the idea of a general scholar exacerbated the epistemological tensions that were already beginning to emerge.”

The final phrase is literally ‘Who has the power to stand?’ A mindset of absolute truth views truth as something for which one stands: ‘The attacks of science upon the Bible are almost overwhelming, but I continue to stand for the absolute truth of the Word of God.’ I used to think that such a person would be overjoyed by my discoveries of the deep relationship between the content of the Bible and the thinking of science. But I have discovered that the fundamentalist will run away from mental symmetry. I have come to the conclusion that the fundamentalist is not actually defending the content of the Bible, but rather standing up for the mindset of absolute truth. Mental symmetry has now been used to analyze literally half of the words of the Greek New Testament as well as provide a comprehensive explanation for Christian doctrine. But this means nothing to the fundamentalist, because I am not ‘standing for truth’. I suspect that the early scientists came to a similar conclusion regarding the mindset of scholasticism, and eventually realized that dialogue was not possible.

An Interlude 7:1-3

Chapter 6 finished with a great shaking and a great wind. Chapter 7 begins with unusual calm. “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.” Earth refers to physical space and time. The physical Earth does not have four literal corners, but the cognitive realm of rational thought does have the four corners of Perceiver, Server, Teacher, and Mercy. Mental symmetry refers to these as the four simple styles and they provide the content for the mind. Science uses technical thought and technical thought is based upon the foundation of mental content provided by the four simple styles. Saying this more clearly, scientific thought functions within the experiences provided by Mercy thought, the facts determined by Perceiver thought, the sequences generated by Server thought, and the paradigms provided by Teacher thought. If scientific thought is to develop properly, then this foundation for scientific thought needs to remain stable for a period of time. This explains cognitively why the angels would hold back the winds.

This stability is reflected in the verb standing. Chapter 6 ended with the question ‘Who is able to stand?’ Chapter 7 opens with four angels standing. In the Greek these two uses of the verb ‘stand’ are separated by five words. Holding back means ‘to place under one’s grasp’. Thus, there is a standing and a grasping. ‘Earth’ is mentioned three times in this verse. The angels are standing on the corners of the earth, they are grasping the winds of the earth, and they are stopping the wind from blowing on the earth. This implies a conservative backlash to the rise of science, in which various societal groups are attempting to maintain their control over physical reality. This control extends to the sea of Mercy experiences, and to the trees of established knowledge. This interpretation of a tree is based upon several characteristics. A tree is alive and grows, but it is large and does not move. Similarly, a body of knowledge grows and develops over time from some root of knowledge. A tree acquires its energy from the sun through photosynthesis. Similarly, a body of knowledge is driven by the Teacher emotion of general understanding. More specifically, Matthew 13 talks about the birds of the air nesting in a tree, similar to various specializations that emerge within a body of knowledge.

This idea of developing scientific thought is brought out in verse 2. “And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, holding the seal of the living God.” A sun represents the light of a general Teacher understanding. The sun is rising, which means that the general understanding is just starting to emerge. This is the first time that ‘rising’ is used in Revelation, and the next time will be in 16:12. This is also the only reference to a rising sun in Revelation. This indicates an unusual development of Teacher understanding, which describes what happened during the Scientific Revolution. This theoretical growth is emphasized by the verb ascending, which is being interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. This is only the second use of this verb in Revelation. The first was in 4:1, where the author John was invited to ascend to heaven at the beginning of his vision.

Holding means ‘to have, hold’. The angel has a seal, which is the same word used to describe the seven seals of the scroll. The Lamb was opening the seals of the book, while in verse 3, the angel will seal people on their foreheads. Looking at this cognitively, a paradigm can either seal or unseal knowledge. That is because a paradigm provides the framework with which one interprets knowledge. Unlocking knowledge requires having the right paradigm. Going the other way, Thomas Kuhn’s analysis of paradigms makes it clear that a paradigm also acts as a seal that locks in knowledge. The angel in verse 2 has ‘a seal of a living God’ (‘the’ is not in the original Greek).

This phrase ‘seal of God’ occurs one other time in 9:4, which is also the last reference to a seal in Revelation. The beginning of chapter 9 appears to be describing the mindset of postmodernism, and postmodernism has deconstructed the thinking of the soft sciences, which do not possess the TMN of an integrated understanding, while leaving intact the hard sciences, which are organized around integrated theories. Thus, a seal of God would refer to the TMN of some paradigm that emotionally locks a person into a certain mindset. Revelation 14, in contrast, describes people having a name on their head, and a name is a label in Teacher thought that describes the character of a person. A seal is the TMN of some theory or paradigm that describes what I am studying. A name is the TMN of some theory or paradigm that also describes me as a person.

This angel with the seal interacts with the other angels, “and he called out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea.” Called out is ‘generally used of inarticulate cries’, and this verb was previously used in 6:10 by the persecuted souls. In both cases, Teacher thought is reacting at a deep emotional level. This same Greek phrase ‘cried out with a loud voice’ is found in 6:10, 7:2, 7:10, and twice in 10:3. In each case, it makes sense to interpret this as a deep emotional response from Teacher thought. (And this same interpretation probably applies to 14:15 and 19:17.) Thomas Kuhn said that the scientist who acquires a paradigm cannot return to the mental state of not having a paradigm. In other words, once a rational theory emerges and turns into a TMN, then this TMN will exert a strong emotional pressure to continue using this rational theory.

Verse 3 describes the gut response of the angel. “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.’” Harm comes from the word ‘unrighteousness’, and righteousness means Server actions that reflect Teacher understanding. Thus, the angel with the seal of a paradigm is telling the four angels not to disturb the existing way of life until the ‘seal’ of scientific thought has become sufficiently established. These followers are described as bond-servants, which means ‘slave’. A slave does not have an independent existence, but rather follows the orders of some master. Similarly, the TMN of a scientific theory turns the scientist into a slave of science, because the scientist is being driven by some TMN that does not describe his personal identity. If this TMN did describe personal identity, then the seal would be a name. However, these are slaves of God, indicating that they are being driven by TMNs of integrated understanding. And they are being sealed on their foreheads, which literally means ‘after the eye’. The eyes are used to build a mental map of the physical environment. Similarly, Perceiver thought builds a mental map of the environment. ‘After the eye’ would refer to how this mental map is interpreted, which describes what a paradigm does. A paradigm does not affect the facts but rather determines how these facts are interpreted.

Putting this together, the end of chapter 6 described knowledge splitting into the absolute truth of scholasticism and the universal truth of science. Both sides of the split have a reason to maintain the status quo. On the one hand, scholasticism is feeling threatened by the new thinking of science. Therefore, like the typical conservative, scholasticism is attempting to maintain mental stability by keeping the physical world fixed. This explains why the physical world was mentioned three times in verse 1. On the other hand, science is just starting to develop, and science finds it easiest to study the physical world when the physical world does not change. Thus, science also has a strong emotional reason to maintain the existing status quo.

This juxtaposition of scientific progress with the existing religious, political, and social status quo can be seen during the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment is usually dated as starting with Rene Descartes’ philosophy of ‘I think, therefore I am’ in 1637, and ending with the start of the French Revolution in 1789. Wikipedia adds that “The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on the sovereignty of reason and the evidence of the senses as the primary sources of knowledge and advanced ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, constitutional government and separation of church and state.” Notice the emphasis upon using rational thought based in physical evidence. Cognitively speaking, technical thought develops most easily when studying the physical world. That is because physical reality provides solid Perceiver facts and Server sequences that do not overwhelm the mind with excessive emotional pressure. Thus, technical thought can be used in an environment of solid Perceiver facts and repeatable Server sequences without being overwhelmed by emotions. Going further, using technical thought to study the natural world will lead to the development of general laws in Teacher thought.

Historically speaking, the growth of rational thought existed alongside the rule of absolute monarchs, who used a doctrine of the ‘divine right of kings’ to support their rule. Wikipedia relates that “In England the doctrine of the divine right of kings was developed to its most extreme logical conclusions during the political controversies of the 17th century.” Louis XIV, known as the Sun King, reigned over France from 1643-1715. Wikipedia summarizes that “His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. Louis XIV’s France was emblematic of the age of absolutism in Europe.”

Many absolute monarchs embraced scientific progress, leading to the juxtaposition known as enlightened absolutism. Wikipedia explains that “The difference between an absolutist and an enlightened absolutist is based on a broad analysis of the degree to which they embraced the Age of Enlightenment. Historians debate the actual implementation of enlightened absolutism. They distinguish between the ‘enlightenment’ of the ruler personally, versus that of his regime. For example, Frederick the Great was tutored in the ideas of the French Enlightenment in his youth, and maintained those ideas in his private life as an adult, but in many ways was unable or unwilling to effect enlightened reforms in practice.”

During the sixth seal, the sky of Teacher thought split into objective science and subjective authority. And in 6:15, the ‘kings of the earth and the eminent people’ hid in the caves and called on the rocks to fall on them. A doctrine of the divine right of kings could be interpreted as monarchs hiding within the caves of absolute truth, and calling upon the rocks of solid truth to fall upon them and protect them from growing scientific thought. This worked for a while. For instance, Louis XIV established an academy of science which supported full-time researchers and provided experimental equipment. The members of this Scientific Academy were given freedom to study scientific topics as long as they stayed away from politics and religion. In the long term, this juxtaposition was unstable and eventually blew up during the French Revolution, when the thinking of the Enlightenment caused existing social structure to be rejected as the ancien régime. But during the Enlightenment, the winds of change were held back, allowing science to develop.

There was also relative religious peace in Europe during this time after the Peace of Westphalia, signed in 1648. Wikipedia summarizes that this peace “ended the Thirty Years’' War and brought peace to the Holy Roman Empire, closing a calamitous period of European history that killed approximately eight million people.” This peace officially recognized that Europe was divided into Catholic and Protestant regions. This was an important settlement, and “Scholars of international relations have identified the Peace of Westphalia as the origin of principles crucial to modern international relations, including the inviolability of borders and non-interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states.” Using the language of Revelation 7, the Peace of Westphalia can be summarized as ‘the winds of change shall be prevented from blowing’.

Economic policy during this time was guided by Mercantilism. The general theory of Mercantilism is that each country should exploit its own resources, build up its own economy, employ its own workers, and avoid importing from other countries. This too can be seen as a version of improving the status quo. Adam Smith wrote his famous work on capitalism, entitled The Wealth of Nations, in 1776, near the end of the Enlightenment. And, speaking of 1776, this was when the United States rebelled from the British Empire, bringing an end to the status quo in North America.

In summary, one can definitely conclude that the winds of change were being held back in several dimensions during this time, as portrayed in 7:1. And one can also conclude that this gave scientific thought the opportunity to develop in many different areas, consistent with the request made by the angel in 7:3. In fact, one of the major products of the Enlightenment was an encyclopedia, published in France between 1751 and 1772. Wikipedia summarizes that “The Encyclopédie is most famous for representing the thought of the Enlightenment. According to Denis Diderot in the article ‘Encyclopédie’, the Encyclopédie’s aim was ‘to change the way people think’ and for people to be able to inform themselves and to know things… Diderot wanted to incorporate all of the world’s knowledge into the Encyclopédie and hoped that the text could disseminate all this information to the public and future generations… It was also the first encyclopedia to include contributions from many named contributors, and it was the first general encyclopedia to describe the mechanical arts.”

I should emphasize that preventing the winds from blowing does not mean the absence of war. Wars continued during this period, but the winds of change were prevented from overturning existing Teacher structure, as opposed to the Scientific Revolution, the Renaissance, and the Protestant Reformation, which had resulted in major winds of intellectual change.

The 144,000 7:4-8

The next section refers to 144,000. These are often equated with the 144,000 mentioned in 14:1-3, but I suggest that these are two different groups. However, there is a cognitive similarity between these two groups. More generally, I suggest that Revelation 4-22 describes a single connected sequence. This essay goes in detail as far as chapter 11, but essays have looked at the rest of the book in less detail.

The paradigm shift into scientific thought has just happened at the end of chapter 6. The 144,000 describe a new group of people who are following the technical thinking of incarnation in a new way that has not been done before. While the Lamb is not specifically mentioned until verse 9, this new group is emerging out of a process that is headed by the Lamb opening various seals. Similar elements can be seen in chapter 14. The 144,000 in chapter 14 are singing a new song that the others cannot sing, and they are following the Lamb around. Thus, I suggest that both groups are following Teacher thought in a new manner that is not been done before. This is shown by the fact that both groups are sealed on their foreheads. But the group in Chapter 7 has to be sealed by external forces, implying that they are following incarnation in an incomplete manner. In contrast, the group in chapter 14 has the name of God and incarnation written on their foreheads, suggesting that their service is more intelligent and also more internally driven.

Verse 4 describes the 144,000. “And I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.” Number is the source of the English word ‘arithmetic’. And numbers are a key characteristic of using technical thought to understand the physical world. One of the primary steps in attempting to understand some physical process involves reducing some physical attributes to numbers that can be inserted into various equations. ‘Sealing’ is being interpreted as being mentally guided by the TMN of some paradigm. Thus ‘hearing the number of those having been sealed’ gives the impression of using Teacher thought in a technical manner guided by various paradigms.

Israel is mentioned three times in the book of Revelation. One reference is in 2:14 in the letter to the church at Pergamum. The other two references both use the phrase ‘tribe of the sons of Israel’. In verse 4, people are sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel. In 21:12, the names of the tribes of the sons of Israel are written on the gates to the Holy City, while in 21:14 the names of the 12 apostles are written on the 12 foundation stones of the city. This provides a possible cognitive interpretation of the reference to Israel. Christianity focuses upon belief within Perceiver thought, and Perceiver thought constructs mental walls that separate one set of Mercy experiences from another. Judaism, in contrast, thinks in terms of Server actions, and the Hebrew word for law is halacha, which means ‘going’ or ‘walking’. A gate provides a Server path that makes it possible to move from one side of a Perceiver wall to the other. For instance, I suggested earlier that the book of Revelation describes a single connected sequence of events. This is not a normal Christian interpretation because Christians think in terms of Perceiver truth rather than Server sequences.

Contributor combines Perceiver and Server. A concept of incarnation is based upon Contributor-controlled technical thought, which means that incarnation requires a combination of Perceiver facts and Server sequences. These two come together in the walls and gates of the Holy City. Verse 4 talks about the sons of Israel, which implies a focus upon the Server sequences of Jewish thought, rather than the Perceiver facts of Christian belief. One of the primary characteristics of scientific thought is a focus upon the Server sequences of natural process. Science is also taught through Server sequence by the use of exemplars, a concept described by Thomas Kuhn. In brief, one learns about science not by learning facts but rather by doing science and by following the steps of solving characteristic scientific problems—known as exemplars.

In a sense, this reference to the sons of Israel looks back to a transition that should have occurred with the sons of Israel before the time of Christ. I mentioned earlier that my hypothesis is that God’s primary plan was for the Jews and Greeks to discover science in Alexandria before the time of Christ. This almost happened, but did not. Thus, I suggest that this section on sealing the sons of Israel describes an establishing of scientific thought that should have happened with the real sons of Israel, but did not. What happened historically is that the Jews ignored their history of being guided by God and became blinded by a combination of nationalism and mysticism. And, lest I be accused of promoting some form of anti-Semitism, I should add that American Christendom has fallen into a similar cognitive trap.

Verses 5-8 list 12 tribes of Israel (Dan, which means ‘judging’, is missing from this list and is replaced by one of the sons of Joseph.) When one is dealing with Server sequences, then order is important. Thus, I suggest that the order of these names forms a cognitive sequence. This is not so much a sequence of one form of thought replacing another, but rather of one form of thought emerging, becoming sealed by the development of paradigms, and then being followed by a further form of thought, which itself becomes sealed through the development of paradigms. Each of these names is preceded by from, which means ‘from out of’. Thus, not everyone from each tribe is being sealed, but rather a sufficient number to ensure the continuation of this mindset.

Looking at this list in more detail, Judah means ‘praised’. This could be interpreted as the first scientists viewing their work as praising established academic authorities. Wikipedia relates that “many of the important figures of the Scientific Revolution shared in the general Renaissance respect for ancient learning and cited ancient pedigrees for their innovations. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543), Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), and Isaac Newton (1642–1727) all traced different ancient and medieval ancestries for the heliocentric system.”

This praise could also be interpreted as a focus upon the Teacher emotions that are produced by general Teacher theories. Wikipedia describes this as the beginning of modern philosophy and says that this “period is usually taken to start in the seventeenth century with the work of René Descartes, who set much of the agenda as well as much of the methodology for those who came after him. The period is typified in Europe by the great system-builders — philosophers who present unified systems of epistemology, metaphysics, logic and ethics, and often politics and the physical sciences too.”

The next name is Reuben, which means ‘behold a son!’ Looking at this cognitively, female thought emphasizes mental networks, while male thought emphasizes technical thought. This natural predilection is modified by cognitive style, but is backed up by solid psychological research. Thus, ‘behold a son’ would be interpreted as the discovery of technical thought. The exclamation of ‘behold’ gives the impression that this is an unexpected transition. That is because Teacher thought will naturally use overgeneralization to make sweeping statements that lead away from the precise details of technical thought. In contrast, science leads to Teacher theories that act as paradigms for technical thought, theories that can be explored and developed by using technical thought to solve technical puzzles.

Historically, the initial focus upon building general theories in Teacher thought was followed by an emphasis upon technical details. This was epitomized by Robert Boyle, who lived from 1627-1691 and is regarded as the father of modern chemistry. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains that Boyle “was an experimental philosopher, unwilling to construct abstract theories to which his experimental results had to conform… Boyle, a champion of both the corpuscularian doctrine and the Baconian method of natural history, preferred to report the results of his experiments, including negative results, and frequently lamented the fact that we lacked ‘histories’ (collections of experimental results and accurate observations) in various fields of scientific endeavour.”

The third name is Gad, which means ‘fortune’ and is the name of a Babylonian deity. We will see later that Babylon represents a mindset that combines rational thinking in the objective with idolatry and mysticism in the subjective. This juxtaposition is portrayed in detail in the description of Babylon in Revelation 17-18. The name of ‘Gad’ may refer to the development of alchemy. Modern chemistry did not exist before the Scientific Revolution. What existed instead was alchemy, which was an admixture of chemistry and mystical thinking. The goal of alchemy was to seek personal fortune, both spiritually and economically. Robert Boyle was an alchemist, but his careful research into chemistry helped to separate alchemy from chemistry. Wikipedia explains that “Robert Boyle was an alchemist; and believing the transmutation of metals to be a possibility, he carried out experiments in the hope of achieving it.” However, “His first book on the subject was The Sceptical Chymist, published in 1661, in which he criticised the ‘experiments whereby vulgar Spagyrists are wont to endeavour to evince their Salt, Sulphur and Mercury to be the true Principles of Things.’ For him chemistry was the science of the composition of substances, not merely an adjunct to the arts of the alchemist or the physician.” And while chemistry eventually replaced alchemy, alchemy actually reached its peak in the 18th century.

The fourth name is Asher, which means ‘happy one’. This suggests that a more pure version of Teacher pleasure is emerging. Notice the cognitive progression. First, there are overgeneralized Teacher theories based upon inadequate information. This is followed by an emphasis on technical details at the expense of general understanding. This focus upon technical details leads to a distinction between rigorous thought and semi-rational thought. The fourth stage is the discovery that focusing upon technical details can also lead to the joy of Teacher understanding.

For instance, the first journal in the world exclusively devoted to science was the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, which published its first issue in 1665. Wikipedia explains that this was not a trivial step, because “At the time of Philosophical Transactions’ foundation, print was heavily regulated, and there was no such thing as a free press… Oldenburg’s compulsive letter writing to foreign correspondents led to him being suspected of being a spy for the Dutch and interned in the Tower of London in 1667.”

The fifth name is Naphtali, which means ‘to twist’. This twisting can be seen in the development of deism. Wikipedia explains that “During the Age of Enlightenment, especially in Britain and France, philosophers began to reject revelation as a source of knowledge and to appeal only to truths that they felt could be established by reason alone. Such philosophers were called ‘deists’ and the philosophical position that they advocated is called ‘deism’.” Science uses careful observation to come up with a rational understanding of the natural world. This mindset is becoming twisted, because rational thought is being redefined as using science to come up with a rational understanding of the natural world. Saying this more clearly, ‘I am using rational thought to analyze the physical world’ is being twisted into ‘only using rational thought to analyze the physical world is rational’. (In contrast, mental symmetry uses rational thought, but it bases this rational thinking in the structure of the mind and does not limit this rational thinking to physical reality.)

The sixth name is Manasseh, which means ‘causing to forget’. This forgetting can be seen in the idea of the clockwork universe. Wikipedia explains that “This idea was very popular among deists during the Enlightenment, when Isaac Newton derived his laws of motion, and showed that alongside the law of universal gravitation, they could predict the behaviour of both terrestrial objects and the solar system.” For instance, Samuel Clark, an English philosopher and cleric who lived 1675-1729, wrote that “The Notion of the World’s being a great Machine, going on without the Interposition of God, as a Clock continues to go without the Assistance of a Clockmaker; is the Notion of Materialism and Fate, and tends, (under pretence of making God a Supra-mundane Intelligence,) to exclude Providence and God’s Government in reality out of the World.” Notice how an Anglican cleric is telling people to forget about God.

The seventh name is Simeon, which means ‘to hear’. ‘Hearing’ is evident in the popularization of science through the spoken and written word. Wikipedia relates that “As the 18th century progressed, the content of encyclopedias also changed according to readers’ tastes. Volumes tended to focus more strongly on secular affairs, particularly science and technology, rather than matters of theology.” Notice how the ‘forgetting’ of deism is spreading to the general population. More generally, “One of the most important developments that the Enlightenment era brought to the discipline of science was its popularization. An increasingly literate population seeking knowledge and education in both the arts and the sciences drove the expansion of print culture and the dissemination of scientific learning.”

Much of this scientific education started in coffeehouses. For instance, “The chemist Peter Staehl provided chemistry lessons at Tilliard’s coffeehouse in the early 1660s. As coffeehouses developed in London, customers heard lectures on scientific subjects, such as astronomy and mathematics, for an exceedingly low price. Notable Coffeehouse enthusiasts included John Aubrey, Robert Hooke, James Brydges, and Samuel Pepys.” These coffeehouse discussions were eventually replaced by public demonstration lectures that reached larger audiences.

The eighth name is Levi, and the Levites were the official priests of Israel. This transition into official priesthood was reflected in the rise of official scientific academies. Wikipedia explains that “As the role of universities in institutionalized science began to diminish, learned societies became the cornerstone of organized science. After 1700 a tremendous number of official academies and societies were founded in Europe and by 1789 there were over seventy official scientific societies. In reference to this growth, Bernard de Fontenelle coined the term ‘the Age of Academies’ to describe the 18th century.”

The ninth name is Issachar, which means ‘there is recompense’. Once a movement acquires official status, then money and other forms of recompense usually follow. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Official scientific societies were chartered by the state in order to provide technical expertise. This advisory capacity offered scientific societies the most direct contact between the scientific community and government bodies available during the Enlightenment. State sponsorship was beneficial to the societies as it brought finance and recognition, along with a measure of freedom in management. Most societies were granted permission to oversee their own publications, control the election of new members, and the administration of the society.”

The tenth name is Zebulun, which means ‘to dwell’. The idea is that science has now found a home for itself. It started as an outsider, forced to give free lectures in coffeehouses. It now had an official home, which developed alongside existing universities. Wikipedia explains, “While the number of universities did not dramatically increase during the Enlightenment, new private and public institutions added to the provision of education. Most of the new institutions emphasized mathematics as a discipline, making them popular with professions that required some working knowledge of mathematics, such as merchants, military and naval officers, and engineers. Universities, on the other hand, maintained their emphasis on the classics, Greek, and Latin, encouraging the popularity of the new institutions with individuals who had not been formally educated.”

The eleventh name is Joseph, which means ‘he increases’. This increase is illustrated physically by the expansion and interconnection of scientific societies. “Society activities included research, experimentation, sponsoring essay prize contests, and collaborative projects between societies. A dialogue of formal communication also developed between societies and society in general through the publication of scientific journals. Periodicals offered society members the opportunity to publish, and for their ideas to be consumed by other scientific societies and the literate public.”

The final name is Benjamin, which means ‘son of the right hand’. ‘Hands’ represent the detailed manipulations of technical thought. The right hand is controlled by the left hemisphere, which deals with Server sequences and Teacher words. ‘Son of the right hand’ suggests that the mathematical manipulations of science have reached the level of Teacher generality. This type of mathematically sophisticated, abstract science emerged in France at the end of the Enlightenment, just before and during the French Revolution. Copying the relevant paragraph from the essay on Matthew, a number of well-known French scientists worked during this period, including Laplace, who “is remembered as one of the greatest scientists of all times”, Legendre, who came up with the Legendre transformation, Lagrange, who developed Lagrangian mechanics, Fourier, who came up with the Fourier transform, Poisson, who is known for the Poisson distribution in probability theory, Navier, who is known for the Navier-Stokes equations, Cauchy, who invented complex analysis, Carnot, who developed engineering theory, Fresnel, who did work on light diffraction and polarization, Ampere, who studied electromagnetism, and others that I have probably overlooked. (Lavoisier, “the father of modern chemistry” was guillotined in the revolution as part of the ancien régime.) These French scientists corporately invented modern mathematical science.

Once science reached this level of theoretical technicality, then the winds of change started to howl, as demonstrated by the fall of the ancien régime in the French Revolution. This was followed by France conquering most of Europe, which spread the new thinking to other countries.

Wikipedia explains how the Enlightenment laid the foundation for the French Revolution. “Under Louis XIV, the Court at Versailles was the centre of culture, fashion and political power. Improvements in education and literacy over the course of the 18th century meant larger audiences for newspapers and journals, with Masonic lodges, coffee houses and reading clubs providing areas where people could debate and discuss ideas. The emergence of this so-called ‘public sphere’ led to Paris replacing Versailles as the cultural and intellectual centre, leaving the Court isolated and less able to influence opinion.”

A Multitude 7:9-10

Verse 9 describes a large group of people: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all the tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” After indicates that this the group appears after the progression of the previous section. The word multitude refers to ‘a crowd’. This indicates a non-structured collection of people. Great means ‘much in number’. Count means ‘to number’. This verb is found three times in the New Testament. The other two times are in Matthew 10 and Luke 12, which say that ‘the hairs of your head are all numbered’. (This phrase in Matthew 10 describes an unusual juxtaposition of intuition and technical thought that was prominent in proto-Protestant thinking.) Using technical thought will naturally lead to quantification or numbering.

Verse 9 says more literally that ‘nothing at all had the power to quantify the crowd’. The cognitive principle is that the numbers of technical thought can only be used within some limited specialization. Thus, using only technical thought will lead to many distinct specializations each with their own system of quantification. However, any attempt to use technical thought to quantify the entire group will fail. Instead, the use of technical thought will lead to a great number of specializations. And instead of bringing the crowd together, the numbering of technical thought will clarify the distinctions between the various groups.

From is more literally ‘from out of’, and every ‘focuses on the parts making up the whole—viewing the whole in terms of the individual parts’. Thus, every context will experience its own version of technical thought coming out from normal thought. Nation means ‘forming a custom, culture’ which would refer to people joined by common MMNs of culture. Tribe means ‘descendants of a common ancestor’. This describes people joined by similar sources of absolute truth based in historical MMNs of authority. Peoples is ‘the root of the English term laity’, which conveys the idea of being guided by a similar set of technical experts. And language refers to people joined by similar language in Teacher thought. In other words, the technical specialization will happen to many kinds of groups both within concrete and abstract thought, and either with some accepted body of knowledge or with social interaction, including MMNs of culture, MMNs of absolute truth, TMNs of common knowledge, and TMNs of common language. For instance, one can become a professional artist or musician, one can become a professional theologian, one can become licensed in some skill, or professionally accredited in some field of knowledge. In each case, technical thought is being applied to some kind of underlying mental network.

The cognitive principle is that Contributor-controlled technical thought is ‘next door’ to the mental content provided by Perceiver and Server thought. Thus, technical thought can be applied to any kind of mental content, as long as this content has sufficient stability. For instance, this principle can be seen in economics, an example of concrete technical thought. The type of government that rules some country is of secondary importance to business. Instead, government stability is of primary importance, regardless of the kind of government that is in charge.

Revelation 6:17 pointed out that no one was able to stand during the ‘wrath of the lamb’. In verse 9, this vast multitude is able to stand ‘before the throne and before the Lamb’. This indicates a confidence that is able to function within the ‘throne’ of Teacher generality as well as the ‘lamb’ of technical thought.

Applying this to Western history, the success of scientific thought led to a new society based in technical specializations. This subdividing of human existence into technical specializations began with the Industrial Revolution and has been continuing to spread since then.

Verse 9 says that this group was “clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.” Clothed means ‘to throw around’, and throwing implies moving through the air of Teacher thought. A robe is ‘a long, flowing robe worn by the elite’. This word was first used in Revelation in 6:11, where the saints were given a white robe and told to wait a little longer. Clothing represents the fabric of social interaction. ‘Clothed in robes’ implies that social interaction guided by Teacher thought is being given societal prominence. This describes people giving respect to academia. White means ‘white, bright, brilliant’, which implies the light of Teacher understanding. Thus, academia is being given social prominence because it is generating the light of Teacher understanding.

The implication is that what the Protestants were doing in 6:11 was insufficient, but rather had to wait for the development of scientific thought. One of the byproducts of the new society that emerged after the French Revolution was freedom of religion. Wikipedia explains why Enlightenment thinkers preferred freedom of religion. “The French philosopher Voltaire noted in his book on English society, Letters on the English, that freedom of religion in a diverse society was deeply important to maintaining peace in that country… Adam Smith, in his book The Wealth of Nations... states that in the long run it is in the best interests of society as a whole and the civil magistrate (government) in particular to allow people to freely choose their own religion, as it helps prevent civil unrest and reduces intolerance.” In addition, the powers that had driven religious persecution were overthrown in the winds of societal change that accompanied the French Revolution.

Palm branches are mentioned one other time in the New Testament in John 12 during the Triumphal March. Historically speaking, palm branches were waved as a sign of victory. Hands represent ‘the instrument a person uses to accomplish their purpose’. Cognitively speaking, hands are used to perform detailed manipulations, which are an expression of technical thought. Putting this together, technical specializations are using technical thought to bring victory to many fields. Wikipedia describes the technical victories that were achieved during the 19th century Victorian Era. “Technologically, this era saw a staggering amount of innovations that proved key to Britain's power and prosperity. Doctors started moving away from tradition and mysticism towards a science-based approach; modern medicine saw the light of day thanks to the adoption of the germ theory of disease and pioneering research in epidemiology. Multiple studies suggest that on the per-capita basis, the numbers of significant innovations in science and technology and of scientific geniuses peaked during the Victorian era and have been on the decline ever since.”

Verse 10 describes the words of this group. “And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” Cry out refers to ‘inarticulate shouts that expressed deep emotion’. Voice means ‘voice, sound’. Loud actually means ‘great’ and refers to Teacher generality. And saying refers to actual speech. Thus, there is a progression that starts with some emotional need, moves to Teacher generality, and then ends up with intelligent speech. In other words, technical thought does not start with technical thought. Instead, it is a way of intelligently responding to emotional needs guided by Teacher understanding. Notice that the starting point is in Mercy thought. That is because humans grow up in physical bodies that generate feelings of pain and pleasure, which causes MMNs to form within Mercy thought. This is an inadequate starting point, which explains why Teacher-driven technical thought is needed.

Looking at the words being said, this is the first use of the word salvation in Revelation. Until now, people have been bowing before the throne in an attitude of religious self-denial. Concrete technical thought replaces this with the idea of personal salvation. ‘Our God’ also conveys the impression that people are interacting personally with God, and not just suppressing personal identity in the presence of God. ‘Salvation to our God’ also indicates that the idea of personal salvation is affecting people’s concept of God. In 6:16 people were fleeing ‘from the presence of him who sits on the throne’. Here, the concept of ‘the throne of God’ is being seen as a source of salvation rather than a source of terror. In 6:16, the lamb was a source of wrath, indicating that technical thought was attacking the existing mindset. Here, a new concept of abstract technical thought has emerged.

Revitalized Worship 7:11-12

Verse 11 describes the initial religious response, which is to revitalize worship. “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.” In 5:6 the Lamb was standing before the throne, and in 7:9 the multitude was standing before the throne. Verse 11 is the first time in Revelation that the angels are standing around the throne. Angel means ‘messenger’, which refers to the realm of abstract thought with its verbal messages. Around comes from the word ‘circle’ and is used three times in Revelation. In 4:6 the four living creatures were around the throne, and in 5:11 the voice of many angels was around the throne. In verse 11, many angels are standing around the throne. Thus, initially only fundamental concepts could stand before the throne of Teacher thought. Then verbal theories could stand before the throne. Finally, messengers embodying messages can stand before the throne. This progression is a sign of developing academic thought, which was just described in the ‘sealing of the 12 tribes of Israel’.

An elder is ‘a mature man having seasoned judgment’. This would refer to mental networks of long-term experience. A living creature is literally ‘something alive’, and the mind uses mental networks to represent living beings. The angels are standing. In contrast, the elders and living creatures bow down and worship. This implies a split between objective and subjective. Independent technical thought is standing in the objective, while the subjective is still being ruled by mental networks of worship to God. In fact, the technical understanding is reinforcing feelings of worship. Understanding the laws of God is causing people to feel more inadequate in the presence of God.

This revitalization of worship can be seen in the religious revivalism of the era. For instance, “The Second Great Awakening, which spread religion through revivals and emotional preaching, sparked a number of reform movements… The outpouring of religious fervor and revival began in Kentucky and Tennessee in the 1790s and early 1800s among the Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists. The awakening brought comfort in the face of uncertainty as a result of the socio-political changes in America.” More generally, “The Second and Third Awakenings were part of a much larger Romantic religious movement that was sweeping across England, Scotland, and Germany.” And Liberal Christianity, which began in Germany, attempted to straddle this mental split between scientific skepticism and religious fervor. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Beginning in Germany, liberal theology was influenced by several strands of thought, including the Enlightenment’s high view of human reason and Pietism’s emphasis on religious experience and interdenominational tolerance.”

Verse 12 describes the content of this worship: “Saying, ‘Amen, blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen.’” Amen means ‘so let it be’. In 5:14 the four living creatures were saying ‘amen’ to the statement that the Lamb is worthy, indicating a fundamental focus upon technical thought. Here, specific traits are being attributed to God in Teacher thought. This is different than 4:4, where the living creatures were endlessly ascribing universality to God within an attitude of Teacher overgeneralization. In verse 12, specific traits are being ascribed to God. This may sound like a trivial distinction, but it is religiously taboo to ascribe any specific traits to an overgeneralized concept of God.

Two groups of people are being described in verses 9-12. In verses 9-10, a great multitude from every nation is saying that salvation belongs to God and to the Lamb. This describes the Industrial Revolution, which is using the technical thinking of incarnation to bring salvation to people. (The early Industrial Revolution did not bring salvation to everyone and was not guided by general understanding, but this was followed by a later Industrial Revolution that did bring major benefits to many more individuals and was guided significantly by the Teacher understanding of science.)

The praise in verses 11-12 is not coming from this great multitude out of every nation, but rather from the angels, elders, and living creatures. This describes the response that is happening in the subjective realm of religion and morality. The next paragraphs will provide an overview of the positive impact of this revitalized worship. We will examine the negative problems later on when looking at the first trumpet.

Look at these traits, Blessing combines ‘good’ with ‘logos’. This is the last of three times that this word is used in Revelation. It was used twice in 5:12-13 to talk about God and the Lamb. ‘Logos’ is being interpreted as the paradigm or Teacher theory that lies behind some technical specialization, guided by John 1:1 which refers to incarnation as the logos of God. ‘Speaking good about logos’ implies a focus upon the Teacher theories that lie behind technical specializations. One might think that all technical thought would speak well of paradigms, but that is not the case. Instead, as Thomas Kuhn pointed out, most scientists perform technical thought within some specialization while assuming the paradigms that lie behind the specialization. Thus, blessing would refer to an early stage of technical thought in which paradigms were still being developed. Notice that this developing of paradigms is happening in the subjective realm of worship.

Wikipedia describes the intelligent moralizing that happened during the Victorian Era. “The central feature of Victorian-era politics is the search for reform and improvement, including both the individual personality and society… Starting with the anti-slavery movement of the 1790s, the evangelical moralizers developed highly effective techniques of enhancing the moral sensibilities of all family members and reaching the public at large through intense, very well organized agitation and propaganda. They focused on exciting a personal revulsion against social evils and personal misbehavior.” Notice that this moralizing is happening at the level of paradigms, and the adoption of new paradigms is causing the government to pass new rules of technical thought.

Glory means ‘what evokes good opinion, i.e. that something has inherent, intrinsic worth’. The idea is that internal value is expressing itself externally in some form. A God of overgeneralization is incapable of glory, because overgeneralization has no connection with reality. In contrast, technical thought is capable of expressing the Teacher order of God through the content of reality. The Victorian era was a time of glory, not just technologically, but also morally. Wikipedia summarizes that “There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodists, and the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England.”

Notice also the progression from chapter 4. In 4:8 the living creatures were practicing endless mystical worship, while the elders responded with worship whenever the living creatures inadvertently referred to physical reality. In verse 12, the elders and the living creatures are united in worshiping God by referring to attributes of God.

Wisdom actually means ‘clarity’. Wisdom was first mentioned in Revelation 5:12, where the Lamb was described as worthy of receiving wisdom. Looking at this cognitively, technical thought brings clarity, because abstract technical thought is built upon a foundation of precise definitions. This clarity can also be seen in the moralizing of the Victorian Era. Wikipedia explains that the philosophical utilitarians “were not moralistic but scientific. Their movement, often called ‘Philosophic Radicalism,’ fashioned a formula for promoting the goal of ‘progress’ using scientific rationality, and businesslike efficiency, to identify, measure, and discover solutions to social problems. The formula was an inquiry, legislation, execution, inspection, and report. In public affairs, their leading exponent was Edwin Chadwick (1800–1890). Evangelicals and utilitarians shared a basic middle-class ethic of responsibility and formed a political alliance. The result was an irresistible force for reform.”

Thanksgiving is the word ‘eucharist’ which means ‘the giving of thanks for God’s grace’. It is mentioned twice in Revelation, in 4:9 where the living creatures gave thanks to God, and here in verse 12. In contrast, much of the rest of Revelation seems to be characterized either by people being mad at God or God being mad at people. This again implies a honeymoon period during the initial development of technical thought when general Teacher theories were still appreciated. This thanksgiving can be seen in the change in attitude regarding God and morality that happened within Victorian society. Wikipedia summarizes that “Victorian morality was a surprising new reality. The changes in moral standards and actual behaviour across the British were profound. Historian Harold Perkin wrote: Between 1780 and 1850 the English ceased to be one of the most aggressive, brutal, rowdy, outspoken, riotous, cruel and bloodthirsty nations in the world and became one of the most inhibited, polite, orderly, tender-minded, prudish and hypocritical… Among the higher social classes, there was a marked decline in gambling, horse races, and obscene theatres; there was much less heavy gambling or patronage of upscale houses of prostitution. The highly visible debauchery characteristic of aristocratic England in the early 19th century simply disappeared. Historians agree that the middle classes not only professed high personal moral standards, but actually followed them.” Summarizing, Victorian morality may have been incomplete, hypocritical, and based in absolute truth, but there was a genuine shift in attitude. Moral truth from the Bible was viewed as something for which one could be thankful.

Honor means ‘perceived value, worth’. This is the second last time that this word is used in Revelation, and it occurs once more in 21:26 where the nations bring their glory and honor into the Holy City. This focus upon honor can be seen in the Victorian Era. This period was characterized by “the rapid rise of the middle class, in large part displacing the complete control long exercised by the aristocracy. Respectability was their code—a businessman had to be trusted and must avoid reckless gambling and heavy drinking.” These feelings of honor emphasized the subjective realm of female thought. Wikipedia explains that “The long 1854 poem The Angel in the House by Coventry Patmore (1823–1896) exemplified the idealized Victorian woman who is angelically pure and devoted to her family and home. The poem was not a pure invention but reflected the emerging legal economic social, cultural, religious and moral values of the Victorian middle-class… Literary critics of the time suggested that superior feminine qualities of delicacy, sensitivity, sympathy, and sharp observation gave women novelists a superior insight into stories about home family and love.”

Power is common in Revelation and describes Perceiver thought as an active agent. For instance, a power tool takes normal movement and amplifies it using machines. Morality in the Victorian era had political power and used this power to pass many legislative reforms. These “Social reforms focused on ending slavery, removing the slavery-like burdens on women and children, and reforming the police to prevent crime, rather than emphasizing the very harsh punishment of criminals. Even more important were political reforms, especially the lifting of disabilities on nonconformists and Roman Catholics, and above all, the reform of Parliament and elections to introduce democracy and replace the old system whereby senior aristocrats controlled dozens of seats in parliament.” Notice that these reforms are being enforced through the power of government legislation.

The final word might refers to the strength of Server actions. This can be seen in the interweaving of Western colonialism and missionary activity that happened during the Victorian era, because Christianity became associated with the might of Western power. Wikipedia attempts to analyze this relationship. “According to Heather Sharkey, the real impact of the activities of the missionaries is still a topic open to debate in academia today. Sharkey asserted that ‘the missionaries played manifold roles in colonial Africa and stimulated forms of cultural, political and religious change.’ ‘Historians still debate the nature of their impact and question their relation to the system of European colonialism in the continent.’ She noted that the missionaries did great good in Africa, providing crucial social services such as modern education and health care that would have otherwise not been available.”

Looking at this list in verse 12 as a sequence, technical thinking starts with some paradigm. Technical thinking then ‘glorifies’ this paradigm by adding content. This content adds precision and clarity. The attention then turns from the paradigm in Teacher thought to the benefits of this paradigm in technical thought. This is followed by the honor of using technical thought in a manner that expresses understanding, precision, and technical excellence. This is followed by a focus upon the objective use of technical thought through power and might. Notice how worship and religion are being implicitly shaped by the development of technical thought.

A Paradigm Shift 7:13-17

This leads in verse 13 to a paradigm shift in one of the elders. “Then one of the elders responded, saying to me, ‘These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?’” Notice that this question is being asked about the great multitude, and not about the angels doing the worship. Thus, this paradigm shift involves a new way of viewing the technical specializations of the multitude.

The word respond means ‘to answer’. This is a common word, but only used once in Revelation. A response from one of the elders implies a change in accepted tradition. In other words, technical thought becomes an accepted part of the established norms of society. However, this response is only from one of the elders, which suggests that only some of the standards of society have shifted. In other words, academia becomes accepted as one of the aspects of society, but does not change all of society.

The paradigm shift starts with a question that focuses upon being ‘clothed in the white robes’. What is being recognized is not academic thought itself, but rather academia—the social interaction of established experts occurring in a manner that is characterized by the light of Teacher understanding. Who is a generic question pronoun that means ‘who? which? what?’ And from where is also a generic question. The implication is that this new form of technical thinking is not expected, but rather seen as something totally new and different.

John answers the elder in verse 14: “I said to him, ‘My Lord, you know.’” The answer coming from John implies that human concrete existence is driving the paradigm shift. The reference to ‘lord’ indicates that this paradigm shift does not involve rebellion from authority. And the word know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’. This is the first use of this version of ‘know’ in Revelation. (It occurs next in 12:12, where the dragon knows that he has a short opportunity.) This describes empirical evidence, in which the ‘seeing’ of physical evidence becomes ‘knowing’. Thus, the paradigm shift is driven by physical change. Technical thought is changing the physical world, and this is leading to a new form of thinking. This also explains why the answer comes from John. John the human living in physical reality is telling the elder in heaven to base knowledge upon physical evidence.

This is followed by an extended statement from the elder. “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.” The word tribulation does not mean persecution or suffering. Instead, it means ‘internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined’ and this is the only time that this word is used in Revelation 4-22. This is also the only time in the New Testament that the term ‘great tribulation’ occurs with the definite article: ‘the tribulation the great’. Thus, the doctrine of ‘The Great Tribulation’ with its global suffering is ultimately based upon a mistranslation of a term that occurs in a single verse. The Great Tribulation is discussed further in Matthew 24. (And it appears that Revelation 11 is describing the same time period.)

The verb coming is in the present participle, which indicates an ongoing process. One of the primary characteristics of technical thought is that it mentally squeezes a person into some specialization. Therefore, if technical thought became the dominant form of thinking backed up by empirical evidence, then this would lead to an era that could be referred to as the Great Tribulation, because everyone would be squeezed into technical specializations. Before this time, technical thought did not have such dominance. And several scriptural sequences indicate that after this time, technical thought will be extended to include mental networks. (I refer to this future extension of technical thought as ‘spiritual technology’.) Historically speaking, this paradigm shift into the great tribulation happened during the Industrial Revolution. This is when cottage workers became squeezed into slums, squeezed into factories, and squeezed into performing limited repetitive actions within these factories.

The ultimate squeezing of technical thought will happen in Matthew 24:20 when technical thought remains the only form of solid thinking that is left. Matthew 24 says that there will be a great tribulation that is greater than anything that has existed within the ‘cosmos’ of human society. My guess is that the world in 2020 is in this great tribulation. I say this because this world is subject to five forms of squeezing: 1) Work is squeezed into technical specializations. 2) Activity is squeezed by innumerable regulations. 3) Postmodern questioning has successfully questioned most forms of subjective thought and what remains is the narrow technical thinking of hard science, together with the narrow methodology of official procedures. 4) The cancel culture places strong limitations upon people’s words and public behavior. 5) The coronavirus pandemic is leading to global restrictions upon social interaction.

Moving on with verse 14, the focus returns to the white robes, implying an emphasis upon social interaction. These robes are being washed. Water represents Mercy experiences. Therefore, washing would represent a cleansing through the use of Mercy experiences. This describes the objective nature of academia, which uses the ‘water’ of direct experience to cleanse social interaction from the ‘dirt’ of subjective emotions. The goal of this washing is to make the robes white, which implies social interaction guided by the light of Teacher understanding. Blood is the fluid of life, and mental blood is spilled when MMNs of personal identity fall apart. We saw earlier that the lamb represents verbally-driven technical thought that is not based in personal status. Putting this together, washing robes white in the blood of the Lamb would mean using paradigm-driven research to rid the mind of personal bias. This washing is not happening at a personal level because people are not being washed. Instead, it is happening at a social level, because robes are being washed. This describes academia with its peer review.

Verse 15 describes the capabilities of such a mindset. “For this reason they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His temple.” ‘Before the throne of God’ indicates that this mindset is being guided by general Teacher understanding. Saying this another way, technical specialists are adding to the body of knowledge. Serve means ‘to render technical, acceptable service because specifically qualified’. This word specifically describes technical thought, and is used only one other time in Revelation in 22:3. Thus, verse 15 specifically states that a paradigm shift is happening into technical thought. This serving is happening day and night. Day means ‘the period from sunrise to sunset’ and represents a period of time illuminated by the ‘sun’ of some general understanding. Night would represent a period of time without a general understanding. For instance, the ‘sun’ of modern society is now setting and we currently live in the evening—or possibly night—of postmodern thought.

Technical thought can function in the presence of Teacher understanding and it will also continue to function in the absence of Teacher understanding. This is shown by the fact that the hard sciences with their technical thought have continued to function within postmodern society. And even when postmodern deconstructionism questions all of the content of some academic field, what still remains is the methodology of technical thought. Professors continue to teach, students continue to pass exams and get degrees, and academic papers continue to be written, even when everybody believes that all knowledge is fake.

The word temple refers to the ‘part of the temple where God himself resides’. This is the second use of this word in Revelation (the first was in 3:12 in the letter to the church of Philadelphia). The next use is in 11:1 where the temple is being measured. This implies that the intense worship that has happened until now in Revelation has not involved the real nature of God. Saying this more bluntly, God does not live in mystical worship. If one wishes to discover the nature of God, one needs to use the technical thinking of incarnation.

I know that the standard response to this statement is to quote Psalm 22:3, which talks about God being ‘enthroned upon the praises of Israel’. But Psalm 22 does not talk about a system of worship. Instead, it is a prophetic Psalm that predicts the suffering that Jesus will go through when dying on the cross. Thus, the focus of Psalm 22 is upon the process of death and rebirth that is being followed by incarnation. And one of the steps in this process is recognizing, as verses 3-5 do, that the God who ‘inhabits the praises of Israel’ is actually a God of deliverance who brings deliverance to those who trust in him. Summarizing, Psalm 22 describes a God of praise being reinterpreted by incarnation as a God of salvation. This is quite different than treating Psalm 22:3 as a proof-text to support a system of religious worship.

Verse 15 finishes: “and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.” This is the first use of tabernacle in Revelation, which means ‘to pitch or live in a tent’, and ‘spread his tabernacle’ is just the verb ‘tabernacle’ in the original Greek. ‘Tabernacle over them’ implies that Teacher generality will find a temporary home in the specializations of technical thought. This accurately describes the state of academia, which is currently associated with general Teacher theory. The gods of various religions, in contrast, are mentally associated with the MMNs of various cultural groups.

Verse 16 describes the capabilities of technical specialization: “They will no longer hunger nor thirst, nor will the sun fall down on them, nor any scorching heat.” This is the only reference to hunger in Revelation, and food represents intellectual food within abstract thought. This is also the first reference to thirst in Revelation, with the next reference in 21:6. The implication is that technical thought is able to address problems of intellectual hunger and thirst for experience. That is because using technical thought makes it possible to understand the laws of nature, satisfying intellectual hunger. In addition, using technical thought makes it possible to turn theory into reality, satisfying experiential thirst. Compare this with the mindset of absolute truth, which declares fundamental Christian doctrines to be incomprehensible mysteries, and looks forward to a heaven that never arrives.

The word fall is used 91 times in the New Testament, but this is the only time it talks about the ‘sun falling’. The idea of a sun falling upon people is physically bizarre. But the ‘sun’ of a general theory can fall upon the mind. Saying this cognitively, a general theory that turns in a TMN can become a mental prison that imposes itself upon thought and behavior. This same mechanism provides the cognitive basis for righteousness. Technical specialization has been viewed as something negative, but the positive side of technical specialization is that it keeps the sun of a general theory at a distance, and prevents it from falling upon a person. In other words, technical specialization makes it possible to ignore the forest by focusing upon one tree in the forest. This is both good and bad. The ideal is to use technical specializations to deal with the individual trees and then use a meta-theory, such as mental symmetry, to integrate the various trees into the forest of a general theory.

The noun scorching heat occurs one other time in the New Testament in Revelation 16:9, which appears to describe a mindset of mysticism being fried by excessive heat from Teacher thought. A mindset of mysticism appears to fry the mind with the excessive Teacher emotion of a mystical encounter. I say this from personal experience because I have found so far that it is impossible to use rational thought to convince the mind of a person who has experienced a mystical encounter. Even if one comes up with a universal theory that explains the Bible, theology, scientific thought, psychology, neurology, culture, and history, the mystic will listen politely with a closed mind, turn with a beatific smile, and know in his heart-of-hearts that he is right. Technical thought does not do this. Technical thought is capable of being swayed by rational arguments within the technical specialization, it recognizes that other technical specializations exist, and it can even occasionally make a paradigm shift.

Verse 17 describes technical thought following a pathway: “For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd.” Center means ‘in the midst’. It is used several times in Revelation, usually to refer to incarnation in the midst of the throne of God. Most religious thought today views technical thinking as a distraction from God: For instance, one supposedly encounters God by moving beyond the distraction of science with its technical thought. Similarly, in a church service one is supposed to take one’s attention off the potential distraction of the audiovisual system in order to focus upon God. But the Lamb is being described as being in the center or midst of the throne of God, which implies that technical thought is not a religious distraction, but rather leads to a greater understanding of God.

Looking at this more carefully, incarnation is based in a combination of abstract and concrete technical thought. However, incarnation goes beyond abstract technical thought by being guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought and not just by the limited paradigm of some technical specialization. And incarnation goes beyond concrete technical thought by saving people in Mercy thought rather than just improving objects or experiences. Christianity tends to focus upon the Lamb as the sacrifice who saves people in Mercy thought. But that is only part of the picture. John 10 describes sheep as recognizing and following the voice of their shepherd. Similarly, the Lamb is also in the midst of the throne of God in Teacher thought. This second aspect is emphasized in the Gospel of John, because Jesus repeatedly says that he does nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing.

This does not mean that God is technical thought, because a distinction is being made between the throne of God and the Lamb. One can understand this relationship by looking at the three stages of learning a skill. The first stage is that of the beginner who follows emotion rather than technical thought. The second stage is that of the technician who learns technical skills but loses the emotions. The final stage is that of the expert who expresses technical skills in an intuitive, emotional manner. In other words, the Lamb is in the midst of the throne, but the Lamb is not the throne of God. Similarly, technical skills lead to artistry, but artistry expresses these technical skills in an emotional manner.

This is the second reference to a shepherd in Revelation. The first was in 2:27 in the letter to the Church of Thyatira. The implication is that technical thought will not remain static, but rather will be guided along a path. Looking back at history, one can see that this was the case, because technical thinking has gone through a number of stages since the Industrial Revolution.

Verse 17 says where this path will lead: “and will guide them to springs of the waters of life.” Guide combines ‘way’ with ‘lead the way’ and this is the only use of this word in Revelation. The implication is that technical thought will take the lead in guiding society, and this describes how society has progressed since the Industrial Revolution: Science and technology lead and the rest of society struggles to keep up. This is the first of several times that a spring is mentioned in Revelation. A spring is a source of water that emerges from the earth. Symbolically speaking, this describes the ‘water’ of Mercy experiences emerging from the ‘earth’ of rational thought. The continual flow of new-and-improved technology illustrates what this means. Verse 17 says that these are ‘fountains of waters’. The plural indicates that technical thought leads to a multiplicity of new-and-improved results in Mercy thought.

Life refers to both physical and spiritual life. This is the first reference to ‘life’ in chapters 4-22. The implication is that endless worship before the throne is not life. It was mentioned earlier that technical thought provides a mental buffer that protects the sun from ‘falling upon a person’. This buffer also makes it possible to experience life as an individual under the sun of a general theory. Technical thought is not emotional, but it is driven by an emotional bottom line. Therefore, technical thought will lead the mind towards living fountains of water. However, the succeeding verses will show that more than technical thought is needed to fully experience these fountains of living water.

Verse 17 finishes, “and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Wipe means ‘to rub out’. Both ‘wipe’ and ‘tear’ occur one other time in Revelation in 21:4, which also talks about God wiping away every tear. Symbolically speaking, a tear is moisture that comes from the eyes. The eyes are used to scan the environment in order to build up a mental map, which describes using Perceiver thought to acquire facts about the physical environment. Tears are usually associated with some sort of personal loss. Cognitively speaking, this means that accepting facts from the environment with a rational perspective is leading to a feeling of personal loss within Mercy thought. This happens during the process of grief. Notice that God is wiping away the tears and not the Lamb. Looking at this cognitively, rational thinking prompted by technical thought is leading to feelings of personal loss in Mercy thought, but this is being emotionally replaced by feelings of general understanding in Teacher thought. Saying this more simply, personal honesty hurts, but it also leads to the comfort of understanding.

The Seventh Seal 8:1-6

Chapter 8 begins, “When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. ‘The Lamb’ is not in the Greek, but rather implied by the conjugation of the verb break, which actually means ‘to break or open’. The same verb and lack of pronoun was used to describe the other seals being broken. Thus, the emphasis is upon opening the seal and not upon the person doing this opening. Opening a seal implies that the content is already present and that it is merely being unveiled. This leads to an intermediate concept of divine sovereignty. On the one hand, God is not behaving spontaneously, but rather following a plan that has already been written down. But on the other hand, this plan does not run like a clock, but rather goes through stages that have to be opened by individuals.

The word was means ‘to come into being’. Silence is found twice in the New Testament. The previous section talked about a paradigm shift being imposed by the earth of concrete thought upon the heaven of abstract thought. ‘Silence in heaven’ describes what it feels like to go through a paradigm shift. That is because the TMN of a general theory will drive the mind to use this theory and to talk about this theory. During a paradigm shift, there is no general theory, which also means that there is no emotional drive to talk about a theory. This happens cognitively when Teacher thought finds a new theory. Presumably, something similar would happen in heaven, which is a realm of Teacher thought.

Half an hour is only used once in the New Testament. My guess is that this indicates a partial paradigm shift. That is because the upcoming trumpets will all generate partial results, and the partial results of the first four trumpets in chapter 8 are all destructive. This implies that chapter 8 is describing a reaction to the paradigm shift of chapter 7, a kind of counter-culture that reacts against the system without providing a positive alternative.

Verse 2 sets the scene:. “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.” The seals were presumably opened by the Lamb. The seven trumpets, in contrast, are given to seven angels, and the Lamb is not mentioned again until 12:11. This implies that the seven trumpets are not an expression of technical thought. Going further, the Lamb opens the seals of a scroll, implying that pre-existing structure is being unveiled. In contrast, the angels are blowing trumpets, and a trumpet is ‘a war trumpet’. This suggests that verbal content is being imposed rather than revealed. For instance, science reveals the laws of nature, whereas absolute truth is proclaimed.

Finally, these angels stand before God, which tells us that this is a response that does not fall before a general Teacher theory but is capable of standing in its presence. In 7:11 the angels stood around the throne, but then fell before the throne in worship. In 8:1 the angels are standing before God and are being given seven trumpets. This implies that feelings of religious fervor are being harnessed rather than merely leading to passive feelings of religious self-denial.

Verse 3 adds some details to the nature of this response. “Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him.” Another means ‘another of the same kind’, which tells us that the eighth angel is related to the other seven. An altar is ‘the meeting place between God and the true worshiper’. Cognitively speaking, this indicates a personal interaction between the TMN of a concept of God and MMNs of personal identity. The altar was first mentioned in Revelation in 6:9 with the souls under the altar, and the altar is mentioned three times in verses 3-5, indicating that this is a central theme. In 6:10 the souls under the altar cried out for justice and vindication. Presumably, this justice is being at least partially carried out during the blowing of the trumpets.

Putting this all together, I suggest that the trumpets are describing an emotional backlash to the inhuman overuse of technical thought. This idea is backed up by the central role played by the altar, where the TMN of a concept of God meets personal MMNs. The word censer literally means ‘frankincense’ and is only found in 8:3 and 8:5. Smell triggers mental networks, which is another indication that the seven trumpets are being motivated by mental networks. Similarly, the word incense refers to incense in general. It is found four times in Revelation, once in 5:8, in verses 3 and 4, and in 18:13. This again indicates the central role being played by mental networks. And much incense is given to the angel, suggesting a strong emphasis upon mental networks.

Frankincense is a resin that is released from a tree when the bark is pierced. Thus, frankincense (and myrrh) would represent responding to personal hardship in a positive manner. The frankincense is in a golden container, whereas the incense is simply being offered. This combination suggests mixed motives. There are the quality mental networks of responding positively to hardship, but these are being combined with mental networks of gut reaction.

Verse 3 continues, “that he might give it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.” Prayer means ‘exchange of wishes’. Prayer is only mentioned three times in Revelation, in verses 3 and 4, and back in 5:8 at the beginning of the seven seals. This again indicates that the trumpets are being motivated in an unusual fashion by an ‘exchange of wishes’ between the TMN of a concept of God and MMNs of personal identity. Saint means ‘different from the world because like the Lord’. This word is common in Revelation, but also conveys the impression of following God by behaving in a manner that is different than one’s environment. The word altar means ‘the meeting place between God and the true worshiper’. This again emphasizes a form of personal interaction that is different than technical thought. This altar is described as ‘golden’ and ‘before the throne’. Like the frankincense, this indicates a positive response to the inadequacies of technical thought.

Looking at this in more detail, technical thought is driven by mental networks, but technical thought naturally ignores the mental networks that drive it while focusing upon following rigorous rules. For instance, abstract technical thought is driven by the TMN of some paradigm. But Thomas Kuhn observed that the average’s scientist spends most of his time solving technical puzzles rather than thinking about paradigms. Similarly, concrete technical thought is driven by the MMN of some goal or bottom line. But economics treats this emotional bottom line as some sort of number that can be evaluated in an objective manner. Thus, when technical thought emerges it will initially recognize the presence of emotional paradigms and emotional bottom lines. But as technical thought matures, then these emotional elements will be assumed and thinking will become specialized and objective. This explains why there will be an emotional backlash and also why this emotional response will be slightly delayed. People will realize that technical thought is carving up integrated existence into various specializations and is treating subjective emotions in a callous, unfeeling manner. This will lead to the extensive emotional response being described at the beginning of chapter 8. But this emotional backlash will happen within a context of technical thought, which means that it will express itself through the planning and rigorous thinking of technical thought rather than falling down in ecstatic worship.

Verse 4 continues to describe this emotional response. “And the smoke of the incense ascended from the angel’s hand with the prayers of the saints before God.” Going up represents heading in the direction of Teacher generality. Incense going up to God implies heading emotionally in the direction of a general concept of God. This is the first reference to smoke in Revelation, and this word will be repeated four times in 9:2-3 when referring to the locusts. The locusts appear to represent deconstructionism, with its clouding of Teacher light and consuming of all intellectual food. Thus, smoke would represent a clouding effect that diminishes the light of Teacher understanding.

This smoke of incense, together with the prayers of the saints, is ascending out of the hand of the angel. Hands represent technical thought with its detailed manipulations. Looking at this cognitively, God has been approached until now with an attitude of self-denial and a mindset of overgeneralization. The technical thinking of science is prompting worshippers to approach God in a new manner that uses the ‘hands’ of detailed thought to move up towards Teacher generality, rather than leaping directly to Teacher overgeneralization. However, this attempt at rational subjective thought is tending to generate more smoke than light.

It is interesting that both 8:4 and 9:2 refer to smoke ascending. During the opening of the seven seals, absolute truth led to the light of Teacher understanding. In contrast, absolute truth is being used in chapter 8 to obscure the light of scientific Teacher understanding. Saying this another way, absolute truth is being proclaimed as an alternative to the objective, rational thinking of science. But absolute truth is being proclaimed in a semi-fragmented manner that brings more smoke than light.

Looking back historically at this period of time, one should not conclude that this proclamation of absolute truth was wrong. That is because there was no alternative. Cognitive science is required to interpret the Bible as a rational theory, and cognitive science only started to develop in the 1950s.

Verse 5 describes a new direction for religious fervor: “Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and hurled it to the earth.” Fire was previously mentioned in 4:5. It will be mentioned three times in verses 5, 7, and 8. Fire is a form of light and heat that comes from burning up matter. Cognitively speaking, this represents an energy of frustration that consumes itself without necessarily generating positive results. The fire is ‘of the altar’ and altar refers to ‘the meeting place between God and the true worshiper’. Thus, the attempt to worship God in a more rational manner is not generating the expected results, but rather leading to deep frustration. In contrast, the technical thinking of scientific thought is generating significant results, but they are increasingly inhuman. This contrast was illustrated historically by the slums, child labor, repetitive factory work, and destruction of nature that was caused by the Industrial Revolution. Hurled means ‘to throw, cast’, which represents moving through the air of Teacher thought. The idea is that Teacher thought is being used to attack rather than build.

Earth means ‘the arena we live in which operates in space and time’ and represents rational thinking based in empirical evidence—Perceiver facts of space and Server sequences of time that come from living within space and time. Earth was mentioned four times in Revelation 7:1-4 where the angels were instructed not to harm the earth. Here, earth is being harmed. In other words, the Enlightenment with its idea of a ‘clockwork universe’ was needed to consolidate the mindset of the rational thinking of science with its technical analysis. An emotional response is now finally occurring, and this emotional backlash is being directed against the ‘earth’ of empirical rational thought.

Verse 5 describes the initial response to this hurling of emotional fire. “And there were peals of thunder and sounds, and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” Peals of thunder suggests verbal theories being declared from the heaven of Teacher thought. Sound means ‘a voice, sound’ and refers to verbal noises rather than intelligent speech. Lightning implies occasional glimpses of the light of Teacher understanding. And an earthquake indicates that the solid ground of rational thought is being shaken. None of these terms describe an integrated, intelligent theory. Instead, what is being portrayed is a semi-coherent gut response that is questioning existing rational thought, without providing an alternative.

This general reaction is followed by a more deliberate response in verse 6. “And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.” This is the first use of the word prepared in Revelation. In other words, people are recognizing that dealing adequately with technical thought requires a prepared response and not just an emotional reaction. However, notice that the angels are preparing themselves. They are not delivering a message from God or opening up some scroll. This suggests that people are thinking about subjective feelings in order to come up with an adequate response, rather than turning to some other source of authority. And the angels are preparing themselves in order to sound a trumpet. Thus, the goal is not to learn from others or to experience personal transformation but rather to proclaim truth based in personal emotions. This describes a mindset of absolute truth which proclaims truth that is based in defining experiences and accepted sources of authority.

Historically speaking, this proclamation was being done by human messengers, but I suspect that this was also being coordinated by real angels. And by a real angel, I do not mean a human-like figure with wings. Instead, real angels appear to inhabit ‘bodies’ that are capable of carrying out some general function, because they are always described in the Bible as carrying out some mission or delivering some message. The simplest way I know of describing an angel is to think of a professional such as a medical doctor, eliminate the human body, and emphasize the profession.

The First Trumpet 8:7

Verse 7 describes the first trumpet. “The first sounded, and there was hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled to the earth.” Sounded means ‘to sound a trumpet’. Fire indicates a motivation related to frustration. Hail means ‘hailstone’. It is only found in the book of Revelation where it is used four times. This is the first occurrence. A hailstone is a solid block of frozen water that falls from heaven. Emotional ‘truth’ is like a block of ice because Perceiver thought is being overwhelmed into ‘believing’ that the water of some Mercy experience is actually a solid fact. Ice that falls from sky describes absolute truth, which takes the frozen ‘facts’ of emotional ‘truth’ and elevates them to the level of heavenly Teacher understanding.

Historically speaking, this would represent responding to the rational thinking of scientific thought with the absolute truth of culture and religion. This describes the initial backlash to the Industrial Revolution, which was the Romantic era. Wikipedia summarizes that “Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature.” Notice how people are responding to the rationalism of the Enlightenment by returning to the absolute truth of the past. Romanticism used intense emotions to overwhelm Perceiver thought into believing universal ‘truth’. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The movement emphasized intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe—especially that experienced in confronting the new aesthetic categories of the sublimity and beauty of nature.” The ‘sublimity and beauty of nature’ describe Teacher feelings that come from observing the order-within-complexity of the physical world. This is a way of deriving emotions from the objective theorizing of science.

We looked previously at the revitalization of religion that occurred during the Industrial Revolution. Wikipedia describes the revitalizing effect that Romanticism had upon Protestant Christianity. “Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette argues that the outlook for Protestantism at the start of the 19th century was discouraging… Intellectually, the new methods of historical and anthropological study undermine automatic acceptance of biblical stories, as did the sciences of geology and biology. Industrialization was a strongly negative factor, as workers who moved to the city seldom joined churches… Despite the negative forces, Protestantism demonstrated a striking vitality by 1900. Shrugging off Enlightenment rationalism, Protestants embraced romanticism, with the stress on the personal and the invisible… There was more attention to historic creeds such as the Augsburg, the Heidelberg, and the Westminster confessions. The stirrings of pietism on the Continent, and evangelicalism in Britain expanded enormously, leading the devout away from an emphasis on formality and ritual and toward an inner sensibility toward personal relationship to Christ… Above all, worldwide missionary activity became a highly prized goal, proving quite successful in close cooperation with the imperialism of the British, German, and Dutch empires.” Notice the various factors that we have discussed: Protestant Christianity learned how to stand in opposition to rational thought. Absolute truth was emphasized, as well as personal faith. And the primary direction was outward through proclamation rather than inward through religious fervor.

This is ‘mixed with blood’. Blood represents MMNs of personal identity falling apart. If the hailstones and fire are mixed with blood, then this indicates that the attempt to return to the past is only partially successful, because mental networks of the past are falling apart. The cognitive principle is that using emotional methods to attempt to restore absolute truth seldom turns back the clock and restores the past. Instead, attempts to restore absolute truth will tend to replace at least some of the absolute truth with new emotional ‘truth’. That is because absolute truth assumes that personal identity is nothing compared to the source of truth, but the very act of restoring absolute truth acts as if personal identity can achieve meaningful results. In other words, the Romantic era was not a return to the past but rather a new way of thinking that viewed the past through the lens of the Industrial Revolution. This is illustrated by the new emotions of the ‘sublimity and beauty of nature’ mentioned earlier. The phrase ‘hurled to the earth’ uses the same Greek words as the phrase in verse 5, making it clear that this is a reaction against the rational thinking of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.

Verse 7 continues by describing the results. “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 verb burned up is used five times in this Revelation, three times in this verse. It means ‘to burn down to the ground’. If one third of the Earth is being burned up, then this means that a major portion of rational thought is being permanently lost through the fire of frustration. I suggest that this describes the split between objective and subjective. The ‘earth’ of rational thought still exists within the objective realm of technical thought; however, the subjective realm is no longer being driven by rational thought, but rather by an emotional revulsion to the overuse of technical thought. One third burning up implies that a significant portion of thinking is now irrational, but rational thought still remains the dominant way of thought.

Wikipedia describes this partial burning up of the earth of rational thought. Before Romanticism, “The dominant intellectual currents of the Enlightenment promoted rationalism, and most Protestant leaders preached a sort of deism. Intellectually, the new methods of historical and anthropological study undermined automatic acceptance of biblical stories, as did the sciences of geology and biology.” But this rational approach to religion was emotionally non-satisfying, leading to the emotional backlash described in the previous paragraphs. I am not suggesting that the deism of the Enlightenment was adequate. But the long-term impact of Schleiermacher’s mysticism, continental pietism, and the personal relationship of evangelical faith was to burn up a significant portion of the earth of rational thought. I know this from personal experience because I keep encountering the fundamental assumption that ‘Thou shalt not use rational thought to analyze God and theology’.

The ‘birds of the air nesting in a tree’ mentioned in Matthew 13 was interpreted as the various branches of academia nesting in the tree of knowledge. A tree is large, it is alive, and it does not move. Similarly, a tree of knowledge grows from its roots and becomes larger than any individual person. Going further, a tree acquires its energy from light through photosynthesis. Similarly, the tree of academia acquires its energy through the light of Teacher understanding. Revelation 7:3 said that no trees should be harmed until a group of persons was sealed, implying that academic thought needed time to take root. This happened during the Enlightenment. Here, a third of the trees are being burned up. In other words, a significant portion of academic thought is self-destructing. This summarizes what happened to academic thought in the subjective.

The Encyclopedia Britannica describes how this affected religious thought. “The second stage of theological liberalism, Romanticism, lasted from the late 18th century to the end of the 19th. Marked by the discovery of the uniqueness of the individual and the consequent significance of individual experience as a distinctive source of infinite meaning, this premium upon personality and upon individual creativity exceeded every other value.” Notice that rational thought is being replaced by a focus upon personal emotions. This shift can be seen in the religious writings of Schleiermacher. For instance, Wikipedia quotes a passage from his Addresses on Religion, written in 1799: “Religion is the outcome neither of the fear of death, nor of the fear of God. It answers a deep need in man. It is neither a metaphysic, nor a morality, but above all and essentially an intuition and a feeling… Dogmas are not, properly speaking, part of religion: rather it is that they are derived from it. Religion is the miracle of direct relationship with the infinite; and dogmas are the reflection of this miracle. Similarly belief in God, and in personal immortality, are not necessarily a part of religion; one can conceive of a religion without God, and it would be pure contemplation of the universe; the desire for personal immortality seems rather to show a lack of religion, since religion assumes a desire to lose oneself in the infinite, rather than to preserve one’s own finite self.”

What is being described here is pure mysticism, but it is mysticism with a difference, because the mysticism is leading to religious dogma. Wikipedia states that “Schleiermacher’s work has had a profound impact upon the philosophical field of hermeneutics. In fact, Schleiermacher is often referred to as ‘the father of modern hermeneutics as a general study.’” Looking at this cognitively, Schleiermacher’s mysticism was happening within a general societal context that was using technical thought to analyze mental networks. Thus, Schleiermacher instinctively used technical thought to analyze his mysticism.

Quoting further from Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Unlike Kant, who saw in moral will the clue to man’s higher nature, Schleiermacher seized upon the feeling of absolute dependence as being simultaneously that which ‘signifies God for us’ and that which is distinctive in the religious response. Thus, self-consciousness in this deep religious sense becomes God-consciousness.” In other words, Schleiermacher replaced the rational morality of Kant with a feeling of emotional dependence upon God. But using technical thought to analyze mysticism contradicts itself, because one is continually writing words which say that one should not write words, and one is being dogmatic about an overgeneralization that transcends dogmatism. This explains why a third of the trees were burned up in the fire of frustration, because academic thought cannot be built upon a mental foundation that transcends academic thought.

Normally, this self-contradiction resolves itself in the direction of Buddhism, which emphasizes the mystical experience at the expense of rational thought. But in the 19th century, society as a whole was pursuing the technical thinking of science and technology. Thus, the self-contradiction tended to resolve itself in the direction of liberal theology.

Wikipedia describes the impact of this rational, scientific context. “Liberal Protestantism developed in the 19th century out of a need to adapt Christianity to a modern intellectual context. With the acceptance of Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection, some traditional Christian beliefs, such as parts of the Genesis creation narrative, became difficult to defend.” Liberal theology attempted to juxtapose rational scientific thought with subjective religious experience combined with the overgeneralization of theological tolerance. “Beginning in Germany, liberal theology was influenced by several strands of thought, including the Enlightenment’s high view of human reason and Pietism’s emphasis on religious experience and interdenominational tolerance.” Miracles were rejected as being non-scientific. “Liberal Christians placed less emphasis on miraculous events associated with the life of Jesus than on his teachings… The debate over whether a belief in miracles was mere superstition or essential to accepting the divinity of Christ constituted a crisis within the 19th-century church.” And fundamental theology was reinterpreted: “Liberals abandoned or reinterpreted traditional doctrines in light of recent knowledge. For example, the traditional doctrine of original sin was rejected for being derived from Augustine of Hippo, whose views on the New Testament were believed to have been distorted by his involvement with Manichaeism. Christology was also reinterpreted. Liberals stressed Christ's humanity, and his divinity became ‘an affirmation of Jesus exemplifying qualities which humanity as a whole could hope to emulate’.”

The end result was to burn up part of the ‘tree of knowledge’ from both sides. Most Protestants who embraced religious experience saw rational understanding as an enemy to Christian faith, while Liberal theologians who attempted to follow rational understanding concluded that Christian faith was unworthy of rational analysis. In summary, the first trumpet had primarily the negative effect of burning up earth and trees.

Liberal theology imploded because of its attempt to juxtapose mysticism with rational thought. Evangelicalism, in contrast, spread and flourished. For instance, the British evangelist Charles Spurgeon often preached to audiences larger than 10,000 people and delivered almost 3600 sermons in his lifetime. Similarly, the American evangelist Dwight L Moody also preached commonly to crowds in excess of 10,000 people. (This was before radio and before electronic amplification.) Both emphasized the conversion experience. One website explains that “The terminology of ‘receiving Christ into your heart’ became more formalized as a non-Christian’s prayer of conversion during the great missionary movement of the nineteenth century. The terminology became a useful way to explain to proselytes that they needed to make a personal decision to follow Christ.”

Looking at this cognitively, ‘asking Jesus into your heart’ is a cognitively natural statement that is consistent with mental wholeness. I have mentioned several times that a concept of incarnation extends beyond abstract technical thought by being guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought and extends beyond concrete technical thought by saving people in Mercy thought. Living within modern science and technology will naturally form a partial concept of incarnation. ‘Asking Jesus into your heart’ extends this partial concept in concrete thought from saving things to saving me. In other words, it adds the missing personal element to the objective thinking of science. Because ‘asking Jesus into your heart’ is cognitively natural, it can handle rational analysis and survive. This is different than mysticism, which is destroyed by rational analysis.

However, ‘asking Jesus into your heart’ is usually proclaimed as something supernatural that has nothing to do with rational thought. That is because science equates rational thought with materialism: a rational person is defined as someone who only believes in physical reality. The evangelical starts with this assumption of materialism and then assumes that asking Jesus into your heart implies letting go of rational thought in order to embrace the supernatural. This is another illustration of one third of the earth and trees burning up, because extending incarnation to the subjective is being interpreted as burning up part of the earth of rational thought and some of the trees of academic thought. The ‘burning up’ in this case comes from associating a personal transformation that is cognitively natural with the concept of a God who transforms people by overturning what is cognitively natural.

Mental symmetry addresses this problem in three ways: First, mental symmetry points out that ‘asking Jesus into your heart’ is a cognitively natural extension of the rational thinking used by science, and mental symmetry backs up this statement with an integrated Teacher theory of cognition that explains both scientific and religious thought. Second, mental symmetry defines personal transformation as constructing a concept of God in Teacher thought that is capable of reprogramming the childish MMNs that were acquired from growing up in a physical body. Third, mental symmetry observes that an integrated theory of cognition is also capable of explaining what humans refer to as the spiritual and supernatural realms. In other words, physical reality is only one aspect of ‘reality’ and a mind that is whole is capable of living within all aspects of ‘reality’. This solution was not available in the 19th century, because very little was known about either the brain or the mind.

Moving on, grass means ‘a feeding place, food, grass’. It is mentioned twice in Revelation. The other occurrence is in 9:4 where the locusts are instructed not to harm the grass of the earth. Grass is mentioned in Matthew 6:30 in the Sermon on the Mount and it was interpreted there as the ephemeral culture of current trends within society. Grass is green when it is watered. Thus, green grass would represent ephemeral culture that is continually being watered by new Mercy experiences. In 8:7, one third of the earth and the trees are burned up. In contrast, all of the green grass is burned up, and all means ‘each part of a totality’. This makes sense, because the Industrial Revolution has fundamentally altered every aspect of ephemeral culture. Pre-industrial culture no longer exists, but has to be re-enacted, and when it is brought back to life it feels bizarre and alien. Summarizing, even though the Romantic era was a backlash against the excessive rationalism of the Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment, instead of restoring the past, what eventually happened was the end of past experience and the emergence of the New Industrial culture of the Victorian Era.

The Second Trumpet 8:8-9

Verse 8 describes the second angel. “The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was hurled into the sea.” A mountain represents a form of pragmatic general theory. Great means ‘large, great, and the widest sense’ and refers to Teacher generality. Thus, a great mountain would represent a pragmatic theory with great Teacher generality. The only other reference to a great mountain is in 21:10 where the author John views the New Jerusalem from the top of a great mountain. However, verse 8 uses the word like which implies that this is the appearance of a general theory, but is not actually one. This word ‘mountain’ is also used in the story of the Transfiguration in Matthew 17 and it was interpreted there as a reference to the Victorian Era. We have seen that the Victorian Era was driven by lofty feelings of universal morality, and groundbreaking changes were accomplished, such as the abolition of slavery as well as the elimination of many of the harmful effects of the Industrial Revolution. However, Victorian morality was not based in a true understanding but rather in the absolute truth of biblical morality. Thus, it was like a great mountain. The mountain in verse 8 is burning with fire, implying that much of Victorian morality involved the suppression of primal urges rather than their transformation.

This ‘like a mountain’ is cast into the sea. Sea represents the ‘sea’ of raw Mercy experiences. Cast means ‘to throw, cast’ and this has been interpreted as the moving through the air of Teacher thought. This happened during the First World War. The ‘like a great mountain’ of Victorian morality allied itself with government legislation produced great reforms in the 19th century, not just in England, but also in other countries as well. However, this led to a strong societal mindset of God-and-country. Governments appealed strongly to this mindset in World War I in order to gain recruits for the conflict. One commentary in the Washington Post concludes that “the use and abuse of God and religion were never more evident than during the ‘War to End All Wars,’ World War I… During the war, 11 million German troops confidently carried three proud but dangerous words on their belt buckles: ‘Gott mit uns’ or ‘God is with us.’”

This ‘like a mountain’ was cast into the sea of trench warfare by new Teacher-driven technology. Saying this more clearly, World War I was a juxtaposition of a traditional mindset of God-and-country combined with new scientific technology. Airplanes, machine guns, tanks, submarines, and chemical warfare were all either invented or used for the first time in a major way during this conflict.

The average life expectancy for a British lieutenant or captain during the war was six weeks. They were motivated by feelings for God-and-country and they were mowed down by new technology. One article describes what motivated these individuals: “So what possessed them? How could these young officers have been so unflinching in the face of battle?… These were mostly boarding school-educated children brought up in a regime of muscular Christianity, team games, cold showers and immersion in history and the classics… When the time came it was the fear of cowardice, of showing fear before their men that drove them on.” That is what it feels like for a huge ‘like a mountain’ to be cast into the sea. It is possible that this passage could have been fulfilled in another way, but World War I describes how it was primarily fulfilled.

Verse 8 continues, “and a third of the sea became blood”. In other words, the sea of Mercy experiences turned into a bloodbath. This happened both literally and cognitively in the First World War. There was incredible death and destruction in the trenches. But on the Western front, life continued largely as normal behind the trenches. Thus, only a portion of the sea turned to blood. For instance, one of the reasons that many Germans could not accept the fact that they had lost the war was that very little of the destruction of the war had affected the German homeland.

Verse 9 continues with the destruction. “And a third of the creatures which were in the sea, the ones having life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.” Die ‘focuses on the separation that goes with the dying off’. This word was used once previously in Revelation 3:2 in the letter to the church of Sardis. Creature means ‘created thing’. It is used one other time in Revelation in 5:13, which talks about every created thing giving honor to the Lamb. The word life actually means ‘soul’ and refers to the integrated mind. Putting these words together, the integrated mind based upon living within the experiences of physical reality is becoming split. In other words, technology has created a new way of interacting with the experiences of physical reality that is separated from the way that a growing child normally interacts with physical reality. Saying this more succinctly, instead of interacting with physical reality as a human being, one can now interact with reality as a sort of mechanical cyborg. But this new mechanistic pseudo-man is no longer alive inside.

For instance, Wikipedia describes the mechanizing impact of the Munitions of War Act 1915. “It was designed to maximize munitions output and brought private companies supplying the armed forces under the tight control of the newly created Ministry of Munitions… No private interest was to be permitted to obstruct the service, or imperil the safety, of the State. Trade Union regulations must be suspended; employers’ profits must be limited, skilled men must fight, if not in the trenches, in the factories; man-power must be economized by the dilution of labour and the employment of women; private factories must pass under the control of the State, and new national factories be set up… The law imposed very strong regulations on wages, hours and employment conditions. It was a penal offence for a worker to leave his current job at such a ‘Controlled Establishment’ without the consent of his employer, which in practice was ‘almost impossible’ to obtain.” Notice how a significant portion of human society has been reduced to human cogs trapped within a machine of efficient killing.

A ship is a constructed vessel that makes it possible for humans to move on top of the water. A ship was interpreted in Matthew as a company or organization that makes it possible to navigate the sea of Mercy experiences in an ordered fashion. Ships are mentioned twice in Revelation, and the other occurrence is in 18:19 in the description of the fall of Babylon. That passage describes the end of existing trade and commerce, consistent with the idea of interpreting a ship as some company or organization. Destroyed means to ‘thoroughly corrupt, totally degenerate’. This word is used three times in Revelation, and the other two occurrences are in 11:18, which talks about God corrupting those who corrupt the earth. Thus, organizations are not being destroyed, but rather being totally corrupted. This describes the rise of the modern military-industrial complex. It became dominant during the Cold War in the 1950s, but the practice of using science and technology in an industrial manner in order to build better weapons of destruction began in World War I. Notice again that only one third of the ships are affected, implying that a significant portion of industry and organization has become morally corrupted, but not the majority.

We looked at the physical expression of the second trumpet in the first World War, which was strongly motivated by feelings of patriotism for God and country. One can also see a cognitive expression of the second trumpet in Pentecostalism, which began in around 1900. The Encyclopaedia Britannica explains that Pentecostalism “is unique in its belief that all Christians should seek a postconversion religious experience called baptism with the Holy Spirit… Baptism with the Holy Spirit is also believed to be accompanied by a sign, the gift of tongues… Pentecostals believe that those baptized by the Holy Spirit may receive other supernatural gifts that purportedly existed in the early church: the ability to prophesy, to heal, or to interpret speaking in tongues. Faith healing is also part of the Pentecostal tradition… Pentecostals emphasize conversion, moral rigour, and a literal interpretation of the Bible.” Notice how the ‘mountain’ of rational thought is being hurled into the sea of religious experience. One is abandoning normal human rational behavior in order to become baptized within the ‘water’ of the Holy Spirit. This is accompanied by the ‘burning’ of suppressing physical desire, in order to live a life of ‘moral rigour’. This also led to a mental split between ‘following the spirit’ and ‘living within physical reality’. As for corrupting a third of the ships, one of the basic principles of Pentecostalism was that one should abandon organization in order to follow the intuition of the spirit.

It should be pointed out that these statements apply to early Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism changed in character significantly when it became more respectable in the 1950s. One change involved pacifism. One writer summarizes that “Nearly all American Pentecostals were originally pacifists—in the sense of being conscientious objectors in war. During the first half century of American Pentecostal history, from 1906 until sometime in the 1950s, most Pentecostal denominations had official or unofficial expectations that their members would not ‘bear arms’ but serve as non-combatants if drafted.” Another website summarizes the official pacifistic positions of various Pentecostal movements to the first World War. This is not the case today. Instead, “To all appearances the Pentecostal attitude toward war has swung around completely. Many Pentecostal pastors are strong defenders of American foreign policy including war and some have called opponents of American wars ‘traitors.’” In other words, Pentecostalism harnessed the same fundamental urges as the first World War, but expressed these urges in a manner that avoided the physical death and destruction of the war. In other words, Pentecostalism expressed the second trumpet in a way that avoided getting blown up physically in the trenches.

The Third Trumpet 8:10-11

Verse 10 describes the third angel. “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.” Fall is the same word that was used in 7:16 to talk about the sun not falling upon people. In this case, a great star is falling out of heaven. Heaven represents the realm of Teacher thought. Great implies Teacher generality. Cognitively speaking, some general theory is falling out of the realm of Teacher thought in order to impact people within the world of concrete experience. Burning is the same word that was used to describe the ‘like a mountain’ in verse 8. This suggests that the falling great star is connected in some way with major frustration. However, this star is ‘burning like a torch’, and a torch is a hand-held lamp that is used to light one’s immediate surroundings. This is the only time in the New Testament that a star is compared to a torch, which implies that some general theory is being used in an inappropriate way to bring light to the path of personal identity.

Looking at post-World War I society, two possible candidates emerge, which are Nazism and Communism. Both started off as general theories—stars in the heaven. Nazism can ultimately be traced back to Social Darwinism with its teachings of racial superiority. In the words of one paper, “By examining Hitler’s ideology, the official biology curriculum, the writings of Nazi anthropologists, and Nazi periodicals, we find that Nazi racial theorists did indeed embrace human and racial evolution. They not only taught that humans had evolved from primates, but they believed the Aryan or Nordic race had evolved to a higher level than other races because of the harsh climatic conditions that influenced natural selection. They also claimed that Darwinism underpinned specific elements of Nazi racial ideology, including racial inequality, the necessity of the racial struggle for existence, and collectivism.” Evolution began as the ‘star’ of a general theory within Teacher thought. This theory fell from abstract thought and was used by the Nazis as a lamp to guide personal conduct. Similarly, Communism began as the general theory of Marxism. But it too fell from abstract thought and was used as a lamp to guide personal conduct within Soviet Russia. Both of these movements ‘fell from heaven’ after World War I.

This is the first mention of a river in Revelation, and a river represents the stream of society, the path followed by the Mercy experiences of some society as it is channeled by the landscape of historical and physical facts. A spring was mentioned once earlier in Revelation in 7:17, where the followers of technical thought were being guided to springs of living water. A spring represents the experiences that emerge from rational thought. The falling star is falling upon a third of the rivers and upon the springs of water. Thus, it is affecting the course of society, but not the entire course of society. One can see this with both Nazism and Communism, because both societies experienced a combination of normal technological and societal development and ideology-driven movement.

Verse 10 seems to say that all of the springs are being affected. Both Nazism and Communism had an extensive ideological impact, profoundly impacting the flow of experiences that emerged from the ground of rational thought. One website explains that “Hitler and his party quickly targeted German universities—among the most elite in the world at the time—for restructuring according to Nazi principles. While the Nazi Ministry of Education initiated reforms, local Nazi organizations and student activists worked to bring Nazi ideals to German campuses. These forces, along with increasing antisemitism under Nazi rule, transformed everyday life at German universities.”

Similarly, Wikipedia explains that “Soviet education in 1930s–1950s was inflexible and suppressive. Research and education, in all subjects but especially in the social sciences, was dominated by Marxist-Leninist ideology and supervised by the CPSU. Such domination led to abolition of whole academic disciplines such as genetics. Scholars were purged as they were proclaimed bourgeois during that period.” Looking at this more generally, “The main Soviet Union censorship body, Glavlit, was employed not only to eliminate any undesirable printed materials, but also ‘to ensure that the correct ideological spin was put on every published item’.”

Verse 11 describes the nature of this falling star. “The star is named Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the waters because they were made bitter.” A name, such as lawyer or dentist, describes the nature of some entity from a Teacher perspective. The Greek says that ‘the name of the star is called…’ Names can be implicit or they can be explicit. In this case, the name is being made explicit within speech. Wormwood is only mentioned in this verse in the New Testament and refers to ‘a bitter plant known as wormwood’. This bitterness is explicitly mentioned at the end of verse 11.

Both Nazism and Communism were systems of explicit bitterness. This expressed itself in Nazism as the ‘stab in the back myth’. In the words of one article, “As the postwar Germany moved forward, resentment over the end of the war and the Treaty of Versailles continued to fester. This coalesced in the ‘stab-in-the back’ legend which stated that Germany’s defeat was not the fault of the military but rather due to a lack of support at home from anti-war politicians and the sabotaging of the war effort by Jews, Socialists, and Bolsheviks. As such, these parties were seen to have stabbed the military in the back as it fought the Allies… Resonating among conservatives, nationalists, and former-military, the concept became a powerful motivating force and was embraced by the emerging National Socialist Party (Nazis). This resentment, coupled with the economic collapse of Germany due to reparation-caused hyperinflation during the 1920s, facilitated the rise of the Nazis to power under Adolf Hitler.”

Communism was also motivated heavily by bitterness against the bourgeoisie, leading to a mindset of endless revolution. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The class enemy was a pervasive feature of Soviet propaganda. With the civil war, the newly formed army moved to massacre large numbers of kulaks and otherwise promulgate a short lived ‘reign of terror’ to terrify the masses into obedience. Lenin proclaimed that they were exterminating the bourgeois as a class, a position reinforced by the many actions against landlords, well-off peasants, banks, factories, and private shops. Stalin warned, often, that with the struggle to build a socialist society, the class struggle would sharpen as class enemies grew more desperate. During the Stalinist era, all opposition leaders were routinely described as traitors and agents of foreign, imperialist powers.”

Verse 11 says that ‘a third of the waters became wormwood’. In other words, a significant portion of the daily experiences were based upon the explicit propaganda of bitterness. Become means ‘to come into being’. Thus, this culture of bitterness did not emerge overnight, but rather Nazi and Communist society both became extensively colored by Mercy feelings of bitterness against the foe.

Verse 11 says that ‘many people died from the waters because they were made bitter’. The word people refers to mankind in general. This common word was previously used in 4:7. Die again ‘focuses on the separation of goes with the dying off’. The reference to mankind implies that this is happening physically to people and not just mentally to the integrated mind. The emphasis upon separation indicates that people are not just dying, but they are being separated from the stream of society. This could be seen physically in the concentration camps of both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, which separated the enemy physically from the normal population in order to kill them off. Notice that the waters are doing the killing. Cognitively speaking, the ideology is creating a societal environment and that environment is doing the killing.

The Fourth Trumpet 8:12

The fourth trumpet is mentioned in verse 12. “The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars were struck.” The verb struck is at the beginning of the phrase in the Greek and is only found once in the New Testament. The previous trumpets impacted the human realm of experiences. This is the first trumpet to affect the heavenly realm of the sun and the stars. A sun represents the ‘sun’ of a general theory. Striking the sun would mean attacking the general theory that governs society. The moon reflects the light of the sun, which represents the general theory of society being reflected in the structure of civilization.

Applying this to Western society, the sun corresponds to Modern thought, which is lit by the ‘sun’ of the Teacher theories of science with its technical thought. The moon represents Western civilization, which is a concrete reflection of the Teacher theories of science. Both of these became struck during the anti-establishment protests of the 1960s. This is when postmodern thought gained power. Postmodern thought questioned both the established theories of scientific thought as well as the physical expression of Western civilization. Wikipedia summarizes that “In 1967–1969 a crucial cultural explosion took place within the developed world as the baby boom generation, which had grown up with postmodernity as its fundamental experience of society, demanded entrance into the political, cultural and educational power structure. A series of demonstrations and acts of rebellion – ranging from nonviolent and cultural, through violent acts of terrorism – represented the opposition of the young to the policies and perspectives of the previous age.”

A star was interpreted in verse 11 as a general theory. The star that fell in verse 11 was described as a great star, whereas verse 12 talks about stars in the plural, without using the adjective ‘great’. Looking at Western society, many established theories were ‘struck’ by the intellectual questioning of the 1960s.

Verse 12 continues by describing the results of this striking. “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.” The stars are darkened, a word used only once in Revelation. The stars are not falling, they are not being extinguished, and they are not being replaced. Instead, there is simply a general darkening of one third of the stars. This describes the intellectual questioning of the 1960s, which did not introduce many new ideas but rather expressed itself primarily as a general questioning of existing intellectual light. Wikipedia describes this questioning of the establishment. “The counterculture of the 1960s was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed throughout much of the Western world between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s.”

Saying this another way, postmodernism questions, but it does not replace this questioning with any alternative content. Going further, postmodern questioning has affected primarily the social sciences without touching the hard sciences. Society as a whole is still being driven by the relentless progress of science and technology, but this is accompanied by a subjective feeling of questioning existing authority.

Shine means ‘to bring to light’, and a day represents the period of time illuminated by the sun of some general theory. Verse 12 seems to be saying that the day is no longer providing light during one third of the day. Applying this to recent history, Western society is still being driven by the ‘day’ of modern thought, as illustrated by the continual development of new science and technology. But scientific thought increasingly no longer provides light to the average person. Instead, consumers enjoy the benefits of new-and-improved gadgets while being guided by an anti-scientific mindset of postmodernism.

In the same way is a comparison word that occurs only twice in Revelation, here and in 2:15. Night represents a period of time that is not illuminated by the sun of some general understanding. The moon becomes evident during the night. Similarly, the reflected light of civilization becomes most apparent when there is no sun of general understanding. Verse 12 is saying that the lack of illumination caused by postmodern questioning affects both academic thought and civilized behavior in a similar manner. For instance, even though entertainment is increasingly enabled by the special effects of science and technology, what is being increasingly portrayed is a society of darkness and not light.

Looking at this more generally, the questioning of the 1960s was both an intellectual questioning of the ‘sun’ of established understanding as well as a practical questioning of the ‘moon’ of established culture. Similarly, the 1960s counterculture both rejected existing religion and morality, and protested against existing government authority.

For instance, “‘Make love, not war’ is an anti-war slogan commonly associated with the American counterculture of the 1960s. It was used primarily by those who were opposed to the Vietnam War, but has been invoked in other anti-war contexts since, around the world. The ‘Make love’ part of the slogan often referred to the practice of free love that was growing among the American youth who denounced marriage as a tool for those who supported war and favored the traditional capitalist culture.”

Verse 13 warns about the last three trumpets. This warning comes from an eagle. “Then I looked, and I heard one eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice.” Midheaven is used three times in Revelation and can refer to the middle of the day when the sun is at its height. An eagle is a bird of prey and is mentioned three times in Revelation. One of the four living creatures was described as ‘like a flying eagle’in 4:7, and an eagle will be mentioned one more time in 12:14, where the wings of the great eagle are given to the woman so she can fly to a place. The verb fly is only found in Revelation where it is used five times. In both 12:14 and verse 13, the eagle is described as flying. Air represents Teacher thought. Therefore, a bird would represent a theoretical mindset that lives within Teacher thought. A flying bird of prey would presumably represent a mindset that is actively is using Teacher thought to prey upon the ‘birds’ of other theories. Looking at this further, the word bird, which means ‘winged’, is used 14 times the New Testament and it is never combined with flying. Birds are described several times as being ‘of the air’, which means that they use Teacher thought, but not as flying. The only reference to birds flying is in 19:17, which uses a different word for bird. Looking at this cognitively, Thomas Kuhn pointed out that science is driven by a paradigm, but the average scientist does not build paradigms. Instead, most scientists spend most of their time performing technical thought within some paradigm. In other words, they are ‘birds of the air’ but they do not ‘fly’. Concluding, I suggest that a flying eagle represents a meta-theory that grows by consuming other theories. Mental symmetry is an example of such a meta-theory. There is only room for one meta-theory, which explains why verse 13 refers explicitly to one eagle.

This one flying eagle is ‘saying with a loud voice’. Saying refers to normal speech. Voice refers to a voice or sound that is not necessarily intelligent. And loud means ‘ large, great’ which refers to Teacher generality. This flying eagle is speaking out in mid-heaven. Putting this all together, a meta-theory is emerging at the peak of the day of modern thought. This meta-theory is a combination of spoken and unspoken but it is actively present within Teacher thought.

Verse 13 describes the content of this developing meta-theory: “Woe, woe, woe to those who live on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!” Woe is ‘uttered in grief or denunciation’. It is stated twice three times in Revelation 18, but this is the only time in the New Testament that it is stated three times in one verse. Thus, the essence of the meta-theory is that something is going horribly wrong; society is heading along a dangerous path.

Live means to ‘settle down as a permanent resident’. Earth means ‘the physical earth; the arena we live in which operates in space and time’. The phrase ‘live on earth’ occurs several times in Revelation and would refer to a mindset of materialism that makes its home within physical space and time. Saying this more clearly, ‘living on earth’ means acting as if only physical reality exists. In 6:10 the saints asked how long God would refrain from judging those who ‘dwell on the earth’. The idea there was that the proto-Protestants were being persecuted by those who were acting as if only physical reality existed, and the Catholic Church was at the height of its physical power during this time in the high Middle Ages.

The eagle in verse 13 is proclaiming a triple ‘woe’ to such a mindset. Putting this into cognitive language, the materialistic success of the modern consumer society is being accompanied by a meta-theory which predicts that focusing only upon the material world will lead to great woe. This meta-theory is a bird of prey in the sense that every new theoretical development or technological breakthrough reinforces the general idea that basing a society upon pure materialism is a recipe for disaster. Notice that this meta-theory does not provide a positive alternative. In 12:14 the wings of a great eagle will ‘take the woman to her place’, indicating movement towards a positive alternative. In verse 13, the meta-theory is simply a general grasp that scientific research combined with the consumer society are not leading to any place good. For instance, one can see this in the theory of environmentalism, which says that the consumer society is destroying the physical environment and predicts that this will lead to painful results in the future. However, environmentalism seldom provides positive alternatives.

This focus upon the future is seen in the rest of verse 13. Because literally means ‘from out of’. The eagle is warning that the woes will come ‘from out of’ the remaining ‘blasts of the trumpet’. The word blast actually means ‘voice’, and this is the only time the blasts of the trumpets are referred to as voices. The implication is that this meta-theory is somewhat verbal, as opposed to the trumpets themselves, which are gut-level emotional responses. The idea of a meta-theory is also conveyed by the word ‘trumpet’, which is in the singular. The eagle warns of ‘the remaining voices of the trumpet of the three angels’, implying that a single trumpet is being sounded. In other words, all of the trumpets are being motivated by the single problem of technical thought ignoring emotions by being objective and specialized, which is then leading to some sort of emotional backlash. The three angels are described as ‘about to sound’, and about means ‘at the very point of acting’. In other words, the disaster is just around the corner; a society that is fixated upon the material is on the verge of experiencing major woes. Verse 13 does not say that disaster actually strikes, but rather describes a general feeling that disaster is about to strike. Similarly, the warning voices of modern society have predicted for many decades that ‘disaster is just around the corner’.

The Fifth Trumpet 9:1-6

The fifth trumpet also involves a falling star. “Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth.” A falling star has been interpreted as a general theory that turns into a guide for human behavior. This star falls upon the earth, which is being interpreted as physical space and time. The eagle just warned about the woe that would come to those who live on the earth. This star is falling upon the earth. Cognitively speaking, some general theory is about to impact the earth of rational thought. The falling star in 8:10 was described as a great star. This is only a star, implying that the theory is not as general.

Verse 9 continues, “and the key to the shaft of the abyss was given to him.” A key is mentioned twice in the seven letters to churches, but it is only mentioned twice in the rest of Revelation, and both references are to some form of bottomless pit. The word shaft means ‘a well’, and abyss means ‘boundless, bottomless’. Putting this together, some key concept is being introduced that appears initially to be merely a hole in the solid ground of the rational earth. However, entering this hole will lead to endless falling in which nothing will be solid.

I suggest that this bottomless well corresponds to deconstructionism. Deconstructionism began with a theoretical work published by Jacques Derrida in 1967. This book, along with similar works, proved to be a key that unlocked a whole mindset. The basic premise of deconstructionism is that nothing is solid. For instance, Derrida himself could not even provide a precise definition of deconstructionism itself but rather described what deconstructionism is not. The empty air and endless falling of deconstructionism can be seen in the following quote, taken from Wikipedia. “Miller has described deconstruction this way: ‘Deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a text, but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself. Its apparently solid ground is no rock, but thin air.’”

Verse 2 continues, “He opened the shaft of the abyss, and smoke ascended out of the shaft like the smoke of a great furnace.” Verse 2 implies that deconstructionism has to be opened by some expert. For instance, Derrida’s initial work on deconstructionism was an erudite analysis of linguistics. The same word open was used to describe the Lamb opening the various seals. One cannot just walk up to a set of experts and declared that their theories are merely a matter of personal opinion or one will be laughed off the stage. In fact, the Wikipedia article on deconstructionism concludes by relating that “Chip Morningstar holds a view critical of deconstruction, believing it to be ‘epistemologically challenged’. He claims the humanities are subject to isolation and genetic drift due to their unaccountability to the world outside academia. During the Second International Conference on Cyberspace, he reportedly heckled deconstructionists off the stage.” And Chip “Morningstar held many jobs throughout his career in the research and development of technology and programs.” In other words, Chip understands the technology that makes it possible for deconstructionism to pretend that truth does not exist.

Smoke is used four times in verses 2-3, implying that this is a primary characteristic of this form of thought. The smoke ascends, and moving up is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. Smoke exists within the air of Teacher thought, but instead of bringing clarity it brings darkness and uncertainty. For instance, Derrida says that a word can never be fully defined. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Complete meaning is always ‘differential’ and postponed in language; there is never a moment when meaning is complete and total. A simple example would consist of looking up a given word in a dictionary, then proceeding to look up the words found in that word’s definition, etc., also comparing with older dictionaries. Such a process would never end.” Similarly, Derrida asserted that contradictions can never resolve themselves into some future synthesis. “This explains Derrida’s concern to always distinguish his procedure from Hegel’s, since Hegelianism believes binary oppositions would produce a synthesis, while Derrida saw binary oppositions as incapable of collapsing into a synthesis free from the original contradiction.” Notice how the obfuscation of mental smoke is ascending to the level of Teacher generality. In fact, Derrida refused to define deconstructionism in order to ensure that the smoke of confusion would continue. “A positive description of deconstruction would over-determine the idea of deconstruction and would close off the openness that Derrida wishes to preserve for deconstruction. If Derrida were to positively define deconstruction—as, for example, a critique—then this would make the concept of critique immune to itself being deconstructed.”

Verse 2 says that this smoke is ‘like the smoke of a great furnace’. A furnace is hotter than an oven, and great implies Teacher generality. In the second trumpet, something like a great mountain was cast into the sea, and we interpreted that pseudo-mountain as the absolute truth of Victorian morality masquerading as a general theory. Similarly, this smoke is like the smoke of a great furnace, indicating that the smoke is masquerading as coming from a great furnace. This describes deconstructionism, which claims to subject verbal theories to the fire of intense theoretical analysis. This is described in the following quote from Wikipedia. “Deconstruction denotes the pursuing of the meaning of a text to the point of exposing the supposed contradictions and internal oppositions upon which it is founded—supposedly showing that those foundations are irreducibly complex, unstable, or impossible. It is an approach that may be deployed in philosophy, in literary analysis, and even in the analysis of scientific writings.” However, if one examines further, one finds that these grandiose claims are not backed up by any systematic method of deconstructive analysis. First, “Derrida states that ‘Deconstruction is not a method, and cannot be transformed into one’.” Second, “Derrida states that deconstruction is not a critique in the Kantian sense.” Third, “Derrida states that deconstruction is not an analysis in the traditional sense. This is because the possibility of analysis is predicated on the possibility of breaking up the text being analysed into elemental component parts.”

Verse 2 continues by describing the theoretical result. “And the sun and the air were darkened from the smoke of the shaft.” The verb darkened is similar to the word darkened in 8:12 but focuses more upon the results of this darkening. Similarly, the average person has not heard of Derrida, but everyone is familiar with the attitude of postmodernism, which emerged as a result of writers such as Derrida. In the fourth trumpet, a third of the stars were darkened, suggesting that the opinions of some experts were being questioned. A more generic darkening is happening in verse 2, because the sun represents the general theory that shines upon society, while the air represents Teacher thought itself, and the word ‘air’ is only used twice in Revelation. Similarly, the postmodern thought that emerged from deconstructionism is called post-modern thought, because it darkened the existing sun of modern thought. Going further, postmodernism attacks the very existence of Teacher thought, claiming that all supposed theories are merely the opinions of various groups who are using social status to impose their opinions upon others. In the words of Wikipedia, “Postmodernism is generally defined by an attitude of skepticism, irony, or rejection toward what it describes as the grand narratives and ideologies associated with modernism, often criticizing Enlightenment rationality and focusing on the role of ideology in maintaining political or economic power… Common targets of postmodern criticism include universalist ideas of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, science, language, and social progress.” This can be accurately described as the sun and the air being darkened. Going further, postmodernism does not provide any alternative but rather leaves the mind in a state of confusion, replacing the sun and air with smoke.

Verse 3 describes the next stage. “Then out of the smoke came locusts into the earth”. Smoke is unsubstantial. Locusts are mentioned twice in Revelation, both times in this section. Locusts form swarms that strip fields and trees of food. These locusts are described as coming out of the smoke into the earth, and the earth represents rational thought based in physical reality. Similarly, the smoke of deconstructionism was followed by the locusts of postmodern thought, which actively consumed the intellectual food being generated by rational thought. For instance, one academic paper complains that “The scientific method has been the guiding principle for investigating natural phenomena, but postmodernist thought is starting to threaten the foundations of the scientific approach. The rational, scientific view of the world has been painstakingly built over millennia to guarantee that research can have access to objective reality… The postmodernist school of thought arose to question these assumptions, postulating that claims about the existence of a real world—the knowledge of which is attainable as an objective truth—have only been relevant in Western civilization since the Enlightenment.” Notice how the locusts of postmodernism are stripping intellectual food from the ‘earth’ of rational, empirical, scientific thought.

Verse 3 continues, “and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.” The word power is actually ‘authority or conferred power’. The implication is that postmodernism does not really have power in itself, but rather has been promoted to a position of power by society. Scorpions are mentioned three times in Revelation, only in the context of this trumpet. A scorpion has a sting in its tail. Looking at this cognitively, when postmodernism first appears, it gives the impression of standing up for the helpless and the downtrodden. The sting of postmodernism becomes apparent at the end when it achieves a position of authority, because this is when tolerance for the underdog turns into intolerance of other views or other groups. Again the word like is used, implying that the sting of postmodern intolerance is somewhat illusory.

Looking at this more generally, the introduction of a new Teacher theory generally goes through two stages. The theory is initially introduced in a cautious manner that is respectful of alternative viewpoints. That is because Teacher thought is finding positive emotion in the development and spread of the theory. But once a theory becomes established, then Teacher thought will feel bad about any exceptions to the general rule, causing the initial tolerance to be replaced by intolerance. What is different about postmodernism is the widespread presence of modern technology. The postmodern individual can declare that ‘all truth is relative’ because modern technology satisfies so many physical desires and needs almost effortlessly. In other words, technology buffers the individual from the hard knocks of physical reality, allowing the postmodern individual to pretend that reality has no hard knocks. This questioning of all Perceiver facts makes it possible for postmodern thought to ‘break through’ to Teacher overgeneralization. Thus, questioning of authority will eventually turn into the Teacher overgeneralization of universal tolerance, and when this becomes the dominant theory then any rational discussion of social issues will be viewed as an attack upon the accepted mindset of universal tolerance.

Verse 4 expands upon this illusion of a sting, listing the various areas over which postmodern thought does not have an effect. “They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree.” Told means to ‘say, speak’. This is not a command, but rather a solid verbal statement. In other words, it is possible to avoid the sting of postmodernism if one can make solid verbal statements. The word hurt comes from the word ‘unrighteousness’. Righteousness means performing Server actions that are consistent with a general Teacher understanding. For instance, a professional behaves in a righteous manner guided by the theories and procedures of some profession. Putting this together, postmodernism will not attack the methodology and professionalism of grass, green things, or trees. Physically speaking, this does not make sense, because physical locusts will eat the grass and green things.

Grass was mentioned in the first trumpet, where all the green grass was burned up. This was interpreted as ephemeral culture being totally transformed after the Industrial Revolution. In contrast, postmodernism has not destroyed ephemeral culture. Looking at recent history, both modern and postmodern thought have been characterized similarly by a similar continual stream of new fashions and newfangled gadgets. What happens cognitively is that any questioning of existing elements of society is quickly followed by the introduction of new-and-improved elements. Thus, postmodern questioning actually supports the consumer society by encouraging people to throw out the old and purchase the new. Notice that it is the ‘grass of the earth’ that is not being harmed, which refers to new items emerging from rational thought. In contrast, postmodern questioning has had a significant corrosive impact upon the elements of culture that do not emerge from rational thought.

Green was interpreted earlier as plants that are being watered. In other words, a mindset that is being watered by the experiences of common sense is relatively immune to the questioning of postmodern thought. A tree was interpreted in 8:7 as a tree of knowledge, such as the tree of academia, and it was noted that trees acquire their energy from the light of the sun. Similarly, the hard sciences with their established systems of knowledge have been able to repel the attacks of post-modernism. Summarizing, three areas of society have survived the onslaught of postmodernism: the consumer society with its flow of products and gadgets, those who have exposure to common sense, and the hard sciences. Essentially, everything else has been eaten up by the locusts.

Verse 4 continues by saying that the locusts can hurt “only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” The word forehead literally means ‘after the eye’. The eyes are used to scan the physical environment in order to build a map within Perceiver thought. ‘After the eye’ would then describe what the mind does with a collection of Perceiver facts. A concept of God is based in a general Teacher understanding. Therefore, having the seal of God on their foreheads would mean approaching Perceiver facts with the mindset of placing these facts within a concept of God in Teacher thought. This describes the hard sciences, which use the Teacher theory of a paradigm to interpret Perceiver facts about reality. A soft science lacks such a general theory, and the soft sciences or humanities have largely self-destructed as a result of postmodern thought.

Verse 5 describes the limitations of this power. “And they were not permitted to kill them, but to torment for five months”. The first phrase is more literally, ‘And it was given to them not to kill them, but…’ Kill is the basic verb that means ‘to kill’. Cognitively speaking, killing some idea or mindset means pulling apart the mental networks that support this mindset. But postmodernism does not actually analyze ideas and pull them apart. Instead, it questions the legitimacy of existing authority figures in a general manner, causing people to lose respect for traditional understanding. One of the results is that most traditional understanding is still taught within the University, but it is being taught as mind games based in historical trivia which neither professors nor students really believe.

It should be pointed out that postmodern questioning is different than the development of critical thinking. The goal of critical thinking is to question the opinions of authorities in order to understand how things really work. In contrast, postmodern questioning simply belittles the opinions of authorities without providing an alternative.

Wikipedia lists fields that have been taken over by postmodern thought. “Postmodern critical approaches gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, and have been adopted in a variety of academic and theoretical disciplines, including cultural studies, philosophy of science, economics, linguistics, architecture, feminist theory, and literary criticism, as well as art movements in fields such as literature, contemporary art, and music.” Notice the focus upon the humanities and the soft sciences.

Torment means ‘to examine, literally by using torture’. In Roman times, the only legal evidence that would be accepted from a slave was evidence extracted under torture. This word is used three times either as a noun or a verb in verse 5. In other words, postmodernism is actually performing the cognitive service of ‘torture-testing’ systems of belief. Any system that lacks sufficient internal integrity is falling apart, which explains why the hard sciences are surviving while the soft sciences are largely self-destructing. I am not sure what five months represent. One possibility is that the length of a month is determined by the orbit of the moon. If the moon represents the reflected light of civilization, then five months would mean five cycles of civilization. Thus, five months might refer to the hippie generation, the ‘me’ generation, Generation X, the Millennials, and Generation Z. Each of these generations has expressed postmodern thought in a different manner.

Verse 5 adds that “their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a person”. The emphasis here is upon striking individual humans rather than upon affecting society in general. This implies that the ‘examination by torture’ is happening at an individual level and that the mental integrity of individuals is being tested. As was mentioned before, the sting of a scorpion happens at the tail end. Similarly, the sting of postmodernism happens at the tail end. Initially, postmodernism feels like a celebration of freedom and personal choice, but the sting happens at the end as the questioning of traditional authority leads to the ‘examination under torture’ of self-doubt. What survives at the end are the core mental networks of hate and infatuation. Saying this more simply, a call for freedom eventually leads to a defense of lifestyle, and lifestyle becomes increasingly defined in terms of basic biological urges. Notice how the woe is affecting those who ‘live on earth’ because intelligent thought is becoming the slave of physical desire. In the end, this leads to a philosophy of embodiment, which asserts that the mind is inescapably shaped by input from the physical body. Mental symmetry, in contrast, suggests that it is possible to follow integrated understanding to the extent of affecting the mental networks that deal with the physical body.

Verse 6 describes the longer-term response. “And in those days people will seek death and will not find it.” ‘Days’ in the plural suggests that postmodernism will continue through several general theories of society. I suggest that a distinction needs to be made between the large day of modern thought with its general sun of scientific theories, and the much shorter days of various philosophies that guide society. Western civilization has experienced several major shifts since the 1970s, such as the fall of Communism, 9/11, and the Financial Crisis of 2008.

The word death means ‘separation from life’. Seek means ‘to seek out by inquiring’. And find means to ‘discover, especially after searching’. Physically speaking, it does not make sense to seek death and cannot find it. Physical death is quite easy to find. One simply has to step in front of a car or jump off a bridge. However, if one interprets death cognitively as separation, closure, and the pulling apart of mental networks, then postmodernism removes the ability to bring closure to mental networks. That is because the only way to pull apart a strong mental network is by holding on to a more potent mental network. But postmodern questioning eliminates the emotional potency of mental networks, making it impossible to process them. The end result is people who feel strongly for short periods of time about shallow issues, whose emotional stability can be shattered by trivial emotional encounters, and who are incapable of truly pulling themselves together.

This mindset is elaborated in the rest of verse 6: “They will long to die, and death flees from them!” Long means ‘to long for, to desire very much’. Thus, the overwhelming desire is to become emotionally free of the baggage of half-digested mental networks. However, death implies finality, and we saw in the philosophy of Derrida that deconstructionism flees from finality. Thus, the very process of applying postmodern questioning to some issue will make it impossible to bring closure to that issue. The result is that death will flee from postmodern thought.

The Locusts 9:7-12

Verse 7 describes the appearance of the locusts. “The likenesses of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like human faces.” The word likenesses ‘does not require one element of a comparison to be derived from the other; indeed, it can be wholly separate from it’. This noun is only found once in Revelation and the corresponding adjective like is used twice in this verse. The same adjective was used in Revelation 4:7 to describe the four living creatures, suggesting that they are not really a lion, a calf, and an eagle. Curiously, the living creature that has the face of a man was described using a closer analogical word, suggesting that a human portrays the nature of a living being more closely than a lion, a calf, or an eagle. Similarly, verse 7 also uses the same closer like in the phrase ‘like human faces’. The implication is that the locusts are pretending to be something that they are not really. They are ‘paper tigers’ with a lot of bluster but not much substance. In the words of Wikipedia, “Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse and include arguments that postmodernism promotes obscurantism, is meaningless, and that it adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge.”

A horse was the ancient equivalent of a tank, and thus symbolizes military and organizational might. Battle means ‘war’, emphasizing the idea of military might. ‘Horses prepared for battle’ would mean an organized attempt to defeat some foe. Similarly, deconstructionism, exists primarily to deconstruct existing texts, and postmodernism exists primarily to attack modern thought. However, notice that there is no actual battle, and notice that there is only the appearance of preparing for battle. Likewise, postmodernism gives the impression that it is preparing to battle existing modern thought, but the actual battle seldom occurs. Instead, when postmodernism is faced direct on, it slinks away, and when one looks more closely at postmodernism, one realizes that it lacks the intellectual ammunition that is needed to attack a foe in an organized manner.

I should mention in passing that mental symmetry approaches the questioning of postmodernism in a different fashion. For instance, Michel Foucault is regarded as one of the founders of deconstructionism. I am not aware of all of Foucault’s ideas. However, when I encountered Foucault’s epistemes, I interpreted them as a description of cognitive mechanisms illustrated by Western history, though I found Foucault’s writing style to be unnecessarily obscure. In contrast, the average reader interprets these epistemes as proof that universal truth does not exist because each era interprets truth in its own way.

More generally, postmodernism “can be described as a reaction against attempts to explain reality in an objective manner by claiming that reality is a mental construct.” For a mindset that ‘lives upon the earth’, this is a fatal blow. However, mental symmetry merely points out that mental constructs are subject to their own set of universal laws, based upon the structure of the mind. This means that it is possible to find cognitive mechanisms described in the more carefully written literature of postmodern thought.

Moving to the second phrase of verse 7, the head would presumably represent intelligent thought. A crown is ‘a wreath awarded to a victor in the ancient athletic games’. Gold represents great value and is ‘used also as a symbol of profound purchasing power’. Two different kinds of ‘like’ are used in this phrase. More literally, the phrase is ‘upon their heads are something like crowns which resemble gold’. Thus, there is a direct reference to the head of intelligent thought, and this head is crowned with something that is like what one receives when winning a game. This like-a-crown vaguely resembles the great value of gold. Applying this to postmodern thought, postmodernism deeply affects intelligence thought at a deeper level, because it acts as if it has used intelligent thought to go further than modern thought. In the words of Wikipedia, “Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourse defined by an attitude of skepticism toward what it describes as the grand narratives and ideologies of modernism, as well as opposition to epistemic certainty and the stability of meaning. It questions or criticizes viewpoints associated with Enlightenment rationality dating back to the 17th century.”

Going further, postmodern thought claims to be crowned by the ‘gold’ of great value, but there is only a faint resemblance between real value and the athlete’s crown worn by postmodernism. For instance, Wikipedia describes the fake value of postmodern art. “American academic and aesthete Camille Paglia has said: ‘The end result of four decades of postmodernism permeating the art world is that there is very little interesting or important work being done right now in the fine arts. Irony was a bold and creative posture when Duchamp did it, but it is now an utterly banal, exhausted, and tedious strategy. Young artists have been taught to be ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ and thus painfully self-conscious. They are not encouraged to be enthusiastic, emotional, and visionary.”

The third phrase of verse 7 says that ‘their faces were like human faces’. As was mentioned earlier, this like indicates an actual resemblance. The face would represent communication at a more personal and nonverbal level. The primary shortcoming of modern thought is that it uses technical thinking in a manner that ignores Teacher emotions through specialization and suppresses Mercy emotions by being objective. Postmodern thought fills in this void by explicitly acknowledging personal feelings and attempting to uncover universal worldviews. This is a face that is like a human face. But this ‘adding of a face’ is not being done in a human fashion, because postmodern thought does not provide a home for personal identity nor does it construct a legitimate universal understanding.

The description continues in verse 8. “They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.” Hair is mentioned three times in Revelation, twice in this verse. Hair is interpreted as intuitive thought. This interpretation is discussed in the analysis of Matthew 10:30. Intuitive thought jumps directly from specific Mercy experiences to general Teacher theories. Female thought naturally uses intuition, because female thought emphasizes both Mercy and Teacher emotions. Intuition can be thought of as a shortcut to careful thought, which can be trained to become more accurate. The like here indicates a resemblance. Postmodernism does jump from specific emotional example to sweeping statement.

For instance, the case study is an example of intuition because it jumps from a specific case to general conclusions. Wikipedia summarizes that “In the social and life sciences, a case study is a research method involving an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of a particular case.” Wikipedia adds that case studies are usually chosen because of personal emotions, either with the author or with the situation. “A case may be chosen because of the inherent interest of the case or the circumstances surrounding it. Alternatively it may be chosen because of researchers’ in-depth local knowledge; where researchers have this local knowledge they are in a position to ‘soak and poke’ as Richard Fenno put it.” As Wikipedia relates, case studies are useful if one wishes to jump from specific Mercy experience to general Teacher theory. “Case studies have commonly been seen as a fruitful way to come up with hypotheses and generate theories. Case studies are also useful for formulating concepts, which are an important aspect of theory construction.” More rigorous thought can then be used to build a general theory that has been intuitively gleaned from some specific case study.

Deconstructionism also starts with specific texts and attempts to pull out a deeper meaning. The Encyclopedia Britannica explains that “In all the fields it influenced, deconstruction called attention to rhetorical and performative aspects of language use, and it encouraged scholars to consider not only what a text says but also the relationship—and potential conflict—between what a text says and what it does.” Similarly, postmodern thought is usually triggered by specific grievances to make universal statements. But postmodernism is only like intuitive thought, because the goal of jumping mentally from specific experience to universal pronouncement is not to build understanding, but rather to attack authority.

The second phrase of verse 8 says that ‘their teeth were like the teeth of lions’. This is the only reference to teeth in Revelation. Teeth are used to bite and chew food. If food represents intellectual food, then teeth are used to break words and theories into bite-size chunks that can be intellectually digested. Deconstructionism claims to do such breaking into pieces and analyzing. A lion was previously mentioned in 5:5, which referred to the ‘lion of the tribe of Judah’. A lion will next be mentioned in 9:17 with fire and smoke proceeding out of its mouth, and 10:3 will refer to the roar of a lion. Judah means ‘praised’. Thus, a lion probably represents a mindset that is based in the proclamation of personal status: ‘I am the expert. I am praised. Roar!!’ Similarly, postmodern thought presumes an attitude of personal importance. When one questions existing experts, one can either appeal to the facts or else question the emotional status of the expert. Postmodern thought does not believe in facts; therefore, the only remaining option is to question the emotional status of experts. But whenever I question the emotional status of someone else, then I am implicitly assuming that I myself have emotional status. Using symbolic language, I am roaring like a lion. Postmodernism questions existing information based solely upon this implicit assumption of the mantle of authority. But as was mentioned before, postmodern thought does not really analyze. Instead, its teeth are only like those of lions.

Notice that there is a progression from verse 7 to verse 8. Verse 7 describes the initial appearance, while verse 8 describes the method of thought. Verse 9 will focus on the behavior. Verse 9 begins, “They had breastplates like breastplates of iron.” A breastplate ‘protected the chest and extended down to the hips’, and the definition suggests that this represents ‘what protects the heart’. The heart represents personal identity in Mercy thought. A breastplate is mentioned three times in Revelation, twice in this phrase. Like again indicates resemblance. Iron is mentioned four times in Revelation. Three of these times mention ruling with a ‘rod of iron’. Thus, iron would represent hardness that has been tested by fire. A breastplate of iron would describe a mindset that has learned under fire how to protect personal identity. Applying this to postmodern thought, the primary concern of postmodernism is to protect either my personal identity or the personal identity of some group or person that is being harassed or persecuted. The postmodern will travel long distances to participate in protests against some authority figure who has acquired the reputation of persecuting some minority. But the same postmodern is actually quite thin-skinned and easily offended emotionally. Thus, postmodernism has breastplates that are like breastplates of iron. The behavior of protecting the vulnerable from oppression is present, but in actual fact, there is no personal armor.

Verse 9 continues, “And the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.” Sound means ‘voice, sound’ and does not necessarily refer to intelligent speech. Wing refers to a wing of a bird, and is related to the verb ‘fly’. The sound of wings would represent the appearance of intelligent abstract thought. For instance, deconstructionism analyzes verbal texts, giving the appearance of intelligent abstract thought. Similarly, postmodernism writes many essays, says many words, and pays great attention to words that are deemed to be politically incorrect. Thus, there is a sound of wings. But verse 9 does not say that there is any actual intellectual thought.

Horses were encountered earlier as symbols of military and organizational might. A chariot is mentioned once in Revelation. A chariot is a kind of ‘ship of the land’ that allows a horse to pull a human. The idea is that organizations are being pulled along by horses of military might. Similarly, postmodernism uses the horses of government legislation and corporate policy to pull organizations in desired directions. Saying this another way, postmodern thought prefers legislating its rules to education, because it does not really believe in education. Rushing is used once in Revelation and ‘conveys intense desire to get to the goal as quickly as possible’. This rushing is into battle, which means ‘war, battle, strife’. Putting this together, postmodernism wants immediate solutions, and it rushes to adopt a combative approach. This attitude can be seen in the appearance of intellectual activity. Postmodernism says many words, but these words are not designed to build understanding. Instead, the purpose of the words is to inflame the situation, turn negotiation into protest, and get some official authority to pass a rule that will change the situation right away.

Verse 10 describes what happens when postmodernism achieves power. “They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt people for five months.” The sting of a scorpion was mentioned previously, but verse 10 explicitly mentions that the sting is in the tail, and the word tail is used twice in verse 10. In addition, verse 10 explicitly mentions sting, which means ‘a sharp point’ and is used only once in Revelation. Like is the normal comparison word, but in this case, ‘like’ is only used to compare the tail with that of a scorpion. There is no ‘like’ when describing either the power or the hurt, indicating that this destructive effect is real.

Power means ‘authority, conferred power’ and was previously seen in verse 3. In other words, when postmodernism acquires official power, it does not use this power to bring justice, because postmodern thought does not believe in universal concepts such as justice. Instead, this conferred power is typically used to sting others, poking them with a sharp point in a way that makes them hurt. The word hurt was previously used in verse 4 and comes from the word ‘unrighteousness’. Righteousness means behaving in a way that is guided by some Teacher understanding. Postmodernism rejects all Teacher understanding as propaganda. Therefore, postmodernism instinctively regards righteousness as propaganda-based oppression of others. And postmodernism feels duty-bound to make life difficult for those who have the gall to think that their behavior is being guided by some form of universal law or universal understanding. As far as postmodern thought is concerned, a righteous person is a nail that insists upon sticking up, and any nail that sticks up must be pounded down. This sting comes in the tail, because postmodern thought enters a situation proclaiming tolerance and freedom from oppression. However, once postmodern thought achieves a position of authority, then the implicit assumption that ‘might makes right’ causes postmodern thought to automatically assume that it is now right because it has the might. Verse 10 finishes by mentioning again the five months. This may mean that postmodern thought goes through five different forms, as expressed by the various generations of modern society.

In verse 11, the scorpions acquire a king. “They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss.” The word king in this verse does not refer to the winner of an athletic competition, but rather to the ruler of some domain. In verse 10, postmodernism acquired official power. Verse 11 describes the type of official power that postmodernism wields. Abyss means ‘boundless, bottomless’ and was used in verse 1 to describe the bottomless well. Angel means ‘messenger’ and can refer to either a human or an angel. Mental symmetry suggests that angels live within messages, just as humans live within physical bodies. Until now, postmodernism has appeared like a farce with bluster and no intellectual content. But when postmodernism requires official power, it becomes an active force, ruled by the ‘angel’ of some abstract system of thought. And this official power imposes emptiness. Postmodern power replaces content with nothingness. Progress and stability become replaced by an imposed void within which nothing solid can be stated or done. Looking at recent history, this imposed nothingness can be seen in the intolerant tolerance of the liberal, who legislates or protests away all factual and/or moral content. However, the same imposed nothingness can now also be seen in the Republican conservative who disregards all facts as ‘fake news’. In both cases, the result is belligerent emptiness.

Verse 11 adds that “his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.” A name refers to a label in Teacher thought that summarizes the character of some person or system. Abaddon is found once in the New Testament and means ‘destroyer’. Apollyon is also used only once in the New Testament and means ‘a destroyer’. Looking at this cognitively, Teacher overgeneralization will naturally emerge whenever enough Perceiver facts are questioned. This mechanism explains the mindset of mysticism, which asserts that the character of God transcends rational thought. Postmodernism has been attacking all solid facts. Eventually enough facts will be eliminated to allow Teacher thought to discover the emotional pleasure of overgeneralization. Universal tolerance is a form of Teacher overgeneralization because it teaches that people can find unity by ignoring the facts that separate them. In verse 10, postmodern thought acquired the power to suppress any person or group who stood out from the crowd. Going further, whenever any Teacher theory—be it a real theory or an overgeneralized theory—continues to be used, it will turn into a TMN which will exert emotional pressure to continue using this theory. Putting this all together, what will eventually emerge is the TMN of an overgeneralized theory of destruction. Anyone who dares to stand for anything or tries to be an individual will be viewed as an affront to the imposed blandness of universal tolerance. Any remaining structures of morality or personal excellence will be destroyed in the name of ‘equality’.

Verse 12 summarizes, “The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.” Passed means ‘to go away’. This implies that postmodernism will eventually come to an end. That is because people will eventually protest against the belligerent imposition of ignorance. This protest will be spearheaded by the technical thinking of scientific thought, because scientific thought is one of the few areas that has survived the onslaught of postmodernism. In addition, when all content becomes destroyed, then what survives at the end is methodology. That is because Server thought can always regain confidence by choosing to repeat some set of actions. Thus, I suggest that the next woe involves corporations and organizations that emphasize technical scientific thought combined with corporate methodology.

The Sixth Trumpet 9:13-16

Verse 13 introduces the sixth trumpet. “Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard one voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God.” The word ‘one’ suggests a unified response. However, voice indicates that this unified response is not being conveyed as a coherent verbal theory. An altar ‘means the meeting place between God and the true worshiper’. A horn is ‘an instrument of power’. The only other New Testament reference to a ‘golden altar’ was in 8:3 at the beginning of the seven trumpets. In 8:3, incense and the prayers of the saints were being offered ‘on the golden altar which was before the throne’. Here, a voice is coming ‘from the horns of the golden altar which is before God’. (‘Four’ is not in all the early manuscripts.) There are three differences between verse 13 and 8:3: 1) A voice is coming from the altar rather than prayers being placed upon the altar. 2) The voice is coming from the horns of the altar while the prayers are being placed upon the altar itself. 3) The altar is before God rather than before the throne.

Putting this together cognitively, a single, semi-coherent, verbal response is coming from the structure that gives power to the interaction between people and a concept of God in Teacher thought. If one places this within the context, then the symbolic meaning becomes apparent. Rational, scientific thought is crying out in a unified manner against the belligerent stupidity of the previous verses. Science uses the voice of Teacher thought. Science may ignore the altar itself, but it provides the power for interaction between people and general Teacher understanding. Science thinks in terms of general theories within Teacher thought, and a concept of God emerges when a sufficiently general theory applies to personal identity.

Verse 14 describes what the voice says. “Saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’” Saying is the normal word for speech. This is the first trumpet that is accompanied by verbal instructions, because the voice is telling the angel what to do. This indicates the presence of rational thinking in Teacher thought, which is consistent with the idea that the sixth trumpet is motivated by a desire to maintain rational thought.

However, the response is only partially rational. Bound means ‘to tie, bind’. It is used twice in Revelation. The other time is in 20:2, which talks about Satan being bound for 1000 years. The response of the voice is to release something that has been bound until now. Looking at this cognitively, the technical thinking of science is being threatened at a core level. When technical thought is challenged, then it will respond in an emotional fashion. Technical thought is responding to the challenge of postmodernism by releasing subjective drives that have been bottled up and bound until now.

What is being released is the four angels at the great river Euphrates. The Euphrates is mentioned twice in the New Testament, here and in 16:12, and it is important not to confuse these two references. In 16:12 the river is dried up. In verse 14 the angels are released, but the river remains intact. In both cases, the river is referred to as great, which means that one is dealing with a general concept in Teacher theory. The Euphrates River separates West from East. The city of Babylon figures prominently in the book of Revelation, and Babylon was built astride the Euphrates River. Thus, I suggest that the Babylon represents a semi-rational mindset that combines rational technical thought in the objective with a jumble of mental networks in the subjective. This juxtaposition of rational thought with irrational subjective motivation can be seen in the description of Babylon in Revelation 17-18. The beginning of Revelation 17 portrays the corrupt mental networks that provide the subjective motivation, while the end of chapter 18 describes the rational trade and commerce that is being performed in the objective.

Looking at the release of the angels in more detail, technical thought focuses upon rational thinking while assuming the mental networks that drive this thinking. For instance, abstract technical thought solves technical puzzles while assuming the emotional paradigms that drive this puzzle-solving. Similarly, concrete technical thought pursues trade and commerce, while assuming the emotional bottom lines that drive this business activity. In other words, the angels at the river Euphrates are normally bound. Releasing the angels implies explicitly recognizing that technical thought uses a combination of irrational ‘Eastern’ motivation and rational ‘Western’ logic. The reference to four angels implies that four distinct and explicit messages are being taught.

I am not exactly sure what these are, but four possible candidates would be 1) The current medical and psychological emphasis upon the mental health benefits of mindfulness and mysticism. 2) The educational emphasis upon adding spirituality to secular education. For instance, the BC government recently mandated that Native Spirituality be treated as the integrating factor that ties together all other subjects being taught. 3) The movement of many churches and religions to a common emphasis upon spirituality without content. The idea is to fill the emotional vacuum created by modern science and technology in a manner that does not inhibit one’s ability to function within modern society. 4) A business focus upon teaching employees various meditative practices. These four candidates have existed for a while, but what is new is that they are now being taught explicitly and officially.

Summarizing, the response of the sixth trumpet to the irrationality of postmodernism is not to emphasize rational thinking in all of the mind. Instead, emotions are being officially recognized and released in such a way that they will bring motivation and provide meaning without disturbing objective and specialized technical thought. This corresponds symbolically to releasing angels that have been bound at the great river Euphrates. In 16:12 the Euphrates River will be dried up, which means that the current separation between objective and subjective will be eliminated. The sixth trumpet involves a juxtaposition of irrational subjectivity with rational objective thought.

I will refer to this combination as corporatism. A modern corporation combines rational product development with irrational marketing. On the one hand, modern products are developed using pure rational thought guided by a deep understanding of science and technology. Any product that does not meet accepted standards of quality and safety will eventually be rejected by the consumer. On the other hand, modern products are marketed by using advertising campaigns to manipulate the emotions of consumers. Any product that does not market sufficiently will eventually be ignored by the consumer. I know that there are exceptions to these principles, but they are becoming increasingly rare as more of modern society becomes engulfed by corporatism. I should add that the term corporatism extends beyond corporations. That is because most modern religion, government, academia, and medicine is expected to function like a corporation and has taken on the flavor of corporatism.

Verse 15 continues. “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.” Prepared means to ‘prepare, make ready’, and was last used in 9:7 at the beginning of the description of the locusts. This is the only reference in the New Testament to such a specific timing. This indicates that it is important to release this mindset at the right moment. That is because two irreconcilable mindsets are being simultaneously embraced. One cannot be simultaneously openly rational and openly irrational, because these two ways of functioning will implode upon one another.

Using a politically incorrect analogy, female thought emphasizes the emotional processing of mental networks. Male thought emphasizes the logical thinking of technical thought. One cannot be simultaneously male and female. Going further, I suggest that the current controversy over physical gender is an expression of a mental desire to simultaneously embrace both male and female thought. This is quite different than physically or mentally marrying male and female thought. That is because male thought is currently regarded as using technical thought while suppressing subjective emotions. Similarly, female thought is regarded as following subjective mental networks while suppressing objective logic. One cannot simultaneously embrace two mindsets that are defined as the negation of the other. Mentally speaking, this is like trying to bring matter and antimatter together. The end result is annihilation accompanied by the release of a lot of energy. In contrast, it is both possible and useful to ‘marry’ male and female thought if one regards male thought as a way of bringing rigor to female intuition and female thought as an emotional shortcut to the pedantic processing of male logic.

I suggest that verse 15 describes what happens when one attempts to simultaneously embrace male and female thought—when each are regarded as the negation of the other. It will ‘kill a third of mankind’. Saying this cognitively, a significant portion of what it means to be a human will have to be suppressed in order to create mental and social buffer zones that separate irrational subjective emotions from rational objective thought.

Verse 16 goes into more detail. “The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.” Many have speculated as to the identity of these 200 million horsemen. Some have suggested that this refers to 200 million soldiers from China. But 16:12 refers to the kings of the East. They are not mentioned in verse 16. In addition, 16:12 does not say that the kings of the East will invade, but rather that a way is being prepared for them, indicating that the Perceiver boundary of the Euphrates River is being replaced by the Server sequence of some road.

I suggest that this road goes far beyond the current belt and road initiative of Communist China. China is currently attempting to extend its political control by funding physical infrastructure in foreign countries, but Chinese society itself is the epitome of corporatism, combining physical factories that use science and technology with a communist dictatorship that tells citizens what to think and feel. I suggest that 16:12 refers to a future time when the objective and the subjective will be integrated in a manner that current society is incapable of grasping.

What matters cognitively is that the word number is used twice in verse 16. Technical thought has a natural tendency to quantify. Verse 16 adds that this the number is being heard, indicating that the quantifying of technical thought is being used explicitly within Teacher thought. Looking at this cognitively, rational technical thought is attempting to quantify spiritual experience and subjective emotion. But it is a category mistake to attempt to squeeze mental networks into a framework of numbers. When people with their mental networks are reduced to numbers, then this leads ultimately to concentration camps where people are worked to death. This happened literally in World War II, and also happens cognitively when technical thought attempts to reduce the mental networks of subjective spirituality to numbers. (I just posted a paper which examines the limitations of quantifying and suggests that if one wishes to unify technical thought with mental networks, then one must use the analogies of normal thought.)

Looking at the number 200 million in more detail, the Greek says ‘twice myriads of myriads’, and a myriad is ten thousand. This word is found four times in Revelation: Revelation 5:11 used a myriad myriads combined with thousands of thousands to describe the angels around the throne. And verse 16 refers to ‘twice a myriad myriads’. This implies that verse 16 is a completion of what began in imbalanced form in 5:11. Saying this more clearly, in 5:11 there are myriads of myriads on one side but only thousands of thousands on the other, while in verse 16 there are twice myriads of myriads, implying a full myriads of myriads on each side. 5:11 was interpreted as the corporatism that took emerged in the late Roman Empire. The Roman Empire juxtaposed a surprisingly modern political and economic system with an agrarian economy. In verse 16, technical thought has achieved a balanced dominance both in abstract and concrete thought, because the abstract technical thinking of a structured political system is being combined with the concrete technical thinking of modern technology. Unlike in the late Roman Empire, today’s technical thought fully rules both abstract and concrete thought.

This rulership is suggested by the reference to armies and cavalry. An army is ‘an expedition, an army, a company of soldiers’. This is the first use of this term in Revelation, and it implies armed force exhibiting itself as a cohesive organization, consistent with the concept of corporatism. The word cavalry comes from the word ‘horse’ and is only used once in the New Testament. Horses represent organizational and military might. Cavalry indicates this might exhibiting itself in a cohesive, organized manner. The focus of verse 16 is not upon the armies themselves, but rather upon the number of the armies, indicating that the first step of corporatism is organization based upon quantification. People, experiences, and emotions are being reduced to numbers so that they can be organized by technical thought.

The Horses 9:17-21

Verse 17 describes the horsemen. “And this is how I saw in my vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire, of hyacinth, and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire and smoke and brimstone.” The NASB refers to ‘the riders’ but this is not in the original Greek. Instead, the horses are mentioned twice, and the heads and mouths of the horses are described. This accurately describes corporatism, which ignores the person on the corporate horse while focusing upon the behavior of the horse. Saying this more crudely, people are merely assets of the organization, required to animate the various horses of corporate activity.

Saw was previously used in 9:1 to describe the star of deconstructionism falling from heaven. Seeing the horses implies that these entities are being experienced within the realm of concrete existence. Vision means ‘the act of seeing’ and is used three times in Revelation, twice in 4:3 and in this verse. Both ‘saw’ and ‘vision’ come from the same word that often means ‘to see with the mind’. Thus, the emphasis is upon internal vision. What is being seen is the horses. Applying this to corporatism, every corporation attempts to insert itself into the vision of Mercy thought through various icons, defining events, and visual symbols. Everywhere one goes within modern society, one sees the advertising and symbols of various corporate horses. Similarly, everywhere one browses on the Internet, one sees the advertising and symbols of corporate horses. The purpose of these icons and symbols is to trigger internal sight, by having the consumer mentally ‘see’ the corporation or organization that the symbol represents.

These various corporate symbols are usually associated with people and subjective emotions, but the people are merely placeholders for humanity. This can be seen in the typical corporate advertising that includes people which have nothing to do with the organization, but rather are professional models who have been chosen because they portray the right corporate image. The verb ‘sitting’ has already been used fifteen times in Revelation, but only to describe a person sitting on a throne or sitting on a horse. In both cases, sitting indicates a position of established power.

Turning now to the description of the horses, a breastplate was interpreted as a means of protecting the heart of subjective identity. Fiery is found once in the New Testament, and comes from fire, which is interpreted as some form of frustrated motivation. Of hyacinth is found once in the New Testament, and describes the color of ‘dark purple or blue’. Purple was a symbol of royalty. Thus, hyacinthine might represent an appearance of high class or royalty. Of brimstone is more accurately ‘like brimstone’, which refers to smoky, burning rocks. The term ‘like’ appeared several times in the description of the locusts, but this is the first use of ‘like’ in the description of the horses. Thus, a fiery breastplate implies that corporatism really is able to protect subjective feelings by suppressing and guiding them. That is because corporatism is guided by the solid, specialized thinking of technical thought, and technical thought can be used to channel and segregate emotions. This is quite different than postmodernism, which was incapable of totally suppressing subjective feelings. In contrast, a corporate droid really can function within a corporate environment as a supposedly unfeeling minion. That is because corporatism channels personal emotions rather than suppressing them. This is different than academia, because academic thought tries to ignore and suppress subjective emotions, while corporatism actively replaces normal subjective emotions with the personal motivation of corporate reward and punishment.

Going further, the technical thinking of a modern corporation can use scientific thought to develop goods and services that have the appearance of class and royalty. Brimstone refers to ‘smoky, burning rocks’ and thus would represent ‘rocks’ of Perceiver truth designed to frustrate mental networks. Similarly, every corporate organization attempts to harness personal drives to further the organization, guided by policies designed to prevent the personal expression of excessive emotionality. However, this is only an appearance, because corporate policy can only regulate the public expression of mental networks and cannot prevent them from existing. For instance, corporate regulations can forbid the expression of racist language, but they cannot prevent employees from thinking in a racist manner.

Verse 17 says that “the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions”. Here, the word ‘like’ is explicitly used. The head of the horse is being compared to the head of a lion. Notice again that there is no reference to the person sitting on the horse. A lion was interpreted previously as a roaring of personal domination. And a head would refer to intelligent thought. In other words, the intelligent behavior of the organizational entity expresses itself as the roaring of personal domination. For instance, ‘Coke is better than Pepsi. Our company is better than the competition.’ However, in most cases this is merely appearance, because the products of most modern companies are reasonably similar. One company is publicly portraying itself and its products as better than another company as a marketing tool in order to encourage the consumer to buy one product instead of the other.

For instance, one article provides several graphics that illustrate how “All the biggest product brands in the world are owned by a handful of corporations. Food, cleaning products, banks, airlines, cars, media companies... everything is in the hands of these megacorporations.” (And similar graphs can be found in other articles.) This is an example of the head of the horse being like the head of a lion. Each corporate logo is an explicit icon that represents the ‘horse’ of some product line. These various ‘heads of horses’ give the impression of competing with one another, but most of them are owned by a few corporations.

Verse 17 concludes by saying that “out of their mouths came fire and smoke and brimstone”. Notice again that it is the corporate horses that have the mouths and not any real people. The mouth refers to the source of speech, but does not necessarily mean that there is any corporate speech. Similarly, corporate marketing speaks many words. Many words come out of the horses of organizational might that are battling for dominance. But most of this flapping of the lips is meaningless noise that is designed to create and manipulate subjective mental networks. However, this meaningless marketing is having real emotional effects, because there is no ‘like’ in the description. The fire and smoke and brimstone that proceed are very real. Fire implies some form of frustration. Corporate marketing is designed to frustrate a person’s natural desires by replacing them with implanted desires for some product. This applies both to the employee who works for a corporation and the consumer who buys from a corporation. Smoke was interpreted previously as confusion that darkens Teacher understanding. Similarly, corporate marketing replaces genuine understanding with confusion, making it more difficult to evaluate priorities and products upon their own merits. Brimstone was just interpreted as Perceiver facts designed to squelch subjective feelings. Similarly, corporate marketing attempts to co-opt genuine feelings and replace them with the synthetic emotions of consumerism. Notice that these three elements all proceeds from the mouth of the horse, indicating that they are the result of corporate communication or marketing.

Verse 18 emphasizes that these are three distinct effects. “A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire, the smoke, and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.” A plague is ‘a blow, wound’, and this is the first use of this word in Revelation. Fire affects MMNs of personal desire in Mercy thought. Smoke clouds TMNs of Teacher understanding. And brimstone imposes consequences that limit the choices that can be made by Contributor-controlled technical thought. Thus, humanity is being squelched in three distinct ways, and these three methods are managing to eliminate humanity from a substantial portion of human existence. However, this suppression of humanity cannot be total because corporatism requires humans who have sufficient humanity to be able to design and enjoy consumer products.

The scorpions of the fifth trumpet had power in their tails. The horses of corporatism have power both in their mouths and in their tails. Verse 19 explains, “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.” As before, power refers to ‘authority, conferred power’. This power expresses itself both up front through the mouths of corporate marketing and in a tail that shows up later. The up-front power has already been discussed. Verse 19 describes what happens at the tail end. This is the first mention of a serpent in Revelation, and the next reference will be in chapter 12 which refers to Satan as the ‘serpent of old’. A serpent is visually the simplest form of animal—a string that moves. A serpent represents the simplest form of mental network, which is a string that moves. This is formed mentally through the use of Teacher overgeneralization, which takes some single sweeping statement and applies this everywhere. Saying this another way, I suggest that a serpent represents mysticism with its Teacher overgeneralization.

The serpent of mysticism emerges from the tail of corporatism because it is not possible to juxtapose technical thought with mental networks. Corporatism appeals to mental networks through the use of corporate marketing, but whenever corporate marketing appropriates some set of mental networks it will modify these mental networks into meaninglessness. That is because all of the content is coming from the technical thought itself and none of it is coming from the mental networks that supposedly are being expressed. For instance, suppose that some company generates a product that is good for the environment. This may start out as a genuine desire to help the environment, but this company will eventually be bought out, or overwhelmed by larger corporate entities that give the appearance of helping the environment without having to pay the cost that is associated with actually helping the environment. The end result is that environmental concern will naturally become a meaningless corporate slogan, an overgeneralization with no actual factual content.

Verse 19 talks about the tails of the horses being like serpents having heads. In other words, corporate marketing eventually leads to meaningless slogans that feel very general, but have no actual content. Harm comes from the word unrighteousness and was used previously in 9:10 to describe the tails of the scorpions. Thus, corporatism turns actual righteousness, which attempts to behave in a way that is guided by Teacher understanding, into marketing slogans that give the appearance of righteousness, but actually make it harder to behave in a righteous manner and suppress the rational understanding that makes it possible to behave righteously. Saying this more clearly, the endless corporate slogans cloud the ability to gain actual understanding, making it difficult to determine what is righteousness and what is merely corporate marketing masquerading as righteousness.

Concluding the discussion of the sixth trumpet, there appears to be some overlap between the fifth and sixth trumpets, because corporate marketing has existed for some time. But postmodernism has laid the foundation for a purer expression of corporatism, because the questioning of postmodernism has removed any boundaries of morality or social convention that might restrict the expression of corporate marketing. And the continual protests of postmodernism have shown that what really matters to people is slogans and moral posturing. Thus, postmodernism actually lays the foundation for a pure expression of corporatism. As a result, many organizations have recently chosen to explicitly embrace the machinations of corporate marketing. It is as if a switch has gone on and corporate marketing has been promoted from the back office where it functioned undercover to the front office that faces the street of public interaction. The quantification of corporate marketing is now done openly and without apology, because there is no longer any perceived need to pretend to meet some moral standard. In that sense, the angels at the Euphrates have been released in a manner that did not exist in the past.

I am not suggesting that every large corporation is amoral, but we have now reached the point where we are no longer surprised when we discover that some morally posturing corporation is actually functioning in a cynically amoral manner. And we have also reached the point where corporations seem to have more power than sovereign countries, and where countries are expected to act like corporations.

For instance, this explicit manipulation through corporate marketing can be seen in the now disgraced company Cambridge Analytica, which attempted to manipulate many elections throughout the world between 2013 and 2018. Even though this one company has been officially condemned, evidence strongly suggests that this type of deliberate manipulation continues, as illustrated by the success of groups such as QAnon. This type of manipulation has always happened to some extent, but the existence of the Internet and social media now makes it possible to use technology to manipulate public opinion in a manner that was never possible before. Similarly, extensive digital surveillance, combined with meta-data analysis, make it possible to quantify and analyze personal opinion to an unprecedented degree. This all began in the opening years of the 21st century.

Another major milestone in the shift to corporatism happened in 2010-2014 when two American Supreme Court decisions dramatically increased the personal rights of a corporation. This was when the ‘horse’ legally became more significant than the human rider on the horse.

Verse 20 describes the effect upon the aspect of society that still remains human. “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, silver, brass, stone, and wood.” ‘The rest of mankind’ would refer to those who are not directly a part of some corporate system, whose mental networks have not been deadened by the three unrighteousnesses of corporate marketing, corporate bottom lines, and corporate decision-making. These corporate outsiders should know better because they are on the receiving end of corporate machinations.

Repent means to ‘think differently afterwards’. Corporatism promised a consumer paradise. The true nature of corporatism has been revealed by the sixth trumpet. But the average person is not responding by thinking differently afterwards. Work is ‘a deed that carries out an inner desire’. This describes the self-interested behavior that lies at the heart of the capitalist economy. Hands perform detailed manipulation and represent the use of technical thought. Putting this together, even though the average consumer knows that corporatism has a dehumanizing impact, the average consumer is still using technical thought to support the system.

Verse 20 clarifies that the problem is not technical thinking, but rather the mental networks that are motivating this technical thought. The word worship means ‘to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior’. Thus, the average consumer is still kissing the ground and prostrating before corporatism.

Looking at the list in verse 20, this is the first mention of a demon in Revelation. The next mention of demons is in 16:14 when referring again to the river Euphrates. The New Testament talks about spirits and demons inhabiting people, but it does not mention angels inhabiting people. My general hypothesis is that spirits ‘inhabit people’ by empowering MMNs, while demons empower TMNs. Stated cognitively, worshiping demons would mean submitting to the habits of some corporate environment and allowing them to empower the mind. This defines the typical corporate drone. The problem does not lie with formulating or following corporate procedures, or with behaving in a professional manner. Those are both partial forms of righteousness. Instead, the problem lies with submitting to some isolated corporate habit and allowing this to govern much of one’s life. That is worshiping a demon, because it reduces a human to a drone.

An idol is ‘an image’ and comes from a word that means ‘that which is seen’. It is only mentioned once in Revelation. Applying this to corporatism, this refers to the corporate image, which is composed largely of ‘items that can be seen’ such as corporate offices, corporate headquarters, or corporate logos. A progression can be seen in the list moving from golden, to silver, to bronze, to stone, and then to wooden. Other than gold, all of these adjectives are mentioned only once in Revelation. Gold has been interpreted as lasting value. Similarly, many large corporations began as some pursuit of lasting value. Moving from golden through silver to bronze implies a lowering of value, but also a gain in commonality. Similarly, the typical corporation tries to increase profits by cutting costs through lower value combined with increasing revenue by selling to more people. Thus, quality tends to suffer, while quantity tends to increase. This is followed by stone, which is the essence of stability. Similarly, the corporation that really survives is the one that is capable of producing objects that are solid and cheap. Technically speaking, once all of the bugs of some device have been worked out, then it is possible to set up assembly lines to produce vast quantities of this proven product. A similar mindset tends to guide such a corporation, which becomes stolid and set in stone, a corporation that is ‘too big to fail’.

The final step is wooden. Wood is a form of organic material, and a tree has been interpreted as some form of academic structure. Building out of wood implies including mental networks of life through some form of intellectual structure. Wood is also flexible. The cognitive implication is that a company that lasts has to find some way of meeting the emotional needs of employees, encouraging intellectual development, and flexing in an organic way to the current situation. For instance, a recent Forbes article emphasizes the need to provide meaningful work for the millennial generation. Another article emphasized the need to provide challenging jobs and professional development. This addresses the fundamental shortcoming of technical thought, which is that it tends to ignore emotional needs. However, notice that this shortcoming is being addressed in a backwards fashion. The starting point is the limited technical realm of some corporate environment. Mercy emotions of personal need and Teacher emotions of understanding are then being bolted on to this limited corporate environment. This is different than starting with the TMN of a concept of God and MMNs of personal identity and then using technical thought to pursue this goal in a more intelligent manner. Saying this another way, the law and the prophets are summed up by ‘loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and your neighbor as yourself’. Corporatism, in contrast, turns the corporation into a god that one loves with all of one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind and then defines one’s neighbor as one’s fellow employee.

Verse 20 points out that these idols can ‘neither see nor hear nor walk’. See means ‘to see, be observant’. This term was previously used in 5:4 where it was translated as ‘looking into’ the scroll of the book. This summarizes one of the major’s shortcomings of technical thought, which is an inability to see beyond the corner. Saying this another way, technical thought is clever, but it is not very deep. Hear means ‘to hear, listen’. This indicates another shortcoming of technical thought, which is a tendency to belittle or ignore any speech that cannot be explained by the current paradigm. Thus, it does not really listen to others. Finally, walk means to ‘walk around’, which a Hebrew mindset interprets as ‘conduct my life’. This word was previously used in 3:4 to describe those who ‘walked with Jesus’ in the letter to the Church of Sardis. This is also another weakness of technical thought, which limits activity to some restricted realm that is much smaller than the ‘walking around’ of normal life.

Summarizing, verse 20 describes the dehumanization that comes from the inherent limitations of the technical thinking that is used by corporatism. Verse 21 focuses upon the inadequate MMNs that drive corporatism when the desires of personal identity are assumed to be rational.

Verse 21 says, “and they did not repent of their murders, nor of their witchcraft, nor of their sexual immorality, nor of their thefts.” Repent means to ‘think differently after’. Thus, people are not changing their thinking, even after experiencing negative consequences. Examining this list more closely, murder means ‘intentional, unjustified homicide’, and this word is used once in Revelation. ‘Murders’ is in the plural. Looking at this cognitively, corporatism takes existing mental networks, eliminates their independent existence, and turns them into tools of marketing. Similarly, it takes living humans and turns them into drones of the corporate system. This was illustrated in the previous verses by the focus upon the horses that ignored the riders upon the horses.

Sorcery is ‘used of people using drugs and religious incantations to drug people into living by their illusions’. It is used three times in the New Testament, here, in 21:8, and in 22:15. This is an accurate description of corporate marketing, which tries to mentally drug people into living by the illusions of some corporate products. In other words, corporatism attempts to improve the sales of products by manipulating the mental networks of the consumer. Sexual immorality is the root of the English word ‘pornography’ and comes from a verb that means ‘to sell off’. This describes another fundamental shortcoming of corporatism. That is because rational technical thought is only being used to determine objective value. The end result is that what is truly valuable is being sold off in order to acquire peripheral value. This summarizes the fundamental sin of the prostitute, who sells what is really valuable in order to gain money. Similarly, corporatism promotes employees who are willing to sell their souls in order to get ahead. Using a contrived example, there is nothing wrong with getting excited by some new brand of soap. But trying to convince self and others that this new soap is more important than anything else is a form of mental pornography.

Theft is used once as a noun in the New Testament and means to ‘steal secretively’. Corporate theft is a common attribute of corporatism, because it is much easier to steal an idea from another corporation that it is to develop a product oneself. For instance, the FBI regards Chinese theft of American intellectual property as a major concern. And the FBI estimates that China steals about $300bn - $600bn of American intellectual property every year.

The four items in verse 21 also form a cognitive progression. The first stage eliminates existing mental networks. The second stage replaces these with the artificial mental networks provided by the corporation. The third stage optimizes these artificial mental networks at the expense of legitimate mental networks. The fourth stage of theft becomes possible because the previous three stages have divorced corporate products from any underlying mental networks. Using our contrived example, the first stage sells soap by appropriating existing mental networks of cleanliness and purity. The second stage replaces mental networks of cleanliness and purity with corporate slogans of achieving cleanliness and purity through a particular brand of soap. The third stage sells soap even if this means of violating mental networks of cleanliness and purity. The fourth stage steals the idea for producing a new kind of soap from the competitor because the product of soap has become disconnected from any mental networks of cleanliness and purity.

Before we move on, I should emphasize that I am not suggesting that corporatism be replaced by some form of socialism. The goal is not to return back to one of the earlier trumpets. Corporatism combines technical thought with mental networks, and that is good. Corporatism attempts to meet personal needs in an intelligent fashion, and that is also good. And corporatism makes it possible for people to meet greater goals by working together, which is also good. The problem with a corporatism is that it is limited, and this limitation can be seen in the very term ‘limited’ that is used to define a corporation. A corporation, by definition, functions within some limited realm, but life is larger than some limited realm. The solution is to come up with a meta-theory that is large enough to encompass all of existence, and then to place these various fragments within this larger structure. That will be the theme of the next two chapters.

The Strong Angel 10:1-2

Verse 12 of chapter 9 explicitly said that the sixth trumpet followed the fifth trumpet. The end of the sixth trumpet only comes in 11:14, which says that “The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.” This means that 10:1-11:14 should all be interpreted as events that are happening simultaneously with the development of corporatism. Chapter 10 has been analyzed previously. This analysis will add more details and place the previous analysis within a larger context.

A strong angel is introduced in verse 1: “I saw another strong angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was on his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.” Another means ‘another of the same kind’, which indicates that this angel should be evaluated within the context of corporatism and its attempt to combine technical thinking with mental networks. This angel is described as strong, which is used ‘originally and generally of physical strength’. A ‘strong angel’ is cognitively unusual because strength applies to the Server actions of human activity. In contrast, angels appear to manipulate their environment through Perceiver expressions of power. Thus, a strong angel is an angel that exhibits human-like traits. This combination is also expressed by the verb coming down, which means to ‘come down, either from the sky or from higher land’. This verb was used once previously in Revelation 3:12 to describe the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven. The previous sections have described stars falling from heaven, suggesting a cognitive leap from Teacher generality to personal Mercy experience. Coming down indicates a controlled movement that does not abandon heavenly content, but rather comes down out of the heaven of Teacher understanding. Looking at this cognitively, one can either jump intuitively between Teacher generality and Mercy specifics or one can move step-by-step from one to the other. Jumping intuitively is associated with mysticism and Teacher overgeneralization. Moving step-by-step, in contrast, uses the technical thinking of incarnation to move in a rational manner from a concept of God in Teacher thought to personal identity in Mercy thought. This idea of following rational content will be explicitly mentioned in verse 7.

The angel is ‘clothed with a cloud’. Clothed means ‘to throw around, put on’, and was previously used in 7:13 to describe those emerging from the great tribulation being clothed in white robes. The word cloud is used 25 times in the New Testament and is almost always connected with some sort of supernatural event. And the Greek word nephele actually refers to a cloud nymph rather than a physical cloud. Symbolically speaking, a cloud is a visible shape that exists in the air which has no real substance. This describes a Platonic Form, which is a visible expression of Teacher understanding that does not exist within the physical world of real objects. There are several descriptions of entering a cloud or sitting on a cloud, but this is the only mention of being ‘clothed’ with a cloud. Clothing implies social interaction, and the group in 7:13 was clothed with the social interaction of white robes, indicating a new form of academic interaction that was guided by Teacher understanding. ‘Clothed with a cloud’ suggests interaction based upon Platonic Forms. For instance, the theory of mental symmetry began as ‘clothed with a cloud’ because 200 biographies were analyzed to come up with the ideal version of each of the seven cognitive styles. These Platonic Forms of ‘the ideal Perceiver person’, ‘the ideal Contributor person’, and so on, then became the clothing for social interaction.

The angel has ‘a rainbow on his head’. A rainbow is mentioned twice in the New Testament, here and in 4:3 to describe the throne of God. A rainbow is composed of seven different colors of light. Light implies Teacher understanding and seven colors imply seven different forms of Teacher understanding. White light emerges when all seven colors combine. Similarly, mental symmetry is based upon the light of seven different cognitive modules, each with their own form of understanding. The basic premise of mental symmetry is that the white light of the integrated mind emerges when the seven colors of the seven cognitive styles all shine together in harmony. A ‘rainbow on his head’ would indicate intelligent thought that is based upon this shining of seven different colors. Similarly, mental symmetry turned into a meta-theory when the rainbow of the seven cognitive styles was ‘placed upon the head’ and viewed as a theory of intelligent thought and behavior.

Going further, another basic premise of mental symmetry is that angelic thought is the mirror-image of human thought. Mental symmetry is the only theory which I have encountered that makes it possible to descend from the heaven of angelic thought to the earth of human activity while holding on simultaneously to the angelic and the human. Every other system that I have encountered requires letting go of one in order to embrace the other.

The next phrase says that ‘his face was like the sun’. Face refers to both verbal and non-verbal communication. A sun represents the light of a general Teacher theory. Jesus is described as having a face that is like the sun in the Transfiguration in Matthew 17:2, as well as in Revelation 1:16, but this is the only reference to any being other than Jesus shining with a face like the sun. Like indicates resemblance. The idea is that there is a similarity between the verbal and nonverbal communication of the angel and a general theory. In a similar manner, mental symmetry can be viewed either as ‘the face’ of a guide for interacting in a human manner with others, or as the ‘sun’ of a meta-theory that shines upon many aspects of society. These two are not identical, but they resemble one another.

The final phrase describes ‘his feet like pillars of fire’. People stand upon their feet. Cognitively speaking, feet would represent the core mental networks that hold up personal identity. A person has two feet because personal identity can be supported either by MMNs or by TMNs. A person ‘walks’ cognitively by alternatively resting the weight of personal identity upon one of these two feet. A pillar is ‘a pillar, support, column’, which emphasizes the supporting role played by the two feet. A pillar is mentioned one other time in Revelation in 3:12, which talks about being made a pillar in the temple of God. Fire has been associated with some form of mental frustration. Thus, ‘feet like pillars of fire’ would describe being supported by core MMNs and TMNs that provide a combination of great stability and extensive frustration. The reference to ‘feet of fire’ rather than ‘legs of fire’ focuses upon the interaction between personal identity and the environment.

For instance, this describes mental symmetry. On the one hand, I have found mental symmetry to be a pillar of mental stability, both at the theoretical level of TMNs and also at the experiential level of MMNs. On the other hand, I have also found mental symmetry to lead to the fire of frustration, because mental symmetry continually frustrates me in my attempts to interact with my environment both at a theoretical and an experiential level. The word ‘like’ implies that this does not reflect the true nature of the feet, because the feet are ‘like’ pillars of fire. Similarly, I keep finding that the frustration does not come from mental symmetry itself, but rather from attempting to pursue mental symmetry in an environment of postmodern thought and corporatism that continually frustrates this pursuit.

At this point, one may gain the impression that I am referring inappropriately to the theory of mental symmetry. But verse 2 makes the connection with a theory explicit: “And he had in his hand a little scroll, which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land.” The word little scroll is the diminutive form of scroll and is only found in Revelation 10, where it is used three times. Books existed in Roman times as scrolls, and a book is a physical example of a general Teacher theory, because a book takes the words of Teacher thought and presents them in the structured form of a permanent written record that can be read by many people. A little scroll would represent a miniature version of general theory. For instance, mental symmetry is a little scroll in the sense that the theory itself is fairly simplistic and not that complicated. Hands represent the detailed manipulations of technical thought. Therefore, having a little scroll in his hand would mean approaching a simple theory from a technical perspective. Similarly, mental symmetry began by using technical thought to examine the fairly simplistic diagram of mental symmetry.

Looking at this more generally, Revelation 5 began with the Lamb being regarded as the only one who was worthy of opening the scroll. This expressed itself historically as technical thought unlocking the scroll of the laws of nature. Verse 2 is the first reference to a scroll in the context of the seven trumpets. In other words, this is the first attempt to the view the seven trumpets from a theoretical perspective. For instance, as has been mentioned previously, what postmodernism views as the deconstruction of rational theory, mental symmetry views as descriptions of cognitive mechanics that to make it possible to build a rational understanding of human thought. This cannot be overemphasized, because I have repeatedly discovered that both religious and secular postmodern thought reject the very idea that it is possible to build a rational Teacher understanding.

This little scroll is described as open, which is the same word used previously in chapter 6 to describe the breaking of the seals of the scroll. The previous reference to opening was Revelation 9:2, which referred to opening the bottomless pit. The book is described as ‘being open’, which implies that no extensive effort is required to open the book. Applying this to mental symmetry, I have generally found the theory to be an open book. I have occasionally struggled with specific concepts, but I have generally found that topics tend to explain themselves with very little effort on my part. This does not mean that the pursuit of mental symmetry has been effortless, but most of the effort has come from the continual frustration of standing upon feet that are like pillars of fire.

The final phrase of verse 2 describes the stance of the angel. ‘He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land’. The sea represents the subjective realm of Mercy experiences, while land refers to the objective realm of Perceiver facts based in physical reality. Placing one foot upon the sea and the other foot upon the land indicates not just a combining of subjective with objective, but doing so in such a manner that rests the weight of personal identity upon this combination. One of the primary characteristics of mental symmetry is that it involves a combination of subjective experience and objective facts. One of the basic concepts of mental symmetry is that it is possible to gain sufficient confidence to bridge these two supposedly incompatible realms. In contrast, the basic premise of modern society is that subjective experience must be kept separate from objective facts.

What is cognitively unusual is which foot is being placed upon what surface. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and vice versa. Thus, the right foot would represent the left hemisphere thinking of Teacher and Server thought, while the left foot would represent the right hemisphere thinking of Mercy and Perceiver thought. Placing the right foot upon the sea would mean approaching the sea of Mercy experiences from the left hemisphere viewpoint of Server sequences and Teacher-driven righteousness. Similarly, one of the major breakthroughs in mental symmetry came when I started to look at subjective experiences as sequences of cognitive development guided by general cognitive principles. Going the other way, placing the left foot upon the land would mean looking to objective reality for Perceiver truth. Another major breakthrough in mental symmetry happened when I made a transition from looking to the Bible as the source of absolute truth to looking to physical reality for universal Perceiver truths about reality. I have found consistently that if one wishes to interpret the Bible, one must extend from the rational Perceiver facts that have been discovered by scientific analysis of the physical world.

A New Proclamation 10:3-4

Verse 3 describes an initial emotional reaction. “And he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars.” Cried out is used of ‘inarticulate shouts that expresses deep emotion’. Voice refers to sound, but not necessarily to intelligent communication. And loud refers to Teacher generality. As is a stronger comparison word which means ‘just exactly like’ and is only found once in Revelation. A lion was interpreted previously as a verbal expression of personal dominance, and this is the only use of the word roar in the New Testament. The implication is that it is possible to proclaim the message as a new form of absolute truth—a verbal proclamation of a general message based in personal status. Applying this to mental symmetry, the seven cognitive styles have been taught for several decades to hundreds of thousands of people by Bill Gothard in his advanced seminars, and Gothard has acted as a source of absolute truth. (Romans 12 spiritual gifts take 3 hours of Gothard’s 25 hour Advanced Seminar. I do not know how many people have attended the advanced seminar, but over 2 ½ million people have attended his basic seminar.) The end result of Gothard’s proclaiming has been personal and organizational disaster. Curiously, I am not aware of any person who learned about Romans 12 spiritual gifts through Bill Gothard who has shown an interest in mental symmetry. This implies that there is a profound incompatibility between Gothard’s approach of proclaiming absolute truth, and mental symmetry which attempts to discover universal truth.

Verse 3 suggests that the intense emotional response leads to an instinctive resonance. “And when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder spoke their voices.” Notice the explicit reference to seven peals of thunder, consistent with the idea of seven cognitive styles. Thunder was mentioned previously in 8:5 and was interpreted as semi-coherent verbal blasts from Teacher thought. The seven thunders are voicing themselves in response to the roar of the lion. Applying this to mental symmetry, proclaiming about seven cognitive styles will lead to a resonance from people who instinctively recognize their cognitive style. For instance, Don and Katie Fortune have taught about Romans 12 spiritual gifts to primarily religious audiences since the 1980s. Their books have sold several hundred thousand copies and continue to sell well. Even though their treatment of spiritual gifts is more psychologically developed than that of Bill Gothard, I also have received no interest in mental symmetry from those who have learned about Romans 12 spiritual gifts through the Fortunes. Normally, a person who is introduced to some subject will be curious to learn more about this subject. But there appears to be no such transfer from either Gothard’s or the Fortune’s teaching of motivational insights to mental symmetry. This indicates that there is a huge mental gulf between proclaiming seven cognitive styles and using these same seven cognitive styles as the basis for a meta-theory. This gulf exists despite that fact that there is about a 90% overlap between the Fortune’s description of the seven cognitive styles and the description given by mental symmetry.

This explains the instructions given in verse 4. “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.’” In other words, proclaiming the seven cognitive styles is an inadequate strategy which needs to ‘sealed up’. Similarly, I found that my initial approach of giving religious seminars eventually dried up and came to an end. The two phrases ‘the seven peals of thunder had spoken’ in verse 4 are identical in the original Greek. This may represent one of the major weaknesses of proclaiming the message. Proclamation has no flexibility. It quotes some source and regards any deviation of the source as error. For instance, as far as I can tell, the advanced seminar that is available on the IBLP website today is essentially identical to the advanced seminar that Gothard presented in the 1980s. In contrast, mental symmetry has matured massively, especially over the last ten years. And Wikipedia describes the dictatorial nature of Gothard’s teaching: “A number of former adherents of IBLP programmes have described the organization and/or associated circles as a cult. Don Veinot, president of Midwest Christian Outreach, says that the charismatic leader, authoritarian control, isolation of members, severe punishments, and demand for absolute and blind loyalty add up to IBLP being ‘cult-like’.”

Summarizing, a Perceiver person like myself finds it easy to become a prophet of truth who proclaims truth to others. Therefore, I have found it difficult to hold on to mental symmetry while having the message sealed up by heavenly forces. But when I look at Bill Gothard, I see what can happen when a message about cognitive styles is proclaimed, and I am thankful that I was prevented from following such a path.

Going further, another major breakthrough in understanding the mind was realizing that each cognitive module functions fractally. In other words, the same mental strategy is being used in many different contexts and at many different scales. For instance, Perceiver thought constructs mental maps. This could be a mental map of my living room, a mental map of some country, a mental map of the various interacting elements of an automobile, or a mental map of the topics that will be covered in an essay on the book of Revelation. A mindset of absolute truth is incapable of thinking fractally, because it is emotionally convinced that absolute truth comes from one source and one source only.

This can be demonstrated by looking at the description of the Teacher and Perceiver persons given by the Fortunes. I have mentioned that their description of the cognitive styles is 90% similar to what my brother and I discovered. There are two primary differences: First, they do not recognize the existence of Teacher emotion and they confuse the Teacher person with the intellectual Contributor person. In other words, they do not realize that it is possible to go beyond technical specialization to integrated understanding. Second, they basically describe the Perceiver person as a potential rebel who needs to be kept under control: “Teach your perceiver to respect authority and obey spontaneously. Otherwise he will become increasingly rebellious and difficult to handle... Establish your authority, and joint authority if you are married. Set and enforce rules and restrictions. Your perceiver needs boundaries; without them he’ll never learn to respect authority” (Discover Your God-Given Gifts, p.226). “Praise your perceiver whenever he obeys you. Express your pride when he drops everything to come when you call. Commend him when he does what you ask without arguing” (p.227). This summarizes the mindset of absolute truth, which uses personal status in Mercy thought to overwhelm Perceiver thought.

In contrast, Gothard verbally teaches that there are universal cognitive principles. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Gothard’s primary teaching, his ‘Basic Seminar,’ focuses on what he refers to as seven ‘Basic Life Principles.’ He claims that these principles are universal and that people will suffer consequences for violating them.” The problem is that his method of proclaiming absolute truth contradicts his message that there are universal principles. Universal principles are discovered and pointed out, but they must not be proclaimed. Going further, if a principle is truly universal, then it can be discovered in any context. Absolute truth, in contrast, is associated with special locations, people, and events that are associated with the source of truth. Gothard strongly emphasizes that his ‘universal principles’ need to be applied within a limited, highly controlled, socially conservative environment. Such a restricted environment contradicts the message that there are universal principles. I am not suggesting that one should participate fully in today’s postmodern, corporatist world. However, one should attempt to understand as fully as possible what is happening within today’s world, because the endless flaunting of private lifestyles provides an excellent opportunity for learning about cognitive mechanisms at someone else’s expense.

Returning to verse 4, ‘about to write’ implies a strong desire to establish a new source of absolute truth, because absolute truth is based in written revelation. This is prevented by a voice out of heaven. Applying this to mental symmetry, the primary focus of my brother and I (I am a Perceiver person and he is a Teacher person) was paying attention to the ‘heavenly voices’ of verbal Teacher thought. We were so busy trying to analyze and understand the various traits that marketing the message took second place. This was accompanied by the realization that the material that we had discovered should not be dumped indiscriminately upon audience, but rather sealed up and revealed at the appropriate time. This is a natural response of Teacher thought, which feels emotionally driven to protect theories from being exploited or denigrated by others. This feeling was reinforced by the recognition that the more we learned, the less people wanted to know about mental symmetry. We eventually realized that people want to know something about their minds, but they do not want to know too much.

A Meta-theory 10:5-7

Verse 5 describes this next emotional response. “Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven.” Notice that the angel is standing upon a combination of subjective Mercy experiences and objective Perceiver facts. Similarly, the theory of mental symmetry was developed by combining introspection into subjective experiences with objectively looking at the facts described by others. Mental symmetry is simultaneously a description of how the mind works and an exploration of my own emotional guts. Such a combination must be pursued when the mind is studying itself, because the mind must be able to emotionally accept whatever it discovers about itself.

The hand represents technical analysis. The right hand represents the sequences of left hemisphere thought. Raising indicates movement in the direction of Teacher generality. And ‘to heaven’ refers to Teacher thought. Applying this to mental symmetry, I remember starting to explore the question, ‘How can the mind be programmed so that it is used more effectively?’ In other words, I was using technical thought to explore the sequences of cognitive development from the general perspective of Teacher thought. I was not asking, ‘How can I develop my mind?’, but rather asking the more general question ‘How can the mind be developed?’, viewing the development of my mind as a specific example of this more general process.

This is followed in verse 6 by a strong statement. “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 no longer be a delay.” Swear means ‘to swear, take an oath’. One swears by some higher power. For instance, ‘I swear by Zeus that I will…’ This word is used only once in the book of Revelation. Applying this to mental symmetry, when one recognizes that each cognitive style is only conscious in part of the mind, then each cognitive style becomes a piece of the mental jigsaw puzzle, and putting these puzzle pieces together will lead to the Platonic Form of a whole mind. All existing human thought and behavior will then become viewed as an incomplete version of the whole mind. Verse 6 describes the focus of the swearing as ‘Him who lives forever and ever’, but ‘Him’ is not in the original Greek. A more literal translation is ‘by the living to the ages of the ages’. Living refers to both spiritual and natural life. ‘To the ages of the ages’ suggests that this is a form of life that outlasts all paradigm shifts. Similarly, as I gained a fuller understanding of the whole mind, it became apparent to me that this was a form of life that was more basic and more lasting than all the various shifts of society. As for the swearing, I remember making a covenant with the rest of my mind, in which I officially recognized that all seven cognitive modules of my mind had a right to exist, and that my interaction with subconscious thought would be governed by the Platonic Form of the whole mind.

Making such a covenant may sound juvenile, but this ‘swearing by the living to the ages of the ages’ was a major turning point in my personal development. And I suggest that regarding such a covenant as juvenile probably indicates a lack of respect for subconscious thought. Looking at this purely from a selfish perspective, would I rather be stuck in a mind with an infantile Freudian id of a subconscious, or with intelligent cognitive partners bound together by a common quest for mental wholeness? I would rather make a ‘juvenile covenant’ with the rest of my mind than live in the midst of mental manure.

Verse 6 then describes the expansion of this ‘theory of life’. The word ‘who’ gives the impression of focusing upon a personal God. But the word who is a generic word that means ‘who, which, that’. Created means to create out of nothing. This word is used three times in Revelation, twice in 4:11 to describe the Lamb, and in this verse. Thus, the focus is not upon the person of God, but rather upon deciphering the nature of created life. Applying this to mental symmetry, the mind is usually studied within the context of ‘man as an intelligent animal’, or ‘man as a sinful and fallen being’. In other words, thinking about the mind is usually shaped by MMNs of human inadequacy. This changes when one acquires a Platonic Form of human wholeness. It becomes obvious that the whole mind had to be created by some creator, because human attempts to decipher the mind are not just inadequate, but childishly and stupidly inadequate. Instead of regarding humans as advanced savages, one starts to see humans as incomplete examples of heavenly perfection. Heaven stops being an unknown realm of divine mystery and turns into a realm of mental wholeness that can be explored, understood, and pursued. One of the hypotheses that emerged from this thinking about heaven is that angels and humans are mentally the same, and that the differences between them result from inhabiting different kinds of bodies. In other words, the same mind created by the same God will think like an angel if it is placed in the name of an angelic ‘container’ and think like a human if it is placed in a physical body. That is one implication of what it means to acquire a mental concept of life that extends beyond current physical existence. Notice the reference to ‘heaven, and the in it’ (‘things’ is implied). Thus, this is not just a generic ‘swearing by heaven’, but rather looking at the heaven of Teacher thought in a detailed manner.

The next phrase is ‘and the earth and the [things] in it’. We saw earlier that earth refers to the physical realm of space and time. Similarly, it was discovered that mental symmetry could also be used to analyze science with its study of the physical universe. As before, this relationship could be studied in detail, including both the earth and ‘the in it’. However, even though mental symmetry is deeply compatible with scientific thought, mental symmetry views science totally different than the typical scientist. Most scientists start by assuming a mindset of materialism. They begin by understanding ‘the earth and the in it’. Mental symmetry, in contrast, starts with an understanding of the whole mind. Science then becomes viewed as a school for developing—and applying—the whole mind. These essays continually look to science and technology for illustrations of developing and using the mind, but science and technology are always viewed as partial illustrations and not as the starting point. My experience is that scientists do not think this way.

The final phrase is ‘and the sea and the [things] in it’. The sea represents the realm of Mercy experiences. Looking again at mental symmetry, I have recently been using mental symmetry as a meta-theory to explain many aspects of human culture. And I have found that mental symmetry can be used to explain ‘the sea and the in it’. One can examine the realm of Mercy experiences with as much detail and rigor as either the ‘heaven’ of Teacher wholeness or the ‘earth’ of rational thought. But, as before, I have found that my approach is quite different than the approach of others. Others start with the sea of Mercy experiences, treating MMNs of culture, lifestyle, and identity as fundamental units that must not be questioned or dissected. Some authors will bravely suggest that it is possible to reprogram some of these MMNs. Mental symmetry, in contrast, places MMNs of human behavior within the framework of the whole mind, viewing existing cultural mental networks as examples of using the mind in a fragmented and incomplete manner.

Verse 6 finishes with the phrase ‘that there will no longer be a delay’, but this is a mistranslation. In this case the KJV is more accurate: ‘that there should be time no longer’. The word delay is ‘chronos’, which means ‘time in duration in the physical space-world’. It occurs 54 times in the New Testament and is only translated as ‘delay’ in this one verse. There are two words for time in Greek: chronos, which is clock time, and kairos, which is time as opportunity. The angel is swearing that clock time will no longer exist.

I think I know from personal experience what this means. Suppose that one gains an understanding of what it means to use the mind in a whole manner, and that one starts to work out the steps that are required to reach mental wholeness. Suppose also that this understanding emerges in an environment of people who are not following these steps, and that one starts to understand how God is manipulating the events of history to guide people toward greater mental wholeness. On the one hand, this will lead to unbearable feelings of fatalism, because one will feel that one is imprisoned within a ‘train’ of history that is stuck on a track toward disaster. On the other hand, one will realize that what really matters is following the path of cognitive development.

This will lead to a strong desire to escape the train combined with a possible mode of escape. One cannot avoid the train because the principles of cognitive development are inescapable. But it is possible to stop viewing time as a sequence of historical events that is imposed upon the mind by the environment and start viewing time as a sequence of steps that must be followed. In other words, God will not intervene at some specific time on the clock. Instead, God will intervene at the opportune time, when certain requirements have been met. Therefore, if one wishes to escape the current environment, then what really matters is personally following the path of cognitive development as fast as possible. And maybe, just maybe, it is possible to avoid personal destruction by following the path of cognitive development faster than the train of history. This may sound trivial, but it describes one of my deepest motivations.

Verse 7 looks forward to the seventh trumpet. “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 announced to His servants the prophets.”

‘But’ describes an alternative. The seventh trumpet actually happens in 11:15. Verse 7 refers to the voice of the seventh angel and describes the seventh trumpet as ‘at the very point of trumpeting’. A day refers to a period of time lit by the sun of some general understanding. Putting this together, verse 7 would means focusing in Teacher thought upon a transition that is about to occur as society continues to go through various paradigm shifts. 11:15 says that the sounding of the seventh trumpet will indicate the start of the reign of God followed by a time of reward and judgment. Verse 7 looks forward to this future time by laying the mental foundation for the reign of God. And verse 7 describes what this means: ‘then the mystery of God is finished’. The word finished actually means ‘to bring to an end, complete, fulfill’. A mystery describes what was ‘once hidden, but now revealed in the Gospel, or some fact thereof’. What is being brought to completion is the mystery of God. Mysticism views God as a mystery that will never be revealed. Biblehub explains that the Christian definition of mystery is something that used to be incomprehensible but has now been revealed.

Applying this to mental symmetry, I have found over the years that mysticism in its various guises is the greatest single opponent of mental symmetry. Looking at this in more detail, a mental concept of God emerges when a sufficiently general theory applies to personal identity. The easiest way to form such a theory is to make a universal statement regarding the nature of God, and then protect this overgeneralization by suppressing all rational facts. This describes the cognitive mechanism of mysticism, which uses overgeneralization to come up with the concept of God, identifies with this concept of God in Mercy thought, and then regards all rational thought as blasphemy against God. Mental symmetry, in contrast, uses an understanding of the mind to construct a concept of God, and then maintains that personal identity must follow a process of personal transformation to acquire a character that more closely resembles the character of God. These two approaches are mortal enemies. On the one hand, taking actual steps to construct a concept of God and following this path of personal transformation shows up mysticism to be a self-deluded shortcut. Going the other way, I have found that those who are practicing mysticism will ‘know’ at a gut level that the path of mental symmetry is not just wrong but blasphemous. The only option is to continue developing mental symmetry to the point where it becomes a more valid alternative to the sweeping statements of mysticism. Mysticism is easy because it is the ultimate shortcut. Constructing a legitimate concept of God is far more difficult than using overgeneralization to make sweeping statements about God. Similarly, following the path of personal transformation to become more like God in character is far more difficult than emotionally identifying with God. This discrepancy provides the motivation for trying to escape the ‘train’ of clock time. One can only stay sane by looking forward to the seventh trumpet when the mystery of God will be completed and attempt to follow time as opportunity as quickly as possible in order to prepare for that goal.

I should add that the struggle between mental symmetry and mysticism does not mean that everyone who holds onto mysticism is my mortal enemy. Almost everyone, both religious and secular, is mentally split between a rational fragment that interacts with the modern technological world, and a subjective core that is ruled by irrational feelings and some form of mysticism. I have found that it is possible to interact with the rational side of most people by translating the language of mental symmetry into words and concepts with which they are familiar. The conflict arises when the rational thinking of mental symmetry comes into contact with the subjective core of irrational thinking and/or mysticism. I do not know how much of an irrational core remains within my own mind, but I do know that pursuing mental symmetry and studying the Bible in the light of mental symmetry have forced me to deal rationally with many topics that I would not naturally have explored.

Verse 7 finishes by describing the corroborating evidence. “As He announced to His servants the prophets.” The word announced means ‘to announce good news’ and is the source of the English word evangelism. This word is only used twice in Revelation, here and in 14:6, where another angel delivers eternal good news. As indicates similarity. Prophecy combines ‘beforehand’ with ‘asserting one idea over another’. One sees this in those who attempt to predict the future by focusing upon various developing trends. Servant actually means ‘slave’ and was previously used in 7:3 to talk about sealing the slaves of God. It will being used next in 11:18, right after the seventh trumpet, to describe the ‘servants the prophets’ being rewarded.

Putting this together, removing the mystery from a concept of God does not alter existing biblical content. Mental symmetry does not contradict the Bible. This essay illustrates that the Bible is consistent with mental symmetry, when examined in the original Greek. Going further, mental symmetry leads to a theology that is consistent with Christian theology. This is not a trivial statement, because corroborative evidence is very important when one is attempting to pursue mental wholeness in a world that is going insane. One will often question one’s own sanity. Thus, discovering that mental symmetry continues to remain consistent with biblical content as well as scientific thought is not just a theoretical statement. Instead, it provides two pillars of stability upon which one can rest one’s mind in a world that is going crazy.

One will also discover that this consistency means nothing to the typical Christian who claims to believe in the Bible. That is because thinking too much about the Bible violates a mindset of absolute truth, while thinking at all about God violates a mindset of mysticism. One will keep thinking that uncovering a new facet of rational understanding will tip the balance in favor of rational thought, but one will discover repeatedly that the insanity of the average person is bottomless. That is because one is doing research in a society that is being deconstructed by the locusts of postmodernism. Similarly, as one continues to pursue the goal of personal transformation in a more comprehensive manner, one will keep discovering that the average person is incapable of changing their direction. That is because one is pursuing personal transformation in a society that is being manipulated by the horses of corporatism.

A Small, Small Scroll 10:8-11

At this point, a potential confusion needs to be clarified. I have been interpreting these verses as applying to my path with mental symmetry. However, Revelation 10 talks about a strong angel and not some human. Verse 8 clarifies this potential confusion. “Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, ‘Go, take the scroll which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.’” In verse 4, a voice from heaven said not to write down the response of the seven peals of thunder. In verse 8, this same voice from heaven says to take the scroll. Thus, it is appropriate to interpret the beginning of chapter 10 as a theory developed by some human, because verse 8 specifically says that the strong angel gives a book to a human, and a book represents a theory. Going further, if an angel ‘embodies’ a message, then it makes sense that there will be a relationship between the appearance of the angel and the content of the message.

The word scroll in verse 8 is slightly different than the word used elsewhere in this chapter. The word in this verse means ‘small book’. The word used in verses 2, 9, and 10 means ‘small, small book’. In other words, the angel starts with a small, small book in verse 4. This grows to the size of a small book by verse 8, but what the human receives is a small, small book.

Applying the idea of a small, small book to mental symmetry, the theory of mental symmetry is actually fairly simplistic; it is a small, small book. However, this simplicity is critical. If mental symmetry contained fewer details, it would be incapable of explaining anything. If it contained more details, it would put limitations on what it explained. Instead, it appears to be just the right size to act as a meta-theory that can bring order to more specific theories, while still allowing these more specific theories the freedom to function. Going further, even after having spent most of my life working on mental symmetry, I still feel as if I have only come up with a small, small book that is barely capable of explaining God and human nature.

Looking at verse 8 more generally, the voice from heaven forbids the proclamation of seven cognitive styles, but it encourages taking ‘the scroll which is open’. Similarly, I have found that every attempt to market or proclaim mental symmetry results in a door that opens just long enough to bring further understanding before shutting. In contrast, I keep finding new topics that mental symmetry is capable of analyzing. In other words, the scroll that I have been handed is open. This scroll is taken from ‘the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land’. The hand represents technical thought. Similarly, I have found that developing mental symmetry requires a form of technical thought, and I have found it very useful to improve my technical skills by studying and tutoring math and physics. I have also found that developing mental symmetry continues to require a mindset of standing on the sea and on the land. One must simultaneously pursue facts and embrace experiences.

Saying this another way, I am not clever enough to have come up with all of the insights of mental symmetry on my own. Looking back, the most logical explanation is that angelic beings have been helping me, because I continually found myself encountering the right books at the right time. It felt as if my research was being guided by some invisible thesis supervisor.

Verse 9 emphasizes that this is an active process. “And I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little scroll.” Telling is not a command, but rather simply means ‘to say’. The word scroll in this verse means ‘small, small book’. Similarly, I find that free will is still involved. I must still choose to analyze some topic. I have to ask the angel. And when I have asked, I have not received personal salvation or mystical feelings, but I have received rational understanding. And this rational understanding was not a sophisticated technical analysis, but rather remained at the level of a small, small book. This may sound like a trivial distinction, but while my brother Lane still holds to the concept of cognitive styles, he has seen fit to abandon the theory of mental symmetry as overly simplistic in order to develop a theory that can only be described as overly complex.

Verse 9 continues by describing the nature of this 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.’” This is an accurate assessment. On the one hand, developing mental symmetry has generated major positive Teacher emotions. On the other hand, coming to terms with the implications of mental symmetry has twisted my guts. This is the first mention of eating in Revelation and the word that is used means to ‘eat all the way down’. Eating is interpreted as consuming intellectual food, and this symbolic meaning is obviously being used when talking about eating a little book. ‘Eating all the way down’ goes beyond merely comprehending the concepts to fully digesting the implications of the ideas. It also means consuming the entire book and not just part of the book. Similarly, I have been driven by Teacher thought to continue extending mental symmetry until all major aspects of human thought and activity have been analyzed and digested. And because I am only a finite human with a finite lifespan who is desperately trying to finish this task, this digesting has had to remain at the level of a small, small book.

Continuing with verse 9, bitter is used three times in Revelation, twice in verses 9-10, and previously in 8:11 to describe the bitterness of the third trumpet that we associated with the Nazis and the Communists. It means to ‘make bitter, embitter’. The word stomach is only used in Revelation in verses 9-10. It literally means ‘hollow’ and refers to ‘any organ in the abdomen’. I have found that all of these meanings apply. Pursuing mental symmetry has been accompanied by a deep gut-level feeling of bitterness against the system. I keep finding out that the world really is out to get me. I am not being paranoid. The world of postmodernism and corporatism really detests what I am doing. People really will pretend to be my friend while suppressing anything that has to do with mental symmetry. Combined with this is a gut-level feeling of emptiness, a feeling that life has passed me by.

But I find that it is possible to avoid being overcome by despair as long as I continue to make progress, as long as I continue to eat from the little book and savor the sweet taste of honey that it leaves in my mouth. Looking at these words more detail, the two words sweet and honey are only found in Revelation in verses 9-10. Honey comes from bees, which fly through the air of Teacher thought. This sweet taste of honey is on the mouth. Similarly, I find Teacher pleasure in analyzing the words of some system or author, because this unveils some further aspect of the theory of mental symmetry. The bitterness comes later, when the implications set in. That is because I have learned that understanding the mind is only possible as long as every theoretical step is accompanied by practical application. But every practical application distances me further from the path that is being followed by society, forcing me to deal at a deeper level with feelings of bitterness.

Verse 10 repeats verse 9 from a personal perspective. “I took the little scroll from 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.” These two verses are almost identical, except for two things. First, the order is reversed. Second, the second ‘eaten’ in verse 10 is just the normal word for eat. Looking at this cognitively, I have found that when I contemplate dealing with a new topic, my initial feeling is typically one of personal discomfort, because I am being forced to face a topic or person that I would rather avoid. However, as I start to analyze the topic, I find that there is growing understanding that leads to Teacher pleasure. This is the order that one finds in verse 9. Verse 10 focuses upon the personal response. Here, the initial Teacher pleasure that comes from analyzing the topic is eventually followed by a deeper feeling of discomfort from the environment, combined with a deeper sense of feeling imprisoned by the environment. And at the end, I seldom feel that the system that I have analyzed is sufficiently complete to give me the feeling of having ‘eaten all the way down’. Instead, I inevitably find a combination of rational thought and cognitive compensation mechanisms. Instead of feeling mentally satiated, I merely feel that I have had a meal.

Verse 11 concludes, “And they said to me, ‘You must prophesy again concerning many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.’” ‘They’ is not in the original Greek but rather implied from the conjugation of the verb. Thus, this is more a general sense from Teacher thought rather than a specific command given by some group of people. The prophets were mentioned in verse 7, which emphasized that the new rational understanding is consistent with the old revealed truth. Verse 11 indicates a need to translate the old words of absolute truth into the new language of cognitive understanding. Such translation naturally happens whenever there is a paradigm shift, because existing textbooks will be rewritten to reflect the new Teacher understanding. The word many ‘emphasizes the quantity involved’. The general idea is that this translation has to be sufficiently comprehensive.

Applying this to mental symmetry, one of my major projects in recent years has been translating the religious language of the New Testament into cognitive language, as is being done in this essay. Approximately half of the New Testament has been re-analyzed from a cognitive perspective. This translating is necessary because the mindset of absolute truth has caused biblical truth to be consistently misinterpreted in a specific direction, and that systemic slant needs to be removed. This does not mean that existing Christian doctrine is wrong. Instead, what seems to have happened is that biblical scholars studied the Bible carefully and based their doctrine upon what it said. They then attempted to interpret this doctrine from the vantage point of absolute truth, discovered that this was only partially successful, and then declared the remaining doctrines to be incomprehensible divine mystery that had to be acknowledged by blind faith. But, to give one example, the word faith actually means to ‘be persuaded’, which is the opposite of blind faith.

Verse 11 mentions four major topics that need to be reinterpreted. People means ‘a people, characteristically of God’s chosen people, first the Jews, then the Christians’. This word was last used in 7:9 to talk of people from many tribes, peoples, and tongues emerging from the great tribulation. Prophesying again involving people means rethinking which groups God is using to carry out his purpose. I should clarify that if God uses some group, this does not mean that every member of this group automatically goes to heaven when they die. The Old Testament makes it clear that personal salvation always applies to a believing remnant within the group that God is using.

Nations refers to ‘people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture’. Cognitively speaking, this refers to people who share similar MMNs of culture. The basic principle here is that God is not leading people primarily by interacting with them in an intelligent manner. Instead, God is guiding history by manipulating and juxtaposing MMNs of culture. It is fairly obvious that this principle would apply to the unlearned people of previous societies. However, I suggest that this principle also applies to supposedly intelligent modern society. That is because postmodernism and corporatism have both removed intelligence from religious thought and behavior. We have seen this kind of cultural manipulation in our discussion of the seven trumpets. Notice that the second point naturally follows the first. The first recognizes which groups are being manipulated by God, while the second attempts to understand how this manipulating is happening.

Tongue refers to ‘a nation, usually distinguished by their speech’. This describes the TMNs of understanding that are shared by some group of people. As with the previous point, this looks beyond rational content to emotions that drive this content. A tongue describes a group of people that are driven by common Teacher emotions of understanding. Notice also that tongue follows nation, implying that people are more rationalizing than rational, because they construct TMNs of understanding based upon their MMNs of culture.

At this point, it may seem that I am promoting a version of postmodernism, because postmodernism also asserts that all apparent TMNs of understanding are merely rationalizations based upon MMNs of culture. However, what is being described here is not deconstructionism, but rather reconstructionism, because this rethinking is happening at the end of a long process of constructing an integrated rational understanding of the mind. What postmodernism regards as tearing down all the pieces, mental symmetry regards as the first stage of reassembling the pieces in the proper way.

The final term is kings, which refers to the ruler of some domain. The typical history book is a description of kings and monarchs, which assumes that these individuals with personal status are the actual movers and shakers of history. In contrast, kings appear at the end of verse 11, implying that most kings are personal expressions of the mental networks of some society. In other words, people get the type of government that they really want—at the level of core mental networks. If one wishes to understand political rulers, then one needs to understand the mental networks that are driving society.

Measuring the Temple 11:1-2

Chapter 11 changes the focus to a technical analysis of religion. Verse 1 begins, “Then there was given to me a reed like a staff; saying, ‘Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it.’” The word reed means ‘a reed; a reed-pen, reed-staff, measuring rod’. It is used three times in Revelation, here and in 21:15-16 to describe measuring the New Jerusalem. A reed-pen implies writing, a reed-staff suggests ruling, and a measuring rod implies the use of technical thought. A staff is a ‘rod, scepter, staff’ and refers usually to a staff of authority. The word like is the stronger version that means ‘like, resembling, the same as’. Putting this together, technical thought is being applied to a topic in a manner that involves the writing down of various standards of measurement.

Going further, rise means ‘to awaken, to raise up’, and this is the only use of this word in Revelation, which is the word that is used to describe Jesus and others rising from the dead. This suggests a transition from passive to active that involves a form of resurrection from the dead. Measure means to use some ruler to measure something. What is being measured is ‘the temple of God’. Temple refers to ‘that part of the Temple where God himself resides’. And ‘the God’ with the definite article is explicitly mentioned.

Looking at this cognitively, the word ‘number’ has been seen several times in Revelation, but this is the first use of the word ‘measure’. Measuring something is dangerous because it reduces living entities to numbers. We have seen that one of the primary dangerous of emphasizing technical thought is that it tries to reduce complicated situations to mere numbers. Measuring usually involves numbers but it does not have to. Instead, the essence of measuring is to compare the item being measured with some standard of measurement. This meaning is brought out in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus warns that ‘by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return’. Thus, verse 1 is talking about evaluating the core elements of religion by using some standard of measure. This is different than using technical thought to reduce the core elements of religion to some numeric quantity. Instead, it is using the comparing of normal thought in a semi-rigorous manner that involves technical thought but is not dominated by technical thought. (This form of thinking is described in the paper on science and theology.)

10:7 said that the mystery of God was finished, 10:9 talked about ‘eating’ a small, small book, while 10:11 pointed out that many topics had to be re-visited in the light of this new understanding. The end result was a standard of measure that can be used to measure existing religion doctrine and existing concepts of God. Thus, I suggest that it is important that Revelation 11 follows chapter 10. Chapter 10 constructed an adequate concept of God. Notice that I said adequate and not complete; the end result of chapter 10 is still a small, small book. But this book has been expanded at the end of chapter 10 by prophesying again concerning many peoples, nations, languages, and kings. This expanded understanding is being used in chapter 11 to evaluate religion. And this evaluation of religion involves a form of resurrection. Finally, notice that the author is not coming up with his own ruler to measure religion. Instead, the measuring process starts with being given some standard of measurement.

Applying this to mental symmetry, as I continued to use mental symmetry to evaluate various systems and cultures, it became apparent that mental symmetry could also be used as a ‘reed’ to measure religion. And the cognitive gulf between proclaiming cognitive styles as absolute truth and using cognitive styles as a meta-theory made it clear that this measuring of religion would involve some sort of resurrection of religion. Therefore, my recent focus has been upon translating Christianity, and religion in general, into the language of mental symmetry. Initially, I wanted to restore Christianity. But as Matthew 24 portrays by the dismantling of the stones of the Temple, Christianity has largely self-destructed in the last few years. First, postmodern questioning outside of the church has attacked the morality of absolute truth. Second, deconstructionism within the church has questioned the existence of theology. And third, fundamentalism has fixated upon the mindset of absolute truth, while overlooking the content of the Bible. There are exceptions to these three statements, but they are increasingly few and far between. Thus, what started as a desire to restore Christianity has now turned into a project to resurrect Christianity.

Notice also the reverse direction. Normally, the Bible is regarded as the source of absolute truth, which is used as the measuring rod to apply a moral standard to the conduct of society. In verse 1, a measuring rod is being used to apply a moral standard to religion. This summarizes the approach of mental symmetry, which starts with the theory of mental symmetry and examines theology and religion in the light of mental symmetry, as opposed to starting with the Bible and examining society in the light of the Bible.

We have seen in this essay that most of Western history has been guided by the forward direction of starting with the Bible as the source of absolute truth. But this forward direction no longer exists. Anyone who dares proclaim a moral standard from the Bible these days is socially excoriated. And when those who claim to derive their moral standards from the Bible achieve political power today, the result is belligerent stupidity that ignores the moral content of the Bible, as illustrated by leaders such as Donald Trump in the United States and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. I am not saying that every Christian who supported these two leaders was an arrogant idiot. Many were, but there were also many who supported such leaders with great sorrow, hoping against hope that belief in absolute truth would somehow be restored. However, the end result has been the further discrediting of the very concept of absolute truth.

I should emphasize that using mental symmetry to evaluate religion does not mean approaching religion in some arrogant fashion as the ultimate expert. That describes the attitude that one typically finds in the cognitive science of religion. CSR has come up with a number of useful findings, and these findings are consistent with the theory of mental symmetry, but while CSR uses cognitive principles to explain the experiences of religion, it ignores theologians and replaces theology with the theory of evolution. This is ironic, because one of the primary findings of CSR is that it is cognitively natural to form a concept of God, while the theory of evolution was originally developed in order to provide an alternative to a concept of God.

I have suggested several times in this essay that studying the mind must be accompanied by personally applying what one has discovered. The same principle applies to studying the Bible, because it is a deeply moral text. Saying this more clearly, I have found that the Bible makes sense because it resonates with my personal experience. The only reason that I can understand many of these passages is because the biblical text reminds me of some process that I have experienced personally in my quest to understand and develop the mind. This has made it possible to do a cognitive analysis of half the New Testament in the original Greek.

Using the language of verse 1, I am not imposing some arbitrary measurement upon Christian theology. Instead, I am applying the same measurement to Christian theology that the theory of mental symmetry has applied to me. My thinking and behavior have been subject for decades to the standard of a whole mind, and when I examine the Bible and theology, I find that this same standard of mental wholeness applies. For instance, Matthew 5:48 says that “you shall be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect.” The word perfect means ‘complete in all its parts, full-grown, of full age, specially of the completeness of Christian character’. This describes mental wholeness. And as a comparison word. This verse indicates that a fundamental similarity exists between the standard of mental wholeness and the character of God. In other words, one can use mental wholeness as a measuring stick to ‘measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it’.

Mental symmetry has been used to measure Christianity in an indirect manner. First, mental symmetry was used to analyze the thinking and behavior of science, together with the findings of psychology and neurology, which all use technical thought and emphasizes numbers. The thinking that is used by science was then extended into the subjective and religious and compared with Christian doctrine. The end result shows that fundamental Christian doctrines that are currently taught as blind faith are actually deeply consistent with the structure of science and scientific thought. And this cognitive analysis of Christian doctrine is consistent with the Bible in the original Greek. However, a mindset of absolute truth has caused these Christian doctrines to be consistently misinterpreted. This methodology can be seen in this essay and was just used to write an extended academic paper.

Verse 1 summarizes what should be measured: “Measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it.” As was mentioned before, temple refers to the shrine where God lives. Similarly, mental symmetry provides a cognitive explanation for the Trinitarian concept of God and how personal identity interacts with a concept of God within the mind. This does not explain ontologically what the real God is like, but it does explain how the mind forms an adequate concept of God, and it is also consistent in detail with the description of God in the Bible. This analysis could be summarized as measuring the shrine of God.

The altar refers to ‘the meeting place between God and the true worshiper’. Mysticism treats this meeting place as an incomprehensible mystery. Mental symmetry, in contrast, suggests that one can use analogical reasoning in a semi-rigorous manner to describe this ‘meeting place’ in a rational manner. Saying this more simply, one can use an understanding of the mind to describe what meeting God is like. For instance, the recent academic paper analyzes justification, sanctification, atonement, eternal security, and ‘asking Jesus into your heart’, which are all core aspects of ‘the meeting place between God and the true worshiper’. The purpose of this analysis is to provide a cognitive translation of Christianity that is sufficiently comprehensive to make it possible to let go completely of a mindset of absolute truth.

Worshiping means ‘to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior’. The NASB refers to ‘those who worship in it’, suggesting that the focus is upon the people who are doing the worshiping. The original Greek is more literally ‘and the worshiping in it’, suggesting a focus upon the mindset of worship. The fundamental assumption of absolute truth is ‘to kiss the ground prostrating before a superior’. Using cognitive language, absolute truth feels that the Bible was written by a source with great emotional significance before which personal identity must ‘kiss the ground and prostrate before a superior’. Saying this more simply, absolute truth believes that I am a nobody compared to the author of the Bible, and absolute truth is naturally accompanied by an attitude of self-denial. I have found that this mindset of self-denial colors all of Christian theology, and will be read into the biblical text even when it is not present. For instance, the word faith means to ‘be persuaded’, but that violates the idea that I am nothing compared to God. Therefore, faith has become redefined as blind faith. The recent paper on science and theology examines the effect of a mindset of absolute truth. I have put together a short glossary that examines the actual meanings of a number of common Greek words used in the New Testament.

Summarizing, verse 1 describes not just what mental symmetry is hypothetically capable of doing, but what has actually been done using mental symmetry, which is to use a cognitive theory as a measuring rod to measure a concept of God, the interaction between God and personal identity, and the mindset of absolute truth. Mental symmetry has focused upon these three fundamental characteristics of Christianity.

Verse 2 says what should not be measured. “Throw out the courtyard which is outside the temple and do not measure it.” As a footnote in the NASB points out, leave out actually means to ‘throw out’. Throwing implies moving through the air of Teacher thought, while ‘throwing out’ suggests eliminating something because of Teacher thought. What is being thrown out is ‘the courtyard which is outside the temple’. Temple refers again to the shrine where God dwells. Courtyard is used once in Revelation and refers to the ‘open-air interior courtyard of a mansion or palace’. Outside means ‘from without’. It is used three times in Revelation, twice in this verse, and also in 14:20 which refers to the winepress outside the city. Thus, the phrase is more literally, ‘and the courtyard from-without the Temple throw-out from-without’. Looking at this cognitively, many peripheral elements have been added to religion over the centuries, but these extra elements do not play a fundamental role in the interaction between God and humanity. Instead, they are from-without, and come from MMNs of culture and absolute truth which have been attached as a courtyard onto religion. Teacher thought needs to be used to throw out these elements by revealing them as being based from-without.

Verse 2 adds that these peripheral elements should not be measured. Most academic research of religion analyzes and measures these peripheral elements precisely because they can be explained in terms of the MMNs of culture and absolute truth. Once these peripheral elements have been analyzed, academic research then looks at the core elements of theology and the relationship between God and humanity, concludes that they are just a minor byproduct of religious behavior, and then declares them to be irrelevant. This external cultural source is described in the next phrase of verse 2: “because it has been given to the nations”. Nation describes ‘people joined by practicing similar customs are common culture’. In other words, the ‘courtyard’ of peripheral religious rituals is an expression of cultural MMNs, and it has been given to those who think in terms of cultural MMNs. Verse 2 says that these cultural elements should not be measured and I have generally avoided using mental symmetry to analyze the peripheral, cultural elements of religion, mainly because they are peripheral to the goal of reaching mental wholeness.

For instance, Judaism adds fence laws to the laws of the Bible, guided by Mercy feelings of holiness. In the words of one Jewish website, “A gezeirah is a law instituted by the rabbis to prevent people from accidentally violating a Torah mitzvah. We commonly speak of a gezeirah as a ‘fence’ around the Torah. For example, the Torah commands us not to work on Shabbat, but a gezeirah commands us not to even handle an implement that you would use to perform prohibited work (such as a pencil, money, a hammer), because someone holding the implement might forget that it was Shabbat and perform prohibited work.” The Jewish laws, as written in the Torah, have been written very precisely in order to symbolize a Teacher understanding. Surrounding these biblical laws with a ‘courtyard’ of fence laws makes it much harder for Teacher thought to uncover the inherent structure of biblical law. These fence laws need to be thrown-out because they are from-without and are based in MMNs of Jewish culture and not in the TMN of divine structure.

Verse 2 concludes that “they will trample the holy city for forty-two months”. Trample means ‘to tread or tread on’. It was suggested previously that personal identity rests upon the feet. Thus, trampling would represent using the weight of personal identity to belittle some object or person. This summarizes the mindset of postmodernism, which rejects traditional experts based solely upon the conviction that I and my feelings are more important than any experts: ‘How dare you judge me. Don’t tell me what to do. Making any moral statements about my lifestyle is hate speech.’ A city was the expression of Roman civilization. Thus, a city represents (and embodies) a system of civilization. Holy means ‘set apart and therefore different’. This is the first reference in Revelation to a holy city, and this term will be used two more times in 21:2 and 21:10 to refer to the New Jerusalem as the holy city.

Cognitively speaking, there are two ways of defining holiness, one based in Mercy emotions and the other in Teacher emotions. Absolute truth leads to a form of holiness because people, places, events, and objects that are associated with the source of truth will be regarded as special and different from normal Mercy experiences. For instance, a priest or pastor is typically viewed as a special person with a special inside connection to God, who is different than normal people. (Clarifying, emotional ‘truth’ uses emotional pressure to overwhelm Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ what is true. Absolute truth forms when emotional ‘truth’ is recorded, formalized, copied, and spread to many people. This can be seen in holy books, textbooks, and also government legislation. Thus, absolute truth is a form of emotional ‘truth’ that has been ‘set in stone’.)

It is also possible to base holiness in Teacher thought. This comes from following the three stages of personal transformation, which are forming a concept of God in Teacher thought, following this concept of God in a righteous manner, and becoming personally reborn within a mental framework that is based in a concept of God. A person who reaches the third stage of personal transformation becomes holy in the sense of having a personal identity that rests in the TMN of a concept of God rather that in MMNs of culture and approval. Such a person instinctively ‘obeys God rather than men’. Such a person is not perfect in the sense of being infallible or never making a mistake, but rather is perfect in the sense of being complete and whole. And the word perfect actually means ‘complete in all its parts’.

It is not possible to jump directly from the first form of holiness to the second form, because MMNs of ‘holiness’ will get in the way of following the TMN of a concept of God in a holy manner. Instead, the MMNs of traditional ‘holiness’ have to be trampled underfoot by the nations for a sufficient period of time in order to clear the way for a new form of holiness based upon the TMN of a concept of God. Speaking from personal experience, constructing a concept of God that is based in Teacher thought meant struggling with Mercy feelings of holiness, including the feeling that my rational analysis was blasphemy against God. I found out that the best way to deal with these feelings was to continue pointing out verbally to my existing concept of God that my rational analysis was replacing words about God with a legitimate mental concept of God based in actual mental substance.

Many words have been written about the 42 months and the 1260 days. I am not sure what they mean, but in 10:6 the angel swore that clock time would be no more. Similarly, I have found that focusing upon clock time when interpreting biblical prophecy leads to a dead-end in which one quibbles about technical details while ignoring personal transformation. Saying this another way, prophecy needs to be measured by the ruler of mental wholeness described in verse 1, and not reduced to numbers involving physical months and physical days. What matters is that MMNs of traditional holiness need to be trampled for a sufficient period of time. And that summarizes what postmodernism has been doing to the traditional morality of Christianity far better than any obscure reference to certain numbers of months or days. Similarly, evangelical support for Donald Trump was characterized primarily by a trampling of the traditional morality of Christianity.

The Two Witnesses 11:3-4

Verse 3 describes two witnesses. “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” The NASB adds the word ‘authority’, giving the impression that these are two official spokesman, but ‘authority’ is not in the original Greek. A more literal translation would be ‘and will give to the two witnesses of me’. The same verb ‘give’ was used to describe the courtyard being given to the nations in verse 2. Thus, two forms of giving are being contrasted. On the one hand, the peripheral MMNs of religious ritual are being given to MMNs of culture. On the other hand, a measurement of the core of religion is being given to the two witnesses. These two forms of ‘giving’ will lead to a redefining of holiness. On the one hand, the peripheral aspects of religion will be revealed as being not holy because they will become connected with MMNs of secular culture. On the other hand, the central doctrines of religion will be revealed as holy because they will become connected with the TMN of a rational concept of God and religion, while being regarded as either incomprehensible by a mindset that is based in religious MMNs or else as irrelevant by a mindset that is based in secular MMNs.

A witness is ‘an eye- or ear- witness’, which indicates words and facts backed up by personal experience. This is the first reference to a witness after the seven letters to the churches in chapters 1-3. The source of the giving is not explicitly mentioned in verse 3, but the person who is being witnessed to is: ‘will give to the two witnesses of me’. Before attempting to identify these two witnesses, we will look at their description. Prophesy means to ‘assert by elevating one statement over another’. This suggests that existing verbal statements are being rearranged and re-prioritized, rather than new content being proclaimed. This may include a forthtelling of the future, because the dominant features of the future often exist already in seed form in the present. Thus, one can predict the future by focusing upon these seeds and extrapolating where they will lead. Clothed means ‘to throw around, put on’, and was previously used in 10:1 to describe the angel clothed with a cloud. The three references before that all described being clothed in white. Clothing represents social interaction, while ‘thrown around’ implies a focus upon Teacher thought. Thus, what is being described is how these two witnesses interact intellectually with others. Sackcloth is ‘a sign of mourning’. It is also a coarse garment. Putting this together, clothed in sackcloth would mean interacting intellectually with others at the level of generalities guided by a feeling of deep personal loss.

Verse 4 describes the identity of these two witnesses. “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.” Notice that each reference is prefaced by a ‘two’, indicating that these two witnesses are being treated as an integrated unit. The word olive tree is simply the word ‘olive’. The olive is mentioned once in Revelation, and standard Christian typology regards olive oil as representing the Holy Spirit. (Olive oil is mentioned twice in Revelation.) This is a cognitively natural symbolism and I see no reason to question it. A lampstand is a stand upon which an oil-fed lamp is placed. Thus, both an olive tree and a lampstand are related to olive oil. An olive tree is the source of olive oil while a lampstand displays the light of an olive oil fed lamp. Looking at this cognitively, mental symmetry suggests that Platonic Forms of the spirit are Mercy images of possible perfection that emerge indirectly as a result of Teacher understanding. Think, for instance, of the Platonic form of the perfect circle, the perfect square, or the perfect relationship. Constructing a concept of God in Teacher thought will indirectly bring unity to various Platonic Forms within Mercy thought, leading to what Plato referred to as the Form of the Good, which mental symmetry interprets as a concept of the Holy Spirit. Saying this more simply, a concept of the Holy Spirit emerges as one ‘sees’ within Mercy thought how various ideals could interact in an ideal manner to generate the ideal life. Thus, the witnesses flow naturally from the measuring at the beginning of the chapter. The measuring constructed an integrated Teacher understanding of religion; the two witnesses are the Platonic forms that emerge as a result of this understanding.

Looking at this more specifically, one looks at the fragments of perfection that have been generated by the technical thinking of science and technology, and one ‘sees’ internally how perfect life would be if these various fragments were rearranged, as well as how horrible things will turn out if these fragments are not rearranged. This leads to prophesying clothed in sackcloth: ‘Continuing to focus upon this will lead to disaster. Focus upon that and life will be so much better.’ Notice how the prophesying comes from focusing upon various aspects and predicting where such a focus will need, while the sackcloth comes from recognizing that rearranging existing societal priorities will require deep mourning. Mourning is the one thing that postmodernism is unwilling to do. Postmodernism would rather destroy the entire civilized world than admit that ‘I need to change’. In contrast, measuring religion against some standard of perfection in the beginning of the chapter will automatically lead to deep mourning, because it will become apparent that existing religion falls short of the ideal.

This internal vision of ‘how perfect things could be’ has kept me going for decades. It also resulted from two witnesses—two forms of personal testimony. The first witness came from following a path of understanding the mind. This first witness emphasized Teacher understanding. The book from the angel may have been open, but I still had to read it, digest it, and experience the resulting stomachache. The second witness came from following a path of personal transformation. This witness emphasized personal change in Mercy thought, which meant making the difficult choices that are required to become more mentally whole as a person. I have had to choose to forego a career several times in my life because I did not want to sell my soul to the system. Instead, I wanted to be more like my Platonic Form of an ideal person. These two witnesses reinforced one another. Whenever I made an intellectual breakthrough, this was followed by some difficult personal choice, and difficult personal choices led to further intellectual breakthroughs. One of these witnesses by itself would not have been sufficient to keep me going. Both were required.

Going further, mental symmetry is not directly related to the oil of the Holy Spirit. Instead, it functions as an olive tree, providing a framework of understanding within which Platonic forms of the spirit can emerge. And it also functions as a lampstand, providing a framework of application within which Platonic forms of the spirit can express themselves.

Verse 4 adds that these two ‘stand before the Lord of the earth’. Earth refers to the ‘physical earth of space and time’. A ‘lord of the earth’ would mean personally recognizing the authority of the laws of physical space and time. However, notice that these two witnesses are not bowing before the lord of the earth, but rather standing before him. Similarly, most of the insights of mental symmetry have come from the solid research of science and its study of space and time. I have a Master’s degree in engineering and I respect the laws of Nature. But I do not bow before them by pretending that only physical reality exists. Instead, I stand in the presence of the laws of nature, while being guided by Platonic Forms of a more perfect world.

Summarizing, verses 3-4 describe the cognitive effects that I have experienced as a result of pursuing the theory of mental symmetry. Presumably, anyone else who is also following the two witnesses of understanding the mind and applying this understanding will also experience similar cognitive effects, whether this understanding uses the language of mental symmetry or not. Thus, I suggest that the two witnesses could also be defined more generally as cognitive science and psychology. And ‘measuring the temple’ would also refer to those who are trying to follow a lonely path of understanding and personal integrity in today’s increasingly insane world of postmodernism and corporatism. However, I am not aware of anyone else who has managed to come up with an integrated theory of cognition that can stand before the ‘lord of empirical science’ and lead to Platonic forms of mental wholeness the way that mental symmetry can.

Devouring the Enemy 11:5-6

So far, Revelation 10 and 11 correspond in detail to the path that I have followed with mental symmetry. However, at this point, a divergence emerges. What Revelation 11 describes still corresponds to what I have experienced individually as a person. But these verses portray a form of public encounter that has not happened. This will become increasingly apparent as we go through the next verses. Saying this another way, our discussion of the two witnesses functioning within my own mind as a result of pursuing mental symmetry will gradually turn into a discussion of the two witnesses of cognitive science and psychology functioning within society.

Verse 5 describes how the two witnesses respond to opposition. “And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way.” The English makes it appear that two identical phrases are being repeated, and the two phrases are almost identical in the original Greek, except for word order. The first phrase is ‘if anyone them should desire to harm’, while the second phrase is ‘if anyone should desire them to harm’. Thus, the first describes a direct attack upon the two witnesses, while the second focuses upon the mental networks motivating this attack. As before, the word harm actually comes from the word ‘unrighteousness’. Want means ‘to desire, wish’, which refers to a motivation based in mental networks.

The first phrase refers to a direct attack upon these two witnesses. The two witnesses have been interpreted as Platonic Forms based in a Teacher understanding of the mind and the process of personal transformation. Looking at this from personal experience, this sort of attack happens when I share mental symmetry with someone and they respond by handing me a book and saying ‘analyze this’. In some cases, a colleague or friend is giving me this book in order to help me explore some topic. But in most cases, the book is being given to me in order to shut me up. More accurately, the person I am interacting with dislikes the idea that I am using a general theory in Teacher thought to analyze their thinking and behavior. Thus, the book is being given to inflict unrighteousness upon the theory of mental symmetry. For instance, one theologian told me to analyze, I and Thou by Martin Buber. Another theologian gave me The Knight’s Move by James Loder. Neither was interested in my analysis, because when I informed them that I had written an essay on the book, I was ignored. Instead, the purpose was to shut me up with unrighteousness. In the case of Buber, the unrighteousness took the form of mysticism, while with Loder, it took the form of Kierkegaard’s leap of faith. In both cases, the author was fundamentally opposed to the idea of personal behavior in Server thought being guided by a rational understanding of God in Teacher thought.

And in both cases, the same response happened, which was that ‘fire flowed out of the mouth of the witnesses and devoured the enemies’. Looking at this in more detail, mouth refers to a verbal response. Flow out means to ‘go out from, emphasizing the outcome of going through a particular process or passage’. In other words, the verbal output is producing some kind of change or initiating a process. This process is leading to the fire of frustration. In the case of these two books, cognitive analysis made it apparent that the authors were using mental tricks to achieve emotional results, and these mental tricks were pitting one cognitive module against another. Thus, what was being presented as some great theological insight ended up being reduced to taking advantage of some mental glitch in order to generate emotional results. Such a cognitive explanation will explain things away, leaving the mind in a state of frustration.

But that was not the only result. The word devour, which means to ‘eat all the way down’, was seen in 10:9-10 to describe eating up the small, small scroll. This is the first of two times that the word enemy is used in Revelation, which means ‘someone openly hostile, animated by deep-seated hatred’. The enemy is being devoured. Cognitively, this means taking the hostile system and making it an aspect of mental symmetry. For instance, both of these books could be explained using the theory of mental symmetry, these explanations added to the generality of mental symmetry, and they ended up being illustrations of mental symmetry. But what was being explained by mental symmetry was not just the content of the enemy system, but also the cognitive mechanisms that were being misused by this system. Thus, the system itself becomes frustrated because it is based in mental tricks, and the system becomes devoured by mental symmetry because mental symmetry can be used to explain these mental tricks.

That brings us to a possible divergence between my personal experience and what is being described in Revelation 11. Verse 5 accurately describes what was happening within my mind as a result of mental symmetry. Presumably, other people are experiencing similar cognitive effects. However, I seldom encounter such people, and while I have learned a lot from the two fields of cognitive science and psychology, I have yet to encounter anyone else who is responding at the level of mental symmetry. (Jordan Peterson is doing significant work but lacks an integrated understanding.)

I could provoke a response in people who give me material to analyze. However, instead of pushing the issue, I have chosen consistently to post my material, let the other person know what I have posted, and then allow that person to ignore what I have done. This hurts, and it is not what a Perceiver person would normally do. But my desire to live within the Platonic Forms of the two witnesses within my mind is stronger than my desire to attack and destroy opponents. I also know that attacking others would disqualify me from living within the concept of paradise that I have within my mind. That is because this same mechanism of ‘devouring the enemy’ is functioning within my own mind. Whenever I attempt to respond to others in an unrighteous manner, the two witnesses within my mind frustrate my attempts by explaining these attempts as me using my mind in an incomplete manner.

The second half of verse 5 is almost the same as the first, but the focus here is upon the underlying mental networks that generate the desire for unrighteousness. In this way describes a general process that is being followed, and following a general process is an expression of righteousness. Must means ‘it is necessary’, which means that this process has to be followed. This word occurred previously in 10:11, which stated that it was necessary to prophesy again; that was because existing prophecy had been fatally twisted by the mindset of absolute truth. The second half of verse 5 focuses upon mental networks that support unrighteousness and states that these mental networks have to be killed. But these mental networks have to be killed in a righteous manner, or else one will merely replace one unrighteous mental network with another one. The righteous manner is to use an integrated understanding of the mind to explain away these unrighteous mental networks and swallow them up. Using an analogy, one cannot escape a dictatorship through revolution, because that will merely replace one dictator with another, leaving the form of government intact. Instead, one must replace the mindset of dictatorship with the rule of law, which means submitting the dictator to the rule of law.

Verse 6 describes further powers of the two witnesses. “These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying.” Power means ‘delegated power’. Shut up is normally used to describe a door being shut. In this case, what is being shut is ‘the sky’, which is actually the word heaven, which we have been interpreting as Teacher thought. Speaking from personal experience, I have found over the years that my ability to use Teacher thought depends heavily upon how I treat ‘the two witnesses’ in my mind. If I respect my internal Platonic Forms of a better society, then I find that the ideas keep coming. And by ‘respect’, I mean choosing to behave in a way that is consistent with these Platonic forms, no matter what the personal cost in terms of career, wealth, or personal status. This does not mean having to be perfect in every detail, but rather making the correct choices when faced with significant decisions, and I have found that it will be perfectly clear which decisions are significant, because they will trigger an emotional response from the two witnesses. While I have managed so far to make the right significant decisions, I keep encountering individuals who have reached a theoretical and personal dead-end because they were unwilling to make a difficult choice, and these examples have terrified me into continuing to make the correct major decisions. I should emphasize that this power is ‘delegated power’ in the sense that the two witnesses are not emotional tyrants. Instead, their power is based in the structure of the mind. Instead of threatening me emotionally, they merely point out the inescapable, cognitive effect of following some path.

Rain is mentioned once in Revelation and is water that falls from the sky. Fall is also found once in Revelation and means ‘to send rain’. Water represents Mercy experiences. Water from the sky would represent Mercy experiences falling from the sky of Teacher thought. This happens when theory is applied, as illustrated by technology. Looking at this personally, I have felt very restricted in my ability to apply the theory of mental symmetry in some sort of experiential way. On the one hand, I continually find that theoretical progress is accompanied by some sort of personal experiential application. This combination of theory and application is an essential aspect of the two witnesses. But on the other hand, the personal application never broadens into a wider social application but rather comes to an end. Using the language of verse 6, I experience droplets of water, but not rain, and whenever the rain starts to fall, then some force steps in to ‘shut the sky’.

As a result, I have learned to follow a principle which I refer to as interacting with others on a contract basis. This means limiting my emotional involvement within the plans and kingdoms of others. This is essential in an environment of corporatism. That is because corporatism combines rational technical thought in some specialization with the irrational mental networks of slogans, marketing, and careers. Interacting at a contract level means working with the rational technical thought while rejecting the slogans, marketing, and careers. This will mean a significant loss of income, no lasting career, and also occasionally being ejected from some potential career.

Verse 6 describes the reason for this limitation: “during the days of their prophesying”. If one wishes to continue ‘prophesying’, which means continuing to make theoretical and personal progress, then one must submit to the restrictions being imposed by the two witnesses. Saying this more clearly, internal Platonic Forms of a better society will make it clear when one has to step back from personal involvement in order to avoid selling one’s soul to the system. The reference to ‘days’ in plural implies that this self-censorship will extend over several societal shifts.

The next phrase describes another power. “And they have power over the waters to turn them into blood”. Power again refers to delegated power, which means pointing out cognitive cause-and-consequence, or moral cause-and-effect. Water represents Mercy experiences, while blood represents the Mercy experiences that are part of personal identity. For instance, reading about some disaster is an example of water, while experiencing that disaster is an example of blood. Turn is used once in Revelation and means ‘to turn, to change’. I mentioned previously that it is important to make the right ‘significant decisions’. A significant decision will not necessarily be regarded by the average person as a significant decision. Instead, others will probably think that one is making mountains out of mole hills.

What makes a decision significant is that it is regarded as significant by the two witnesses. One will sense internally that how one chooses in this situation will have either a positive or negative impact upon one’s internal Platonic Forms of mental and societal wholeness. That is because the two witnesses have the power to turn water into blood; they can take a normal experience and turn it into a significant decision that has a deep impact upon personal identity. In the short term, this makes life complicated, because one has to struggle over issues that others ignore. In the long-term, it makes life much simpler, because one can make major decisions while the consequences are still relatively minor. As one gains the perspective of time, one will realize in retrospect that these were major decisions, because those who ignored these decisions while they appeared inconsequential are now experiencing the long-term impact of following their chosen path. Saying this another way, if one becomes guided by the Platonic Form of the whole mind, then this Platonic Form will evaluate the significance of a situation based upon the impact that this situation could have upon following the path of reaching mental wholeness. The average person evaluates significance based upon the emotional impact of the situation itself. The two witnesses, in contrast, evaluate significance based upon how a situation impacts following the path of personal transformation.

The final power is “to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.” Strike is found twice in Revelation and means ‘to beat (of the heart), to strike’. What is being struck is the earth, which refers to physical space and time. Every ‘views the whole in terms of the individual parts’. And a plague is literally ‘a blow, wound’. Desire is the same verb that was used in verse 5 to describe those who want to harm the two witnesses. Looking at this cognitively, the two witnesses are being transformed from the object of hostile desire to the source of hostile desire. In 8:13, an eagle pronounced woe to ‘those who live on the earth’, which would refer to a mindset of materialism that is based upon physical reality. In verse 6, the earth is continually being struck, this striking is like the beating of the heart, and it is being driven by the emotional desires of the two witnesses.

Speaking from personal experience, as I continued to choose to follow my Platonic forms of a better society rather than pursue wealth or some career, I found that my implicit assumptions of materialism were continually being battered. The two witnesses had a ‘heart’ in Mercy thought, and the ‘beating’ of this ‘heart’ continually wounded my mind into accepting that there was more to life than physical reality. Christians talk a lot about looking forward to heaven, but the average Christian acts and thinks as if only physical reality exists. This implicit materialism can only be transcended one layer at a time as Platonic Forms of mental wholeness develop a ‘heart’ within Mercy thought that beats more strongly than the ‘love of this world’. Saying this more simply, one loves mental wholeness more than one loves being successful within physical reality.

This process is driven by the desires of the two witnesses. As one continues to choose to follow Platonic Forms of mental wholeness, these Platonic Forms will grow in mental potency, and instead of just restricting involvement in physical existence, they will start promoting a form of life that goes beyond physical existence. Notice that the two witnesses do not destroy the earth or deny the existence of space and time. Instead, it is a matter of emotional priority. Will one love a whole mind, even if this wounds one’s ability to live within physical reality? And when one lives in an environment of corporatism, then loving the whole mind will wound one’s ability to live within physical reality.

Turning now to the bigger picture, I have experienced these verses at a personal level as a result of the two witnesses functioning internally within my mind at the level of Platonic Forms. This experience has come from pursuing mental symmetry as an individual. However, I have not experienced these verses at a social level as a result of proclaiming mental symmetry. On the contrary, I have chosen not to shut up the sky of others by imposing mental symmetry upon their minds. Instead, I have followed the path of functioning at a contract level without imposing this path upon others. I have not turned the water of others into blood by pronouncing cognitive consequences, and I have chosen not to wound the materialistic mindset of others with my feelings, even when my heart was breaking. I have occasionally broken down and emoted on others, but I have chosen not to follow through with these emotions. This is not the result of moral superiority on my part, but rather because the two witnesses within my own mind will not let me respond in these inadequate ways. This means that the application of these verses has been limited to me as an individual.

There is a possible exception to this. I have become increasingly aware of the spiritual and the supernatural. I do not have any definitive proof that either of these exist, but the continual ‘heart beats’ of the two witnesses within my mind have caused me to think increasingly in terms of a wider realm that includes the physical, but extends beyond the physical. Thus, while my personal choices have had only a limited impact upon human society, I sense that my personal choices are having a larger impact upon the unseen realm. I have no physical proof that this is the case, but what I am sensing is mentally coherent, and this sensing has been accompanied by many dreams that feel like they are more than dreams.

Killing the Two Witnesses 11:7

The next verses describe the response to the message of the two witnesses. Verse 7 begins, “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.” Completed means ‘to bring to an end, complete’. And testimony involves personal experience. Thus, some process has to be completed that involves personal experience. This process involving personal experience has been described in the previous verses, illustrated by my personal experience of developing the theory of mental symmetry. The point is that this process eventually comes to an end when the goal has been reached. Beast is ‘the generic term for wild animal’. This word was used once before in 6:8 to refer to ‘wild beasts’ and the next occurrence will be in chapter 13, where it will be used 16 times to describe the kingdom of the beast. Thus, the response of the beast in verse 7 can be seen as a precursor to a future kingdom of the beast.

Come up means ‘to go up, ascend’, and the verb tense is more accurately ‘coming up’. Abyss means ‘boundless, bottomless’ and was previously used in 9:11 to describe the angel of the abyss. Looking at this cognitively, the beast describes the id of childish and immature MMNs that postmodernism is unleashing by deconstructing absolute truth and exalting personal feelings. Looking at this generally, postmodernism will become mortally offended by the very concept of pursuing a better society and a whole mind, because this implies that existing desires in Mercy thought are morally deficient, and that the overgeneralization of universal tolerance in Teacher thought is inadequate. This beast is being coddled and fed by the manipulations of corporatism.

The word make means ‘to make, do’ and refers to Server actions. This is a common word, but was last used back in 5:10 to describe making a kingdom of priests. War was used previously in 9:9 to describe the locusts making the sound of rushing into war. In verse 7, the beast is not just making the sound of war but actually doing war. Notice that this opposition is happening at the pragmatic level of actions and not at the level of theory. In other words, postmodernism will not come up with intellectual reasons for attacking the two witnesses, but rather will attack them at the experiential level of doing. Notice also that this attack is from the beast that is ‘ascending’ out of the abyss. Stated cognitively, the attacks from postmodernism will intensify as postmodernism ascends from the bottomless pit of questioning to the higher level of being regarded as a general Teacher theory with a king and a name. In other words, as postmodernism acquires official and academic status, the questioning of absolute truth will turn into a war upon moral standards. Going the other way, the two witnesses will continue to ‘swallow their adversaries’ into a general Teacher theory of mental and societal wholeness.

These two forces will eventually come into open warfare. But this warfare will be fought at different levels. The two witnesses will fight at the level of Teacher generality and rational understanding, while postmodernism will fight at the level of experience and personal attack. One can see this illustrated by the work of Jordan Peterson. Peterson is teaching a path of cognitive development based upon psychological theory. Peterson is being opposed by an attitude of postmodernism that avoids intellectual reasoning and fights at the level of personal attack. The response of postmodernism to Jordan Peterson illustrates what would happen if mental symmetry became well-known, because Peterson is teaching fragmented theories of cognition while mental symmetry is an integrated theory of cognition. (I have spent some time examining what Peterson teaches, and I am not aware of any discrepancies between his research-based statements and mental symmetry.)

Continuing with verse 7, overcome is a military term and was previously used in 6:2 to describe the second horseman of the apocalypse. Kill implies the destruction of mental networks. Looking at this societally, postmodernism will succeed in eliminating from general society the ideas of personal transformation and/or understanding the mind. Instead, MMNs of personal identity will be regarded as fundamental and as too complex to be described by any simple explanation. Looking at this personally, I lived in Seoul, Korea from 2002-2010 and taught math and physics at an international school for several years. On the positive side, I learned a lot about education and renewed my skills in math and physics. On the negative side, even though I taught at an officially Christian school, I was continually struggling against a system that was driven by implicit assumptions of both postmodernism and corporatism. I could not talk about mental symmetry to most of my fellow teachers, and I could not have a normal conversation with the average person because my limited knowledge of Korean. Cognitively speaking, my two witnesses were killed, and this dying expressed itself through occasional outbursts of emotion. Professionally speaking, a teacher should not exhibit outbursts of emotion. But when Platonic forms are being killed within one’s mind, then there will be emotional outbursts, no matter how hard one tries to be professional. In addition, I was learning the skill of classroom management on the job without ever having taken teacher’s training, as well as relearning math and physics skills which I had not used for many years.

Verse 8 describes what happens next. “And their dead bodies will lie on the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” Dead body means ‘a fall’ and is used seven times in the New Testament to refer to corpses. The NASB refers to ‘dead bodies’ in the plural, but the original Greek says ‘the body of them’ with ‘body’ in the singular. This emphasizes the unified nature of these two witnesses. Cognitively speaking, ‘a fall’ indicates a loss of life due to a fall in Teacher generality. Looking at this personally, when I was teaching in Korea, I was governed by theories of employment, education, curriculum development, and classroom management. The theory of mental symmetry took second place to all of these.

Street means ‘a wide road, street’. It is used three times in Revelation and the other two occurrences are in 21:21 and 22:2 to describe the street in the New Jerusalem. In all three cases, the word is in the singular, suggesting the primary thoroughfare of a city. This is reinforced by the phrase ‘the street of the city the great’. In other words, even though the two witnesses have been eliminated and belittled, their fallen corpses lie on the primary thoroughfare of civilized society. For instance, even though I could not talk about mental symmetry with my fellow teachers, every procedure of teaching involved some aspect of mental symmetry. (My sister and brother-in-law were teaching at the same school and I could talk about mental symmetry with them at the concrete level of cognitive styles and personal growth.) Saying this another way, a general theory of how the mind works will continually be triggered by the process of attempting to live within civilization, because civilized behavior assumes that people are using their minds in an integrated manner. Each individual may be using the mind in a fragmented and incomplete manner, but the city of civilization as a whole depends upon people cooperating socially in a way that promotes the function and interaction of all seven cognitive modules.

Spiritually is used once in Revelation and ‘describes the nonphysical dimension’. Called refers to the use of Teacher thought. Looking at this cognitively, when one is continually reminded by the environment of Platonic Forms of which one must not speak, then one will become aware of the spiritual realm. That is because the spiritual realm interacts with the mind through mental networks. Mental networks normally guide social interaction. But even though social interaction is continually triggering the two witnesses, it forbids discussing these two witnesses. The only remaining option is to connect the two witnesses with a spiritual realm. Looking at this personally, I became far more aware of the spiritual realm after teaching in Korea, because I had to interact in a meaningful way with intelligent beings, but I could not discuss mental symmetry at a theoretical level with my fellow humans. (I stopped interacting with my brother Lane at a theoretical level at the beginning of this period, and my interaction with my sister and brother-in-law was at a pragmatic, less theoretical level.) Saying this another way, spiritual sensitivity is often described as a subtle feeling that is normally ignored. In the same way that losing a physical sense, such as the sense of sight, causes the remaining physical senses to become more sensitive, so it appears that losing social interaction will cause a person to become more sensitive to spiritual interaction.

Sodom is mentioned once in Revelation. I have attempted to work out the symbolism of Sodom in the essay on Matthew. Repeating the summary in that essay, two angels come to the city of Sodom and are welcomed by Lot into his house where he serves them a meal including unleavened bread. The men of the city congregate around Lot’s house and demand to have intimate relations with Lot’s guests. Lot offers the men his two virgin daughters but they refuse and try to break their way into Lot’s house. These men are then struck blind by the two angels. This was interpreted in Matthew as the absolute truth of the Bible coming to Western society and scholars starting to understand the message of the Bible. Many of the men of medieval society who were following a path of celibacy treated the Bible in a mystical manner in order to have intimate ecstatic experiences. This desire for mystical ecstasy blinded the men so that they were incapable of evaluating their environment rationally.

In other words, Sodom represents a mystical response to a partial understanding of a heavenly message. Applying this to my personal experience in Korea, one of my deepest conflicts was with the praise-and-worship advocated by the other Christian teachers. I could discuss rational principles of cognitive development and spiritual growth with my fellow teachers to some extent. But at some point this discussion would reach a dead end because the other teachers were ultimately driven by emotions of religious worship and ecstasy. Similarly, I could not continue applying the principles of mental symmetry in the classroom because my fellow teachers would only back me up part of the way. And I discovered that the reason they stopped backing me up was primarily because their Christianity was ultimately based in ecstatic Mercy feelings of praise-and-worship rather than in a Teacher understanding of the character of God. Saying this bluntly, they were mentally blinded because they thought that an intellectual ‘meal with angels’ should be followed by the intimate relations of ecstatic worship. For instance, one teacher who was known for repeatedly saying ‘Praise Jesus’ got so offended at me that she did not speak to me for an entire semester. (My sister, brother-in-law, and I had similar feelings regarding praise-and-worship, but our theoretical discussions could only go so far because of differences regarding a mindset of absolute truth.) I am not suggesting that my fellow teachers were homosexual, because verse 8 makes it clear that these terms are spiritual.

Egypt is also mentioned once in Revelation and is a symbol of the secular world with its secular desires. Speaking again from personal experience, I discovered that the primary motivation for most Korean students is not educational or spiritual development, but rather getting ahead in the secular world, and this describes even Koreans at a Christian school taught by Christian teachers populated primarily by Christian students. What really mattered was being accepted by a good Western University, and families would go to extreme lengths, including one parent living in Korea and the other in the United States, to ensure that their children would get the best education.

I should add that I did not experience ‘Sodom and Egypt’ merely at the level of minor irritants. I am sure that many of the other teachers thought that I was making emotional mountains out of molehills. However, these two forces affected me at the level of core mental networks falling apart. I should also add that most of my time at the school consisted of normal teaching and normal professional interaction. The emotional events that I have described in the previous paragraphs only happened occasionally, but they happened often enough to set an underlying tone within my mind, and these are the events that have stuck in my mind from those years.

Looking more generally at Sodom and Egypt, postmodernism can only exist within modern science and technology because science and technology meet physical needs, making it possible to ignore physical needs, pretend that truth does not exist, and question all authority. Stated more simply, the postmodern individual can act as if truth does not exist, because he can meet his physical needs by going down to the local grocery store to buy food from people. If grocery stores—and all of the various stores and services of modern civilization—did not exist, then the postmodern individual would have to grow his own food, which would bring him face-to-face with the laws of nature, forcing him to abandon postmodernism. This leads to a mindset of Sodom, where one learns about objective science and then takes an emotional leap into some form of ecstatic worship. This worship is backed up by some form of overgeneralization in Teacher thought, such as universal tolerance, unconditional acceptance, the environment, or Buddhism. Egypt represents a civilization of hedonism. (And this also characterized the mindset of the real historical Egypt.) Egypt also requires science and technology, because the secular world is meeting hedonistic desires in a sophisticated manner. Egypt represents a civilization of hedonism. (And this also characterized the mindset of the real historical Egypt.) This combination is enabled by corporatism, which satisfies hedonism in a civilized manner.

A Larger Perspective 11:8-10

We have looked at the two witnesses from my personal perspective, but I suggested earlier that a form of these two witnesses also exists within society at large. On the one hand, cognitive research continues to learn more about the functioning of the mind. On the other hand, psychology has acquired some skill at treating mental problems. These two witnesses have been killed by postmodernism and corporatism. Postmodernism dislikes rational theories of human thought, convinced that rational theories do not exist, especially when applied to people. Postmodernism also rejects the idea of regarding some lifestyle as inferior to another lifestyle. Corporatism assumes that maintaining the integrity of the company is more important than maintaining the integrity of the human mind. And corporatism prefers consumers with weak personal desires that can be manipulated by corporate marketing.

This was originally formulated by Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, in a book entitled Propaganda, written back in 1928. Quoting from the opening paragraphs, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country... We are dominated by the relatively small number of persons... who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”

But the corpse of these two witnesses continues to lie on the main street of civilization. On the one hand, postmodernism phrases its overgeneralizations in psychological language, while on the other hand, corporatism uses cognitive principles to sell its products. Turning again to a personal perspective, the average person may not appreciate the integrated approach taken by mental symmetry, but I continually stumble across articles describing aspects of mental symmetry as key concepts. Again, one finds the corpse of the two witnesses lying on the main street of civilization.

Verse 8 finishes, “where also their Lord was crucified”. This is the only time the word crucify is used in Revelation. Crucifixion is a slow death in which a person gradually dies because of being immobilized, exposed to the elements, and having difficulty breathing. Similarly, core mental networks fall apart gradually as they are immobilized, exposed to the elements, and unable to function. I have mentioned that incarnation is based upon technical thought but goes beyond technical thought to be guided by the TMN of a concept of God and to save MMNs of people. Postmodernism assumes technical thought in the objective and then leaps irrationally into the subjective. Similarly, corporatism uses technical thought in the objective and then manipulates the subjective irrationally. The two witnesses are Platonic Forms of ‘what could be’ if technical thought were extended in a rational manner to include the subjective and the universal. One could say that these two witnesses view the crucified incarnation as their lord, because they realize that the existing partial expression of incarnation needs to be mentally crucified.

Looking at this personally, as I continue to develop mental symmetry in the hostile environment of postmodernism and corporatism, I find my behavior being ruled by the realization that a deep solution is required, and that I will only become a person who is capable of being part of such a deep solution if I allow the pressures of society to remold my core mental networks. In other words, I also feel as if I have a lord who was crucified. Verse 8 does not say that the two witnesses actually are crucified. Similarly, even though few people pay attention to mental symmetry, ongoing research continues to support mental symmetry, while the behavior of people provides examples of mental symmetry.

This ongoing interaction with the corpses of the two witnesses is described in verse 9. “Those from the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will look at their dead body for three and a half days.” (As the NASB points out, the word ‘body’ is again in the singular.) The word look means ‘to see something physical, with spiritual results’, and was previously used in 9:20 to refer to the idols of corporatism which cannot see. They cannot ‘see’ because corporatism cannot go beyond physical goals to achieving spiritual results; that is because technical thinking of corporatism is based upon materialistic, scientific thought which assumes that only physical reality exists. In verse 9, the verb ‘see’ is at the beginning of the phrase in the Greek, which is more literally, ‘and look from out of the peoples and tribes…’ In other words, individuals from out of these various groups will look at the corpse of the two witnesses, and they will go beyond the physical to the spiritual. They will notice that the various pieces of a better society already exist and they will internally put these pieces together.

Verse 9 describes four groups. People is the source of the word ‘laity’ and ‘is the usual term for the people of God’. Tribe means ‘the descendants of a common ancestor’. Language refers to the language spoken by some group of people. And nation ‘describes people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture’. People, nations, and tongues were mentioned in 10:1, which described the necessity of prophesying again. However, 10:1 mentioned kings, while verse 9 mentions nations. The absence of kings implies that those who have societal status will do very little of the looking because they are too busy maintaining their power by ensuring that the corpse remains dead.

Looking at this cognitively, these four groups describe various ways of uniting people through mental networks. There are ‘people’ joined by the mental networks of some common purpose or name, ‘tribes’ who follow the mental networks of some historical source, ‘languages’ who use common mental networks of speech, and ‘nations’ who share common mental networks of culture. These various groups will feel threatened by postmodernism and corporatism. They will observe that postmodernism only pays lip service to cultural diversity and they will discover that corporatism only pretends to satisfy personal needs. They will look at body of the two witnesses of cognitive research and personal development and they will go beyond the physical to the spiritual.

This will not happen instantly, but instead will take 3 ½ days. If a day represents an era lit by some ‘sun’ of general understanding, then this observing will take 3 ½ societal cycles. We are currently (in 2020) in a cycle of social media. The previous cycle possibly begin with 9/11, because society changed totally after the destruction of the twin towers. The fall of communism in the 1980s was also a major turning point. And the 1970s could also be described as the beginning of an era. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that 3 ½ days have now passed. Both postmodernism and corporatism have ruled to some extent during this entire period. Even if these details are inaccurate, the basic principle is that it has taken extended gazing of various groups upon the body of the two witnesses to finally come to the realization that postmodernism and corporatism are fake friends and that something more is required. This desire for something more than physical reality is reflected in today’s growing emphasis upon spirituality. Verse 9 does not say that everyone in these four groups will go beyond the physical to the spiritual. Instead, it says that this observation will happen ‘from out of’ these four groups, suggesting that individuals within these groups will start to look for deeper answers.

Verse 9 continues, “and do not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb”. The word ‘bodies’ here is in the plural. Permit means to ‘send away, release’. Verse 9 does not say who is not permitting, but presumably it is the same people who are doing the observing. Laid means ‘to place, lay, set’. And tomb means ‘memorial’ and comes from the verb ‘to remember’. This suggests that those who are observing will not let go of the bodies of the two witnesses and allow them to be put to rest as relics of the past to be remembered. In other words, these individuals will refuse to treat the Platonic Form of a better society as merely a naïve ideal of the past. The reference to bodies in the plural suggests that part of ‘laying in a tomb’ involves separating cognitive research in abstract thought from personal development in concrete thought.

Verse 10 describes the behavior of the majority. “And those who live on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who live on the earth.” The phrase ‘those who live on the earth’ occurs twice in this verse, once at the beginning and once at the end. This tells us that the focus is upon ‘those who live on the earth’. The same phrase with the same Greek words was previously used in 8:13 where the eagle warned that woe would come to ‘those who live on the earth’. Thus, verse 10 describes the behavior of those who are comfortable in physical reality, who are fully living within the materialism of space and time.

Rejoice comes from the same root as ‘grace’ and actually means ‘glad for grace’. There are several Greek words with this same root ‘xar-’ which all seem to refer to some form of help that comes from a concept of God in Teacher thought. Saying this more simply, rejoice would refer to Teacher pleasure. Rejoice is only used twice in Revelation, here and in 19:7, which refers to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The phrase ‘rejoice over them’ suggests that some sort of Teacher pleasure is being derived from the bodies of these two witnesses. Looking at this cognitively, Teacher understanding is being built upon the corpses of the two witnesses. In other words, principles of cognitive research and psychological therapy are being used in an isolated manner to construct Teacher theories that support postmodernism and corporatism. This describes a sort of Frankenstein’s monster in which the fragments of a better world are being used to build the Teacher structure of a world that is only semi-sane. This system is very willing to use the fragments of cognitive and psychological knowledge, but it insists upon arranging these fragments in a way that will support the structure of postmodernism and corporatism.

Celebrate combines ‘good’ with ‘inner outlook that regulates outward behavior’. This is the first use of this word in Revelation and the next occurrence is in 12:12, which instructs heaven to rejoice because the dragon has been overcome. This word conveys the impression that those who control society feel comfortable and confident because they are managing to use scientific principles of cognition and psychology to control the masses. In other words, the rulers of society are no longer ruling in a haphazard manner. Instead, they are using an understanding of the mind to manipulate crowds more effectively and more subtly, and this knowledge of cognitive mechanisms is guiding their inner perspective. However, what is guiding this ruling class is not an integrated concept of a better society with better people, but rather the pieces of ‘a better society with better people’ being assembled into a beast that serves postmodernism and corporatism. And the fundamental assumption is that only physical reality exists. Thus, a better society and better people are both being squeezed into the framework of living as human beings within physical reality for a finite lifetime and then ceasing to exist.

Verse 10 continues, “and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who live on the earth.” The word gift ‘focuses on the free nature of the gift’, and this is the only use of this word in Revelation. Send simply means ‘to send’, but the verb tense is unusual, and this is actually indicated in the NASB. The verbs so far in verses 9-10 have been in the present: look, permit, rejoice, and celebrate. The NASB adds ‘will’ to suggest that these verbs should be in the future, but places this in italics to indicate that this is not in the original Greek. In contrast, ‘send’ is in the future, as indicated in the NASB by ‘will’ not being in italics. This future tense indicates that the giving of gifts will be something that is added near the end of these 3 ½ days.

Applying this to postmodernism and corporatism, a new form of behavior will emerge at the end that is characterized by the giving away of gifts. Looking first at postmodernism, people will eventually realize that every group that protests against authority eventually turns into another group that imposes authority. This will eventually cause protests against authority to become altruistic, in order to ensure that the protesters themselves do not take power and start to oppress others. This change in thinking may correspond to the ‘abomination of desolation’ mentioned in Matthew 24, which appears to describe a mindset that instinctively attacks anyone or anything that exhibits personal status in Mercy thought. Looking now at corporatism, the rise of interconnected computer programs will lead to a new kind of economy. That is because a computer program costs a lot of money to develop, but almost no money to produce and distribute. And the value of an interconnected computer program depends upon how many people use this program. One can see this in social media programs such as facebook or twitter. These programs cost a lot of money to develop, but they are given away as gifts. That is because these programs only acquire value as many people use these programs. Therefore, the programs will be given away in order to increase market share, because giving away the program costs almost nothing, while gaining greater market share increases the value. Notice that both forms of free gifts involve Teacher emotion. The protests of postmodern thought will increasingly become driven by Teacher feelings of universal tolerance, while the gifts of corporatism will be driven by Teacher feelings of structure and generality that emerge when many people use the same program in an integrated manner.

Verse 10 explains the reasoning for these free gifts: “because these two prophets tormented those who live on the earth.” Torment means to ‘examine, as by torture’. This verb was first used in Revelation in 9:5 to describe the locusts tormenting people for five months, which was interpreted as postmodernism stress-testing the rational thinking of people and groups. The two witnesses are described here as prophets, which suggests that future trends are being pointed out. Looking at this cognitively, the people who are observing the bodies of the two witnesses are continually pointing out the inadequacies of postmodernism and corporatism: ‘You claim to stand for tolerance, but you have become more intolerant than the people that you are attacking. You claim to be improving the life of the consumer, but the average consumer continues getting poorer while you get richer.’ This type of feedback will stress-test postmodernism and corporatism, forcing both to become increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to manipulate others. Eventually, both will attempt to prove their ‘innocence’ through the giving of free gifts: ‘I have nothing to gain personally from my questioning. This computer program is totally free.’ The cognitive result is that both postmodernism and corporatism will increasingly base their activity upon something that goes beyond physical reality. Tolerance and acceptance will be viewed increasingly as abstract concepts that have nothing to do with the physical experiences of real life. Similarly, corporate value will increasingly be seen as an abstract concept that goes beyond physical property. Stated more simply, Platonic Forms of ideal perfection have entered through the back door, and people are no longer thinking merely in terms of physical space and time.

Resurrected Witnesses 11:11-12

Verse 11 describes this re-emergence of spirituality. “And after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet.” The reference to 3 ½ days emphasizes that significant societal changes are required to generate this spiritual rebirth. Spirit was previously mentioned in 5:6 when talking about the seven spirits of God. Life refers to both physical and spiritual life and was last mentioned in 7:17 to talk about those coming out of the great tribulation being shepherded to fountains of life. The implication is that this shepherding has now succeeded in reaching its destination. That is because Matthew 24 refers to a period of unusually great social tribulation occurring right after the abomination of desolation.

This spirit of life comes ‘from out of the God’ and enters into the two witnesses. This could be interpreted in several related ways: First, once postmodernism and corporatism start thinking in terms of Teacher generality, then this will give new life to the Platonic forms of a better person and a better society, because Teacher thinks naturally in terms of wholeness, completeness, and order. Second, as it becomes increasingly clear that the material bias of both postmodernism and corporatism destroy personal meaning, a new awareness of spirituality will emerge. Third, a door to the spiritual realm may open up as people become disillusioned with Western civilization.

Returning now to a more personal perspective, when I returned from Korea in 2010, I started pursuing mental symmetry again with renewed vigor and insight. But two things changed. First, teaching in an international school opened my eyes to many aspects of education of which I had been unaware. As a result, I developed mental symmetry with a more general perspective, consistent with coming ‘from God’. Second, the various aspects of mental symmetry started to personalize within my mind and take on the form of living spirits. I still do not know for certain whether these living spirits are merely mental networks masquerading as life, or whether mental networks within my mind are being energized by actual spirits. However, if I treat these ‘living spirits’ as intelligent beings, then this leads to meaningful, helpful interaction.

I am not exactly sure what this all means. And I have found that one cannot reduce the spiritual realm to the precise definitions of technical thought. But it is possible to come up with analogies that describe what this might be like. Some of these interpretations are cognitive, which makes it possible to analyze them using the theory of mental symmetry. And my hypothesis is that any real spiritual realm functions in a manner that is similar to these cognitive interpretations.

These spiritually energized witnesses ‘stood on their feet’. Feet were previously mentioned in 10:1-2 to describe the angel standing with one foot on the sea and one on the land. ‘Standing’ and ‘feet’ are both common words, but the only New Testament reference that combines these two words is in Acts 26:16, where Paul relates that he was told in his vision on the road to Damascus to ‘stand on your feet’. Feet carry the weight of personal identity. ‘Standing on your feet’ would mean living within personal identity in some solid manner. This makes sense within the context. Verse 10 referred twice to ‘those dwelling upon the earth’, describing a mindset based in the assumption that only physical reality is solid. In verse 11 a new form of spiritual life rooted in non-physical reality is standing up on its feet, providing a viable alternative to the dominant materialistic mindset.

Applying this to my personal experience, I have noticed that one primary difference between normal mental networks and the ‘living spirits’ that I now mentally encounter is that the living spirits appear to be ‘standing on their feet’ in a way that normal mental networks do not. It feels as if they have a solid existence that is independent of my conscious thought. One could interpret this as my mind becoming fragmented. However, I have found that these ‘living spirits’ always behave politely, never overwhelm conscious thought, respect scientific thought and physical reality, and encourage me to study the Bible. Plus, they are friendly and have a sense of humor. If this is what it means to go crazy, then may I never recover. Besides, the world in 2020 has gone so crazy that even the semi-lucid ‘man on the street’ thinks that the world has gone crazy. I used to worry that interacting with my ‘spiritual friends’ might cause me to become mentally imbalanced in a sane world. I now find that these ‘spiritual friends’ are protecting my sanity in a world that has gone crazy.

Looking at the bigger picture, this passage illustrates a general principle regarding the relationship between God the Father and God the Spirit: One must start with God the Father in Teacher thought. Having laid a theoretical foundation in Teacher thought, one cannot move directly from Teacher thought to Mercy thought; one cannot go directly from God the Father to God the Spirit. Instead, these two need to be connected by the technical content of incarnation. And it takes time for spirit to emerge from this technical content. The two witnesses started by proclaiming a verbal message at the Teacher level of God the Father. They were then overcome by the partial expression of incarnation that is exhibited by science and technology. At the subjective level, this partial expression killed the two witnesses, but at the objective level, the corpse of the two witnesses continued to interact with the technical thinking of modern society. Thus, what eventually emerged was something in Mercy thought that combined both the general understanding of God the Father as well as the technical details of God the Son. Using the language of the Nicene Creed, the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. (I know that this statement relates to the filioque clause. But we saw earlier in this essay that the Orthodox Church, which denies the filioque clause, is cognitively inadequate in precisely this area, because it maintains that the goal is to form some sort of union between God and personal identity that bypasses the technical thinking of incarnation.)

Looking at this personally, my concept of mental symmetry changed as a result of teaching in Korea: On the subjective side, my existing mental networks were repeatedly attacked by the local versions of postmodernism and corporatism. But on the objective side, I learned a lot of technical details about education. The ‘living spirits’ that ‘stood up’ after this time were based in the same theory of mental symmetry that I had studied before, but they took on a more complete form that was more capable of providing a genuine alternative to the existing mindset of society.

Verse 11 finishes by describing the response. “And great fear fell upon those who were watching them.” Fear means ‘fleeing because feeling inadequate’ and this is actually the first of three times that this word is used in Revelation. The other two times are in 18:10 and 18:15 in the economic fall of Babylon. And great refers to Teacher generality. The phrase ‘great fear’ is uncommon in the New Testament. It is used twice in Acts 5 in the story of Ananias and Sapphira, and also in Luke 8 in the story of the demons being cast into the herd of pigs. Great fear implies being scared of something in Teacher thought and running away. This can be seen in Acts 5 where Peter warns Ananias that ‘you have not lied to men but to God’ and Ananias falls dead. This larger impact can also be seen in the story of the pigs because Jesus’ interaction with a single person caused the destruction of an entire distant herd. Great fear comes when one understands something in Teacher thought and then realizes that this understanding has the power to affect personal identity. For instance, I experienced ‘great fear’ when it became clear to me after returning from Korea that mental symmetry was capable of explaining all Christian doctrine. The Teacher theory that I had been working with acquired new power within my mind. In my case, the great fear worked in a positive direction because I felt a great sense of responsibility, which drove me to run away from behavior that would undermine my understanding.

The word watching is only found in Revelation in this verse and the next verse. It means to ‘gaze on for the purpose of analyzing’, and ‘is the root of the English term theatre’. Notice that the great fear does not fall upon everyone, but rather upon those who are ‘gazing on for the purpose of analyzing’. Normal fear is driven by harmful beings and events in Mercy thought. For instance, a single glance at a truck that is heading towards me is sufficient to trigger a response of fright and flight. In contrast, Teacher-driven ‘great fear’ needs to be preceded by analysis; one must construct a general Teacher theory before it becomes possible to be scared of this Teacher theory. This constructing happened in the previous verses while the corpses of the two witnesses were lying on the main street of civilization. In other words, current cognitive and psychological research is setting itself up for great fear, because it is ‘gazing upon the mind for the purpose of analyzing’, assuming that the mind that is being observed is a corpse that has no life in it. Saying this another way, research on the mind assumes that the mind can be treated as an object that has no relationship to personal emotions. But this research is being done by minds that have personal emotions; the mind is studying the mind. One would think that researchers would be aware of this obvious principle, but very seldom do I encounter a paper that mentions this relationship.

Verse 12 describes this awareness of living Teacher thought. “And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’” Loud again means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’, which refers to Teacher generality. Hearing a voice also refers to Teacher thought. Come up means ‘to go up, ascend’, which is being interpreted as moving in the direction of Teacher generality. Smoke has ascended several times in Revelation, and beasts have come up out of pits, but the only other time that a human ‘comes up’ in Revelation is in 4:1 when John is told to ‘come up’ at the beginning of his vision. I have mentioned the ‘great fear’ that I felt within my mind. That fear was a byproduct of mental symmetry ‘ascending’ within my mind to a new level of Teacher generality.

Notice that this great fear comes from the two dead witnesses being given new Teacher generality. This requires several preceding stages. Looking at this personally, I initially pursued mental symmetry within Teacher thought as a theory of the mind. I then realized that my theorizing had to be accompanied by personal application. But this application was driven by a desire to avoid self-deception in Teacher thought; I knew that I had to applying my understanding if I wanted to gain additional understanding. This led to the formation of two witnesses within my mind. Both my understanding of the mind and my personal path of developing my mind created similar Platonic Forms within my mind of an ideal society populated by ideal individuals. These ‘two witnesses’ gave me hope and motivation, but they did not lead to great fear. I first had to ‘gaze upon the bodies of these witnesses’ while living in reality. In my case this meant immersing myself for several years within the field of education. This ‘gazing’ placed mental symmetry within a larger context. During this time, mental symmetry was simultaneously powerless and relevant. On the one hand, the system turned on me whenever I attempted to follow mental symmetry. On the other hand, mental symmetry continued to explain the behavior of the system. The great fear emerged after I returned from Korea and started using mental symmetry as a meta-theory to explain cognition and theology at a new level of Teacher generality. Before this, the two witnesses were like fantasy or science fiction, visions of an ideal society to which I could mental escape. After this, the two witnesses become living beings within my mind that had the power to overturn my experiences of existing society and religion.

Verse 12 continues, “And they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.” The verb ‘come up’ is repeated. A cloud was previously mentioned in 10:1 with the strong angel that was clothed with a cloud. The word ‘cloud’ is found 25 times in the New Testament and is always associated with either angels or some form of supernatural power. The transformation of the two witnesses can be seen in these two references to a cloud. A Platonic Form is like a cloud, because one can see an image in the air of Teacher thought, but this image does not exist upon the earth of physical reality. However, clouds can lead to rain. Similarly, Platonic Forms can be turned into physical reality through the ‘rain’ of applying some theory. Being clothed with a cloud implies that social interactions are being guided by Platonic Forms. Coming up in a cloud implies that personal identity is residing within Platonic Forms. Using an analogy, one can see a similar distinction between fantasy and a travel book. Fantasy describes a possible world that does not exist—within which one could not live, while a travel book describes a real country in which real people live.

The word enemy ‘implies irreconcilable hostility, proceeding out of a personal hatred’. It is only used in Revelation in 11:5 and here in verse 12. In 11:5 the two witnesses were devouring their enemies, which was interpreted cognitively as using Teacher thought to explain hostile worldviews. Here, the ascension of the two witnesses is being watched, and watch means to ‘gaze on for the purpose of analyzing’. The use of ‘watch’ in verses 11 and 12 indicates a fixation that goes beyond curiosity. One can explain this cognitively by comparing Mercy thought with Teacher thought. Mercy thought leads to a concept of mortal enemies who are separated by irreconcilable MMNs. In verse 5, Mercy feelings of hatred for the enemy were being replaced by Teacher feelings of swallowing up the enemy as part of a general theory. In verse 5 this Teacher ‘swallowing up’ was being done by the two witnesses. In verse 12, the Teacher thought is happening within the minds of the enemies. Teacher feelings of ‘gazing on for the purpose of analyzing’ are proving to be stronger than Mercy feelings of ‘irreconcilable hostility’ and ‘personal hatred’. This describes victory at a meta-level, because one is not winning the argument against the enemy but rather changing the way that the enemy argues.

A Great Earthquake 11:13-14

We have examined this chapter primarily from a cognitive and personal perspective. We will now focus upon the societal perspective. Matthew 24 describes what is commonly known as ‘the second coming’. This is normally interpreted as a single event, but there are actually four stages: 1) Verse 24 describes many fragmented breakthroughs from the spiritual realm. 2) Verse 27 mentions an initial flash of global illumination. 3) In verse 29 there is a massive shaking of existing structure. 4) In verse 30 the ‘sign of the Son of Man appears in the sky’, which is accompanied by great mourning. The first stage can be seen in Revelation 11:11 with the two witnesses standing on their feet. The second stage is portrayed in verse 12 with the two witnesses ascending to heaven. The shaking and mourning can be seen in verse 13.

Verse 13 begins, “And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell.” ‘In that hour’ implies that it takes a short time for the implications of the general theory to set in. This is reinforced by the verb was, which actually means ‘to come into being’. Physical earthquakes do not normally ‘come into being’ but rather strike suddenly. However, cognitive and societal earthquakes can come into being. The previous earthquake happened in 8:5 at the beginning of the seven trumpets, and this was interpreted as society being transformed in response to the Industrial Revolution. That was merely an earthquake, whereas verse 13 describes a great earthquake. My hypothesis is that the second coming described in Matthew 24 will open the door between the natural and the supernatural in some major way. This will bring a great earthquake to ‘those who live upon the earth’ with the mindset of materialism, because their fundamental assumption that only physical reality exists will be shaken.

A city was previously mentioned in 11:8, which referred to the corpses of the two witnesses lying in ‘the great city’, and in 11:2, which described the holy city being trampled underfoot. Notice the implicit transformation from ‘holy’ to ‘great’. ‘Holy’ indicates primarily a separation in Mercy thought, while ‘great’ refers to generality in Teacher thought. Verse 13 simply refers to the city, implying a general impact upon civilization. Fall means ‘fall, fall under, fall prostrate’.

The word tenth is closely related to the word tenth that is used to refer to a tithe. Tithing was initially instituted in order to support the Levites, who performed religious and administrative duties. Thus, a tenth of the city falling may refer to the establishment of a tithe, in which human materialistic society recognizes the existence of a higher non-physical realm and devotes a tithe of resources and research to this realm. This is the only reference to either version of ‘a tenth’ in Revelation apart from 21:20 which refers to the tenth crystal in the Holy City. This idea of a tithe is consistent with my hypothesis that the second coming will be a ‘theoretical return of Jesus’ that will affect physical reality in profound ways, but be limited primarily to the ‘sky’ and ‘clouds’ of Teacher thought. Similarly, verse 13 describes a tithe of the ‘city’ of civilization ‘falling prostrate’.

Verse 13 adds that ‘names of people, seven thousand were killed in the earthquake’. (This is the literal translation from a footnote.) This accurately reflects the Greek, which talks about the names of people being killed. A name refers to the description of a person in Teacher thought. And people is the generic term for ‘one of the human race’. If names of humans are being killed, then this indicates that Teacher theories of physical human existence are dying as a result of the great earthquake that is shaking the existing framework of solid facts. Going further, if ‘names of people’ are dying, then this implies that people themselves are not dying, which contradicts the common evangelical interpretation of a rapture followed by massive human carnage. The number thousand was used in 5:11 as a comparison to ten-thousand. Thousand was interpreted there as less complete than ten-thousand. Seven may relate to the seven cognitive styles or seven cognitive modules. Thus, 7000 could be interpreted as all aspects of human thought being affected in a partial manner.

The rest of verse 13 makes it clear that there is only a partial destruction of existing Teacher thought. “And the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Rest means ‘the rest, the remaining’. It was previously used in 9:20 to say that ‘the rest’ were not motivated by the shortcomings of corporatism to change their personal desires. In verse 13, the rest are terrified, which indicates that personal desires are now being affected at a deep emotional level. Glory can be interpreted either as giving glory to someone through acts of worship, or as glorifying something or someone by expressing its internal character through some external manner. Revelation 7:12 described the angels glorifying God in worship. Verse 13 suggests a form of glory that goes beyond mere words to affect behavior.

Both ‘God’ and ‘heaven’ have been used several times in Revelation, but this is the first mention of the ‘God of heaven’. Heaven describes Teacher thought, while a concept of God approaches Teacher understanding in personal terms. Christianity talks about a personal God, but does not really use Teacher thought to construct a concept of God. When God is described using Christian words, then these words are typically used as expressions of Teacher overgeneralization that have no relationship to normal human reality. For instance, God is described as omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, but these terms are seldom applied to human reality in any meaningful way. And when God shows up in human society, this is typically portrayed in an overgeneralized manner as ‘God appears. BOOM!! End of story.’ For instance, the return of Jesus in Revelation 19 is depicted as instant divine victory in the book on Revelation that I analyzed when first looking at the book of Revelation in 2016. In contrast, one seldom finds the idea of God intervening in a detailed manner within human history as we have seen portrayed in the essay on Matthew.

Science, in contrast, analyzes the heaven of Teacher thought in a detailed manner, but avoids referring to this in a personal way, claiming that the term Nature is merely a verbal shorthand that has no real meaning. Verse 13 describes these two coming together in a God of heaven. Christianity is recognizing that one must use Teacher thought to describe the Nature of God, while science is realizing that its references to Nature are referring to a real, living being. ‘Giving glory to the God of the heaven’ indicates that society is recognizing and acknowledging a real God in Teacher thought. Making this transition does not mean destroying all of existing secular thought, as the typical Christian fundamentalist thinks. Instead, it means replacing the worship of Nature and impersonal evolution with a tithe to the living, intelligent divine being of God. These essays attempt to portray what this entails. (I have attempted to analyze which aspects of evolution are plausible and which are not in other essays.)

Verse 14 says that the second woe or sixth trumpet has finally come to an end. “The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.” Passed means ‘to go away’. The same verb was used in 9:12 to describe the first woe being past. The second woe took a long time. In contrast, the third woe is described as coming quickly. Quickly means ‘without unnecessary delay’, and this word was used previously back in 3:11 in a letter to the seven churches. One can see the relationship between these two woes by looking at what happens when there is a major change in government. The second woe involves acknowledging the new regime. The third woe comes when the new regime imposes itself upon the existing structure of government. The third woe happens quickly after the second, but is different than the second.

A New Kingdom 11:15-17

Verse 15 describes the new regime imposing itself upon existing structure. “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.’” Loud actually means ‘great’. Notice that the regime change is accompanied by ‘great voices in heaven’. This is consistent with the idea of a ‘theoretical return of Jesus’ because most of the activity is happening at the Teacher level of great voices in heaven.

Kingdom describes ‘the realm in which a king sovereignly rules’. The last reference to a kingdom was in 5:10, which talked about the Lamb purchasing people from many groups in order to make them a ‘kingdom to our God’. That reference was interpreted as Christianity becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire. Something similar is happening in verse 15.

Verse 15 refers to the kingdom of the cosmos, which means ‘an ordered system’, and this is the first mention of this term in Revelation. 1 John 2:15-16 defines the cosmos as ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the vaunting of biological life’. In other words, the cosmos describes a societal structure that is based upon the assumption that only physical reality exists. This is the structure that rules over ‘those who live upon the earth’.

The NASB adds a second ‘the kingdom’ in verse 15, giving the impression that one kingdom is being replaced by another kingdom. But the second ‘the kingdom’ is not in the original Greek. This suggests something more subtle, which is that the existing kingdom of the cosmos remains intact and is taken over by incarnation. This is consistent with the idea of a spiritual component being added to existing science and technology.

In verse 15, the ‘kingdom of the cosmos’ has ‘come into being’ ‘of our Lord and of His Christ’. This final phrase sounds convoluted but can be broken down into two parts. ‘Of our Lord’ indicates that the followers of incarnation are no longer outsiders, but rather members of the new system. For instance, I come from a Mennonite background and Mennonites have been persecuted as outsiders for most of their history. But in places like Paraguay, Mennonites now belong to the accepted middle and upper class. Verse 15 describes a similar sort of transition happening on a much larger scale. Christ means ‘anointed’ and refers to the abstract side of incarnation. ‘Jesus Christ’ was mentioned in Revelation 1:1-5, and the book of Revelation introduced itself in 1:1 as ‘the Revelation of Jesus Christ’, but this is the first mention of Christ since the first five verses of the book.

I have suggested that a concept of incarnation is based in technical thought. Looking at this more closely, a concept of Jesus is based in the cause-and-effect of concrete technical thought, while a concept of Christ is based in the precise definitions of abstract technical thought. This has been discussed extensively in previous essays. Christianity learns about Jesus from the historical account of the Gospels and then extrapolates from this to a concept of Christ. Christianity makes doctrinal statements about Christ based in the Bible, and Christianity defines these statements precisely, but almost all theologians declare that these precise statements cannot be explained rationally. This leads to some words about Christ, but not a concept of Christ. In contrast, science does have a reasonably comprehensive concept of Christ because the universal laws of nature are described using the precise words of mathematical analysis, and this abstract math can be used to bring (some) concrete salvation to people through technology. Thus, ‘of his Christ’ would refer to a kingdom that is based in the abstract technical thinking of incarnation. This is analyzed in more detail in the paper on science and theology.

The combination of these two statements is related to the two witnesses. One witness described Platonic forms of ideal humanity based in understanding the mind. This abstract approach corresponds to ‘of his Christ’. The ‘his’ indicates that this is not based in personal experience, but rather in abstract understanding. The other witness described Platonic forms of ideal humanity based in the path of personal transformation. This concrete approach corresponds to ‘of our Lord’. The ‘our’ indicates that this is based in personal experience. The relationship between the two witnesses and a fuller concept of incarnation is suggested by verse 8, which compares the path of the two witnesses to ‘their crucified Lord’.

Notice that Jesus is not mentioned. ‘Jesus’ occurred several times in Revelation 1, but is next mentioned in 12:17. This is consistent with the idea of a theoretical return of Jesus, which happens at the theoretical level of Christ. This will reach the concrete level of Jesus at the end of chapter 12. Saying this more clearly, a careful reading of the ‘second coming’ of Matthew 24, Revelation 11, and 1 Thessalonians 4 suggests that it will may be more like an alien disclosure than the rapture. That is because the rapture describes God rescuing Christians from the satanic influence of secular society and then raining physical terror upon the earth so that scientific thought can be replaced by the re-imposition of absolute Christian truth. This may be a popular evangelical Christian interpretation, but it is not consistent with the original Greek, either of Revelation 11 or of Matthew 24. In contrast, alien disclosure gives the idea that the existing materialistic scientific thought will be shown to be incomplete. I should point out that I think that current secular descriptions of alien disclosure are also incomplete, because they do not know how to place alien disclosure (which would include both aliens and angels) within the framework of a plan of God. It is not that UFOlogists have an inadequate framework, but rather that they have essentially no framework. In contrast, it is possible to use mental symmetry to fit all of this within the framework of Revelation that is being discussed in this essay.

Verse 15 finishes by saying that ‘he will reign forever and ever’. The word ‘he’ is implied by the conjugation of the verb ‘reign’. Thus, the emphasis is upon this kingdom surviving. In other words, a major societal shift will happen and this will be a permanent shift. Everything that happens in Revelation after this point happens within the context of this permanent shift.

Verse 16 describes a change in religious attitude. “And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God.” The 24 elders first showed up in 4:4 sitting on 24 thrones. 4:10 described them falling down before God in endless worship, consistent with the mindset of mysticism. In 5:8 they fell down before the Lamb, indicating a shift from mysticism to the technical thinking of incarnation. Verse 16 describes the next appearance of the 24 elders, who are bowing again before God. This implies another shift from using technical thought in an isolated manner to using technical thought guided by an integrated concept of God in Teacher thought. Chapter 11 has described this shift from technical thought to general Teacher understanding. The 24 elders will show up one more time in 19:4 after the fall of Babylon just before the marriage supper of the Lamb, indicating another major shift.

In verse 17, the elders verbalize this major shift, “saying, ‘We give You thanks, Lord God, the Almighty, the One who is and who was.’” Thankful combines ‘good’ with ‘grace’ and means ‘thankful for God’s good grace’. This word ‘eucharist’ is only used once in Revelation. Thanks is being given ‘to you Lord, the God, the almighty’. Almighty combines ‘all’ with ‘to place under one’s grasp’, and this adjective was previously used by the four living creatures in 4:8. Putting this together, God in Teacher thought is being recognized as the ultimate Lord who places all other things under his grasp, as well as the source of goodness. Christians often using adjectives such as these to talk or sing about God, but these are usually emotional connotation words that have no actual meaning. In contrast, science recognizes that all of physical reality is ‘placed under the grasp’ of the general Teacher theories of scientific law. And science recognizes that the universal laws of nature are the source of the ‘good grace’ of technology. In contrast, the typical Christian feels that the moral rules of the Bible are meant to stop people from having fun. Thus, verse 17 describes a legitimate shift in the way that people think about God.

This shift can be seen in the phrase ‘the one who is and who was’. (Some manuscripts add ‘and is coming’.) The reference to both past and present suggests that one might be tempted to think that ‘the God who is’ is different than ‘the God who was’ because a major paradigm shift has just occurred. For instance, if there really were an alien disclosure, then the typical Christian would probably think that a new kind of God had shown up. The average Christian might assert that he would never abandon his current concept of God, but if the post-disclosure world continued year after year and the previous situation never returned, then eventually the typical Christian would have deep doubts about the apparent inconsistency between ‘the God who was’ and ‘the God who is’. However, these essays are attempting to show that these are both the same God and that alien disclosure would not minimize the relevance of the Bible. I should emphasize that this does not mean automatically rejecting all aliens as demons, as many evangelical Christians now do, because that follows the mindset of mortal enemies, and verse 5 made it clear that enemies have to be swallowed up by Teacher thought rather than attacked in Mercy thought. Instead, it means placing all created beings within a kingdom of God that is ruled by incarnation. And Colossians 1:15-20 clearly states that Jesus died for all created beings, and not just for humans.

Verse 17 finishes, “because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.” Power here does not mean delegated power, but rather actual power. For instance, a policeman has delegated power, while a machine has actual power. This word ‘power’ was previously ascribed to God in 7:12 at the beginning of the great tribulation. We interpreted that passage as the beginning of modern technology during the Industrial Revolution, when people first realized that an understanding of natural law in Teacher thought could lead to actual power. Verse 17 is different because the elders are recognizing that God has taken ‘your great power’. Taken means ‘to lay hold by aggressively accepting what is available’.

This connects with the relationship between Teacher thought and Mercy thought mentioned earlier, which can be illustrated by the relationship between a parent and a child. Parents start by telling their children what to do, but eventually they have to let go of these direct instructions in order to allow their children to exist as independent adults. But this is not the end. Instead, independence is followed by submission to Teacher thought at a higher level. In the case of the child, parents and children learn to interact as adults, a relationship that is also characterized by a Teacher structure. Verse 17 describes God taking control at this higher level and starting to reign, not as the creator but rather as the ruler over creation.

A Spreading Kingdom 11:18

Verse 18 makes it clear that the rulership of God is not followed by instant total obedience to divine command. “And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came.” Nation refers to the MMNs of common culture. Enraged means ‘to show settled-opposition’. This is a long-term anger that is usually an expression of Teacher thought. (There is another word that refers to an outburst of passion in Mercy thought.) This human wrath is being opposed by the wrath of God, which also refers to long-term anger. Looking at this cognitively, Mercy thought is compatible with Teacher thought, but a mind that is rooted in the absence of rational understanding cannot be reconciled with a mind that is guided by TMNs of rational understanding. Looking at this more carefully, we saw that both postmodernism and corporatism assume that MMNs of culture, lifestyle, and ethnicity must be accepted as they are without questioning. Postmodernism transcends these cultural MMNs with the Teacher overgeneralization of universal tolerance, while corporatism manipulates these MMNs with the limited Teacher understanding of psychological principles. In both cases, childish MMNs are being emotionally covered by TMNs of inadequate Teacher understanding. This Teacher covering of rationalization will motivate a Teacher response of wrath from the nations. And this general rejection of rational thought by the nations will provoke a response of wrath from God.

Saying this more simply, the conflict will not rise to the Teacher level of wrath because God hates humanity. Human need, human emotions, common ancestry, and even common culture can all be expressed in terms of Teacher order-within-complexity. Instead, the conflict will arise because humans are using Teacher thought to come up with excuses for childish behavior. Stated succinctly, there will be a Teacher struggle between God and the beast.

I have suggested elsewhere that this type of rationalization describes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Reaching this level of blasphemy requires goes through three stages: 1) One follows rational Teacher understanding sufficiently for a concept of the Holy Spirit to form within Mercy thought. 2) One then chooses to be motivated by childish MMNs that violate the Teacher understanding that formed the concept of the Holy Spirit. 3) One then comes up with Teacher theories that provide a theoretical justification for following these childish MMNs. The first stage forms the concept of a Holy Spirit, the second stage violates this concept of a Holy Spirit, while the third stage blasphemes this concept of a Holy Spirit. For instance, I suggest that the military-industrial complex is an example of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Looking at these three stages: 1) Technology is used to create high-tech devices that express great Teacher order-within-complexity. 2) These high-tech devices are then used as weapons to destroy the order-within-complexity of both humans and human society. 3) This juxtaposition is then supported in Teacher thought by the order-within-complexity of the military-industrial complex. Applying this to verse 18, these ‘blasphemies against the Holy Spirit’ will lead to a wrath from the nations that will be opposed by the wrath of God.

Verse 18 describes how God in Teacher thought will deal with this rationalization of evil: “And the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give the reward to 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.” Time here means ‘time as opportunity’, which means that there is an opportunity for resolving this conflict.

The first opportunity is for ‘the dead to be judged’. The word dead means ‘corpse-like’. This is the first reference in Revelation to the dead after the letters to the seven churches. Judge means ‘to pick out by separating’, and this is the second time that this word is used in Revelation. It occurred once before in 6:10 during the fifth seal, when the souls of the saints asked how long it would be until God judged.

Verse 18 says that there is now an opportunity to judge. Judging suggests the use of abstract technical thought, because abstract technical thought comes up with its precise definitions by separating between one situation and another. One could interpret this cognitively as a new regime coming to power, making it possible to bring justice to those who did not achieve justice under the old regime. However, verse 18 is not describing a general application of justice, but rather the more limited goal of bringing justice to the dead.

Cognitively speaking, mental networks fall apart and die when they are triggered and have no opportunity to function. Thus, ‘the dead’ would refer to individuals who were totally squelched under the old regime, as opposed to those who disliked the old regime, but still found a way to function within it. This distinction is significant, because God is trying to set up a new regime that is untainted by the mental networks of the old regime, which means bringing justice to those whose mental networks were completely unable to function in the old regime. I do not think that ‘being unable to function in the old regime’ means sitting at home and never interacting with society, but rather having to interact on a contract basis, in which one cannot fully express one’s own mental networks or enter into the mental networks of society. One can exist within society, but only as an outsider.

There is also a possible supernatural interpretation. Stories of alien encounters repeatedly mention that aliens are associated in some way with the human dead. One might think that this would remove Christian distinctions between heaven and hell, but I suggest that this is not the case. The stories that I have read about dead humans interacting with aliens sound rather hell-like to me, and Scripture also indicates that hell has not yet reached its final state. What matters for our discussion is that a major opening of the door to the supernatural realm would create an opportunity for God to bring justice to the dead, including the dead souls that called for justice back in 6:10. Verse 18 does not say that the dead will be resurrected. That happens in 20:12 at the Great White Throne. Instead, it appears that this judging will be happening within the non-physical realm in which angels, aliens, and dead humans currently reside. This judging might include rearranging current relationships between aliens and dead humans. And that is as far as I would like to speculate.

The next phrase is ‘to give the reward to your bond-servants the prophets’. One can judge either by punishing evil or by rewarding good. Verse 18 says that God will judge by rewarding good. This is a significant cognitive principle. I have often prayed to God for justice, and I have found that it is both more satisfying and mentally healthier to ask God to bless me, rather than to ask God to curse my enemies. Reward means ‘wages’ and is ‘a reward that appropriately compensates a particular decision’.

A bond-servant is a slave. And a prophet ‘asserts one idea over another, especially through the spoken word’. This combination is significant. A prophet is someone who is thinking ahead to the future. Thus, God would want to reward those who were using words to focus upon the coming kingdom, because these individuals would know how to think in the new regime. Matthew 20:26-27 refers to slaves and reward. “Whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever desires to be first among you shall be your slave.” A servant allows his Server actions to be guided by the instructions of others, while a slave also allows his personal identity to be controlled by others.

One could interpret this as having no personal identity in Mercy thought, but Ephesians 6:5-6 provides an alternate viewpoint of slavery. “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” First, one is not using Mercy status to impose personal identity upon other humans. Second, one is regarding internal submission to a concept of God as more fundamental then external submission to some human. These principles would still apply in a modern society in which slavery has been abolished.

I suggest that this relates to the idea of interacting with others on a contract basis. One is personally submitting to God in Teacher thought and not following some career in Mercy thought. One is allowing others to set the personal agenda in Mercy thought and allowing others to pursue their careers. And one is interacting with others on a contract basis to the extent that this does not violate following one’s own submission to God. I do not suggest that one should always behave in this fashion, but this does describe how one must behave in an environment of corporatism. The combination of slave and prophet will create a mind that is capable of living in the coming kingdom of God, because one is following God in Teacher thought while not submitting to the world in Mercy thought. And one is gaining professional skills and knowledge by interacting with others at a technical level.

The next group to be rewarded in verse 18 is ‘the saints’. The word ‘saint’ is the adjective holy, which means ‘different from the world because like the Lord’. This does not necessarily refer to people, but could also be translated more generically as ‘the holy’. It was suggested earlier that there are two ways of defining holiness. One can define holiness as being different in Mercy thought, and this is the definition of holiness that emerges from absolute truth. One can also define holiness as becoming so transformed by Teacher thought that one has become fundamentally different than the MMNs of one’s surroundings. For instance, I have followed the theory of mental symmetry in Teacher thought for so long and in so many areas that I no longer feel at home in any existing human culture. Saying this another way, the Platonic Forms of the two witnesses have grown in my mind to the extent of giving me the internal vision of an alternate civilization. Notice again the combination of following Teacher understanding while not following Mercy mental networks of culture. This does not mean that one should never follow culture. But a major discrepancy between rational understanding and culture will emerge during the period of postmodernism and corporatism, and this discrepancy will provide a major opportunity to ‘follow God rather than men’.

The final group to be rewarded in verse 18 is ‘“those who fear your name’”. Fear means ‘to fear, withdraw from’. And a name describes the character of a person in Teacher thought. Saying this cognitively, the average person fears MMNs of culture and personal approval, which means that these mental networks have sufficient power to affect the behavior of a person; a person will withdraw from certain situations because of these MMNs. ‘Fearing your name’ means that emotional respect for the TMN of a concept of God is sufficient to cause a person to withdraw from situations. Posing this bluntly, what affects me emotionally to the extent of causing me to pull back in fear? Is it the MMNs of my culture or is it the TMN of my concept of God?

These four groups may form a cognitive progression. The dead could not live in existing mental networks of society, but they had no positive alternative. The prophetic slaves are verbally looking forward to a positive alternative but this verbal alternative does not extend to concrete thought to provide an alternative way of life. The holy are living in a positive alternative that is guided by an understanding of God, but this positive alternative is seen as an alternative to the existing world which is different than the existing world. Finally, fearing the name of God means living in a positive alternative guided by an understanding of God and believing that this positive alternative is more potent than the existing world.

Verse 18 adds that this applies to ‘the small and the great’. Small means ‘small, little’, while great means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’. In other words, one does not have to work at the level of Teacher generality to experience a reward. Instead, what matters is how one responds to Teacher thought within one’s own personal situation. In fact, the small come before the great. That is because those who work with Teacher generality have to deal with the additional struggle of disconnecting their personal status with the general message that they are constructing. Saying this another way, it is easier for a citizen to submit to the rule of law than it is for a legislator. Paul discusses this principle when looking at what it means to be an apostle.

The final phrase in verse 18 is ‘to destroy those who destroy the earth’. Earth refers to physical space and time. Destroy means to ‘thoroughly corrupt, totally degenerate’. It is used one other time in Revelation in 8:9, which talked about one third of the ships of commerce being corrupted before and during the first World War. The earth could refer to the physical environment, it could also refer to common sense that comes from living in the physical environment, and it could also refer to scientific thought that studies the physical environment. Many people talk these days about saving the environment, and the physical environment is in danger. The standard evangelical response is that environmentalism does not matter because God will destroy the world and take all Christians up to heaven. Verse 18 suggests an alternative approach. Environmentalism is important, but it has to be placed in the right priority and handled in the right manner. One must transform people before transforming the environment, because people who are trashing their minds will naturally trash their physical environment. That is why environmentalism is mentioned at the end of verse 18 and not at the beginning. This principle brings to mind Jordan Peterson’s statement that one should clean up one’s bedroom before attempting to clean up the world.

Spiritual Technology 11:18-19

Going further, verse 18 talks about dealing with those who are corrupting physical space and time, which could mean trashing the environment, rejecting common sense, or repudiating scientific thought. The solution is not to control these people, but rather to give them a taste of their own medicine, which means corrupting those who are corrupting the earth. This suggests that physical cause-and-effect will be extended to include personal and spiritual cause-and-effect. Those who corrupt the objective world of space and time will themselves become corrupted. This relates to what I call spiritual technology. My general hypothesis is that the abstract return of Jesus will be followed by spiritual technology. I am not exactly sure what spiritual technology means, but the core concept is that the structure of science and technology will in some way be extended to the spiritual realm of mental networks.

For instance, suppose that a person uses the Internet to spread lies. This is currently possible because there is no relationship between how the Internet functions physically and the content that one puts upon the Internet. On the one hand, the physical Internet has been constructed with layers of error-checking that are designed to eliminate all false communication, ensuring that a message is delivered with total accuracy. On the other hand, spreading false information on the Internet attempts to bypass all human methods of error-checking. Spiritual technology would bring these two together in some way. One possibility is that using the Internet might force a person to be honest. Another possibility is that being dishonest upon the Internet would cause a person’s Internet to fail.

This idea of spiritual technology relates to the concept of being rewarded in verse 18, because I suggest that the reward will involve some sort of spiritual gifting that allows people to add spiritual overtones to physical technology. Scripture seems to indicate that this spiritual gifting will be given to many different kinds of people, and that the gifting will carry its own morality, because people who use this gifting in an inappropriate manner will become corrupted by their own behavior. This explains how ‘corrupting those who corrupt the earth’ might function, because those who use their spiritual gifting in an inappropriate manner to corrupt physical reality will pay the price of becoming personally and spiritually corrupted.

This interpretation may sound like a stretch, but verse 19 clearly states the beginning of a new form of interaction with God and the supernatural. “And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened”. Temple refers to ‘that part of the temple where God himself resides’. The ‘temple of God’ was previously mentioned in 11:1-2, which talked about measuring the temple of God. ‘Temple’ was mentioned once previously to that in 7:15, which talked about those who come out of the great tribulation serving in the temple. (‘Temple’ is also mentioned once in 3:12 in the letter to the church of Philadelphia.) Putting this together, the technical thinking of incarnation provides ‘technical, acceptable service’ for the temple, the temple is measured using a general theory that combines the objective with the subjective, and this temple will be opened after the theoretical return of Jesus. Notice that this temple is ‘in heaven’. This could be interpreted as residing within the heaven of Teacher thought, as residing within the heaven of supernatural existence, or as some combination of these two. What matters is that a new temple of God in heaven is being opened, which clearly indicates a major transition in the way that humans regard God and the supernatural. And if ‘serving in the temple’ indicates technical thought, then ‘opening a temple of God in heaven’ implies adding some sort of supernatural dimension to technical thought.

Verse 19 continues, “and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple.” This is the only reference to either the ark or a covenant in Revelation. The Ark of the Covenant is intimately related to atonement and the relationship between God and humanity. This indicates that opening the temple in heaven would lead to a new relationship between God and humanity. Such a shift would only occur if something major happened—such as spiritual technology. The word appeared means to ‘see, often… to see with the mind’. It was previously used in 10:1 and 10:4 to describe John seeing the strong angel. The implication is that the Ark of the Covenant will not become physically visible, but rather seen mentally, possibly as a Platonic Form.

The Ark of the Covenant is cognitively strange because the same Greek word is used both for the Ark of the Covenant and for the Ark of Noah. (The words in Hebrew are different.) This Greek word appears six times in the New Testament, three times to talk about the ark of Noah, and three times to talk about the Ark of the Covenant. In addition, the description of these two arks in both the Old and New Testament overlaps, because the Ark of the Covenant is often taken on a journey like a ship, while Noah’s Ark is referred to using the language of covenant. Looking at this cognitively, I suggest that this relates to two viewpoints of covenant. God in Teacher thought views covenant as a static covering, similar to the Ark of the Covenant, as exhibited by the doctrine of justification, which means to be declared righteous by God. Humans in Mercy thought view this same content as a dynamic journey, similar to the Ark of Noah, as exhibited by the doctrine of sanctification, which means going through a process of personal transformation. Noah’s Ark is also mentioned in Matthew 24, just after the description of the theoretical return of Jesus. And Hebrews 4, which appears to be describing a similar period of time after the start of spiritual technology, talks about entering God’s rest, which is described as a journey that involves approaching God’s throne of grace. Putting this all together, I suggest that the appearing of the Ark of the Covenant will also indicate the start of a journey, and this journey will involve learning how to deal with spiritual technology in a responsible manner.

Verse 19 indicates that this transition will have major repercussions. “There were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder, and an earthquake, and a great hail.” Were means ‘to come into being’, which implies that the opening of the temple is having an impact. Flashes of lightning is a single word that means ‘lightning, brightness’. Sound refers to ‘a voice, sound’, which describes Teacher thought at some kind of verbal level. Thunder comes from the word that means ‘to roar’. Finally, an earthquake means ‘a shaking’ and represents a shaking of basic facts that were assumed to be solid. These same four words were previously used in 8:5 at the beginning of the seven trumpets, but the order is different. In 8:5, the order was thunder, sounds, lightning, earthquake. In verse 19, the order is lightning, sounds, thunder, earthquake. Verse 19 also adds an additional element, which is ‘great hail’.

Looking at the first list from a cognitive perspective, thunder is a sound from the sky, which suggests that Teacher thought is being used at a verbal level to come up with general ideas. This is followed by sounds, which suggests using Teacher thought verbally at the level of words and communication. Lightning implies the illumination of Teacher understanding. What currently happens is that Teacher thought starts with a general verbal theory, this verbal theory is made more specific, and this leads to the light of Teacher understanding. This new Teacher understanding then shakes existing facts in Perceiver thought.

Turning now to the second list, a different order would emerge under spiritual technology. Teacher thought would gain a flash of understanding from some new expression of Teacher thought that would exist within spiritual technology. This would be followed by the sounds of specific verbal understanding as one learned to describe specific elements using Teacher words. This would be followed by the thunder of a more general verbal understanding in Teacher thought. This general verbal understanding would then connect the new reality of spiritual technology with the mind, leading to the shaking of existing Perceiver facts. Humans currently interact with physical reality in a similar order. One first experiences emotional situations from the physical world. This is followed by using rational thought to process these experiences at a specific level, and these specific facts are then put together to form a larger picture. The final stage of mental shaking happens when these new facts are connected with existing understanding.

The presence of a new Teacher-based reality explains the final stage of ‘great hail’. Humans are currently subject to a world of Mercy experiences but not to a world of Teacher words. I will experience physical harm if I interact with the world of experiences inappropriately, but I will experience no physical harm if I say the wrong words. (I may experience social disapproval, but that is a different matter.)

Hail was mentioned once previously in Revelation in 8:7 during the first trumpet. This was interpreted as Victorian morality responding to the excesses of the Industrial Revolution. Hail is water that has turned solid and falls from heaven. This would represent Mercy experiences descending from the heaven of Teacher thought in the solid form of Perceiver truth. In 8:7 there was hail mixed with fire, implying a combination of truth and frustration, as expressed by the many moral boundaries of Victorian morality that attempted to frustrate immoral behavior. In verse 19, there is a ‘great hail’, implying that the frustration is no longer present but there is now a Teacher generality that did not exist before. This describes a new form of morality based upon implications rather than upon frustration. In other words, instead of people saying that ‘you are forbidden to express your lower nature in this manner’, people will experience that using spiritual technology in a certain manner will have implications that generalize to other experiences. For instance, if I lie on the Internet, then this may turn into the general principle that my Internet lies. Or if I worship God using a certain form of praise-and-worship, then this may turn into the general principle that I experience the kind of supernatural power with which my praise-and-worship resonates. This is related to the idea of corrupting those who corrupt physical reality. 2 Peter appears to describe the period of time after spiritual technology, and chapter 2 says that some will misuse their spiritual powers, experience major painful consequences, and become examples to others of what not to do.

The appearing of the Ark of the Covenant has been interpreted as the start of a journey through the heavens. Chapter 12 describes the nature of this journey, because it opens by saying that ‘a great sign appeared in heaven’ and the chapter goes on to describe a major battle in which Satan falls from heaven. The remaining chapters of Revelation have been analyzed to some extent in previous essays. This essay on Revelation will stop at this point because it is best not to speculate too much when dealing with the future.


My cognitive analysis of the New Testament began in 2016 with a look at the Book of Revelation. That essay came up with a general framework, but did not contain many details. The Gospel of Matthew was recently interpreted as a detailed prophecy of Western civilization. This essay shows that the first half of Revelation is dealing with the same period of Western history and can be analyzed at a similar level of cognitive, scriptural, and historical detail. This independent corroboration provides substantial evidence that Scripture is being interpreted accurately. It also provides evidence that the Bible is a supernatural book.

If this analysis is accurate, then the world is on the verge of experiencing a major transformation which will make it obvious that there is more to existence than physical reality. The goal of these essays is to provide a rational framework that will make it possible to remain sane within the coming environment.