For as long as human beings have been discovering the path to wholeness and connection within themselves, someone has wanted to put up signposts, detours and toll booths on it. You can't blame 'em for trying – the expansion of consciousness leading to self discovery and unification with our Source, and with all life on earth is ultimately humanity's most powerful motivation – with the co-opting of such powerful motivations coming in a close second.
Naturally, egoic institutions have always built right on top of that rare real estate, in order to claim ownership of the intention and direction to God, so to speak – and that's as it should be, I suppose. The richness of institutional allegory and myth renders The Divine accessible to the mass of people whose egos insist that only something external can deliver them to Heaven; the problem then becomes the insistence that one must take those symbolic imaginings literally.
In suggesting that a secular, consciousness-based "Rapture" of sorts is taking place at this very moment, vis-á-vis the Mayan calendar, Hopi prophecy, and of course, Christian eschatology, perhaps we can liberate our definitions, and our selves from the constraints of dogma, and consider the means of our present apocalyptic transformation, rather than all the myths that reflect it to us. You know – how we can really make it work.
Using "The Rapture" as metaphor suggests that I'll have to deconstruct Christianity a little, and I will give it a try; but in no way do I intend to belittle the power of the underlying source spirit. This exploration is intended for true believers, because there was definitely a there there, alright. Perhaps the teachings of an Essene Hebrew, I'll call him Yeshua, who might well have been strongly influenced by philosophies from Egypt, Greece, India, and points East that were available to dedicated seekers back then, especially in and around the Alexandria of two thousand years ago
It's very possible that this fellow's teachings and spirit were so powerful, that through their popularity they became a vessel for opportunistic redirection. The institutional dogma that arose around the early Christian model became far more elaborate than the apparent source – the codifying scripture carefully selected and recomposed by politically motivated elites (who could read and write, that is), well removed from the supposed actual incidents they describe, who aggressively plagiarized earlier popular allegorical folk narratives and mythology.
Some of these imaginings got so complex, they became almost crazy in fact – a case in point being the biblical Book of Revelation, a hugely idiosyncratic Christian prophecy whose incredibly rich symbolism is downright occult, and has nothing to do with the simple teachings supposedly responsible for it's genesis. Loaded with so much potential meaning, it's countless interpretations serve as the source of the most radical eschatological prophecy, as well as more missed predictions than the Mayan calendar can ever hope to provide us. Coincidentally, only a very serious guy on a throne in Rome (and legions of other experts) could untangle it's gravely portentous meaning concerning the End of the World and The Second Coming of Christ.
What's all this have to do with our "Rapture?" Sorry for all the back story – here comes the payoff: What if we don't need to wait for post-tribulations, for Armageddon or the seventh trumpet blowing? What if the prophecy was true, andThe Second Coming has already happened, in the general form of the compassionate consciousness that's streaming, unabated, into out present "Earth-plane," and in the specific form of the rediscovery of the amazingly modern teachings at the heart of the mythology?
Just how, and when (wake up true believers!) might this have happened? How has He "come back," without it making the news at six and eleven?
In 1945, in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, a shepherd seeking his flock (of course!) stumbled upon a big, clay jar in a cave that happened to contain a bunch of very old early Christian scripture – all the stuff that up to that point had not survived nineteen hundred years of purges and suppression, and guess what? In amongst it was an early gospel, The Gospel of Thomas, that had no narrative, no miracles or specific prophecies, but does contain teachings in a voice so clear and so modern, as to immediately inform, inspire, and direct our rising global consciousness, now. It's the return of a kind of ["quantum"] understanding that our present world is just beginning to learn and understand, like aspects of The Vedas, or Taoism.
For example (most of these start with the acknowledgment,'Yeshua said'):
"Whoever searches must continue to search until they find. When they find, they'll be disturbed; and being disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over All." Logion 2
When we finally begin to awaken through our expanding consciousness, we see a mess of sorts. What the egoic human is driven to is generally pretty chaotic. But then that awareness– our expanding consciousness, reveals an understandable order in that chaos; a forgivable kind of delusional thinking that can be overcome with identification and Love, and lead us to our spiritual evolution and reconfiguration of human progress.
"Recognize what is in front of you, and what is hidden from you will be revealed. There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed." Logion 5
We often learn (the hard way) that being honest is truly liberating. That getting our desires out of the way presents us with a fresh realism that can be reasonably dealt with. When we apply that awareness to the external world, to conditions and the intentions of others, we can see what the real obstacles to our successful evolution are, the veils are parted, so to speak. Why, we can even realize that the matter in front of us is actually comprised of coalescing energetic waves and particles responsive to consciousness, far too small to ever be seen by the naked eye (...sort of).
So, here's to the "new nakedness! "
"...When you make the two into one, when you make the inner like the outer, and the high like the low; when you make male and female into a single One...when you have eyes in your eyes, a hand in your hand, a foot in your foot, and an icon in your icon, then you will enter into the Kingdom." Logion 22
If we can honestly eliminate the difference between who we're supposed to be, and who we really are; merge that timeless Me that we always experience now with the external, ever-changing Me from yesterday and tomorrow; allow Love, and the intention for spiritual growth and union to determine our behavior, actions, and external appearance – so our insides are our outsides; eliminate the need to differentiate sexually, and blend aspects of femininity and masculinity into our own cooperative understanding; really compassionately see through appearances; actually be of service, rather than just intending to be; "walk the walk;" and come to an understanding of our shared source and intention for good and for Love and for growth – beyond definitions of "God," why then we'll all be living "in Heaven." Simple, right?
"...There is light within people of light, and they shine it upon the whole world. If they don't shine it, how dark it gets!" Logion 24
There's a real energy to positive energy. Love is transformational. Aim your Love like a lighthouse beam. "Be the change you want to see in the world," said Gandhi.
"One cannot capture the house of the strong except by tying their hands. Then everything can be overturned." Logion 35
We don't hurt anyone, right? We'll change things by being humans being, not by being humans doing – by peacefully obstructing the plainly delusional doings of the less compassionately conscious among us. When we shine a light on the destructive "business as usual," then we can begin to gently turn it over.
"When you bring forth that which is within you, then that will save you. If you do not, then that will kill you." Logion 70
How modern can you be? This saying seriously pre-dates every psychological and psychotherapeutic theory and movement of the last two centuries, including Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud, Adler, Jung, Maslow, Skinner, et al, trumping them with it's simplicity. And it obviously applies collectively too, indicating that we're all the same thing here. Why are we doing what we're doing? We need to turn that truth out in order to grow, to survive. It's a spiritual death we need to fear.
"I am the Light that shines on everyone. I am the All. The All came forth from within me, and the All came into me. Split the wood, and I am there. Turn over a stone, and you'll find me." Logion 77
In the self-same spirit at the heart of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam; Einstein and Quantum Theory – we are all one. God is in everything, we are all God. We are "The Son of Man;" the expression of this benevolent shared consciousness whose energy materializes into our being. This you can take to the bank.
"If you have money, do not lend it with interest, but give it to the one who'll never pay you back." Logion 95
Speaking of the bank, how's that for the bottom-line solution to all of our economic troubles? Exclusively no-interest lending forever, and absolute debt amnesty. What do you think our economy would do if we tried this? I mean, banks will be banks, but c'mon now... what exactly is accomplished by hoarding wealth and resources? Wealth has to flow from where it's needlessly accumulated to where it's needed. (Of course, you'll still owe me that twenty lent you...unless I don't need it!)
"[They asked]...when will the Kingdom come?" Yeshua answered:
"It will not come by waiting for it...The Kingdom is already spread out over the whole earth, and people don't see it." Logion 113
Heaven is in our very midsts, and in our hearts. Our transformation can find definition in these, and other timeless teachings.
These translations come from the ancient Coptic interpretations of Jean-Yves LeLoup; and the Lambdin, Grenfell/Hunt, Layton version from The Sacred Text Archive (http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/thomas.htm); with a little of my own sh#t thrown in for good measure.