The Revelation of St. John, the last book of the canonical Bible, has been a mystery since it first appeared. No other part of the Bible has caused more controversy. Traditional interpretations of the book fall into one of three categories: the major prophecies that are supposed to have been fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.; the historical view that Revelation predicts the course of human events from the founding of Christianity to the end of the world; or the futurist view that Revelation predicts events that will occur at the end of the world.
It's actually none of the above, writes Zachary F. Lansdowne, a leading expert in the field of spiritual initiation. In the Introduction to this rich and complex interpretation, he writes, "According to its own verses, the Revelation is concerned with the present time, which is whatever time we happen to be reading it, and contains information that we can apply immediately to become blessed."
This is not a book about "end times" or Armageddon and when it might come. This is a book written entirely in symbols, concealing a path for early Christians, and for the contemporary reader. Lansdowne has applied a unique psychological method of interpretation that takes each symbol as depicting some aspect of human consciousness rather than an eternal event, thus showing that the Revelation is actually a detailed instruction for the spiritual journey--a map to the wakening of higher consciousness. Moreover, while the Revelation appears in the great lineage of Judeo-Christian tradition, Lansdowne shows that its instruction can be appreciated and applied to seekers from any tradition.
Lansdowne's line-by-line and verse-by-verse interpretation--presented here in an easy-to-read side-by-side format--is a manual for the true seeker who would follow teachings of Jesus as they were and are laid out, rather than as they have been interpreted by theologians and biblical historians. The Revelation of St. John, when unlocked by the key of psychological methodology, is revealed to contain ideas from many diverse wisdom traditions and philosophies--archangels in Judaism, chakras and kundalini in Hinduism, Buddhist mindfulness, the redemptive power of love in Christianity, and absolute standards of comparison in Platonic philosophy. Zachary Lansdowne's revelatory text makes these teachings of the path to true soul initiation available to seekers from every spiritual tradition.
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About the Author
Zachary Lansdowne is a past president of the Theosophical Society in Boston and has spoken at conferences throughout the United States. He is the author of four other books, also published by Weiser, on philosophy and religion: The Chakras and Esoteric Healing, Rules for Spiritual Initiation, Rays and Esoteric Psychology, and Ray Methods of Healing. He has advanced degrees in engineering, psychology, and philosophy and religion. He lives in Carmel Valley, California.
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The REVELATION of SAINT JOHN
The Path to Soul Initiation
By Zachary F. Lansdowne
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2006 Zachary F. Lansdowne
All rights reserved.
In John's initial vision, the aspirant becomes aware of the soul, which is the inner divine voice, and receives guidance concerning the seven chakras.
King James Version
1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2. Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
9. I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15. And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
1. The revelation given by God to Jesus Christ shows God's servants what must soon take place. Jesus transmitted and certified this revelation by conveying his inspiration to his disciple John.
2. John recorded this revelation in three ways: intuition (immediate apprehension of truth), clairaudience (hearing the actual words dictated by Jesus), and clairvoyance (seeing images and visions).
3. Happy is the person who reads or hears the words of this revelation, and who carefully studies these words, for they can be applied immediately.
4. From John to the seven churches in Asia: "Grace and peace be unto you from God, who is eternal; and from the seven archangels, who are in the presence of the heart of God;
5. and from Jesus Christ, who is a faithful witness of truth—the first among us to fulfill the pattern of human evolution, and more powerful than any ruler on earth. Jesus loved us, purified us with his love,
6. and made us into a kingdom of priests who worship God, the source of his own illumination. Consequently, Jesus truly merits honor and authority forever. So it shall be."
7. Through this revelation, Jesus comes to convey inspiration to human beings. Humanity as a whole will someday recognize Jesus as the source of various inspired writings—even those who have been hostile toward him. People throughout the world will mourn and repent because of his message. So it shall be.
8. God, speaking through Jesus (who in turn inspires John), says: "I am eternal and everlasting," which is true, because God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and is all-powerful.
9. John, who is a brother and companion in suffering to everyone studying this revelation, and who shares with them the fellowship and patient strength of Jesus, was banished to Patmos, a small rocky island in the Aegean, for promoting the teachings of God and Jesus.
10. John received a vision based on the spiritual journey. The aspirant, who is John himself within the vision, starts the spiritual journey when he intuitively hears an authoritative voice coming from beyond his mind.
11. This voice says, "I am eternal and everlasting; whatever teachings you understand, apply them to your personality, so that those teachings can affect the seven major centers of energy that lie within your inner nature: the sacral, solar-plexus, heart, throat, brow, crown, and basic chakras."
12. The aspirant reflects upon this guidance to understand its content and source. Through this reflection, he senses his seven chakras as centers of energy associated with specific areas of his physical body,
13. and realizes that the source of his intuitions, often called the soul, is in the midst of his seven chakras and is analogous to Jesus. The aspirant cannot directly perceive the soul, but can discover its nature by observing its effects in his life. One such effect is righteous action.
14. Other effects are wisdom and penetrating insights;
15. and understanding, which brings strength and stability to the intellect, and spiritual feelings like peace, joy, and fulfillment.
16. Still other effects of the soul are liberating energies for the seven chakras, intuitions that discriminate between truth and illusion, and selfless and radiant love.
17. After learning about the soul, the aspirant becomes frightened and expects the soul to condemn him for the same reasons that he has condemned himself. The soul responds with reassurance, saying, "Give up your fear, for my help will always be available.
18. I am the presence whose effects you have observed; although I seem to have been buried by your life in the physical world, I live forever within eternity, as you can verify; and I have the teachings that can bring freedom from guilt and limitation.
19. Apply what you have learned, so that the present teachings will lead you to more advanced teachings in the future.
20. You presently do not know how to transform the energies within your seven chakras. All that you can now do is observe how the energies of your seven chakras convey messages about yourself, and how your seven chakras are centers for energies gathered from different parts of yourself."
Sacral, Solar-Plexus, Heart, and Throat Chakras
The spiritual journey is divided into seven stages, each corresponding to one of the seven chakras and symbolized by one of the seven churches. The soul gives instruction for the first four stages: the sacral, solar-plexus, heart, and throat chakras.
King James Version
1. Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3. And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
8. And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9. I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
12. And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
13. I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas wasmy faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
14. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
1. With regard to the motives of your sacral chakra, apply these instructions, because they come from the one who holds liberating energies for all seven chakras and who abides in the midst of those chakras.
2. "I know your motives and your past efforts to look carefully at them, and how you were disgusted by the selfishness and hypocrisy that you saw within yourself.
3. After bearing the disgust that came from observing your base motives, you cultivated higher ones—such as charity, love, and mercy—that embody my nature, and you are still acting on those higher motives.
4. Nevertheless, you have failed to some extent, because you are no longer looking carefully at your motives.
5. Therefore, remember the discipline from which you have fallen, return to it, and resume your careful observation, because the development of right motive is a progressive effort. For otherwise, I will respond quickly and remove your crown chakra from its position of receiving new insights, unless you change.
6. But you have already received a key insight: there is no justification for behaving in selfish and hypocritical ways, which I am also against.
7. If you are attentive to your inner listening ear, which is your crown chakra, you can hear my instructions regarding your chakras. When you have overcome the barriers within yourself, I will give you access to the plane of divine ideas, which lies within the mind of God."
8. With regard to the emotions of your solar-lexus chakra, apply these instructions, because they come from the one whose help is always present, who seems to have been buried by your life in the physical world, but lives within eternity.
9. "I know your desires, sorrow, and ignorance (even though you have access to unlimited divine wisdom) and I know your arrogance when you have feelings of religious superiority, which shows that such feelings are hypocritical and based on illusion.
10. Fear none of the emotions that cause you to suffer—by that I mean observe them with detachment. As you can see, illusion may cause you to feel imprisoned by such an emotion, so that you are tempted to resist or suppress it, and you will feel afflicted for as long as that emotion lasts. If you can observe that emotion with detachment until it ends, I will give you an insight, via your crown chakra, that brings freedom.
11. Through inner listening, you can hear my instructions about transforming your chakras. When you have completed this process of inner transformation, you will no longer suffer from the second death, which is the progressive elimination of selfishness."
12. With regard to the spiritual love of your heart chakra, apply these instructions because they come from the one who transmits intuitions that discriminate between truth and illusion.
13. "I know when you express spiritual love, which overcomes even the belief of separateness that supports illusion, and which you express by holding fast to my nature and perceiving the presence of God within other people. You have made this effort even when your self-image, which is a faithful witness of how you perceive everyone else, felt separated from others because of false judgments that you held about them.
14. But you need to make some additional efforts, because you have discordant thoughts that corrupted your desires, which in turn led your personality astray through greed for material things and lust.
15. You also make excuses for behaving in selfish and hypocritical ways, for which there is no valid justification.
Excerpted from The REVELATION of SAINT JOHN by Zachary F. Lansdowne. Copyright © 2006 Zachary F. Lansdowne. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Soul
Chapter 2 Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, and Throat Chakras
Chapter 3 Brow, Crown, and Basic Chakras
Chapter 4 Meditation
Chapter 5 Guidance
Chapter 6 Self-Purification
Chapter 7 Preparation for Kundalini
Chapter 8 Awakening Kundalini
Chapter 9 Guilt and Fear
Chapter 10 The Plane of Divine Ideas
Chapter 11 Judgment
Chapter 12 Illusion
Chapter 13 Glamour and Maya
Chapter 14 The Spiritual Kingdom
Chapter 15 The Seven Chohans
Chapter 16 The Seven Trials
Chapter 17 The Ego
Chapter 18 Elimination of the Ego
Chapter 19 Union with the Soul
Chapter 20 Death and Resurrection
Chapter 21 Spiritual Transformation
Chapter 22 Power of Decision
Appendix A Reference Tables
Appendix B Related Perspectives
Appendix C Who wrote the Revelation of St. John?