Part II – The antichrist and the Great Deception
I remember going to see the movie “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow” when I was a kid, and it scared the crap out of me. It was about the prophecies of Nostradamus, narrated by Orson Welles, and it really shook me up. Especially the last parts, about the antichrist(s) and the end of the world. Apparently, according the the interpreters, Nostradamus predicted there would be 3 “antichrists”: Napoleon, Hitler, and the last one, who was yet to come, and would bring on Armageddon. Now Napoleon seemed a little suspect to me, even as a kid. Hitler, that one seemed plausible, and according to the movie, Nostradamus used the word “Hister,” which is pretty darned close. The third one was predicted to “rise in the east” and would bring on the great battle of Armageddon, which would wipe out most life on earth. They gave a few other clues as to who they thought it might be in the movie, and it was fairly clear they suspected it would be someone from the Middle East, or maybe even China. And looking from the perspective of a Westerner, that IS where the antichrist would come from, right?
And so began a little hobby of trying to figure out who the antichrist would be, where he would come from. Had he already been born? Was he in Iran maybe? They were always doing “bad” stuff, being mean and calling us the “great Satan.” Or what about China? All those communists, intent on destroying all us God-fearing Christians in the U S and A. It’s a hobby that used to be really popular back in the 70’s and 80’s among many Christians, but strangely, seems to have waned quite a bit. I’m not sure if they just got tired of looking, figured it out and didn’t tell me, or just don’t care anymore (I’m betting on this last one), but the whole game of trying to figure out who the antichrist is or would be seems to have ended – and just when I figured it out!
Another concept that pervades Christianity is “the Great Deception.” There are different interpretations of it, but most of them revolve around someone or some group of people coming, proclaiming themselves to be Christ, when in reality, they are just the opposite, false “messiahs,” and it the devil would be orchestrating all of this. So there is another level to the game, which is keeping your eyes and ears peeled, and trying to figure out who the real messiah is among all the false ones that will come. So now it gets REALLY tough, because you have all these false prophets, you have the antichrist coming, and the devil pulling all the strings. Wow – that’s a lot to keep anyone guessing! And if at this point, you are starting to have a, “Waaiiitttt…..” moment, that’s good – that means you are seeing that the great deception IS the great deception. And the false prophets and the antichrist? Well, let’s just take a step back and look at it logically.
Christ gave 2, yes TWO commandments supposedly while he was here:
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” ~ Matthew 22: 37-40
Now it seems pretty clear therefore, that an antichrist would be someone who broke, nay, trashed, those two commandments, and encouraged everyone else too as well.
And a brief disclaimer here: when Jesus spoke of God in the Bible, it was NOT the god that most Christians pray to, at least not the fundamentalists ones. I think if Christ saw what Christianity had become, he would be appalled. No, the God Christ spoke of was Source – the One from which the Many came; the God that is the Spirit that interconnects and gives meaning to all Life – THAT God. And that God is not some guy in a white robe casting down judgements – that God is Energy, is Love. I digress a bit, but it’s important to make the point that the commandment fits all religions and spiritual traditions: Love the Creator, God, Goddess, Allah, Jehovah, the One, Source, Buddha nature, Mother Earth, whatever – with all your heart.
As hard as that first commandment is, especially in today’s day and age when people are so sick of the god that has brought so much war and misery to mankind that they are turning towards atheism in droves, that second commandment – THAT is a doozy, even for the best of us: to love our neighbor as ourselves. And to be certain, I’m pretty sure by “neighbor” Christ meant every single person we came into contact with. In today’s day and age, that could be extended globally, as we are aware of billions of ‘neighbors’ here on planet earth. And what about all the other living creatures – the plants, trees, birds, bees, dolphins, wolves, cows, insects – everything. Christ didn’t say “love other people” as yourself. He said neighbor. And even Mother Earth herself is a neighbor. So that is the commandment – to love literally everyone and everything as we love ourselves. Wow. THAT is a tough one. But that isn’t to say we can’t try, and to be sure, there are some people who have given some good examples through history of what that might look like.
Ok, ok, so I have waxed philosophic and been on my soapbox, but at this point, even I am asking myself, “Give it up dude! Who is the antichrist?” In one word, the antichrist is
That one word encapsulates who, what the antichrist is. It’s not any one person, it’s not some guy from Afghanistan, Iran, or China. It’s not even Donald Trump (though he certainly channels division and hatred for “others” quite well, an effective manifestation of those forces). The antichrist is an archetype, and it has been with humankind from the beginning. It is, quite simply, apathy: a total lack of caring for anyone, or anything, including – and ESPECIALLY – one’s self. Just think about how pervasive depression and self-loathing are, especially here in the west. It’s endemic, and I can’t think of anyone – anyone who actually cares about anything anyway – that hasn’t experienced some kind of deep depression in their lives. And if we hate ourselves, don’t love ourselves at all, then we are actually fulfilling that second commandment in a perverse way – we are (not) loving our neighbors as we (don’t) love ourselves. What better way for an antichrist to accomplish its mission? Make people hate themselves, and the commandment can be followed. We all ‘love’ each other as we ‘love’ ourselves.
And the same applies to God. It’s popular these days to rail against religion, to blame it for all of the problems in the world, especially the big 3 – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – and honestly, I have been on that bandwagon too in my life. How many millions of people have been killed, are still being killed, in the name of “god”..? Way too many. So when someone is “commanded” to love God, they are like, “Hell no, I’m not loving that fantasy concept that has caused so much misery on this planet.” Add on to that the fact that you can’t PROVE that God exists, and you have a perfect recipe for throwing that first commandment right out the window. And the tendency of people to now worship science – and I LOVE science, btw – as a religion in its own right, has made it even more challenging for people to believe in a creator, especially those who do like it, because we are viewed as “naive,” foolish, or ignorant for believing in God. It’s either/or – either you believe in science or you believe in God – can’t do both and be taken seriously.
So where does that leave us? Well, I would say “mission accomplished” for ye olde antichrist, wouldn’t you? People filled with apathy, selfishness and self loathing certainly aren’t capable of, or even interested in loving any of their neighbors, outside of their own tribes. And love God? Only if you want to be seen as silly and ignorant, because no truly intelligent or rational person can believe in God. And what happens when you have a dynamic like that at play?
You get the 4 horsemen having a field day. You get a pandemic spreading around the world because a lot of people just don’t care enough to be bothered to wear a mask, it’s just “too much” to ask of them. And hey, if they haven’t gotten sick, it must be a hoax, or overblown. Never mind that 4 million people have died from covid – 4,000,000.
You get a climate changing so rapidly that even the biggest skeptics are getting a bit freaked out – fire burning in the sky, causing the high temperature in Canada – CANADA – to reach 121F. And why? Because most people just don’t care enough to make any real changes, especially if it doesn’t impact them directly. To be fair, more than the apathy of people, GREED of the money changers has caused climate change. I made a post on Twitter lately about that whole dynamic. There is a reason that the one time Christ got really pissed and violent in the Bible is when he tossed the money changers out of the temple.
You get inequality the likes of which has never been seen. People in some poor countries are literally dying to get vaccines, but their nations simply can’t afford it, while you have doses spoiling in rich nations like the US because some people simply don’t want them. And somehow, we think that we can just let those nations rot basically, and it won’t affect us, we will be ok.
I could go on, but I don’t think it’s necessary really. The antichrist is an archetype that, more than anything, wants us to hate ourselves. Because when we do that, the commandments can be fulfilled without any opposition. We are fulfilling the Law in a very sick way, following the commandments to a “t.” And the great deception is that each and every one of us has a bit of the antichrist in us – it is within us all to manifest, to bring forth either the Christ, or the opposite. And to bring that Christ forth, we need to do the hardest thing of all – we need to love ourselves. The old adage, “Physician, heal thyself” is more a plea than request at this point.
So before we can even begin the Great Work of loving all people, loving all beings, loving Mother Earth, we need to begin the GREATEST work, which is loving ourselves. Turns out, all those cheesy cliches about “you can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself” aren’t so cheesy – they are true. And this is a deeper love than just self-help can provide. Because we have to connect with all the pain that humanity has caused – we have to acknowledge it, ask the spirits of those who have been harmed – human, animal, plant, etc – for forgiveness, forgive ourselves and our ancestors, and pledge to not do harm going forward. It is a process, a journey, and a path not many would wish to walk. But if we are to truly be what I believe we were created to be, our highest selves, the manifestation and the embodiment of Christ’s Love, it is the only journey that really matters. It is the Quest that leads to the Holy Grail, and I hope that you will join me on it. I am nowhere near reaching the goal, as is evidenced by plenty of my other posts – but I will strive onward, and hope others will as well. We may not be able to save everyone, but if we can save ourselves, that might just be enough. Peace and Blessings on your journey…