My apostasy has been showing lately… 🤭
What is “apostasy” anyway? Wikipedia defines it as “the formal disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader context of embracing an opinion that is contrary to one’s previous religious beliefs.” It is a concept related to heresy.
From the Greek ἀποστασία (apostasia), it only appears twice in the Bible. The first is in Acts 21:21, where Paul is said to have apostatized from Judaism, teaching the Jews that they should ‘turn away’ (apostasia) from the law of Moses. The other place is in 2 Thess. 2:3, where Paul says that Christ’s coming does not happen unless there is an apostasia first, a rebellion, a falling away, a revolt, a departure, and the ‘man of sin’ is revealed (apokalýptō), the ‘son of perdition,’ destruction, death. This ‘man’ sets itself up in the temple of God (our body-mind, see 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19), proclaiming itself to be God.
I perceive that that ‘man of sin’ is the ego, the psychological self, the false self, the natural man, the carnal mind, the pain body, the mortal identity, the construction of the ‘separate self’ in each of our minds, that one that is doomed to ‘surely die,’ or as Thomas Merton once said, “disappear as completely as smoke from a chimney.” That ‘man’ must be revealed in Truth, unveiled (apokalýptō) in the Light of Reality, become bare naked in God’s Ultimate Reality. We must come to know our self, and only then will we know the Self, the Christic Self within each one of us, that Anointed Consciousness, as Paul himself knew (Gal. 2:20). The ego thinks it is who we really are, the God of our body-mind temple! But it is gravely mistaken.
In the Greek, apostasia has the meaning of a departure, from the Greek aphístēmi meaning to leave, depart, which itself comes from the Greek apó meaning away from, and histémi stand. In other words, it is to stand away from, to desert, to leave a previous standing, as Wikipedia noted above, to move beyond or transcend one’s previous religious beliefs.
What are we departing from? Our beliefs! Not perhaps merely religious beliefs, but all beliefs as such. All of them. It is the beliefs of that ‘man of sin,’ the ego! Its ideas, thoughts, concepts, concerns, conceptions, feelings, perceptions, images, symbols, understandings, sensations, ideologies, identities. All of these are a veil over the “Christ,” over our true Self. They hide it, obscure it, veil Reality as it really is. They are the fig leaves which hide us from God (Gen. 3:8-10), and hide God from us (Isa. 45:15), which clothes our nakedness before God, creating the separation, the alienation, the Fall. The “Christ” or Buddha-nature is our true Self as it stands bare naked in God, stripped of all masks, coverups, pretenses, roles, play-acting, masquerades, and is as we Really are, our original true Self at-One in God or Ultimate Reality.
What about apocalypse, from the Greek ἀποκαλυφθῇ (apokalyptō)? It is also found in the same verse in 2 Thess. 2:3, as that “revelation,” that “unveiling.” In the Greek it has the meaning to uncover, or reveal what’s hidden, from the same first part, the Greek apó, meaning away from, and kalýptō, meaning to cover. It is away from the covering, away from the hiding, away from the masks, away from the veiling, away from the obscurations and darkness and ignorance and error. The apocalypse makes plain or manifest the Truth, as it really is. It makes the invisible visible. It reveals the inner make-up of Reality its Self. When the ‘man of sin’ is revealed, so too is the “Christ” that it was veiling. The entire last book of the Bible is named the Apocalypse, which has been translated as “Revelation.” It is a revealing of both the “anti-Christ” and the “Christ,” the Truth of God as it really is. The “anti-Christ” of our ego, this “natural man” or “carnal mind,” is what veils the “Christ” in us (Mosiah 3:19; cf. Romans 8:7).
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Only when we fall away (apostasia) from identifying with that ego-self, and all its relative thoughts and fallible beliefs, a change of mind happens (metanoia), and the “Christ” stands unveiled (apokalýptō) in us and all things, our true Absolute Name/Identity, the One in God, in Love its Self. Truly, it is perhaps the ego-self that falls away from us, from our true Self. We stand revealed in our true nature. I should note that we (ego) can’t really do this. It is an undoing of ego. It is a Grace.
May we all Apostatize and experience that Apocalypse, is my prayer, meditation, and contemplation. 🙏
(This is not instruction or permission for you to leave your religion. Religion serves a purpose, to a point, after which it must be transcended, and then included again. Only you can know that point.)