As in other troubled times, such as the Great Plague of the Middle Ages, many humans seek to mitigate their growing concern for the future by consulting soothsayers, oracles, psychics, and prophecies of all kinds. Beside them, others fear nothing of this order. Two major questions then arise: what distinguishes those who are afraid from those who do not? And what can be the interest of prophecies such as the Apocalypse, one of the best known?
People who are afraid can be swept into the pessimistic movement without knowing why, but because they follow the dominant movements and energies almost automatically and without asking questions. Others are afraid because they observe their material conditions, those of their loved ones or those of the world in general deteriorating year after year.
On the other hand, other individuals fear nothing (or not much), facing the future, for several possible reasons. Some are rich enough to provide for one or more physical retreats, such as bomb shelters or to pay for a place in an underground base. They think they are safe from almost anything that could happen materially worse.
Others are neither rich nor specially detached from material things, but are blind to surrounding conditions, in denial, in a state of cognitive dissonance, or even convinced that things will continue to work well enough for them, because the world is only progress or because technology will solve all situations.
Finally, there is another category of people who do not fear for the future because they are guided by their faith, their inner light, the divine light … and think that the material world is only a stage transient of their eternal Life as Consciousness or Spirit. And among all human beings, they will probably be the only ones to maintain their inner peace, whatever the future events, even the most materially dramatic ones.
Knowing this, what can be the interest of a text like the Apocalypse of John? For the last group of people, this one can be purely symbolic or as an indicator of future potentialities, but they will then retain two things. The first is that a prophecy is not a film of the future and that what it describes is not branded in stone. It is at most a warning of certain potentialities, some materially destructive and others spiritually promising.
A more or less important part of the dramatic material changes announced can be avoided or shortened, according to the choice of humanity. But even assuming that they all intervene in the same destructive manner as expected, what people who are marked by the faith or seal of God reads is the end of events. In the case of the Apocalypse, it is represented by the descent of the heavenly Jerusalem, whose meaning remains to be determined.
These men of faith consider human realities above all from a spiritual angle. And in such an optic, they will tend to interpret such a symbol as being the sign of an incarnation of the divine in the course of human affairs. In other words, they consider Apocalypse in its original meaning of Revelation, that of a radiant future for Humanity, a future of peace, fraternity and synergy between different individuals and different human groups.
Individuals who do not live such faith will generally see something else in Revelation and similar prophecies. Some will see the inevitable and unstoppable sign, for example, of a global nuclear war – a divine punishment worthy of a bogeyman. However, if such a war intervenes, would not Man be the only one responsible? Some will argue that no, it is not Man, but entities that manipulate him from invisible planes. Big deal! In such a hypothesis, is Man obliged to let himself be manipulated? Does he have to press the red button? Does not he have a conscience?
Finally, other human beings consider the prophecies as pure fantasies or stories for children and will not retain anything from them. They will continue to act as they have always done, without asking questions or ignoring the answers.
Everyone sees and interprets reality in his own way. Each one makes his choices accordingly, in the light, or not, of his conscience.