Over at Tom Stine’s blog, I unintentionally raised the subject of the Rapture in comments. Tom responded, “Around here, the rapture is The Rapture. That was my first thought as I read your comment. You see lots of bumper stickers that say, “In case of Rapture, this car will be driverless.””
There really isn’t room to explain in a comment, thus this post. I’ve touched on the general subject in other posts using terms like ecstasy or happiness everlasting. But there is a specific point in evolution where we become immersed in the divine in what can best be termed The Rapture. As a friend joked, its best it not happen in public. (laughs)
This is not to be confused with the experience of unending bliss. That’s just preparation. There are stages to bliss as well. Without understanding the larger picture, we can fall into what the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Lama Surya Das refers to this as “premature immaculation”.
I’m certainly no Christian scholar but what I have read of some of the apocryphal stuff sounds very much like higher awakenings.
The popular understanding places the events at a point in time. Jesus himself said his kingdom is not of this world. Thomas said “the new world is already here but people just can’t see it.”
What is described appears not to be events in time but rather steps in awareness.
The destruction of the temple sounds a great deal like the destruction of the ego, the first awakening. The early self is destroyed making way for the higher temple. We are born again.
Resurrection is used in several ways. Resurrection of the dead sounds like the rising of the soul after bodily death. The Resurrection itself seems to refer to rising while still in the body, awakening. The resurrection of Jesus was even more advanced, rising beyond the limits of the body. If there is a rising golden age, of the decent of heaven on earth, some of this will happen on a more massive scale. But I still don’t see it happening at a specific time as spirit is beyond time. Globally, it’s more a process than an event.
The second coming is pretty clearly something that happens within. Rising to meet Christ in spirit. This typically takes place after the first awakening. God Realization its called in the east.
While there can be a ‘dark night of the soul’ prior to the loss of ego, the tribulation’s relationship with Rapture seems more like what Adyashanti calls the BBQ, the loss of identity prior to the second waking. The second waking is the “twice reborn”.
With further purification and refinement, the “body” becomes cosmic or divine, depending on your preference of terminology. What’s known as the cosmic body. “He will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body”.
Heaven thus descends into us, leading to the Rapture. Bliss beyond imagining. Amusingly to Tom’s bumper sticker, “…this car will be driverless”, I know someone who had early rapture driving down a highway. Fortunately the body took care of the driving. 😉
The water is a little too muddy with all the translations and interpretations to say this view is anything more than an opinion. But the similarities are striking and people I know who have experienced this confirm it matches how it might be described in Christian terms. Even to details like the form of Christ in Revelations.
Like everything else on the spiritual path, as long as you think of salvation as some other place and some other time, it will be lost to you. It is here, now.