The Greek word apokálypsis doesn’t mean “the end of the world”; it means “the unveiling”. The Latin translation is revelatio, where velum means “veil”: to re-veal something is to un-veil it. The last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, is an unveiling, an apocalypse.
The psychedelic apocalypse is the unveiling of heaven and earth. This is the meaning of Noah’s nakedness:
“And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.”
But his sons Shem and Japheth covered him up again. Why? Not out of prudishness, but because, as T.S. Eliot put it, “humankind cannot bear very much reality”. Humankind cannot live unveiled, apocalyptically. We need the veil. We need the blue pill.
But which veil? Do we need to cover our heads at all times? Do we need to grow beards? Do we need to follow a complex velum (from Proto-Indo-European weg, “to weave a web”) and clothe ourselves from head to foot with laws and customs? Laws and customs enshrined in our holy Torah for example? Do we need “Tradition”? But which tradition?
What is the best kind of veil? A black, completely opaque veil shows nothing at all of that which it covers. A completely transparent one shows everything, and is no veil at all. The best veil is semi-transparent; it both hides and reveals:
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part but then shall I know even as I am known.”
1 Corinthians 13:12
To see “face to face” is to see the apocalyptic vision, as was revealed to Arjuna by Krishna:
“In your own body, Lord, I see the gods
And hosts of creatures, every kind of thing:
The Lord Brahma upon his lotus seat,
The seers of old and serpents of the skies.
I see you, Lord, so infinite in form;
On every side I see your myriad arms,
Your bellies, mouths and eyes; there is no end,
No place where you begin, nor one between.
O Lord of every form, O Lord Supreme,
Adorned with crowns, with club and discus armed,
A radiant mass of universal light,
Of blazing fire and bright effulgent Suns,
My eyes can barely see your boundless might.
O Lord Supreme, O Lord, immutable,
You who alone are worthy to be known,
Safe refuge of the world, and guardian Prince
Of that eternal Law that governs all,
You are, I deem, the ancient Soul of Man.
As I behold you, infinite in power,
Alpha and Omega of all that is,
With Sun and Moon for eyes and mighty arms
Commanding every side, I see your face
Blazing with purest fire, warming the world
With your benevolence. From heaven to earth
You fill each mote of air and part of space.”
Bhagavad Gita, chapter 11
In the psychedelic apocalypse, the Vision of the Universal Form is un-veiled and then re-veiled. Sometimes you can almost physically see the veil descending once again as the vision fades. But the thickness of the veil determines the thickness of the cloud of forgetting. A tissue-thin veil can easily be pulled aside, prompting another remembering and another apocalypse. A heavy dark cloth can cover the blinding effulgence and unbearable beams of love for countless aeons.
What is your veil? What is your religion? When was your last apocalypse? When will your next be?
“Veiling and Unveiling, Remembering and Forgetting;
Breath of God, Spirit of Life.”
The revelation of Jesus Christ was an apocalypse. What then is the post-apocalyptic veil that covers up this unveiling? Not the thick veil of the law, but the thin veil of faith:
“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God”
Galatians 2: 19-20
“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3: 23-26
The veil that Christianity proposes is the minimal veil possible for humankind: the veil of faith.