Book Review: The Book of Revelation, (A NewTranslation) by Michael Straus, Illustrations by Jennifer May Reiland

Reviewed by Bob Pajer, NCTM, WSCTM, NIPA

It is of course difficult to say what John’s Book of Revelation is really about . Take your pick among those who have studied it.  My guess the Gnostics have it correct, only because of my own Gnostic leanings.  I and they  say that Jesus was a loving messenger.  His message is of love because he professes that only, his love, and the love of all of us comes from our creation.  I believe he heard only One Voice in his life here, a feat not many achieve as yet.  He preaches that we are as God created us.  God is love and therefore so perfectly equally are we.  Those references of the Oneness of love and the definition of God as Love can be found throughout A Course in Miracles.  Being a student of the Course I find Revelation to be difficult to understand because of the Courses’ references of itself to be the second coming of Jesus.  Jesus tells us this in the Course. The Jesus who teaches us we are One, as Christ, in union with God.  The best way it seems to place who God seems to be is by the two words: Our Father.  Oliver Wendall Holmes said that is all he needed to know about religious belief. 

A Course in Miracles takes this up with its main teaching:  to know who you are, see all your brothers and sisters as Christ, the One Son, the Sonship and only see him that way.  That in itself will tell you who you are, what we are all searching for here, being plagued by the thought we left Our Father for a world we continue to make up.  and fail to achieve peace doing it.  Who are we?  Yet our egos take us all around the battlefields we create to not find out who we are.  The world we appear to live in is not made to discover who God is as our Source.  As a matter of fact it is make by its makers to do just the opposite.  It is beleaguers us.  It is the root of all suffering here because it is based on unforgivenes,  by a whole people asking the question not to be answer, only to lead to more questions. The ego has no answer to anything, Jesus tells us in the Course in Miracles in his words, knowing they touch the truth in us that God put there.  Lots of questions and no answers.  Of course it will never have an answer to anything because it is a lie.  Lies are certainly not about truth.  Truth is true.  Lies remain, well, lies, much as depicted in Revelation.  The ego lives as a lie itself seemingly within us.  It has no intention of losing its place in our minds which are its hostage, never having us wander too far to realize we would be far better off by being host to God.  Jesus is host only to God.  He does not listen to the ego. Most everyone breathing in this world feels like a terrible thing has occurred:  separation from Our Father, a betrayal beyond words and thoughts, always there within us waiting for the day to strike out and finally create life. Guilt was born here, followed by death and the unknown. 

As to this new translation of Revelation, I can not tell you anything about its translation.   The translation is acceptable in my opinion, which of course is limited by my lack of knowledge of the subjects the author lays before us.  I find Revelation difficult to read in any form.  It is an ugly story, wasting one’s time in reading it.  The world is sad, old, and a tired place. It stumbles on with shear will power, coming from the mind of God which who is One.  After all we are the Power God created, but no to misbehave and kill each other.  No powers can exist before God’s Power. When men and women think they can oppose this with a separate will and power, we go to sleep and beat the hell out of each other.  Yes, “we”.  God’s children are not separated from one another.  That is the meaning of the clear statement of Jesus: 

Mark 10:9

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

King James Version (KJV)

I do not think Jesus was referring necessarily to marriage in saying this, but to all men and women.  We are eternally joined.  There is no separation among us.  Although the ego, we, decided otherwise and made ourselves into bodies, trying to make each a separate mind.  Bodies are not minds.  Minds are forever joined in oneness with God as their Father. 

When we oppose God we sleep, just as God puts Adam asleep in the Bible and never wakes him up.  So let Revelation be.  It keeps biblical scholars and theologians busy.  The ego loves to study itself, but it does not tell us annoyingly about the everlasting love Jesus has and always will have for every “single” one of us.  And he waits for us to enter the Kingdom with him.  To join him and become together as the Christ, the only Son of God. 

Lastly, I find the authors’ use of sexual activity appalling in the pictures throughout the book.   I could only interpret this as our way of thinking about sex.  It’s the one big sin, the one we can feel most guilty about.  Which is all nonsense.  The ego thrives on the insanity of guilt over our separation from Our Father.  Sexual sin is one its favorite forms of making us feel the guilt, which is why we neglect and treat each other with disdain:  judgment, condemnation and hatred, leaving little room for the forgiveness we must practice in the face of any form of separation.  Sex fits into all this as a false god.  There is no order of separation.  Most of what drives us to remain separated is from other faults, not sex.  Separation either is or it isn’t.  Our spirits, however can not separate.  We think we are separate, nonthless, that we in fact did it, and then feel guilty and enter a deep sleep in order to play out our true wish to separate. 

I cannot find any salvation or Atonement thinking in Revelation, nor in the pornographic material Jennifer My Reiland presents throughout the book, except the focus on bodies, which are separation itself.      

 

I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.