Separation and the two-edged sword

6 September 2020 | Apocalypse in discussion, Blog | 0 comments

Kees Zoeteman

Seen from a distance, the Apocalypse seems to be only about separation and reunification. In order for man to unite with his creator, man must develop his inner qualities and what stands in the way of the ultimate unification must be separated. Separation requires discernment and leads to purification.

A separation within humanity as discussed in the Apocalypse, is approaching step by step.

Themes that will be discussed here are for example the meaning of the two-edged sword and present reflections of the future great separation in humanity.

The vision that the Apocalypse shows

In short, the Apocalypse shows the way back to the spiritual world and the reunification with the image of man God had from the beginning: man-in-God. This image is shown to us at the start of the Apocalypse in the Son of Man, when John is asked to turn around (Rev. 1: 12-20). The Son of Man is an image which includes different layers of meaning, as explained in relation to text fragment 3. ( It represents the primal idea of man.

Inner growth of individual man is necessary to develop into a being which is increasingly resembling the Son of Man. This growth is necessary in our thinking, so that we can find the truth; in our feeling, so that we can spread selfless love; and in our will, so that we can reach our final goal. The beacon for this inner growth is the sword of discernment, the two-edged sword that comes from the mouth of the Son of Man. With this sword he judges what is true or false. Without that ability to immediately recognize lie and truth, man cannot further develop his consciousness.

As inner development progresses, spiritual qualities become more refined. The number of human souls that have made their way to further developed levels is smaller the higher the level of consciousness. In other words, there are also human souls who have not yet reached a higher level of consciousness. They voluntarily go through a longer trajectory to discover who they are and what qualities they still have to develop. It usually takes numerous lives to master a higher level of consciousness. In this respect, there is a continuous separation between human souls who do or do not yet grow towards a next phase in consciousness. However, everyone can go the way to the same final destination.

The two-edged sword, which distinguishes selflessness of our actions from greed, continues to follow us as the seals are opened and the trumpets are sounded. The most intense trials, however, occur at the pouring out of the vials of wrath, which represent the last barriers before we can unite with our origin.

The process of separating, and repelling what is not yet fully developed, is not occurring only once. After all, behind the whole of creation stands, according to the Apocalypse, a creative God who longs for the coming to fruition of the man he has created in his image. Again and again, the individual human being is given a chance to develop towards divine perfection. And this continues also in later stages of evolution, although it becomes increasingly difficult to bring the soul of man, once intensely chained to material desires, to a reversal. Separation means at the same time an encouragement to try again, by transforming a quality within us into more perfection. This usually boils down to breaking open our tendency to shut ourselves off and encapsulate ourselves. For, if we keep the fire of love that burns within us to ourselves, it risks to extinguish itself. The secret lies in surrendering to love and the higher will, not as a subject, but as a freed human being who knows love and has mastered wisdom.

The Apocalypse (Rev.20: 11-15) indicates that in the final phase of mankind’s development there will also come a final moment of separation, called the day of judgment, when a separation will be made between those who are registered in the book of life and those who are thrown into the pool of fire. By the way, the pool of fire is not equal to death. Perhaps it would be better to think of an ultimate form of purification in a next phase of development.

It is not enough to see separation as something that God does to us. It is actually something that we accomplish ourselves. For the entity in us that chooses, is our self-awareness. The Self, the I, is the most sacred quality that has been given to us up till now. What the Self chooses is what the cosmos respects by allowing us to experience the consequences.

The two-edged sword

A sword has a different effect than for example a hammer. The latter can force a nail into wood, flatten something or shatter objects into shards. The sword is meant to split something, it cuts something that was one into two parts. The two-edged sword that comes out of the mouth of the Son of Man indicates the distinction between two parts by the judgment of the mind. Not something material is divided into two parts, but this sword distinguishes arguments and motives as leading to the higher self or to egoism.

In separating and distinguishing, the question may arise if the opposite force, whether manifesting itself externally or internally as a tendency, should always be killed and rejected without any compassion. Often, we will be inclined to look at things for a while and not immediately rush to a decision. But such considerations can gradually aggravate a situation and lead to an almost inextricable tangle of arguments and feelings that prevents us from making a clear decision. Anyone who has had such experiences usually comes to the conclusion that it would have been better to have cut the difficult knot at the beginning. For that purpose, it is necessary to quickly see through at the beginning which soul forces are at play and to recognize immediately the space they claim. This can be seen as the handling of the two-edged sword.

At its core, it is always about the fact that the Self may not be restrained or broken down or suppressed by others. Which does not mean that the ego must be able to indulge itself without limits, on the contrary. It is also not about simply numerating away the ego. The ego can be subservient to a limit at which another person starts to abuse it. The two-edged sword is necessary to unmask and cut loose what wants to break down within us the Higher Self. In my opinion that cannot happen early enough.

Why does the Apocalypse place the birth of Christ central in the fate of mankind?

The Apocalypse places the birth of the Sun spirit as an all-changing event for the fate of mankind to show that otherwise there would be an increasingly difficult separation between man and his divine calling. Man would have allowed himself to be led blindly into the abyss between the material world and the spiritual existence by deluding himself or herself in the solidity of the physical world. Although ultimately, death will separate us from it. The coming of Christ, the solar being, did not only take place in a physical human body, but since then the Christ power, as self-awareness, was awakened in every human being. The Apocalypse proclaims the path of spiritual reunion with man-in-God at the moment when the world of matter begins to overgrow the experience of the spiritual world. Here also starts the separation between those who follow or reject this path. 

Separation and sport

A way of practicing how to deal with separation is found in sports. Matches end in winners and losers. Here the separation is clearly visible as a means to stimulate participants to improve themselves. In other words, the aspiring champion is pushed back as long as there are others who perform better. The spiritual world is not so much about the relative ordering of the best, the second-best, etc., but about developing certain qualities, such as insight into truth, goodness and beauty, and coming to actions that correspond with these three qualities. 

Separation and jurisdiction

A judge also makes use of the principle of separation; separating what does or does not comply with the legal rules. In other words, separating what does and does not contribute to harmony and justice in conflicting interests, so that a balanced weighing of all aspects that play a role in a conflict arises. In the case of justice, it is important that it is not the law of the strongest that applies, but that moral principles such as solidarity with the weak, respect for one’s property, etc. are manifested. However, the end result usually expresses itself in something material. The Son of Man’s sword of distinction looks less at material matters than at ego-transcending qualities. The judge will not ask if you loved your neighbor; the Son of Man does.

Divorce and marriage

Marriage or any other form of union with a partner is, in a sense, a prelude to our vocation to reunite us with God. In an ideal relationship both partners can develop deeper and deeper in becoming equal to the Higher Self. Do they continue to fascinate and stimulate each other in following this path or does one try to live at the expense of the other, to possess the other as it were? And do they get too much out of balance to form a harmonious couple? In the latter case a separation can become necessary and healthy.  But cutting oneself loose from a partner is a painful event. Especially in a marriage with children we can conclude that, even if all matters have been settled through the court, the ex-partners are not fully separated from each other. The mere presence of the children will remind them of the other on a daily basis. Actually, as a criterion for applying the two-edged sword, one should keep in mind whether the relationship still has developmental potential towards the future for both souls. Apart from possible children, a divorce is not the end of the matter, because from the love bond many emotional connections remain. It is therefore almost impossible to come to a complete separation from what was once connected by love. However, a divorce can lead to the fact that new wounds are not inflicted on one’s soul every day and that there is room to recover and to get an overview of what was going on. Who am I anyway? What was I looking for in this relationship? Why was I dependent on it for a long time? Did I stay in this marriage for fear of being alone? After a time of reflection, it turns out that the relationship, including the divorce, was perhaps your best learning experience in this life. That with the marriage you have created the moment that corresponds to what people used to read when they entered the mystery school: Man know yourself! Who has invested more in you and held up a mirror to you than your ex-partner? In this way, divorce can become a prelude to inner growth after a while, and it can unite you with the other person on a super personal level.

Separation in space

Our body can only be in one place at a time. As a result, we are often physically separated from loved ones and friends. Although we can speak to them and see them through modern means of communication, we cannot touch, feel or smell them. For that we need to dwell in the same space. In a way we live in a quarantine which is only lifted once in a while when we meet others physically. When we die, the quarantine becomes permanent.

But even when people are in physical proximity to each other, they can still feel lonely. After all, if there is no spiritual and emotional recognition and exchange, one’s physical closeness can be experienced as oppressive rather than liberating. For a real encounter, physical closeness must coincide with emotional and spiritual closeness. That is why these last two forms of closeness are perhaps even more important than the physical one.     

Separation in time

The present, that infinitely small moment, the now, that passes elusive, separates the future from the past. Fortunately, the year has seasons and months and weeks and days that bring a cyclical structure in time. Once a year it we have our anniversary and that helps us to remember our previous birthdays and to be aware of our life course. As young people, we seem to have an eternal life ahead of us and we feel that we are able to become anything. As we get older, we notice that we are limited by boundaries. In time we experience being separated from eternity and from infinite possibilities. But we keep access to the now. There is always a now, and that is able to give us joy of life. Our birthday makes us aware that  time passes. The age we had, does not come back. In our thoughts and dreams we can travel to other times, but our waking body only allows us into the now. Being born and dying are the great divisions in time and our birthdays reflect this. They remind us that we are born into the cycle of a new year as we were long ago born at the same time of the year in this life to find and carry out our vocation. We are physically separated from our past and our future. But we can open ourselves to what the past has taught us and to what the future brings us as our mission, no matter how old we are. Experiencing that we are realizing our inner task in time, is the only thing that will be able to satisfy us. For that we have to make choices over and over again. After all, feeling separated from man-in-God, our Higher Self, is the worst situation we can find ourselves in.      


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