Legends of the End
Prophecies of the End Times, Antichrist, Apocalypse, and Messiah From Eight Religious Traditions
Whether the world ends tomorrow or lasts for centuries, we all exist in a ‘climate’ of the End of Days. As Thomas Merton wrote, ‘We live in an age of two superimposed eschatologies: that of secular anxieties and hopes, and that of revealed fulfillment. Sometimes the first is merely mistaken for the second, sometimes it results from complete denial and despair of the second.’ The ‘end of time’ obviously relates to history, but—just as obviously—it cannot be contained within it. Legends of the End have always been with us; every spiritual tradition that has a story of the beginning of things must also have one of their final end—the end of the earth, of the universe, of time itself. And just as all such myths symbolize invisible realities, so every historical event is precisely an invisible reality made visible and tangible. This book takes a look at eight Legends of the End: Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hopi, and Lakota. When these stories are placed side-by-side, great differences and startling similarities become apparent-similarities both in broad outlines and in minute details. In light of this traditional lore, the author begins and concludes with a penetrating spiritual meditation on the meaning of the End. Without a grasp of this meaning, to date the End is impossible. With such a grasp, even the most accurate dating is irrelevant, for to know the meaning of the End of Days is already to be beyond it.
Table of Contents
The Latter Days—The Antichrist—The Messiah—The Prophecy of René Guénon—Globalism and Antichrist
Saoshyant vs. Angra Mainyu: Zoroastrian Eschatology—Messiah: Jewish Eschatology—Maitreya: Buddhist Eschatology—The Parousia: Christian Eschatology—The Imam Mahdi and the Prophet Jesus: Muslim Eschatology—Christian and Muslim Eschatology Compared—Hindu Eschatology: Kalki and Christ Compared—Hindu, Judeo-Christian, Lakota, and Hopi Eschatology Compared—The Siege of Shambhala: Tibetan Buddhist Eschatology—Benjamin Creme: Prophet of the Theosophical Antichrist—Motif of the Herald: The Will and the Intellect—The 'Brief Millennium'—End and Beginning in God"s Hands
The System of Antichrist—To Fight or Not To Fight—The Esoteric Apocalypse—The Apocalyptic Function of Antichrist—The Practice of Apocalypse
Charles Upton is a serious thinker from whom I have learned much. His writing merits close attention.
Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions
About the Author
Charles Upton, poet, author, activist, and veteran of the counter-culture, developed an interest in metaphysics 'via mythopoeia' and, having survived the social upheavals of the Sixties, and the psychic allures of New Age occultism, awakened at the end of the Eighties to the esoteric teachings of the traditionalists, eventually becoming initiated into Sufism. His critique of New Age occultism and modernism is his best-known work and is published under the title, The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age (2001). Sophia Perennis has published many other books by Charles Upton. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, in Lexington, Kentucky.