This is the text version of a video by the same title published in March 2021.
Thanks to Gareth Boyd for the edition.
With the crazy situation in the world moving at pace, as we see systems of technological control and tracking taking over in the name of Covid, we are hearing strange whispers that there is a relationship between the vaccine and the Mark of the Beast. Sometimes this comes associated with all kinds of wild conspiracies, yet sometimes we also find the source of this association in stories from the mainstream media. This identification is very intuitive in many who espouse it, while of course appearing delusional and a form of religious hysteria by others. I am hoping to explain the meaning of the Mark of the Beast as much as I can so that we can understand and evaluate the recent claim that we are being faced with such a system on our horizon. This attempt will be in two parts, the first video being an attempt to explain the emergence of this Beast in the story, and then the second will be looking at how and why this is related to a mark, without which it is impossible to buy or sell.
These videos are a continuation of two videos I did on the symbolism of 666, the Number of the Beast, and how it relates to us today, one on the number itself and the other on a speech by Tim Cook which helps us understand how these ideas are relevant in the current climate. It would be helpful to watch those videos, though not completely necessary to this one. To summarize, I explained how the desire to “account for everything” within a system, even the fluid margin, even the remainder of a process, is the best way to understand the problem of 666. It is in many ways an excess of perfection, an excess of pride in the possibility of a totalizing system. We will see how this pattern is already present in the description of the Dragon and the two Beasts we find in Revelation 12 and 13.
Starting in Chapter 12 of Revelation, the text describes three creatures, a dragon and two beasts.
Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.
This Dragon is at the outset in Heaven, it is associated with the Great Serpent, and so the Leviathan. It is also associated with Satan, the Adversary, and it causes a war in heaven, a war in the order of the principalities.
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
The dragon knocks 1/3rd of the stars from heaven to the earth with its tail. We need to understand that as a way of describing the fall itself. The stars falling to earth is another way of describing a war in heaven and the rebellious angels who fall to earth and to the sea. This of course is difficult for many people to understand, but the points of light seen in the heavens were images of gods or angels for ancient people, and this continues on in this passage. As the dragon uses its “bottom”, its tail, to knock things down, he himself ends up falling to the bottom of the world. The tail here is an important image. Humans do not have a tail. Tails are associated with animality, with lack of intelligence. The war of the Dragon is a war on intelligence, a war on authority and pattern. A tail is a flexible protrusion which is attached to the bottom, to the back. This tail is related to the question of a remainder, to that which cannot be contained completely, a tail is the last thing. As an image of the remainder, it is the tool of Satan, it is a tool of the Adversary. Now, this is not just some moral admonition, it is a matter of fact. The mystery of things which are left over is the way principalities are attacked and made to fall. This is true still today, if we shine light on exceptions, on remainders, it questions the truth of any definition or identity. By wagging a tail, by brandishing the fact of hermaphrodites, I can challenge the truth of male and female. The process of breaking down patterns and challenging commonalities then repeats itself on Earth, where the Satan is said to lead the whole world astray,
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
Falling to earth and to the sea is a disconnection from heaven, from what unites the principalities, or the intelligences together in their service of God, and their fall into what we could call a double existence of earth and sea, of constant conflict between lower embodied orders and menacing chaos. You can imagine tides coming up on the seashores and those same shores keeping the seas in their place as an image of the cycle of order and chaos in which these principalities now engage. The reality of the fallen principality can only be this way, because of course they are wrong about how reality works. The world cannot be disconnected from its higher principles or ultimately disconnected from the Infinite Good that is God. The ultimate fate of this type of rebellion is to be thrown into the Abyss, but in the meantime, the fall is experienced as a vacillation between chaos and tyranny.
The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
There is a connection of course between the Dragon and the Beast. The Beast is an extension of the Dragon. You could see it as a manifestation of the Dragon’s power on the earth. When I say it like that it should be easy to understand. This power does not come from above anymore, but rather from below, from the chaos of the sea because the Satan is a fallen principality, a principality which opposes and questions its connection to what is above it. So the Beast comes out of the sea, but is then a beast of the earth as it affects, engages, and actually dominates the world of manifestation. It is also important to understand the Beast as coming from below, out of the sea to rule through tyranny, because this contrasts with the later image of proper order coming down from heaven to earth in the form of the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Both the Dragon and the Beast have seven heads and ten horns. The dragon has seven crowns on its heads, but the Beast has ten crowns and its crowns are on its horns. Here once again it is pointing to how the Beast and Dragon are aspects of the same thing. The Dragon is recognized, crowned on its heads, or its principles, which are not one but many, we could say they are the many itself. Later in Revelation, the heads will be more explicitly described as principalities, as they will be said to also be seven mountains while also being seven kings. These overlapping descriptions are telling us that they are the places where authority and rule descend to lower possibilities, onto a body in the case of a head, a land in the case of a mountain, and a people in the case of a king. We can understand the seven heads as a multitude of smaller rulers, principalities which should culminate into One under God, but do not. In this way they are multiplicity itself, and we can understand these heads as akin to creation itself, the seven days of creation considered as separate in their domain, and in that way separate from the Creator, separate from the one who unites creation together in himself.
So if the Dragon is recognized for its heads, the other, the Beast, is recognized, or crowned on its horns. It is the extension of the Dragon in the world. And not just an extension, but a hardening, a condensation and the way the dragon acts on the world, for the horn is a weapon and a tool of domination. These extensions or protrusions can be understood in space, which a horn is already, but later they will also be described as an extension in time, into the future, as kings who have not yet received a kingdom will for one hour share authority with the Beast. Here, the ten horns are like the number ten in most places in scripture, a symbol of completeness, of totality and so we can understand this ten in a way close to 666, that is as the expression of a totality of power in the horns of the Dragon and the Beast.
This idea of a totality of power is not just in the horns, but is born out in the rest of the description surrounding the Beast.
The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion.
This description refers to the prophecy of Daniel, where he saw four beasts: A beast like a lion, one like a bear, another like a leopard, and a beast with ten horns and iron teeth. These beasts are almost universally understood to describe four kingdoms over time: The Babylonians, the Persians, the Hellenistic empire of Alexander, and the Romans. It would be too much here to look at the different animals and their characteristics, but nonetheless, we can easily see that the Beast in Revelation which comes out of the sea, because it is a combination of all the former beasts seen in Daniel, is something like earthly power itself, or the culmination of this power into an apex point which is why it is described as universal, a world order having authority over every tribe, every people, and every nation.
One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.
Now many modern commentators have mentioned that this passage might refer to the early tradition according to which Nero, the degenerate emperor who first persecuted Christians, would after his death resurrect, and would return like a vengeful angel. And of course this was seen immediately in the impending future of the communities of the first century, but that tradition of the resurrection of Nero is actually very interesting also on a longer term or as a pattern, which is the possibility of an aspect of power returning, one which is both extremely tyrannical, persecuting the Children of God, the disciples of the Logos, while also being obsessed with pleasure, with orgiastic excess and transgressive sexuality. You can understand this as containing the image I brought up earlier of an extreme vacillation between chaos and tyranny, and this will make more sense as we look at the pairing of the Beast and the Prostitute a bit later.
This question of Nero of course warrants my little parenthesis, which is that many people see these stories as discussing things which happened long ago, describing ancient prophecies that have already come to pass, some of which happened in the first century. Others see them only as predicting some future event. And so although those are in many ways opposites, I have nothing to argue against either, but if we understand reality as a fractal pattern, then the use of highly compressed and symbolic language to speak of these things also means that they are tapping into patterns of being. The descriptions are not arbitrary. The fact that we are talking about beasts, crowns, water, earth, horns, all of these images are placed together in a way which is coherent and reveals how reality unfolds. If they were just descriptions of things that happened long ago, or things that will happen at some point in the future, then they would be almost useless to us. If this or that beast refers only to Babylon or Persia or Rome only, then why not just say it at the outset? No, the highly codified language of prophecy is important because it is a language revealed and refined over centuries into becoming something like a cosmic map. Therefore if we see the description as cosmic patterns which show themselves, then understanding the structure of these descriptions can be beneficial to us in every time period, even if we acknowledge that they also refer to events that happened and/or will happen in the future.
This goes also for the Beast with seven heads. When mentioning that detail, I could already hear the objections of people telling me that the seven heads, and that the seven hills, means that the text is just referring to Rome. And the answer is: of course it means Rome to a certain extent, but it cannot only be that. Remember the seven heads are also seven kings. But to the extent that Rome participates in this symbolism, one must ask oneself what Rome is, why it is important, what it means, and what patterns it manifests. Can one think the fact that Rome was seen as being on seven hills was completely arbitrary? Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to posit that the reason why Rome was importantly understood to be on seven hills was because this was meaningful to mention, a meaning which reaches beyond Rome, that this meaning is partly why this seven is emphasized in Revelation over other aspects of Rome which could have been mentioned and a meaning that is partly why Constantinople, the Christian City, was also built on seven hills?
In this vein, beyond trying to identify in the wounded head of the Beast with this or that emperor, or this or that aspect of a historical kingdom, which in itself I have nothing against, we can also understand the fatal wound of the Beast and its healing within the story as a manifestation of the Beast itself arising as a totalizing power. The seven heads are akin to the seven days of creation, the seven days of the week, representing a complete cycle. The Sabbath, or the day of rest is the remaining day after the work of God, a day connected to a little death in that sense. So for example in the Christian tradition we say that the Sabbath was accomplished in the day Christ spent in the grave after being crucified, cinching the connection between the last day, rest and death. So one of the heads, we could say the seventh head was deathly wounded, it was incomplete and manifested the remainder, the mortality, the imperfection, the limit of the Beast. If one has read my brother’s book, The Language of Creation, one might remember how he reveals the seventh measure of the circle by its radius to be incomplete and a remainder. One should not underestimate the mystery Matthieu has pierced in this insight about the circle/cycle, for it can also help one understand the different ways the heads of the Beast are described. If one way of describing the heads is that one is wounded, in another chapter they are is described in time as five past kings, one present king (which is the sixth, “the measure” of the cycle as it is the present king), and a seventh, who it is said “will remain only a little while” that is an incomplete measure, a remainder, a coda, etc.
The wound of the Beast’s head was said to have been made by a sword, from a supposed enemy, but because the beast now is given dominion over all people, there is no place from which to attack the beast. No possible enemy. The beast makes the wounded head complete in its very act of total dominion, for there is nothing left which can wound it, and this becomes a parody, an imitation of the Resurrection as well as the final pretension of systems of power and control to prevent death and chaos, to prevent death and disease. And, by a universal claim to power, also eliminate the possibility of an outside by containing the remainder. We see this in the next verse.
People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”
In this case the question is a bigger deal than just a statement of strength, for who, in fact, can wage war against the Beast if it totalizes power over all people?
Another fascinating aspect of the wounded head is that it says the head appeared AS wounded, possibly suggesting that the wounded head might in fact be just an appearance, or a ploy, a deliberate explicit show of illness which in its healing would make the Beast appear stronger and more powerful than it actually is. This would be using the remainder, the parasite, the deathly aspect of a system as a trick to make the system even more powerful by showing how this imperfection can be defeated. This is of course the whole aesthetic of the false flag, the psy-op, or the infiltrated demonstration. The tricky serpent here is doing in a way the opposite of what it did in heaven, but for itself. In heaven it used its tail to question and oppose the principalities, but here by appearing to heal the wound, making the system complete, it is making its tyranny stronger.
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.
Now all of these elements, pride, blasphemy, slander against that which is in heaven, power over all people, and power to wage war against holy people are of course all aspects of a central pattern. For a system to become independent from the transcendent perfect and have authority on all people, first it must attack the supremacy of that which is above it, in this case God or heaven. Second, it cannot stand those who preserve allegiance to that transcendent good, for to do so undermines the capacity for the system to be total. This might seem abstract, but imagine when the United States declared its independence from its king. It not only had to go to war with the king, but also had to eliminate and chase away Loyalists because those loyalists undermine the integrity and reality of the self-declared independent United States. “We The People”, though it purports to be universal, secretly means we who are not loyal to the king, though pretending to be “ALL THE PEOPLE”. Loyalists who used to manifest the reality of the king’s rule, now become strangers, enemies among us, and must be purged one way or the other. Of course in case of the United States, these loyalists could flee to Canada, but in a system which purports to be total, ruling over all people, then there is nowhere to go legitimately. They must hide, let’s say in the wilderness, or else be purged. This is important to understand, because it can help us perceive how secular humanism can never stop at questioning the existence of God or relativizing religion, but it must in its end actively try to eliminate everything outside the secular, and ultimately attack those who believe.
It also shows how tyranny is first and foremost an excess in the realm of meaning, for the “The beast is given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority”. Speaking is the first expression of meaning, as we see in the Creation narrative of the Bible, where the world is created by speaking. But even at a lower level, speaking, unlike thinking, is directed towards the world and engages the world by addressing it. In doing so, especially if this speaking is from a place of authority, it orders reality by naming, attributing categories and hierarchies of importance. But when authority is illegitimate, two things will happen in the realm of meaning, the two things described here: boasting, which we could call self-naming, or giving attributes to oneself in the view of others, and we will also see waging war against God’s people. Because he did not receive his crown, his name and identity from above, a self-declared king must boast, must slander and accuse the king or the religious authority from whom he should have received his authority. This is of course the nature of blasphemies talked about here in the text. The Beast must attribute to itself the names of God, the qualities of God, and must ultimately declare itself, try to name itself with the name of God. Every time we see our own wills as supreme, this is something which we do ourselves, it is taking the fruit of the tree, a fruit supposed to make us like God, for ourselves rather than waiting until God gives it to us from above through His grace. Here this process appears as the cosmic apex of the fall. It is as if the Fall of Man and its consequence has born its final fruits and has filled the earth. It is as much the giving in to the serpent in the garden as it is the cosmic finality of the Tower of Babel and its pretension to reach the heavens and rule over all people.
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
This is the image of the solution to the seven headed Beast. We are presented with another beast, a Lamb, but this beast does not boast, does not have to impose tyrannical order, but is sacrificed from the creation of the world. It is given up, and that is how it receives its authority. This is the secret of reality, which is that reality is based on sacrifice. The highest aspect of something is not its rule over its parts, its power, or its boasting, but its giving of itself to that which is above it, that from which it holds its authority and identity, while also giving itself for what is below it. In a burnt offering for example, there is a part of the sacrifice, the spiritual part, represented by smoke, which goes up and is an act of worship and submission, and there is a part of the sacrifice which comes down, the cooked meat, and is eaten by those for whom it is offered. We see this in Christ, who offered up his Spirit to God on the cross, while laying down his life for his flock, giving them his body to eat. Once again, it is worth looking at my brother Matthieu’s book for more on this pattern as his explanation of the pattern of sacrifice is the most pristine I have encountered. The way reality holds together is ultimately not through total systems of control but through love. And here, by the way, people who only accept the substitutionary version of the cross and of sacrifice will also have to deal with this verse, because it is said that the Lamb is slain from the creation of the world.
One of the important aspects of this Lamb as it is described earlier in the text, is that it has seven horns and seven eyes. And these horns are seen as the seven spirits of God. So it is very interesting here compared to the seven heads of the Dragon, and the seven heads of the Beast. Here the Lamb has one head, and it has seven horns. It has seven extensions. And these horns are also the seven horns that will be blown by the angels, and so it is this extension of the will of God into the world, rather than seeing the seven principalities or the seven heads. So here is the proper relationship of multiplicity to unity, because as I said, the Lamb has one head, but is able to see multiplicity, and is able to extend its unity into the multiplicity. Both in the image of the horns, but also as I said, in the image of the trumpets that are blown out into the world, that call, that judge, that declare what is going to happen in reality.
There would be much to say about that, but at least for now what suffices for us is how the Book of Life is related to the system of the beast. If the worshippers of the beast are his through being branded by his external mark, something we will explore in the next video about the Mark of the Beast, the servants of the Logos are also accounted for at a higher level, in a higher identity and story, by having their name contained within the Book of Life. This could also have been expressed in the same way as the Beast, in fact in other places in Revelation, there is the notion that one receives the Seal of God on one’s forehead similarly as one receives the mark of the Beast. These two ways of accounting for identity are actually perfect to get a full picture of how identity and hierarchy work, one seen from above, that is how our names are contained in the Book of Life which is held by the Logos, we are held together into that higher identity, but it can also be seen from below as receiving a name, a seal which joins us together and makes us share something in common amid our difference and particularities.
So you could imagine receiving different marks or seals from above, or reversely being contained into different bodies or books. In this way one is accepting different levels of identity to cover and contain you, a mark at a political level, an identity as part of a family or a group, a parish, a football team. For example, I bear the name of my ancestors: “Pageau”, while also being marked by being Quebecois, Canadian, and at the highest level am under the name of God by being in His image. These multiple levels of naming and containing names can normally co-exist since identities at different levels of reality fit into each other when the world is laid out properly. The leg of a chair can be a leg, while also participating, receiving the name of chair from above as it were, to the extent that it participates in that higher identity by being the leg of a chair and a part of the body of the chair. And of course the leg itself is also made of parts that have names, and the chair can be contained in a dining set for example which also contains it from above. In this normal way, different smaller identities do not compete with higher identities.
But because the System of the Beast is trying to be total, it must not only mark those who belong to it, give them its name and better still its number, but also attack those who are marked or contained at a higher level of life and possibly at any other level. Those who belong to God once again must be eliminated or made to bow down and worship the beast as the total system. Totalitarian systems see themselves in competition with all other identities. They are similar to material reductionism. Totalitarian systems must break down families, clubs, religious organizations, and dare I say reduce people as much as possible to a number in order to create fractured individuals. They become pure quantity, who only have the totalitarian system as their master and identity.
Anna Arendt who wrote about totalitarian systems famously said:
Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other
This of course is a false understanding of how reality works and is inevitably vowed to destruction.
Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.
All of this is why the second Beast makes an image of the first, and has the power to make it speak.
Of course this order of manifestation can also be seen from the side of Light, and there are many examples, for example in the Revelation on Sinai, from the Invisible Word of God, to the Law on Tablets, to Moses as the Prophet. In the story of Moses, there is also the making of an image, but this image is a reflection of the passions of the people, who ask Aaron to make an image for them, their will is portrayed at the bottom of the mountain, rather than from above where the Law was given. If the Dragon fell from heaven, then the Beast of course came out of the sea. In this way, this image of a beast, the golden calf, is already an inkling of the image of the Beast in Revelation.
Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast … The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.
Now here we have a third beast, and so what the heck is going on, why so many beasts? The best way to understand this is how we are witnessing an order of manifestation from the invisible principality to the embodied particular. So, if the Dragon is a fallen angel, the principle and cause of division, fragmentation and opposition to what is above it, the first beast is a manifestation of that rebellion and self-sufficiency in an embodied pattern of reality, an empire, a movement, a series of coalescing possibilities on the earth, then the third beast is the final move into a particular, a figure, an image, a spokesperson, a leader a figurehead, however you want to see it. It is someone who embodies, gives us an image of the pattern, without which it would be difficult to see the first beast and the dragon. This dark procession of manifestation could be understood in all kinds of ways, from an invisible passion, let’s say lust, or the demon of lust, that would be at the level of the dragon, then to a culture of sexual excess and abandon, a sexual revolution, etc, that would be the first beast, to finally someone who can wield all of this into an image, Cardi B for example. We could see it as a spirit of resentment and revolution, then to a system of Communism, to find its image in a party, a company, or in a person like Lenin, Mao, Stalin who embodied, made present the pattern for people, made visible the ideals of this revolution. All of this is also why the second beast makes an image of the first and has the power to make it speak.
There are a lot of things happening in this sentence of course. Because the rule of the Beast is a totalizing system, because it wants to contain reality within it, because it wants to take for itself the qualities and names of God, then it must create something akin to life. Because it made war against the source of heavenly intelligences, it must create an artificial intelligence in order to make people worship the beast and the dragon, as they once worshiped the God against whom the Dragon made war, The God who made man by putting his breath into him.. Of course this is a deception, as is mentioned, but it doesn’t matter. One of the things I have insisted on in several of my recent videos is that it does not matter if general artificial intelligence is possible or realized, it only has to believed to be as such for people to worship it. Its intelligence, its breath comes from the second beast, the puppeteer we could call it. This puppeteer speaks like a dragon, but presents the horns of the Lamb, interestingly enough, and in this might be the mystery of Anti-Christ though that needs to be for another time.
Hopefully this has been a good intro to the descriptions of the different beasts in Revelation. Of course as you can see, I focused on patterns of being rather than getting excited by current events. But I do think these stories are nonetheless important to understand current events and we will look at that in my next video which will be on the Mark of the Beast itself.