Regarding the conception or idea of the "Anti-Christ", which is or has been portrayed in various forms of media, and which is generally held by the masses of mankind, it can be propositioned, from the understanding of what can be imparted by philosophy and metaphysics, the current conception or idea is actually a gross mis-interpretation, if not an outright fallacy, of what the term can be shown to really mean. And, in all likelihood, because the masses either do not objectively question what is imparted to them, or are generally not encouraged to do so, this false and misleading idea regarding Anti-Christ has probably held thousands or more in bondage and subjection, through establishing a mind-set of ignorance, which inevitably leads to fear, terror and anxiety.
To borrow the words of a present-day authority, "there is only one thing to be set free from, and that is ignorance." Hence, the purpose of this discourse is to progressively reveal the conception of Anti-Christ, from the viewpoint provided by philosophy and metaphysics, with the intent that, if and when this new conception is grasped and comprehended, any and all fear, terror and anxiety regarding the subject may be banished from the mind of anyone who may be presently subject to these negative emotions.
As might be expected, in order to gain a different understanding of what Anti-Christ is, as opposed to the conventional idea, it would be beneficial to study both the term, as well as its antonym (i.e., that which is essentially its complete opposite). Not surprisingly, the term: "Anti-Christ" may be considered as that which is directly opposite to that which is defined and described by the word: "Christ". This may naturally lead to an inquiry to clearly understand what is meant by "Christ".
Speaking generally, traditional Christianity appears to treat the term as belonging exclusively to the person who is oft-times referred to in the Bible as Jesus of Nazareth. But a little investigation would reveal to the seeker that it is more than that. The word, Christ, is derived form an original Greek word, with the English spelling: Kristos, which means: anointed, or a more expanded meaning might be: the Anointed One, i.e., one upon whom supernatural or divine power has been imparted and is working in and through; the power referred to is, to all practical purposes, the Original Creative Power itself.
But it should also be kept in mind that, as stated in previous discussions (for example, that on Outward Manifestation), that all that exists in the so-called physical universe can be traced out to represent some mode of expression of that Original creative Power (Spirit); the primary difference between one form of expression and another being the degree of intelligence demonstrated by any particular entity. This, as stated previously, was reflected in what Theosophy generally referred to as the philosophical kingdoms - the First being inanimate material, the Second (plant life), the Third (animal life) and the Fourth (intellectual Man). But it was also hinted there that there is another progression beyond the Fourth Kingdom, which, for now, would generally be referred to as the Fifth Kingdom, which may be said to constitute Man, awakened to recognize and realize his mental and spiritual nature, or, as derived from that excerpt from the Old Testament, that he is "... made in the image and likeness of GOD."
A little further investigation would also reveal that, as stated previously, "Christ" is not a personal appellation, i.e., a name or title, which is assigned solely to one individual, but rather, it may be equally applied to any and every human being, who, so-to-say, awakens to recognize and realize their inner (mental and spiritual) nature. In fact, the name "Jesus Christ" can be shown to constitute a description of what might be termed to constitute "perfected humanity" - "Jesus" being a common name among the inhabitants of Palestine or Israel at that period in history when Jesus of Nazareth is believed to have lived and worked, and "Christ" (as previously mentioned) being the description of being "anointed". This explanation may served to explain the meaning of certain Biblical passages such as the following (taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible):
"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ (i.e., awoken to recognize and realize his divine nature) has become a new person." - Second Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 17 (first part)
"Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I'm going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ (the divine nature) is fully developed (i.e., recognized and realized) in your lives" - Galatians, chapter 4, verse 19
Put briefly, the forming of Christ (or what might also be referred to as the mind of Christ) in any individual can be said to be the evolution of the mentality of the individual having reached the stage, where the individual recognizes and realizes the existence of that inner nature, previously mentioned. And, in keeping with much of what has been previously discussed, one significant revelation that comes to any person for whom the "forming of (the mind of) Christ" takes place, is the recognition and realization that their thought or mental action possesses creative power, which they may wield and direct in (literally) any direction, to ultimately bring about the physical realization of virtually anything they can conceive and desire. For the purpose of this discussion, we may even refer to the previous discourse on Anima Mundi, in which the Creative Process was described as the result of the impression of a Thought or Idea (imbued with emotion or feeling) by the Active Principle (the individual mind) upon Anima Mundi (the passive principle), which, if left undisturbed and permitted to run its course, would inevitably lead to the formation of corresponding conditions in the individual's personal world.
Here it may be volunteered is where a particular issue has its origin, which, if not corrected, inevitably leads to the establishment of what might be called "Anti-Christ". The forming of Christ in the individual, in actuality, is not solely a matter of their recognizing and realizing the creative power inherent in their thought, but it also includes (or rather, should include) the recognition and realization of the individual's true relationship to the Original Creative Power (Spirit). This is actually of great significance, because, in general terms, whenever any person, so-to-say, awakens to recognize and realize the existence of Spirit, and that Man is related in some manner to Spirit, it has been observed that said relationship generally takes three forms (listed in no particular order):
ONE - Spirit is simply an unconscious force or creative agency, which Man may manipulate and wield, without any exercise of responsibility regarding its use, either to himself or others
TWO - Spirit is the sole agency which may exercise volition or choice, regarding what it is to do, and Man is merely an automaton, devoid of any ability to make choices of his own.
THREE - Each Mind - the Universal Mind (Spirit) and the Individual Mind (Man) is the reciprocal of each other, and therefore, volition or choice may be exercised by either at any moment.
Now, it can be shown that virtually all of the great and renowned teachings suggest that the true or right form of the relationship between Spirit and Man, i.e., the one which will lead to the safe and beneficial exercise of Man's creative power of thought, is the third form (i.e., the reciprocal relationship). And, we may recall from a previous discussion - specifically, that on Universal Mind, the Original Creative Power may be rightly considered as the source or origin of everything - not surprisingly, its description as Spirit is sometimes expanded to say or read "All-Originating Spirit". Therefore, it can also be propositioned that, to ensure the safe and beneficial exercise of thought-power in his own personal world, Man should avail himself of the Infinite Intelligence of Spirit, upon which he may freely draw, provided he adopts and maintains a particular mental state or attitude which will facilitate this in-drawing. This particular mental state which effectively results in Man's reliance upon the Infinite Intelligence of Spirit to lead and guide him in his endeavors, may be said to constitute the principle of Worship.
Without going into various particulars at this moment, the word "Worship" is more often that not generally associated with one or more ceremonial acts observed in various religious practices. Notwithstanding the particular form or method behind the act, it is suggested by philosophy and metaphysics that the ultimate aim behind the ceremonial act is the same - to induce the establishment and maintenance of the attitude towards Spirit, which may be said to exist at the core of the principle of Worship. At the same time, the preceding is not to say that some ceremonial act is absolutely necessary for all - it is equally possible to attain this mental state without any ceremony. What is important is that the particular attitude is attained - with or without any ceremony.
Now, it was previously stated that "Christ" is not so much a singular person, but more correctly describes and defines a concept or idea, which is capable of establishment in any and every individual, via the establishment of certain conditions which support that idea. The same line of description equally applies to "Anti-Christ" - it is not so much a single individual, but it is similarly a concept or idea which can be reproduced in any person, who again provides certain conditions which support it. The particular conditions which more often that not support the concept of Anti-Christ may be summarized as:
(A) - the denial or rejection of the existence and providence of that Infinite Intelligence associated with Spirit
(B) - regarding Spirit as a mere force which can be used without conscience or reservation
(C) - the belief that the individual Man and his individual intelligence is the only factor which is used to dictate the extent of individual exercise of thought-power.
In contrast, it is relatively easy to work out the opposite conditions which, so-to-say, support the concept of (the mind of) Christ:
(A) - the acceptance of and belief in the existence and providence of that Infinite Intelligence associated with Spirit
(B) - regarding Spirit as not only a mere force, but also as the Universal Mind, which, by virtue of its Infinite Intelligence, may be considered, treated and relied upon as an infallible source of wisdom, guidance, provision and protection
(C) - the belief that the Man's individual intelligence should be augmented and aligned with that Infinite Intelligence of Spirit, in order to ensure that his individual exercise of thought-power is used harmoniously and constructively - both for himself and for others.
As can be seen, the two sets of conditions, and consequently, the two mental states with which each set of conditions correspond are, for all practical purposes, directly opposed to each other; in other words, there is no room for agreement or co-existence between them, and so, sooner or later, one must and will completely and totally overpower the other. Additionally, while it may be argued that the three conditions mentioned above and stated as supporting the idea of Christ may not be so explicitly stated in the Bible, this Author volunteers that careful consideration of the life and teachings of Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, will point the inquirer in that particular direction.
Regarding the question that some may raise as to who will achieve the final victory in the struggle between Christ and Anti-Christ, while the Author will reserve any explanation for a later time, it can be shown that the victory must inevitably belong to Christ - once again, not necessarily a single person, but rather to the mental state that is summarized by the word. All that will be mentioned at this moment is that Christ and Anti-Christ cannot be equal and opposite; if they were, then any conflict between them would result in their mutual cancellation of each other; therefore, one must come out as the victor. In addition, inasmuch as popular media has, so-to-say, imparted to the world-at-large a certain idea of Anti-Christ (as a certain series of motion pictures which began in the 1970's might attest to), notwithstanding whatsoever research might have been undertaken prior to and during their production, it can be propositioned that the course followed by the producers was generally that which was outlined in the discussion on Good and Evil; specifically, the conception given by that series of motion pictures portrayed "Anti-Christ", as something which had a substantial existence in itself. In contrast, a different interpretation and understanding of the subject - whether via the contents of this discussion, or via other sources - would impart a different conception; that any force of evil (whether called Anti-Christ, or by any other name), is merely the one and only Original Creative Power, mis-directed (i.e., used in an incorrect manner). And, so far as our knowledge to date goes, since the only lifeform on Earth which seems to demonstrate any ability to wield and direct thought-power is Man, then so long as Man (whether individually or collectively) holds the current and established belief in "Anti-Christ", it becomes a substantial reality for the believer or believers, for reasons already stated via one or more previous discussions. In contrast, if or when the point in time ever comes when the totality of mankind is awakened to a deeper and greater understanding of these things - and perhaps more importantly, practically applies that deeper and greater understanding, as well as passes it on to the succeeding generations, it is at that time, and only then, that "Anti-Christ" and similar ideas of evil (and the corresponding negative emotions which are generally established by such ideas) will be eliminated from the world. Only - and as stated previously on many other subjects - all evidence suggests that Man should not, so-to-say, sit back and wait for some outside force or influence to bring about the change of mind which will result in the elimination of Anti-Christ, but rather, it is something that each and every person must achieve for themself.
Perhaps the definitive statement regarding just what Anti-Christ is, from the philosophical and metaphysical standpoint, as well as the indication as to how the idea of it may be ultimately supplanted, is contained in the closing chapter of the book: "Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning" by Thomas Troward (c. 1913). A web link to that chapter follows hereunder. The first-time reader is not expected by any stretch of the imagination or comprehension to grasp all that is stated there on the first visit, so there is no harm to re-visit that page and study its contents repeatedly - and, in due time, the contents of the entire book.
Chapter 14 - The Spirit of Anti-Christ
NEXT: What Happens After Death