Signs and wonders will be seen – You know my tears – This is the hour – No man shall stop my plan – Trust me!
Follow the hand of God – I will reach for you – Take my hand – Walk with me – Praise the Lord!
You have been called – You are my witness – The Rapture is coming – I am the Light – Expect me!
This is the time of teaching – There shall be a Crusade – Prepare for me – I have risen – Embrace me!
A new day is coming – I am building a Temple – My Church is being restored – Read the signs – Stand!
“The Last Days of Tolemac” is a book about prophecy. It deals with events that are happening in the world today and shows how they fulfill prophecies that were made many centuries ago. The book is set out in a series of questions and answers, and explains in detail:
- What is about to happen to our planet
- Why these events are happening at this time
- What places on earth will be affected
- What the new world will be like
- What we can do to prepare
As the book explains, our world is about to be transformed. We are about to experience “a new heaven and a new earth” where there will be no more suffering and no more pain. However all of us are faced with a choice. Do we wish to inherit the new world that is coming? Or will we fall victim to the catastrophes that will herald its arrival? What we need to do to survive is explained in the pages of this book.
For the information of readers, The Last Days of Tolemac is now available on Kindle Books as a Digital Download, as well as Allan’s major work entitled The Cosmic Web.
The Cosmic Web deals with the mysteries of life, and shows how we all have within us hidden powers that will transform our lives in the coming age. Many of the stories that appear on this Blog, as well as articles on esoteric aspects of life, have been taken from this book. And as usual with Kindle books, if you click on the cover of either book, you can read part of the contents for free.
Both books can be accessed here
Allan Colston can be contacted at Tolemac@shaw.ca
For the benefit of readers who might be looking for information on specific subjects related to prophecy, the following articles have been included here for easy reference. They can be found in “Articles” listed under the heading “Categories” in the column on the right, or by clicking here:
- The Apocalypse Unveiled
- The Rapture Revealed
- The Lost Years of Jesus
- The New Golden Age
- The Last Pope
- The Death of the Pope
- The Doomsday Prophecies
- The Kachina Prophecies of the Hopi
- Rebuilding the Temple of Solomon
- What is “Wormwood” in the Book of Revelation?
- What is “Mystery Babylon” in the Book of Revelation?
- Why America is not Mentioned in “End Time” Prophecy
This is Mark Stevens, welcome back to the Podcast. I am talking today with Allan Colston. He is the author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac“.
Mark: So to continue our discussion Allan, what sort of changes do you think Trump will make when he becomes President?
Well Mark, we certainly won’t have to wait long to find out. All indications are that as soon as the inauguration ceremony is over Trump will dash back to the Oval Office where a series of bills will be waiting for him to sign. First among them will be the repeal of all of Obama’s previous executive orders.
In fact the guiding principle throughout his time in office will be to obliterate Obama’s legacy. So whatever Obama was in favour of, Trump will be against – everything from the repeal of Obamacare, the revival of the coal industry, drilling for oil in the Arctic and withdrawing from the Paris Accord on climate change.
One of the first obvious signs of change under the new administration will be his dealings with the Press.
It was evident from his campaign that Trump has no interest in developing a relationship with the Press, and certainly not a Press that is likely to challenge his opinions or question the validity of his actions. He is not about to subject himself to penetrating interrogations.
Also, for the past fifty years or more, the President has always been accompanied by a covey of press men and women who have witnessed everything that has happened around him, and then used their positions of proximity as platforms from which to broadcast their opinions to the world.
Expect all that to change under President Trump. For starters, there will be no more news conferences by Trump in the West Wing of the White House, nor will a phalanx of press personnel accompany him on his journeys aboard Air Force One, either on his local or his foreign trips.
When Donald Trump wishes to communicate with the American people, he will use his favoured form of communication which is Twitter, as well as staged announcements uploaded to YouTube. The only TV interviews he is likely to grant will be with the sycophantic cable network Fox News.
And whenever he feels the need for a captive audience to boost his morale and convey his self-congratulatory messages, he will arrange public rallies in staunchly Republican states where he can be surrounded by adoring audiences.
Now Mark, these changes may not seem like a big deal to many, but they go to the very heart of the American democratic system. For without the free flow of information between the public and the White House, there can be no check on the activities and intentions of the President. But it gets worse.
Mark: What do you mean by that Allan?
Well Mark, during the election campaign Donald Trump not only stopped giving press conferences, but he actually banned certain newsmen and women from attending his rallies. And the main targets of his wrath naturally, were his most vocal critics.
Two newspapers in particular were the focus of his scorn. They were The New York Times and The Washington Post. This is hardly surprising, since people in these two cities simply do not like the man. Only 10% of New Yorkers voted for Trump, and only 6% of voters in Washington D.C.
But Trump has made it clear via various threats throughout his campaign that if he were to be elected President, that he would change the laws regarding libel so that people like himself who did not like what they read in print could sue these organizations in court.
This would be nothing less than a frontal attack on the first Amendment of the United States Constitution, which was adopted in 1791, and which reads as follows:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.
And Trump has indicated that he also plans to challenge another fundamental right that is guaranteed by the first Amendment, and that is the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.
On the day of his inauguration, Trump is likely to face one of the greatest peacetime demonstrations in American history, as opponents from every part of the country gather in front of the Capitol Building to voice their disapproval of his new administration.
But as Trump explained in an interview to The New York Times in May of last year, “I am not running to be everyone’s favourite President”. In that interview he said that while he might face “significant and incessant protests”, they would not deter him from his goal of making “big changes“.
It is clear that those who wish to challenge Trump, either through the Media or through the Courts, will face a daunting task to preserve their constitutional rights. And once these pillars of democracy begin to crack, then the entire edifice will begin to crumble. America will be on the path to tyranny.
Mark: So what do you think Trump will do with protestors?
Well this really is the key to the conundrum as to what sort of leader Trump will turn out to be. Will he be responsive to the opinions of his critics and tailor his policies accordingly, or will he ride roughshod over all those who are opposed to them?
As was made plain in the First Amendment I just quoted, the Founding Fathers realised that a free press was not only vital to the functioning of a healthy democracy, but that the right of freedom of speech was a necessary safety valve to express the will of the people.
Again, we need to emphasize the fact that Trump was not elected by a majority of voters. Although he ended up with some 66 million votes, 177 million registered voters either voted against him or chose not to vote at all. That means that three-quarters of the American people do not approve of him or his policies.
My guess is that he is not about to be intimidated by protestors no matter how many there are. And it is obvious from the people he has chosen to form his new cabinet that these are strongmen who will follow orders, and use whatever powers of government that are available to them to get their way.
During his campaign Trump insisted that he would be the champion of law and order, and his followers clearly understood the message that he intended to convey. He would be the one to lay down the law, and order all those who disagreed with him to obey or face the consequences.
So recent movements like the “Black Lives Matter” campaign to protest Police violence directed against the Black community will find little sympathy from the new administration. They will likely find that Black lives no longer matter, along with those of Native Indians, Mexicans, Migrants and Muslims.
As an example of this Trump will likely override the recent decision by President Obama to reroute the Dakota Access pipeline as a result of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, if for no other reason that because Obama was for it, then he will be against it.
Remember the leopard and his spots. And then there is the matter of the Supreme Court.
Mark: How do you think will that enter into the equation?
Well Mark, as you know, the Supreme Court has a vacancy on the bench as a result of the death of Justice Scalia almost a year ago. But the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold confirmation hearings for his replacement, claiming that this was a matter for the incoming President to decide.
At the time that Scalia was on the bench, the nine members were generally split five to four in favour of the Republicans. But if Obama had chosen a Democratic-leaning justice to replace him, as he was constitutionally entitled to do, then this would have swayed the balance in favour of the Democrats.
But now that Trump gets to decide who the replacement will be, you can bet that he will nominate someone who can be counted on to uphold Republican principles, on everything from abortion to planned parenthood, gay marriage and others. Even the landmark case of Roe versus Wade will be subject to review.
All that would be necessary to start this process would be for a Republican state to pass a law opposing the current law. An appeal would necessarily follow, and it would then be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether this new law should stand, or be overridden by the existing law.
So the protections afforded by the Roe versus Wade decision, in granting abortions nation-wide up to the third trimester, will almost certainly be challenged by states dominated by the so-called Christian Right. And it will be up to the new Supreme Court to adjudicate on these challenges.
And the same goes for all the gay rights that have been approved under President Obama. Same-sex marriages that are now legal under Federal law could well be reversed as a result of similar challenges. And the result may be that these revert to a state by state basis.
So gay people who are now legally married under the law may then find that in certain states their marriage certificates are annulled, and that if they want to retain their marital status they will have to be remarried in a state where same-sex marriages are still permitted.
The same thing could occur with all the other LGBT rights that are currently protected by the law, especially if the Supreme Court should happen to rule against them under appeal. So there could be tough times ahead for the gay community throughout the nation.
In fact there seems every likelihood that Donald Trump will prove to be the most divisive President in American history. The entire country could easily become polarised into opposing factions that openly despise one another, pitting Republican and Democratic states into conflict with one another.
So heavily Democratic states like California and New York could then be in the forefront of resistance to Trump’s policies, particularly in the areas of health, environment and immigration, leading to a situation where they will simply refuse to co-operate with the Federal government on certain issues.
Mark: Well Allan, if that is your assessment of the situation inside America, then what do you think is going to happen outside of America, especially in its dealings with other countries?
Well Mark, that is something that I will be focusing on a lot over the coming months, because the encroaching darkness that I spoke about at the beginning of this Podcast is steadily stealing across Europe and the Middle East, just as much as it is in America.
But to answer your question, in the interview that I referred to earlier between Donald Trump and Patrick Healy of The New York Times in May of last year, Trump had already made up his mind on what he would do first if he was elected President. This is what Healy reported at that time:
“On his first day in office, he said, he would meet with Homeland Security officials, generals, and others — he did not mention diplomats — to take steps to seal the southern border and assign more security agents along it.”
And there is little doubt that his first priority will be sealing the border so that no undesirables can enter the country. Of course his first target will be Mexico, especially since he has promised to build a wall separating the two countries. But I don’t think it will stop there.
I think that the Department of Homeland Security will be tasked with setting up a system for screening all people entering the United States. This will entail some sort of vetting system in advance, which for Mexicans, Muslims and other targeted groups will, in Trump’s own words, require “extreme vetting”.
But this won’t just be limited to people crossing into the United States from Mexico. One of the biggest shocks to the part of the world where I live is that it will apply equally to Canadians as well. In fact I foresee massive disruptions at all border crossings when these restrictions are put into place.
And of course, if Trump can put the boot into anything that Obama has achieved, then that will be fine as well. So expect the recent entente established between Cuba and the United States to come to an end, with possible new punitive measures to be adopted against them.
Mark: Donald Trump has spent a lot of his time talking about trade. What do you think he is going to do about that?
Well there is no doubt that trade is going to be the number one issue involving the new administration, especially as Trump has devoted so much time to this topic during his campaign. And to understand why, it is worth noting how he thinks about world trade.
Being a businessman, he is of course aware of two things. One is that businesses need to buy things. And the second is that many of the things that businesses buy are not made in the United States. They come from other countries.
Of course, economically speaking, there is a sound reason why they do this. Countries trade with one another because it allows them to buy things from those countries who make what they need cheaper than they can. That way they can pass on these savings to their own citizens.
But the catch, from Donald’s point of view, is that large international companies that make things have been allowed to move their factories to other countries where the cost of labour is the cheapest. And since wages generally form the greatest part of the cost of any product, it is profitable for them to do so.
But in the process of transferring their factories away from those cities in which they were initially established, these companies have left their former employees without jobs, and this has led to a serious decline in many industries, as well as leaving many cities in financial crisis.
So as he toured the country, particularly in the so-called “rust belt” states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania, he was confronted by hundreds of thousands of unhappy people who had become unemployed as a result of factories that had closed and moved to other countries.
So it is easy to see why the solution proposed by Trump appealed to so many voters, when he said that he would impose severe sanctions on those offending companies and countries, and especially since he went on to promise that he would bring these jobs back to the United States.
Of course that may have sounded wonderful during the campaign. The problem was that Donald Trump had never really studied the complexities of modern international trade, and what was worse, was ignorant of the consequences of the type of actions that he was proposing.
Mark: So what sort of consequences are we talking about?
Students of international economic history, just like physics, learn one thing Mark, and they learn it well. And that is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So countries that impose sanctions on imports from other countries, inevitably invite counter-measures by those countries.
And these counter-measures don’t just damage the countries directly involved. They also affect the climate under which international trade is conducted, especially in the interconnected world in which we live today. So actions can easily lead to dangerous and unwanted consequences.
Look before you leap.
So for example, Trump has indicated that he intends to impose excise tariffs on products imported into the United States from those countries which he considers responsible for the problem of unemployment. And the countries he has targeted are China, Mexico and Canada.
The rationale behind his plan is simple. By making the products imported from these countries more expensive, he hopes that Americans will decide to buy less of them and spend their money on products made in the United States instead. But this could easily backfire on America.
For if Trump does decide to go ahead with the strategy that he has outlined in his campaign, America could well find itself embroiled in a trade war with three different countries by the end of January. And if that happens, then there is no telling what the final outcome might be.
As I said earlier, countries that find themselves subject to trade barriers inevitably set up counter-measures of their own. And it was precisely because of such protectionist policies by countries in the 1930’s that led to the Great Depression. But Trump is clearly undeterred by the lessons of history.
Besides, what characterizes Trump as Trump is his trademark obsession with “winning”. In any situation where he feels that his own, or by extension American interests are threatened, he will not rest until he has established his own superiority. Or in other words, until his opponent learns to “respect him”.
And this is no doubt how he intends to conduct all future trade negotiations. He will not be concerned about finding a Win-Win solution that works for both parties, but rather an outcome in which he (or America) is clearly recognized to be the winner, while the other country is seen to be the loser.
But because he is not a student of history, he is content to blithely dismiss the lessons of the past and say, as he did recently to reporters, “the economy will do just fine”. I can almost hear the Founding Fathers looking down on him from above and saying:
“Nice going Donald. You start a trade war with your neighbours and a country that is a source of stability and is not a military threat, and you choose to align yourself with someone who is your enemy and who poses a direct threat to your entire way of life”.
Mark: I guess that you are referring here to Trump’s fascination with Russia.
Right on Mark. There is something very strange about the whole romance that has been going on between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. And the latest revelations about how the Kremlin has interfered in the recent U.S. election have merely added to this mystery.
Putin clearly wanted Trump to win, and we can now see why. But because Trump has so far refused to release his income tax returns, we have no idea what his business interests in Russia may be, or to what extent, if at all, his business may be indebted to any Russian banks.
In any event, we are unlikely to find answers to these questions once he becomes President. But the key point about all this Mark, is that right from the beginning of his campaign Trump was saying things like “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were friends with Russia”?
What made this such a weird statement was that, as Trump should have been aware, America WAS friends with Russia not that long ago. In fact Russia was part of the G8 group of leading industrial nations up until two years ago, when Russia’s membership was suspended.
And the reason why was because Russia broke international law by invading Crimea and annexing it as part of Russia. And as a consequence of this illegal act, the other members threw them out of the G8, and imposed a series of economic sanctions which are still in place today.
So the idea that America should somehow feel the need to “make friends” with Russia defies all international opinion. But Trump has continued to extol the virtues of Vladimir Putin, and says he looks forward to “doing a deal” with him once he takes office.
The very idea of Trump being in cahoots with Putin should fill every American with alarm, for Putin has shown by his actions in the Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere that he is certainly no friend of the West. In fact he is doing everything he can to create chaos wherever he can.
Furthermore, the evidence of Russian tampering in the last U.S. election should make it clear that Putin’s underlying goal is to foment distrust in democratic institutions around the world, and to destabilize the West in any way that he can.
But clearly that doesn’t seem to bother Trump, since he continues to reject any idea that Russia is to blame for any of the revelations of interference that have emerged over the last few months. And the reason he does so seems to rest on a bizarre strategy that Trump appears to be pursuing.
Having already decided in his mind that China is the biggest threat that America faces, both economically and militarily, he seems to feel that if he can curry favour with Putin, that that will be able to drive a wedge between the alliance of Russia and China.
But the price that he might end up paying for such a risky strategy could be devastating, because Putin might end up by convincing Trump to allow him to retake control of the rest of the Ukraine, as well as the Russian-speaking Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
And what would Trump ask for in return? Probably the assurance that Russia would take care of the ISIS problem for him. That would then allow Russia to gain control of the whole of the Middle East, in collaboration with their client states of Turkey and Iran, which is exactly what the Bible predicted would happen.
Mark: Very interesting Allan. And that brings us back to what we discussed at the beginning of this Podcast, which is how do you think that the Trump presidency fits in with Bible prophecy?
Well Mark, based on my own interpretation of end-time events, I think that Donald Trump is very likely to be the last President of the United States, and that his actions will be the direct cause of the destruction of America and the beginning of the period which the Bible calls the Great Tribulation.
The test will be whether Trump follows through with his promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from its present location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And although Congress passed a bill permitting such a move in 1994, subsequent administrations have chosen not to do this for fear of antagonizing Arabic and Muslim opinion.
If he does so, I have no doubt that this would lead to a firestorm of opposition throughout the Arab and Islamic world that would be directed at Israel and America. And that could in turn lead to a unified movement determined to wipe out the nation of Israel once and for all.
And although Donald Trump has assured the Israeli people that he would be their “staunchest ally ever”, if their country ever did find itself faced by a coalition of armies as the prophet Ezekiel predicted, Trump might decide that it would be in America’s interest to abandon them in their hour of need, and leave Israel to its fate.
So what this means Mark, is that we could very well be living in the days leading up to the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, and the final seven years that will mark the end of this cycle of civilization – the age that the Bible predicts will end with the battle of Armageddon.
The Middle East is the place to watch Mark. As I have written in my book, The Middle East is the place that will provide the spark that will light the fires of tribulation. So now we wait. We wait for the signs in the heavens and the arrival of the red star of the Hopi Indians – the star they call the “destroyer”.
Well Allan this has certainly been a revealing look at what is happening in the world today, and especially in America. And as you say, I guess all we can do now is wait and see how it all turns out.
You have been listening to Allan Colston, author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac”. Do join us for our next Podcast, which will be another in the series titled “Signs of the Times”.
My name is Mark Stevens, standing in today for Scott who is on vacation. I am talking with Allan Colston. He is the author of the book The Last Days of Tolemac.
Welcome Allan to this Podcast. As this is the first time we have spoken together, perhaps you could start off by telling me a little bit about your book.
Certainly Mark, it is a pleasure to chat with you. The Last Days of Tolemac is a book about prophecy. It deals with events that are happening in the world today and shows how they fulfill prophecies that were made many centuries ago. The book is set out in a series of questions and answers, and explains in detail:
• What is about to happen to our planet
• Why these events are happening at this time
• What places on earth will be affected
• What the new world will be like
• What we can do to prepare
Mark: So tell me Allan, what do you think is about to happen to our planet?
Well Mark, as the book explains, our world is about to be transformed. We are about to experience “a new heaven and a new earth” as described in the Book of Revelation, in which there will be no more suffering and no more pain.
However, as The Bible points out, this transformation will be preceded by a series of events that will plunge the world into chaos and destruction. And as a result of these coming calamities, each one of us is faced with a critical choice.
We have to decide whether we want to be a part of the new world that is coming, by embracing the spiritual challenges that lie ahead, or whether we are content to ignore the signs and join the majority of the population that will fall victim to the catastrophes that will herald its arrival?
So the purpose of my Podcasts with Scott up until this time Mark, has been to bring listeners up to date with those events that are happening in the world today which, in my view, suggest that we are now living the “End Times” as described by Jesus and other Biblical prophets.
Mark: So Allan, what sort of events are you referring to?
Well Mark, in my last Podcast with Scott that was titled “The Age of Tyrants”, I talked about the fact that the world has experienced more tyrannical rulers over the last hundred years, than at any other period in the history of the earth. I also went on to say:
“We seem to be living in an age of tyrants, where an encroaching darkness is stealing across the planet, slowly swallowing up all the countries of the world, and enslaving good men and women everywhere as it does so”.
As I mentioned, democracies around the world are in peril, as we see more and more countries falling under the sway of authoritarian rulers. Now when we talk about tyrants, we need to recognise that there is a key difference between authoritarian rulers and tyrants.
Authoritarian rulers dominate the affairs of a nation by controlling what their citizens are allowed to say and do. But what turns these rulers into tyrants, is not the fact that they are authoritarian in their style of government, but how they treat those people who are opposed to them.
Tyrants are not constrained by laws. They use their power cruelly and unjustly. In short, they kill their enemies, as we can see in countries like Russia, Iran and North Korea. And just lately we have two more countries to add to that list. They are Turkey and the Philippines.
And in fact, I ended my last Podcast with the following words.
“And this brings us to the United States, where the coming election is probably one of the most important in their history. Voters are faced with a choice between two starkly contrasting candidates. On the one hand there is Hillary Clinton, who is regarded as a threat and distrusted by many.
And then there is the phenomenon of Donald Trump, who claims to represent the best interests of all Americans, but then goes on to brand Mexicans, Muslims and migrants as the enemy, and who appears to display all the qualities that are the hallmark of a classic despot.
So the world waits to see what they will decide. Will voters preserve the principles that have made the United States the bastion of democracy for the last two hundred years or more, or will they vote for their fears and allow their country to descend into tyranny, just as Plato so long ago predicted?”
Mark: Well Allan, as we all know by now, the Americans voted for Donald Trump.
Well not exactly Mark. Although he will be the new President, in terms of the number of votes cast, Trump actually ended up in third place. One of the most significant factors in the outcome of the election was that about 45% of the electorate, or 108 million people, chose not to vote at all.
And of those who did decide to vote, roughly three million more people voted for Hillary Clinton than voted for Donald Trump. Hence his third place finish. In any other country where democratic elections are held, Clinton would have been declared an easy winner.
But America is not like any other country. Its electoral system is unique. In fact America is not even a democracy. It is a Republic bound by a Constitution, which is why every new President is required to pledge upon the Bible that he or she will uphold the Constitution.
Under this Constitution, voters don’t vote for the candidate of their choice. Instead, they vote for members of the Electoral College. There are a total of 538 Electoral College members who are allocated on a state by state basis according to the population of that state.
And this is where the Founding Fathers of Confederation proved to be undone by their own cunning. For, as Donald Trump emphasized again and again throughout his campaign, the American electoral system was rigged. Yet the irony of it all was that the outcome turned out to be rigged in his favour.
Mark: Why do you say that Allan?
Well Mark, the fundamental inequity of the American voting system is that the candidate who wins the majority of votes in any one state, is allocated ALL the Electoral College votes for that state, no matter how close the final margin between the candidates may happen to be.
So what actually happened in this election was that Donald Trump managed to beat Hillary Clinton by a tiny margin in four key states. These were the states of Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. As a result, he was allocated ALL 64 of the Electoral College votes in those states.
So what that all boiled down to in practice, was that 525,000 votes in those four states accounted for 64 out of the 270 Electoral College votes that Trump needed to win the Presidency. So 12% of his final Electoral College tally came from just 0.04% of the people who turned out to vote.
And if that isn’t rigging the system Mark, then I don’t know what is. And because of this we have to ask, was this just luck, or was it perhaps a matter of fate? And could this result play a part in determining the future destiny of America, and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy?
Anyway, since the election, political pundits of every persuasion have had a field day trying to explain what went wrong, and why and how Clinton managed to lose an election in which she had seemed to be heading for a landslide victory just two weeks before.
But what almost all of these commentators have failed to point out, is that Hillary lost the election because of a monumental lack of judgment on her part. And it was this error in judgement that ultimately cost her the election. So she had no one to blame but herself.
Mark: So what sort of error in judgment did she make?
Well Mark, it all began in 1996 when Hillary employed a 19 year old Muslim lady fresh out of George Washington University named Huma Abedin. Over the years Huma assumed a number of different positions, ranging from senior advisor to deputy chief of staff when Hillary was Secretary of State.
Hillary even introduced Huma to her future husband, and in 2010 ex-President Bill Clinton officiated at their wedding. The unfortunate part for Hillary was that Huma’s husband, a Congressman from New York by the name of Anthony Wiener, turned out to be a sleazy character who fell afoul of the law.
Wiener resigned from Congress in 2011 as a result of a sexting scandal in which he admitted sending sexually explicit photographs of himself to a series of women via his Twitter account. And although Huma Abedin separated from her husband, she never actually divorced him.
As you can imagine, the salacious details of this case, involving a nine-time Congressman, were splashed across the nation causing considerable embarrassment to the Clinton campaign, especially when the New York Post reported just before the election that Wiener had sexted another woman while lying in bed with his young son.
So when Director James Comey announced that the FBI had found a laptop belonging to Wiener that contained a trove of emails between Hillary and Huma, the impact that it had on the country was electric. In fact I well remember my own reaction at the time. “Oh Hillary, how could you have been so dumb!”
After all, you could perhaps forgive her for using a private server to conduct Government business, especially since the FBI could find no evidence of an actual crime. But it is another thing entirely to share emails involving matters of state with a defrocked politician who had admitted to deviant sexual behaviour.
From that moment on Hillary began hemorrhaging support and her campaign was doomed. And interestingly enough, the segment of the voting public that deserted her in those final days were white college-educated women – the very ones who were most horrified by what had transpired.
In retrospect it may have been fortunate for the country that Clinton lost, for had she won, she would have had to deal with a hostile Republican Congress that would have blocked everything that she tried to do, and would most likely have led to four more years of complete gridlock in Washington.
Mark: So what do you think will happen now under President Trump?
Well Mark, the first thing that everyone will discover is that Donald Trump is not Barack Obama. That may seem like a trite thing to say, but what people in America and all around the world need to realise is that everything that they have become used to over the last eight years will change from January 20th onwards.
Donald Trump is not only different from Barack Obama, but he is totally opposed to everything that Obama has achieved in his eight years in the White House. And Trump will devote his efforts to ensuring that nothing of Obama’s legacy remains intact at the end of his time in office.
So whereas Obama is a globalist, an environmentalist, a supporter of free trade, a protector of civil rights, the rights of women and the rights of the LGBTQ community, as well as being a staunch defender of the poor, Donald Trump is none of these things. And it all began in his early childhood.
Young Donald was a problem child. At least he proved to be more than his parents could handle in his early years. He had a short attention span coupled with a violent temper and an over abundance of energy. So they despatched him off to the New York Military Academy in the hope that they would be able to channel his energy in a positive direction.
I suppose that that should be a lesson to parents everywhere about the dangers of sending children off to military school. Anyway, the young Trump learned two things while he was there. The first was that “might is right”, and the second was that it was the job of the military to “By God get things done”.
So it is no surprise that when it came time for him to set about choosing the key people to fill his Cabinet, he would turn to the military to fill his most important positions. Only this time he would be the one giving the orders, and it would be their job to do whatever it takes to “get things done”.
And then there’s another thing that the public need to know about Donald Trump Mark, and that is that a leopard never changes its spots.
Mark: OK Allan you’ve got me there. What do you mean by that?
Well Mark, one of the things that has confounded the American public during the election campaign, was that Trump was notorious for saying one thing one day and then reversing himself a few days later. So you never knew what he really stood for, or whether he had any basic principles at all.
But there is one way that you can see into the true character of a person that does not rely on speech and that cannot be disguised. And that is a person’s handwriting. And although most people have never seen Donald Trump’s writing, we do have a record of his signature.
Back in May of last year The Telegraph newspaper in England ran an article about the signatures of famous people, and what they indicated about their characters. One of the people whose signatures they analysed was Donald Trump.
Here’s what Elaine Quigley, a noted British graphology expert and handwriting analyst, had to say about it.
“Trump’s signature is, of course, his face to the world, so he wants to be dominant, hard, aggressive and to keep people at arm’s length, so he can do everything his way. I have always said that his signature is like barbed wire with blood on it. It is aggressive, it is bloodthirsty and there is absolutely no sense of inspiration in it.
She went on to add: “Trump’s signature betrays his lack of creativity, and even though he is not uneducated, we can see that he is self-absorbed. Look at the angles, look how sharp it is. Anyone who gets near Trump will get hurt.”
Now Mark, I can’t show you what she was referring to, but it is sufficiently revealing to make it worth inserting in my Blog summary of this Podcast. And what makes this especially disturbing, is that this is her assessment of the man who is about to become the leader of the Free World.
And there is another thing that can shine a light onto his personality and his dealings with other people. It is the story told by Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire English businessman who founded the Virgin Group which controls more than 400 companies. Did you ever hear about it?
Mark: No Allan, I can’t say that I did.
Well according to the story which appears on his website, during one of his business visits to the United States, he was invited by Donald Trump to a one-on-one lunch meeting with him at his apartment in Manhattan. Here’s what Branson had to say about that meeting:
“Some years ago, Mr Trump invited me to lunch for a one-to-one meeting at his apartment in Manhattan. We had not met before and I accepted. Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.
“He didn’t speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre. I told him I didn’t think it was the best way of spending his life. I said it was going to eat him up, and do more damage to him than them. There must be more constructive ways to spend the rest of your life. (Hopefully my advice didn’t lead to him running for President!)”
And what this story tells us Mark is that Donald Trump is a person who not only holds a grudge, but is prepared to wreak vengeance on those who displease him “even if he has to spend the rest of his life doing so”. I mention this because there is the small matter of Hillary Clinton.
During one of the election debates, Trump interrupted Clinton to say that if he succeeded in becoming President, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her crimes. And of course we all recall the enduring chants of his supporters to “lock her up, lock her up”.
Since the election, Trump has said little about whether he is prepared to follow through with his threat, leading many to surmise that his comments were merely campaign rhetoric. But I am not so sure. In fact I think he may be just biding his time until he becomes President.
In fact it would not surprise me if Trump is waiting to see if President Obama is going to be far-sighted enough to issue an official pardon to Hillary Clinton for any crimes that she may have committed during her time in office, before he steps down.
And if he does not, then my hunch is that Trump will find some pretext to revisit his earlier threat. And this would be very easy to arrange. All he would need to do is to arrange one of his victory stops in a Republican state and then ask the crowd “What do you think I should do about Hillary?”
And then when the crowd responds with their usual cry of “Lock her up”, it would be easy for him to say, “You know that I am a very forgiving person. I don’t hold grudges. But when you say you want me to lock her up, what can I do? My hands are tied. I have no choice but let the law take its course.”
And if he did go ahead and appoint a special prosecutor, I have no doubt that the person he chose would be able to come up with sufficient incriminating evidence to convict her of a crime. And if found guilty, that she would end up behind bars.
The leopard never changes its spots.
Mark: So are you saying that Donald Trump may turn out to be a tyrant?
Well Mark we don’t know yet. We will have to wait and see. But we do know that he sees nothing wrong with torturing anyone that he deems to be an enemy of the state, for he has already gone on record to say that he approves of “water-boarding or worse” as a means of extracting information.
But what we can say is that he will prove to be an authoritarian leader who will be prepared to do whatever it takes to get his own way, especially as there appears to be no countervailing power in Congress that is likely to prevent him from doing exactly as he wishes.
And it seems clear to me that because there has never been anyone quite like Trump in the history of the United States, it would not be a stretch to suggest that what will happen under his leadership is likely to be totally different from anything that has happened in the past.
America has elected a former reality TV personality known as “the Donald” to be their new leader. And based on his actions up to this point, it seems more and more likely that he intends to rule the country like another Don – Don Corleone of the Godfather. In other words, he intends to be “The Boss”.
After all, his entire career has been built upon his projected image of being a tough guy who wins by getting what he wants. And those are the very qualities that characterise people that he claims to admire the most – people like Putin and Saddam Hussein, and even Kim Jong-un.
One of the boasts that Trump likes to make is that he has never actually finished reading a book in his life. If this is true, then I think it is a pity, because if he had he would have found out that most books finish with the words “The End”.
And for a man who will shortly have the keys to the nuclear codes and the power to destroy the world, I would have thought that that would have been enough to give him, as well as the American people and the rest of the world, cause for pause.
Some people have asked me if I think that Donald Trump will turn out to be the long-awaited Anti-Christ. I tell them no I don’t. But I do think that he will serve up a very good first course.
Mark: Thanks Allan. We need to take a break. When we come back we will continue our discussion with Allan Colston, author of the book The Last Days of Tolemac.
To be continued in Part Two
The Bible records the occasion when Nicodemus, who was described as being both a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus by night saying that he knew that he was a teacher sent by God, because no one could perform the miracles that he did unless God was inside him. Jesus replied:
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. Nicodemus responded in amazement: “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born”? (John 3: 4-5)
It was obvious from his answer that although Nicodemus was well versed in all aspects of the Jewish religion, he clearly had no idea what Jesus was talking about when he said that a man needed to be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God.
And in the two thousand years that have passed since Jesus died upon the cross, Christians are still mired in ignorance. To this day there is hardly a Christian believer alive who understands what it means to be born again, or how to attain the Kingdom of God while still retaining a human body.
The Kingdom of God
The idea that one needed to die in order to gain admission to the Kingdom of God was central to the message that Jesus preached throughout his ministry. It was also a theme that he returned to again and again, as we can see from the following quotations:
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it”. (Luke 9: 23-24)
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8: 34-35)
“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
“He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it”. (Matthew 10: 37-39)
It is important to note here that Jesus spoke these words to his followers and disciples long before his own death upon the cross. And it gives new meaning to the reason for his death, which was to show that it is necessary to sacrifice one’s life in this world in order to gain eternal life.
But what did Jesus mean when he said that we have to be born again? And what was he referring to when he said that a man must be prepared to “deny himself and take up his cross daily”? After all, it is one thing to take up your cross, but quite another to “do it every day”!
In a strange way, we may gain an insight into this mystery by studying the words of the 17th century French philosopher René Descartes.
Descartes has been called the father of modern western philosophy, largely because of his most famous work titled Principles of Philosophy, which was published in Latin in the year 1644. It was in this work that he wrote the words for which he is best remembered to this day.
The words were “Cogito ergo sum”, meaning “I think, therefore I am”. Now Descartes was not using the words “I am” in the way that Jesus used them. In fact they referred to the very thing that Jesus said needed to die before a man could gain access to the Kingdom of God.
As explained in Part One, Jesus not only referred to himself as the I AM, but he taught that this I AM sensation that we all experience inside of ourselves was not only the pathway to God, it WAS GOD. For, as he explained to his disciple Thomas:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father but by me”. (John 14: 6)
So what Jesus was saying to Thomas was that the I AM was the way, the I AM was the truth, and the I AM was the life. And since Jesus referred to himself as the I AM, it followed that no one could reach the Kingdom of God “but by me”, or in other words through the I AM.
But to return to René Descartes, the “I am” that he was referring to was the idea that his independent existence as a man was attributed primarily to his ability to think. And this ability to think also enabled him to interact with the world around him by means of his senses.
Now all of us think, and like Descartes, we use this facility both to confirm our existence as an individual, and to function in the world. And it is this ability to think that enables us to organize our lives, as well as deal with the problems of the present and make plans for the future.
And then there are our emotions and our desires. Our lives are motivated by a host of different desires. And whenever we are successful in attaining our desires, or are thwarted in these endeavours, we respond by means of a variety of emotions that further impact upon our lives.
But the people that surround us in our lives are not real. They are illusions. In fact they are nothing more than a series of images appearing in consciousness, just like movie actors on a screen. And we have become trapped inside our personalities, just like the prisoners inside Plato’s Cave.
The fundamental problem of all human life is that we have become imprisoned by our individual personalities, because we have chosen to identify that sense of being inside of ourselves with our bodies and the events that are going on in the world around us.
And the secret to escaping from the prison that we have built around us, lies in a re-evaluation of the word “identify”. For it is this act of “identifying” with what we see and sense around us that binds us to these things, and traps us in those “identities” that we imagine ourselves to be.
In other words, it is because I identify myself with my physical body that I become trapped in this three-dimensional world of space and time, where I have to experience the opposites of pain and sorrow, happiness and joy, success and failure, and ultimately old age and death.
And the way to escape this world of opposites is simple. I just need to swop the old idea of René Descartes (I think, therefore I am), with a new idea: “I don’t think, therefore I AM”. In other words, if thinking leads to the creation of the individual personality, then not thinking leads to the Divine.
Taken at face value, such mundane advice seems ridiculous. After all, if I stopped thinking, then how could I possibly live my life? How could I perform my job, feed my family, or do anything worthwhile in the world? And the answer that Jesus gives us is: “If you surrender to God, He will provide every need”.
As we have seen above, the basic message of Jesus is that it is only by dying that we can enter the Kingdom of God. We don’t have to acquire anything new. We simply have to give up the false idea that we exist as a person. That is what he meant by “losing your life” in order to find it.
Escaping the Cave
So if we want to escape from Plato’s Cave, we have to unshackle ourselves from the chains that have bound us up until now, and make our way out of the cave. If we want to escape from our illusory body which was born and is doomed to die, then we have to give up our identification with it.
So Jesus calls on each one of us to make a choice. We have to decide whether we want to live an ordinary life, by doing all those things that people normally do, or voluntarily decide to “take up our cross” and turn away from life in the world. There is no middle way.
And this is where those who call themselves Christians fail. Not only do they not realise that the death of the personality is the pathway to eternal life, but they cling to their precious individuality with every sinew of their being. The very idea of “taking up their cross daily” fills them with horror.
For we are now living in an age of the glorification of the individual, in which people everywhere try to express their personalities in ever more exotic ways, and all the while striving to be the best. But this was not the message of the Saviour, and those who follow this path are doomed to die.
You cannot try to lead a successful life in the world and at the same time pursue the path of Truth, just as you cannot remain in the cave and try to leave it at the same time. For as Jesus explained to all those gathered around him on the occasion of his famous sermon on the mount:
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”. (Matthew 6: 24)
Furthermore, anyone who strives to attain the Kingdom of God has to sever his links with his family and friends. Obviously, if your goal is to “deny yourself”, you can no longer retain those relationships that bind you to the personality that is destined to “die upon the cross”. For as Jesus said:
“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”. (Matthew 10: 37)
And when Jesus was told on one occasion that his mother and brothers had arrived and wished to speak to him, he replied:
“Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?” (Matthew 12: 48)
In other words, if your intention is to rid yourself of your chains and leave the cave, then you can no longer hold on to those things that draw you back into the cave. And for those people who shrink from making such a sacrifice, Jesus beckons to them with a message from the beyond.
“Fear not, O ye children of little faith, for I lead you forth into a new world of experience that is more glorious than anything that you can imagine, where you are no longer bound by the limitations of your human body, and are freed forever from the pangs of suffering and death.”
The lilies of the field
So to return to the question that we posed earlier. If we are prepared to give up everything in order to follow Christ, then how can we fulfil our duties in this world, and how can we provide for those who depend on us for food and shelter? And for all those in doubt, Jesus has a reassuring answer.
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
” But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6: 25-34)
Jesus urges us to seek the Kingdom of God “first”, before we attend to any other duty or responsibility in life. So the crucial challenge then becomes: how do we go about doing this? How do we go about “taking up our cross daily and denying ourselves”?
All the ancient Mystery Schools, as well as all the major religions of the world, agree that there are only two ways that one can do this. Either one has to surrender to God and let Him take charge of their life, or one has to investigate the source of the I AM that lives inside each one of us.
Jesus offered his followers both of these options to follow him. They could choose either to “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”, or they could follow the advice of the 46th Psalm and “Be still and know that I AM God”.
Since it is the “mind” that is the primary barrier that stands between normal human consciousness and the Kingdom of God, the sole object of these two methods is to overcome the mind. And it is the process of doing this that steadily dissolves the human personality until only God remains.
The path of surrender
On the face of it, the path of surrender is supremely easy. All one has to do is to let go – and let God. The human mind merely has to step aside and allow the Divine spirit within to take over and make all the decisions that we, as individual personalities, would normally make. As Jesus says:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. (Matthew 11: 28-30)
By surrendering to God, we release the burden of our lives, as well as the responsibility for fulfilling our duties to our families and all those around us. We already have the assurance from Jesus in the previous quotation that all of our worldly needs like food, clothing and shelter will be met.
In addition, we no longer need to concern ourselves about whether our lives have meaning, and whether our efforts will be crowned with success. Once we have made the decision to surrender our lives to God, the results of what we do or do not do in life need no longer concern us.
We can simply live our lives according to a new maxim, “Let what comes come, and let what goes go”. For if we have truly handed over the control of our lives to God, then everything that happens in our lives can only come from God. But of course, the difficulty is in trying to do this every day.
It is the challenge of beating back the doubts and fears generated by our minds that requires us to “deny ourselves and take up our cross daily”. But in meeting this challenge, we are fortified by faith, and the conviction that we will, in time, be united with God.
We also need to remind ourselves of the words that Jesus spoke in his hour of need: “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”. (Luke 22: 42) But if there is anything that needs to be done at any moment of our life, we need to do it to the best of our ability, and to dedicate our actions to God.
The path of enquiry
The path of enquiry is equally simple in theory, but is perhaps even harder to achieve in practice than the path of surrender described above. All one has to do is to follow the guidance of the 10th verse of Psalm 46 in the Bible. “Be still, and know that I am God”.
Again, this is one of those aphorisms that slides easily off the tongue, but can seem impossibly difficult to do once we decide to put it into practice. That is because the process of “knowing God” involves overcoming the mind, which as we have seen, is the main barrier between God and man.
The requirement of “being still” is common to all the mystical traditions of the world. It involves meditation, contemplation and single-pointedness of mind. And this is only achieved after endless hours of practice, requiring limitless patience and extraordinary determination.
The process goes like this. First of all, you have to be still. You have to calm the mind, much like the ripples on the lake that break up the image of the sun in the example quoted earlier. Then you have to focus on the source of the I AM feeling that exists inside of you.
With practice, this source will be found to emanate from a point inside the chest just to the right of the breast-bone. It is the place we instinctively point to when we refer to ourselves. This is why the Bible says: “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left”. (Ecclesiastes 10: 2)
If you continue to focus the mind on this source of the I AM, you will find that over time you will be drawn deeper and deeper into this source. And as you do this, you will begin to experience an inner peace that will transfuse your entire being. And the more you do it, the more you will WANT to do it.
Finally, there comes that moment when the I AM reveals itself in all of its glory, resplendent as the Divine Creator and sustainer of all living things, as well as of the entire universe. And at that moment you will realise that you are not only aware of God, but that you are ONE WITH GOD.
So the process of enquiry unfolds in the following way. Be still. Be still and focus on the source of the “I AM” sense within. Be still and discover that this “I AM” sense IS God. Be still and know that I am the “I AM” – which is God. The human journey is complete.
In the ancient Hindu Vedas, the I AM is said to emerge from the heart-centre on the right side of the chest which they call the Sphurana. It is described as being a “knot-hole”, which in normal human consciousness always remains tightly shut.
However, after long years of meditation, this knot-hole begins to open, at first momentarily, but then for longer periods. It is only when this hole opens permanently that full enlightenment is gained. When that happens, the person becomes free, even though they still retain a human body.
The peak experience
These precursors of enlightenment can also sometimes happen unexpectedly, and many people have reported having experienced them. The American psychologist Abraham Maslow even coined a term for these experiences. He called them “peak experiences”.
In describing these experiences, Maslow wrote that they were “rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter.”
Some of the best descriptions of these peak experiences have come from poets, particularly English poets belonging to what became known as the Romantic Movement that began at the end of in the 18th century. The following lines from Percy Shelley’s Ode to Liberty are an example:
“Within a cavern of man’s trackless spirit
Is throned an Image, so intensely fair
That the adventurous thoughts that wander near it
Worship, and as they kneel, tremble and wear
The splendour of its presence, and the light
Penetrates their dreamlike frame
Till they become charged with the strength of flame”.
My own peak experience happened when I was 31 years old. I was living in India at the time, and was visiting a friend in the town of Varkala in Kerala, not far from the southern tip of India. As I sat down one morning, idly gazing into the water of a small pond that was part of his estate, IT happened.
Although the experience itself only lasted for perhaps a few seconds, its effect on the mind was electric! But because the I AM exists beyond the mind, the mind itself is incapable of describing it. Nevertheless, the experience left a residue that has been imprinted on my mind ever since.
I was left with a sense of sheer exhilaration. I knew without a shadow of doubt that I had experienced a state of freedom that lay beyond the mind. It was a state of bliss that defied description. I was not only free from the limits of space and time, but I understood at that moment exactly how the universe worked.
I understood also what the ancient Sages of India had said about life. They described it by the Sanskrit term Lila, which represented a form of cosmic dance, in which every part of the created universe had meaning, and that meaning was to reflect the joy of the creator.
The best description that I have heard of that state is the one that has been recorded in the Vedas. They called it Sat-Chit-Ananda, which can be translated as Being-Consciousness-Bliss. And that was my experience. I was not only aware, but I was conscious of being aware, and I was immersed in total Bliss.
So the ultimate goal of all life is not to save the world, or live a more fulfilling life, or gain more wealth, or explore space, or overcome adversity or physical disability. The highest goal that you can achieve in life is to stop dreaming and WAKE UP from the dream that is your day-to-day reality.
Only then will you escape the confines of Plato’s Cave.
Only then will you be freed from this illusory world of shape and form.
Only then will you find the peace that passes all understanding.
Only then will you feel the bliss that can never be described in words.
Only then will you know the Truth that has been hidden from you up until that moment…….
That you not only ARE free, but that you have ALWAYS BEEN FREE.
In the Biblical gospel of St. John, the disciple describes how a band of priests and Pharisees brought Jesus before Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem, accusing him of claiming to be a king. When Pilate asked him if this was true, Jesus replied:
“To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice”. (John 18: 37)
It was at this point that Pilate uttered the immortal lines: “What is truth? “ Pilate’s question went to the heart of a conundrum that has plagued humanity ever since, especially since Jesus himself added to this mystery when he told his disciples:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. (John 8: 32)
Of all the words in the English language, the word “truth” has so many different connotations that it has almost ceased to have any definitive meaning. What, after all, does truth really mean? And what sort of truth was Jesus talking about when he said that it had the power to “make you free“?
The obvious inference to be drawn from the above statement by Jesus is that mankind is living in a state of captivity, and that the “truth” that he came to bear witness to was able to liberate all those who embraced it. If so, then what sort of captivity could Jesus have been referring to?
Most commentators of the Bible have concluded that Jesus was referring to the fact that we are all sinners, and that he was the only one who had the power to liberate us from sin. And because he himself was able to defeat death, he was the only one who could guarantee eternal life.
But while this might seem on the surface to be a plausible interpretation, it still does not explain the underlying premise that Jesus was talking about, which was that there existed some form of “truth” that could save us from our sins, if only we could learn how to “know” or understand it.
But there was another man in history who claimed to know exactly what Jesus was talking about, even though he lived some four hundred years before the Christian era. This was the classical Greek philosopher whom we have come to know as Plato.
Plato was the founder of the Academy of Athens, which was the first institute of higher learning in the Western world. But what most modern scholars do not realise is that he was also an initiate of the Greek Mystery School, which drew on the wisdom of ancient Egypt, and of Atlantis before that.
In Book VII of his literary masterpiece entitled The Republic, Plato used an allegory to describe the human condition. It was an allegory that has come to be known as Plato’s Cave. Plato proposed a situation in which people had been imprisoned since early childhood inside a cave.
These people were chained together in such a way as to prevent them from looking around the cave, and to force them to look directly at a wall that was placed in front of them. So if there were any other people inside the cave, these chained prisoners would be unable to see them.
Plato then proposed that a large fire was burning behind these prisoners. The effect of this fire within the cave was to reflect the movements of other people inside the cave as shadows on the wall in front of them. And these shadows would then be the only things that the captives could see.
While the scenario posed by Plato may seem hopelessly contrived by modern standards, it served to illustrate his purpose. The key point that he wanted to make was that to the captive audience inside the cave, these shadows on the wall would in time come to be accepted as reality.
Plato then went on to suggest that if by some quirk of fate, one of the chained people was able to escape from the cave and emerge into the world outside, he would realise that what he had previously taken to be real would in fact be an illusion. It would not be the truth.
And if that person then returned to the cave and tried to explain to the remaining prisoners inside that the shadows on the wall that they had all previously agreed upon were real, were actually an illusion, that person would inevitably be rejected and most likely be laughed to scorn.
Of course, if Plato were alive today, he would be able to draw on a far better analogy. Suppose that, instead of a cave, a group of people were chained to their seats inside a modern movie theatre in such a way that they could see nothing else but the screen in front of them.
Then over time, these people would inevitably come to believe that the characters in the movies they were looking at were real, simply because the images they saw on the screen would be all that they would know, and they would have nothing else to compare them with.
And unless they somehow managed to find a way out of the movie theatre and gain access to the outside world, they would never realise that what they had previously believed to be reality was in fact nothing more than a series of flickering images upon a screen.
So the meaning of the allegory of Plato’s Cave is this. The world in which we live and move and have our being is not real. It is actually an illusion. It only appears to be real because we have convinced ourselves that the images reflected upon our screen of consciousness are real.
But we are not condemned to spend our lives imprisoned within the confines of this illusory world of shape and form. Not only are we free to escape from the cave at any time into the wider world of reality beyond, but it was the purpose of the Greek Mystery Schools to show how this could be done.
The highest good
This ultimate goal of all human life was described by Aristotle, who was Plato’s most famous pupil, as “the highest good”. This was in turn referred to by the Romans as the Summum Bonum of life, or highest truth to which any human being could aspire.
And this is where the words of Plato and those of Jesus begin to coalesce into a common theme. For if the world in which we live is not real but is actually an illusion, then how would we know? Only by escaping from this illusory world and discovering a new world of Reality (Truth) beyond.
And if we were able to discover this world of Reality for ourselves, we would then know that what we used to think of as the real world was not real at all. In other words, we would then wake up and know the “Truth”, and this “Truth” would set us free from the limitations of our old dream world.
And this, in a nutshell, was the same message that was delivered by Jesus, and was the reason why he came into the world. He came to bear witness to the living “Truth” that existed within himself, and to point out that this same “Truth” also existed inside each one of us.
Modern Christian preachers would have us believe that we are all sinners, and that Jesus died upon the cross to save us from our sins. Sadly, they have allowed their own ignorance to blind themselves from the Truth. Jesus did not come to the earth to die. He came to teach us how to live.
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. (John 10: 10)
The idea that there exists another level of Reality that is our true self was not confined to Plato or to Jesus. It has in fact been the fundamental truth attested to by the founders of every major religion in the history of the earth. And every religion has a special name for this underlying Reality.
In the fifth century B.C., the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu founded the philosophy of Taoism. It was centred on the principle of Tao. Tao was the foundation of all creation. Heaven and earth were its garments, yet it remained immutable amid all the changing fortunes of life.
No words could describe its real nature, for it was beyond the capacity of the human mind to express. Referring to this Tao Lao Tsu confessed: “The Tao which can be expressed in words is not the eternal Tao; the name which can be uttered is not its eternal name”. (Tao Te Ching)
According to wisdom of the Vedas, which became the foundation of Hinduism, there existed one single, eternal, immanent Reality which was called Brahman. This unchanging Reality was the source of the manifested world, but was unaffected by the ebb and flow of creation.
In Zen Buddhism, this underlying Reality was simply referred to as Sunyata (the void or emptiness) or Tathata (suchness), because it was beyond description. No thought, word or quality could serve to clothe its mysterious being.
For the Sufi masters who practised the mystical teachings of Islam, this goal of perfection was called Ihsan, or union with Allah, and their ascetic practices were devoted towards the purification of the outer self in order to achieve unison with this ultimate Reality within.
Union with the Divine
All of the world religions have been driven by this common theme that a true world of Reality exists, and that it exists within the heart of every man and woman. And because it exists inside of ourselves, every one of us can escape from this illusory world of tears and achieve union with the Divine.
The Buddha called this union with the Divine Nirvana, which literally means “blown out”, like a candle in the wind. It is the extinguishing of the individual personality and the awakening of the universal spirit within. In the words of the Buddha: “The dewdrop slips into the shining sea”.
The Hindus referred to it by the Sanskrit term Mukti or Moksha, meaning liberation or enlightenment. This was not something new to be gained, but merely an awakening to our real nature. We simply become freed from the mistaken idea that we are bound by our limited personality.
Jesus called this inner state of supreme Reality the “Kingdom of God”. It is important to note here that the “Kingdom of God” should not be confused with the “Kingdom of Heaven”, as so many Biblical scholars tend to do today. They are two completely different things.
When Jesus talked about the “Kingdom of Heaven”, he was talking about a heavenly realm beyond this world that was populated by angels and archangels who acted as his servants and guardians. For as he explained to Pontius Pilate at the time of his trial:
“My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews”. (John 18: 36)
Instead, when he spoke about this “Kingdom of God”, he explained that it was a state of being that existed inside the heart of every man and woman, rather than a heavenly world that was inhabited by other angelic beings. For, as he explained to his disciples:
“The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you”. (Luke 17: 20-21)
This “Kingdom of God” described by Jesus is not remote from us. It is in fact the life force that animates our sense of identity. And although we may think that it is part of our limited physical body, this state of immortality actually exists beyond the boundaries of space as well as of time itself.
The great I AM
According to St. John, when Jesus was preaching to the Jews in the temple at Jerusalem, he told them that Abraham himself, the founding patriarch of Judaism, “rejoiced to see his day”. And when the Jews asked him how this was possible since he was “not yet fifty years old”, Jesus replied:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am”. (John 8: 58)
In fact he went further, by announcing that “I and my Father are one”. (John 10: 30) The Jews were so enraged that “they took up stones to cast at him”, because he not only claimed to be the son of God, but because he also used the same words that God did when speaking to Moses:
“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you”. (Exodus 3: 14)
But when the crowd picked up stones to kill him for blasphemy, and for daring to equate himself with God, Jesus responded: “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods”. (John 10: 34) In other words, Jesus was not only saying that he was divine, but that all of us are as well.
Sadly, this message of mankind’s fundamental divinity was rejected by the Jewish leaders of that time, just as it is rejected today by those lieutenants of the Church who pontificate on matters of Church doctrine. They obviously prefer that we remain chained within Plato’s Cave.
And we in turn have simply allowed ourselves to be fooled into believing that we are imprisoned within our limited bodies, and are doomed to end our lives in suffering and in death. But this is not the truth. Our fears are nothing more that the phantasms of misguided minds.
The Truth within
So what exactly is this I AM that Jesus was referring to? And the answer could not be more simple. The I AM is a state of being. It is that sense of identity that resides inside each one of us, and is the foundation of our very personalities. It is the inner feeling that we exist as individual beings.
The I AM that Jesus identified with is the same I AM that each one of us experiences at every moment of our lives. We think that this I AM feeling is somehow produced inside of us, and is dependent on the health of our physical bodies. We also think that it dies when the body dies.
But this I AM is ageless. It never grows old. It is the same now as it was when we were born. It is the same now as it will be when we are old. This sense of I AM does not fade when we get sick, or get diminished if we should happen to lose an arm or a leg. Our sense of being is unchanged.
What Jesus came to teach us is that this I AM sensation is REAL. In fact it is the ONLY thing that is real. The riddle of life is that while the I AM somehow attaches itself to a whole range of different states of mind, only the I AM is real, and all these other states are unreal.
So when we dream at night, our sense of the I AM is real, but the dream is not. And if we should happen to be in a hallucinogenic state, the I AM is real but the drugged state isn’t. In the same way, visions are unreal, as are hypnotic states. And so is our waking world.
It is the experience of every person that our waking world mysteriously appears when we wake up in the morning, and then disappears every night when we fall asleep. This alone should be enough to convince us that our waking world is evanescent, and is little more than a series of fleeting images upon the screen of consciousness.
So to carry this analogy further, every person who is alive today lives in a dream world that is inhabited by other dream beings. Even our personalities are unreal. They are merely the clothes that we have chosen to wear to cover up the I AM sensation inside of ourselves.
So if I say that I AM happy or sad, it is the I AM that is real, while the idea that I am happy or sad is not. And so it is for every other idea that we might have as an individual. And what binds us to this world of illusion are our thoughts and our desires, and the actions of the mind.
The I AM may be likened to the Sun. In fact in some Mystery Schools it is portrayed as an Inner Sun. And the actions of the mind can be likened to the ripples on the water of a lake, or the clouds that blot the appearance of the Sun in the sky.
When the surface of a lake is completely calm, it reflects the perfect image of the Sun. But when the surface is disturbed, say by the actions of the wind, then ripples occur which spread across the lake. The single image of the Sun now disappears, and is replaced by thousands of tiny suns reflected upon the waves.
Or suppose that there is a perfectly clear sky in which there is nothing to obscure the image of the Sun. But if the sky should become filled with dark clouds, then the image of the Sun disappears, even though it has not changed and continues to shine as brightly as before.
Thoughts and desires represent the ripples on the water or the clouds in the sky. And all that is needed to restore the image of the Sun in all its glory, is to get rid of the clouds that have gathered in the sky, or calm the waters of the lake. You don’t need to do anything to the Sun.
So in order to escape from the illusory world in which we have become imprisoned, we simply have to hold on to the feeling of I AM above all else, and then disregard all those other thoughts and desires that occupy our minds. This is all we have to do to become united with the eternal I AM.
By simply focusing our minds upon the sense of I AM as we go about our daily business, it will draw us in. This inner I AM will then steadily expand within us until we become one with the entire universe, and we reach that moment of recognition when we realise that the I AM inside of us IS GOD.
There is nothing new to be attained. No higher state of consciousness needs to be acquired. There is no intervention by a higher power, nor is any remission of sin required to achieve this union with the Divine. The sense of the I AM that you feel at this very moment is THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
THIS is the Truth that makes us free.
To be concluded in Part Two.
Scott: My name is Scott Paton. I am talking today with Allan Colston. He is the author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac”. This is a book about prophecy.
For those listeners who may be new to this topic, this is another in the series “Signs of the Times”. Welcome Allan to this Podcast. It has been quite a while since we last chatted. How have you been keeping?
I’m fine Scott. Thanks for asking. Glad to be with you once again.
Scott: Since we last spoke, the world seems to have become a much more dangerous and unstable place. What are your thoughts about it all?
I must say that I tend to agree with you. In fact I have been giving quite a lot of thought lately to the works of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. As a matter of interest Scott, have you ever read any of his works?
Scott: No. I have to admit that I haven’t.
Well I’m not surprised. Very few people have. In fact, outside of those university scholars who are required to study his work, there are probably no more than a dozen or so people in any given year who take the trouble to read his books.
Anyway, even though Plato’s ideas were formulated well over two thousand years ago, they seem as relevant today as when they were first recorded. And they seem particularly appropriate in light of the sort of things that have been happening around the planet recently.
In Book VIII of his most famous work entitled The Republic, Plato discusses various forms of government, starting with the ideal state and then descending through various other stages until they reach the lowest state of all, which is the enslavement of the people.
In Plato’s view, the ideal state of mankind is what he called Aristocracy, where people are ruled by a philosopher king, who is not only schooled in the art of government, but who devotes his life to the welfare of his people and promotes wisdom, justice and equality for all before the law.
He then went on to argue that no system of government, however perfect, could endure forever. In time, even as good a system as Aristocracy would inevitably degenerate into other less desirable systems, dragged down by the weight of human frailty.
Plato then listed various other forms of government, and referred to them in descending order, starting with Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy and then Tyranny. For example, a Timocratic government would be comprised of a ruling class of military generals or warrior kings.
But over time these Timocratic rulers would begin to be seduced by the lure of material wealth, and their rule would give way to Oligarchy, in which the rich would become the ruling class, and an increasing divide would grow between those who had wealth and those who did not.
This Oligarchic form of government would give way in turn to Democracy, in which each citizen participated in the choice of the ruler, and power was distributed equally among the people. In short, it would be a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Scott: So surely then Allan, according to Plato, democracy would seem to be a very desirable form of government.
You might think so Scott, but you would be wrong. In fact Plato had nothing good to say about democracy. And this is why his words have resonated so much with me recently. For in his book Plato went on to describe how democracy would inevitably lead to tyranny.
Although a truly democratic form of government might appear on the surface to be desirable, in the end all democracies fail – and for the same reason. They all carry within them the seeds of their own demise, embedded within what appears to be their greatest virtue.
A government of the people is elected by the people. Not some of the people, but all of the people. Or at least all those who turn up on election day and register their votes. Under this form of government, every vote carries the same value, regardless of the individual involved.
And here lies the rub. As an Indian friend of mine remarked many years ago, democracy is Sudrocracy. At the time I was struck by just how apt that analogy was. For according to their ancient traditions, Hindu society was divided up into four classes or castes.
The highest level of society was represented by the Brahmin or priestly class. Then came the Kshatriyas the warrior or merchant class, followed by the Vaishyas who were mainly farmers. Last of all came the Sudras, which included what we would today call manual labourers.
So in the words of my friend, a Sudrocracy would be a democracy that would be dominated by its lowest common denominator. It would be an electorate determined by a popular vote that would be drawn from the lowest classes of society, as well as the least educated and the least informed.
In order to thrive, every democracy needs an informed electorate, consisting of a majority of the voting public who understand the critical issues that confront that society, and then have the insight to select the right people to deal with these challenges.
But as Plato pointed out, in a complex society, as more and more problems arose in the course of the day-to-day management of human affairs, so those who were elected to solve these problems would find it increasingly difficult to achieve results that satisfied all sectors of society.
These differences would then lead to conflicting views as to how best to proceed, which would split people into opposing parties that would become more and more hostile towards one another. Finally, when matters descended into gridlock, the people would cry out for a saviour.
So the critical flaw with democracy, according to Plato, is that this system of government would inevitably splinter into opposing groups, with each faction operating in a more and more undisciplined and unrestrained way, which would leave them vulnerable to any clever demagogue who came along.
This populous leader could then easily stoke the fears of the public by targeting some group or other who he claimed were responsible for all their problems, and then announce that he alone had the power to save them from this enemy, if only he was granted the power to do so.
Then according to Plato, once that leader had gained power, he would use his power to remove the best social elements and individuals who might challenge his authority, while rewarding those who exhibited the worst qualities. In this way that society would descend into tyranny.
Now you can probably guess where I am going with all this Scott, and you would be right. But then again you would also be wrong, if you will allow me to explain.
Scott: You speak in riddles my friend. Anyway, carry on, the floor is yours.
First of all, we need to remember that Plato’s Republic was a philosophical work, and his thoughts on various forms of government were never intended to be a prescriptive diagnosis on the rise and fall of governments, but rather a shrewd analysis of human failings when it came to the abuse of power.
After all, it was the 19th century British politician Lord Acton who echoed Plato’s argument when he said: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. And then he went on to say something even more telling: “Great men are almost always bad men”.
Furthermore, we hardly need to be reminded that over the course of roughly two and a half thousand years since Plato was alive, there has never been a single instance of a historical leader who fulfilled all the requirements of his “Aristocracy” or philosopher king.
Nor is there likely to be one until the return of the Saviour and the long awaited thousand years of peace.
Instead the history of the world has been replete with reprehensible leaders who, once they have tasted power, have turned into autocratic monsters who have preyed upon and enslaved their people. And what is more alarming is that this process has been getting significantly worse over time.
Within the last hundred years there have been more dictators than at any previous time in our recorded history. And as a result of their actions hundreds of millions of innocent souls have lost their lives simply because they had the misfortune of being born during their reigns of terror.
In fact there have so many Scott, that I would hazard a guess that most people today would be hard pressed to remember more than a few of them.
Scott: Well of course we all know about Hitler and Stalin.
Naturally, because they were the ones who caused the greatest number of victims. But there have been so many others who have been equally ruthless in their pursuit of power. And they keep on coming. In fact you could say that we are now living in an age of tyrants.
Of course we all remember Hitler because of his crusade to create a superior Aryan race that led to the liquidation of six million Jews in the gas chambers, as well as for his lust for world domination that led to the second world war that almost wiped out an entire generation of young men.
And although Stalin was notorious for setting up gulags, or concentration camps that were responsible for the death of millions of Russians, we shouldn’t forget that Lenin was equally ruthless. He even arranged for the assassination of his rival Leon Trotsky in Mexico City by means of an ice-pick.
Lenin was also the source of various quotations that have been embraced by dictators ever since, such as: “If you tell a lie often enough, people will come to accept it as the truth”, and “Give us a child for eight years and he will be a revolutionary forever”.
But in addition to those three there have also been tyrants like Benito Mussolini in Italy, General Francisco Franco of Spain, Josip Broz Tito in what was then Yugoslavia, as well as his countryman Slobodan Miloševic, who became known as the butcher of the Balkans.
In Asia there have been leaders like Chairman Mao of China, who murdered millions of his own citizens in the 1960’s under the banner of what became known as the “Cultural Revolution”. His brutal campaign was matched by that of Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge uprising in Cambodia in the 1970’s.
In North Korea, the country has been ruled by three generations of ruthless dictators, starting with Kim-il Sung, then Kim Jong-il, and now Kim Jong-un. And in North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh presided over a one-party state that killed tens of thousands during the land reforms of the 1950’s.
In the Middle East, Hafez al Assad, the father of the present brutal leader in Syria, gained control of the country through a coup that led to the death of tens of thousands of Syrians. But even he paled into insignificance when compared to Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran.
And in Africa, where the tribal system has traditionally been built around a central chief, dictatorship has become the preferred form of government, that has produced sadistic leaders like Gaddafi of Libya, Idi Amin of Uganda, Sese Seko Mobutu of the Congo and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
And I’m just getting started. In fact a search of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia under the title of dictators, reveals a list of over one hundred and eighty names in various parts of the world since the beginning of the 20th century, and most of them during the last fifty years.
Anyway Scott, I hardly need to belabour the fact that the world has witnessed a multitude of unscrupulous leaders who have gained power, only to use that power to enslave their own people and kill those who have had the courage to oppose them.
However, there is perhaps one other salient point that deserves to be mentioned, and that is that all of the dictators mentioned here have been men, which I suppose is a persuasive argument for electing women as leaders, rather than men. What do you think Scott?
Scott: You’ve got a good point there Allan. But how does that square with Plato’s view that democracies carry within them the seeds of their own demise?
That’s a good question Scott. And in answer allow me to present you with a perfect example of what Plato was writing about. Consider the modern country of Turkey, and in particular its current leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan was born in Istanbul in 1954, so he is now 64 years old. After spending his early childhood in the town of Rize on the Black Sea, his family moved back to Istanbul when he was thirteen. And after finishing high school, he went on to study business administration.
But it was on the soccer field that the young Erdogan first came to the attention of the public, when he became a semi-professional footballer for a local club in Istanbul. It is probably not a surprise to discover that the stadium where he once played is now named after him.
His political career first blossomed in 1994, when he was elected as the Mayor of Istanbul. In spite of fears that he might impose Islamic law, he proved to be a pragmatic administrator who achieved spectacular success by solving problems like traffic gridlock, water shortages and pollution.
In fact you can say Scott, that Erdogan’s track record as an administrator was a model for aspiring politicians everywhere. But despite this early success, he was imprisoned in 1998 for reciting a poem in public that was deemed to be an incitement to violence and racial hatred.
Scott: So Allan, was he forced to give up his position as mayor?
Yes Scott, he was. He was also banned from all political activity. But the authorities could not keep him inactive for long. In 2001, Erdogan established a new political party known as the Justice and Development party, also known as the AKP.
In the following year, the AKP won a landslide election victory, winning nearly two-thirds of the seats. However, these results were cancelled in December 2002. New elections were held, and this time Erdogan was not only elected to parliament, but was chosen as Prime Minister as well.
Under his guidance, the Turkish economy made a spectacular recovery, and for the better part of the next decade was the envy of Muslim countries everywhere. In addition, Erdogan opted for a policy of good relations with all of the surrounding states which ensured nation-wide stability.
During this period Erdogan enjoyed unparalleled success, and won three consecutive elections, all with an increased margin of popular support. Under his leadership Turkey reached the pinnacle of an ideal democratic society. Yet it all began to unravel from within inside of a few short months.
Scott: So what caused things to change so quickly?
Well Scott, it all began in May 2013 when a handful of protestors gathered to complain about the government’s decision to convert Istanbul’s Gezi park into an urban development project. When the police used tear gas to break up this demonstration, more and more protestors began to arrive.
Faced with the largest mass protest in more than a decade, Erdogan responded in heavy-handed fashion by arresting sixteen protestors, including the sons of three of his government ministers, and charged them with corruption, setting off a storm of protests across the country.
It was at this time that five audio recordings appeared on YouTube in which Erdogan appeared to be telling his son to hide very large sums of money. Although Erdogan acknowledged that the voice was his, he claimed that the recordings had been tampered with to include false information.
It was in the aftermath of this uproar, that the ruling party announced that Erdogan would resign as Prime Minister and stand for the office of President in the upcoming elections. And in August 2014 he was elected with a majority of 52% of the popular vote.
Erdogan had already begun to reveal strong authoritarian tendencies before he was elected President, but it was his response to the attempted coup just a few months ago that completed his transformation from pragmatic politician to yet another ruthless dictator.
Scott: Perhaps you could just recap what happened at the time.
Certainly Scott. On 15th July 2016, while President Erdogan was on holiday at Marmaris, a tourist resort on the shoreline of the Turkish Riviera, a group of military officers launched an attempted coup. Fortunately, Erdogan was able to fly back to Istanbul in time to quell this rebellion.
No sooner had this insurrection been suppressed, when Erdogan blamed an exiled cleric by the name of Fethullah Gulen for organising the attempted coup. What made this surprising to many was that Gulen was living in Pennsylvania at the time, and had been there since 1999.
Gulen was a former Imam, or Muslim preacher, who had once been an ally of Erdogan. He had founded what became known as the Gulen movement. It was a movement that promoted a tolerant form of Islam based on altruism, education and hard work. It also supported multi-party democracy.
The former alliance between Erdogan and Gulen turned sour in 2013, when Erdogan accused Gulen of being behind the accusations of corruption that were levelled against him and his son that I mentioned earlier, and of the millions of dollars that were secretly stashed away.
Erdogan immediately turned his wrath on all those who he claimed were followers of the Gulen movement in Turkey. In addition, he denounced Gulen as a terrorist, and demanded that he be extradited by the United States back to Turkey. As of now, we still do not know how they will respond.
But what justifies Erdogan’s inclusion in the list of dictators who have oppressed their own people, was his ruthless response to the attempted coup. He immediately declared a state of emergency for three months, giving himself sweeping powers to do whatever he wished.
And over the period of the last two months or so, more than 81,000 people have either lost their jobs or been arrested, including two provincial mayors, 24 district mayors, 9,000 military and security forces, as well as judges, school teachers, police, journalists and others.
In fact, President Erdogan even ordered the release of 38,000 prisoners from their cells in order to make room for all the new arrivals. But there’s an ironic twist to all this Scott. None of these reprisals would have happened if it had not been for one man’s thumb.
Scott: What exactly do you mean Allan?
Well Scott, as I explained earlier, when the attempted coup in Turkey began, President Erdogan was relaxing at the Marmaris resort on the coast of the Mediterranean sea, when he received a telephone call from a military commander in Istanbul saying that his life was in danger.
He was told that three Blackhawk helicopters loaded with special forces had been despatched to his resort with orders to capture or kill him, and that he only had minutes in which to escape. In a panic, Erdogan was whisked away under armed guard to his private jet waiting at a nearby airfield.
As it turned out, the helicopters arrived a few minutes later and armed troops stormed into the resort in search of the president. But what they did not know at the time was that Erdogan was not staying at the hotel itself, but at a private villa next door that had been loaned to him by a friend.
So, as it turned out, that warning phone call was undoubtedly responsible for saving Erdogan’s life. But the threat did not end there, because in addition to the helicopters loaded with special forces, two F-16 fighter jets were searching the area for any signs of the presidential plane.
But when the pilots of Erdogan’s twin-engined Gulfstream jet realised that they were being targeted by the approaching F-16’s, they altered the electronic signal emitted by their transponder to THY 8456, to make it seem as if they were a routine civilian Turkish Airline flight.
And this is where the thumb comes in. For at the very moment when the F-16 fighter jets approached the president’s plane, one of the pilots had his thumb on the missile release button. If he had just pressed that button, he would undoubtedly have changed the future course of history.
On such tiny things do the fates of entire countries sometimes depend. But in an equally strange way, what happened that night in the skies over Turkey also contributed to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy about the events that are predicted to happen in the Middle East during the end times.
Scott: Why do you say that, Allan?
As I have pointed out many times on my Blog Scott, the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel predicted that there would come a time, during what he called the “Latter Days”, when a coalition of armies would gather on the borders of Israel.
These armies would come from the “north parts”, which Biblical scholars believe is a reference to Russia, as well as from places like “Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah”, which are ancient names for parts of what is now modern Turkey. Ezekiel also refers specifically to Persia, which is now Iran.
It is also undoubtedly significant that one of the first things President Erdogan did after he had suppressed the abortive coup, was to travel to Moscow to meet with Putin, to restore economic relations that had been damaged after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane the previous year.
So now we have three dictators that have joined into an alliance together, Putin, Erdogan and the Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran. I don’t think this is a coincidence Scott. In fact I believe that it brings us ever closer to the dire events predicted by St. John in his book of Revelation.
In fact, as the increasing numbers of dictators all around the world show, democracy is in trouble all over the planet. It is assailed by fear. As history has demonstrated, tyranny is born out of fear. It is sustained by fear. It is ruled by fear, and it is ultimately destroyed by forces generated by fear.
And so Scott, I guess I could sum this all up in the following words. We seem to be living in an age of tyrants, where an encroaching darkness is stealing across the planet, slowly swallowing up all the countries of the world, and enslaving good men and women everywhere as it does so.
And this brings us to the United States, where the coming election is probably one of the most important in their history. Voters are faced with a choice between two starkly contrasting candidates. On the one hand there is Hillary Clinton, who is regarded as a threat and distrusted by many.
And then there is the phenomenon of Donald Trump, who claims to represent the best interests of all Americans, but then goes on to brand Mexicans, Muslims and migrants as the enemy, and who appears to display all the qualities that are the hallmark of a classic despot.
So the world waits to see what they will decide. Will voters preserve the principles that have made the United States the bastion of democracy for the last two hundred years or more, or will they vote for their fears and allow their country to descend into tyranny, just as Plato so long ago predicted?
Scott: Thanks Allan. Once again you have given us a lot to think about. I hope that we can get together soon and continue this discussion.
Meanwhile, you have been listening to Allan Colston, author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac“. Do join us again for our next Podcast in the series titled “Signs of the Times”.