Knowing how and why to read something is very important, and by having these things clear each person my take, re-purpose and direct their energy and attention in order that their knowledge and judgement in their own areas of interest are benefited. For most laymen, a book like A Postmodern Revelation should not be relevant in its technical, academic details, although there are a lot of reasons why it should be relevant in a world that has been shaped by the influence of Judaism somewhat filtered through Greek thought with the rise of Christianity (although it is known that the most Greek-minded branches were chopped off with the persecution of Gnostic sects).
What is of great relevance in the thesis of this book is the idea that while we usually see an opposition between Christianity and what have been termed “Pagans”, the truth is that even back then, we see Hebrews (both Christian and of the Jewish faith) taking traceable influence from sources such as Mesopotamian astrology while simply subsuming its elements to the idea of a superior god: the blood-tyrant of the Jews, or the Greek-like Logos of the Christians as manifestation of the Father… Jewish priests did this before Christians, and Christians followed suit when their turn came to appropriate and dominate through the use of symbol and language.
Be that as it may, Chevalier’s book centers around details John’s Apocalypse (the Apocalypse of the Christian Bible, or the one Catholics approved at least), making sense of its strange visions in light of ancient astrological symbols and history. The formal and respectable work of Chevalier makes it more than plausible that, while highly imaginative and artistic, John’s recorded visions are based on a wealth of cosmological tradition that was common knowledge in his time and geographical location; that many if not most of the figures drawn in this Apocalypse of John may seem cryptic to us today because we are strangers to the culture that utilized them on a regular basis.
Wherever else the detailed ideas of Chevalier may lead the reader to, the highlight being drawn in this short entry is that all sacred text can and should be seen in light of a living context. This does not mean that it should not be respected as sacred, however it should not garner automatic respect either for any reason. Texts of a sacred, or so claimed, should be taken seriously for several reasons which are not stated here but which pertain to a psychology of the unconscious; but neither should they be built up and held in incomprehensible awe, leading to ridiculous faith in ‘revelation’.
In short, and taking our train of thought one step further beyond the scope of the book and the conclusions we may draw from its observations and speculations, even if revelation of any kind by superior ethereal beings to us creatures encased in mortal garments were true, why trust it? Then again, why not trust it? The fact of the matter is that most people are gullible and lacking in prudence, and they would and have believe baseless gossip and propaganda of all sorts; a prophet’s ramblings, whether authentically from a ‘higher source’ exterior to himself or not, do not come with a guarantee reliability of any kind.