Source of "Immanentize the Eschaton"

Date: Mon, 6 Oct 1997 19:35:46 -0400 (EDT)
To: zee-list
Subject: Re: Source of "Immanentize the Eschaton"

In a message dated 97-10-05 17:04:46 EDT, you write:

"Immanentize the Eschaton"

Catholic term for the sin of most heretic groups who attempt to either create heaven of hell in this world instead of waiting for it in the next. The Gnostics are a prime example of people guilty of attempting to Immanetize the Eschaton. Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea give a pretty good run down of the idea in Illuminatus! where Goodman and his partner are having the phone conversation with the priest. The priest runs through some of the Catholic Dogma on the topic.

.'.Frater Equilibrist.'.

Date: Mon, 6 Oct 1997 09:42:39 -0600 (MDT)
From: J B Bell (
To: zee-list
Subject: Re: Source of "Immanentize the Eschaton"

On Sun, 5 Oct 1997, Theta 8008 wrote: > >Does anyone know what the original source of the phrase "Immanentize the > >Eschaton" is? I've been able to track it back as far as the Principia > >Discordia, but can't find any earlier sources. Is this it? Or is there > >an earlier source? > > It is actually discussed in theology. In THE ILLUMINATI PAPERS, RAW > talks about articles in NATIONAL REVIEW (W.F. Buckley mag) in the 60's > that referred to imanentization with regard to (I think) Neo-gosticism). > The book is at home, so I'll look it up later and write back. > Zero

I have seen the phrase used in an anti-heretical paper. My head about exploded when I read it; I had been thinking it was original to RAW. Nothing new under the sun, of course. I think the charge was levelled against Martin Buber where I read it, but honestly my memory is faulty on this point, except that I am very certain that it appears to be a theological term, specifically a heresy, that predates RAW significantly.

A little note on this oft-misunderstood phrase: many people confuse it with the idea of "imm*i*nentizing" the eschaton. Imminent means "real soon". Immanent means "everywhere" or "all-permeating", perhaps. The eschaton, as every good Chaote knows, is the End of Everything. "Immanentizing the eschaton" refers to the heretical idea that the eschaton is in fact a state of being, accessible at any time, rather than some chronological event. Of course, in the theological usage, it doesn't normally refer to magickal efforts to make apocalypse happen, as the Chaote's looser usage usually means.

Hope this helps, as they say.