The controlling vision of much of Christian and Jewish eschatology starts with Nebuchadnezzars vision of the Golden man:
2:31: Thou, O King, saw and behold a great image. This image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form of them was terrible. 2:32: This image’s head was of fine gold. His Breast and Arms of silver. His belly and thighs of brass. His legs were of iron and his feet partly of iron and partly of clay. Thou then saw a stone was cut out without [using hands] which smote that image upon the feet of iron and clay and broke the images to pieces together so that the pieces became like the chaff of a summer threshing floor. Then the wind carried them away so that no place was found for them. And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”
Note: (punctuation and some paragraph structure edited from the original for clarity)
This vision of Nebuchadnezzar is at the heart the “vision of the Golden man”, it is referenced in Jewish and Christian eschatology in Jeremiah, John (Greek for Jonah), Revelations, Christian eschatology and visionaries to modern times.
In many understandings of that story each of the elements is associated with an age of man; For most, Fine Gold was the age of the Babylonians. Silver was the age of the Persians. Iron that of the Greeks and iron and clay that of the Romans. It could also be interpreted differently. The golden age being the age of the Persians and Babylonians. The age of Silver that of the Greeks. The age of Iron that of the Romans and the age of mixed Iron and clay that of the Dark and Middle ages and Christianity.
To me however, the image of the stone is the most important one. What is it? I believe it is the consciousness that Earth is a stone. There is no single man who can rival the beauty and value of our planet. Seeing Earth for what she truly is, destroys all delusions of individual God-hood, and attachments to tribe, false belief that “I” (or “WE”) know all the answers and arrogance. Or it should. This planet is a gift and a trust to us Humans.
I started this draft in 2014. Forgot my login. Somehow the system remembered it.