Meta. Confusion or mixture, outer confusion, sense confusion, mental confusion, a chaotic condition. There are times when we find ourselves in the confusion of the sense consciousness, and its thoughts are so strong that they seem to have us in complete subjugation. Such cases symbolize captivity in Babylon.
In Daniel 3:1 we read, "the king made an image of gold." The Babylon state of consciousness worships gold, and unless you accept its commercial customs it will put you in the fiery furnace of persecution.
The Babylonians symbolize the mixed, confused thoughts of the material consciousness.
A city is an aggregation of thoughts. The city of Babylon, of Revelation 17 and 18, signifies the aggregation of the states of mind of the people of the earth. The kings of the earth are the ruling egos of the people of the earth, of the thoughts of people's minds.
The great harlot is the mental phase or psychic condition of the sensuality of sex. The judgment, verse 1, is that the whole race, all the people (many waters), are coming to judgment; they have to account for their thoughts and their acts. This chapter reveals a coming to judgment of sensuality and of all the conditions symbolized in the preceding chapters in Revelation by the beast, and so forth.
The scarlet-colored beast is the beastly nature in man; it also represents the bodily, or outer, phase of the individual. The woman, or the psychical, mental, feeling plane, must have a base of activity, and the body is this base of activity. Thus the woman was sitting upon the beast (verse 3).
This "mystery" woman, city of Babylon, verse 5, is the mother of life, sensuality, confusion of mind under sense law. She represents a phase of the universal race thought. The "harlot" is an adulterated state of mind, symbolical of the psychical realm in its occult, mystical, mental phase. Scarlet and red represent life. By lack of understanding of life we have brought confusion into the race thought. Revelation 17 tells of the woman on the beast who comes up out of the bottomless pit, who was, is to be, yet is not. The beast comes up out of the abyss and goes to perdition; that is, it has no real resting place, no foundation. The abyss, or bottomless pit, is negation. Thus all confusion of thought and its results are really without foundation in Truth; not having any reality, they must pass away.