According to James M. Pryse, author of the book "The Apocalypse Unsealed", the Revelation of St. John is a carefully formulated, symbolic, personal account of John's enlightenment, as well as a guide for those who are initiated into the secrets of mysticism.
In Rev. 13:18 John uses the Greek word "'o Nous", which is translated as "understanding", but actually means as much as elevated or higher thinking. Jesus Christ is associated with this "'o Nous", as he is generally accepted as an enlightened person. Jesus, or Iesous in Greek has the numerical value of: I = 10 Eta = 8 S = 200 Omicron = 70 U = 400 S = 200, which amounts to 888. This is the key to the riddle, for the Greek word for the lower or non-inspired thinking of mortal men is "'e Phren". Eta = 8 Phi = 500 R = 100 Eta = 8 N = 50, which amounts to 666. Thus the Beast that has to be overcome is a metaphor for the lower thinking that one has to rise above in order to become enlightened
John uses the symbolic numbers 333 to 999 and 1,000. 1,000, for example, is the numerical value of "'o Nikon" (the victorious), represented by Jesus in his final manifestation as the rider of the white horse, who defeats the beast and the kings of the earth in Revelation 19:11 and onward.