Daniel in the Lion’s Den
September 24, 1911
Every faculty is brought forth in character through use and trial of its strength in various ways. Spiritual judgment, represented by Daniel, is made strong by trial. When we overcome a weakness, we are that much stronger. It is the Christ consciousness that says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” This throne represents the place of power and dominion which one attains who masters himself.
This mastering oneself includes not only dominion over the appetites and passions, but also a strengthening of the higher faculties. Daniel represents as a very just man. Though an Israelite, he had risen to power in Babylon and was ruler over 120 provinces. Such rulers in those times almost always made their position a source of gain. But Daniel refused to share in or sink at “grafts,” and he thus incurred the enmity of the other office holders. This is the basis of the conspiracy against him as given in this lesson.
An analysis of the individual mind reveals that thoughts congregate and center around certain ideas exactly as men form organizations; also that there are opposing sets of thought aggregations in every mind, each seeking for the ascendency. All the honest thoughts you have had flock together in your mind, and also the dishonest thoughts, and each aggregation is trying to make you act from its standpoint. The one in dominion is the king (will), who acts as moved by the various thoughts, or as directed by spiritual understanding.
This king (will) is a vain fellow and has his weak spots, one of which is that his law is supreme and cannot be broken. In Oriental countries this is carried to the extent of deifying the king and making all his edicts absolutely inviolate. The king of Babylon was not simply a servant of Ormuzd, the diety; he was regarded and described as actually the “image of the god” who dwelt in him. “Divine honors and worship were naturally paid to such an exalted personage,” says a Bible historian. The will is the image and likeness of God and is regarded by all mystics as the central spark that links man to the Supreme.
The will (king) naturally loves the good, the true; therefore, it is the friend of right judgment, Daniel. But having, in ignorance, sent forth an act that puts this faculty to a severe test, will is worried, and affirms that the God of Daniel shall deliver him. This is a correct handling of the situation. When we do that which puts us to the test along any line, we should declare the Divine deliverance and power at work. This sets into action thought forces that may be described as the “angel” who shut the lions’ mouths.
The lions are the savage thoughts that arise in us when we are wrongfully accused and know we are innocent. One who is passing through this phase of thought regeneration should, like Daniel, be true to his God in spite of all intimidation and persecution; for these will sometimes come from without as a reflection of the tumult within. People who are making special efforts to live true and spiritual lives often find those who have been their friends turn about and abuse them, and accuse them of evil acts. This seems doubly hard to bear right when the aspirations of the soul and the whole trend of life have been to a holy life. But when we understand some of the inner workings of thought, we see why this opposition is set up. Jesus saw it and said, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”Transcribed by Paula Schneider on March 11, 2019.