The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids
The Story of Jesus' Soul Evolution
An unpublished manuscript written by Charles Fillmore in 1947
Matt. 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For the foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there is a cry. Behold, the bridegroom! Come ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise. Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out. But the wise answered, saying, Per adventure there will not be enough for us, and you: go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage feast: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said. Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour.
The kingdom of heaven is a state of consciousness in which soul and body are in harmony with Divine Mind. This requires a building up of man along several lines; so Jesus brings many comparisons in his parables representing the kingdom of heaven.
Those who have persistently looked for an outer coming, not having perceived His presence within themselves, and who have not gone through the inner preparation for the outer change, are likened to the foolish virgins who, when the bridegroom came, had no oil in their vessels for their lamps, so were not ready to go with him to the marriage feast
The ten virgins represent the senses. They are five in number, but they have a twofold action—five within and five without. The outer are connected with the inner, and both draw their supply from the same source. The eye has an inner eye, and the ear an inner ear. So feeling in the surfaoe nerves is dependent upon centers of consciousness within. The supply of nerve force at the surfaoe is proportioned to the completeness of contact with the inner center. This contact is made through consciousness, on the part of the individual, with the source of life and sensation. If we are not spiritually alert, the contact is broken and the oil in the outer lamp (the eye, for I example) runs lov and finally goes out. If this is extended to the whole five senses, there is a break all along the line, and when the Higher Consciousness seeks to make a union with the lower, there is nothing but darkness and dismay.
To be prepared for this hour of union (marriage), which may be consummated when we are consciously unaware of it, we should be on the watch and see to it that our lamps are being constantly supplied with oil. The coming of the bridegroom, which is the subtle joining of spirit, soul, and body is so deep in consciousness that we do not know when it takes place. We feel the result in a greater satisfaction and harmony, when we have been true in thought to the Spirit, and this is in reality the forming in us of the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom is built up in human consciousness day by day, or rather, degree by degree. Time is not a factor, but the right adjustment of thought and aot to the Divine Law.
The way to supply oil in the lamps of the foolish virgins is to affirm that the life source of Spirit in seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, and tasting Is not in material, but in spiritual understanding. This Is absolute Truth which can be proved from even a so-called physical standpoint. The eye cannot see without a conscious comparison in thought of the images reflected into it. Thus sight is really mental, which is but another name for spiritual. The more fully we realize this, the better fed the eye is with that life force necessary to strong, clear sight. When we, through concentration on Spirit, make the union between each of the senses by which they are constantly supplied with the Universal Life, our kingdom of heaven is established in that degree of unfoldment, and from this we go on to other and higher attainments.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on November 16, 2017.