METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Fall semester 1975 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on November 4, 1975
I Sam. 17, pp. 241-250 of transcript.
David and Goliath
The story of David and Goliath, which is found in the 17th chapter of I Samuel. What I'm going to do is read to you in sequence the symbols in the story and then the literal dictionary definition of that symbol and then a suggested metaphysical interpretation. Very briefly. Write this down as a chart. Take what you're going to write down and in your free time, mentally build a Sunday morning metaphysical Bible interpretation for the congregation on the story of David and Goliath.
David, means well-loved, beloved. Stands for our human love for the truth and goodness.
Israelites - they don't have a dictionary definition, but metaphysically they stand for our thoughts and feelings, which are a part of our developing understanding of God and truth. They don't stand for understanding, they stand for that part of us which has the potential, the developing for this.
Philistines, error thoughts in man's sense consciousness.
Goliath - means revealing, conspicuous. A Philistine giant. You've already guessed the metaphysical meaning. Stands for strongly manifesting error beliefs. Understand that my metaphysical suggestions are very geminal, they're very basic, they're not complete metaphysical definitions, you take it from there.
Threats of Goliath - these represent the intimidating and frightening aspects of manifested error, which has grown to gigantic dimensions in our human perception. The intimidating and frightening aspects of manifested error often grown to gigantic dimensions to our human perception. See, Goliath wouldn't have looked so big in front of Mt. Everest, but standing in front of the Israelite army he looked tremendous.
Armor of Goliath - represents all the support of outer appearances and general acceptance, which helps error to remain manifest in our world or life.
Weapon of Goliath - He has only one weapon: fear.
In one of Mr. Fillmore's writings, I cannot recall exactly where but he says that the Israelites and the Jews in the Bible stand for or represent thoughts and feelings turned toward spirit. Not that they are in themselves spiritual but that they turn toward spirit and I think that adds support to what I have formulated here. Then we have the Philistine error thoughts in man's sense consciousness.
This is a review of the metaphysical meanings seen before. No. 4 is Goliath. The word means revealing, conspicuous. He was a Philistine giant metaphysically symbolizing strongly manifested error beliefs, or problems, or challenges, or threats, whatever you want to call them. Then the threats of Goliath would be the intimidating, frightening aspects of manifested negativeness that have grown to gigantic dimensions to our human deception. As you well know, when you have a very strongly manifesting problem which is the result of complicated or erroneous thinking, doesn't that particular factor in your life seem to dominate the whole horizon of your viewpoint? A woman with an unhappy marriage. What is the chance it is the only thing she sees in her life at the moment? The unhappy marriage, that is her Goliath, it is taking over the landscape as far as she is concerned because she is intimidated by it. It really has assumed gigantic proportions, all out of proportion in regard to what? To its real importance or its real context in her life. You know how you feel when you are ill. Doesn't your illness take over your whole field of concern and it seems to dominate your existence, it is your Goliath. And manifested error thoughts do have this tendency to become gigantic, but gigantic in what way, use my words, to our human perception, not gigantic in and of themselves, but gigantic to our sense of proportion, you see?
The armor of Goliath is all the support, all the justification that we piled on to the existence of our problems to keep them there, to protect them. I've got to be unhappy, don't you understand? I've got to be because he is acting this way, can't you understand? What am I doing to my Goliath every time I talk like that? I am putting more armor on it, more justification, more excuse for its existence prolonging its role in my life. And we do this, we do this and we don't realize. We pile armor onto our own Goliaths.
The weapon that Goliath carries is fear. David's, number 8 then, is David's acceptance of Goliath's challenge. Of course, before that we have David's rejection of Goliath's domination but I haven't put that here but it just comes to me that David's rejection of Goliath's domination then would have to be the power of denial, but then David's acceptance of Goliath's challenge to me represents our human love of Truth which inspires us to do something about an appearance of negation which threatens our wellbeing. Our love for the Truth becomes so inspired that we decide we have to do something about it.
No. 9 point is no armor for David. Guess what that means in the light of what we said Goliath piled it on our problems and the meaning of David and what David is going to do. Yes, absolutely, love for Truth is its justification, love for Truth is its own protection. Love for Truth is just because it is, you see, no need for armor for your love for Truth, it is its own invulnerable Truth. But David does have a weapon which is a sling which is symbolic of the power within us to project or externalize the power of the words of Truth. You see? Man does not have to just keep all of its potentiality within himself. Man has a pivotal soul, he can internalize its direction or he can externalize it, and when we have turned our soul in our love for Truth in an externalized motivation or purpose we are then given a sling which is the power to project or externalize the meaning of our love for Truth into the manifest realm. So, that is David's sling. Then we are told that from a brook he chooses five smooth stones and from the stream of thought we may choose the words of Truth which account for our love for Truth. David chose the stones using what standard? The smoothness, how they felt when he picked them up. This is how we should choose our words of affirmation. They should be smooth to us, to our sense of understanding, to our love for Truth, they should be words that we feel we can handle, you see? Like, sometimes I find myself using the words infinite and perfect and ultimate, they are too much for my affirmations, they are too heavy stones for my present state. We should use smooth stones such as love, peace, healing, you, me, us, rather than cosmic and everything too, too abstract. So, they were comfortable stones and the fact that they were five should indicate that they should also be applicable to our senses, to our "natural man". David takes care to keep a distance between himself and Goliath, he does not come to any kind of grips with the giant.
Dr. Nicoll calls this the art of non-identifying. Keep some distance between yourself and the problem, the threat. Do you follow me folks? We cover this in one of the commandments: the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Don't give the name of your Lord to that negative thing. We don't say, don't admit its existence, but we say, don't give your I AM name to it. In our Unity teachings we used to call this to maintain the impersonal viewpoint. Keep somewhat of a separation between it and your real self. I have in my notes David's keeping distance from Goliath illustrates, illustrates the principle of keeping a place of separation in mind between oneself and the negation one is dealing with or overcoming. Dr. Maurice Nicoll calls this non-identifying (Basic Self Knowledge 1, 58:40) and in no way does it mean shifting or avoiding, does it? Or saying, it isn't fair. It is saying, it is there but there is a separation in mind. Now, David aimed and throwed. Speaking words of Truth with clear aim which is really to understand what you are affirming and why you are affirming.
David had accurate aims and he followed his aim by a very productive throw. You will find folks, or you have found, I am sure, that in your consultations, in your counseling one of the biggest problems in this area is to get the counselee to tell you what it is his problem and instead of giving you a life history of everything leading up to this, we often have to get the counselee to see what it is that he or she really needs or wants to help him achieve an aim in their consultation. Why are you here, what do you want me to pray for, you see? You find this in your prayer boxes in your churches if you have them, and I hope you will; when the minister takes out these prayer requests and reads them it is surprising to find out that many of these prayer requests will describe the problem and never name what it is they want you to pray for like healing for my aunt, or a job for my daughter; instead people have this tendency to write: my daughter cannot get along with anybody. Is that what you are going to pray for? You see? Or they would write a list of symptoms instead of knowing what the aim is for: prosperity, right employment, improved marital relationships, etc. They should have an aim.
Now, the stone, the word of Truth penetrates Goliath's forehead. In metaphysical or symbolic interpretation the symbols of anatomy, the forehead usually stands for the area of consciously accepted beliefs. How does a denial or an affirmation work, metaphysically speaking? By penetrating the area of our consciousness called, consciously accepted beliefs. Denials erase from that area, not from consciousness, but from that area of consciousness called accepted beliefs. A denial does not remove an error from consciousness but only from that area of consciousness where it can reproduce itself: like begets like, and that is consciously accepted beliefs.
Now, into the same area comes now the penetration of an affirmation of Truth and when Truth penetrates error in consciously accepted belief part of us, what would happen to the manifestation of that error? Goliath crashes back to earth which is the returning of manifested error to unmanifest substance. It can manifest again if we haven't learned our lesson or it can be reformed if we have learned our lesson. The same energy, the same substance, the same intelligence will be reformed into not a Goliath but into something else, we hope.
To cut Goliath's head off is a real overcoming. You cut his head off, you see? It is not going to remanifest. You know the old legends in middle Europe about how you get rid of vampires. Haven't you read Dracula? It is really a great story. But the legend says that in order to really kill the vampire, you must drive a wooden stake through his heart, a wooden stake through his heart and cut off his head and that would be the end of the vampire. That, of course, is symbolic. The same thing with Goliath, you cut off his head. You say to yourself: now, I really learned this kind of belief or that kind of fantasy is no part of my consciousness anymore. For instance, I have cut off the head of the Goliath I grew up with and it threatened my sense of well being, my peace of mind up until I reached the age of about thirteen, and that was the belief that God sends certain people to hell and when they die they go there and they burn. I grew up with that Goliath. And what kind of a future do you think I look forward to, knowing my own disposition. Once Unity taught me the Truth, I projected this true teaching into the forehead of that kind of a belief, it crashed to earth and I made sure I've cut his head off, you see? It is not going to bother me again.
Reviewing the denial part, I hadn't listed denial but as I read this now I see the implication that before David had accepted Goliath's challenges, don't you think he had mentally rejected Goliath's supremacy? His invulnerability? And so in Unity we teach denial and affirmation in that order and so, many times our decision to go ahead and do something to express our love for the Truth is preceded by a rejection or denial of that which has been intimidating us, which has been the cause of our taking this particular action. The error is erased from the area of our consciousness called consciously accepted beliefs, not from the totality of our consciousness, because it is from that part of our consciousness where this "like begets like" takes place. This is where thoughts and feeling manifest from, from the area of consciously accepted beliefs which would be in subconscious.
John Salunek asks: How do you feel about the concept that as behind every question there is a statement, and that behind every statement there is a question, and that behind every affirmation there must also be an implied denial?
Ed: Yes, you are correct. That is when our expression of Truth is in the form of affirmation and denial but remember, John, that most persons who are faithful and who are really committed to Spirit, they do go beyond that place where they are dealing with denial and affirmation as such. What once used to be necessary sort of separate efforts and techniques synthesized, distilled into that person's permanent consciousness as permanent attitudes and therefore the person no longer needs to do denial and affirmation as distinct practices. These practices have now blended and merged into persistent or fixed attitudes of "no" toward the evil and the error, and "yes'' toward the good. This becomes a permanent part of your make up, this was so in Jesus' case even though he did demonstrate denial and affirmation as separate actions, yet, we know that in His consciousness it was one grand power of all twelve functioning in balance and cohesion.
The imagination is the area which is most closely connected to the area of beliefs, consciously accepted beliefs. Don't forget that the imagination has the fantasying faculty. That is one of its playgrounds, but that is not its function. The twelve all have spiritual jobs, spiritual functions, and so the imagination is the giving of form to mental and emotional energy and most of these in our subconsciousness are in the form of accepted beliefs.
Marina asks: Is there such a thing as unconsciously accepted beliefs?
A: Yes, there would be belief on the unconscious level and true denials can even work in that area. All is in consciousness.
This is a preview of what will develop into the practice of denial and affirmation motivated by love for the Truth which will no longer put up with the reality of manifested error which would be the Goliath. Do you notice in this story that there is no blaming or condemning Goliath, it is just being what he is, he exists and so he does his thing as he exists, he is gotten rid of but there are no words of condemnation or criticism of it. This is very significant to me. It is like in Jesus' parables, everyone brings in negative symbols. He doesn't condemn those symbols, He just states them for what they are and I think that this is more and more what our attitude should be toward what we call evil and error and sin, not to condemn it and not to dig up reasons why is this so but deal with it as an "after the fact" type of thing which needs to be handled without bitterness or condemnation.
Jim says: While we are on affirmations and denials, would you comment on chemicalization?
A: Well, gee, well, my feeling on chemicalization, as I recall, I used to be taught is that chemicalization refers to a mysterious condition which seems to come into people's bodies mostly but also in some other mental states which is a sort of spill over from a process going on in them which ordinarily would remain entirely invisible, entirely unmanifested, a type of cleansing process which is going on deep within the soul and in most cases occurs entirely there and we not aware that we are being cleansed or purified or readjusted deep within and we don't feel any particularly noticeable or diagnosable effect from it until it is completed, then suddenly we feel better and we wonder why. But metaphysicians have observed that in some cases the cleansing process does not remain entirely beyond the realm of conscious awareness and seems to splash over into the area of conscious recognition or perception, or even into the manifest parts of our being or our mental states and they are felt and observed as symptoms concrete and crystallized, and they are often mistakenly called illnesses but they are not really that; they are crystallized processes going on in another realm in us. For instance, I think I used already the cold example. Many metaphysicians feel that the common cold is mistakenly diagnosed as an illness, but what it really is a spill over crystallized temporarily from a cleansing going on in the soul somewhere. Some metaphysicians feel that certain kinds of rheumatism and arthritis are not diseases or illnesses in and of themselves but they are crystallizations, they are, somehow, spillovers or projected manifestations of a process going on in the unmanifest part of the soul. It should be, normally speaking, deeper than conscious awareness. It is very mysterious, and I think, that is the reason why the editorial directors of Unity School took these teachings out. There were too many people that either they were not ready for it, or that didn't really know enough about it to write as authorities on the subject. I really can't figure out that.
Jim says; Isn't it another fact that with the use of affirmations we more or less try to penetrate the Truth before the thinking process is complete? In other words, the vacuum is not yet already there and therefore there is a reaction to it?
A: I would say that there is a possibility in that motion, It makes sense to me as you stated it, but I don't think that is the whole answer. That would be a factor.
Carolyn: Speaking about affirmations and denials we have to think that they work at the mental level, David stoned Goliath but he still had to cut his head off to get rid of the negative thought; in other words, through the Law or Truth, or love, really, is what really gets rid of this negative cause.
Ed: So you feel that the stone did not kill Goliath, it just caused him to collapse, but that the cutting off of his head was the killing of the Giant? That is good, that is very good. It makes sense.
The killing of the giant does correspond to the action of denial and affirmation, that is, you can use denial on a belief or on a condition and then follow by affirmation and the condition will go away but that belief isn't really dead in you, it can revive in you and in order to cut his head it has to be truth love for Truth, see? It was David who cut that head off, and it is our love for the Truth which gives us the ability to really eliminate certain damage causing erroneous beliefs in our unfoldment. There is one belief that I am sure, I am praying that I am going to cut its head off. I have it already crashing to earth when I throw denials on it, but I am going to cut its head off: that is that I have to get even with people who… you know... If I could get rid of that belief that it is alright to get even, because it creeps in and reincarnates, and I bet you have your own favorite though you wish that your love for Truth would not cut its head off, but it will, your love for Truth will get stronger and stronger.
David's son is our next Bible character of great importance.
Somebody asks: Are we through with David and Goliath?
Yes, now you can build a real good Sunday sermon on that. See? That is an archetype pattern right here. You can take that same pattern, that same outline and you will be able to compose beautiful sermons.
Speaking about conscious overcomings, Mr. Fillmore says, and I cannot recall where in his books, but he says that one conscious overcoming of a specific error will be followed in the soul by innumerable succeeding overcomings on the subconscious level, that you will wipe out many lingering error beliefs through your initial act of one conscious effort to work on one specific error belief. Folks, think for a moment: If you and I have to individually and personally go within and one by one cleanse out all forms of error and negation that have crept into our field of consciousness, how many hours would we need in a day to get this done... and maybe while we are chasing one, a few others are having a baby over there. Also about conscious overcomings of error beliefs in relation to the belief in reincarnation for that purpose as seen by other religions in the world.
Ed says: I cannot claim to be an authority on this but I have done enough research into those religions until some extent. Just like in our Truth teachings, if you take certain points out of context from the full body of our teachings, they could give a researcher, an observer in another culture some distorted views of our teachings but we know that when these points are placed within the whole framework of our teachings, they are all coherent, they are all logical. The same thing is true with these eastern teachings. We, in our culture have been exposed to a lot of them and we latch on a certain point and say, oh, they believe this. Now, they believe this only in conjunction with other things. As far as this purifying of the soul through self-discipline, they do teach things that look rather bizarre and quite far-fetched to us, but, and I wonder about this, do they mean we must tackle each imbedded sin as you come to it and personally through self-denial get rid of it? I find that if you read their teachings in a more comprehensive way, this is not what they teach. The teach you must do some of that and in doing it, you are added unto it, just as Jesus taught. There is a striking similarity in their actual beliefs and ours, but not in the language and the imagery. Most Eastern religions are, if you understand their overall pattern, Truth religions suited to their culture, their terminology and level of unfoldment.
Something came to me about this cleansing and denial of error beliefs from the are of consciousness where they can do damage. The thought came to me that what I can use my power of denial on, first, if I accomplish this or let it accomplish this, then see what it would do to many, many other speicific error beliefs. I use the power of denial within myself to deny the necessity to believe erroneous things. Get it? I am not dealing now with specific error beliefs, because that's a tough job when you tackle the specific and the points, but I am denying that I have any necessity to continue to believe error, whether I can analyze its form or dianose its dangers or anything else, I am denying the necessity in myself, can you see how that denial will work to get rid of many specifics, because I am no longer bound to the feeling that because I once believed this, it is always going to be in me as a belief, there is no reed for this; like I deny the necessity of believing that it is OK to get even with other people. I deny the necessity to be connected with that, it surely is going to free me from the actual belief itself rather than tackle the belief head-on, sometimes when you do that you are embracing Goliath, see? If David had come into hand-to-hand combat with Goliath, we might have had a different ending for this story. He headed for that forehead. That's were our affirmations and denials will hit the mark.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 9, 2015.