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 September 16, 1975
Gen. 3:20-24, pp.44-49 of transcript.
Embodiment: Coats of Skin
In Chapter 3, verse 21, we have a sentence which just appears and that’s it; yet it marks one of the great high points of the bible where it says,
“And Jehovah God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins and clothed them.”
Here we have the biblical reference for the first time to an embodied person, an embodied individual who is male and female; although the way it sounds you have a man and woman here, but you have a man and woman in one, male and female, one individual. Here is manifestation of humanity. From now on, the Bible includes the manifest human being in its symbolism.
Chapter 3 is a crucial chapter in Genesis, and ends with these important words,
“And Jehovah God said, ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us.’”
Plural again, man is become as one of us. It does not have Jehovah saying “Man is now become like me.” “one of us.” Both Jehovah and Elohim are pluralistic, God-thoughts; not that you believe there’s more than one God. They knew there was only one God, but they knew that God’s emanations were made, and so they talk of Jehovah and Elohim in the pluralistic sense. Still it is one God-thought, but composed of many—emanations of the original or Almighty God Presence.
So the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever, therefore Jehovah God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden.
Now, where is this tree located? In the garden; so if man were to appropriate the tree of life from that tree where would he have to go? Back home to Eden and partake of eternal life. He can’t do it; God has made that an impossibility. The direction of eternal life consciousness cannot be backward-looking, “return to the womb” type of thing, a form of insanity. Now for evolution, and for the development of the perfect life consciousness, man must continue in his direction from Eden toward the goal of spiritual consciousness. So, He drove out the man and He placed, at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life; no backward turning for spiritual growth—forward, forward—and we’re given a faculty which sees to it that that is maintained.
Which of the twelve powers is the forward-moving, motivating faculty? Mr. Fillmore says it very plainly in his book and I do in my cassette album — Zeal, Zeal. Zeal is the divine idea of forward moving or progress in being, Zeal as a faculty in man, not as a divine idea, but as a faculty now is the faculty which generates spiritual motivation, and it is spiritual motivation that keeps man going forward. Zeal and enthusiasm are not the same, the faculty is not enthusiasm. The faculty is zeal; and enthusiasm is one of the rewards we get for using zeal, for expressing zeal; but zeal itself is much more than enthusiasm. It is a spiritual quality. Enthusiasm is not a spiritual quality, it is a fruit of the spirit, a reward. It is like joy. Joy is not one of the twelve faculties, but joy is one of the fruits of the spirit or rewards one gets for using the twelve powers correctly. Peace, peace, is not one of the twelve faculties; peace is a fruit of the spirit and reward one gets for using the twelve faculties. But the twelve faculties themselves are what Mr. Fillmore says they are; they are the originals; they are the Divine Ideas embodied into human nature as faculties and can be expressed by man through his human nature to serve the Christ.
What is the only way a human being can serve the Christ? By doing favors for the Christ? By building his consciousness of the Christ. Our whole business in life, our whole and primary reason for being is one, not many, but one — to increase consciousness of God and truth. That’s it. Everything else, no matter how good, comes second. But primarily to increase consciousness of God and Truth.
Q. Some refer to Eden as a state of Heaven.
A. Jesus never taught that man’s goal was to return to Eden, but to grow and develop into the kingdom of Heaven. Eden contains all the same components that the Kingdom of Heaven contains, but nevertheless, scripturally speaking, Eden is used by the writer of Genesis the way we’re talking about it now. It is a point of departure for something greater; that something greater is never called Eden by anybody in Scripture, and this is, of course in Scripture. This is not a course in abstractions or theories but a printed text. Now, the text of the Bible never again presents the symbol of Eden as a goal, as a destination, but always as a thing in the past that we have started from, and from which we began this evolutionary life wave, of which we’re now a part. The goal toward which we are working and when we reach it, it will be Eden again for the next—you see what I mean? We’re working now toward what Scripture calls the Kingdom of Heaven, the New Jerusalem, the Christ Consciousness. Now when we get there, which we will, then that will be Eden again.
Q. But we say we’re heading toward Christ Consciousness, but, in fact we were Christ developed in the beginning.
A. But, without awareness of it and without the powers to express it.
Q. We’re actually returning.
A. We were in a completely subjective state of Christ Consciousness. If we remained in the Edenic state this would mean that you would have all possibility and potential of love, period. But nothing more. That’s it. It’s all there. End of chapter. You don’t want it that way; that’s the beginning of the chapter, not the end. It’s all involved, it’s all there, and everything is ready. Now let’s do something with it. Let’s get that divine idea of love, which is now an implanted, involved faculty in me, into expression; let me become aware of it. Let me give it motivation and expression; let me give it and receive it with others, and you can take that with any divine idea. It’s all enfolded in us in incipiency, in latency, and as long as it just stays back and nothing more, the writer calls that Eden. What we’ve been talking about the last three lessons is the writer of Genesis’ ideas on how this changed, and how we began to take the course of just being alive into living, expressing, giving and receiving, and how we will develop into perfect, creative conscious beings, when we will be, in our own way, types of gods. We are becoming more God-like, but we cannot jump into infinities of the future and talk about what it’s going to be like and what we’re going to do. We can only talk about where we are now and speculate on the Bible writer’s notions as to how or at least some of the things that went into the “how we got where we are.”
Q. Edenic state is analogous to a blueprint.
A. Very much so. That’s very accurate. Remember something, folks, no analogy is ever perfect, no illustration is ever perfect, so don’t get agitated if you see gaps or inconsistencies, if we can’t sew everything neatly up. A gap here and there won’t hurt you. A few mysteries somewhere along the line keeps life interesting. The worst state in the world to be in is the know-it-all state, I’ll figure it out grasp of the thing—we don’t need that. Our teachings are organic, and all organic things contain some amount of foreign matter or impurities, with is part of organism. The tree of life, which we are not to partake of, which is in Eden, is awaiting us in the New Jerusalem, the same tree, but on a different level. There is encountered, with its twelve manner of fruits, and the leaves, which are for the healing of the nations, of which all men may eat of freely. There’s no cherubim with a flaming sword guarding that very same tree in the New Jerusalem-level of consciousness; it is only guarding that tree in the Edenic-level of consciousness.
So, we’re going forward now toward greater and greater consciousness till we reach that degree which we, and we really don’t know what we’re talking about when we say the Christ Consciousness. We don’t know what that really means; we only know what it refers to. We have to use some kind of word to name what we’re referring to. It’s like the word, “evil.”
A lot of Unity students have this big hang-up about the word “evil,” and I’ve heard all kings of speeches — there is no evil, and don’t use the word “evil.” But we’ve got that word because it does refer to something. If it was referring to nothing, you wouldn’t have the word. The word had to be invented, because the word refers to something which man saw. He saw it, and so he had to use a word to refer to it. If you’re one of those people who object to the word, who say we shouldn’t use that word in Unity, we have to say, “OK, we’ll no longer use that word “evil,” but now we’ve got to use the word “bruhaha.” “I don’t like that word, either; there’s no such word as ‘bruhaha.'” OK. “Anything you want, my dear, so we in Unity will stop using the word ‘bruhaha,’ but we’ve got ‘gobbledegoop’ now to worry about. You see, we have to keep using words to name something that man sees.” If it weren’t there you wouldn’t need a word for it. If it’s there you’ve got to have a word for it, and to get huffing and puffing into absolutism and dispense with certain words is only juggling the billiard balls and you’re right back where you started.
If we change our consciousness, then we change the ingredients that we see in existence, then we may find better and better words to refer to these things. Right now we’re struck with a word called “evil” that refers to a certain quality which is encountered in existence. If it were never encountered in existence there never would have to be a word for it, because even something which doesn’t exist as an actuality can be given existence by the mind of man by a thought of it. I’m thinking of a big purple elephant with wings. That purple elephant exists, because I’ve just thought of it. It exists as a concept in the mental realm, otherwise I couldn’t use the words “purple elephant with wings.” If that couldn’t exist, I couldn’t use words to refer to it. But it can exist, because anything that the mind of man conceives of is given existence. All that he conceives of does not find its fulfillment as three-dimensional material existence. It nay go no further than just the mental realm, or just the psychic or emotional realm, but many of our concepts do make the cycle and find actual manifest physical form as entities.
Q. I was just thinking about things in science fiction.
A. Yes, what starts out strictly as a mental concept is taken up by various people who tune in and it’s brought into actuality.
All right, now I’m going to read you verbatim from my final notes on that chapter. The Edenic state is not man’s goal, but rather his departing point which starts him toward his goal. Eternal life is every man’s inheritance from the Father but not eternal life in any state; and Eden is a state. Heaven is not a state; heaven is a process, so your eternal life is in heaven, not in Eden. Heaven means the process of your every-increasing consciousness. That’s what heaven is; my ever-increasing individual consciousness; that is what heaven is, it is a process, a movement, and in heaven we have eternal life. Man cannot return to Eden and find eternal life there; it cannot be. He is on the path of unfoldment into greater consciousness of his innate perfection. It is when he attains this goal that he will have free access to a consciousness of perfect eternal life.
The fact that Eden is not the proper setting to find eternal life is taken up at the very end of our Bible in the book of Revelations. Here we find the New Jerusalem as the symbol of the spiritualized consciousness.
Now remember, folks, we mean spiritualized consciousness from our current point of view, of what that is. When we attain it, we’re not going to call it that. Get it? Now in thinking about it we call it a Christ or fully spiritualized consciousness, but — now jump the gun a bit—you’ve made it, you’ve got it! And when you are it, you’re not going to call it Christ Consciousness, or, now I’m fully and completely spiritualized. You’re not going to say that. You’re going to say what you said when you got started in Eden. Not, “I am in the fullness of the Christ Consciousness, goody, goody, everybody look at me, I’ve attained it; I’m fully spiritualized in consciousness.” You’re not going to say, “I’m me. I’m living, and I’m learning, and I’m growing.” You said that in every Eden that you ever found yourself in; and when you develop from Eden into Heaven, it was Eden all over again for the new adventure. And you never said, “I’m all Christed up now.” You said, “I am me and this is it, this is my life, and this is what I’ve got to learn;” and you went on from there.
What you are now is probably Christ Almighty, Almighty, Almighty compared to what you were maybe forty life waves ago, in your evolution, but right now you’re saying, “The Christ is still — just as Jesus said. Jesus was in the Christ Consciousness; he knew it. And yet, even knowing he was in the Christ Consciousness from our point of view, from the human family point of view, he made no bones about saying, “The Father and I are one, sure, but the Father is greater than I.”
What Jesus is pointing out there is that no natter how high you go in comparison to, you’ll always have something greater, further goals, greater attainment; it’s an unending adventure in progress, which is different from mere corporeal existence. This is something that we’ll cover more as we go along. Now, in the New Jerusalem, or what to us now is a spiritualized consciousness, we find once again that same tree of life, but no longer guarded and kept away from man but made fully available to him with all its twelve manner of different fruits. The twelve perfect spiritual faculties.
Transcribed by Bill Nelson on 02-12-2015