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 17-18, 1975
Joel 2:25, pp. 293-295 of transcript.
Well, we have another one now, the Book of Joel and this book contains this great Truth idea embodied in the words of the Second Chapter 25th verse, "and I will restore to you the years the locusts hath eaten." This sentence, this idea, presents at least the germ of an idea which is taken up in great detail by the two great thinkers, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and to some extent, but not as much as I would have liked by Charles Fillmore. Charles Fillmore in his writings only gives a very tiny inkling of this but he was aware of it otherwise he could have not given that hint to us.
Also, Dr. Nicoll goes deep into it and I want to use his terminology: "You can change your past," how does your intellect react to that, your intellect argues, but you can if you understand what the past is and what the present is, and what the future is and what Omnipresence is, you can change your past.
Joel is saying it in these words, I'll restore you the years that the locusts hath eaten. Now, those years that the locusts ate are in what realm of time? Past. And the Lord is saying, I'll restore them to you which is in a sense the same as saying: I can change this for you, not by going into the past and unmaking or unhappening a happening, but when is the only time when it can make any difference to you if the past can be changed or not? Now.
Now, it is always referring to something that can be done now in connection with the past. Now, how are you connected with the past? Through your memory or thought of the past. How or what your memory or thought of the past is doing to you now, that is how you are connected to the past. If you have completely forgotten it, if you have completely wiped it out and consigned it to the realm of nothingness, then, are you connected to that? No. But you are connected to the past only in the sense of how it affects you here and now.
Now the teaching is: By giving yourself to God and Truth here and now you can change the effect, anything in your past that is affecting you. You can either let the years the locusts hath eaten remain in your feeling about it a complete wipe out, a complete loss, a waste of time, or even worse than that and even worse you can let those memories continue to torment you and cause you useless, unnecessary suffering.
Many persons in Unity have gone through unhappy marital experiences, many people share this common denominator, but have you not noticed that there are people who still allow their unhappy marriage to continue making them unhappy? But on the other hand, persons who have gone through that experience say, Boy, am I glad that happened because, even though it was hell at the time, how it makes me appreciate the person I now love. It is a matter of what you are doing with your past here and now. Why is an unhappy memory torturing us? Are we thinking of God and Truth when I am dwelling on the memory? No.
But if I let an unhappy memory make me happier now, then I am thinking about God and Truth. There is the key to it. What you are doing about the past in the present. Also, if you want to know how you should feel about the future, think about God, now, because God is in the future and Truth is your future. Remember that the meaning that we give to the past as well as the meaning we give to our future will have its effect always in the now, and in the here and now you are going to have your reward. This very same idea folks, is taken up later in the Gospels.
Desire precedes the first thing that enables you to do all things, but the first thing is to give your attention to God and Truth in the here and now, then you know your desire will be fulfilled, if you take the first step first. It all begins in what you do with the here and now. You devote your attention to God and Truth, which is prayer, and prayer changes things, and something called the past is changed too. In what way is the past changed? By not happening or unhappening it? No, it cannot be done, the change occurs in my feeling and my attitude about it, in my reaction to the past and that is a very real change.
Now, change is real because you are real; only you are real in your life, everything else is a reflection, a kind of illusion or projection. You are real and whatever happens to the real you is the real thing, all else is the effect: anticipation is an effect, memory is an effect, they are effects of your current state. States are coming and going, states are transitory.
So, it is possible for any person who is willing and who will give his attention to God and Truth to change his past in the very deepest and subtlest sense of the word by changing his attitude about the past. What will this do to the future? It will change or improve it in potential. This is the big message of the book of Joel.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 6, 2015.