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 26, 1975
Gen. 9:12-17, pp. 79-88 of transcript.
We are given a preview of what will later become dogmatic psychology and metaphysics. We don't know if the writer himself knew it as we now state it, but certainly the symbolism unmistakably refers to the four levels of consciousness on which life and vitality express.
We have first the creatures, the heavy creatures, the creeping creatures and the great monsters in the depths. What else could this be but the life expression and the vitality which inhabits super conscious levels, birds, flying things, the cattle and the big animals on the surface, this is conscious level, the insects just underneath the surface, that has to be the subconscious; and where does the great monster of the id reside, the unconscious, of course. The great sea monsters in the very depths, the great monsters of human nature are here. There it was and these people, they responded, they looked and you could see more note writing than you could shake a stick at. That tells me something. Our people are ready for something, they're ready if the teachers are. We get ready and, boy, we're going to have our students and our congregations ready. That's great, really great.
So let's go on now and find our food for thought in raw material form but very quickly to be refined in our growing consciousness.
Do you remember the movie, "The Forbidden Planet"? Do you remember that monster, that invisible monster that came up into the conscious level, or the surface of the earth and all the destruction that he caused and it was the id of the scientist that had invented the means for making manifestation. Here he was manifesting his own id and not knowing it, and his own daughter's life was in danger until he himself had to destroy the cause of that monster. Unfortunately it was his own suicide. That's very interesting.
Now we're dealing with something more pleasant. The rainbow in the cloud. Established by God with Noah and all of mankind who will succeed Noah. Now, the first point that is made that is significant to us, "neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth." Now, the positive side of this means that at some point in our evolution as individuals, and I suppose as a family, the human family, we have grown beyond the point of a possibility of our individuality ever, ever being destroyed. The hint, the mysterious hint, contained in those unexplained words, never again, ever again, might indicate that prior to that point there was the possibility of the cancelling out of an individual on a particular life wave, but that evidently we have made it in this life wave and are now in a state of indestructibility. Now, we wish it included also that we were beyond damaging, don't we; but that's not so yet; we can still be damaged, but we cannot be annihilated, because evidently we have passed that evolutionary point where that could be a possibility.
We have evolved, now, into indestructible beings, but we will still have clouds, floods; but nothing involving these floods can permanently harm us, nor possibly destroy us, not even the so-called death experience can harm a person permanently or destroy his being. It can alter his existence only, it cannot remove his individuality in being. We have become a part, a conscious part, of eternal life, and the coming in and going out of personal existence do not change our indestructibility.
This is the first part of God's covenant for us, nothing can harm you permanently, nothing can destroy your individual being. I like to sort of paraphrase that to people, is that you are always greater than anything that might be happening to you. Can you see how a person, if he could grasp that, could take comfort in situations where he might otherwise feel totally lost and inadequate; this need not be, because you are always greater than anything that might be happening to you or even failing to happen to you.
You know, why doesn't anyone ask me to marry them? Well, I'm greater than that. I'm greater than that lack or that not happening in my life. Or, just as serious, why does everybody always ask me to marry them? I am greater than that. I can handle that.
But after this point is made, the covenant goes into the great theme, which has given it its nickname, "I do set my bow in the clouds", first we're told, and "when I do bring a cloud over the earth, I do set my bow in the cloud. It shall come to pass that the bow shall be seen in the clouds, and then I will remember this covenant. The bow will be in the cloud, and I will remember it." This is God's part, God's part in this covenant is fore-ordained. You understand what I mean by that? It's already established; it's already set, but whose part is not fore-ordained? Our part. Nothing concerning man specifically is foreordained. There is no such thing where man's evolvement is concerned as pre—destination in matters of specifics, because if we believe that, we are leaving out one of the divine qualities implanted in us by our creator, which is choice, freedom of choice, through will and judgment.
You see, predestination nullifies the twelve powers, so it cannot be. That God has already established his covenant, that's finished, but it's still up to us as to whether that covenant will be fulfilled through a matter of choice.
All right, we mentioned that in the Bible clouds symbolize problems which occur in our life, in every life. A cloud over the earth refers to a problem or a challenge or an unanswered question, all of the different forms which clouds can take are symbolic of all the different forms that challenges and problems can take. There are as many kinds of problems as there are clouds in the sky, as far as form and density. You have many challenges in your life, which are really very white and fluffy, attractive clouds, and you have many dark, dangerous, opaque clouds, which resemble, would be analogous to the storm clouds, etc. But when you observe the meanings of things in the light of truth, what are clouds, that is, what are they in the whole of nature's scheme of things? Not just the cloud which is going to ruin my plan, which is too often the way we think of a cloud, you know what does that cloud signify as to my personal circumstance at the moment?
I remember, as a little kid in Pittsburgh, how my brother and sister and I used to stand at the window about 4:00 AM on the day of the annual school picnic and pray and pray that there would be no rain that day. Because that was the day we all looked forward to. My goodness, if, when the dawn came and we saw clouds in the sky, there were three broken hearts there because we were not capable of looking at clouds in their overall place, in the scheme of nature, very often doing this with our problems will alter our attitude for the facts of certain problems.
We see where they might fit into the whole scheme of things in our life rather than just the specific concern of the moment. Whether in the whole scheme of things, clouds are the carriers or bringers of the ingredients for rain to bless the earth and the same can hold true of problems, challenges, what are they really, in God's whole scheme of things? They are bringers or carriers of certain factors which can help spiritual growth, not that the problem causes your growth, but you can grow even with the problem or how you handle a problem, what do you do about the fact of a problem, that's what causes your growth, not the problem itself. Do you follow me, folks? Just a problem or unpleasantness or a difficulty or an illness in and of itself doesn't cause you to grow, bless you or benefit you, but what can happen because of that, that can constitute your growth and your blessing.
A lot of people say, "Well, sickness made me appreciate health." Did it really? Health made you appreciate health, which is your reaction to sickness. The sickness itself doesn't give you a greater healing consciousness, but what you did about sickness and how you feel now contrasting sickness and health, that will stimulate a growing healing consciousness. In this covenant, God is depicted as saying he has already, in advance, placed His rainbow in any cloud that will come over any earth.
Now remember that, in our Bible, earth means individual consciousness and the environment it is manifesting. You and I directly and personally manifest a certain degree of our own environment, not all of it, of course, because much of our environment is a collective manifestation; but not all of it; some of our environment, really the part that means most to us, we are directly and personally point blank manifesting - and that area of your environment is called in the Bible - the earth.
Now, God has already placed His rainbow in advance into any possible cloud that will come over any part of our personal earth. Can there be any doubt in anyone's mind what this rainbow stands for? Any doubt? All right, then, since there's no doubt - answer, yes, that which will lead to the answer. It stands really, for the God-Presence, itself, for the presence of God in every situation as all the possible right answers for that situation. You see, the rainbow, itself, physically, materially, contains all of the possibilities of perceptible color to human eyesight, to human mentality.
Q. God is already in man's personal cloud, what about on a collective level?
A. On a collective level, only to the degree that it becomes personal to a person. You see, there are clouds, which are the result of collective consciousness, but many persons don't let that kind of a cloud become their personal cloud. Many do. There, again, it's a matter of choice.
For instance, I don't make the cloud of abortion a personal cloud for me, do you follow me? I don't call that my cause; many of you do, many of you may have very good reasons to do so. But many of you are like me, you don't, it's still an abstraction. You may have a sociological concern for it, but you don't have a personal, my faith depends on it, concern about it. It's a matter of choice there, but the personal clouds which are over your personal earth, you make no mistake about that, you know what those clouds are; and it is that particular cloud which we're speaking of now.
However, also in the collective cloud, in the product of collective consciousness, type of cloud too, same rainbow is there, but each person finds it only to the degree of his own seeking and his own acceptance of it. So there is this operation on both levels, but right now we're zeroing in only on the individual level.
Q. Would you say that the rainbow is there to remind us that the law, if we use it, works for us?
A. The covenant is there for that purpose, the rainbow is more than that; the rainbow is not a reminder. The rainbow is the thing. That's it. That's the God-Presence.
Q. But, it's the symbol?
A. The rainbow is, of course.
Q. It's a reminder that the law works if we use it?
A. Yes. It will work, although law is not the word I would use in this case, not law so much, although it is law. It's not the word I would use here. I would use the Presence of God as all of the possible right answers. The rainbow has all the possible, perceptible colors, and yet if that rainbow was not in a certain relationship to light, you would not see the colors, because the essence of a rainbow, is the essence of a rainbow, color? No, it's light; and light is not color. All colors are limitations under vibratory law of the pure light. And these vibrations, as they strike the retina, and certain brain parts, give a sense of what we call, what we perceive as color. Colors in themselves are not self-existent. They're not true.
If Bob Sikking were here right now, he would look at Marilea's pantsuit and he would see that as gray. Bob's colorblind; and therefore, that cannot be a true color. That is an impression made upon my brain through my eyes and through the working of light. Recently, from Russia, we have heard of blind people who had glimpses, moments of sight through their fingertips. So it's all relative; but the one pure light, which is the omnipresence, becomes to the individual, what he is able to perceive.
In other words, God is all-possible right answers, to all possible problems, but our human mind has to, in a sense, break Him as all possibility into various possibilities. And each color, then, of the spectrum, would represent another possibility as a right answer, or another, or an alternative, and then through your freedom of choice, you choose your favorite color of the moment, which would be the right answer that you perceive to be for you at that time, see, get a divorce, don't get a divorce; go on a diet, have an operation, move to Lee's Summit, stay in Kansas City, these are all our choices of possible right ways to handle challenges or a problem.
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that for every problem there's only one right answer, and you either make it or you don't make it. No, this isn't true. That's infantilism in metaphysical thinking. A problem has a spectrum of right answers, and the right answer does not consist of picking the right color, but doing the right thing with the color you do pick.
Life is consciousness, folks, life is not gambling or a lottery. It's consciousness, and whatever you choose to do through your consciousness will have the result in your expressions and manifestations of life. And so, to each his own as far as which color of the rainbow you prefer at any moment, but the important thing is the rainbow is always there. The Presence of God doesn't quit certain locales; it is omnipresent, and especially in times of problems, of bewilderment, of deep depression and sudden disappointment; these are the clouds and in these moments we might be tempted as so many people are, saying, "I have a cloud, period." "I have a cloud, and that's all I have; and the cloud is my whole life." That's like saying,"The cloud is the whole sky." Do you follow what I'm saying?
Many people believe that the problem they have at the moment is their life, rather than a factor or a cloud in their life; and then they put a period after that cloud, and you must help them change that period to either a dash or a comma or a semi-colon, if you like. You say to them, in effect, "Yes, you have a cloud; and, yes, you feel like describing it to me;" Okay, that's the price you pay for being a counselor, to hear these clouds described, after you've heard them described, all of them, a thousand times. But to the counselee, you're hearing it for the first time; and if he or she wants to describe a cloud, which bores you to hear it all over again, gotta have a bit of empathy here; and then when you detect that he or she is saying, "that's that, period," you say, "Well, we have a cloud," yes.
Okay, but we have more than that. We have something within this situation, Omnipresence, God, as the answer, from there on, you'll find the color for that particular occasion. In physical nature, there is no such thing, no such possibility as a cloud which does not contain all the ingredients necessary for a rainbow, moisture and light, and a mind to perceive it. There's no rainbow without a pair of eyes in the mind viewing it; there's only moisture and light. Do you think that rainbow is there without you seeing that rainbow? The rainbow's there because you see it, a combination of moisture and light, which are there, strike you as a rainbow, that rainbow isn't there as a rainbow, there as just moisture and light.
The same is true of a right answer. There's no such thing as a right answer to a problem without a mind and a person and a heart to perceive it and formulate it and express it. The problem doesn't exist without a person, and the answer doesn't exist without a person, and omnipresence is the answer, and consciousness is the answer. As in nature, physical, there is no such thing as a cloud which does not contain all the ingredients, which can be seen as a rainbow. So in metaphysical nature, there is no such thing as a problem which does not contain all the ingredients for its own right solution and answer, because since life is consciousness. Then, all problems are consciousness; AND ALL SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS ARE ALSO CONSCIOUSNESS.
But that which makes consciousness possible is God, God-omnipresence. God is omnipresence; God is the answer; God is all-needed help in substance, not as needed help but as the substance of all needed help. You need a mind, you need a person before needed help can be changed from the substance of it into the performing of it; into the manifestation of it. You always need a consciousness there; otherwise, everything stays in the absolute. Do you follow me, folks?
So, let's go. How is God present in your problem? Just as a rainbow is present in a cloud; each color of the spectrum of the rainbow represents a divine possibility in the spectrum of God's good for you. The whole rainbow, of course, stands for the whole possibility of right answers, the entirety of right solutions, while each color would stand for a detail of the whole right answer or solution. If you find that there's a current cloud threatening or spoiling your wellbeing and your current existence, the first thing to do is to look for God in it. Look for the good in it; ask for the revelation within it. And we're told, "I will remember my covenant," which implies, "You remember your part." It takes two to tango, and God's already established, finished, eternally done; but now it's up to each individual to remember this as he comes to it as a situation in his own life.
Q. I had a rare experience - I drove through a rainbow. When I first went into it, I went into the yellow, I didn't understand what happened, and it was about twice as long as this room.
A. The rainbow end had touched the earth — I envy you. And just as the color initially may have frightened you, the same is true of many persons who find their right answer too easily. They get frightened by it. I had a counselee come to me with that as her problem; that the problem I had been counseling her about prior, she found the answer just like you found yourself in the yellow color, in your car. She found the answer and had the solution for her so quickly and so easily, it scared the wits out of her.
She says, "That kind of problem ain't supposed to be solved that way and that easily." And here it did, and she said, "I'm suspicious. Could it be that I'm just deluded about it?" And then I had to counsel her into accepting the right answer, which she had already found, but this is what happens because life is consciousness. The more quickly one will remember the rainbow and affirm its presence, and really believe in it, because life is consciousness, well then, the more quickly will she manifest health, answer, solution, right outworking occur in our life. It's a matter of remembering.
One other thing this covenant suggests to us indirectly is, don't resent clouds. They must come. Problems are a part of earthly life, just as legitimate as the letters of the alphabet are a part of words. A life without a problem is like a sky without a cloud, beautiful for awhile. Yes. But then, what? A sky without a cloud will eventually mean an earth without rain, and earth without rain will mean stoppage of growth of living things. Now, clouds don't cause growth on earth, get it? But they bring the ingredients of rain, which when received by the earth, that causes the growth; the same thing is true of problems. Problems don't cause our spiritual unfoldment, but they bring opportunities, they bring knowledge, and possibilities of experience which when received by us, our earth, in the right way, result in greater understanding and spiritual growth.
Q. I couldn't help but think, Ed, a sky without clouds, we'd never know what a rainbow was.
A. Yes. And it helps us to know the presence of God. That's right. A sky without rainbow would become very boring, as I learned the hard way in Mesa.
Q. I'd like to refer back to your spectrums in the rainbow, for a moment. Suppose a person is seeing several alternatives rather than one to their problems, like seeing several rainbows, how do they know which one to choose?
A. You mean he would be thinking if he doesn't choose the right one, then this means he'll choose the wrong one?
Q. Not necessarily, but a counselee is guided to the point where he develops several alternatives.
A. Now, if he sees, say, three alternatives; if he really sees them, and they are his chosen colors, then all three of them could be right in different ways. It's not a matter of which one shall I choose, then, because one might be better than the other, one might not work, and I might be fooling myself. The thing is, then, to pray for greater light, and then choose one; and take God into your choice. And that makes it the right choice. It isn't the choice which makes the choice right; it's what kind of a consciousness you take into whatever choice you make.
And here we go again. Since life is consciousness, that means the way things turn out is always according to consciousness. If I've got a God-consciousness in a choice I've made, who's going to make it wrong? There's nothing going to make that a wrong choice; it's not the choice, it's the God-consciousness I take with me into the choice. Also, we have to learn to believe in divine guidance, folks. If something really looks right to me when I pray and declare greater light, I've got to believe in that guidance, because if you don't really believe in divine guidance, what you'll do is say, "Well, I'm not so sure about divine guidance. I'll choose this, and if it turns out right, then I'll believe in divine guidance." Well, that's cockeyed. That's, again, putting the cart before the horse. You believe in divine guidance first, and then your belief in it guarantees it for you, and you make a choice.
I'm glad we're on this, because now I'm going to bring out one of my favorite hatchets. A lot of people in Unity make a mistake. I can understand why it's still prevalent, because I had to work like heck to get out of it myself. A lot of people in Unity feel that if you are guided to make a certain decision, or make a choice, you feel it's divine guidance, then you make it, you go into it, and then as time goes on you find you have to change your mind. They think then, erroneously, "I made a mistake, or that wasn't divine guidance," forgetting the fact that a change of mind is often a very important part of the outworking of a problem or a situation or divine order!
In other words, it might be quite possible that for purposes of your own divine evolution, you have to make a choice to go here, first. There was a reason for that; now you're here, and now you've got to go here again; and you say, "Oh, I was wrong. That diversion there was a mistake; it was wrong, or it wasn't divine guidance; I didn't make the right decision." You made the right decision, and then into that right decision, there was another right decision, which was to change your mind.
As I told you once before, it's self-deception to think that progress and unfoldment is always like this, straight-line infallibility. It isn't; it's cycles and re-cycles and a few bypaths, even a blind alley or two. So there's no disgrace with having to change your mind.
Folks, when I went to [the Unity church in] Mesa, here we are again, I know that was divine guidance. I commuted back and forth nine Sundays in a row, leaving Kansas City at the crack of dawn, getting out there to the hell-hole of a place, doing my thing, pow-wowing with Sunday School teachers, and then in the heat of the day, back on that plane with a stopover in Denver and then back here, dog-tired. And then up at five in the morning to get out here to work again. I did that for nine weeks straight; and that's what I wanted to do. This is what I wanted to do. And I was convinced it was right.
When that board of directors said, "We want you for our minister," everything in me said, "Yes. Yes, that's right." And Bob Sikking, Bill Fischer, Charles Fillmore, Foster McClellan, these people were wonderful, wonderful. I knew they didn't want me to quit. I knew it. But they were tuned in on my guidance, being the kind of people they are. They made it as easy for me as they could. Okay, I go out there; it didn't take long until I realized, "I'm not supposed to stay here." And I thought, "God, if I decide now this isn't for me, and I resign, why my name will be mud in the Unity movement. Why, I won't be able to face any of my co-workers. What will Unity School think of me? What will Bob, what will Bill, what will Mr. Fillmore think?"
But my guidance was "You've got to do it; you've got to change your mind. You've got to say, 'I don't feel I belong here'. For whatever reason I had for coming here, it's been fulfilled, and now somebody more suitable should take over."
Miracle of miracles. When I approached Bob about this, nobody could have been nicer, more understanding. Bill Fischer, the same way. Mr. Fillmore, the same way. They welcomed me back with open arms, because I am convinced the whole thing was a matter of divine guidance, right decision, even though it didn't take the course which is the norm for such a situation; that in no way made it a mistake on my part. Now, we have Joel Behr and his lovely little family out there. They are as happy as larks; they love everything about that ministry, the living quarters, which I hated, a great big house I was forever dusting and cleaning, but, you see, Joel loves it. They've got a church that is capable of much growth and development that loves lots of social activity and a great big Sunday School.
So all things work together for good. Divine Order — I say that every day. So, please folks, take this idea of divine guidance and your belief in it, take it seriously; and free yourself from the notion that divine guidance means you're stuck permanently with any choice you make. The change-of-mind factor does not alter the truth of divine guidance and right decision.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 26, 2015.