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
Josh. 5, pp. 238-239 of transcript.
Standing on Holy Ground
Moses' phase of our development is good and necessary, but it does not suffice beyond a certain point in and of itself. The letter of truth and the know-hows of techniques can take us so far but no further. The promised land now is under the leadership of Joshua, the journey into it. The remaining books of the O.T., particularly Joshua, Judges, I, II Samuel, I, II Kings, I, II Chronicles are considered the most historically accurate books in the O.T., from the Jewish point of view, but we find that their historical and literal accuracy and seeming preoccupation with historical things and events does reduce their value as metaphysical symbolism. Now I don't think it reduces their value as cosmic symbolism, but as person metaphysical symbolism, the very improvements they gain in literalism and history weakens their value and effectiveness as metaphysical symbols, so, in these books, for the most part, there really isn't much material for metaphysical interpretation to work on, except in certain sections, except for some exceptions.
One of these exceptions is found in Joshua 5. I want to read it to you and see what you make out of this.
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand and Joshua went unto him and said unto him, "Art thou for us or for our adversaries?" and he said, "Nay, but as captain for the host of the Lord am I now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and did worship and said unto him; "What sent my Lord unto his servant" and the captain of the Lord said unto Joshua, "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot for the place whereon thou standest is holy.
What do you make of that, take a look first at Joshua's question. "Art thou for us or for our adversaries," and at the answer he gets. No. This man, this angel, representing, of course, the Lord, or spiritual Law, and I believe one of the things that's being revealed here is, we've got to drop a certain attitude we have hitherto too often taken toward spiritual law, which might be what? Is that it takes sides. It takes sides. It chooses its favorites in the human competitive sense. The response is - No. Which says it.
Spiritual law is not a side-taker. You can see in the wording of the question that Joshua was asking the wrong thing. "Are you for me or are you for my enemies?" Right there, you see, I'm out of alignment with spiritual thinking, see? But, the angel says, "as captain of the Lord of hosts, I come," and then Joshua simply says, "Well, what is it you want?" "Want is the purpose of you being here?" "What do you want me to do?" What's the only thing this angel is asking Joshua to do? Take the shoe off his foot, meaning let loose of this limitation that is confining your understanding at this time and then what? What's the actual lesson the angel is there to teach? Omnipresence. Just as in Jacob's ladder. Reminding this competitive person, this side-taking type of attitude in the journey of life.
Your life occurs in omnipresence, wherever you are, that's holy ground. Anybody around you is also an occupant of holy ground and how should we feel about occupants of holy ground? That they're holy people, and they are not somebody who is for us or against us. You see, what this kind of thinking does, it doesn't solve his military problems, or his political ambitions, nor other things, but it is a consciousness conditioner. Please adopt that phrase, it will be very helpful.
A lot of these points in scripture are consciousness conditioners for the believers or the comprehenders. They don't do so much specific, tangible things just because you have heard of them, but what it does for you is something very permanent, very subtle, very meaningful to the inner workings of me. I begin to think in a slightly different way than I used to, in a more positive, a truer way, as Madame Blavatsky used to say, altruistically. Every time I think in a more altruistic way, more unselfish way, a more positive manner, what happens to me? There is some kind of an improvement in my state of consciousness. That's why all these points, even though they may be presented with more elaboration than they are worth, yet they are consciousness conditioners in their meaning. Now, when I say consciousness conditioners, please understand that I mean states of consciousness. Not consciousness itself, purely, but of states of consciousness. They help change our thinking when we comprehend them.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 9, 2015.