Chapter V: The Initial Step Toward Redemption
Genesis 13 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 13:1. And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South.
Abram went up out of the land of Egypt, "and Lot with him"; for the time had not yet come when Abram could part with Lot (the subjective) and dwell in the Promised Land (the purely spiritual consciousness).
Explain the relationship of Abraham and Lot metaphysically.
Lot can also be said to symbolize the part of man's consciousness that is still spiritually undeveloped. In other words, Lot represents the natural or animal man. Abram still had much growth to make before he could sustain a consciousness of Spirit. He was unable as yet to cross out the material side of his nature. He still had faith in materiality and a dual vision as to the fulfillment of the Scriptures. He saw the negative as well as the positive; evil as well as good.
Until the Christ Mind is firmly established in the individual he retains a certain residue of faith in negative appearances. This divided state of mind causes confusion and discord.
Gen. 13:2-4. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the South even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Ai.
Symbolically what relationship does Beth-el bear to Ai?
Abram (faith) while in Egypt accumulates rich substance ideas, which are necessary for a well-balanced mind and body. Bethel (house of God) represents the perfect body ideal. Ai (heap of rubbish) represents the physical manifestation with an increased appreciation and possession of life and substance (cattle, silver, and gold).
Of what is the return from Egypt representative?
The return from Egypt is symbolical of man's return to his divine-natural consciousness. This was not a single event; it is something that occurs again and again in the Bible story, and is repeated in the case of every individual who comes into a realization of
his spiritual oneness with God. The whole nation of Israel was called out of Egypt to assume its destiny of bringing forth the fruit unto righteousness and life everlasting, to play a part in the restitution of the race to its Edenic state. This is the essence of the covenant. Jesus came up out of Egypt where His parents had taken Him as a child. Abram (faith) did not remain long in Egypt (sense consciousness).
Gen. 13:5-7. And Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the land.
Why must we separate Lot from Abraham in our consciousness?
It was Abraham rather than Lot who suggested the separation. When man reaches a certain point in his spiritual development he realizes that he must let go of everything that retards his progress. Lot is typical of the natural man, always eager to take the best for himself. He chose the plain of the Jordan because it was "like the land of Egypt."
True faith in God is separated from all negative belief that the body is material, impure, or transient. The herdsmen of Abraham were separated from the herdsmen of Lot. The time comes when by reason of the increase of faith or substance these two types of mind cannot dwell together: "the land was not able to bear them." So the senses of the man who has centered his faith on the invisible are by degrees separated from the appeal of his lower nature and become true herdsmen of his enduring thoughts. As a true seer
his vision is fixed on the changeless reality inhabiting all form, the substance of which all visible manifestation is but the configuration. His ear becomes attuned to the unbroken harmony of life that is permeating his mind and body and the world about him. He learns so to direct his thought of Spirit substance that if a belief in material imperfection should find lodgment in his consciousness one touch of his mind would release the hidden spring that opens the way to healing of the body.
Gen. 13:8-12. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the Plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt, as thou goest unto Zoar. So Lot chose him all the Plain of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the Plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom.
When we put our faith wholeheartedly in spiritual reality and follow our ideal without wavering, we are willing to allow sense consciousness the choice of its own field of action. Abraham gave Lot his choice of land. When we withdraw our interest from the natural man, there is a separation. True thought and untrue thought cannot intermingle.
In what way does the inner meaning of the name Canaan suggest the immortality of the body?
Canaan means "lowland," but it is here that Abraham lived after his separation from Lot. Is it not significant that this "lowland" became the Promised Land, the land "flowing with milk and honey"? True faith, which works through love, has power to refine the body and so make it the promised land of the soul. When man rediscovers this lost domain, the promises of the Scriptures will be fulfilled.
Explain the statement "Lot chose him all the Plain of the Jordan"?
Every faculty of the mind has an active and a passive side, an objective and a subjective, a positive and a negative. Abraham represents the faculty of faith in its positive expression. To complete the symbol we find Lot ("hidden," "concealed") representing the negative or undeveloped aspect of faith. His domain is the flesh. He accompanied Abraham into Egypt and back again. When they separated, Lot chose to dwell in the "Plain of the Jordan . . . like the land of Egypt, as thou goest unto Zoar." The river Jordan here symbolizes the descending flow of thought running through the organism from head to foot. When mortal beliefs rule the individual, the life flow is muddy with sense concepts and turbulent with materiality. The Jordan is noted as a muddy stream. Zoar ("smallness," "littleness") represents that which is inferior. We should beware how we link our I AM consciousness with the faith that is established in the flesh, typified by Lot.
(For Sodom and Gomorrah see interpretation of Gen. 10).
Gen. 13:13-18. Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against Jehovah exceedingly. And Jehovah said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and
southward and eastward and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then may thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for unto thee will I give it. And Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built there an altar unto Jehovah.
Hebron ("community," "alliance," "friendship") represents an association of ideas; in other words, concentration. Spiritual unfoldment always causes one to direct toward God's children everywhere a kindly feeling that is constant, deep, tender. Ability to do this is one of the indispensable qualifications of every successful spiritual leader.
Mamre ("firmness," "vigor," "strength") refers to the front brain, the seat of conscious thought. The lesson here is that faith in God (Abraham) brings about the right relationship among all the associated faculties, and withal an enduring firmness, vigor, and strength. Mamre in the sense of "fatness," "abundantly supplied," "well-fed," refers to a consciousness of substance and riches. The qualities represented by Mamre are not of the highest spiritual consciousness, the Christ Mind, but they belong more to the spiritually awakening intellect of the individual.
Is it necessary to change one's residence in order to enter a new country? To what does the "land which thou seest" refer?
In Truth a person does not have to change his residence in order to enter a new country. "The land which thou seest" refers to a new concept of substance. When we deny our attachment to matter and material conditions and affirm our unity with spiritual substance, we enter the new consciousness of real substance.
Substance is not confined to matter; it is the idea that is the firm foundation of all that we conceive to be permanent.
Abraham's moving his tent signifies that the center of consciousness changed; in this case from a lower to a higher plane.
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Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 129-138: Genesis 14 Mysteries of Genesis