Chapter X: The Spiritual Gains Precedence of the Mental
Genesis 33 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 33:1-11. And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau was coming, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. And he himself passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Whose are these with thee? And he said, The children whom God hath graciously given thy servant. Then the handmaids came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. And Leah also and her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves, And he said, What meanest thou by all this company which I met? And he said, To find favor in the sight of my lord. And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; let that which thou hast be thine. And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found favor in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand; forasmuch as I have seen thy face, as one seeth the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take, I pray thee, my gift that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
In what order does the mind project its thoughts toward the body? Why must man give his body place as a divine creation?
Jacob, now become Israel, was reunited with Esau after he crossed the ford Jabbok ("wrestling"). The universal law of the unity of all things was fulfilled. The way in which the mind (Israel) projects its thoughts toward the body (Esau) is symbolized by the way in which Rachel and her children, Leah and her children, and the handmaids with their children were presented to Esau. The handmaids were presented first because they represent physical thoughts. Leah and her children, presented next, represent intellectual thoughts. Rachel (most beloved) and her son Joseph
were presented last because they represent the more spiritual thoughts. Then Jacob himself "passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother." This means that the intellect recognizes the body as its equal and the body's well-being as necessary to harmonious existence. In his spiritual self man must give his body place as a divine creation and co-operate with it in his evolution.
The body always obeys the conscious or subconscious behests of the mind. "Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept." He refused at first to accept the proffered gifts of Jacob. The body at first feels its own completeness and resists the rich ideas that the mind has developed in its unfoldment. Jacob (illumined intellect) said, "Receive my present at my hand; forasmuch as I have seen thy face, as one seeth the face of God."
Job says, "In my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:25 A.V.). Jesus said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). The mind must ideate the body as God substance. This will raise the body to the higher consciousness of its innate divinity. The I AM does not make spiritual union with the body until it sees it as the pure and holy temple of God.
The gifts that Jacob gave to Esau represent the innate abilities that are wrapped up in the body and that can be expressed only through union with the mind. Persons who are skilled in exercises of agility and strength must have the will to win a contest before they are victorious, and trainers are giving more and more attention and assigning ever greater importance to the mental state of their athletes.
Gen. 33:12-16. And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds with me have their young: and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die. Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on gently, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find favor in the sight of my lord. So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
What benefit does man derive when mind and body work in unison? What are the children of the mind? Why must the mind penetrate into body consciousness?
Here is a lesson in co-operation between mind and body. This unity is essential not only to the development of the mental and the physical but to the unfoldment of the spirit. The body is lifted up and the mind strengthened when they work in unison. The children of the mind are the new ideas ushering in the untried capacities of both mind and body. They were now penetrating into the body consciousness (Seir) or the home of the physical (Esau), where the mind will lay hold of the essential physical elements and lift them up to a higher plane.
Gen. 33:17. And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him a house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
What do booths or tents represent as compared with permanent houses? When will the abiding spiritual body come into manifestation?
The name Succoth means "interwoven," "booths," "tents." Booths or tents represent temporary abiding places as compared with permanent houses. Succoth represents the seeming temporary, carnal, material organism of man, which is the fruit or manifestation of the belief that the spiritually unawakened man holds
concerning his physical body. The abiding, spiritual body will come into manifestation when man learns that he is wholly spiritual and that no part of him, not even his body, is material and subject to corruption. Spiritual, true thinking will transform the present material seeming and will bring forth immortality, eternal life, throughout the whole man's being.
Gen. 33:18-20. And Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram; and encamped before the city. And he bought the parcel of ground where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Schechem's father, for a hundred pieces of money. And he erected there an altar, and called it El-Elohe-Israel.
Explain the effect of the power of love on the overcoming of self.
Jacob again entered the land of Canaan, as the Lord had promised he should, and encamped there. His fears gone--he came in peace to Shechem--he was free to pitch his tent wherever he pleased. So we, studying his example, may overcome the self through the transforming power of love. We may have a vision of the power of God indwelling, and in the patience that this vision teaches us we may cease striving with the personal self and henceforth strive only for the possession of the eternal ideal. Thus we make a new name for ourselves, supplanting the former natural self with the divine self. We find our new name written on the white stone (Rev. 2:17) that no one else knows, for it is "I."
When love has preformed its work in his consciousness man ceases to struggle against the seeming evils in the world without and turns his attention to overcoming the inharmonies of the world within himself.
"Ye have heard that it is said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, Resist not him that is evil . . . Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you."
Is the "battle" of Jehovah a war? Does the Lord fight ignorance or evil?
All through the Bible life is compared to a battle but not to war: "the battle is Jehovah's." The Lord does not fight ignorance and evil; the foundation of all existence being good, the law is constantly at work reducing error to its exact stature. As man develops in consciousness, both the soul and the body constantly become more refined under the law of Spirit. This causes a seeming struggle sometimes with adverse conditions, materiality, ignorance, and evil.
When the "mind of the flesh" is given up what replaces it?
The city of Shechem in the land of Canaan is in the locality where Hamor and his son Shechem dwelt. This is the consciousness into which Jacob (illumined intellect) came. The children of Hamor ("stubborn," "dark," "ignorant") represent the earthly, carnal, state of mind. Shechem represents a burden-bearing attitude of mind ("bending down," "a burden"). The name El-Elohe-lsrael means "Elohe [Elohim], God of Israel," "mighty God of Israel," "Elohim He of Israel." The altar symbolizes the giving up of the "mind of the flesh" in individual consciousness to make way for the spiritual so that the spiritual may prevail throughout and God alone may be recognized. Thus Israel (the true, spiritual thoughts, beliefs, and faculties) may indeed become a prince, prevailing and ruling with God, having power with both God and man; that is, having power for good in every phase of the consciousness, from the very highest to the most material plane.
Gen. 34:1-3. And Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her; and he took her, and lay with her, and humbled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
Is the intuition of the natural man a true guide to spirituality? Why?
The name Dinah means "justified," "avenged." Dinah represents the soul side of or the feminine element in the judgment faculty in man, which may be called intuition, the intuition of the natural man. The thought of vengeance that is suggested in the name always comes to the natural man in the process of judging; he is more likely to discern the error side of a proposition than the true side. Dinah, representing this feminine element, went out and mingled with the daughters of the land, who were Hivites. The Hivites were descended from Canaan, son of Ham, and represent the physical and carnal qualities in the individual. Any unlawful relationship of thoughts or elements results in a heavy, burdensome, attitude of mind (Shechem). Hamor represents a central or ruling thought (he was a Hivite prince) in the carnal consciousness of man.
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 255-260: Genesis 32 Mysteries of Genesis
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 267-269: Genesis 34 Mysteries of Genesis