Chapter XII: The I AM and Its Faculties in the Body
Genesis 42 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 42:1-5. Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die. And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy grain from Egypt. But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure harm befall him. And the sons of Israel came to buy among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
How does one effect a reunion of mind and body with the faculties?
Many workers in Truth think it is useless to go down into this obscure kingdom of Egypt within each man. They are not willing for Joseph to spend a part of his time in that country making ready the storehouses and filling them with the vitality that will be needed when the outer man has used up his resources. These persons will find that they cannot have that joyous reunion of mind and body with all the faculties unless they are willing to let the higher thought go consciously down into the body (Egypt) and rule there, as Joseph ruled second only to Pharaoh himself.
Where does one find the substance required to sustain the whole man?
We must not forget that it is down in Egypt (the body) that we find the "grain" or substance that is required to sustain the whole man. The several visits of Joseph's brothers to Egypt for grain and their final reconciliation with him are a symbolical representation of the manner in which we make connection with the obscured vitality center within the organism, eventually bringing all our faculties into conjunction with it, that it may in due course be lifted up to a spiritual manifestation.
Explain substance as symbolized by Canaan and Egypt. How does the mind form soul and body?
Canaan, from which Jacob and his sons migrated, means "lowland," while Egypt means "tribulation." To the metaphysician these names represent the two phases of substance. Canaan represents the invisible substance that surrounds and interpenetrates all bodies, while Egypt represents substance that has been formed
as material and is perceived by the senses. The faculties of mind, represented by Jacob's sons, first inhabit the realm of invisible substance and are sustained by it; then they pass into the realm of the visible or formed substance--from Canaan to Egypt. This is the way in which the mind forms the soul and its vehicle, the physical body. Thoughts are first expressed as ideas in the invisible substance, then they enter into visibility as things.
What causes "famine" in the body consciousness?
When man is ignorant of the creative power of his mind, he gravitates to a material basis in all his thinking and acting. Among the sons of Jacob only Joseph (imagination) had knowledge of the reality of the invisible. The others scoffed at him as a visionary. They refused to plant their seed thoughts in the soil of the invisible substance, and the result was a famine--there was no grain in Canaan.
Why is the way of the transgressor hard? What is meant by the Israelites being the chosen of God? Why did the Israelites prosper in Egyptian slavery?
When we refuse to observe the law of creative mind, we oppose the working out of life's problems in the divine way, according to principle, and are compelled to work them out in a harder way. This is why the "way of the transgressor is hard." Thousands go down into Egypt and suffer the trials and limitations of materiality when, if they were more observant of the law and obedient to their spiritual leadings, they might remain in the joy and freedom of Christ. Yet even in the world of materiality (Egypt) the chosen of the Lord (Israelites) prosper and multiply. The children of Jacob increased from a few score to over two million during their sojourn in Egypt. No matter how great your trials or how dark your way may seem, if you hold to your belief in the omnipresence, omnipotence, and goodness of God, you will succeed, and
no material oppression can hold you down.
Gen. 42:6-24. And Joseph was the governor over the land; he it was that sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves to him with their faces to the earth. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly with them; and he said unto them, Whence came ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him. And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come. We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies. And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said, We thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not. And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies: hereby ye shall be proved: by the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be bound, that your words may be proved, whether there be truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. And he put them all together into ward three days.
And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: if ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in your prisonhouse; but go ye, carry grain for the famine of your houses: and bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so. And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw
the distress of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore also, behold, his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for there was an interpreter between them. And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and he returned to them, and spake to them, and took Simeon from among them, and bound him before their eyes.
What is symbolized by Joseph's concern as to whether his father still lived?
A spy is one who seeks to discover certain facts by stealthy observation. Joseph was testing out his brothers in his endeavor to ascertain where they stood in consciousness; also whether his beloved father Jacob (the I AM) was still alive (functioning in the conscious mind) and how it was with him. He also desired to see again his own brother Benjamin (faith). All in all Joseph was yearning to see his kindred and to be reunited with them.
Joseph could not save his people unless Benjamin was brought down into Egypt. Explain.
The brothers were greatly troubled when Joseph insisted that they bring Benjamin, their youngest brother, down into Egypt. Benjamin, among the twelve faculties, represents faith. Imagination (Joseph) needs faith (Benjamin) to complete its work and to hold fast the gains it has made. Like Joseph's brothers, we think that faith is too pure, too lofty and holy to risk contaminating it with the things of material sense. We like to hold it on the high plane of spiritual consciousness rather than send it down into the body consciousness. Yet this we must do if we are to save the other faculties and the whole man. The brothers were in grave danger of being held prisoners, or so it seemed to them, unless Benjamin were brought down into
Egypt. They remembered their father's great grief over the loss of Joseph and they felt that the sacrifice of parting with Benjamin, the other son of his beloved Rachel, would be too much for him.
During these trying moments their minds recalled Joseph and his cries for mercy, to which they had turned a deaf ear when they sold him into slavery. Joseph's immediate presence may have had something to do with suggesting this memory even though they did not recognize him. Conscience stricken, they said one to another, "We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us." They evidently understood something of the law of sowing and reaping in those days, for at least they did not lay their troubles to charge of Providence, as is done so much now. They thought they were about to reap what they had sown years before.
What other faculty is a necessary adjunct to the imagination?
Simeon ("one who listens and obeys") was held in bondage by Joseph, which reveals that soul receptivity and obedience are necessary adjuncts to the imagination.
Gen. 42:25-38. Then Joseph commanded to fill their vessels with grain, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus was it done unto them.
And they laded their asses with their grain, and departed thence. And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the lodging-place, he espied his money; and, behold, it was in the mouth of his sack. And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they turned trembling one to another, saying, What is this that God hath done unto us? And they came unto Jacob
their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that had befallen them, saying, The man, the lord of the land, spake roughly with us, and took us for spies of the country. And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies; we are twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. And the man, the lord of the land, said unto us, Hereby shall I know ye are true men: leave one of your brethren with me, and take grain for the famine of your houses, and go your way; and bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffic in the land.
And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were afraid. And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again. And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he only is left: if harm befall him by the way in which ye go, then will ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.
Explain the command "Give, and it shall be given unto you. Why are the other faculties treated as "spies"?
Joseph (the imaging power of the mind) has access to unlimited supply (all the substance in Egypt). Joseph knew that his brothers possessed the same capacities that he himself did, but they were not consciously aware of this. Through Joseph they (the other faculties) are being educated; the famine in their land means that they lack understanding of their
spiritual resources. Joseph (imagination) is the avenue through which these resources are brought to them, and one of the lessons here presented under the guise of restoring to them their purchase money is "Give, and it shall be given unto you." They are treated as spies or aliens in this land of omnipresent divine resources because they are ignorant of the fact that they belong in the family of God and that Joseph is their kin.
What does Jacob's grieving at the loss of his sons represent?
Jacob, grieving over the loss of two sons and fearful at the prospect of losing the third and dearest son next to Joseph (Benjamin), represents the personal man who is still in bondage to personal thoughts. But Reuben (spiritual perception) is launching out and is beginning to realize that all is well (in divine order) and is willing to offer up his most valuable possessions as surety for the safe return of his brother Benjamin: "Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee."
Explain the statement "If harm befall him . . . then will ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol."
"If harm befall him by the way in which ye go, then will ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol" is indicative of the grief, sorrow, and darkened state of mind that result when the human consciousness sees death or the loss of loved ones as reality.
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 323: Chapter XII: The I AM and Its Faculties in the Body
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 331-334: Genesis 43 Mysteries of Genesis