A Spiritual Interpretation of the Gospels
As taught by:
Unity School for Religious Studies
Unity Village, MO 64065
I. MAJOR POINTS
- Metaphysical significance of "My name is Legion; for we are many."
- Metaphysically correct way to handle rejection.
- Metaphysical points contained in the feeding of the 5,000.
- Metaphysical significance of Jesus walking upon the water.
- Symbolism of "bread from heaven."
- What is the metaphysical logic of the statement, "My name is Legion; for we are many."?
- What is meant by "shaking off the dust of your feet" after experiencing a rejection?
- Give at least two important metaphysical points illustrated in the symbolism involved in the feeding of the 5,000.
- Metaphysically, how can we duplicate Jesus' walking upon the water?
- What is the difference between eating "manna in the wilderness" and "the bread of life from heaven"?
Mark 5:1-20 HEALING OF A DEMON-POSSESSED MAN
The two outstanding points of this incident are (1) the reply of the man when Jesus asks, "What is your name?" (2) The entry of the dispossessed demons into the herd of swine who drown themselves in the sea.
The man gives his name as, "My name is Legion; for we are many." Demon possession is another form of insanity, but there is only ONE form of sanity. The name of insanity is "Legion" for it is "many." The name of error is "Legion" for there are so many. The name of negativity is "Legion" for there is so much. But what is the name of Truth? What is the name of Reality? It is not "Legion" for there are not many, but only ONE!
The dispossessed demons entering into the swine is a very, very esoteric bit of symbolism. (It should not be thought about literally!) It has to do with a little-understood process in which negativity from human consciousness can actually be transformed into lower levels of life forms, until it becomes dissolved back into elemental substance. All forms of energy can be reduced back into elemental substance. When something is "drowned" or "burnt to ashes" in Bible symbolism, it refers to that particular energy-form being reduced back to elemental substance.
Mark 5:25-34 A WOMAN HEALED AFTER TOUCHING JESUS' GARMENTS
In this incident Jesus would symbolize a healing consciousness. The woman in need of healing represents any person who has any degree of belief in healing and faith in the power of God to heal. Such a person does not have to grasp an understanding of the whole healing process in order to be helped. Such a person need only make a sincere effort to grasp whatever understanding of the healing process he or she is able to grasp. Even if they can "ONLY TOUCH ITS GARMENTS" the contact has been made, and the healing process will be quickened.
"As you enter the house, salute it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if any one will NOT RECEIVE YOU, or listen to your words, SHAKE OFF THE DUST FROM YOUR FEET as you leave that house or town." (Matt. 10:12-14)
Metaphysically, this has to do with human relations and the fact of rejection in human relationships. All persons experience rejection. It is a normal fact of life. (Jesus was often rejected. Even God is often rejected!) It does no good to resent rejection or brood over it or try to get revenge for it. Jesus reports the only spiritually-correct way to handle the shock of being rejected. He says, in effect, that if you are rejected, LEAVE! But as you leave, be sure to shake the dust off your feet. Feet represent the faculty of understanding. This use of the word "dust" is as a symbol of clinging negativity, or negative emotions that are a reaction to being rejected. The meaning here is that one must shake all clinging negative emotions from one's power of understanding before going forward after being rejected.
Clean feet are welcome in most places. Dirty feet are not. An understanding that is free from the filth of negative emotions is usally a welcome guest in most places. Go forward with clean understanding. In God's world, one door does not close on us without another one opening.
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's foes will be those of HIS OWN household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matt. 10:34-39)
This passage constitutes what many persons consider the most puzzling and disturbing of Jesus' discourses. It cries out for metaphysical interpretation, for only spiritual understanding can detect its real meaning. The big clue to its meaning is the way Jesus uses the term "his own." Jesus uses this term to denote what we now call personal consciousness, or a self-centered attitude. "His own household" would refer to a totally self-centered state of consciousness. This is a dangerous state for a person to remain in. In fact, it can become a person's own worst enemy ("a man's foes will be those of HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD").
Any one who loves the components of personal consciousness ("he who loves -- more than me") more than spiritual awareness (Jesus) is not yet ready (worthy) of spiritual awareness. There really is nothing harsh or shocking about this teaching. It is simply metaphysical logic.
The "sword" brought by Jesus symbolizes the two-edged action of the word of Truth when spoken in spiritual awareness. The peace that Jesus does not bring is the mistaken notion of peace held by much of the world in general; the "peace" of inertia and resistance to change or growth. The peace given by spiritual awareness (Jesus) is entirely different. It is inner peace, and it is not diminished by change or challenges. It grows with experience and usage and sharing.
Feeding of 5,000 Persons
Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; Matt. 14:13-21; John 6:1-13
The feeding of more than 5,000 persons with an initial supply of five loaves of bread and two fish is perhaps the most spectacular of all Jesus' public demonstrations of the power of spiritual consciousness (miracle). Bread symbolizes spiritual substance. Fish symbolize ideas. Five loaves of bread symbolize the spiritual origin, character, and purpose of the five senses. Two fish represent the two ideas of polarity--yes and no. The hands of Jesus symbolize the working power of spiritual consciousness. When, in spiritual awareness, we recognize the spiritual origin, character, and purpose of our five senses, and when we.have spiritual awareness of how to handle the ideas of "yes" and "no" in our lives, we then have power to produce, reproduce, and increase the forms brought from substance into our manifest environment. Through bringing forth such increases of forms we are able to meet the needs and satisfy the hungers of all the factors in our life (symbolized by the 5,000 hungry ones).
Jesus lifts up His eyes (recognizes the one Source), gives thanks, and breaks the bread and fish into proper pieces. This represents the use of good judgment in apportioning the things we are to bring forth and share in our lives.
NOTE: It is believed by many students of metaphysical Christianity that Jesus had a deep knowledge of the laws of atomic and sub-atomic structure of molecules. He understood the true nature of the atom, and could trace its development from spiritual substance. With this understanding, His mind Would logically express the powers of consciousness to control arrangements of atoms, molecules, and thus, forms of matter.
Matt. 14:22-33 JESUS WALKS UPON THE WATER AND PETER'S ATTEMPT TO DO LIKEWISE
This incident is so interesting as a story that one must remind one's self that it has a metaphysical meaning. The boat (individual consciousness) is on the sea (ordinary life) and the sea becomes troubled with waves (turbulent ups and downs) and contrary wind (events not going as expected). Upon this sea Jesus is seen walking. This symbolizes the fact that spiritual awareness (Jesus) enables a person to keep on top of the ups and down of life and unexpected turns of events in life. Jesus was touching the sea with His feet (understanding) but He was not immersed in the sea (identified with all the negative factors in life.)
Peter represents faith. Peter alone wants to step out and also walk upon the water. Jesus gives him permission, and Peter does step out upon the sea and successfully walks on it for a few steps. But then we are told "when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink. ..." This can happen to us when we attempt to overcome our troubles in life or make progress in life by just faith alone. Faith alone can bring us victory and success for a while, but not for very long. Unexpected events can come in such ways that may alarm us and cause us to exchange our faith and courage for apprehension and fear. When this happens we are in danger of sinking down into the negative factors in life. We are in danger of "drowning" in a sea of troubles.
But Peter does not drown. He cries out to Jesus, "Lord, save me." Of course he is saved. Spiritual awareness is always our sure salvation. And remember that Peter DID walk on the water... that should tell us all something about ourselves!
In John 6 we have the first of the many magnificent monologues spoken by Jesus in this Gospel. These monologues are so deep, so powerful, and so esoteric that they cannot be comprehended by conventional thinking. We cannot simply read them, memorize and quote them, or even really think of them in terms of literal statements from a literal human intellect. They are discourses with food for thought of a quality which can generate the very special type of energy needed for further evolution in consciousness at this particular time in our evolutionary history.
In this first monologue (John 6:25-59) Jesus dwells on the theme of His being the "bread from heaven" which we are to eat if we would enter the process of regeneration. When reading these paragraphs it is important to keep in mind what Jesus symbolizes—spiritual awareness of the Truth of God regarding man and man's evolution. This is vital. The acceptance of Truth and spiritual awareness (eating of it as bread come down from heaven) becomes the very substance of our existence.
To drink of the blood of Jesus means to live the life of spiritual awareness by following the teachings of Jesus in our day-to-day existence.
"I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died." (John 6:48, 49) This illustrates the need for the human family to connect its sense of I Am to a new energy source. The old source (manna in the wilderness) symbolizes NATURE ONLY. This was once good enough for sheer survival, but it is temporary and no longer suffices for our next evolutionary step. We need the energy that comes from the body and blood of Christ, which symbolizes a higher energy source than nature and physical matter. That higher source is spiritual awareness in consciousness. The higher level is called "heaven." The result of this new energy appropriation is not just survival, but is regeneration. Regeneration is the next step in humanity's evolution, and the teachings of Jesus all pertain to attaining this next step through CONSCIOUSNESS--not through ritual, through nature, or through "good behavior."
Preceding Entry: Gospels Metaphysics 5: Lesson 5
Following Entry: Gospels Metaphysics 7: Lesson 7