2. The Metaphysical Peter
Simon Peter, brother of Andrew, was a fisherman from Bethsaida, a village near Lake Tiberias. He was given the name 'Cephas,' which is the Aramaic equivalent of the Greek 'Peter.' After his confession of faith (Mt. 16.13-20) when he professes his belief that Jesus is the Christ, he receives the promise 'Thou art Peter, and on this rock will I build my church”, together with the keys of heaven and the power of binding and loosing. But despite his boast that he will never leave Jesus, when Jesus is arrested he denies knowing him three times. The fact that Peter has the keys to the kingdom of heaven and that he is full of contradictions is the key to understanding the metaphysical Peter. The following is a summary of the entry for Peter in the MBD:
Metaphysical Interpretation. Peter is the spiritual faculty of faith. This disciple's name, Simon (hearing), signifying his receptivity and ability to discern Truth, was changed by Jesus to Peter which is the Greek for the word rock. This represents faith in God, strong, unwavering, and enduring. This faith is a necessary foundation for the building up of spiritual consciousness, the church of Christ, in the individual.
Why faith is most important. Peter (faith) was one of the first disciples that Jesus called. Faith is one of the first spiritual faculties to be called into expression by every one who would follow Jesus in the overcoming life … That Peter today stands at the gate of heaven is no mere figure of speech; he has the "keys of the kingdom of heaven."
The Problem with Peter. Peter represents faith in its various stages of development (Matt. 14:27-31) … You find that your tools in this new field of labor are your untrained faculties. One of the first of these faculties to be brought under your dominion is Peter, the thinking power … You can see readily why this faith-thinker, Peter, is the foundation; why the faith faculty should be guarded, directed, and trained. His words are operative on many planes of consciousness, and he will bind you to conditions of servitude if you do not guard his acts closely … Until faith is thoroughly identified with the Christ you will find that the Peter faculty in you is a regular weathercock.
You are not Peter, you are Jesus. Get clearly into your understanding that you are not the faith-thinker, Peter. You are Jesus; Peter is one of your twelve powers. Before this truth dawns on you, you are a carpenter, a builder in the realm of matter. Peter is a fisherman, one who draws his thoughts from the changeable, unstable sea of sense … How necessary it is that you know the important place in your consciousness that this faculty, Peter, occupies! You are the free will, the directive ego, Jesus. You have the problem of life before you--the bringing forth of the Grand Man with His twelve powers.
“By the activity of your thinking.” Your thinking faculty is the first to be considered. It is the inlet and the outlet of all your ideas. It is always active, zealous, impulsive, but not always wise … You must stay very close to Peter--you must always be certain of his allegiance and love. Test him often. Say to him, "Lovest thou me more than these?" You want his undivided attention. He is inclined to wander; you say that your mind wanders. This is an error. Divine Mind never wanders. The faith-thinker, Peter, wanders;
We must teach Peter to concentrate. Teach him to center on true words. It is through him that you feed your sheep, your other faculties. Keep him right at his task. He is inquisitive, impulsive and dictatorial, when not firmly directed. When he questions your dominion and tries to dictate the movements of your other powers, put him into line with "What is that to thee? follow thou me."