What is Metaphysical Bible Study?
Metaphysical Bible Study is self-discovery. Most people understand that self-discovery is an intuitive process. Metaphysical Bible Study is a particular intuitive process that uses the underlying essence of biblical stories, known as Divine ideas, to help us achieve self-discovery and spiritual growth. The actual process for doing this will be learned in the many exercises in subsequent chapters. Here's the underlying philosophy of why it works.
Metaphysical Bible Study is direct perception of truth. A metaphysician, or “truth student” is one who desires to directly receive Divine Ideas from the Mind of God. This impacts how we read the Bible. While the Bible may point to “truth” by illustrating how Divine Ideas were once expressed in the lives of biblical characters, it does not contain “the truth.” The truth comes from God-Mind and it comes to us direct. Therefore as metaphysicians, or “truth students,” our objective in studying the Bible metaphysically is establishing a direct connection to God-Mind, opening our heart enough so that Divine Ideas may flow into our consciousness, and meditating on these ideas until they are expressed in our everyday lives.
Truth in the Bible is the expression of Divine Ideas. The key to metaphysical bible interpretation is the perception of the Divine Idea that lies behind the particulars of the story or character. This practice has been around for a long time. The early Greeks did it when they read about some of the outrageous stories in Greek mythology. And many early Christians also did it when they read Old Testament account about child sacrifice and God wiping out entire cities. The story may be gory and expressed in a “God awful” way but the Divine Idea, if perceived correctly, can teach us what we need to know.
Why study Divine Ideas expressed in the Bible? Because Divine Ideas, expressed in the Bible are also expressed in our own consciousness. Interpreting the Bible enables us to interpret what is going on in our own minds.
Divine Ideas expressed the Bible that are also expressed in our own consciousness. The following are a some examples of how metaphysicians have come to understand biblical characters and places that share Divine Ideas that play in our own consciousness.
- The characters and places in the Scripture represent different phases of our consciousness.
- Israelites represent our awareness when we are looking toward God.
- The story of Cain and Abel, interpreted metaphysically, is the story of conflict between our physical and spiritual aspects of human nature.
- Moses represents our development in consciousness of the law of being.
- Animals, fish, birds, and inanimate objects in the Bible represent our thoughts and ideas.
- Adam's wife, Eve, signifies the mother of our living, feeling nature, and the mother principle of God in action in our life.
- Abraham represents our awakening of faith.
- King David represents our consciousness of love.
- King Solomon represents the unification of love and wisdom in us
- John the Baptist represents our high intellectual perception of Truth
- Mary, the mother of Jesus, represents our intuition, the divine motherhood of Love, and the soul
- Jesus represents God's idea of you and me in expression
- Christ is that idea of you and me in the absolute
- Jesus Christ represents the embodiment of all divine ideas
- Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures is equivalent to the Christ in the New Testament
The Bible as the story of the spiritual development of our soul. Remember that New Thought teaches that all things we experience in life had their origin in thought; “we create our experiences by the activity of our thinking.” Metaphysical Bible students, therefore, relate each Bible story, and the characters and places in those stories, to their own development as spiritual beings. Charles Fillmore wrote, “Apart from being a book of great historical and biographical interest, the Bible is, from Genesis to Revelation, in its inner or spiritual meaning, a record of the experiences and the development of the human soul.”
The “theater” is in our consciousness, not in the biblical lands. Although the historical biblical story occurred long ago in the faraway biblical lands, when we do a metaphysical bible interpretation, all the action occurs in our consciousness. We do not metaphysically interpret historical events! What we metaphysically interpret are events in consciousness, in a belief that what occurred centuries ago is an expression of the same Divine Ideas that are now expressing in our own consciousness.
The Twelve Powers. Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore perceived twelve energy centers in the human body which he believed shared the same Divine Idea that was expressed in the twelve disciples of Jesus. I have arranged them as I view their correlation to what we know know as head, heart and body energy:
- Faith – Peter – center of head, pineal gland.
- Imagination – Bartholomew, or Nathanael – between the eyes.
- Will – Matthew – center front brain.
- Understanding – Thomas – front brain.
- Zeal – Simon the Canaanite – lower back head, medulla.
- Power – Philip – root of tongue.
- Love – John – back of heart, cardiac center.
- Judgment – James, son of Zebedee – in lower part of solar plexus.
- Strength – Andrew – small of back.
- Order – James, son of Alphaeus – navel.
- Elimination, or renunciation – Thaddaeus – lower part of back.
- Appropriation or life conservation – Judas – generative function.
The Twelve Powers are faculties, or aspects of mind. As we will see in the many biblical stories, they can cause trouble if they are not transformed to serving our higher purpose. As we read in the Bible about the transformation of each of the twelve disciples in service of Jesus Christ, we get clues about how our own twelve powers can be transformed in service to our own Christ nature. The twelve powers come up time and again in Unity teachings.
Our Christ Nature. A typical Unity church blesses children each Sunday with the phrase “I behold the Christ you are.” We do this in recognition of the second Unity principle which states, “Human beings have a spark of divinity within them, the Christ spirit within.” Metaphysically, our Christ nature is another expression of a Divine Idea and therefore it must have a similar biblical character that expressed the same. That biblical character is Jesus.
However this association we make with our inner consciousness and the biblical character of Jesus is different from all the associations discussed up till now. We are no longer speaking of allegory or metaphysical interpretation. We believe that Jesus was perhaps the first human being to fully express his Christ nature – in a historical sense. Similar to Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile, Jesus was the first to achieve a full awareness of his divine nature. This is why we refer to Jesus as our “wayshower.” As Emerson said, “he was the first to know the full stature of man.” He understood our divine potential. Our ultimate objective in metaphysical bible study is the full expression of the Divine Idea that is our true self – The Christ within.