Metaphysical meaning of Cain (mbd)
Cain, cain (Heb.; more properly Kain) --possession; acquisition; centralization; draws to itself; to its own center; selfishness; sharp; cutting; a lance. Among some of the ancient authorities, Cain represents the genius of evil. That which Cain symbolizes is not all bad, however, since all ideas of rulership are derived from the idea of centralized power. The benevolent or the malevolent aspects of the name Cain are determined from that upon which the centering is directed.
Meta. Cain means possession, acquisition, centralization, that which draws to itself, selfishness. Cain refers directly to that part of the human consciousness which strives to acquire and possess. He was a tiller of the soil, which places him in the earthly domain. In Hindu metaphysics he would be called the physical body. Paul would call him the flesh.
The killing, by the body-selfishness, of all human sympathy and love is represented by Cain's slaying of Abel. When the body demands possession of all the resources of mind and soul, and reduces existence to mere material living, it has slain Abel, and his blood, or life, continually cries from the earthly consciousness to the Lord for expression.
When the selfishness of the body has killed the finer impulses of the soul and has reduced to material existence all the higher aspirations, there is no longer pleasure in living. Without the soul the body is a machine, with but little sensation and no progress. Cain thus tills the ground, but it yields him no strength.
The body feels its degradation, and those who get into this degenerate condition are usually miserable. Cain's punishment is great, and he fears the vengeance of the other faculties, which condemn the body for its impotency. But the Lord, or divine law, has fixed a limit to this and we are warned not to destroy the body, no matter how great its sins. The sign that was appointed for Cain to keep him from being slain is the consciousness of his divine origin. No matter how deep in transgression the body may be, it still bears the stamp of God and should never be killed.