Metaphysical meaning of Herod (mbd)
Herod, her'-od (fr. Gk.)--sprung from a hero; son of a hero; hero-born; heroic.
Meta. The ruling will of the physical, the ego in the sense consciousness. This ruling ego is temporal because it does not understand man's true origin or the law of man's being. It is narrow, jealous, destructive. Under its rule man does not fulfill the law of his being, and another ego must supplant the ego of sense.
It would seem that we, knowing the wonderful glory that comes to a man when he develops his spiritual nature, should be earnestly seeking the inner illumination, that we should be willing to give up everything else to attain it. But it is not so. "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh," wrote Paul (Gal 5:17). The man who lives in his appetites, in his passions, in his flesh, does not want anything but the flesh consciousness. When this is in the ascendancy he seeks the things of the world. He says: "If I have plenty of money in the bank I can get along all right. You can take your religion. I know nothing about a hereafter. I know nothing about another world. But I do know that if I have plenty of money I can get about anything I want." That is Herod. He is the ruler in the world mind, and if we do not watch him he will slay the Christ child.
We must be on our guard against this subtle sense mind and take tender care of the little, innocent, new idea that has been born deep down in the heart. We must not give it over to the keeping of Herod. We must nurture it, care for it, and hide it away. If necessary we should take it down into Egypt (darkness) when Herod seeks to kill it. Jesus Christ said, "What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." Watch what? Watch for this destroying thought, which is satisfied with the old, which is trying to carry the old conditions, the old world, and even flesh and blood into the kingdom of God. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." A new man is necessary--a new man, a new body, a new mind. "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." Renew the mind and the body will follow as the day follows the night.
Herod, sense consciousness, rules on the plane of mortality. If allowed full rein he kills out the repentant and redemptive state of mind, represented by John the Baptist, which is beginning its ministry of change and purification in soul and body. The object of the Bible lesson about Herod and his killing of John the Baptist is to show the various steps leading up to the tragedy of sense dominion.
In regeneration there is a quickening of the whole man. The life flow is especially increased and every function connected with it is stimulated. This is represented in the lesson as Herod at a feast, at which he was evidently intoxicated. People who are naturally egotistical and domineering develop these qualities in a larger degree under the impulse of the new life current. Unless the meek and lowly frame of mind recommended by Jesus is adopted, such people lose their heads and go further in their rash egotism than they have anticipated.
If you are of haughty, domineering, self-sufficient will, you stand as Herod, the ruler in Judea. You are married to the passions of the human soul, Herodias. She leads you into sense gratifications so deep, so degrading, that you cut off the head of John, the conscience that would have turned you into the highway of the good. The reign of the sense man is short-lived, however. Your kingdom is taken away from you and you are banished from your native land. This was the fate of Herod after he beheaded John the Baptist. This is the fate of every one who refuses to listen to the voice of his higher self.