Metaphysical meaning of Jacob (mbd)
Jacob, ja'-cob (Heb.)--heel catcher; lier in wait; supplanter; leaving behind; bringing to an end; recompensing; rewarding.
The younger of the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah, but the one who obtained the birthright (Gen. 25:26-34; 27:11 to end of The Book of Genesis).
Meta. Jacob and Esau represent the mental and the animal consciousness within each of us. Esau, the hairy man, typifies the animal, which comes first into expression. Most of the human family let him rule in consciousness; but in the line of human unfoldment this man of nature, Esau, must be supplanted by a higher type, called Jacob, the supplanter, the mentality or understanding.
Jacob also represents an idea of the I AM identity, through which the faculties of the mind receive their original inspirations. Jacob had twelve sons, to each of whom he gave an office and each of whom he blessed, or inspired, with his spiritual wisdom.
The Bible narrative about Jacob and Esau has always been read historically, and theologians have had trouble trying to excuse Jacob and Rebekah for the apparent duplicity that they perpetrated upon Esau. When read in the light of spiritual understanding or considered as part of the history of the unfoldment of the individual soul, the incident loses its aspect of duplicity and we find that it is a description of the subtle working of the soul in spiritual evolution, under the guidance of Divine Mind. The soul is progressive. We must go forward. The soul must meet and overcome its limitations.
Esau was a hunter--he finds his pleasure in the realm of animal forces. The cravings of the lower nature are in the ascendancy--Esau gave his birthright to appease his hunger. The "red pottage" mentioned in the Scripture symbology refers to the life substance of the body. The natural man is first in man's evolution. First that which is natural, then that which is spiritual, says Paul. We all agree that a strong body is required to express a strong mind; that is the divine plan. The men of the new race will have robust bodies; they will not be weaklings mentally or physically. Healing of the body is fundamental in the outworking of God's perfect-man idea.
The natural man is not wise. Esau was a hunter, and he loved sport better than Spirit. He was not seeking development through soul culture, and in order to carry forward the whole man it was necessary to supplant and suppress him. This is the meaning of the deception by Jacob and Rebekah. The mental must gain the supremacy and the physical must lose prominence. This is what Jacob and Rebekah did. They got Isaac (I AM) to acknowledge the mind as first in consciousness. Jacob went to another country, which represents apparent separation.
At "a certain place" in consciousness the understanding is unillumined. "One of the stones of the place" that Jacob put "under his head" represents the contact of understanding with material conditions.
The "ladder" represents step-by-step realizations of Truth. These pure thoughts (angels of God) ascend and descend in consciousness. "Jehovah," the I AM (verses 13 and 14), occupies the highest place in consciousness. The spiritualized thoughts of the mind become the seed and bless all the earth (body consciousness).
The Lord is constantly in our midst, and we must eventually come into divine consciousness (verse 15). The mind is startled when it discovers God to be an omnipresent principle (verse 16). In verse 17 is represented the realization that the body (house) is the temple of God and that the mind is the gate to heaven (harmony).
Verses 20 to 22 represent the first attempt of the enlightened mind to covenant with God and trust Spirit for all things. Keeping the law of giving and receiving is recognized as a step in spiritual development.
Taking a wife symbolizes a unification of the I AM with the affections. Jacob was told to go to Paddan-aram (tableland) to the house of Bethuel (unity with God) and take a wife from the daughters of Laban (white, pure, shining) (Gen. 28:2-7). This points the way to a unification with the love principle in its higher aspects. Exalted ideas, divine aspirations, and pure motives are here designated as necessary to the union with the soul that the I AM is about to make.
In Gen. 33:1-15 we read of the reunion of Jacob and Esau. In the 1st and 2d verses Jacob (the mental) prepares to unite with Esau (physical expression). Mind and body must be joined before the divine law can be fulfilled.
Verses 3 and 4: The mind must be unified with the body in all the seven natural faculties. When the union between mind and body takes place a humility born of surrender of the self comes into expression.
Verses 5-7: The women and the children here represent the accumulations of the mind.
Verses 8 and 9: The mind is willing to share its accumulations, but the body (Esau) cannot receive the gift until it has been uplifted. In verses 10 and 11 we find that, after mind and body are reconciled and adjusted, they share alike the gifts of Spirit.
Verses 14 and 15: There is not necessarily enmity between the mind and body of man, but only a difference in states of consciousness. The body becomes an obedient servant of the mind when the two are unified in Divine Mind.