Metaphysical meaning of Jerusalem (mbd)
Jerusalem, je-ru'-så-lem (Heb.)--habitation of peace; dwelling place of peace; possession of peace; foundation of peace; constitution of harmony; vision of peace; abode of prosperity.
The capital city of Palestine. In Abraham's time it was called Salem (Gen. 14:18). It was called Jebus later, when it was inhabited and ruled by the Jebusites (Judg. 19:10; I Chron. 1:4). The first time that it is mentioned in the Bible as Jerusalem is in Joshua 10:1. In Revelation 21:2 it is used symbolically to describe the redeemed state of man.
Meta. Jerusalem means habitation of peace. In man it is the abiding consciousness of spiritual peace, which is the result of continuous realizations of spiritual power tempered with spiritual poise and confidence. Jerusalem is the "city of David," which symbolizes the great nerve center just back of the heart. From this point Spirit sends its radiance to all parts of the body.
The wall that Nehemiah's men (spiritual thoughts) were building around Jerusalem (Neh. 4:17) symbolizes in individual consciousness protecting spiritual substance, which limited error thoughts cannot penetrate. This wall is built by our realization of the enduring strength and stability of omnipresent Spirit substance. The rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem under the direction of Nehemiah can also be said to symbolize the balancing of the negative and positive forces of the soul consciousness. This equalization will result in the renewing and spiritualizing of the whole organism.
A feast in Jerusalem (John 5:1) is a receptive state of mind toward all spiritual good. When we get deep down into the silent recesses of our soul we realize a stillness and a sweetness beyond expression. There is a great peace there, the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding" (Phil. 4:7) and fills the whole being with satisfaction. This is the point in consciousness where the inflow of original substance takes place. The substance center is physically a nerve center just back of the stomach; spiritually it is the soul's realization of the unfailing substance of Divine Mind.
The one way to Jerusalem, the city of peace, is the Christ way--perfect expression of all the mental faculties (disciples), under the dominion of the I AM (see Luke 17:11). We all long for the state in which we shall have peace. Jeru, the first part of Jerusalem, means founding, constituting; Salem, the latter part of the word, means peace, quiet, safety, harmony, prosperity. We are on the way to the attainment of peace when we identify ourselves with the Christ idea, originally called Jehovah. I AM.
Jesus' going up to Jerusalem (Matt. 20:17) means taking the last step in unfoldment preparatory to the final step, when the personality is entirely crucified and the Christ triumphs.
Jesus' riding out from near Bethphage into Jerusalem signifies progressive unfoldment, the fulfillment of the time when the spiritual I AM takes control and lifts all the animal forces of man into the spiritual plane of mastery, purity, and peace. It is the season for transmutation, transformation (Matt. 21:1-9).
Truth is first conceived in the heart of man, of which Jerusalem is the symbol, but because of intellectual dominance it drifts to the head, of which Rome is the symbol. Paul taken to Rome in chains is a fitting symbol of Truth captured by the intellect and confined to the bonds that it has placed upon itself (Acts 28:14-20).
Jerusalem, the Holy City (Matt. 23:37-39), represents the love center in consciousness. Physically it is the cardiac plexus. Its presiding genius is John the Mystic, who leaned his head on the Master's bosom. The loves and hates of the mind are precipitated to this ganglionic receptacle of thought and are crystallized there. Its substance is sensitive, tremulous, and volatile. What we love and what we hate here build cells of joy or of pain. In divine order it should be the abode of the good and the pure, but because of the error concepts of the mind it has become the habitation of wickedness. Jesus said, "Out of the heart come forth evil thoughts" (Matt. 15:18-20).
In the regeneration, Truth (symbolized by Paul, Acts 21:13 to 22:1) visits this holy place for the purpose of redeeming it. But Truth finds the very center of religious thought, the Temple, given over to bigotry and intolerance; a citadel of crystallized thoughts about religious matters. Truth must enter the Temple and speak the word that frees.
We all want Truth and the help that comes from it, but when it is presented to us we object to the broad, universal spirit that it proclaims. This is especially the case if our religious training has been narrow and pharisaical. The Jews were taught that they were the chosen people and that all others were barbarians. This is the foundation of the caste system. When man begins in thought to believe himself better than other men, he makes a place in his body that is the dwelling of this thought of superiority. Next this separation extends to environment. Separation in a physical sense follows. Temples are built with partitions, and whoever dares to transgress these walls meets opposition.
When Truth comes to one who is in this fixed state of mind, there is a tumult "in the temple." Fear that the rites and customs of the church will be interfered with is uppermost. The teachings of those in authority and the customs and beliefs of the past are of more weight than reason and logic. An innovation in methods of thought is resisted. The whole religious nature is moved. Thought runs to meet thought, and a concentration of resistance is set up in the mind that forces Truth right out and closes the doors, as described in the 30th verse.
Many people wonder why they do not develop divine love more quickly. Here is the reason: They make a wall of separation between the Jew and the Gentile, the religious and the secular, the good and the bad. Divine love sees no such difference between persons. It is Principle, and feels its own perfection everywhere. It feels the same in the heart of the sinner as in the heart of the saint. When we let this truth into our heart and pull down all walls of separation, we shall feel the flow of infinite love.
When we cast Truth from our heart and seek to kill it, the secular realms of thought also put it in bonds. The ruling intellect sees in it an assassin, who has been inciting a revolt against the intellectual authority. This ruler of the mind has little respect for religion but has a mighty awe of the rights of a Roman citizen. So when it learns that Truth (Paul) is both Jew and Gentile, common to both head and heart, it gives due respect, which goes to show that Truth is safer in the bonds of skepticism and infidelity than with the bigotry and fanaticism of ignorant religious zeal.
The "new Jerusalem" of Revelation 21:2 is spiritual consciousness, and it is founded on the twelve fundamental ideas in Divine Mind, each represented by one of these precious stones. It also represents an association of all people in peace, based on spiritual understanding, purity, and a willingness to be united with Christ--"made ready as a bride adorned for her husband."