Metaphysical meaning of Lazarus (mbd)
Lazarus, laz'-a-rus (Gk. fr. Heb.)--whom God helps; succor of God; assistance of God; grace of God; not of help; without succor; helpless. The true Hebrew derivation of Lazarus is disputed. Some consider it to be a form of Eleazer, meaning whom God hath helped. Others believe it to be derived from Loa-ezer, meaning "without help."
In the parable (Luke 16:19-~1) Jesus describes the states of consciousness of one who passes through the change called death. The rich man and Lazarus represent the outer and the inner consciousness of the average worldly-minded person. The outer consciousness appropriates the attributes of soul and body and expresses them through sense avenues. "He was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day." This condition typifies carnal riches.
Material selfishness starves the inner man and devitalizes the true or spiritual phase of the soul and body, which is described in the sentence, "A certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table." The higher soul life is put out of the consciousness and fed with the dogs.
When death overtakes such a one, both the inner and the outer change environment. The material avenues are lost to the outer, and the carnal phase of the soul finds self in a hell of animal desires without the flesh through which to express. "And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments."
Lazarus, the beggar, was "carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom." The inner spiritual ego, drawn by its innate spiritual ideas, finds a haven or rest in the bosom of the Father, represented by Abraham.
(According to the best Bible authorities, "Abraham's bosom" represents a state of felicity, or celestial happiness. A good Bible translator also says that "Hades" means "the invisible land, the realm of the dead, including both Elysium and paradise for the good, and Tartarus, Gehenna, and hell for the wicked." We do not, however, understand that "Abraham's bosom" refers to a place called heaven, nor that "Hades" refers to a place called hell. The Teller of this allegory was striving, evidently, to depict the two states of consciousness in which the higher and the lower principles of the soul find themselves after the death of the body.)
When man loses the material avenues of expression and has not developed the spiritual, he is in torment. Appetite longs for satisfaction and, in its anguished desire for a cooling draft, calls to its spiritual counterpart (Lazarus). But the body consciousness, the place of union between all the attributes of man, has been removed, producing in the life consciousness a great gulf or chasm that cannot be crossed, except by man's incarnation in another body.
Then the sense man is contrite and would have his five brothers warned of the danger of sense life. These five brothers are the five senses. Abraham says: "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them"; that is, they understand the law (Moses) and they know what will follow its transgression (prophets). The rich man rejoins: "Nay, father Abraham: but if one go to them from the dead, they will repent." "And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead." The personal consciousness, which has been formed through material attachments, can be reached only through its own plane of consciousness. The phenomenal manifestations of spiritualism do not cause people to repent of their sins.
When one understands the disintegration that death produces in man, this parable is perceived to be rich in description of that process and of the new relation of the segregated parts of the complete man.
The raising of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, signifies the restoring to consciousness of the idea of youth, which is asleep in the subconsciousness, or tomb of the body. People grow old because they let the youth idea fall asleep. This idea is not dead, but is sleeping, and the understanding I AM (Jesus) goes to awaken it. This awakening of youthful energies is necessary to one in the regeneration. The body cannot be refined and made like its Creator, eternal, until all the thoughts necessary to its perpetuation are revived in it. Eternal youth is one of these God-given ideas that man loves. Jesus loved Lazarus.
The outer senses say that this vitalizing force is dead, that it has been dead for so long that it has gone into dissolution, decay, but the keener knowledge of the spiritual man proclaims, "Our friend Lazarus is fallen asleep; but I . . . awake him out of sleep."
Bringing this sleeping life to outer consciousness is no easy task. Jesus groaned in spirit and was troubled at the prospect. The higher must enter into sympathy and love with the lower to bring about the awakening--"Jesus wept." But there must be more than sympathy and love--"Take ye away the stone." The "stone" that holds the sleeping life in the tomb of matter in subconsciousness is the belief in the permanency of present material laws. This "stone" must be rolled away through faith. The man who wants the inner life to spring forth must believe in the reality of spiritual powers and must exercise his faith by invoking in prayer the presence of the invisible but omnipresent God. This reveals to consciousness the glory of Spirit, and the soul has witness in itself of a power that it knew not.
In Spirit all things are fulfilled now. The moment a concept enters the mind, that which is conceived is consummated, through the law that governs the action of ideas. The inventor mentally sees his machine doing the work designed, though he may be years short of making it do that work. The spiritual-minded take advantage of this law and affirm the completeness of the ideal, regardless of outer appearances. This stimulates the energy in the thought process and gives it power beyond estimate. This is the step that Jesus took when He lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank thee that thou heardest me. And I knew that thou hearest me always." The sleeping life (Lazarus) does not awake, but the prayer of thanksgiving that is now in action gives the assurance that calls it at the next step to the surface--"Lazarus, come forth."
Jesus "cried with a loud voice." This emphasizes the necessity of working strenuously in vibrating the inner life to the surface. Neophytes find it easy, under proper instruction, to quicken the various life centers in the body and connect them as a vibrating body battery that, under the direction of the will, throws a current of energy to any desired place. A time comes when the outer flesh must be vitalized with this inner life; then arises the necessity of using the "loud voice," or powerful will vibrations in eye and ear; in fact, every function. This is removing the napkin from the face, which represents conscious intelligence.
Freedom from all trammels is necessary before the imprisoned life can find its natural channels in the constitution. "Loose him, and let him go" means unfettered life, expressing itself in joyous freedom of Spirit. The flesh would take this vital flood and use it in the old way, put new wine into old bottles, but Spirit guides those who trust it, and leads them in righteous ways if they listen patiently to the inner guide.