Meta. Pharaoh means the sun. He is ruler of the solar plexus, the sun center in the subconscious mind. This is obscurity, or Egypt, to the conscious mind. Pharaoh's (the sun's) being in Egypt shows us that the light of the sun of righteousness is veiled by our life on the lower or sense plane. Joseph's being sold into Egypt signifies that our spiritual consciousness is being bartered away that we may enjoy the things of sense, and that the life forces are being spent in their gratification.
Pharaoh also signifies the whole house or whole body consciousness; he is the force that rules the body under the material regime. His being ruler of Egypt means that he rules in obscurity. Thus we understand that this one to whom Joseph comes is not in divine understanding, yet is receptive. When the Lord shows him coming events in his dreams he seeks to know the true interpretation, and when he is convinced he makes the new state of consciousness ruler next to him over his whole kingdom.
Pharaoh can also be said to represent the conservator of the substance and life in the organism, but his consciousness covers the activities of the natural man only. His dreams of the seven full ears of corn and seven thin and blasted ears, and of the seven well-favored and fat-fleshed kine, and the seven ill-favored and lean-fleshed kine, point to this. The following is the significance of his dream:
Egypt has a specific significance in the body consciousness, and refers here to the subjective mind. There flows into the body functions an energy that especially stimulates the generative center when the subconsciousness is quickened by Truth (when Joseph goes down into Egypt). This lasts about seven years, or has seven degrees of activity. There is a great increase of vitality. This is the symbolism of the seven fat kine and the seven full ears. Those who are wise conserve this energy and store it in the consciousness, because there is always a reaction proportionate to the action. This is a law that holds good in all forms of energy. When the generated force of action is properly conserved, however, the reaction is not felt. When we let this higher or Joseph state of consciousness rule in our members the Lord shows us just how to handle the situation, and we make a storage battery of the "cities" or ganglion centers throughout the consciousness.
Moses and Pharaoh represent two forces at work in the consciousness--especially that part pertaining to the body. Moses represents the evolutionary force of new ideas that have grown in the subconscious mind, that are tugging at the old states of limitation and material ignorance and trying to rise into a higher life expression. Pharaoh represents the force that rules the body under the material régime. The Lord (Jehovah, as given in the American Standard Version) is here the universal law, the impulse of which is always upward and onward, yet seeking always to preserve equilibrium.
It is found by those who are undergoing the regenerative process, which the Scriptures symbolically illustrate, that these two forces are constantly at work in consciousness, one holding to old ideas and striving to perpetuate them in form, and the other idealizing the new and bending every effort to break away from material bondage and rise above its limitations. Paul says, "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh." Looking at it from the personal standpoint, we are likely to cry out in this struggle, "Who shall deliver me out of the body of this death?" But as philosophers in the understanding of the law of change we balance ourselves between these two forces and let them work out under the equilibrium of the universal preserver of all forms, which is the Lord, or Jehovah.
Here is consolation for those who chafe under the whips and the bonds of the regenerative law. They think that the defeats that they suffer and the snail's pace at which they apparently creep along are indications that they are off the track. This is not true; they have only to persevere and wait patiently upon the Lord. If the spiritual could have the ascendancy in you instantly it would destroy your body entirely and you would be left without a working vehicle. The purpose of the spiritual thoughts in the body (Children of Israel down in Egypt) is to raise it up, gradually to infuse into it a more enduring life and substance.
When you affirm the spirituality of the body and yearn for release from the bondage of materiality you are making demands on Pharaoh. Then, in fear that he will all at once lose his hold upon life, he hardens his heart--and sometimes the Lord, or Jehovah, the universal law of equilibrium, hardens it for him (Exod. 8:15; 9:12). Then there seems a failure to attain that which you have tried to demonstrate; but a step has been taken in the all-round evolution of the body and you will find that you are gradually becoming stronger both physically and spiritually. (See EGYPT, JOSEPH, and MOSES in studying the symbology of Pharaoh.)