The Flood (Rabel)
METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Fall semester 1975 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on September 23, 1975
Gen. 6:8-19, pp. 70-76 of transcript.
Destroy the wicked, pertains to the action of the law to neutralize and eventually eliminate the useless and harmful elements accumulated in man’s consciousness, because you can see the logic of this. The accumulation of negative factors in consciousness, which man himself is not yet capable of directly doing something about, has to be done by a power within him higher than his current level of conscious knowhow.
That is, if everything that happens to you, and everything that ever benefitted you in your life, had to always be done by the current level of your conscious knowhow, where would you and I be? He’d be in pretty bad shape. A lot worse than we think, but because we have acting beneficent powers, that are still part of us, they’re still within us, but they are greater than the level of current conscious knowhow, you know what I mean by current conscious knowhow — that’s me. But there’s something greater within than me, myself, in my current knowhow. So very often it appears to us as though things are being done for us which we have nothing to do with. Well, that’s both right and wrong.
It is being done for us, but we do have something to do with it, because that which is doing it also happens to be part of us; but it is a part of us which is for the time being, beyond the level of conscious awareness or greater than the level of conscious awareness; or sometimes when it comes to negative things, lower than the current level of conscious awareness. You see, we give too much credit or blame, either one, to just that one level of us, the current level of conscious knowhow.
We think it does it all, but that’s the part of us which Jesus refers to as small “s” — self, that’s yourself, and self is incapable of many, many things, which greater than self is capable of and will do when the need comes. And one of the names given to this greater than self, which is still us, is Lord God or Jehovah, especially Lord,that word is nearest to, the most accurate word to describe.
So, these accumulated negative factors and their ill effects on our life, and the world, periodically undergo neutralizing, cleansing processes. The time will come when we will do it more consciously ourselves; and that will lead into, then, elimination of the need for this kind of an experience. This particular allegory is an ancient Hebrew version of the experience as it occurs, as long as it is necessary.
Students so often ask, “How much longer do we have to go through all this?” There’s only one logical answer, as long as it is needful. It’s like, “How much longer do we have to incarnate?” As long as incarnation is still needful, and what makes reincarnation needful? Death, dying. All right, if we can overcome death, dying, then we won’t have need for reincarnation, and that’s that. It all make sense.
But “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Noah, the word means, among other things, calm, rest, equilibrium, and he represents, he refers to, he and his family, the factors within us which enable us to remain calm, poised, and balanced, even when negative factors are also active within us. Let me try to explain this.
There are times when you and I get very agitated, very upset, and very negative. When that occurs, when the majority of your earth population are the wicked; they are in the predominance, but always, even when you and I are at our worst, there is still some part of us which is at it’s best. Even when you and I are most unreasonable, most boring, most negative, yet there is always some part of you, your totality isn’t like that. There’s always a private reserve of you which is not that way. There is always some portion of you which is far greater than the way you’re acting at any given moment. And if you can’t believe this, folks, you have a mental problem.
You must always know that there is a part of me which can remain calm even when the rest of me is agitated, there is always a part of me that is telling the truth, while the rest of me is lying. There is a part of me which is always at rest, even while the rest of me is knocking itself out. You have to remember that you have a portion of you which is inviolate, which is untouched by whatever the more negative or uncontrolled parts of you may be doing. It is this Noah factor in us which is preserved and strengthened for us, as we go through many of the disciplines and purifying which are part of educational experiences of earthly life. In verse 17, Jehovah is depicted as saying, “Behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters on the earth to destroy all flesh.” But not all flesh, not Noah and his family, and not the chosen animals, who enter the ark.
The decision of the Lord to cause this flood illustrates the action of spiritual law instigated by the Lord of our own being, which decrees that nothing false, negative, or harmful can long endure. It cannot have permanency; this is law. It is always, eventually, subjected to a neutralizing and dissolving process, which dissolves its form and returns its content to the basic purity of substance. Everything came from substance; and certain things can be returned to substance for one purpose, to be reformed more in accordance with divine law.
Now, as you will see, not everything, though has to be returned to substance to be reformed. That which has been brought forth in a true and satisfactory and constructive form does not have to return to dissolution to be reformed. It simply transforms itself from where it is, rather than have to go back to basic substance and start all over again; and man’s body will attain that someday.
Man’s body, eventually, will not have to go back to dust, or basic substance to start all over again through biological reincarnation. Man’s body, eventually, will regenerate, which means go through successive stages of perfecting evolution from where it is, without — some of you look doubtful — don’t doubt it — I’m talking sense, business. If, when you reach a certain stage of awareness, your body will not have to die and go back and then you come in through biology and start over again and hope you’ll make it next time, which you won’t.
But, getting to the regeneration consciousness, and you take it from there, you will transform your body, not through reincarnation made necessary by death, but by constantly bringing forth more and more of the innate purity and perfection of what goes to make up the true body, what Jesus did. He went back for the last time through the death process to show up something, but regeneration is the goal, the destiny for all of us.
The action of the Law in this symbolic manner is also symbolized in Scripture as the act of washing, bathing, cleansing, and baptizing. Now, when it is symbolized in those actions, it is more conscious, it is something done by the individual for his own benefit. When it is drowning or burning, then it is when it is being done for the individual by a level of himself higher than conscious awareness. And, also in the washing, bathing, cleansing, baptizing, there is not the destructiveness involved, there is just the painless dissolving away, a letting go, which is a much better way. The symbolism is one.
Now, most of these cleansings and disciplinings are purely inner processes, which later result in outer blessings and improvements which can be seen and appreciated. But, here we come to a mysterious thing, sometimes these internal disciplines and cleansings become partially externalized, and we may see, then, the mysterious things which can’t be explained by the book. Unexpected changes and upheavals in outer affairs or strange senses in the physical body or unexplainable moods in the feeling nature—these are symptomatic of times when part of this inner flood experience is manifested.
One of the earliest recognitions of this in the Unity movement was the realization by one of our earlier metaphysical healers that that’s what the common cold is. It is the partial externalizing of an inner cleansing; and so for a long time the Unity purists used to say, “I don’t have a cold; I’m having a cleansing.” That got to be a joke, a cliche, but it was based on truth. One of our healers realized that what we call a common cold is not an out and out disease, or an illness, a materia medica type of sickness, but it was something far different. It was a partial externalizing of the breaking up or the dissolving of congestion and inflammation, so we find that the best remedy for getting over a cold is the total relaxation and acceptance of the idea of healing and cleansing, rather than the application of drugs and medicines.
There used to be a chapter on this in the book, Lessons In Truth, which was deleted; it was called “Chemicalization.” You might find a copy of that in the old edition in our library, but it can be misleading if it isn’t understood correctly. He found in that particular teaching, people had the tendency to take certain statements out of context and say, “This explains the whole thing.” And that’s dangerous, so they took it out of the book.
However, nothing true, good, useful and constructive within us is ever destroyed. Jesus refers to this as the better part, the better part, and who had chosen it. Mary. What did He say the better part, which Mary had chosen, what’s going to happen to it? No one can take it from her (Luke 10:42), which means that anything real, true, good, useful, constructive that you have established as part of your consciousness is ever destroyed. That’s yours forever. If you’ve learned to love, you’ll be a loving person forever. If you have cultivated the faculty of understanding, you will never, never be a non-understanding person. Again, you will always be a person who understands. Any of these things that you build into consciousness, which are in conformity to truth and spirit are your treasures in heaven, where “moth doth not corrupt, and thief cannot steal, and rust will not eat.” Nothing can take it away from you; it is yours. It will live and grow as you live and grow.
Jesus put it in these words, “Come ye blessed” (all of these blessed things that you’ve incorporated in your consciousness with new spiritual awareness into the kingdom that God hath prepared for you.) But what did He say to the wicked? “Depart from me ye cursed” into the what? It could be into the Red Sea, or it could be into the flood of Genesis, or it could be into the everlasting fire. They’re all the same thing, prepared by God for the devil and his angels. Devil is the generic word for error and negation and falsity; it’s not a person, it’s a generic word and: it means evil in general. His angels are always specifics; they go into eternal fire, again, the purifying process. But this is the first glimpse we give this principle in the Jewish scriptures.
These qualities of our being, at the point we’re talking about in Genesis, are symbolized as the family of Noah. These are protected and preserved through every inner and outer experience. No flood of discipline or cleansing can touch them or diminish them. Now, later on, when Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed by the other symbol for cleansing and dissolving, fire and brimstone from heaven, was everybody killed? No. Again a man and his family were protected, Lot and his family. The same thing brought out in a different setting. I told you there would be much repetition, but that never hurts.
The consciousness of protecting and preserving part of the law is called an ark in us. The consciousness of the protecting and preserving part of the law is the ark, more specifically, the ark stands for that place in your mind which your better qualities have built, which you can go and enter, and in there know that you and all the good things about you are greater than anything else happening to you, in you, or around you. You can always go there if you build it. If you haven’t built it, it ain’t there. You can’t go there. You have to have built a place in your mind where you can go and know that “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world,” or greater am I in my true being than any condition that may be going on in parts of my existence, including my physical organism.
I am always greater than anything happening to me. Can you believe this? Superconsciously you can know this. Your superconscious level knows this, but your conscious level of mind, which determines your reactions, has to learn it and believe it more thoroughly; and then, if your conscious level of mind believes it and knows that it’s there, then it informs the subconscious level of your mind; and then you’re in a much better state, where all things are concerned. So we should all have taken time, if we haven’t done it already, let’s get going.
Built that ark. Build that place of absolute knowingness, in your mind, that you are an indestructible spiritual one with God and all His power of good, and that whatever floods, whatever waves of up and downs may occur to certain parts of you, the real you remains greater than what is going on.
Also, these inner disciplines and cleansings, difficult though they may sometimes appear, do not destroy the essential primary mental and emotional energy, chosen male and female animals. When the word “animal” is used in the Bible, in the positive or the benign sense, it always means the basic, primary, essential, natural energies of the natural level; and they will be male and female, which would make them mental energies and emotional energies, the positive and the negative polarities of natural life energy. That’s what the animals stand for; it’s that basic level of energy, let’s say which causes your heart to beat, permits mobility of your physical organism, the basic natural energy which you use as a starter to the process of thinking, the basic natural energy which allows the emotions to begin flowing and expressing in you. These are of the animal level of man’s nature, and they are to be preserved, too.
Now, why would animals, or these particular levels of energy be preserved? Again, turn to logic, turn to common sense. For the same reason why we need to reincarnate, why we need to go through these experiences at the present time. Why are they preserved? They are necessary; we need them. If we don’t need them any more, they will go. We don’t kill them; they will go. Do you follow me? We still need the energy to function as a natural human animal type of man, of the physical organism. We need those energies, so they are preserved, too.
Now, I mentioned one thing that I cannot figure out is the symbolism involved in the clean and unclean animals, and why the clean get seven each male and seven each female, and why the unclean animals only get one each. I’m sure there’s a reason for that, but I can’t find it, and it’s not satisfactorily explained here. A few other things that we’ll bring out of the same nature. “And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” Four is the symbol of square or sufficiency, balance, sufficiency, four square. Zero or any number of zero, always designates unlimited or unspecified. I’ll just throw a hint to you. People in our churches love to have this explained to them. For some reason they go for this. I don’t know what you use they make of it, but it delights them to learn it, so don’t hold back.
For any number of zeros following any number always, then, means that whatever that original number stands for, it is now being referred to in an unlimited or unspecified degree. So forty, obviously, symbolizes an insufficient amount of time, unspecified. Four stands for sufficiency. Zero, unlimited, unspecified. So forty is the symbol of sufficient amount of time. Whatever that may be. Your next flood experience might take two second, if you’re lucky. Mine might take forty days and forty nights, like the last cold I had. Some persons might take a couple of incarnations, if they aren’t willing to wake up, you see, so it’s unspecified, unlimited, it’s up to you, the individual. The answer to the question, “How long does it take” for a freeing, cleansing, disciplining, experience to get the desired result—the answer is: forty days and forty nights. The literal answer would be, as long as is necessary, or a sufficient amount of time. The rain ends, the flood subsides, conditions on earth are favorably restored, and we read in verses 16 and 17: “God spake unto Noah, saying, ‘go forth in the ark’ and thy wife and thy sons and thy son’s wives with thee. Be fruitful and multiply upon the earth.’”
Now, in these words, there really is a meaning that contains much encouragement and reassurance to those of us who undergo difficult or painful disciplining and cleansing experiences. When they are over and have accomplished what they were meant to accomplish, we always emerge from them stronger, wiser, and more willing to increase and multiply our meaning and usefulness to our world. Nothing we have ever endured has ever been in vain; nothing in reality is ever wasted, not even our suffering, even though you will hear me use the term “useless, unnecessary suffering”—that is poetic license. That suffering will be put to use by the laws of divine economy; but what I mean by useless, unnecessary suffering is: that’s not the only way you can get the desired results from them. If you do go through it, there will be a result, but it’s not necessary for you to go through it to get the result. But if you do go through it anyway, you’ll get a good result. If you don’t, some part of the universe will; it’s very interesting,and keep this under your hat. Otherwise, somebody’s going to say, “Ed Rabel’s teaching crackpotism to those second year students the way Gwen did when they were first year students.” You’ve all heard that. But Dr. Maurice Nicoll, who is the great commentator on the teachings of truth, says that in the divine economy, even useless, and unnecessary suffering is put to use, that all vibrations of unnecessary suffering on earth go to feed that level of being represented by the moon. Put that under your hat and smoke it.
Gurdjieff and Ouspensky say this, but Dr. Nicoll puts it into much clearer language. He says that in the divine economy, since nothing can be wasted, nothing can be totally useless; suffering on earth is converted into food for the moon. That is, not suffering on earth turns into care packages, go to the planet up there, but moon is a symbol like all the planets are symbols of a certain level of being, of life, cosmic light, and that the moon is lower than earth. The earth is next to the lowest, the moon’s the lowest, and that suffering from our planet in the divine economy is being converted into vibrations which become a type of nourishment for the moon’s level of existence; and me saying it like this, out of context, makes it sound, perhaps, a bit foolish or wild-eyed, but it’s strange, when you read that in context, with all else that they say and teach, it make gorgeous sense. Some of you are nodding. I think you’re already acquainted with it. But the thing is, in Unity, we would not teach that, not because it isn’t true, not because we don’t believe it, not because there’s anything wrong with it, but we don’t need that kind of knowledge in our purpose. We can refer to it as I’m doing now, and make it clear, you don’t go out in a center and say, “Unity teaches this.” Maybe some day it will, I don’t know. But it’s interesting to think about. It’s part of the divine economy. Now, someone might say, “Oh, then, we have to keep suffering, so we can feed those moon people.” They can become vegetarians.
Transcribed by Bill Nelson on 02-12-2015