Friday, November 11, 2005

Gospels, Allegory, "Washed in Blood"


I do not believe that the resurrection of Jesus was a "myth." Although I am not dogmatic about it, I believe that it was a part of his life-story, which I am beginning to see as allegorical rather than literal. Of course, if any person wants to believe the Gospel stories to be literal, I will not argue with her.

No, my friend, I do not believe the Gospel stories to be "misleading." They were written for our spiritual education and upliftment. If they are allegorical, they are all about your life and mine-- symbolized by the life of Jesus.

As one example, popular at this time of year, the stories say that Jesus was "born in a manger." Being "born" among "animals" is the story of how every spiritual person is "born again" in an "animal" or "humanimal" nature. The "inn" that turns them away is the world in which the spiritual person no longer belongs.

The "wise" astrologers who visit the Christchild represent those aspects of our minds that are already awakened, or tied in with the rest of the cosmos. This is why they bring "gold"-- the most common of all intercultural symbols of enlightenment. This is also why they are astrologers-- or astrologer-priests, the original meaning of the word magi. Herod, who tries to slay the child, represents those dangers that threaten to destroy our spirituality while it is still young and vulnerable. Moving to "Egypt," under the direction of "angels," symbolizes how we are guided by divine Power away from danger.

As Paul implied, in Romans chapter six and elsewhere, the resurrection of Jesus represents our own resurrection at death, the awakening to the fact that we are immortal, immaterial souls (greater minds), not bodies. It also represents spiritual rebirth in this life.

But could not the Gospel stories also be literal, meaning what they say as historical events? Yes, I believe that the Gospels could be both literal and symbolic. But as allegories, as noted, they are about, not just a man named Jesus two thousand years ago, but are guides for, and descriptions of, your life and mine. So, although not set in concrete,
the allegorical interpretation makes the Gospels more personal, and closer to the heart.

You ask about our sins being "covered," as Revelation states, "by the blood of the lamb." Almost all Biblical scholars, from almost every tradition, for many centuries, have agreed that Revelation is allegorical. In other words, it is a book of symbols.

In Revelation, the positive elements of mind "wash their robes" in the "blood of the lamb." They thus "make them white." What is the meaning of this apparently gruesome scenario? In Revelation, a "robe" represents selfpresentation, just as shallow people might judge you by the clothes that you wear. "Blood" is lifenergy. To "wash" is to purify. The "lamb" is that part of the mind that is giving itself over to God (Love) in total selfsurrender. So, the meaning of this verse is that we are purified, in selfimage and selfpresentation, when we immerse ourselves in selfsurrender. This is explained in some detail in my book The Apocalypse of Love: Mystical Symbolism in Revelation. This is a verse-by-verse commentary on the last book of the Bible.

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