This post will wrap up our series on the story of Joseph. It is the most important post of the series because these Biblical events teach us about ascension and manifesting the divine. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series first.
Thus far in our series we have seen how Joseph represents the sun and the Christ. We have also learned that everyone contains their own inner sun, called the Solar Plexus, where thoughts and emotions are processed and expressed. In other words, this is the house of our ego. As we raise the Holy Spirit in us from the Solar Plexus to the Crown chakra, we birth the Christ and metaphorically we can say that the son / sun rises within us, purging negative emotions and thoughts, increasing our self esteem, and strengthening our intuitive abilities. This process also balances the divine masculine and divine feminine energies within us.
Two years after Joseph revealed the meaning of the dreams to the Baker and the Butler, Pharaoh dreamed two dreams that no one in Egypt could interpret. A brief summary is provided below.
In Pharaoh’s first dream, he saw 7 healthy cows grazing. Then 7 sickly cows appear and eat the 7 healthy cows. In Pharaoh’s second dream he saw one stalk produce 7 healthy ears of grain. Then the same stalk produced 7 wind-blasted ears which devoured the 7 good ears.
Joseph easily interprets the dreams. It means Egypt will go through 7 years of abundance, followed by 7 years of extreme famine.
Pharaoh is so pleased with Joseph’s wisdom that he elects him second-in-command over all Egypt and gives Joseph the job of collecting extra grain during the time of abundance to store up for the time of famine.
Joseph’s new position is symbolic of the manifested divine mind, or the higher nature within us. To the Egyptians, and indeed all ancient cultures, including the ancient Hebrews, the sun itself represented this higher nature. This point is driven home in the narrative when Joseph marries the daughter of the priest of On:
““…and he (pharaoh) gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On” (Gen. 41:45).
On was a city the Greeks later designated Heliopolis, meaning “city of the sun.” Being one of the oldest cities in ancient Egypt, it was a place of sun-god worship. Potipherah, the priest specifically named for this city during Joseph’s day, means “He whom Ra has given.” It is a derivative of the name Potipher, the same man who threw Joseph in prison earlier in the story. Some scholars have suggested they are the same person. Of course they are! Why did the Biblical author go through the trouble of naming Potipher, Potipherah, and Asenath, but doesn’t even take the time to mention the name the Pharaoh?
The answer =
The story isn’t literal. The people aren’t meant to be historical. They are simply archetypes.
It would seem that Joseph is now permanently in the “house of the sun,” this time through marriage. By the way, Asenath, Joseph’s new wife, means “gift of the sun-god.” In one sense she represents the divine feminine which is married to Joseph through his ascension. In another sense she is the gift of wisdom accompanied by the ascension.
Meaning of the 7 years of plenty and the 7 years of famine
We still need to discuss the importance of Pharaoh’s dream. 7 years of plenty in Pharaoh’s dream represents open chakras where spiritual energy flows in abundance. When all of our 7 in-body chakras are balanced, open, and healthy, abundance manifests in all areas of our lives. The 7 years of famine represents closed chakras. When our chakras become clogged as a result of our egos, spiritual famine ensues. The rest of Joseph’s Biblical is symbolic of how to rebalance ourselves and manifest the divine mind. You could even say that here is where the real meat of the story comes in!
As we stated before, the famine is quite serious. Not only is it serious for the land of Egypt, but the Bible states it was over “the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 41:56). In the beginning of Genesis chapter 42, Jacob instructs all his sons (except Benjamin) to go to Egypt and buy grain. Hopefully you remember from my former post that Egypt always represents the lower mind / ego, and before anyone can become the Christ they must go through Egypt and the ego. Coming up out of Egypt (as Christ did) signifies overcoming the lower mind. Joseph has already officially ascended, but as a type of the Christ he must still come to the rescue of his brethren just as Jesus did for humanity in the New Testament.
Joseph as the Christ / higher self
Please notice the further correlations of Joseph as the Christ:
1) Jesus is the bread of life. Joseph provides the bread of life.
2) Jesus saved the whole world. Joseph, through the stored grain, saves the whole world.
3) Jesus is second-in-command under the supreme God, his Father. Joseph is second-in-command under earth’s supreme ruler, Pharaoh.
4) Jesus is filled with the Spirit of God. Joseph is filled with the Spirit of God.
Not only will Joseph’s brother’s be “saved” in the literal aspect of the story, but they further serve as metaphorical examples of the ascension process.
As the story goes, Jacob’s 10 sons go to Egypt and face Joseph. Joseph immediately recognizes them, but they fail to recognize their brother.
“And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him” (Gen. 42:8).
The higher self cannot be recognized by the outside senses, even though they are two sides of the same coin.
Joseph decides to speak harshly to his brethren, even accusing them of being spies who have come to spy out the land of Egypt. This is part of the proving process. More on that in a moment.
“And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land are ye come” (Gen. 42:9).
The brothers quickly explain that they come from their father Israel’s house and are innocent. They continue to reveal that their younger brother (Benjamin) was left home to stay with their father. Joseph replies:
“Hereby shall ye be proved: By the life of Pharaoh shall ye not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither…And he put them all together into the ward (prison) three days…if ye be true men, let one of your men be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, and carry forth corn for the famine of your houses: But bring your youngest brother unto me…” (Gen. 42: 15-20).
There are a couple of important points here to make. As we undertake our spiritual journey to manifest the higher mind, it is always a proving process. That’s what uncovering the truth is about. It’s a process of discovering divinity, and it is pleasing to God.
Notice how Joseph put them in prison for three days. Three signifies our most essential nature on the physical plane because we are made of spirit, soul, and body. As the sun dies for three days during the winter, our egos must be put to death to bring the proper alignment of body and soul to the spirit.
And finally we must point out that Benjamin, the potential Christ, must be brought to Egypt. This is the proving point. Proving oneself is the meditation process where the child of truth (Benjamin) is carried up the spine to the crown chakra and pineal gland and into the right hemisphere of our brains. Benjamin means “son of the right hand.” The right brain is your spiritual / intuitive side. Benjamin must become active in you.
As our Biblical narrative continues, the brothers return and tell Jacob their father all that happened. More time passes and they eat up all the grain they bought in Egypt. They have to return to buy more. Jacob doesn’t want to let Benjamin go, but Judah is the one that demands they bring him, for they cannot get the favor of Joseph (the divine mind) unless they do.
In church many years ago I use to wonder why Judah stood up and facilitated this whole process.
Judah means hand, which is carried forth in power and denotes a certain direction. It makes sense then that Judah is the one to usher Benjamin (the truth) to Joseph (the Christ potential within us). What is it that ushers the kundalini energy within us? It is the spirit itself, for the spirit of God IS this energy that rises within us.
Jacob finally agrees to let Benjamin go. And Jacob commands them to bring the best fruit of the land as gifts to win Joseph’s favor.
“…if it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, myrrh, nuts, and almonds” (Gen 43:11).
Isn’t it interesting that there is a sever famine with no food, yet Jacob is able to send fruits, honey, and almonds with them – another tip that the story doesn’t make any sense if interpreted literally!
Now what do you think this fruits represents? They represent the fruit that is brought forth when Benjamin (the Christ child) is manifested in Egypt. Honey, myrrh, expensive spices, etc. – these are all symbols for the fruit (love and wisdom) resulting from one who operates as the higher self.
As the story continues, they return to Egypt and are united with Joseph. Joseph throws a feast for them at noon, the highpoint of the sun, and then fills their sacks and sends them back on their way to go home. Even Simeon is allowed to go this time. However, Joseph devises a plan. He puts a silver chalice, his divination cup, into the sack of Benjamin. Most Christians I attended church with could never explain to me why Joseph had a special cup that he divined in with. J The scripture I quote below is when Joseph’s men overtake his brothers as they travel back to Israel with the cup. They find it in Benjamin’s sack.
“And when they [Joseph’s brothers]were gone out of the city…Joseph said unto his steward, UP, follow after the men, and when thou overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? Is not this it in which my Lord drinketh, and where by indeed he divineth?”
Let’s briefly discuss this cup Joseph uses for divination. Cups in the ancient world were symbols for the body that received spiritual life from the spirit. That’s why Joseph put it in Benjamin’s sack. It symbolizes the child of truth, Benjamin, being received into the body, our body!
You know how the story ends. The men are brought back before Joseph where he finally breaks down and reveals who he is. This is the conclusion of the ascension process where the lower nature is merged with the higher nature.
How does this knowledge help us?
I want to end this post with a few important words. Daily meditation is one of the keys in allowing the entire Joseph story to happen within your body. As you meditate the right side of your brain is opened to the power of spiritual energy. In this way you become an Israelite, which is part of what the entire story of Joseph is about. Before the nation of Israel can be released from bondage in Egypt (the ego) as Exodus unfolds later we have the entire story of bondage and redemption told at the end of Genesis in Joseph. Just as the sun rises and sets every day, the Bible reveals the process of being brought down and ascending again throughout almost all its individual books and to get to the Promised Land, we must become Israel.
As I have stated before:
Isis = divine feminine / wisdom principle
El= A perfected balance of the two and the manifestation of the divine.
Meditation is the process where we become ONE with God. My next post will deal specifically with meditation, particularly Zazen. Zazen isn’t the only style of meditation which is effective, but I believe it is one of the most beneficial. Until then…blessings!