The Bible: Going inside the Mind

by Joshua Tilghman on January 6, 2013

In the MindThe Bible truly is a wonderful book. It saddens me that most people who read it don’t understand that it is more about the mind than it is religion, and within its pages are the keys to unlock the higher mind’s potential. This post is going to explore this potential. In part 2 of this series I am going to discuss Zazen, a type of Zen meditation, and how it supports Biblical teachings on the healing of the mind. The comparison is fascinating to say the least!

For the sake of simplicity, let’s discuss the mind in two parts: Conscious and subconscious, higher and lower, the ego (satan) and the Christ (higher self). Most Biblical stories explain the process of how we, as individuals, are supposed to progress from operating from the lower mind to the higher mind. This means that instead of operating from our passions, desires, and instincts, we are to—through the transformational power of the spirit—operate from the higher mind, which is where divine wisdom and intuition spontaneously directs our path.

How can we be sure that the Bible is about the mind? One cannot until they understand the symbolism and metaphors used in the Bible.

Consider the following Old Testament Scripture:

“And the Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron” (Judges 1:19).

To anyone who reads that scripture literally, an obvious question should surface: if the Lord was with Judah, why couldn’t they drive out the inhabitants of the mountain, regardless of whether or not they had chariots of iron?

The answer has nothing to do with literal chariots or iron, and by unveiling the symbolism, a satisfying answer is revealed. To the ancients, metals were important symbols of higher and lower consciousness. While precious metals such as gold and silver represent divine wisdom and truth, iron represents thoughts of the lower mind, such as desires, passions, and instincts. Therefore Judah was not able to drive out the inhabitants of the valley because, as you well know, desires, passions, and instincts can be quite stubborn. They remain in our minds as strongholds.

God always seems to be with us on the mountain; when things are going great in our lives, we are naturally quite happy. But what about the valley? That’s where the inhabitants with chariots of iron are. Valleys are also symbolic of the lower nature in man, as opposed to mountains which represent the higher nature. Consider another scripture:

“…Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, the LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys…” (1 Kings 20:28).

As a result of the Syrian’s comment, the Lord promises to deliver them into Israel’s hand. And this is what happens in our own lives: when we pass through the valley (a place of sorrow) and climb the mountain, God turns that experience which we had into the valley into joy and blessing. It is then that God can be said to be LORD of all. The scripture from the Psalmist below makes this plain:

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca (weeping) make it a well…” (Psalms 84:5-6).

We must pass through the valleys to get to the mountains, and it is said that God turns our tears from crying into a well of blessing. Many times we can draw out the wisdom that is contained in that well once we have been through suffering. We then come to understand that the time of suffering was a spiritual lesson.

Entering the Promised Land

Eliminating all the Canaanites in order to inhabit the Promised Land is a narrative that represents your own journey to enlightenment. The Promised Land is in your own head. I want you to notice that there are always “giants” to overcome in your own head. All of the Canaanites that the Israelites had to drive out are the thoughts and emotions that are born from your lower nature; you must drive them out of your habitual thinking patterns in order to dwell in the land “flowing with milk and honey.”

Milk represents the higher emotional nature and honey represents wisdom and love. We come to the land flowing with both after we have born our fair share of traversing the mountains and the valleys of life, so long as we learn take on the spirit of Caleb and Joshua.

The scripture indicates that Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit about them than the Israelites who died in the wilderness.

“But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it” (Numbers. 14:24).

In the Hebrew / English dictionary, Caleb really means “all” or “whole.” Caleb was operating from the higher nature, just as Joshua was. Therefore they were not afraid to face the giants in the Promised Land. In fact, they charged ahead as if the giants were no problem at all! Why? Because they understood that the battle is not something they win in their own strength; rather is it something that the Lord wins for us.

“…for the Battle is the LORD’S…(1 Sam. 17:47).

The wilderness and dessert in scripture are symbols for life that is barren of spirit. It wasn’t just that Caleb and Joshua had a different spirit; they were filled with it. How does one become filled with it? Through meditation.

In so many instances of the Bible we are commanded to stand still and let the LORD do the work. This is because when we “stand still” in meditation, we literally receive divine input. We also get to see the “iron” in our minds.

This is all part of birthing the Christ within you, and as you continue in this practice, the Christ child will grow until “…the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Php. 4:7).

That scripture teaches that the peace of God cannot be understood with the intellect; it is beyond “understanding,” because our thoughts cannot grasp, dissect, or analyze it. In this state of being all of our beliefs, opinions, convictions, and doctrines have no meaning.

It is also this state of being that “keeps our hearts and minds” healthy; through this practice we come to operate from the higher mind. And finally, I want us to recognize that this state of being can only be realized “through Jesus Christ.” Think about that again. It is “through” Christ that we reach this state, not just by having a belief in him. A belief is not enough. Ultimately, Christ must be experienced.

Paul teaches us that Christ must be formed in you (Gal. 4:19). Have you ever considered how Christ is “formed” in us? If Christ can be formed in us, then Christ is already an essential part of who we are. He is a part of us that needs to be awakened, resurrected, and realized.

Jesus expressively taught this concept in his statement that the kingdom was “within” you (Luke 17:21). This is what religion, including mainstream Christianity, has failed to realize.

In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas we find this statement by Jesus:

“He who shall drink from my mouth shall become like me; I myself will become he, and the hidden thing shall be revealed to him.”

That which remains “hidden” from the lower mind is the Christ nature within us. And to realize the Christ nature within you is to experience the complete stillness of the mind, the absence of thought. When done long enough, an amazing experience will happen where we come to truly understand the scriptures:

“I and my father are one” (John 10:30).


“…that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11).

In our next post we will discuss how Zazen helps to waken this Christ nature by going into the heart and practice of Zazen itself. We will also discuss why many teachers of the Bible state that Biblical meditation is not anything like transcendental meditation. They only teach such things because they haven’t done their homework. They do not realize that most Biblical concepts come directly from the “east” in the first place. Stay tuned…

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

matt shatto January 7, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Great reads! I have a question for you. Why is it that Christianity has a hidden truth, but other religions aren’t so hidden and are teaching the same thing?


Joshua Tilghman January 8, 2013 at 11:40 am


This is a good question. The truth is that the mystical teachings from the Bible were institutionalized under the direction of the Roman Empire. All of the meanings of the symbols were eventually lost from generation to generation as more and more began to take the stories literally. It was a long slow process. Many Rabbi’s and Christian mystics from long ago knew the truth, but they were often ridiculed if they spoke openly about it. Therefore they tended to form groups that only handed down the true meanings directly. Of course there is a lot more to it than my simple explanation above, but you get the drift. Only in recent times has enough information come out to piece this complicated history together.


Lisa Tener January 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Glad I found your inspiring blog. I’ve just been reading The Neville Reader–your interpretations (illuminations!) resonate similarly.


Joshua Tilghman January 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm


Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. All the major religions have a common denominator, and esoteric knowledge is the path that takes us there. Blessings.

By the way, I think I could learn something for your blog as well. Good info on writing.


Sam Ward January 9, 2013 at 11:31 am

Hi Josh, just want to say a huge thank you for all the research & thought that goes into your posts, they all make complete sense! Wasn’t sure where to put this comment so thought id put it here;

As i read this post a bit ago i couldn’t help notice that a Hip Hop artist i really like called ‘Jeru The Damaja’ addresses similar troubles we as humanity face, if or when u get a minute Google these song by him, it’s like a story:
Jeru The Damaja – Can’t Stop The Prophet
Jeru The Damaja – Revenge of The Prophet
Jeru The Damaja – The Prophet

He addresses things on the sub-conscious (Satan) level, and creates a story out of it which i found fascinating, for example: a few lyrics from ‘You Can’t Stop the Prophet’

‘One day I got struck by Knowledge of Self
It gave me super-scientifical powers
Now I, run through the ghetto
Battlin my, arch nemesis Mr. Ignorance
He’s been tryin to take me out since the days of my youth
He feared this day would come
I’m hot on his trail, but sometimes he slips away
Because he has an army, they always give me trouble
Mainly – Hatred, Jealousy and Envy they attack me
They think they got me
But I use my super-science and I twist all three’

Cheers, 1LOVE & Jah Bless 🙂


Joshua Tilghman January 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Awesome, Sam! Never heard of Jeru The Damaja before, but it looks like he understands. I’ll be sure to Google more.


Jim January 13, 2013 at 10:22 am

Hi iv been following your post for quite awhile now, very informative information that is much needed and has been a long time coming. However I had a comment on a portion of this post that mentioned the subconsciouse part of man being the “lower self”, or of satan. It is my knowlege after reading several books on the function of the subconciouse mind, it is niether good nor bad natured, it takes us at our word and it is the bridge between the spiritual world and the physical.The role that the consciouse mind plays in this scheme of things is that it is the captain of the ship, the watchman at the gate of the subconciouse mind.So basically its function along with logic, scepticism, and reasoning, would be to hand over certain instructions ,belife systems, and things we tell ourselves on an ongoing basis, to the subconsciouse mind during altered states of consciouseness (meditation), sleep or consistant idle unconsciouse habitual thinking. like the old saying goes”be carefule what you think” holds true, sooner or later it will impress the subsonsciouse and then become a reality. The subconsciouse “takes us at our word”, what ever that word is.Iv always felt that when the bible talked about the heart of man it ment the inner workings of the mind, proverbs 4:23. Heres a few books:” The power of your subconsciouse mind” by joseph murphy, and “The master key system” by charles f. haanel.


Joshua Tilghman January 13, 2013 at 11:18 am


You are absolutely right – the subconscious is not bad or evil. In fact, the subconscious is the powerhouse of the mind. It is from this place that creation unfolds, which is a neutral power. Sorry, I did not mean to convey that the subconscious was actually the “lower nature” in man. The lower nature are the passions, desires, and the instincts that drive us to do things contrary to the spirit. I went back through my post and found the sentence I wrote that caused the confusion:

“For the sake of simplicity, let’s discuss the mind in two parts: Conscious and subconscious, higher and lower, the ego (satan) and the Christ (higher self).” This was bad wording on my part. What I meant by that statement was simply to get readers to think of themselves as more than just a single entity existing entirely on the physical plane. The distinction between conscious and subconscious was an easy way to bring this point out – I did not mean to link the subconscious to the lower nature of man directly. Part of the lower nature of man resides in the subconscious, however. And as you said, our waking consciousness is responsible as the captain that steers the powerful vessel sailing in our heads. But the subconscious itself is neutral. We also need to input into it that which will direct and lead from the spirit.

There are many things buried in our subconscious minds that are negative (that were once conscious by the way)!

One of the reasons why I encourage meditation so much is because I believe it serves as a bridge to bring the conscious and subconscious mind into healthy union. In meditation, that which is in the subconscious is often brought up and exposed to the conscious. It then can be redirected.

Thanks for pointing this out.


Joshua Tilghman October 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm


You stated:

“In our belly we have accumulated our experiences and on top we have accepted the experiences of the world ‘we grew into’. We are lucky to have the unconscious part of us, without that we could not survive in this world. Partly instinct, partly experienced (automated), partly inherited, partly unknown.
We start to wake up because the world around us reacts to our being. We react to our environment.”

Very well stated.


Christine Hoeflich January 19, 2013 at 1:09 am

Hmmh, my understanding is that the conscious mind / regular normal consciousness (our beliefs, thoughts, earthly awareness, what we have been led to believe by society, institutions, peers) is the “lower consciousness” and that the sub-conscious (deeper consciousness) is the higher consciousness, higher-self awareness of our experiences.

And my understanding is that the goal of meditation and ascension, the raising of awareness is to “transfer” what’s in our higher consciousness to the “lower consciousness,” normal waking state mind. Yeah, we have been taught to be scared of the subconscious mind, for fear what was in there we were taught, but that was to keep us ignorant and away from the higher self, our real power! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!


Joshua Tilghman January 21, 2013 at 9:33 am

Christine, yes, this is another way of looking at it. But these experiences of lower consciousness are first needed to progress to the higher. Thus the fall from paradise becomes man’s blessing, not curse.


Bernhardt Adjedi Cadbury February 4, 2013 at 8:47 am

Hi Josh, your explanation and placement of the conscious and sub-conscious mind got me a bit confused to be revisited and redressed until Christine’s comments. Yes Christine is right and that has always been my standing.


Joshua Tilghman February 4, 2013 at 11:48 am


The subconscious mind is the powerhouse of your life. But there are also negative emotions repressed there in most people. The subconscious mind is like a storehouse. Many of these emotions were there by age six. The waking conscious mind is much smaller and in many ways inferior. However, it is the rudder that steers the subconscious mind. You can reprogram your subconscious mind with the conscious. The waking conscious mind can either manifest lower consciousness or higher consciousness. One is not bad and one good. They both can manifest negativity or higher emotions and thoughts.


motla68 February 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Hey Josh,

I wanted to rebut the front page some for consideration of an edit;
The line and further down that describes it ” only by understanding the spiritual (abstract) meanings found within the Biblical text can you receive spiritual and consciousness maturity; a literal interpretation has never produced spiritual growth!”
That quote would seem to be a oxymoron for it is through the literary that we come into full understanding of the spirit of the scripture. I would appear that both go hand in hand as you have quoted several pieces of written scripture. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. and Acts 4:10, 12 [The apostle Peter said] Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed…. [12] Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

I could go on with other scripture, but I think you can get my point now. Yes, christ is formed, therefore God is formed and through the literary we now can understand that it is not external, but internal. The second point I wanted to make is that I do not agree it is through experience alone where you stated ” Experience is the greatest reason for existence, and hopefully, it eventually teaches us what love is. ” I believe it is knowledge that is the end resulting trust, for it is the fruit of the experience.

2 Peter 2:20 ” For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. ”

Are life here on earth is a series of tests to prepare our spirits for the next age of his plans. Also to make it clear I am not talking about religion here, just a guide map to the narrow gateway that is in us, experience is good, but it is so much more then that, we can use knowledge to gain other experiences to learn new knowledge.


Joshua Tilghman February 18, 2013 at 9:51 am


You make a good point. Actually in other posts I have stated many times that the literal interpretation is the foundation we build from. First in the natural, then in the spiritual. For the record, I should have stated that sticking with the literal only causes a sort of spiritual death of of the seed that was first planted. In other words, the literal plants the seed, but the allegorical and spiritual interpretation brings that seed to sprout. So yes, the literal and spiritual interpretation go hand in hand, and you can’t have one without the other. Thanks for pointing this out for other readers.



Dean Webster March 12, 2013 at 12:37 am

Thank you Joshua for this study! I was REALLY happy when I read the last sentence of your study that says: ” … most Biblical concepts come directly from the “east” in the first place.”

I was an orthodox fundamental Christian of the Reformed faith for 25 solid years. Finally in 2005 I began seeing the truth and realizing that ” … most Biblical concepts come directly from the “east” in the first place.” I was almost shouting it from the rooftops.

By the way, your study on Baptism is very excellent! I tried to reply with a comment, but the site would not work for me for some reason. Anyway, thanks again. Sincerely, Dean Webster


Joshua Tilghman March 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm


It was great to see your comment. If we all look deeply enough into the Bible, the link between the East and the West becomes solid, doesn’t it? Thanks for contributing, and I am sorry about my site temporarily not working. Blue Host has been having so many issues lately. My site has been down twice in the last week because of problems on their server. I need to move to another host.



anny May 1, 2013 at 5:54 am


‘The Bible truly is a wonderful book. It saddens me that most people who read it don’t understand that it is more about the mind than it is religion, and within its pages are the keys to unlock the higher mind’s potential.’

I have only read these sentences and I love it already. The same can be said I think from nature, astrology, mythology, numerology, the Hebrew language (I discovered that the whole story sometimes is already told by using specific words or names, quite independent from the story that is told with these words and names. The point being that the deeper meaning remains inside it in spite of all possible manipulation, as long as these words and names are used). I think the same might be true of the Arabic language and possibly others.

I think the subjects mentioned are only a few of many more clues that we left for ourselves to find before we put on our bodysuit and blindfold in order to play the game of life in the material dimensions.


Joshua Tilghman May 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm


I find it amazing how fast the original idea of something can be changed into an idol. It has happened with all the major religions, hasn’t it?


anny May 2, 2013 at 2:57 am

I am afraid so, maybe with some more than others though. That is also why I started investigating what was the essence of all of them instead of searching for the true religion. I find it rather naive to think that one particular religion (your own of course) knows the total truth and everyone else is wrong. I started searching for the truth in religion instead and soon arrived at the esoteric side of all of them.


anny May 1, 2013 at 6:28 am

Desert in Hebrew is midbar, 40-4-2-200. Again you see the fourty of ego/emotion, the four of the material world, the two of duality and the twohundred of the point of greatest fragmentation. HOWEVER, the fourhundred of slavery/deepest suffering is no longer there. The people (we) been delivered from it but the numbers/characters of the word midbar shows that this is the phase in which we have to balance and integrate all the other things. Quite a job, no wonder it took ’40’ years to reach the promised land but even there we have to continue in the form of killing the peoples who already live there. Killing them I think means finishing the job we started in the desert; it is more specific.

Midbar can also be read as 40-dabar. Dabar means word and in Greek it is called logos, the Logos too. It means that during this whole journey of selfdiscovery and gaining awareness God, our higher consciousness is there with us. Midbar can also be read as medaber, speaker. The desert, the silence of the wilderness, also speaks to us during our stay there.


Dumisani July 4, 2013 at 7:23 am

Hi Josh
The story of conciousness and the beginning of life is intriguing. I feel that although the approach to the narration of men’s essenses or beginning may differ but most of the things that you write about are close to home. Dumisani


Joshua Tilghman July 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm


Thanks for commenting. If you ever want to discuss ideas feel free. Blessings!


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