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. 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…