We have already discussed (in part 2 of this series) how Job’s three friends represent the mental, astral, and physical bodies. These natures are seamlessly integrated with our soul and they all play a part in the evolutionary development of our consciousness, from the lower to the higher mind. Without these bodies, the self would not be able to evolve in such a profound way— the stage of planet earth is truly the perfect avenue for consciousness to mature spiritually! And finally, we should realize that the Bible itself is a magnificent spiritual roadmap that breaks all this down for us—albeit through symbolism and esoteric knowledge. In other words, you will not learn this stuff in church!
As you read through this post, remember that Job represents the incarnate self, and his surrounding friends are his mental, emotional, and physical nature (we’ll learn about the causal nature through Job’s fourth friend later). The incarnate self (Job) will transition to a spiritually evolved being which is clearly evidenced through the interactions and dialogues between Job, his friends, and God.
In our last post we left off with Job’s immense suffering. His family and riches have been destroyed, and now his physical body is ill. Job’s three friends arrive on the scene to comfort him, but instead they cause more anguish to his soul. In Job’s own words:
“My friends scorn me…” (Job 16:20).
That is because these three lower natures—the mental, astral, and physical—always bring a certain amount of anguish to our souls. But we do well to remember that it is through our sufferings that the self is eventually transformed and learns to express love, and to manifest the Christ.
Which of Job’s friends represents what?
Now that Job’s friends are all present at this pity party, let’s dissect them. Eliphaz speaks first. He represents our mental nature. He is the voice of reason, and he surmises that Job is suffering because of some type of sin he committed. He tells Job:
“Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent” (Job 4:4-7).
He is also the most compassionate of the three friends; his tone is calm. This is what we would expect coming from the voice of reason. But we must remember that the lower mental nature is somewhat flawed, especially since it is almost always tied in with the emotional nature.
Lee Bladon, author of The Science of Spirituality, states:
“Most people’s mental bodies are entangled with their emotional bodes, meaning their thoughts are always tinged with emotion. This explains why most people find it extremely difficult to make logical and unemotional decisions or to think 100% rationally. Thoughts are supposed to give us an advantage over instinct by allowing us to analyze a situation…Many people cannot objectively assess a situation because their emotions distort their perceptions.”
Bladon’s words can easily be applied to Eliphaz, and although Eliphaz isn’t correct in his assessment of Job, he does represent another important step in the spiritual journey of the self: the beginning of moral conscience. He tells Job:
“I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause…” (Job 5:8).
Bildad the Emotional Nature
Job’s next friend, Bildad, exercises a harsher tone imbued with a deeper level of judgment. It is the voice of pure emotion, unbridled by the mental nature’s reason and logic. Bildad tells Job:
“If thou were pure and upright, surely now he [God] would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous” (Job 8:6).
Ouch, Bildad! I could see Job receiving a lot of encouragement from him. Some friend, huh?
Our unbridled emotional natures are quite harsh. His speech reminds me of the spiritual spankings pastors sometimes dole out to their congregation members for going against the church’s doctrines, rules, and regulations.
Lee Bladon has this to say about the emotional body:
“Emotional thoughts are subjective, opinionated, and judgment, because all emotions boil down to attraction (love) and repulsion (hate).”
However, we must not lose heart with our emotional nature. Mr. Bladon continues to teach us that:
“The emotional body is a very important instrument for human development because it is where the self makes most of its choices in life—choices which primarily develop its understanding of duality (opposites): good and bad, happy and sad, pleasure and pain, courage and fear, forgiveness and revenge, certainty and doubt, etc.”
As we continue to read through the rest of Bildad’s speeches, his judgmental attitude remains. It is also interesting to note that Job cannot see the truth of the higher self. In one of his speeches, he defends himself against Bildad by stating:
“…but how should man be just with god…Lo, he [God] goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not” (Job 9:2, 11).
How could he? How can we, for that matter? The lower mind is always the veil that separates us from our highest selves. This veil is the byproduct of the perfect self manifested through the limited natures of the mental, astral, and physical natures.
Zophar the physical nature
Next we have Job’s third friend, Zophar, who represents the physical (5 senses) nature. Part of his imperfection is thinking that Job has transgressed the principles of God’s wisdom. Much of his speech focuses on the sins of the physical flesh and what God will do to the physical man:
“If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacle [body, heart]” (Job 11:14).
“When he [wicked man] is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him…He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through. It is drawn, and cometh out of the body…” (Job 20: 23-25).
“The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods flow away…” (Job 20:28).
He also admonishes Job to ponder God’s awesomeness through the physical creation:
“Canst though by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as the heaven…The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea…” (Job 11:7-9).
Elihu the causal body
In chapter thirty-two, a mysterious fourth friend appears and speaks for the first time. He comes out of nowhere and his mysterious appearance lets us know that he represents something special. His name is Elihu. Elihu is an interesting character. He represents the causal body. The causal body is higher than the mental body and when consciousness dwells here the individual has spiritually matured well beyond the average person.
There is something different about the speeches of Elihu, and, although he is not perfect, it is clear from the narrative that he is wiser and more mature than the other three.
“And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old…yeah, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words…They (Job’s other friends) were amazed, they answered no more…” (Job 32:6-15).
It always struck me that a younger man could speak more wisdom than an older man. In our natural world, we don’t see it that way. But remember this story isn’t literal. When Elihu spoke, the other men shut up because this is the voice of the self which has come to reside in the causal body. He is younger than the other two because when the self comes to reside here it is the next step in consciousness evolution where the ego is overcome. There is more wisdom in the causal self than in the mental self, etc. Notice also how Job’s other three friends answered no more. This is because their influence had waned as the individual had matured beyond thought influence by emotion and the physical senses. It represents a leap to intuition.
I also want to you to notice that Elihu doesn’t get in trouble by God like Job’s other three friends. After the Lord shows up and instructs Job, he tells Eliphaz and his two friends, Bildad and Zophar:
“Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer yourselves up a burnt offering: and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that you have not spoken of me that thing which is right, like my servant Job” (Job 42:8).
Unto Elihu God instructs no such judgment. Elihu is left alone and doesn’t need a burned sacrifice to cover his sin against Job.
So what does Bladon have to say about the causal body?
“Causal consciousness enables an enlightened individual to directly determine whether a mentally derived belief system is correct and fully correlates with reality. It is only at this stage the belief becomes knowing and the last traces of doubt are finally banished.”
I think it is important to point out that Bladon does not correlate belief with doctrine or religion. He is speaking more of intuition.
The meaning of the seven sacrifices for Job’s friends
I now want to revisit the reason God required sacrifices from Job’s three friends. If you remember in the last post, seven was a number that represents completion of a cycle. Job’s guilty friends had to take seven bullocks and seven rams to cover their sins, and they had to be offered up by Job (the self)! What is this telling us?
It is simply stating that Job himself was responsible for overcoming Satan (the ego and his limitations in the human experience) and maturing into the divine Christ that was a part of him all along.
This is further evidenced in this verse in Job 42:10, 12. Please pay attention to the bolded words:
“And the Lord turned the captivity [his soul] of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before…So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…(Job 42:10, 12).
This entire story is yet another illustration of why salvation is our own responsibility and that we cannot entrust this process to someone else, not even Jesus who walked the earth 2000 years ago. Like the Gnostics taught, we are not saved in Jesus’ death, but we are saved through his life, i.e., by being transformed by his teachings and wisdom, and by taking up our own cross daily as he did! As Job states:
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye hath seen thee” (Job 42:5).
If we are going to be like Job, we are going to have to get to a point where we see God. This doesn’t mean see God literally, because this is impossible with physical eyes. Even if Job were a literal man, he wouldn’t have meant that he had seen God with his eyes. That scriptures means that he experienced God personally instead of just learning about God through the teachings of his fathers (or church for that matter)! Don’t get me wrong, church can be a great avenue for encouragement, help, and love. But it cannot offer you the truth of salvation, and neither can church doctrine. Salvation can only be experienced within.
The seven sacrifices also stand for the completion of Job’s cycle of ascension. As the conquering Christ, he had overcome the ego by ascending to the causal plane. When God first arrived on the scene in the whirlwind, he asked Job who his three friends were who “darketh council” with their speeches. In other words, they were like foolish children following their impulses and justifying their actions by their own shortsightedness. And isn’t this what the lower nature of man always does?
It is high time that we wake up and realize this truth. It is high time that true spirituality comes into this world and that we begin to use the Bible and other holy texts with the wisdom of their deeper teachings and meanings instead of reading them purely literal.