Will the Esoteric Jesus Please Stand Up?

by Joshua Tilghman on March 25, 2013

esoteric jesusMany people have looked for a clear presentation of the esoteric Jesus in the Bible. He’s really not so hard to find. In fact, once the Biblical symbols are properly decoded he practically screams from the text! The reason the esoteric Jesus has remained veiled is because the church has lost the art of decoding these symbols. Over the next few posts we’ll resurrect that art as it relates to Jesus’ major life initiations: coming out of Egypt, his Baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. By decoding these six major events, anyone can gain a clear appreciation for the esoteric and mystical inner Christ.

I’ll be using Gaskell’s Dictionary of Scripture and Myth throughout the next few posts to decode important symbols for you. I’ll also be interjecting some of my own thoughts in favor of the esoteric Jesus over an exoteric one. Whatever your persuasion, I’m sure this post will give you something new to think aboutJ

Two Natures of Man

In order to fully comprehend the esoteric Jesus, you have to understand man’s dual natures. Genesis provides lots of evidence for this, but we’ll discuss one scripture in particular for now.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” (Gen. 2:7).

The Hebrew word translated formed is unique because it is spelled with two consecutive Yods. When the scripture speaks of God forming the animals, only one Yod is used. Through this spelling the Genesis author is showing us man’s dual nature.

Contrary to popular church belief, the dual nature of man should not be considered as the soul and the physical body. This incomplete concept comes from popular scriptures like:

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41).

The flesh is a symbol for the passions and desires of the lower mental-emotional nature in man. The physical body itself is simply a temple that has the potential to express both the lower and higher nature of man. The higher intellect of man is supposed to rule the passions and desires of man.

As we study the major initiations of Jesus’ life, we’ll see how it represents the transition into the higher states of consciousness where the lower nature dies off as it is merged with the higher.

Out of Egypt

Shortly after Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary had to flee with him to Egypt. This is an obvious move. To understand why, let’s look at Gaskell’s definition of Jesus:

Jesus of the Gospels: A symbol of the indwelling Higher Self (Christ), or Divine Spirit in man, evolving towards complete manifestation. In other words, it is the Divinised Soul, or Christ-soul, not yet but almost perfected. It represents the personality towards the end of the cycle, becoming perfect at the conclusion in the death of the lower nature and the rise of consciousness to the higher.”

Now let’s look at Gaskell’s definition of Egypt:

Egypt: …Egypt is a symbol of the lower mental plane with its knowledge of the things of the world, and the objects of desire.

As you can see, Egypt is the realm of the egoic lower nature. Based on the above definition, Jesus had to flee into Egypt so he could come out of Egypt since he represents the evolving soul. Jesus’ going into and then subsequently coming out of Egypt is pattern that is established with all the giants of scripture.

Abraham had to come out of Egypt. He was forced into Egypt because of a famine in the land. Gaskell gives this definition for famine:

Famine in the land: Symbolic of a period of mental and emotional inertia wherein there is a lack of substance and satisfaction for the soul.

If you remember Abraham went in a cowardly liar who lets his wife live with Pharaoh, but he comes out of Egypt a changed man who God then establishes a great covenant with.

Moses also had to come out of Egypt. He was ruled by his eogic passions when he became a murderer after killing the Egyptian for beating a Hebrew slave. But after leaving Egypt he became the meekest man in the world who was faithful in all God’s house.

And finally we shouldn’t forget the nation of Israel. Since Israel also represents the man or woman on the path of the evolving soul, the entire nation had to come out of Egypt (the egoic nature).

The same is true for usJ

Just for fun, I decided to do a search for the phrase “out of Egypt” using Bible software. From the King James Bible, that phrase and a few other variations like “out of the land of Egypt,” showed up in 114 verses!

The fact that Jesus comes out of Egypt simply reveals the esoteric nature of Jesus’ life: even Jesus leaves the egoic nature behind in order to evolve from the lower to the higher nature.

Before we leave Egypt, there are two more important scriptures to discuss. Our first is Matthew 2:15:

“…that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, out of Egypt have I called my son.”

This supposed prophecy comes from Hosea 11:1. It’s supposed to be a reason Jesus is said to have gone down into Egypt, but it’s actually a historical statement about the nation of Israel, not Jesus.

“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” (Hosea 11:1).

The very next verse from Hosea states:

“…they sacrificed to Baalim, and burned incense to graven images” (Hosea 11:2).

That second verse makes it plain. The Hosea scripture is about what happened to the nation of Israel and has nothing to do with prophecy about Jesus. How could the writer of Matthew make such a glaring mistake? Simple. It wasn’t a mistake, but rather attests to the esoteric nature of the scriptures!

You may remember that Herod the king wanted to kill Jesus. Gaskell’s Dictionary gives this definition for him:

Herod the King: A symbol of the lower principle as the ruler of the lower nature of the soul. It represents the worldly, sordid side of the lower nature in which Spirit is at its lowest ebb.

The writer of the Gospel of Matthew has effectively employed a literal character of history, Herod, and used him as an archetype in the story of Jesus. Most of us have a Herod in our lives. And just like Herod did to Jesus, Herod does to us.

So in order to form the Christ within, you must first come out of Egypt. Most of humanity is still operating in Egypt under the lower nature with passion and desires that don’t please the spirit. That’s why the world has so many problems.

The next major step in his evolutionary journey is his baptism. We can easily identify many esoteric elements in this part of his story, but I’ll focus on one. First, let’s look at Gaskell’s definition for John.

John the Baptist: A symbol of the moral nature which of necessity precedes the coming of the spiritual into the human soul. It purifies by truth (water), and is the herald and forerunner of the Christ-birth.

As we can see, Jesus’ ministry could not properly begin without meeting John (purified by truth). Now let’s take a look at an interesting dialogue between Jesus and John that proclaims the esoteric nature of the meeting, as well as giving Gaskell’s definition of John support. When Jesus came to John to be baptized, the scripture states:

“But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:14-15).

I always used to wonder why Jesus replied that it becomes him to fulfill all righteousness. If Jesus was God, why did he need to be baptized by John? Why did he need to be baptized to fulfill being righteous?  It makes no sense literally, but as a symbolic aspect of the evolving nature of the soul it makes perfect since. As Gaskell’s Dictionary points out, Jesus’ act symbolizes a stage in all our lives where our developing moral natures becomes closer to perfection as we are purged by truth. Don’t we all have to go through this step immediately after realizing the ego for what it is? This is the first major stage in realizing the truth: that we are not the ego, the “I” that we thought we were based on life’s circumstances and the decisions we have made in it. The spirit that dwells in us is the real truth, not the illusory nature of the ego which is focused through the outside senses.  As John makes clear, Jesus has the power to baptize with fire (kundalini), but it doesn’t happen until after his ascension. No wonder John makes this a future prophecy. Jesus himself is in the process of coming into the higher self. We’ll see this process more fully developed at the next major initiation of his ministry: the transfiguration. We’ll pick up this stage in Jesus’ life in our next post.

Closing thoughts

For those of you doubting whether Jesus’ life includes dissolving the ego through the evolution of man’s lower nature into the higher, consider the master’s commandment himself to us:

“By ye therefore perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).

The definition from Strong’s concordance for perfect is:

G5046 (Telios) – complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character).

When Jesus is telling us to be perfect, he is telling us to be complete in the growth of our mental-emotional nature. This has more to do with the mind than anything. And as we’ll see in the next posts, the transfiguration, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension will take Jesus beyond just the growth of the mental-emotional nature and into perfection, ending the cycle of birth and death.

Paul also states:

“…be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2).

The definition in Strong’s Concordance for mind is:

“…the intellect, that is mind (…in thought, feeling, or will)…”

The two natures of man then are about mind!


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

motla68 March 25, 2013 at 10:39 am

2 Cr. 4:3
” But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: ”

2 Cr 4:4
” In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them ”

2 Cr 4:5
” For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. ”

2 Cr 4:6
” For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ”

2 Cr 4:7
” But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. ”

Yes, I believe the above 4 versus describe the ascension you speak of. Leaving the god of this world to ascend to the God in us, it goes from point A to point B without even mentioning baptism though. I also believe that jesus did not have to go through it, but was leading by example symbolically of coming out from the waters of the mother. Seems to be the truth that God had already chosen us even if we did not choose him, when we arrived into this world from the waters of the mother we were already blessed with the gift of life in a earthly vessel. Transforming from the age of minority to the age of majority is being set free from bondage, Galatians 4.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the microcosm of religious texts that we miss the macrocosm of the universe, this includes all of mammons laws.


Joshua Tilghman March 26, 2013 at 11:31 am

So true, Motla. Thanks for adding this.


Robert March 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Josh. Good synchronicity in the topic of “coming out of Egypt”. Tonight is the first night of Passover this year.


Joshua Tilghman March 26, 2013 at 11:29 am

Honestly, I hadn’t even considered that. Thanks for pointing it out!


Robert March 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Josh, I did not quite understand the 2 yods being used in the Hebrew word for “formed”. Was there an actual language or grammatical reason for there being two yods, or is the extra yod there for no reason that can be explained, but as a clue that two of something was formed?


Robert March 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Josh, I answered my own question by doing a little research. Gen 2:7 is the only verse in the OT where there are two yods in the Hebrew word for formed. And it is the rabbis who later assigned an explanation even though there is no linguistic one known. They explained the two yods are there because man has both a good inclination and an evil inclination and is capable of choosing the good. So this explanation is kind of a little story the rabbis used to elaborate on Jewish religious thinking, rather than a causal explanation. So your view of the dualistic nature of man is the same as the rabbinical one. As you already know, turns out there are a lot of deviations from standard use of language in Genesis, and a rabbinical story for each one of them. In any case, sometime way back when, an accurate and systematic esoteric explanation might have been taught and lost… to be rediscovered by studious effort and the spirit.


Joshua Tilghman March 26, 2013 at 11:28 am

Thanks Robert, you beat me to it. I was going to give an better explanation here but you have done great! It is quite interesting, isn’t it? All Christians should become familiar with the wisdom of the ancient rabbis.


anny July 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hi Joshua and Robert,

This is not the only place where alternative spellings are used in the Hebrew bible. I have noticed it myself several times now and it is always done intentionally.

I already wrote in one comment that in the story about Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil, when they realized they were naked, in the word naked suddenly a jod appeared between the ajin and the resh, which made the word ‘er’ (awake) that forms part of the word arum, naked, disappear. They were not awake any longer.

Also in the story about king David, who wants to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem on a wagon drawn by two cows, the cows slip or something and the Ark threathens to fall. Then a man called Uzza quickly tries to grab the Ark, which was absolutely forbidden. The name of Uzza before and after this incident have different spellings because the Uzza from before the incident had changed into a different Uzza. I do not know if you have ever done a blog post on this subject already or if you are planning on doing so, Joshua?

The third example is when Moses is standing near the burning bush in the desert and is shown the two miracles he has to perform for the Pharaoh.

God asks Moses: What is that what you have in your hand? It should be written as: Mah zeh? What is that, two words (and immediately afterward it is, in between brackets) but in the text it says: Mazeh? One word.

Moses’ answer is one word too: Mateh, a stick, a word that is written almost the same as the question.

By the ‘mistake’ the two words are linked together and the attention is pointed at the two characters that are different. The zajin, 7, of the question becomes teth, 9, in the answer, that Moses himself supplies. He remembers what it is all about. The seven points at the return to the Promised which will culminate in the completion of the process and the birth of the Higher Awareness.

So you see why I love it when I come across something like that.


J Tom Harris March 26, 2013 at 9:21 am

Please read all of Romans Chapter 8 Please read all of Chapter 10 Science of Beingof book \”Science and Health with Key to the criptures\And this will lead you into the eternal LifeBliss and Love principal of perfection of God Our father consciousness.


Joshua Tilghman March 26, 2013 at 11:27 am

Thanks Tom. Will do.


Christine Hoeflich March 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Thanks Josh, wonderful article. Yes, you are right on in that it’s about becoming complete: the higher nature / higher self merging fully into the lower nature, and informing it and fulfilling it. Thanks for this article!


anny July 13, 2013 at 9:46 am

Hi Joshua,

You quote: “Just for fun, I decided to do a search for the phrase “out of Egypt” using Bible software. From the King James Bible, that phrase and a few other variations like “out of the land of Egypt,” showed up in 114 verses!”

This is only the exact term but the verb jatsa, which means go out or come out, has exactly the same meaning and is mentioned probably hundreds of times more. At least I recognized it as one of the key words in the bible during my research. In translations however it has often disappeared.

“Herod the King: A symbol of the lower principle as the ruler of the lower nature of the soul. It represents the worldly, sordid side of the lower nature in which Spirit is at its lowest ebb.”

King Herod can also be interpreted as the rule of fear. The name Herod comes from the verb charad, to tremble, to fear. Overcoming your fear is one of the most important things.


Joshua Tilghman July 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Anny, good points. Fear always kills the Christ child within us, doesn’t it? Excellent points!


Michael March 8, 2017 at 6:53 am

Herod the symbol of fear… and life in this world that inherits fear… Fear the fear… “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”… is to live and come to experience the fear without vacating. This is the epitome of quelling the fear that reigns. This truly sets us free as Christ, the highest consciousness in Man attainable, is the greatest symbol of our evolution and freedom. We become alive in death and from death, alive.


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