Joshua Tells the Sun and the Moon to Stand Still: Meditation for Higher Awareness

by Joshua Tilghman on July 29, 2013

Moon stands stillOne of the strangest stories of the Bible, and, perhaps one of the most improbable, is when the sun and moon stand still at the command of Joshua so the Israelites can finish slaughtering their enemies. The Bible states:

“Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies” (Joshua 10:12-13).

As a literal event this would be pretty spectacular, but in order for that to be true we would first have to eliminate a false assumption of the author; that the sun moves around a fixed earth. If this were a literal story inspired by God, it would be more accurate to state that the earth stood still, not the sun. Next we would have to come to some mind-blowing conclusions about the natural laws of the universe; if the earth really stood still, everything would be thrown off kilter which would in turn start chain reactions having far reaching consequences for life on our planet. We might as well say that God suddenly changed the laws that govern the proper function of the universe…and that it didn’t matter that much! Sorry. The laws that keep everything working in proper order, like the earth rotating on its axis, can’t just be switched off and on for the sake of allowing some people to finish what they started. This story is obviously esoteric in nature, so what’s it mean?

This story is actually one of my Old Testament favorites because it is about meditation and a shift in consciousness, and once the symbols are interpreted, it gives us one of the keys to communing with God. Let’s break down the story.

The sun represents the mind. The moon represents the emotions. This profound story is about stilling the mind and the emotions (ego) to help reveal the truth about the higher self. This happens in the act of meditation. Through continual, advanced meditation, we retract from the world of our five senses and experience a shift in consciousness. This shift is about conquering your enemies, which in the case of the story of Joshua is also about conquering the five senses. As we’ll see in a minute, after the sun and moon stand still, Joshua has to slay five kings (the five senses) in a cave in order for Israel to continue towards possessing the Promised Land, or higher awareness.

The Blessings of Meditation

When you meditate, you are invoking God’s presence. In the story of Joshua and this battle, the author puts it like this:

“And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man…” (Joshua 10: 14).

The LORD here as the natural process of consciousness evolution, has no choice but to hearken unto your efforts of stilling the mind and the emotions in the process of meditation. Consider the point that Joshua speaks directly to the sun and the moon, even though the author tells us that Joshua is speaking to the LORD. Let at the verse again:

“Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.”

Realizing that the sun represents the mind and the moon the emotions, the author is equating the LORD with a still mind and emotions? Is that even Biblical? Let me remind you of Psalms 46:10:

 “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

To “be still” is to meditate and transcend the mind and emotions (ego). Being “exalted among the heathen” simply means that consciousness is raised above the lower thoughts and emotions (heathen), and being “exalted in the earth” means that consciousness is raised in our lower nature consisting of the physical body and the lower mental-astral self. This is exactly what’s represented in the story of Joshua and the Israelites.

Meditation allows us to pause from our external reality and helps us connect with a greater aspect of ourselves. And this is where the LORD fights the battle for us.

“…For the LORD fought for Israel” (Joshua 10:14).

When we enter meditation there is nothing to do. Consciousness will be raised naturally. We don’t have to force it or do anything. We are simply “be-ing,” which always brings more awareness into the picture.

The rest of the story continues to teach us more about meditation’s effect on us. After Joshua commands that the sun and moon stand still, he continues to kill the enemy.  They slay many men. But the enemy kings of all those men get away and go to hide in a cave. The scripture states:

“But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Mekkedah. And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to keep them” (Joshua 10:17-18).

The five kings represent the five senses. The cave in which they hide is symbolic of the lower nature of the soul. Caves are dark and dismal because they are devoid of light. So it is with the lower nature of the soul; it is devoid of the divine light of higher awareness. The soul which experiences awareness through the five senses only is like one of the kings in this cave. Joshua, representative of the higher self, must crucify this problem, which he eventually does. We all know that in meditation we no longer rely on the five senses to be aware of our environment. Instead we are turning inward, beyond the five senses.

Parallels with the Story of Jesus

It might be beneficial for some to pause a moment and see the parallels with this story and the story of Christ.

In some of the earliest stories of Christ, Jesus, like Mithra, was born in a cave. An early church father, Justin Martyr, believed this to be true as he states in a Dialogue with Trypho. Justin Martyr believed Jesus was moved to the manger after he had been in the cave! If Jesus represents the spiritual evolution of man’s soul, this makes sense. All men are born in the dark cave of their own ignorance as to their true natures until the ego is completely transcended, as in Jesus’ ascension.

As we’ll also see in a moment, what ensues in the story of Joshua is a forerunner of the crucifixion of Jesus in the New Testament. Consider the verses in the story below:

“Then said Joshua, open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave…And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them (the five senses / ego), and hanged them on five trees…” (Joshua 10:22, 26).

Jesus was hung on a cross. These five kings were hung on trees. It is interesting to note that the Greek word for “cross” is stauros, which means a “stake” or “post.” A post resembles a tree more than the cross!

Maybe you are seeing some interesting connections? The story of Jesus representing the spiritual evolution of our souls is no different (esoterically) than the story of Joshua and the Israelites coming into the Promised Land. Jesus crucified the mind and emotions at Golgatha (the place of the skull / the mind), and the Israelites overcome their mind and emotions where the sun and moon stand still: Gibeon. As Anny pointed out in a comment from my last article, Gibeon represents a place of “higher awareness.” When the lower emotions are transmuted into higher ones (Gibeon), higher awareness takes place, and meditation helps with this process.

Understanding that Gibeon is the place of higher awareness is important in the story. Let’s back up a bit to see why. The reason Joshua and the Israelites even fought with and killed these five kings is because they originally came after the men of Gibeon. The men of Gibeon are the same men that tricked Joshua into making peace with them earlier. This made these five kings furious, so they went to make war with Gibeon. Since Joshua had made peace with them, representing the individual transmuting lower emotions into higher ones, Joshua and the Israelites were obligated to fight for them. Their obligation simply signifies the individual acting in accordance with overcoming the emotion of desire.

The lower nature (represented by the five kings) always seeks to assail the opportunity for higher awareness. Higher awareness is the natural outcome of many incarnations and experiences of the soul, but it comes through the eventual subjugation of the five senses to the experience of higher consciousness.

More on Meditaiton As It Relates to this Story with Joshua

There were a few verses that I skipped earlier in between Joshua dragging the five kings out of the cave and the act of hanging them on a tree. I quote those below:

“And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, come near, and put your feet upon the necks of them…And Joshua said unto them, fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight” (Joshua 10: 24-25).

Again, it is the LORD that wins the fight. We don’t have to do anything. Many people think that raising consciousness is about something we do. But it’s not. Meditation is the act of “taking no thought.” This doesn’t mean that the mind goes blank during meditation. It means that the thoughts and emotions of the lower nature are slowly and eventually transmuted as the higher and lower nature merge. Meditation is one aspect in which energies of the higher self / Holy Spirit enters into the physical vessel. As we already saw in the Psalms, the LORD “will be exalted in the earth.” This can also happen through praise, prayer (a type of meditation) mantras, etc.

During meditation your higher self is communing with you. Things are happening, even if you might not sense it happening.

Closing Thoughts

Understanding the esoteric meaning of this story shatters old-world religious notions about how we understand and worship the creator. This story shows us that God is truly ONE, and we cannot experience this one-ness externally. We will not find this one-ness in church, or in a doctrine, or through the authority and leading of another man. This one-ness can only be experienced within ourselves, as an awesome function somewhere within the core of who we are, because deep down in this core, we are already ONE with God.

Old-world notions about God are incompatible with this view because man continually sees God through the eyes of his own ego. This is okay to do when functioning in day-to-day life, but we have to balance our being with the internal aspect of who we are in order to spiritually evolve. The story of Joshua asking the sun and the moon to stand still drives this point home to us.

Blessings!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Igor July 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Interesting and wise interpretation, and I agree with most of it. Can you please share your thoughts on what Jesus meant when he said “For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death.” ? This was written in the Gospel of Thomas. I can share my understanding as well if youd like to hear it. Thanks.

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Joshua Tilghman July 30, 2013 at 11:30 am

Igor,

The verse before the one you mention states:

“Blessed is the one who came into being before coming into being. If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you.”

I believe Jesus is talking about the nature of the higher self before it manifested in limited form in the physical. Jesus then goes on to talk about our return to the higher self. The five trees represent the five elements, which are also related to the senses. Whoever masters them by the completion of our spiritual evolution will see the five elements as one.

I would love to hear your added thoughts. The Gospel of Thomas is a powerful book, but perhaps one of the hardest spiritual works to decode.

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Mike S July 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm

I decided to do a little searching on this, wow their is allot out their on the lost day. It only takes a few minutes of searching on the net to see their is some scientific evidence that we have lost a day.
Around the time of the event in other parts of the world their are other recordings of the sun not going down for a day
Some theorize that the earth was hit by a large meteor around this time in the pacific area and caused a slight slowing causing the lost day. Also during that time it would not be uncommon to give God the credit, which was done by most nations for both positive and negative experiences.

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Joshua Tilghman July 30, 2013 at 11:17 am

Mike,

There are a ton of internet stories saying that even NASA provides evidence for the “lost day.” But be careful, workers from NASA itself have claimed this was bogus. Check snopes.com (http://www.snopes.com/religion/lostday.asp) to see how this interesting myth got started.

As far as other cultures recoding the same event: couldn’t we say that those religious stories provide the same esoteric information as the Book of Joshua? Most ancient cultures tell of a world-wide flood too, although there are usually slight variations in how many people survived, where they landed, etc.

I do believe a meteorite could have hit the earth in the very distant past causing a slight change in the earth’s axis, but I don’t think this story in the Bible is literal. Did you find any solid evidence that would say the earth actually lost a day at the time the Israelites were supposedly defeating these kings?

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motla68 July 30, 2013 at 10:01 am

LOL , how ironic the name Joshua in there. Hang the kings without a direct physical action, go Joshua !

Peace will come with the ascension of all who believe, when the good outweighs the evil this is the symbological return of christ to earth, just as it says in the book of life how we cannot reach God
from nowhere else but through Jesus the Christ, that which is potentially in all of us.

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Joshua Tilghman July 30, 2013 at 11:00 am

Well said!

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Igor July 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Motla, Christ dosn’t return, he never left… he is always with you, even in your very thoughts… it is that which watches your thoughts, it is you. So to say Christ returns or leaves is not accurate, as that which is eternal has nowhere to go, its everpresent, however, it is our attention that goes from truth to error, or good to evil, etc.

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motla68 July 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Good analog Igor, In adding to that he is always with us but the conflicts of interests between heaven and hell are outwardly projections.

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anny July 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Hello Joshua,

You call this a parallel to the story about Jesus. I think it really is the same story told in a different way, as happens so often in the bible.

Even the names are the same really: Jesus = Jeshua, the same name as Joshua
Ben Nun, Son of the Fifty, means more or less the same as Christ!

Both names can be seen as a principle as well as a person. Jeshua means rescue, help, salvation. The only way to salvation is manifesting (resurrecting) the Christ nature by crucifixion of the ego.

As far as cross or stake is concerned, I prefer the symbol of the cross. It is a symbol used in many cultures and has a profound meaning in all of them.

The last character of the Hebrew alphabet used to be written as a cross, lying on its side. It is the number 400, which directly ties it to the slavery in Egypt, where the ego was in total control, and as such to everything that has to be crucified if you want to be delivered from Egypt.

As Hebrew word cross is tselav, which you can read as tsel-2, shadow of duality or life in duality with all its ups and downs. After you have lived through this, crucifying your emotions, and have grown mild and wise because of it, you find out that you can also read it as 90-lev, birth of the heart. Ninety means that it is the result of a long process (Sara was 90 when she gave birth to Isaac) but the result is the birth of the unconditional love from the Christ consciousness.

As far as the five kings are concerned, in Genesis 14 there is also mention of five kings, one of them the king of Sodom. They were at war with four kings, and during this war Lot, Abraham’s nephew who lived in Sodom, had been taken prisoner and Abraham entered this war on the side of the five kings in order to liberate him. Have you any idea how to interpret that?

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Joshua Tilghman July 31, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Anny,

I prefer the cross as well. I think we have talked about this before, but it originally signified the concept of spirit being crucified in matter, whereas the horizontal line is the feminine / matter aspect and the vertical line represents the masculine / spirit aspect. As you well know, this is essentially the story of all of us, as is the story of Christ and the story here in Joshua. And you’re right, they are basically the same story, but a lot of Christians take issue with this because they are still seeking the deeper meaning found within both stories.

I have thought about the five kings in Genesis 14, but instead of elaborating here, I would like to do a blog post on it. One thing I will say is that at that point in the story the character is Abram, and has not transitioned to Abraham yet. I am sure you can see the implications there.

I am going to do a series on Abraham some time in the future. I am thinking it will be a long series with quite a few posts. We’ll see! Blessings!

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anny August 1, 2013 at 9:24 am

Hello Joshua,

Yes, I see there are implications here. The difference between Abram and Abraham in Hebrew is one character, he, the number five. Before he becomes Abraham, his name is Avram, av ram, which you can read as something like lofty father. Ram means elevated, exalted, lofty, grand. You find it in the names of the high places, like Ramoth, Ramathajim etc.

Prof. Weinreb, the one who got me started on all this, says that the name Abraham is already menationed in a hidden way in Genesis 2:4. This is the story of heaven and earth when they were created (in Hebrew literally ‘in their creation’).

This Hebrew term is: behibar’am. Hibar’am has exactly the same characters as Abraham, only the he, the 5, is written a little smaller and also somewhat above the line of the other characters. At this stage the five was already included in this creation (Man) but still dormant, you might say, as Man was stil awake.

In Abram, 1-2-200-40, you also find the characters that make up the verb to create, bara, 2-200-1, which you might see as the process from unity through duality to multipleness (is that a word?) and back to (conscious) unity and oneness. Abram is still in unity and oneness (not able to multiply) and the ego, though already there, is still not active.

In Genesis 15:12, after Abram (at God’s command) had divided certain animals into two pieces and placed those opposite each other in a row, plus at both ends an undivided bird, he fell into a deep sleep, a tardema, just as Adam when God separated his/her male and female side (rib and side are the same word in Hebrew) and made them independent. Nowhere is written that any of them wakes up after that, neither Adam and Eve, nor Abram.

Soon after that Adam and Eve eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil and Abram fathers a child with an Egyptian slave (!), Hagar, whose name means the stranger. After that Adam and Eve leave the Garden of Eden and Abram becomes Abraham. The descent into the world of duality and matter.

Again twice the same story, I think, with different nuances.

I am looking forward to you doing a series of blogposts about Abram/Abraham.

Love.

Anny

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Igor July 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Yes, I also agree that Jesus was talking about the nature of our higher or true self, which is who we really are. My understanding of the five trees in paradise (wisdom) is this:The five trees that never change are pointing to 5 unchanging principles, which are the principles of sense: vision, hearing, etc. These principles are eternal and continue to exist when the body is destroyed, their existence independent of the natural organs of sense (eyes, nose, ears, etc) has been well documented and proven in 19th century by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby. Else, how is it that one sees their dreams in full color when their eyes are closed to the natural world, or hears and feels, smells and tastes in a dream while the body lays in a slumber? The senses must not depend on the organs to relay experience to us. Else, with what instrument or senses do we see thought or the colors of our imagination?

Quimby writes:\\\”Our life is in our senses; and if our wisdom is in our mind, then we attach our life and senses to matter. But if our wisdom is attached to Science, our life and senses are in God, not in matter, for there is no matter in God or Wisdom. Matter is the medium of Wisdom. This difference has been overlooked by the ancients, and modern philosophers have put mind and soul in matter, thus making a distinction without a difference. Now according to modern philosophy, the soul, mind, life and senses are all liable to die; but according to this truth mind is matter, that which is not true is matter, the life of a lie is matter and all matter must be dissolved. Wisdom is not life. Our senses are not life. A truth is not life. But all these are solid and eternal; and to know them is life and life eternal. Life is in the knowledge of this wisdom, and death is in the destruction of your opinion or matter.\\\”So coming to know the 5 trees or the eternal nature of the five senses, is knowing your existence with all it\\\’s faculties is eternal, it was only expressing itself through being identified with a material body temporarily, but not knowing this, makes us fear destruction of ourselves with the destruction of the body.

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Joshua Tilghman July 31, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Igor,

One of the most enlightening comments I have read! Thank you for taking the time to such a good job of expounding your interpretation for us. I think you are right on. This is an area I am still learning about as well. I have often thought about the fact that we see in color during dreams, or that we have complete conversations and hear people in those same dreams. The senses surely aren’t solely dependent upon physical phenomenon as you state. In the future I want to explore more about this, especially as it relates to the Bible and other scriptures. Again, thank you.

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Igor July 31, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Thats awesome that you ponder about the phenomenon of seeing without eyes, there is a great wisdom in understanding this. It is infact, true clairvoyance when one can detach their senses from the body. Jesus and Quimby both had reached this state of development. I entered my email in the email section of this comment, so feel free to contact me when you have a desire to discuss this further. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and for bringing this subject to light.

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motla68 August 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

Hey Igor,

I am with you there too. In the book of life it mentions the word meditation and that God’s law is now written on our hearts and minds, additonally i had found out that Jesus did spend a lot of time in the region known as India where that proactice is rumored to be sourced from. Also i bet that in the mountains of Tibet it carries some secrets of it’s own.

I have been successful at pulling earth energy for healing and it gave me motivation to learn some more.

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nancy terrell August 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Joshua – I cannot begin to tell you what your blogs mean to my life. I was raised with a literal translation of the Bible, totally, and knew at 13 that this was false. My parents had their own pew in our church (Presbyterian – yes, they were of Scottish descent) and I never missed a Sunday in 18 years. When I finally left home for university, I vowed I would never attend such hogwash again. Now, here I am, many decades later with grandchildren. In the meantime, I have studied Buddhism, Gnostic, Alchemy, Yoga, etc. – you name it, but I have always remained curious about the Bible. Running into your posts was no accident as I am already deep into meditation. Your take of the interpretation of the scriptures is a pure delight and I begin each morning with several of your posts. I copy each and paste them into my notebook on this so that I can edit, etc. I then copy my notebook and transfer your posts to my I-phone and my androids. This way, you are never far from reach. I also enjoy the comment section and am delighted to see that so many younger people will have the advantage of your knowledge. Thank you – Nancy

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Joshua Tilghman August 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Nancy,

I am so glad that my experiences have been able to speak to you. We are all in this together and it’s so nice to connect with people who have been through the same thing and have come to the same conclusions. Many blessings!

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