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Noah, the Ark, and Higher Consciousness

by Joshua Tilghman on April 22, 2012


This week I want to address a story in the Bible that we all learned as children. It is the story of Noah and the ark. For those of us who haven’t studied much ancient history, this story appears—under different names with slightly different variations—in the history of cultures across multiple continents. So what’s the real meaning of this universal story?

The literal rendition of this story yields some pretty amazing and highly improbable events. Imagine being tossed around in a boat for forty days and forty nights sitting on an ocean that covered the highest mountains on earth. Not only would the air be so thin that it would be impossible to breathe, but you would literally freeze to death since Mt. Everest sits at about 30,000 feet. At its summit, temperatures can drop to 60 below zero, and in the summer it never gets above freezing. Break out the oxygen tanks and thermal blankets!

So what’s this story all about, anyway? Was it really a judgment from God condemning all the people on earth to a watery grave except for Noah, his family, and the animals? Or is there a deeper spiritual meaning the Biblical author would like us to walk away with? For those who are spiritually and consciously ready, I think the later is in order.

I want to point out something for my readers who still might be frightened by the word “esoteric” that keeps popping up in my blog post. Many are under the impression that this word signifies secret teaching, but that’s not really the case. Jesus stated the kingdom does not come by observation because it is “within” you! Now apply this same concept to the word esoteric. By esoteric I am simply meaning teachings or stories that are meant to be internalized. The story of Noah and the ark is meant to be understood the same way. The esoteric rendering of this story can teach us much about where we need to be concerning our spiritual development and consciousness.

Many stories and literal structures in the Bible represent the human mind and brain. In an earlier post I showed how Ezekiel’s millennial temple, which can be found here, is exactly that. The story of Noah is also symbolic of the mind. Before delving into this, let’s briefly review the literal story:

At the time of Noah, the earth had become corrupted. God wanted to cleanse his creation, so he devised a plan to flood the earth and rid it of its wickedness. And why was man considered wicked? Genesis states that man was wicked because his thoughts and imaginations were evil (Gen 6:5). I have emphasized the word “thoughts” in the previous sentence because of its relevance to the esoteric rendering of this story, which we’ll address shortly. But first, it is important to know that one of the meanings for “man” in that same verse and many other verses of Genesis means “low.” The concept here is a low man, and the evil thoughts of the low man in the literal story represent the lower or animalistic nature of the mind. In Genesis 6:9, we learn that Noah is the exception. He is described as a “just man.” There is a different Hebrew word for man here, and one of the meanings is “high.” Noah was a “high man” that lived a spiritual life instead of an ego-driven one, and so Noah is representative of a higher state of consciousness. Noah’s name is also relevant to all of this. Noah means “rest.” This is perhaps the most significant of all, for Noah represents not only the higher nature of the mind, but also a mind at “rest.” A mind at rest is the state of being which salvation is.

The problem with the lower ego-driven mind is that it is not very conscious; this type of mind goes through life by reacting to situations instead of acting. The individual has little control, and even though he or she thinks they are making their own decisions, they are usually just acting from emotion and instinct. This is natural for the lower mind. But the story of Noah was written to teach us to live spiritually, not carnally (ego-driven).

In the literal story the water is purifying the earth by killing all evil thoughts and imaginations of man. These thoughts and imaginations are the lower mind. Noah, who represents the mind at rest, rises ABOVE the evil “thoughts” below the ark because the flood is a type of baptism in which the lower mind is cleansed. This state of being brings salvation not only to himself, but to his family as well.

Similarly, those in Jesus / WORD/ Christ are saved when they develop Christ consciousness, which represents a state of being. It is a consciousness transformation.

My article on Adam and Eve and how that story relates to consciousness may shed more light on this subject for you. It can be found here.

So what do you think? Can you now see how the story of Noah and the ark is another Biblical example of the mind?

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eric April 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

It’s amazing all the animals, including dinosaurs fit on the ark. Did you know most dinosaurs were only the size of sheep and large dogs? That is how Noah got all of them on the ark!

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2 Joshua Tilghman April 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Eric,

I remember reading the works of Kent Hovind, an influential creation scientist quite a fews years ago. Taking the literal interpretation, he believed Noah took young dinosaurs which he stated were small enough to fit on the ark. But I’m not so sure it really matters. As long as we walk away with the spiritual intent, we got the meaning intented by the original author.

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3 Stephen May 22, 2012 at 12:39 am

Josh, You have certainly done a better job of focusing on the likely spiritual lessons of Bible stories like Noah’s ark and the global flood than has the Search for Truth blog — which focuses more intently on showing why and how such stories could not possibly represent actual, factual history:

Noah’s ark & global flood are teaching stories, not historical or scientific fact
http://www.allisnow.com/blog/bible/old-testament/noahs-ark-world-flood-not-literal/

Good job! Take care,
S

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4 Joshua Tilghman June 2, 2012 at 11:00 am

Stephen, it is so important that everyone sees both sides. Thanks for commenting!

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5 tChron September 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm

So what do the animals that were transported on the ark in pairs represent?

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6 Joshua Tilghman September 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm

tChron,

I like this question, and it needs to be addressed. You have inspired me to make a blog post about it for the next article which will also incorporate something from Genesis Chapter 1. Stay tuned…hopefully I will have it finished by the end of this weekend. Blessings!

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7 anny May 4, 2013 at 3:50 am

The Hebrew word for the Ark is teba and another meaning of that is Word. The Word brings people safely from one world to the next. That is one of the things prof. Weinreb had to say about Noah’s Ark.

The flood of course is water and water is one of the symbols of ego/emotions. The story of Noah is the story of man (Adam is the word used in the beginning of this story) at the end of a world period and shortly before the beginning of a new one. Man has become totally under control of his ego and his raging emotions and acts out. Well, does not that sound familiar? We are in the middle of it right now. Man is swallowed by his run away emotions and can only survive by taking refuge in the Word /Logos / Christ as Noah (Noach in Hebrew) does in the way you explain. Noah means rest as you say but also has an element of consolation, comfort, and as you turn the word noach around you get chen, which means mercy, grace. All of it implies Love.

The word man that is used for Noah is isj. Isj is the normal word for a man as is isja for a woman, even in today’s Hebrew. Adam is mankind as it has been created. The higher status for Noah is in the word just, tsaddik. Jewish tradition says that it needs 36 tsaddikim in the world at any given time to keep the world in existence.

Joseph (Jacob’s son) is also called a tsaddik and also he went from one world to another as it was mentioned that he was seventeen when he was sold into slavery. 17 means the bitter period before the end of one world, which is called good, tov, 17, however because it will lead to a new world, as it did in Joseph’s case because he finally became ruler over the realm of ego/emotions.

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8 anonymous March 20, 2014 at 10:08 am

About the flooding
The Land rises from the Sea and when the Land has finished (its lessons) it will be reclaimed by the Sea. And the cycle restarts (with a higher conscience). No matter what the rainbow represents (common believe is that the rainbow is the promise of God, that the flooding will never happen again). At that time (of the flooding) there will be a separation of souls, some will have to redo that class and others go the next level. A lot of evidence is surfacing that this process occurs. From the point of view of the individual disturbing, from the point of view of the Soul natural. The story of Noah and the Ark can play a role in this.

Kind Love.

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9 Joshua Tilghman March 22, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Anonymous,

Interesting statements. You are right that the cycle always restarts with a higher conscience. This cycle never dies.

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10 Lynn baker March 27, 2014 at 6:15 am

The story of Noah is first and foremost that….a story. Like all stories…there must be a beginning and ending. A good story also has a climax and of course a happy ending. There can be no effect without a form of action. Therefore…Noah represents a field of action….one of divine love represented by seeing animals as part of the whole instead of just a food choice. The raven represents power. That which must be let go of to have peace. The rainbow represents the five lower states of consciousness or planes each separated by different frequencies (harmonics). The physical, emotional, memory, mental, and subconscious. All these make up the world of mind. Beyond these are the God planes represented by the Ark. All animalistic traits are found in the human mind as I evolved from mineral upward to the apex found in the lower worlds or states of beingness. The physical and mind are created through a long process of evolution, while the Soul is not. Therefore, we see the raven represents mind and dove representing Soul. It is the Soul that returns and is eternal…not the physical or mind, which dies in a flood of evolution or time., represented by 40 days of day (active) and 40 nights (inactive) cycles. Lots more…but limited to Space and time just like our mind. So I’ll take flight in Soul and hope you find the truth within yourself or I should say, you will find the truth for it is within yourself or Soul.

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11 Joshua Tilghman May 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Lynn,

Great points here! Sorry for the late reply. Somehow this comment slipped under my radar.

I like your interpretation of the raven and the dove. Going to do some more digging into this. Thanks, and blessings. Josh

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12 Sean April 5, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Hi. Something to share. I believe the story of Noah’s ark is an instruction manual for meditation. Its about Noah’s name – meaning to “Rest”. As far as I recall the ark – similar to Solomon’s temple was built in layers. Each layer representing spiritual advancement / depth / height. The animals could represent various chakras / energies / characteristics. The “good” ones – love, kindness etc – you need to balance and enhance (7 pairs of clean animals). All others are just in balance – a pair of male/female – not denied – but accepted and balanced. The “flood” occurs in meditation after achieving balance and setting your mind at rest – when you actually feel an energy pouring right into you / through you from your crown chakra. The dove at the end of Noahs story is also significant – as it brings a branch of the olive tree !
I’m glad to have found your site – to see someone else who is looking at spiritual insights into biblical stories as opposed to taking them completely literally.

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13 Joshua Tilghman April 24, 2014 at 8:38 am

Sean, an astute observation. Thanks for sharing!

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