Today’s post is dedicated to those who may be going through a trial. I am writing it because I myself am currently going through a trail that has taken quite an emotional toll. I know I will overcome it, especially when I put it into the perspective of why we are all here to experience life. Adversity is our friend when we allow it to be, for at some point it, when we yield, and only when we yield, it can reveal our spiritual nature.
During our trials, how we proceed is up to us, our God-given free will. And the hard question in life is often, how do we proceed?
Perhaps the best answer to how to we proceed lies in how we yield. Sometimes realizing the ego for what it is and then completely yielding without any plan of action allows for great spiritual revelation and truth to be revealed to us. Once that truth is realized, then we can act in the proper direction. Sometimes we just have to be patient and wait, to get still and know that God IS. I have found that it is during these times our greatest realized truths manifest.
I am reminded of the scripture from Romans 8:28 that states:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, and are called according to his purpose.”
Paul wrote that scripture to give us comfort, and that in the grand scheme of things, we are to keep our spirits up and KNOW that all will be well.
I am also reminded of the journey of the Israelites to the Promised Land. I have written about this life process before, but I have never addressed certain details of this journey through the wilderness (the arena of life on the lower planes), like the time God allowed a wind to blow up some quail and many of the Israelites gorged themselves to death. It is an interesting allegory told in Numbers chapter 11 that reveals a deep spiritual truth.
Numbers chapter eleven starts out with the Israelites complaining. After the Lord consumes the “outermost” part of the camp, Moses prays and the fire is quenched. In reality, such a spectacle would shut the people up, but the allegory then proceeds to tell us that the mixed multitude of the camp began complaining for meat to eat (As you will see, this allegory is not about wanting food).
They specifically state that they remember the things which they had in Egypt, and how their souls are now dried up because they are lacking.
Numbers 11:5 states:
“We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely…”
So first the complaining starts. But an interesting interjection is that in the midst of this complaining, the Lord continued to drop mana during the protest (more on why this is important later).
The complaining attitude continues to the point where even Moses begins to complain. Numbers 11:13 states,
“Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? For they weep unto me, saying, give us flesh to eat.”
As the story goes on, God tells Moses to instruct the people to consecrate themselves before the Lord. He tells Moses,
“Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days. But even a whole month, until it come out of your nostrils, and it becomes loathsome to you: because that you have despised the Lord which is among you…” (Numbers 11:19-20).
I am purposely bolding the portions of the scriptures I want you to pay attention to. I will talk about the importance of these symbols shortly.
The chapter culminates with the Lord fulfilling the people’s desire.
“And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and a day’s journey on that side, round about the camp, as it were two cubits upon the face of the earth. And the people gathered the quails…and yet while the flesh was between their teeth, ere it was chewed…the Lord smote the people with a very great plague. And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted” (Numbers 11:31-34).
Many of the symbols in this allegory are patterned together. Fish, flesh, Egypt, lust, teeth, quails and the sea, and they all culminate in the meaning of Kibrothhattaavah, the name which the Israelites called the place after the incident. Fish has a few meanings in scripture, but in this instance it represents ideas, feelings, emotions, all the things we experience on the lower mental plane (knowledge of this world). Egypt represents the same: it is the place for of objects of desire. Flesh and quail symbolize the desires of the lower ego themselves. The reason why the Lord brought the quail up from the sea is because the sea always denotes the astral-desire nature. This aspect of ourselves is an illusion, which basically means there is no abiding reality or truth in it. And finally, the name Kibrothhattaavah means graves of longing, lending more support that it is the desire nature which eventually leads to death. The astute reader realizes that in life, when we are led by the ego, we long for things which have no abiding reality, no long-term happiness, but in the end only leads to pain and suffering. Teeth, especially the imagery we get of the quail flesh being chewed up in them as the Lord deals out punishment, denotes the negative mind desires and the karma it brings for a season.
It is interesting to note that after the Lord’s fire (purging truth) that consumes the people in the beginning of the chapter, the people again complain, even during the times the Lord provides them with manna. Manna represents the truth of the higher emotions, which sustain the soul and are of an abiding reality. But the ego is not satisfied with this abiding reality, which is why the people would rather fulfill their desire natures, even though it will eventually lead to spiritual death. This is why it is so important to crucify the ego. We shall never see the Promised Land until this process is completed.
The easy and prosperous solution for the Israelites in this allegory was to remain steadfast and abide in the manna that the Lord was already dealing out. And even though it was right in front of them, the ego could not see it.
Even in the midst of our trials, it is hard to see that the Lord is working everything out for those that love and wait on His higher truths. Sometimes, as I said earlier, the answer is to just wait. To be still. To know that he is God. This is why it is also so important to maintain a regular meditation program, where the mind and its desires are naturally kept at bay. This is the process of crucifying the ego. The higher self will deal out manna during this process. We just to have to be faithful over the long term to receive it.
Remember that Paul also said in Romans that the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost. But as Jesus said in Luke 17:21, this kingdom is within us, and to find it we must go within. The daily practice of getting still before the Lord in meditation will crucify the desire nature, and during this process the mind will naturally begin to receive manna.
In the midst of my own trial, I have been tempted to retreat into the vices of the flesh, which are a day’s journey in either direction in the wilderness. This day’s journey in any direction is the wide arena of life, the wide gate so easy to indulge in. And when we do, the end result is some sort of pain and suffering. But the Israelite camp was not totally wiped out here. Even though Numbers makes it clear that all of the camp was complaining (except the two men that prophesized in the midst of them), the Lord only killed some of them. We will not win every battle against the desire nature, but we must resume course. Just as the Lord said he was among them while they complained, He is among you as well. So if trying to fix your situation by certain courses of action has not worked, try yielding. Great results can come from it.
So why did the Lord allow the Israelites to gorge on quail? He could have easily denied it in this allegory, but the story reveals certain truths about the lower ego and how powerful and hard it can be to crucify. We have come here to experience, and that experience requires the ego, and in that sense it is a good thing. But we must yield to transform it. It’s a natural process designed to bring higher consciousness awareness to the soul, where we can manifest this awareness on the higher planes if we prevail.
The Israelites had to go through many more trials before getting to the Promised Land, and even then they had to receive it. The only adults from that first generation to enter were Joshua and Caleb. All the others had to die out. This reveals to us that the lower nature must die also, in order to enter abiding life.