- Q & A
The reader of the parable of the ten virgins is asked to reflect on the understanding and culture of the times in which this lesson was given. How would he have chosen to speak to this audience in a way that would encourage them to seek the hidden meaning, while at the same time teach higher knowledge and science to those who could understand it?
Jesus based the activity of this story upon the preparations of a wedding ceremony. According to ancient oriental customs for weddings that were still in use at that time, bridesmaids were to be ten in number as this was the preferred number of witnesses to invoke heavenly blessings. The number ten was not chosen idly. Esoteric teaching regarded ten as the number of the perfected human form. This is a form that has the use of the five physical senses and five spiritual senses and so has the ability to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven consciously. Keeping this in mind, note how beautifully the spiritual science is woven into this tale.
According to the customs of the time marriages took place at night. The bridesmaids would wait with the bride for the arrival of the groom and his company. After his arrival they would together travel to the home of the bridegroom for the marriage to take place.
In this parable the virgins represent those members of humanity who have the capacity to understand truth and are ready to begin the work of discipleship and begin the journey to the Kingdom. The lamps they carry represent our bodies which bear the holy life force. This life force is precious and is not to be wasted. It is the “oil” that is to illumine the forms. Its purpose is to light the way to the home of the bridegroom, in other words ignite the consciousness that allows us to live in the Kingdom of Heaven. The lamps (the forms) are illumined when the holy life force is lifted up the spinal cord and activates the pineal and pituitary glands in the head. This is accomplished through concentration and meditation upon truth, virtuous living and the awakening of the seven spiritual organs as yet dormant within the present human form.
Foolish are the virgins who, while capable of understanding these things, use this substance in sensual living or who limit their intellect, however developed it might be, to witnessing only that which is physical. These individuals are sleeping while their oil is being wasted. When the bridegroom comes they have lamps (they bear forms) but these lamps are not illumined.
The bridegroom in this story represents the Cosmic Soul, the Christ. We cannot possible wed our consciousness to this immortal identity if we still know ourselves as physical beings. The Kingdom and home of the Christ Consciousness knows no death. Everyone has the opportunity to attend the Bridegroom and enter the Kingdom, however, not everyone will attend to the preparatory work. It is easy to sleep (attend to that which is strictly understood according to physical understanding). This, however, limits the inner identity to the use of only five senses which alone will not allow the individual to enter (remain conscious) into Heaven.
The five wise virgins who used their oil wisely represent those who develop the five spiritual senses that are the counterpart to the five physical. According to spiritual science every physical thing has a spiritual counterpart. The first of these spiritual senses is understood by us as faith. Faith is the counterpart of the sense of feeling. Faith is powerful because its use allows for rapid and unhindered changes to take place in the forms’ vibratory rates. It accelerates the evolution of motion in creation. The spiritual counterpart of hearing is righteousness. Righteousness can also be thought of as silencing the lesser self. This allows us to hear the silent sounds that underlie our world (spiritual hearing). Psychic vision is the counterpart of physical sight. The counterpart of the sense of taste is love. This is pure and selfless love, free of chemical ties. The counterpart of the sense of smell is will. This will is the result and virtue of self mastery and not the mastery of others.
Looking at the five spiritual senses we see that we might well attribute them to a saintly personality. And in fact, when the holy oil has been lifted up the spine and has activated the pineal and pituitary glands, the third ventricle of the brain begins to glow. This glow creates a halo of light around the head of those who have attained a high level of development. It can be seen by those with psychic vision.
When the cry goes out in this story that the bridegroom is coming, the foolish virgins must go out to buy more oil. Esoterically interpreted this means that they must return to the fields of experience and development in order to obtain new oil. When the bridegroom arrives the wedding party goes on ahead. “and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut”
“Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” One has to be able to retain consciousness without the aid of the physical body if one is to enjoy self consciousness in the kingdom of God. If we would enter into His Realm, His mighty consciousness, we must have the transformed body. We must be illumined (conscious) in the non-physical form, the spiritualized form. We must awaken, while there is time (our earthly life), all seven of the major spiritual organs that create that body. This new form is also known as the wedding garment* that we must weave if we are to join the Christ and return to the home of the bridegroom.
The following is a transcript of a lecture given by A. A. Nelson
in Santa Monica, California
When we speak of something mystical we tend to think of something mysterious, perhaps magical, of activity that is taking place on invisible realms. Perhaps we also think of something obscure and not too pertinent to our “real” world. But as we develop in logical thought, as we come closer to the origin of all things, we come to see that there is no physical activity, no physical motion or event whether insignificant or of great import that has not previously been initiated or enacted on the “ invisible”. If we can see it physically rest assured it has its source on the invisible. Wither it is a rock that rolls down a hill due to the force of gravity or migration of animals according to the seasons, there is an understandable law at work even if it be “invisible”.
For example, you might see me simply stand here and wave at you, but before you saw this physical activity an “I” that you do not see has been very active, for I have previously made that decision to wave on the mental plane, set it into motion through an act of “will” or spirit power and all of this found its origin in my soul or feeling body where , for some reason, I felt a desire to wave. All of this, the emotional origin, the mental decision and the spiritual will to send an energy impulse down the brain stem through the nerves and muscles to my hand has taken place beyond your physical sight. This however, was where the real identity, was in action. You did not see this “me” you saw only a hand, a hand that in and of itself can do nothing.
Nothing, but nothing happens on the physical that does not find its power source on the invisible, or better, in what is still beyond the image creating ability of our physical brain.
Whoever, then, insists on reading the story of the birth of Jesus purely as an historical narrative of physical events will be depriving themselves of its power story, the drama of the spiritual identity. They will fail to see the importance of this event as it pertains to their own Real or Spiritual Self. Their own immortal identity.
Today, I would like to examine with you the story of the birth of Jesus according to the mystical drama, according to the realm of power,
The information that we have of the birth of Jesus comes from the writers of the Gospels. We are told that these men were spiritually inspired by the Holy Spirit in their writings, this is true, but these men were also initiated to spiritual laws and principles. So while they recount to us the historical facts of the birth of Jesus they also wove into their narratives the spiritual meanings of this event.
For example, they all wrote of the birth of Jesus, as the son of God, taking place in Bethlehem in the days of Herod. All historically true. But if we have a translation of the vocabulary used we can find the hidden power story.
Today, to examine the esoteric interpretation of the birth of Jesus I am going to refer to the narrative of St. Matthew. In truly sacred and inspired writings, and this is good for us to be aware of, we find that hidden within the very first phrase, or verse, is a key to the spiritual revelation that will be secreted within the presentation of physical drama. This is exactly what we find in Matthews’ recount of the birth of Jesus.
For Matthew begins with “Now when Jesus was born in Bethelhem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem’.
Well, let us look at the translation of the vocabulary used.
Jesus of course represents the Christ spirit. Bethlehem is composed of two words. Beth, meaning house, and lehem, which can be translated as meat, flesh or bread. So now we have Christ born in a house of flesh, in other words a human form. Judea signifies a land consecrated to God. So now we have Christ born in a human form (the house) that is consecrated to God in the days of Harod the king.
Herod in this drama represents the prince of the world. The prince of darkness. His “days” indicated to us that the prince of darkness basically reigned unhindered. Humanity had lost its way, there was great darkness on earth at this time.
Then we have “there came wise men from the East.”
The men are wise. This tells us that they are, of course, initiates. The Wise men were 3 in number. Three is the number of the powers given to this humanity, gifts we have from God. These gifts are Will, or Spirit power, soul and mind.
So we have the wise men, an Egyptian, a Hindu, and a Persian, each one of whom was a master of a particular mystery school. They represent the mastery of the Will, the soul, and the mind. Together they represent advanced humanity.
These three initiates come from the east. East is where the sun, or where the light comes from. So according to the inner meaning, the secreted key, this first verse of St. Matthew would read like this…
“Now when the Christ was born in a human constitution and consciousness wholly consecrated ( land consecrated )to God, darkness was covering the world and the prince of strife reigned freely. Through His birth the triple human powers, that is, transformed will, thinking and feeling appeared (came from) from the kingdom of living light (east, sunrise) ready to unite with Him through the spiritualized consciousness of man and to establish the period of ascension in the world” The birth of Jesus marked the end of the decent of humanity and the period of ascension could begin. So you see how we have with the translation the real, or the power story of this event. We know that this is what Mathew is going to speak to. We have the key to the spiritual message.
We then have the wise men arriving saying, and I quote “ Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
In the orient there is an expression when a new baby is born that his star appeared, and upon the individuals passing, his star disappeared. One’s star is his mission, or his eternal Name(purpose)expressed on the astral planes. That is his star. So when a being with a great mission is about to make his appearance on Earth, his star is seen by those with psychic vision. Well the Christ star is a blazing glorious sun, it is named among initiates the midnight sun. When the wise men say they have seen his star in the East, they are seeing this star psychically. Whether or not there was a falling star, a shooting star, or even an astrological configuration which foretold of a great event, it is irrelevant. This is not something they witnessed physically. These are Masters. They followed this star on the astral plane to its source.
“For we have seen his star in the east.” This is the kingdom of the Living Light. They have seen its beauty. Its power. Of course they want to be one with is great being.
Returning to Mathew “When Harod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”
Initiates and those with psychic vision may have fore knowledge or vision of a coming event, but when there is a monumental event on the horizon, when major change is coming it is felt by the people as well. Humanity can feel change coming and it is generally not welcome. It is not in our nature to welcome change. It’s very difficult to change our mental patterns, our habits of feeling, and they are habits, our ways of living. And so real, change is not generally welcome. And this is a major change coming to humanity. So Herod may be troubled but “ with him all Jerusalem”.
Harod, however, as is generally the case of those who hold seats of power in any realm, really, really does not welcome change.
Herod is so troubled that he calls his experts on these matters. He gathers the chief priest and he demands of them where Christ should be born.
These religious authorities have the information, they tell him “ in Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet.” “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a governor that shall rule my people Israel”
The message here, and this is an important one, is that —- the Christ can never be given to us by our religious and spiritual leaders.
Religious authority, true spiritual leaders may have knowledge, they may have full information of the birth of Christ in humanity, but notice in this story how they can not actually produce Him.
Judea signifies land, that is a physical form, consecrated to God and Bethlehem, the house of flesh. It is out a human form and consciousness that is consecrated to God that shall come a new ruler. The Christ is conceived (born) through the form and consciousness consecrated to God. It cannot be given to anyone from an outside authority.
Matthew continues, “Then Harod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.”
Here we have Harod trying to deceive the magi who represent the enlightened human understanding. As humanity becomes enlightened, even as it simply grows as it is today in mental development, in soul and spiritual awakening, it becomes ever more attractive to the prince of the world.
Think about it. The higher the sensitivity and intelligence of any form, the more mobile any form, the more attractive it becomes to us because it can do more and be controlled with less effort. Just so, the prince of the world seeks to deceive humanity and take advantage and use these developing powers for himself, but he must do so while he can.
The prince of the world wants to find the babe early on. In other words he must deceive humanity before the consciousness is fully awakened, for once the divine light is fully resurrected on Earth there will be no counter power in the cosmos that will be able to veil its glory.
Once humanity sees the light of Life in every life conducting form, once humanity sees the light emanations, once we have the eyes to see these colors and the ears to hear the sounds emanating from the life force within the physical forms according to the earthly conditions that that Life is encountering, we will make very swift work of creating paradise on Earth.
When we can actually see these spiritual emanation of Life itself we will know, see and hear why a particular species of birds needs to be in the environment of a particular vegetation in this particular region of the world, because all of their collective Sounds not only harmonize, but together they create a self perpetuating system. We will want to hear the harmony of life immortal.
The prince of the world must intervene while the triple human powers are still seeking to unite with that Christ awareness, the evolved consciousness.
Mathew goes on speaking of the Wise men “ When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy”
“ And when they were come into the house they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
We have to come with these gifts, mastery of Spirit power, soul and mind in order to be ourselves an earthly abode for the Christ, in order to unite with the Christ consciousness, the only consciousness, the only “I” that is in manifestation as life on Earth.
Matthew does not speak of them but there was another group said to be present at this birthing. The shepherds. How did these simple shepherds find their way to this event. They are not initiates, not wise men. We are told Angels appeared to these men. Not too common an event. How did this happen?
If we think of these shepherds as being representative of the simple minded we would be wrong. These were not ignorant men whose minds are filled with the trivia of daily life. These shepherds were men who spent long weeks away from family and communities. They lived in quite and peace and their nights were under the heavens gazing at the stars. Their days and their nights were filled with silence. Their thoughts turned to deep and universal subjects. It is more accurate to think of these men as philosophers than ignorant peasants. Because of these long periods of quite, of peace, because the bent of their thought patterns were on subjects larger than themselves, Angelic beings could and did appear to these men and instructed them. This truly was a magnificent interaction between heaven and earth.
Returning to Matthew writing of the wise men, “And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Harod, they departed into their own country another way” Here is a warning for us that is further emphasized in the next verse.
“And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child and destroy him”.
After one conceives or unites with the Christ he is warned by heaven not to return to the world as the Magi are warned here, until this new life (our new conception) is matured. Otherwise disaster will occur to his spiritual development.
Egypt, here represents the period of devotion to higher learning because Egypt was the Sanctuary of the mysteries schools. And so Joseph, representing the ego is to take Mary, the soul and the child, the newly conceived Christ to be nourished on truth and find protection from the forces of the world.
Once we have an experience, perhaps we touch the hemline, a thread from the hemline of the Christ consciousness, we know it is real, but we must protect this new conception. This is a delicate, a tender little new life. It must be guarded and cared for until its maturity. Not until it is strong and developed should it go out and face the heat of the world.
This new conception (the infant form of this new intelligence) must enter the inner sanctuary devoted to higher learning. We need to spend a period in contemplation and meditation. We need schooling in the mysteries. We nourish this new understanding until it becomes strong.
And this is why an esoteric understanding of the scriptures is important, because without true and real understanding, we can have all the faith in the world, or think we have all the faith in the world, but then we go out into the world and we meet someone with a brighter sharper intellect, and there is always a brighter sharper intellect, that will quickly cut our new conception to ribbons with the sharp swords of that brilliant intellect.
So, just as Joseph takes Mary and the infant to Egypt for safety and preparation, a period of study and withdrawal, so too must we enter into the inner kingdom. We don’t talk about what we are doing. We don’t talk about our new understanding. A little voice says not to speak of our spiritual experiences. We must heed that Voice. We need time to develop. We nourish the new conception through the devotion (time and attention) we give to it.
As our conception of the Christ within grows we find that the forces of the world have less and less pull on us. These forces begin to weaken in their effect on our lives, on our experiences. This fading, done in this manner, takes place without strife, without conflict, without war. It just dies ( Harod dies) as the Christ conception grows.
“When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed for Egypt:” And was there until the death of Harod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called my son”
“Out of Egypt have I called my son”. Wow. This just tells us directly. Out of Egypt I have called my son.
The true evolution of humanity, the next evolutionary step on this planet, cannot and will not ever come about as a natural outgrowth of instinctive man. Impossible. The true evolution of man will not, cannot, be the outgrowth of physical intellect, or of physical perfection. Try as our scientist might. Why? These are born of chemistry, physical matter. It is impossible for chemistry to give birth to free will. Impossible.
The Hebraic laws of physical living prepared us and protected us during our period of decent into individuality, but of themselves, obedience to law, to rituals, does not produce the Christ. Intellectual understanding of the oneness of life is a start, but does not deliver Him. The Christ lives on Earth through the soul.
I can see photos of Paris, I can think about Paris but unless I am in Paris I am not living it, experiencing it. When we experience life in any form as our own experience we live in the Christ.
We give life on Earth to the Savior, and we have to say Saviour because Christ is the power that frees our sense of self from the pull of matter, the pull of the physical form and grav-ity (the pull of the grave, or loss of consciousness when we lose the form). When we focus on the power within, when we consecrate the constitution and consciousness to God then the Christ may descend from the kingdom of light. This is a separate entity.
It is the sanctified and pure soul that allows the Christ to come from the kingdom of light and power and appear on Earth. “Out of Egypt, out of the inner kingdom, I have called my son”.