- 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.