The Power of Parables

Introduction

The secret teaching of Jesus resides within the parables. Parables hold a special place in the process of spiritual teaching. They are easy to remember, entertaining and packed with hidden meaning. Parables have a point to them, much like the moral in an Aesop’s fable. In the tradition of the ancient Mystery School, parables provide a system of encoded information intended for the esoteric audience. Esoteric has two general meanings; meant for the few, and applying to inner processes. The ancient tradition is to provide information describing outer things or events, while actually applying to inner thoughts and feelings. Part of the power of the parables is that they use images or symbols that people use and can relate to in their daily lives.

Many of the parables talk about the kingdom of heaven. Because the parables are all about inner processes, the kingdom of heaven is also something inside of us. The kingdom of heaven is not a physical place, but rather a state of consciousness. In fact, all of the spiritual teachings are about states of consciousness, not physical places.

Our level of consciousness is also a function of what part of the brain we are using. Our spiritual connection to higher consciousness is primarily through the frontal lobes, which are active when we are in a peaceful, relaxed state of mind. Anger, fear and hatred, for example, tend to deprive our frontal lobes of circulation and refocus our thinking back and down into the limbic or reptilian brain. This is where our “fight or flight” center resides and where our survival mechanisms are functioning. In martial arts, practitioners are trained to not give in to anger or fear because they lose awareness and perception as anger or fear fills the mind. The fight or flight response involves redirecting blood flow from the outer extremities to the inner organs for increased energy and resistance to life threatening injuries. But the same process deprives us of our higher levels of awareness and reasoning and reduces our level of perception. This is also why both martial arts and spiritual practices often include the use of meditation. Meditation calms the body and increases awareness, reasoning and perception by increasing blood circulation to the extremities, including the frontal lobes of the brain.

In spiritual teachings the idea of duality is presented. Duality involves the concept that we are not a unified being as we like to think, but rather we are a divided being, functioning from both a spiritual and a worldly level. In reality we are a spiritual being having a human or physical experience. This dual experience, divided between the spirit within us and the physical body, is characterized by two different centers of awareness and personality within each person: the spirit, and the ego. The world ties us into the ego because the ego is created and functions from the physical body, and the physical body is part of the physical or outer world. The body has been created out of the material of the world and belongs strictly to the outer world. Many people view the body as the source of life, but if that were true, why, when someone dies, do we say they are gone? The body is still there. Where do we think they went?

The spirit is not of this outer physical world. One of the things we realize on our spiritual path is that the spirit within is the source of our life, and the spirit already has eternal life. The body is the recipient of life. The spirit is the creation of divine consciousness, or God. We are literally the substance of God: living light. This living light has existed, and will continue to exist with, or without, a physical universe. Time is meaningless to the living light of spirit. Death is also meaningless to the living light of spirit. Death only applies to the physical body. We cannot die, we can only be separated from the physical body, which we all come to realize, is temporary. If we live to be 100 years old, it may seem like a long time, but compared to eternity, as experienced by the spiritual being we really are, it is but a fleeting moment in our true existence.

One of the things spiritual teachers and mystics have all told us is that there is only oneness, that everything is interconnected. God is everywhere, in everything, all knowing, and all powerful. What we come to realize is that the Spirit and divine consciousness that is God is the real source of everything. Nothing exists without it. Consequently, everything exists within the consciousness and presence of God. Every rock, plant and creature in the universe exists within an ocean of God, or divine consciousness. Part of our human experience is to deliberately separate our mind and awareness from this constant connection to God. We do this because we need the separation from the oneness to experience life’s lessons in all of their intensity. The misery and the ecstasy of life are only meaningful if we believe that’s all there is. The contrast between the agony and the ecstasy in life creates our appreciation and understanding, not only of the way the world works, but of how we work as individual beings. The specific mechanism we use to create the separation is the subconscious mind, which operates between the oneness of Universal Consciousness, or God, and the consciousness we believe we are.

A common theme in spiritual teachings is that a time comes when we need to reclaim our place within the oneness and put an end to the separation. In the parables this is often described as the end of an age, or the end of time. These references do not apply to an actual end of the world, for the world is a school, and it will continue to exist and function in that capacity as long as there are souls willing and interested in attending this school. The end of the age is whatever time we come to the point in our spiritual journey where we have learned the lessons we needed from the school of life on earth and are ready to return to the consciousness of oneness.

Re-entering the oneness requires an end to the duality, and subsequently, an end to the ego. The ego, and its world-based personality, will have served its purpose and is no longer needed. But discarding the ego is not a simple matter. Because we have associated our self with the ego for so long, it has come to believe it is real, and it feels threatened and fearful by the new spiritual knowledge and perspective. The ego will not walk quietly into oblivion. It will fight and struggle for its survival, and it will use the limbic brain to accomplish that goal. The battle we face on our spiritual journey is control of our mind, and more specifically the control of our brain. Our spiritual goal is to function strictly from the higher levels of consciousness and from the frontal lobes of the brain. The ego’s goal is to keep us focused on fear-based emotions and to keep us locked into the limbic brain.

The physical body is a biological energy transformation machine. It takes food, water and air and transforms it into various forms of energy. The energy generated inside of us is created with different frequencies. Higher frequencies feed and empower the spirit within us. Lower frequencies feed and empower the ego. The body will create the type of energy we direct it to make. Those directions come from the emotions we experience. The tools of this inner battle are ideas, concepts and our feelings. The ego will focus on the lower fear-based emotions because the fear-based emotions feed the ego and starve the spirit. Our goal, as spiritual beings, is to focus on the love-based emotions, feed the spirit within and starve the ego.

Two terms are used that need some explanation: Son of man, and son of God. The Son of man refers to a person who has awakened spiritually and has recognized that he or she is a spiritual being having a human or physical experience. The son of God refers to a person who has become spiritually enlightened, one who has established a 100 percent conscious contact with God, or universal consciousness. It is through this elevated state of consciousness that we experience the oneness that exists within the universe.

There are two separate and distinct sources of the parables. The Mystery School System in which Jesus was raised and taught had been practiced for close to two hundred years before he was born. The parables attributed to Jesus in this work are from that system. In this collection of parables, some are from the Mystery School teaching that Jesus presented to the people.The remaining parables are from other authors and were created to support the Doctrine of the early Christian Church that developed two to three hundred years after Jesus. We have to keep in mind that when Jesus was teaching and the parables were originally used, there was no Christian Church and there was no Church Doctrine. Consequently, parables that contain what was to become Church Doctrine following the Council of Nicea in 325-7 AD, were constructed hundreds of years later and were added into scripture by the Roman Catholic Church. We will examine those additions as we go along. Let’s begin our study of the parables and see what they might mean.


The Key

Matthew 13:10-17 (RSV)

Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. With them indeed is fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah which says: ‘You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn to me to heal them.’”

This is the key to understanding the parables. Why wouldn’t people understand what they heard? It was all spoken in words they understood. Translated into English, it’s all in words we understand. How is it that we can hear the words but do not hear, nor understand? The reason is that the words in the parables are symbolic in nature, and if we do not understand what the symbols represent, then we cannot understand what is being said. The information is encoded so that only initiates who have been taught the hidden symbols will be able to understand the lessons.

Jesus was a member of the ancient mystery school system and graduated from the very highest level of initiation. The ancient mystery school was well aware of the internal workings of both the body and the mind, and these concepts are embedded within the inner spiritual teachings. The parables are no exception. The hidden meaning within the parables is focused on consciousness, our mind and our emotions. The goal of the parables is to provide a means for us to return to the oneness and eliminate the influence of the ego and the lower emotions. To accomplish this goal, the parables are encoded with symbols and images that are used to explain exactly what we need to do in order to re-enter the oneness.

Common symbols include seeds, fish, pearls and other small objects. All of these items represent thoughts or feelings within us. When a parable takes place on dry land, it is talking about our intellectual processes; thoughts and how our mind functions. When a parable takes place on water or the sea, it is talking about emotions and how our feelings operate. When something is under the ground, it represents an idea or concept within our subconscious mind. When something is under the water, it represents feelings or emotions from our subconscious emotional nature. Uncovering an object from the ground means bringing an idea or concept up from the subconscious mind into our conscious awareness. Similarly, bringing an object up from under the water means bringing our feelings and emotions up from the subconscious level to conscious awareness so it can be examined and resolved.

A house or building represents our belief system. Fields or crops represent our mind and how we think about things and the concepts and conclusions we have come to about our self, others and how the world works. The higher items are in the parable, the higher the state of consciousness involved. For example; birds in the air represent higher ideas or higher concepts. Birds on the ground represent lower, worldly ideas. When the character is a man in the parable, it is about our thinking. A woman then, represents our feeling nature.

Spiritual teaching has always been encoded, which is why this prophesy of Isaiah is included, “You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.”

The mission of the mystery school is to teach people only when they have turned to them to be healed. This healing takes on the form of physical healing when it is necessary, but the true healing that is offered is healing the separation between us and God or Universal Consciousness. Oneness is the ultimate healing, for the body is a temporary manifestation. Healing the mind, the consciousness and the separation of the spirit within us from its true source of Universal Spirit is the only true healing.

Life in the world tends to focus our attention on the things of the world, which, in turn, dulls our senses to the spiritual both within us and around us. Our churches repeat the spiritual scriptures, without really understanding them, our ears grow heavy of hearing and we never perceive what the spiritual scriptures are really saying to us. We read the words but do not perceive what they really mean. Once we know the symbols being used, the scriptures open up and we see the hidden meanings, we hear the voice of the spirit within and we understand within our heart. Only then can the mind and the emotions be healed and oneness be achieved.

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The Pearl of Great Value

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Pearls represent ideas or concepts. We are each like a merchant, seeking fine ideas and concepts. The world is full of ideas. Some are good, fine ideas, and some are bad ideas. When we are young, we lack the experience and wisdom to separate the good ideas from the bad ones. But life experience teaches us that not all ideas are of the same value. A wise person seeks good, fine ideas, for he or she has learned that fine ideas are the most profitable and rewarding. This merchant finds one pearl of great value -- one idea that exceeds the value of all the others. He went and sold all that he had and bought it. In other words, on finding this one idea of great value, this person got rid of all the other ideas and focused on this single, most valuable one.

What exactly is that one idea of great value? It is the idea that we are spiritual beings, that we are made of the same substance as God; the living light of Spirit. Once we awaken to this reality, our true spiritual journey can begin. We can grow in light and love each day, becoming closer to God and Universal Consciousness with every loving thought, feeling and action. As we become more loving, we move deeper into the higher levels of consciousness we recognize as the kingdom of heaven. A true spiritual path leads us into direct conscious contact with God. This change in consciousness is more valuable than anything in the world, for when we die, all of the things we have collected in this world will remain here without us. Only what we hold in our consciousness will come with us, and the greatest height of consciousness that we can bring with us is full 100 percent conscious contact with God. Everything else pales in comparison.

So the parable is showing us the importance of recognizing that we are spiritual beings, and that is the single most important idea we can grasp. By “getting” that we are spiritual beings first and focusing strictly on that concept, we can enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus presents a basic, central concept in His teachings: You are the light of the world. In John 10:34 Jesus says, Is it not written in your law, I said you are gods? The Church tries to convince us that we are born in sin, that we need a savior to save us. Through this deception the Church tries to gain control of our minds and eventually our resources. But the teaching of Jesus tells us that we are born of God, in God's image and likeness. That likeness is not physical, since God is not a physical being. Jesus said God is Spirit, therefore, so are we. This is our true condition: we are spiritual beings, born of God. Our true essence is the living light of God.

Jesus told us that if we believe in the son, we can be saved. But if we do not believe, we are lost already. Here Jesus is speaking in third person - he is speaking of something other than himself. The Church wants us to believe Jesus is the only son of God, but that just isn't true. We are all the sons and daughters of the living God, and the son Jesus refers to is the living light of spirit within each and every one of us. As long as we believe we are the children of God, and that the living light of God is our true and essential nature, we have something to work with, we can awaken, we can grow spiritually, we can become spiritually enlightened, and we can become one with God. If we do not believe the living light of God resides within us, we have nothing to work with, there is nothing that can be done.

The point of the parable

The one idea of great importance is that your true essence is the living light of God. If you discarded all other ideas and focused on that single concept, it would transform your life and bring you into direct conscious contact with God.

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The Net

Matthew 13:47-8 (RSV)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.

This, I believe, is the original form of the parable. I also believe the early Christian Church added the rest of the parable to further their own agenda. First we will examine the original parable, and then what the Church added.

Both heaven and hell are states of consciousness. Heaven is a very high, love-based state of consciousness. By contrast, hell is a very low, fear-based state of consciousness. There are two basic types of emotions; love-based and fear-based. The love-based emotions are: love, empathy, compassion, generosity, gentleness, kindness, understanding, happiness and affection. The fear-based emotions are: fear, anger, hatred, lust, envy, jealousy, shame, resentment, bitterness, guilt and greed.

The primary factor in our life that determines our state of consciousness is our emotional state. It is hard to be happy, peaceful and generous when we are consumed by anger, jealousy, envy, guilt or fear. We can raise our emotional state, and subsequently our consciousness, by changing our emotional responses to the circumstances around us from fear-based to love-based emotions.

The parable begins; the kingdom of heaven is like… this means that if we want to enter into the higher states of consciousness that are represented by the kingdom of heaven, then the parable gives us an inner process through which we can help make that happen.

The parable continues, a net was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind.

What this means is that we are filled with various feelings, emotions and emotionally related concepts (fish). So the net, when it is drawn ashore brings up fish from under the surface of the water, which represents bringing our feelings and emotions up from the depths of our subconscious and examining them in the light with intellectual understanding (the light of day). When the net was full implies a fullness; a maturity that needs to be achieved before the sorting out of our emotions will benefit us.

Men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the fish out.

So we must use our logical mind (represented by men) to evaluate the feelings we have inside. Not all fish are valuable, not all feelings are valuable either. Some fish are toxic; so are some emotions.

Just because we experience an emotion and identify with it (I’m angry, for example), doesn’t mean it actually holds any real value for us. Fear-based emotions depress our immune system, lower our consciousness and our awareness and move our thinking from our natural higher functions in the front part of our brain, back and down to the limbic or reptilian part of our brain. We become tense and delve into the realm of unfeeling toward others. We become more likely to do or say something stupid which we will regret later. In general, these fear-based emotions cause problems for us at work, at home, in our relationships and make our life harder than it needs to be. Fear-based emotions are non-productive at best, and destructive or deadly at their worst.

Love-based emotions do just the opposite. Love-based emotions enhance our immune system increase our consciousness and our awareness and move our thinking forward into the frontal lobes where our spiritual connection to the higher consciousness of God exists. We tend to think before we speak or act and make allowances for the behavior of other people. This helps improve our work environment, home life and interpersonal relationships. Love-based emotions are productive, supportive and life-affirming.

The interim benefit of changing over to love-based emotions is a happier and more productive life. The long-term benefit is the progressive change in consciousness that takes place. As we become more love-based in everything we do, we also become more interested in being of service to others. This shift in attitude will gradually lead us to our higher purpose in life, which will be more satisfying to us personally, and be of greater benefit to those around us. As we begin to fulfill our true inner purpose, a comfortable prosperity will also follow. The universe will provide for us if we cooperate with the higher spiritual principle of loving service to others.

The higher spiritual states can only be achieved as we calm our mind, refocus our emotional responses on love-based feelings and redirect our actions to being of service to others. As we progress, the unconditional love that comes from God begins to flow more strongly through us. That unconditional love fills us first, and then as we start radiating that love out into the world through our thoughts, feelings, and actions, the flow of that love creates the inner transformation we recognize as spiritual awakening and eventually spiritual enlightenment. That transformation places us firmly into the conscious experience of the kingdom of heaven.

What we hold in our heart is the measure of what we are. In the parable, the bad fish are thrown away and the good fish are placed in a vessel. That vessel is our heart, our conscious emotional center. By throwing away all of the fear-based emotions and keeping only the love-based ones in our heart, we transform both our life and our level of consciousness.

The Net Continues with an explanation.

Matthew 13:49-50 (RSV)

So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and separate them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.

The first part of the parable is a love-based teaching, allowing us to improve our understanding and the quality of our lives. The second part is fear-based, which is why I believe the Church added it to the original parable. The Church uses fear to gain control over people. Jesus said he came to give us life and to set us free, totally opposite doctrines.

The ego's world is fear-based, not love-based. The end of the world is a metaphor for the end of the ego. In order for us to emerge as true spiritual beings, it is necessary for us to eliminate the ego and all of its fear-based thoughts and emotions. In the parable above, the net is cast into the sea -- water, which also represents our emotional nature. We each have entertained wicked emotions and feelings at one time or another. What is necessary is to also sort out our emotions, and just like ideas, keep the just emotions -- the love-based emotions, and discard the fear-based emotions.

The point of the parable

Not every idea is beneficial to us or to anyone else, nor is every emotion beneficial either. As we mature, and especially as we move closer to the kingdom of heaven we must purify our thinking and feelings. We must shift our mind and heart over to a love-based rather than a fear-based system. Consequently, we must go through the process of sorting everything out, saving the valuable and discarding the worthless. As we accomplish this inner shift from a fear-based belief system to a love-based system, we will gradually enter the state of consciousness known as the kingdom of heaven.

This is our first example of an addition to the parables by another author. The parables of Jesus are consistent in their spiritual approach: they are non-threatening, non-judgmental and overall love based. They are intended for internal understanding and inner work. The added parables are generally threatening, judgmental and fear-based. They are intended for an audience focused on external things and external events.

So it will be at the close of the age. This portends a time often referred to as the end times when human existence will either end or be profoundly transformed. It also refers to a time of Judgment by God when all humans will be held accountable for their actions. This parable, like several others we will examine, was created in support of the basic Doctrine of the early Roman Catholic Church: that God will judge mankind and only those faithful to the Church will be spared.

Ideologically, they differ profoundly from the parables of Jesus, which are esoteric in nature. The parables constructed by the other authors are exoteric in nature -- meant to be taken literally rather than interpreted as being symbolic. Here the threat is that the angels of God will come out of heaven and gather the evil people (those who haven’t become part of the Church) and subject them to the eternal fires of Hell. This is Church Doctrine and is completely adverse to the teachings of Jesus. The threat is intended to scare people into either joining or remaining in the Church. This is a fear-based doctrine and is used to manipulate people and bring them under control of the Church.

The teachings of Jesus are intended to empower the individual and gradually lead them into a profound freedom, separate from the control of religious organizations. The teachings are intended to guide us on an inner journey and bring us into full conscious contact with God.

Even though the parable is exoteric in nature, we can still apply the same symbolism used in the esoteric parables with some interesting results. So it will be at the close of the age symbolically refers to the close of a period of growth, such as infancy, childhood, teenage, young adult, mature adult and senior adult. The age here indicates a level of maturity has been achieved where we can examine our thoughts and feelings with a certain amount of wisdom. The angels represent the faculty of discernment, which is used to separate the fear-based (evil) thoughts and feelings from the love-based (righteous) thoughts and feelings. The procedure indicates that the fear-based thoughts and feelings are to be destroyed or consumed so they are permanently removed from our consciousness.

There men will weep and gnash their teeth is a threat and clearly not within the teachings of Jesus. This marks the writing as being from another author, someone who does not have the same level of understanding that Jesus had.

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The Hidden Treasure

Matthew 13:44 (RSV)

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

This parable is like the pearl of great value, and embodies the same principles. Parables can be interpreted on several levels. Not only does this parable teach us about recognizing that we are spiritual beings, but also offers some guidance in our everyday lives. Within each of us is a buried treasure, an idea that can transform our life, not only spiritually, but financially as well.

The field represents our mind, and in this parable the value of the treasure is more plainly presented. Each one of us has been given a hidden treasure, an idea, a gift that is unique to us. It is buried somewhere in our mind, and unless we are working with our mind, we will never find it. Only by digging through the ideas in our own mind will we discover the hidden treasure. It may be a song, a new dance, a new invention or a work of art. It could be a new clothing design or paint color, a new kite design or new app for iPhones. If you are good with people, it could be a position in sales or as a volunteer in hospice care or at a hospital. It could be anything that is uniquely you. Buried within your subconscious mind is the answer you are seeking. Your responsibility is to examine everything within your mind and find that one something that is uniquely you. Keep in mind that the most valuable idea will most likely involve service to others.

Nothing is ready to go. In the parable the man is working the field when he uncovers the treasure. Whatever idea is hidden within you is going to require work, time and effort. Be prepared to make that investment in time and effort. Remember, we highly value those things that have cost us the most to acquire. The same is true of ideas.

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The Talents

Matthew 25:14-30 (RSV)

For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went a dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, “Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have five talents more.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, “Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two more.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” But his master answered him, saying, “You wicked and slothful servant! You knew I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from he who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.”

A talent was a gold coin, worth something in the realm of $5,000 in today’s money, so we are talking about something significant. From a spiritual perspective, we are all given one or more talents. Everyone is given the ability to learn to love. If we are like the wicked servant and bury that ability deep within, then we have nothing to show for what we have received. Fear is the primary reason we do not learn to love, just as fear was the primary motivating factor for the wicked servant in the parable. And just as the wicked servant, if we do not work at growing the love within us, what little we have will be taken from us. In reality it isn’t the master that takes what little we have, it’s the fear that takes it from us.

We have a responsibility to use and develop the talents we have, and to develop new ones. We all have certain aptitudes, things we can learn more quickly and better than other things. Let’s put those aptitudes to work. The part that is uniquely you is already formed somewhere in your subconscious mind. instead of leaving it buried there, dig it up and put it to work for you. You might be astonished at what lies hidden just below the surface of your own mind,

All talents begin as aptitudes. Aptitudes need support, refinement, development and growth. Nothing springs from us fully developed, refined and ready for a waiting world to appreciate. Everything within us also requires an investment in time, effort, dedication and practice. Sometimes that investment will require money to pursue. It may be a little, or it may be a lot. Whatever it is,getting that money will require what we can all do; work and dedication. As we grow and are involved in the process of developing our aptitude into real talent, we often discover we have other aptitudes, other potential talents. In the parable the master returns after a long time, indicating that thinking long-term will help us. It’s tempting to think short-term -- what is the easiest and fastest way to benefit from my aptitudes? This can help us earn the money for our long-term goals. The trick is to not sacrifice our long-term goals for short-term gains.

Life is complex. It is all too easy to get caught up in what needs to be done today and miss what we are looking for next year. Setting both short-term and long-term goals, and making sure the short-term goals are not working against the long-term goals is key in this process. This means we need to set our long-term goals first and then formulate our short-term goals around the long-term ones. Otherwise years will pass and all we will have accomplished are a list of short-term goals, if we even accomplish that. This is what the wicked servant teaches us; our fear will tend to focus us on extremely short-term goals, usually to our detriment. The wicked servant, focused on his own fear and feelings of insecurity, fails to make even the smallest plans.

Many people make plans and set goals and fail to achieve them. Many times outer circumstances are blamed for their failure. But the reality is that most people are defeated, not by outer circumstances, but by the imbedded fears and self-doubts residing within their own mind and emotional nature. It’s not the outer challenges that are so difficult; it’s the inner ones that determine our success or our failure. This is also where the hidden power of the parables becomes so important to us: the parables show us how to correct the inner misperceptions and resolve the inner challenges.

In this parable the master casts the wicked servant into the outer darkness, which represents the separation from God. Each talent we have received is intended to bring us closer to God, to make our life more comfortable and to help us grow both personally and spiritually. If we refuse to take part in the process of inner growth and the generation of spiritual light within us, then we chose to move deeper into the darkness, the separation from God, and what little spiritual light we had before will also be diminished.

Here again another author has added the last line, “there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” The threat is not needed in the original and only detracts from what is meant in the parable.

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The Tares and the Wheat

Matthew 13:24-30 (RSV)

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, “Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?” He said to them, “An enemy has done this.” The servants said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he said, “No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

This parable explains the human condition and the basic process of spiritual growth. The field represents our mind and the good seed represents the beneficial ideas and concepts we learn. While men were sleeping means while we were not paying attention to the thoughts that were forming in our mind. Sleeping refers to a general state of unconsciousness, where we are essentially unaware of the true nature of the ideas and concepts we allow into our thought processes. So, while we are unaware, we allow ideas and concepts into our mind and consciousness that are not beneficial to us. These are the weeds, or tares. Tares are thistles and the root structure of thistles spreads out under the ground. The analogy is that the ideas and concepts that are not beneficial spread and undermine the good ideas and concepts.

In the process of life, both the beneficial and the non-beneficial ideas and concepts are allowed to grow together, and for the earthly level of consciousness and general lack of awareness, that’s how life generally works. Most people go through life unaware of the difference in quality of ideas and concepts. Spiritually they are in a state of deep sleep or hibernation. Jesus referred to this state of unawareness as being spiritually dead. When the disciple talks with Jesus and says, “let me go and bury my father and then I will follow you”, Jesus replies, “let the dead bury the dead.” In other words, there comes a time when we must decide to follow the spiritual path rather than the worldly one. The worldly path leads to the consciousness of death and the spiritual path leads to the consciousness of eternal life. This is what Jesus means when he says, I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly. The statement refers to a state of consciousness, and does not refer to the body or the things of the world.

In the process of spiritual growth we need to develop the skill of discernment, and that is something that only comes to us as we mature. The harvest, or harvest time refers to that level of maturity when we have developed discernment. Reaping is the use of discernment, specifically going through all of the ideas and concepts that we have learned and evaluating each one of them with the values we have acquired in our maturity.

The weeds, the non-beneficial ideas and concepts, need to be removed first. At first it seems like a simple process, but it becomes a little more complex as we proceed. We have become attached to various ideas and concepts during our growth and maturing process in the world. The tendency is to accept our treasured ideas and concepts as true and good, when, in fact, they are not. So the discernment process is applied repeatedly, not just once. What we find is that many of the concepts we have accepted as true in the past are not true at all. They are non-beneficial to us spiritually, and must by rooted up and destroyed before the good concepts can be gathered and stored in our heart (barn in the parable).

The first level of discernment that we can use is to decide whether an idea or concept is love-based or fear-based. Jesus says, you are the light of the world. That is a love-based concept. The opposite concept is that you are a sinner, born in sin and in need of being saved by a savior figure. That is a fear-based concept. So is any concept or idea that ascribes evil to Satan, or the Devil. Ascribing the motivation for our thoughts, feelings and actions to an outside source is self-defeating. It allows us to deny responsibility for what we have created in life. Responsibility and authority are two sides of the same coin. Accepting responsibility for our life also grants us the authority to change it.

The second level of discernment is whether something is actually true or simply accepted as true. A profound amount of information today is accepted as true, when in fact, it isn’t true at all. The bulk of our educational system teaches not truth, but what is accepted to be true, or at least what is politically correct. Any ultimate truth is completely ignored. The truth of the world is established by those who control the establishments of government, religion, academia, and business. This is what keeps us locked into the world system -- our belief in the truth of the world. But there is a higher truth, a spiritual truth, which needs to be embraced in order to free us from the hypnotic mantra of the world. The teachings of Jesus were designed to do just that; free us from the hypnotic falsehoods of the world.

The point of the parable.

The Gnostic path that leads to spiritual enlightenment is the process of self discovery; expanding our conscious mind down through the subconscious and into the light of understanding and wisdom. Discernment becomes the guiding principle - the acquired skill of recognizing the difference between what is true and valuable and what is false and has no value. The decision of true or false is firmly based on whether the idea, concept, emotion or action is based on either love or on fear. The outer world functions from a fear-based set of practices. People obey the law, not because it is the right thing to do from a point of principle, but because of fear of the consequences. The spiritual world functions from only a love-based process. Love is the only true power and the flow of God's love through us, as we learn to radiate that love out into the world, is the only thing that produces the inner spiritual transformation we are seeking. This parable explains that we need to grow up with both the fear-based and the love-based ideas and concepts if we are to function within the world. But when the time for our spiritual work comes, we must remove all of the fear-based thoughts, ideas, concepts, emotions and practices from our consciousness and focus on only the love-based ones. That is what creates the transformation in consciousness that brings us into the kingdom of heaven

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The Weeds of the Field

Matthew 13:37-43 (RSV)

He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father. He who has ears, let him hear.

This is also an example of something written by another author. The son of man is interpreted as Jesus, with the good seed being those who follow the Church and the weeds are those who don’t accept the Doctrine of the Church. Again the threat is present of punishing those who have chosen not to become part of the Church.

Using the symbols of the esoteric system, the Son of man is the spiritually awakened person or consciousness, and the good seeds are the spiritual ideas and the love-based concepts. The field is the mind and represents the use of logic and intellectual evaluation. The weeds are the fear-based thoughts and feelings, and the evil one, the devil, represents the ego, the worldly based personality. The close of the age is again when a certain level of maturity is reached.

The angels as reapers represent the spiritual faculty of discernment. The Son of man sending his angels therefore represents the spiritually awakened person using his or her discernment to separate all of the fear-based thoughts and feelings (causes of sin and evildoers) from the love-based thoughts and feelings. The love-based thoughts, feelings, ideas and concepts will thus shine forth as examples of the kingdom of God when there is nothing left to diminish their light. As the spiritual light shines forth within us, our good works become more and more obvious to all those around us.

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The Sower

Matthew 13:3-9 (RSV)

A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and chocked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.

Some of the world’s greatest inventors have clearly stated that ideas are available to all those who will tune in to the Universal Mind or Universal Consciousness and be open to receiving the ideas. History provides us with multiple examples of this phenomenon. The radio wasn’t invented by just one individual; it was developed in five different places around the world at the same time by people who had no contact with each other. God, as Universal Consciousness, seeds the needed ideas into the world.

So in our parable, the sower is the Universal Consciousness of God and the seeds that are sown are the beneficial ideas to help mankind. Our focus is on the spiritual ideas and concepts, which enter the consciousness of people the exact same way. The spiritual ideas and concepts are seeded into the world from Universal Consciousness.

Some seeds fell along the path. The path is the general consciousness of the world, the well-accepted ideas that make up the general consensus of thoughts and conventional wisdom. The problem is that the spiritual ideas sown by Universal Consciousness are not readily accepted by society in general. Here, birds on the ground represent the lower levels of thought and consciousness. The lower level thoughts and ideas displace, or consume the spiritual ideas, so they cannot take root in the general consciousness of the world.

Other seeds fell on rocky ground. These spiritual ideas have fallen in with rocks or firmly-held beliefs, where there is very little soil. The soil represents our ability to think, consider and analyze ideas with an open mind. With firmly-held beliefs, there is little room for new ideas. The spiritual ideas conflict with the firmly-held beliefs and may grow for a time, but without being supported and nurtured, the ideas will wither and die.

Other seeds fell upon thorns. Thorns are the primary characteristic of thistles, which represent the fear-based ideas and concepts of the ego. The fear-based thoughts and feelings of the world will choke out the spiritual ideas that come from God as Universal Consciousness. The fear-based consciousness of the world supports the ideas of separation and competition, which in turn are a control strategy of divide and conquer. If we are being divided, we are being conquered. Love-based ideas and concepts bring us closer together and bring an end to separation. Love-based ideas sponsor cooperation rather than competition, so instead of separating people, these ideas bring people together where we can share resources, skills and knowledge which benefit everyone.

Other seeds fell on good soil. Some of the spiritual ideas came to people who were receptive and had open minds and hearts. There the spiritual ideas took root and grew. People grew in understanding and wisdom and produced great benefits, not only for themselves, but for everyone around them.

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The Sower Explained

Matthew 13:19-23 (RSV)

When one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundred fold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

This is another example of the work of another author. The fear-based approach is obvious and contradictory to the teachings of Jesus. Here again Church Doctrine is being presented as if it were the true teaching of Jesus, where it is intended not to help people grow and understand, but to frighten people into submission to the Church. Here the “word” is the Doctrine of the Church expressed as the Church’s interpretation of scripture. But “word”, “logos” in the Greek also refers to a system of thought, a teaching, like the teaching of Jesus. So he who hears the word and understands it is a person who knows the symbols used, hears the teaching of Jesus and understands what is being taught. This person indeed bears fruit; he or she grows spiritually and creates benefits for others as well as growing closer to God. Some individuals will grow profoundly, some significantly and others only some. The degree of growth is both a function of ability and dedication. Both are required to produce maximum results.

The reference to the evil one is again a reference to the ego and the fear-based ideas and emotions. Whatever love becomes sown in our heart can be removed by fear and fear-based emotions. Anger and hatred will displace love and kindness. It is only when we clearly see the folly in engaging in anger and hatred that we consciously decide to abandon the fear-based emotions and focus only on the love-based thoughts and feelings. With dedication, the love-based thoughts and feelings will displace the fear-based concepts that have driven our lives. We will accumulate the type of thoughts and feelings upon which we focus our mind and our life. We can choose anything we want, and what we choose will bring the associated results into our life.

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The Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32 (RSV)

The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.

The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed… The most important part of the teachings of Jesus is repeated over and over so the attentive student can’t miss it. Once we begin to unravel the symbols, these repetitive parts simply fill out the interpretation. The kingdom of heaven is a state of consciousness. It appears to be a small thing in the perspective of the world, just as the grain of mustard is one of the smallest of seeds. But once we sow the basic concept that we are spiritual beings into our mind (our field), it gradually grows and expands, just as the mustard plant becomes a shrub and then a tree. The realization that we are spiritual beings expands and leads us naturally into service to others and eventually into the realization of oneness; full conscious contact with God or Universal Mind.

In that process we become more open to other ideas and means of being of service. Universal Mind or God continues to fill us with more ideas and advanced concepts represented by the birds of the air (higher ideas and concepts) making nests in the branches, which represents an expanded understanding of consciousness and the related meanings of more concepts in life (the emergence of wisdom). We begin connecting the dots, making logical connections between many different aspects of life and the spiritual knowledge base we are gradually collecting. In making these connections we are branching out our understanding, seeing clearly how much of life is interconnected and interactive. The series of realizations this generates makes us much more aware and expands our perceptions, opening us up to even greater insights.

The mustard tree becomes the symbol of our expanded consciousness and understanding. In this context we should not ignore the close association the symbol has with the Tree of Life, which represents exactly the same thing. Consciousness and life are intimately interconnected. Jesus said he has come to bring us life so that we may have it more abundantly. He is not talking about fame and fortune; he is talking about consciousness.

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Leaven

Matthew 13:33 (RSV)

The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.

Leaven is a substance that causes bread or similar mixtures to rise. The parable is about a woman, so we are dealing with our emotional nature. Love-based emotions cause our emotions to rise and act as leaven to our emotional nature. Fear-based emotions do the opposite. If we are to raise our spiritual level we must raise both our intellectual nature and our emotional level. By incorporating loving thoughts and loving feelings into our lives we begin to raise our level of consciousness. By including loving actions we complete the process. This is the meaning of the three measures of meal: the three things we have control over in our lives; our thoughts, feelings and actions.

Spiritual growth is primarily emotional based. The peace of God that comes to us is first experienced emotionally. So is the love and joy that are a constant part of the experience of the kingdom of heaven. Fear-based feelings accentuate our separation from God and other people and limit our relationship to the outer world. We tend to see other people as competitors for what we want or what we need, which in turn, fosters feelings of resentment, bitterness and jealousy or envy. The whole process becomes a downward spiral leaving us more depressed and desperate for the things we don’t have.

Love-based feelings lead us toward oneness and away from separation. Love-based feelings foster a sense of forgiveness, understanding and consideration. Our whole outlook on life softens and becomes gentler. We begin to value other people more and listen to what other people are saying rather than simply thinking of what we are going to say next. Love-based feelings lead to making connections, first with other people and then with God. There is a wise saying: people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

The Love that flows from God is the pure transforming power that we all have access to in our lives. But we have to consciously choose to incorporate that Love into our own emotional nature and into our relationships with other people. It is not possible to love God and despise other people. Love is the creative power of God; it is the life-force of everything that lives and the mechanism that renders the Unmanifest Universe into the Manifest Universe that we see and experience. Love is the only power and we need to mix it thoroughly into our thoughts, feelings and actions before we can raise the spirit within us and become one with God.

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The Lost Sheep

Luke 15:1-32 (RSV)

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.”

This is one of the more popular parables, and we have heard the conventional interpretation so many times that we don’t notice some of the interesting details hidden within the parable. For example, sheep are tended in a field where they can graze, yet when the shepherd finds the sheep it does not say the sheep is returned to the flock. That part is conspicuous by its absence. Instead, the shepherd returns home and invites others to join in a celebration,

Parables are carefully constructed. People assume that the lost sheep is returned to the flock, but that’s not what it says. Many spiritual lessons are constructed as puzzles. The puzzle is created allowing the uninitiated to make unwarranted assumptions so they will miss the point of the lesson. This is one of those examples.

There is an amusing story about little Johnny. The teacher in school presents a story math problem to him, saying, “If you have ten sheep in a field and one of them jumps over the fence, how many sheep are left in the field?” Little Johnny replies, “None.” The teacher says, “That is not correct. If you take away one sheep away, nine are left in the field.” To which little Johnny replies, “Teacher, you may know math, but you don’t know sheep. If one of them jumps over the fence, all of them jump over the fence.”

Sheep are followers and they function in a herd mentality. Sheep represent the conventional thinking of society; people who conform to the established interpretation and don’t question the paradigm. The lost sheep leaves the conventional thinking of the group and begins thinking for him or her self. This is what is required on a spiritual path; we must leave the conventional thinking and explanations behind and find the hidden truth for ourselves. From the perspective of the group, we have become “lost.” Yet what we really seek is the truth. In its essence, a spiritual journey is a search for the truth.

In the parable, the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine and goes in search of the one. That is exactly what happens on our spiritual journey. Jesus says, “Seek and you will find.” But how it actually works is that through our seeking, we come to the attention of Universal Mind or God, just as the missing sheep has come to the attention of the shepherd. God, as Unlimited Spirit, comes to us in the midst of our search. Instead of finding the kingdom of heaven, it finds us. Just as there is a celebration when the shepherd returns home; so too is there a celebration among spiritually conscious beings when Universal Spirit brings another awakened soul home and into the oneness.

Another similar story is the goose in the jar. A spiritual teacher tells his students a baby goose was placed in a large jar. Water and food was supplied and the goose grows to full size inside of the jar. The goose, long ago, outgrew the opening in the jar. The question is then posed, “How do you get the goose out of the jar without breaking the jar or killing the goose?” The puzzle has no obvious solution because the story is symbolic. The goose represents us and the jar represents the conventional paradigm or belief system. When we are small children we are taught the conventional paradigm, and that is what we believe is true. We grow up confined within that paradigm, within that belief system. Only by “thinking outside of the box” do we realize a different level of existence, a different level of consciousness. When we do, the spiritual teacher suddenly claps his hands and shouts, “The goose is out!” We have escaped the confines of the jar and we are free.

This is the same process of the parable of the lost sheep. When we leave the conventional paradigm behind and seek the truth on our own, we finally change our perspective and break out of the old belief system. We become free, just as Jesus said, “You will come to know the truth, and that truth will set you free.”

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The Lost Sheep Continued

Luke 15:7 (RSV)

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than in ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

This section of the parable was added many years later by another author. Here Church Doctrine is presented; the sinner who repents and gets into heaven. Repent comes from the Greek word, metanoia, which refers to a change in thinking or perception. This is exactly what happens on our spiritual journey; our search for truth. We change our belief system, our level of awareness and our level of consciousness. As we do so, we enter into the oneness, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Church Doctrine assumes that the righteous, the members of the Church, will go to heaven after they die. This is the exoteric explanation, the outer version meant for the many. The reality is that the conventionally righteous are not going to enter into heaven upon their death. Heaven is a state of consciousness, and death does not, and cannot change our level of consciousness. That has to be a deliberate act and process on our part. We have to free our self from the conventional paradigm and enter into the higher states of consciousness on our own. That is the basis of the entire teaching of Jesus.

Jesus said, “Wide and easy is the path that leads to destruction. Narrow and difficult is the path that leads to salvation, and only he who persists unto death will be saved.” Organized religion provides the wide and easy path. Only the inner spiritual journey follows the narrow and difficult path. Only those who persist on the spiritual journey unto the death of the ego will experience the enlightenment that is salvation.

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The Lost Coin

Luke 15:8-10 (RSV)

Or a woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.” Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

This too was added many years after Jesus by another author. This parable is again based on Church Doctrine instead of the teachings of Jesus. By now the difference between the parables of Jesus and those of other authors should be more obvious.

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The Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11-26 (RSV)

There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.” And he divided his living between them. Not so many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed the swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself and said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.’” And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and now is found.” And they began to make merry.

This parable provides us with an overall view of incarnation and its hidden purpose. As spiritual beings we exist within the presence of God. In the beginning the presence is continually conscious, just as the two brothers are aware of their relationship to their father. But one of the sons, representing each soul who decides to experience incarnation, asks for his share of the father’s estate. We, as spiritual beings experiencing human incarnation, have also asked for our share of our Father’s estate, which is pure Spirit (the upper-case Spirit refers to the spiritual essence of God, Unlimited Spirit. The lower-case spirit refers to the share of God’s Unlimited Spirit which has been assigned to us as individual spiritual beings, which becomes our individual spirit).

We take our inheritance, our individual spirit, and we incarnate. In the parable the son goes into a far country. A country refers to a state of consciousness, and a far country refers to a state of consciousness that is well removed from the consciousness of God. This is what we experience in physical incarnation as we attach our consciousness to a physical body. Since God, as Universal Mind is everywhere, there is no physical place we can go where God is not. So the solution is to create the separation from God within our own mind. This is accomplished through the subconscious mind. The subconscious is the veil that separates us from the presence of God.

In the parable the younger son squanders his property in loose living. In our physical incarnation we squander the spirit within us as we focus on the body as the source of life. We believe we are the body and that when death arrives, we die. We spend many lifetimes believing we are the body and we experience all of the lessons we have selected as the body. Sometimes we experience wealth and power, sometimes poverty, illness, arrogance, lost loves, betrayal, loneliness and dependence. Each lifetime grants us the experience of dominance, submission, control or helplessness, guilt or shame. And with each life lesson comes a small amount of understanding, and a small amount of wisdom.

After many lifetimes of being focused solely on our self, we come to the lowest point in our series of incarnations. In the parable, the son has spent everything when a great famine arose in that country. This is when everything stops working in our life; our job may come to an end, we may lose the relationships we have, we may also lose our health. We hit bottom.

In the parable the son goes and joins himself to one of the citizens of that country. This is a form of indentured servitude. He becomes a slave. This is also what happens to us during incarnation; we become a slave to the body, feeding it, maintaining it and servicing its desires. What the body wants, we believe is what we want and we become driven by the body. Many times we may fall into addictions that speed our journey to the bottom.

Then something special happens. In the parable the son comes to himself. A realization takes place; there is a better way of doing things. He will be better off as one of his father’s hired servants. In our life we come to the same place. We realize that we will be better off being of service to others than we are trying to serve only ourselves. An intellectual transformation takes place. We come to our self; we recognize that we are spiritual beings and not just a body. We realize it is time to go home, back into the presence of God. Just as the prodigal son makes his journey back home to his father, so too do we embark on our spiritual journey back into the presence of God. The spiritual path is a journey without distance. It is a transformation in mind, emotions and spirit.

In the parable the father sees his son returning from a distance. So too does the Universal Consciousness that is God see us from a distance on our spiritual journey. We do not have to get all the way back to begin receiving the benefits of our journey. While we are still some distance from being in the oneness, the presence of God comes to us, filling us first with peace, then love, and then Joy.

In our human experience, through life after life, we gradually come to the point where we have learned humility, the value of honesty and ethics. We have left the ways of the world behind and we have followed the higher path, doing the right things simply because we have developed compassion for others and will not hurt them. We have become dedicated to being of honest service to others, not for what we can get, but rather for what we are becoming -- a truely spiritual being.

This is where the father comes to the son and says, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and now is found.” Jesus has referrred to those who have not awakened spiritually as the dead. This too is the meaning of the father’s statement, “My son was dead, and is now alive again.” We have awakened spiritually and are returning home to the oneness and interconnected nature of the kingdom of heaven. We have been separated from the conscious contact with God and were “lost.” Now we have worked our way through the subconscious mind and we have entered the oneness; we are now “found.” Just as Jesus stated, “I and the Father are one,” so too have we become one with the Father.

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