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Bible Self-Study Supplement

Childhood and Youth — Biblical and Talmudic Records

   Concerning the birth of Abram the Genesis account merely gives the information that "Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram." From Terah's years it appears that Abram's birth inaugurates a new septenary cycle of racial progress.

   For additional information we turn to an account in the Talmud which, though legendary, contains truths of greater value than the merely historical. This account reads in part as follows:

   In the night of his nativity his father entertained all the wise men and magicians belonging to Nimrod's court. The reveling lasted until dawn and as they left the house they saw a large and brilliant star rising in the east and it swallowed up four other great stars from the four corners of the heavens. They said: "Surely this has to do with the birth of Therach's son. When he is grown his descendants will possess the kingdom."

   This record is strikingly similar to the story of the nativity of Jesus. Other parallels there are, both in the early life and in the later years of the, two great Teachers. Jesus' infancy was endangered by Herod; Abram's by Nimrod. Both rulers represent the powers of the wo rld opposing the advent of spiritual liberators. Seeing, as they did, the heralding of the infants by heavenly significators, they trembled for the future safety of their thrones, As protective measures, both Herod and Nimrod ordered the massacre of the innocents.

   Nimrod belonged to the old order; Abram came to usher in a new. He was a shepherd preparing pioneers of the race he led for the acceptance of the religion of the lamb (Aries). Since it is difficult for the established order to adapt itself to new conditions and equally so for long accepted religious practice to modify its position in accordance with added revelations of truth, Nimrod, embodiment of the former, resisted the changes in thought and life inaugurated by Abram, champion of the new.

   Another parallel in the early life of Jesus and Abram is the special training which they received from advanced teachers in the Sacred Wisdom. Jesus was so taught during the interim that he was lost to history, from twelve until the commencement of his public ministry; Abram, according to legend, was sent at the age of ten to study with Noah and Shem.

   The following passage from one of the apocryphal books serves to fill out the picture of Abram's early life.

   At the age of twelve Jesus startled the doctors with his wisdom. At the age of fourteen Abram's "name became great in all the land of the Chaldees." Jesus shed light in intellectual darkness. Abram banished a "cloud of ravens." Legend also has it that at the age of fourteen Abram renounced the idol worship of his father and prayed "to the Creator of all things that he might save him from the errors of the children of men."

The Aryan Teacher's Commission and Dedication

   By God's command, Abram inaugurated a new departure in racial progression. He was required to leave his country and kindred and to go into a land that the Lord would reveal unto him. That land signifies new conditions — physical, political, social, religious and spiritual. The guidance Abram was receiving came from God through the mediation of the Race Spirit that presided over the destiny of the people Abram was called to lead. That Race Spirit, like all others of similar rank, belonged to the archangelic Hierarchy. His name is Michael.

   Touching the racial migration, Godfrey Higgins states in Anacalypsis that when "the Vernal Equinox changed from Taurus to Aries, several emigrations occurred from Mesopotamia and India towards the West in consequence of civil wars then prevailing."

   Notice is here taken of the precessional change in the heavens as being coincident with movements of population from one geographic location to another. It is also an interesting historical corroboration of the account in Genesis. While this aspect of the Bible is altogether secondary, it is present throughout. The history of the Jewish race becomes the external framework within which inspired writers have constructed a spiritual history of mankind that is equally true for all people at all times and in ail places.

   The promise made by the Lord to Abram, that in fulfilling the mission assigned him he would be blessed, was not arbitrary protection granted because of personal favoritism. The Lord (Law) automatically protects all those who are at one in purpose with Him (it).

   Abram came from Ur, a city of light, and settled in Haran, a high place. Sarai and Lot traveled with him. Sarai, meaning princess, signifies the highly stationed feminine or love principle; and Lot, identified chiefly with Sodom, is representative of the lower nature. Thus Abram journeys away into the new land accompanied by both the higher and the lower elements active in his nature.

   Abram approached his task with a consciousness of its importance and placed himself under divine guidance. The Lord appeared unto him and on a mountain, always symbolical of a high state of awareness, and Abram erected to Him an altar. This was to the east, the direction of light, near Bethel, the house of God. There it was he called upon the name of the Lord.

   After this the journey continues, "going on still toward the south." The south symbolizes materiality. In this direction lay famine, the barrenness of the sense world when divorced from spiritual meaning. From the region of famine Abram goes into Egypt, land of darkness and materiality. Although he had been on the mountain, met the Lord face to face and made his high dedication, he was not yet able to maintain himself on that high level of consciousness. He descended to the plain, moved southward and went into Egypt. But not to stay. The dedication he had made and the vision he had beheld were still the guiding undercurrents of his life.

   At first it may not appear logical that his move should be to the south, direction of darkness, and into Egypt, land of materiality. Yet this was not retrogression, but progression. Periodically the spirit incarnates into flesh to gain experience in matter. The vision vouchsafed the aspirant on the mount must become manifest in daily living.

   Famine was the reason for this journey, as it was when Jacob and his sons went into the same land. When the spiritual light is dimmed the consciousness descends into a state of darkness (Egypt). In the words of Wordsworth, when "farther from the east" he travels, at length it fades "into the light of common day."

   When one is living in the limited personal consciousness (Egypt), there is a tendency to make compromises with the higher self (Sarai) and to attempt to pass off one relationship (wife) for another (sister). There were the gains of creature comforts: "for her sake" Pharaoh could offer an abundance of this world's goods. Pharaoh is representative of worldly power and carnal appetites. He, and the Egyptians of whom he was the chief, beheld Sarai and saw that "she was very fair." Since their desires had not been purified or their mind spiritualized, they were not able to recognize the love principle she represents in its rightful spiritual aspect, but only in terms of their own sensual natures. "And the Lord (Law) plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarah" The higher nature cannot be violated by the lower with impunity.

   Pharaoh sent Abram and Sarai, and all that they had, out of Egypt. And they came forth "very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold." And again they came to Bethel where Abraham renewed his dedication, calling again "on the name of the Lord."

 — Corinne Heline

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