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Bible Self-Study Supplement

The Higher Self Withdraws from the Lower

   Abram now reached the stage of spiritual development where he could no longer dwell with Lot, the lower nature. Strife developed "between the herdmen of Abram's cattle, and the herdmen of Lot's cattle."

   Confronted with this situation, Abram, the higher nature, takes the initiative and proposes conciliation.

   Now the men of Sodom were wicked. Their city was exceptionally beautiful, containing gardens adorned with fruits and flowers, pleasing to the sight and intoxicating to the senses. Rare perfumes contributed further to the subtle sensual influence that pervaded the place, while intoxication from over-indulgence in richly spiced wines was general.

   Riotous excesses marked the observance of the sacred seasons. The holy meaning of such times of spiritual releases as the Equinoxes and Solstices was quite forgotten. They continued to be observed, no longer with reverence and devotion, but with rites indescribably repulsive and obscene. The Taurean religion had lost all semblance of its original purity and beauty. The spirit of it had departed and its form had degenerated into sensual orgies such that, in the end, the elements themselves were outraged and rained fires of destruction upon the wicked city.

   Since it was in the direction of the Sodomites that Lot "pitched his tent," he suffered the vexations of association with a degenerate people. His righteous soul was troubled "from day to day with their unlawful deeds." But in selecting his portion, Lot's eye was more to the "well-watered" plain than it was to the character of the dwellers therein. Material interests were uppermost. Yet such is the law: unworthy gain turns into early loss.

   In the destruction that finally overtook Sodom Lot suffered loss of his wife, members of his family and most of his wealth.

   Abram had again chosen highly and wisely. He elected to take the better part, preferring advantages of a spiritual nature to those of the material. He dealt kindly and generously with his kinsman Lot, even though he had come to the place in his own spiritual life where he could no longer live amicably with Lot, the lesser mortal man. Every right choice and constructive action strengthens the whole nature and brings it into a closer harmony with universal right and good. The hold on spiritual values becomes more secure. This is illustrated at this stage of Abram's life in the Lord's appearance to him immediately after he had separated himself from Lot, and in his repetition of the promise already made that Canaan was his. "The length of it" and "the breadth of it ... I will give it unto thee."

   This promised land was not only Palestine. It was Aryana, the landed areas of the world for the Aryan Epoch. Also, it signified the Holy Land of the spiritual realms, the heaven world which becomes the eternal home of those who follow the ways of righteousness and love in obedience to the Lord's (Law's) decrees.

   Following the advance that Abram had made on the path of attainment, it is recorded that he "removed his tent, and came and dwelt on the plain of Mamre (strength) which is in Hebron (unity), and built there an altar unto the Lord."

The Spirit's Struggle with the Five Senses

   The battle of the five kings took place in the vale of Siddim. This was filled with slime pits. In the battle, "The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain."

   In the vale of physical existence an incarnated Ego does battle with the five senses that have become entangled in the slime pits of the world's illusions, vanities and seductions. The basest elements, kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, flee and fall. The better qualities overcome the opposing forces and find their way to the mountain. The battle is an allegorical presentation of the struggle involved in the purification and spiritualization of the five physical senses. These senses, avenues by which the Ego contacts the outer world, must be rescued from their captivity by matter and transformed into channels for the expression of the indwelling spirit.

   Abram had separated himself from Lot but he had not forsaken him. He was still his kinsman and so had claims upon him for assistance and protection as occasion required. Lot's captivity was such an occasion, and Abram did not fail to make a worthy response. The following lines from "Light on the Path," by Mabel Collins brings out the true spiritual significance of Abram's rescue of Lot:

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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