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Bible Self-Study Supplement

The Book of Ruth

   "In Ruth we find a woman drawn in full length with the skill of heaven and the feeling of love. Such a woman is the Mother of the World. Evermore will the world need such a mother to nurse it in sickness and comfort it in the darkness of sorrow."

   The Book of Ruth closes with the chapter on the Mystic Marriage toward which all neophytes aspire, in which the lower nature is lifted up and united with the higher. There must always be ten Elders who witness the contract. Ten is the number of man and woman working on the plane of generation together and aspiring toward regeneration. This is the symbolism of the Fellowcraft Degree of Masonry. Ten on the higher or initiatory plane symbolizes the masculine and feminine principles in spiritual union or equilibrium. This is the power by which Hiram, the master, is raised to the third, or Mastership degree of the Blue Lodge.

   Obed (worshipper), the son born to Boaz and Ruth, symbolizes that high state of spiritual ecstasy termed by some occultists Adoration, the most profound state of meditation wherein all sense of division is lost and the consciousness becomes one with the Universal Whole — "The flight of the known to the Unknown," as the Grecian philosophers phrased this experience, or in the words of the Christ, "The Father and I are One".

   From a study of the mystical attributes of this fascinating and beautiful love idyl of the Old Testament, we realize that within the life story of each of its characters there lie concealed spiritual principles which are fundamental in the development of Christian character and the expansion of consciousness.

   As we have had many occasions to point out, each Book in the Bible holds the key to some particular phase of spiritual development. The story of Ruth points the way to the awakening consciousness of the Invisible Helper and to the fulfillment of that promise which is so beautifully interpreted in the Moffatt translation of the 137th Psalm: "He giveth His gifts to His loved ones as they sleep."

   In accordance with the Masonic legend, Boaz was the great-grandfather of David, and Solomon's pillars are called Jachin and Boaz to commemorate his marriage with Ruth, for whose memory also Solomon is said to have entertained such respectful veneration that, at David's suggestion, his anointing was repeated under the gate of Bethlehem, which was supported by two pillars erected by Boaz himself. It is further stated that Solomon was sleeping under this gate between the pillars when he was favored with that remarkable vision in which he was offered his choice between wisdom or worldly riches. In the same place he received the Queen of Sheba when she came to visit the magnificent Temple at Jerusalem and to ascertain whether or not the miraculous stories of his wisdom were founded on fact.

   The esoteric significance of the two columns and their profound and far-reaching meaning as used in Masonry has been elaborated elsewhere in this volume. Every Initiate must be able to stand between these columns and use their forces constructively. Every book and rite of true spiritual Initiation contains many veiled allusions to the meaning and use of the two mighty forces around which the phenomenal universe as a whole revolves.

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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