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The Citadel of Mortal Mind Ten Times Besieged

   Before the tenfold assault of the spirit, mortal mind yielded its untenable position and surrendered to a greater good. The painful process did not fall on the Egyptians alone; the people of Israel, too, needed remedial measures for bringing them fully under the direction of spiritual law. This is indicated in the fact that the first three plagues fell equally upon the Israelites and the Egyptians. Beginning with the fourth, only the Egyptians were afflicted. No murrain swept the beasts of the Israelites; no tempest or locusts destroyed their crops. They suffered no darkness from an obscured Sun, nor were they afflicted with boils. The Lord (Law) made it clear that the fate of the Israelites was not identical with that of the Egyptians.

The First Plague — Turning Water into Blood

   The transformation of blood into water means regeneration; the change of water into blood means degeneration. Blood is the vehicle of the Ego; it contains the essence of life, and is a veritable mirror reflecting development of the spirit functioning therein. Man's desires are registered in it. If they be pure, the blood is clean and the body radiant with health; if they be impure, the blood is unclean and the body devitalized or diseased accordingly.

   Pharaoh's "heart was hardened, neither did 'he hearken unto them, as Jehovah had spoken . . . Neither did he lay even this to heart," So the Lord (Law) through his servants, Moses and Aaron, took further action.

The Second Plague — The Plague of Frogs

   Frogs belong to the water element and, therefore, relate symbolically to the emotional nature. Abnormalities in the emotional life cause dropsy and various forms of glandular trouble. Truly "the soul's faults today crystallize into the bodily faults of tomorrow."

   Collectively, in the case of the Egyptians and the Israelites, it caused nature to infest the rivers and the land and the houses with frogs; they came into the bed chamber and upon the bed and in the kneading troughs; everywhere they created a state of misery.

   With this dreadful measure, Pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites go, and the frogs were again confined to the river. "But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and harkened not unto them," even as Jehovah had foretold. So sterner measures were necessary to bring the recalcitrant Pharaoh (human mind) into harmony with the demands of Israel (divine mind).

The Third Plague — The Plague of Lice

   Lice relate to the earth element, and are a pestilential result of a neglected physical body. Physiologically, it was man's body and its abuse that the Master referred to when He said, "My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves."

   The magic of Aaron by which the first two plagues were produced was successfully imitated by the magicians of Egypt. But not so the third. Failing in this, they said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." Moses and Aaron were capable of rising step by step in the powers they invoked. From the first they dealt with the legitimate spiritual powers of the Initiate. The Egyptian enchanters worked with counterfeit forces of lower levels. That is why they were able to imitate the first two miracles but not the third; nor any of the succeeding seven wonders. It is to be noted that they were not able to initiate any miracle. Imitation was their highest accomplishment, and even that was restricted to two miracles only. The forces they worked with were drawn from the astral plane where spiritual powers utilized by Initiates exist in the form of reflections.

   Still Pharaoh hardened his heart. He failed to discern between spiritual truth and its astral counterpart and would not, therefore, let Israel go.

The Fourth Plague — The Plague of Flies

   Insects of the air relate symbolically to thought. Pests that enter the Earth's atmosphere are the result of wrong thinking and unclean habits. They are creations of mortal mind. Jehovah clearly outlines the distinction existing between the creative forces of divine mind and of lower or mortal thinking. "I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there."

   Despite all the painful lessons therein recounted, mortal mind was still manifesting in the darkness of material concepts. No sooner had the plague of flies abated than Pharaoh retracted his promise. He did not let Israel go.

   The Lord (Law), however, works impersonally. He is in continual action, bringing increasing good to those who work with Him and added pain and sorrow to those who defy Him and His precepts.

The Fifth Plague — The Murrain on Cattle

   This disaster fell upon the beasts only. Its origin was in the bestial nature of man. As man progresses in spiritual development a division occurs between higher and lower desires. This is the symbolical meaning of the distinction "between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt" which is made by the Lord.

   "The cattle of Egypt died; but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one." The Egyptians lived in an unregenerate state that brings death; the Israelites had entered into the state where "there was not one of the cattle ... dead." Their higher faculties were alive, active and responsive to the divine will.

 — Corinne Heline

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