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Joseph and Benjamin — Union with the Higher Self

   Joseph (higher mind) was younger in years (development) than the ten brothers who came to see him. Yet he was the wiser and became, not only their benefactor but the very preserver of their lives. Benjamin was the youngest of them all. He remained at home with his father — for the reason that he represents a stage of spiritual development to which the elder brothers had not yet awakened. Astrologically, he correlates to the sign Cancer, the door of cosmic knowing. Joseph, who had come nearer than any of his older brothers to qualifying for Initiation, required of them that they go and fetch Benjamin, his own young brother, to him. As a surety that they would do this, Simeon was bound before their eyes and kept as a pledge.

   In terms of personal experience, the foregoing incident might be interpreted something like this: Joseph (higher mind) is approached by his brothers (qualities and attributes belonging to the personal self) for food with which to perpetuate their existence. While the brothers had been drawn to one of higher station and greater authority than themselves, they did not know him to be their own brother. On the contrary, Joseph, being the higher, knew the lower. He recognized the brothers as his very own. In effect he said to them: "I welcome you, for you are my very own. I grant your request. As is your aspiration, so shall it be unto you. More than you ask, more than you expect, shall be yours. But as you are mine and I am yours, you, in turn, must sustain and advance me. Go, but return to bring me your brother Benjamin, also my brother, my only full brother, for by the quality which he embodies I can mount to heights of Illumination. And if I be lifted up I will lift all of you up with me."

   Meantime, Simeon was required to remain as a hostage. Astrologically, it is to be recalled that he represents the lower phase of the dual sign, Gemini. In other words, elements of the lower mind were bound; they were brought under control — an indispensable condition for progress in higher degrees of attainment.

   Reuben and Judah were the chief spokesmen on behalf of Joseph when the latter's life was threatened by his other brothers. Again, these two brothers pleaded Joseph's cause when asking Jacob's permission to take Benjamin with them into Egypt. Reuben and Judah, are the voices of Aquarius and Leo, zodiacal signs governing the New Age and the channels through which the race is impelled in the direction of universal brotherhood' (Aquarius) and selfless love (Leo). Love and compassion are the liberators of the individual and the race alike.

   The personal self feels its incompleteness and is drawn toward its higher, ever-abiding reality. The "famine being sore," the brothers seek out Joseph once more. But this time they come with Benjamin, the quickened spirit within. Without him, they had been assured they would not be permitted to see the face of Joseph, their divine selfhood. They go forth, taking with them presents of fruits, balm, honey, spices, myrrh and almonds. They also take double money in their hands. Above all, they bring Benjamin. These events refer to an ever increasing power for good which manifests in the life of one who earnestly seeks the Path of Light.

   What Joseph, by virtue of his authority, had commanded of his brothers they had faithfully performed, and in doing this they enhanced their own powers, returning home with gifts, doubled money and a measure of added spiritual understanding. Simeon (mortal propensities), having been disciplined, was unloosed and restored to freedom.

   Spiritual ecstasy swept over Joseph as he came face to face with Benjamin, the indescribable rapture of the spirit when it looks upon its own eternal identity. It was the experience of a victorious candidate lifting the veil before the Holy of Holies and entering therein.

   This was a festival time of the spirit. The celebration was appropriate to the occasion; the board had been richly loaded and there were "messes" for all. But Benjamin's portion was five times as much as that of any other. They all drank of the wine of the new life, and were merry with him.

   The first journey was made by ten sons without Benjamin. Ten is the number of the masculine and feminine in separation but working toward unity. The second journey was made by the eleven brothers. Eleven is the numerical emanation under which equilibrium is established.

   Joseph sought to prove the worthiness of the personal self to receive knowledge of its divine counterpart. His silver cup was placed in the sack of one of his brothers, without their knowledge, and prior to their departure for Canaan. After they had journeyed a distance they were overtaken by Joseph's steward who charged them with theft. Examination revealed the cup in Benjamin's sack. Innocent of any guilt, they all rent their clothes and returned to the city. Upon being questioned by Joseph, Judah (the heart) made answer: "What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found." (Genesis 44:16)

   Joseph would not accept this. He would have only him in whose sack the cup was found. Judah knew that his retention of Benjamin would break his father's (Jacob) heart, so he pleaded with Joseph: "O my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh . . . Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren."

   This willing sacrifice of Judah (love) touched Joseph's heart so deeply that he "could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him." So, dismissing them, he "made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud . . . And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt." Love (Judah) had so uplifted the whole personality (older brothers) that it could be admitted into the secret place of its own higher self.

   The cup placed in Benjamin's sack was of silver, a feminine metal correlated to the love principle which, when lifted, brings illumination and equilibrium. Also, silver is governed by the Moon, ruler of Cancer, the sign of Benjamin and the mystical gate to Initiation. When rightly understood all details fall into their proper place in a pattern of divine perfection.

   After Joseph had made himself known to his brothers, he effected a complete reconciliation with them. This indicates a degree of spiritual oneness in consciousness to which many have not yet attained.

   Union with God is not possible so long as there is a disunion with men. ". . he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" The Christ speaks to the same point when He enjoins the devotee, who purposes to bring a gift to the altar of the Lord, that if he have aught against a brother to first go and be reconciled to him; for until that is done his gift is unacceptable to the Lord.

   Joseph was in a position to retaliate for the wrong his brothers had done him in conspiring to take his life, and later in selling him for a few pieces of silver. But such is not the way to one's higher self. Love only leads that way. "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Such is the commandment of the Lord of Love.

   Joseph bade his brothers not to grieve because they had sold him, assuring them it was not they but God that had sent him into Egypt in order to there make provision that would later preserve their lives. And Joseph "kissed all his brethren." But Benjamin, his nearest and dearest brother, he embraced and wept upon his neck."

   After reconciliation between Joseph and his brethren, Pharaoh promised them that the good of Egypt was theirs and that they were welcome to the fat of the land. Joseph dispatched them to Canaan to get their father, Jacob, and return to live in fruitful Goshen.

   Joseph again made ample provision for their journey. Among other things, each was furnished with new raiment. This is one way of saying that the soul body had acquired added qualities and taken on greater radiance. Benjamin was given five changes of raiment. The robe of the spirit of this best beloved son and brother was of quintuple splendor. All five senses had been spiritualized. Benjamin was also favored with a special gift of three hundred pieces of silver — the triune forces of body, mind and spirit functioning as a unit.

   In the light that shines in the darkness the Lord spoke to Jacob (humanity), assuring him that He would go down with him into Egypt (involuntary descent of the spirit into matter), and that He would surely bring him up again (evolutionary ascent from matter back to God). It is in, with and through God that the human spirit makes its pilgrimage into time and space and matter, gathering experience and unfolding potentialities. From unconscious oneness with God, the journey leads to conscious awareness of unity with the whole. It is an aeonic passage from impotence to omnipotence, from nescience to omniscience. We are gods in the making.

   "And Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes." The mind is the path, says an occult maxim. The Christing of the mind is the supreme ideal for the present Fifth Root Race, the Aryan peoples. Genesis follows this work to its completion in the life of Joseph.

   When Jacob and his house set out for Egypt, he sent "Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen." Love (Judah) led the way into the new land.

   Goshen was a very fertile province in Egypt. It was "the best of the land." It was free of plagues, for the Lord severed the land in which His people dwelt to the end that it might be known that the Lord ruled in the midst of the Earth. (Exodus 8:22) The people of Israel, the elect, had risen above their environment. By inner attainment they transformed outer conditions. In the midst of a world in famine they had plenty; when plagues devastated Egypt they remained untouched. This was not the result of any external decree. The Lord (Law) knows no favorites. It was the inevitable consequence of their own actions. To the degree that men conform their conduct to the law of universal good, do they experience that good in the particulars of their own lives regardless of what the conditions and circumstances around them may be. And so, though Egypt suffered and fainted by reason of famine, "Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly."

   During the famine the Egyptians disposed progressively of everything they had — money, cattle, houses, lands — for corn. When thus divested of all temporal things, all personal attachments, that they might receive instead the bread of life (corn) from their higher spirit self (Joseph), the emptiness of their lesser lives yielded to the fullness of the life of the spirit. The famine ceased. As Jacob's end drew near he adopted Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, as his own, and bestowed upon them his blessing.

   Ephraim and Manasseh represent, respectively, the will (Masculine) and intuition (feminine) principles in man. When Jacob bestowed his name upon them, the reference is to Jacob's spiritually acquired name of Israel, which carries the dual powers of the masculine and feminine polarities. Jacob's blessing pertains to the processes by which these two powers are brought into equilibrium in the individual and in the race. Of Manasseh, it was said that he would be greater than Ephraim. This refers to the restoration of the feminine (Eve) principle which fell when mankind surrendered the divine love principle to enslavement by the senses. When love is redeemed, it will be the greatest of all powers. The progeny of this power "shall become a great people . . . and his seed shall become a multitude of nations."

 — Corinne Heline


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