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Bible Self-Study Supplement

Live the Life and Know the Doctrine

   Following a restatement of the Ten Commandments in chapter V, Moses devotes himself to encouraging the Israelites for their prospective entry into Canaan, reminding them of what the Lord had already done for them, and giving various precepts and prayers to sustain faith in the coming time of trial — Deuteronomy VI-XI inclusive.

   Here we find the time-honored verses called the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:45), which express the fundamental precepts of the Old Testament, and of the Christ teachings as well: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

   In a volume entitled Hebrew Literature, Hebrew Melodies and the Kaballa Unveiled, it is stated that "It is abundantly evident from the Zohar that the ancient Jews understood that in the Shema there was a confession of the doctrine of the Trinity in unity-three Persons in One God. 'Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.' By the first name in this sentence, Jehovah, is signified God the Father, the Head of all things, By the next words, our God, is signified God the Son the fountain of all knowledge; and by the second Jehovah is signified God the Holy Ghost, proceeding of them both; to all which is added the word One, to signify that these three are indivisible. But this mystery shall not be revealed until the coming of the Messiah."

   In the sacred books of India we also find a sacred stanza "which only the high-born know," called Gayatri. "May that Sun who contemplates and looks into all worlds be our protection. Let us meditate on the adorable light of the divine ruler; may it guide our intellects. Desirous of food, we solicit the gift of the splendid Sun, who should be studiously worshipped. Venerable men, guided by understanding, salute the divine Sun with oblations and praise." Or, briefly, "We meditate on that adorable Light of the resplendent Sun; may it direct our intellects."

   Moses required that the Hebrew Shema be bound "for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes." This is the origin of phylacteries once worn by pious Jews — not only as a reminder of the One Lord, but as a protection from all evil, having somewhat the character of talismans in the Chaldean fashion. It is obvious that merely binding written words, however holy, upon the hand and the forehead cannot in itself be anything more than a reminder; but the esoteric meaning is quite different. The "words" to be "bound on the hand" and worn as "frontlets between the eyes" have clear reference to the indwelling principle, the Godhead in man; the one principle, by whose secret activity in the depth of the soul spiritual vision is opened (the Word of God between the eyes), and powers of healing and service are extended into higher dimensions (the Word of God upon the hands). This corresponds to the roses or lotuses which unfold at those points, blossoms of the spirit whose roots are in the Eternal Unity.

   The verses of the Shema were also to be written on the posts of the houses and on the gates, so that in going out and coming in the Israelites might be reminded of the omnipresent glory of their Lord. Esoterically, we apply this commandment to the going out and coming in between the door posts of night and day by way of the "gate" in the head, as we travel to and from our work as Invisible Helpers. The Shema is then truly a talisman, a safeguard against evil; such complete dedication to God as it commands leaves no slightest crevice where evil may enter in, and the neophyte is, in very truth, wearing the Shield of the Sun (Adonai) whose golden radiance dissipates all darkness.

   "And these words," Moses continues, "shall be in thine heart ... And thou shalt do that which is right and good."

   Israel was a chosen people because of their qualifications to go forward as pioneers of a new race and age. They were the most advanced of those who were selected to become the nucleus of the succeeding Aryan Race. As pioneers, they were "the fewest of all people." The Lord loved them "above all people" — an intimate, allegorical way of saying that the advanced few harmonized more closely to the law of cyclic progression than others less attuned to the keynote of the race-in-the-making.

   Esoterically interpreted, the "chosen few" are the inner circle of disciples who have made themselves worthy to talk with God "face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire."

   Opposed to the Israelites, the "fewest of the people," were "A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!" (Deuteronomy 9:2)

   The people described by Moses are the Atlanteans, the great race which preceded the Aryan, and from whom sprang the "chosen few." The Atlanteans grew mighty in material possessions and powers; but departing from the ways of righteousness, they were destroyed by their own wickedness. Though they were "great and tall," with "cities great and fenced up to heaven," they fell before the advancing Aryans — not because the latter were without fault, as Moses reminded them, but in spite of their stiff-necked resistance to divine guidance. Moses tells them that at one time the Lord (Law) was so wroth with them, that had it not been for his intercession they, too, would have been wiped out. The "greater" and the "mightier" nations (the backward Atlanteans) suffered destruction, he says, because of their greater wickedness. Moses sought to teach the people humility, trust in God and obedience to the universal Good. That had been the purpose of their forty years of discipline in the desert. "Consider in thine heart, that as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee." The love of God is emphasized throughout: "The Lord did not set His love upon you, because ye were more in number than any people . . . But because the Lord loved you."

   The fate that overtook Atlantis will overtake Aryana if like conditions become prevalent. The warning is clearly sounded. Foreseeing a time when the discipline to which they had been subjected in the difficult transition from Egypt (Atlantis) to Canaan (Aryana) would be relaxed, and their material conditions improved to a point of outward comfort and satisfaction, Moses warned the Israelites against the selfishness, self-satisfaction and conceit which lull men into forgetfulness of Him who is the author of their being and the giver of all their gain. Only things of the spirit survive every vicissitude; without them the soul can know no genuine joy or peace. How pertinent these words are to twentieth century "moderns" who, having fallen sufficiently afoul of the divine law, experience tribulations not dissimilar to those suffered in more remote days by the forgetful Israelites! In no uncertain terms Moses delivers a warning:

   The Law may be depended upon to operate the same today as yesterday, and in all the days to come. It is the one unchangeable fact in all this universe of change.

 — Corinne Heline

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