Simplified Scientific



Joshua Ascends The Twelve Steps of the Celestial Ladder

   Joshua assumed the racial leadership of Israel when Moses relinquished it. His life and work is recorded in the Book that bears his name. Since that record is a continuation of the subject contained in the preceding five Books of Moses, it may properly be considered as constituting an integral part of the Pentateuch, in which case the six Books are referred to as the hexateuch.

   Joshua was the son of Nun, a Hebrew name meaning fish. In the sacred language of symbolism, the "son of Nun" is synonymous with the son of Initiate-wisdom. The term is frequently so used in mystical writings of widely divergent times and places. Tertullian, an early Latin Church father, states, for instance, that Christ and His immediate followers were fishes bred in the water and saved by the Great Fish. This statement appears to be related to one in the Zohar, which declares of God that "He had His dwelling in the Great Sea, and was a fish therein." The ancient Chinese taught that Fuh-he invented nets with which to catch fish. The meaning is similar to that conveyed by the Christ when bidding his "fishermen" (Disciples) to be "fishers of men." Their task was to help make the way of the Piscean, or Fish, Initiation known and open to all who chose to walk therein.

   The Book of Joshua is an exoteric commentary on an ancient mystic treatise called the Book of Jasher. Mutilated though it is, and containing as it does some interpolations and mistranslations, the essentials of the Book of Jasher remain intact. These essentials pertain to its esoteric structure wherein is embodied the twelve steps that lead through discipleship all the way to cosmic knowing.

   Certain processes of illumination through Initiation have been familiar to the more advanced individuals among all people of every race and age. One who has learned "to tread the Path that leads to Light" is able to recognize experiences similar to his own in the descriptive ritualism of other Schools. Compare, for instance, the following description of a ritual performed in the ancient Egyptian Mysteries with that outlined at corresponding initiatory stages in the life of Joshua.

   Of the Egyptian candidate it is stated that after a preliminary trial at Thebes, where he had to pass through many trials called the "Twelve Tortures," he was commanded to govern his passions and never lose for a moment the idea of his God. After having overcome many dreadful trials he was initiated into certain degrees. Finally he was brought into a vast subterranean chamber and commanded to stand before a coffin in which lay the slain body of the Great Master Osiris. This hall was called the "Gates of Death." If the disciple emerged therefrom victorious he had gained immortality; he had become an Initiate into the Mysteries of the inner life.

   These different degrees may be traced in the life of Joshua. At the Eleventh Step, the conquest of Ai, wherein the five kings are placed in a cave and later hanged upon trees, Joshua passes into the Chamber of Death. At the Twelfth Step he emerges victoriously. Having gained the priceless boon of immortal life, he was duly qualified to successfully execute the high commission destiny had placed upon him.

   To no one of a lesser state would the following words spoken unto Moses have been applicable: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." (Deuteronomy 18:18,19)

   The Book of Joshua, like all other historical Books of the Bible, is only secondarily concerned with a specific people, a designated time, and named individuals. As is always the case in Sacred Scriptures, its primary purpose is to present type-characters, and to set forth universal principles which prove equally applicable to all people in all places and at all times. Joshua had been trained by Moses for the office he was appointed to fill as the leader of Israel. Moses led his people to the borders of Canaan; it was given to Joshua, his foremost disciple, to guide them into the Promised Land. What was not within the grasp of Moses was within the reach of Joshua. A true Master so trains his pupil that in time the latter surpasses him in excellence. Such is the law of progress. Throughout all ages the path of discipleship has consisted of twelve steps or degrees. The ancients frequently referred to them as the Twelve Great Labors that lead to Perfection. "The Twelve Labors of Hercules" are a familiar mythological portrayal of the stages by which the Great Work is accomplished.

   In the life of Joshua, depicting as it does the way of Initiation, these Twelve Steps are discernible. They may serve to guide modern disciples who are pioneering for the Sixth Root Race even as they did pioneers of the present Fifth Root Race, of which Joshua was so eminent a leader.

First Step — Conquest of Amalek

   The first Great Labor given by Moses to Joshua was to "go out and fight Amalek." This was his commission after Israel had journeyed but seven days in the wilderness. Amalek typifies lust, a mighty power that has to be vanquished when one is setting out upon the Path. It is in the manger where the beasts of the carnal man feed that the Christ Spirit first stirs the fires that bring a new, regenerated life into being. The Path of Purification leads to the Way of Perfection.

   Joshua discomfited Amalek with the edge of his sword. The sword, like the staff of Mercury, symbolizes the spinal spirit fire which, rightly and wisely used, will destroy the dragon of lust (Amalek).

   While the first step is being taken, both the mind and the body are subjected to a refining process. Inner perceptions are strengthened and spiritual vision awakened; with this development many truths hitherto concealed beneath the veils of myth, parable, or allegory become clear and understandable. Symbolism is recognized as a medium whereby the soul communicates truths that transcend the power of mere words to convey. A disciple comes to recognize the reality of inner worlds as contrasted with shadow forms of the outer material spheres.

Second Step — Divine Communion

   Joshua alone among all the disciples and followers of Moses was qualified to accompany the man who talked "face to face" with God in the silence and solitude of the high place of the soul. The biblical record tells something of the glory experienced by Moses during that high communion, but nothing is said regarding that of Joshua. For Joshua it was an occasion for testing his strength, his courage, and his ability to stand alone, free and independent of all guiding and supporting personalities. These are attributes essential to leadership in any and every field of endeavor.

   At the second step a candidate encounters the Great Silence. He who can remain within its sphere, dauntless and unafraid, has passed beyond the flames of passion and entered into the exhilarating white soul fire. The first ordeal of terror lies back of him; he glances over the path he has traversed and views accomplishment that have brought him to his present attainment. Joshua had entered calmly and victoriously into the Great Silence and shared experiences encountered therein. This is conveyed in the cryptic statement that "Joshua departed not out of the tabernacle."

Third Step — Test of Humility

   At the third step the test is subtle in that it arises out of apparently insignificant trifles which may be encountered any hour in the course of daily living. Such may try the nature to the utmost, and before them even such strength and courage as proves victorious over great adversities may succumb to defeat. The trial at this stage determines to what extent the candidate relies on the resources of his own nature. If his chief dependence be upon these, he is subject to failure.

   If, on the other hand, he has come to recognize in all humility that of himself he "can do nothing," and that it is the Father who "doeth the work," then he has reached a place where there is no failure. Not until the relative weakness of the personality is recognized and admitted, and the unmeasured power of the indwelling spirit is realized and called into action, can the candidate meet the petty provocations that intrude themselves into the passing hours with a spirit of equanimity and complete self-mastery.

   Joshua had the strength and the courage to successfully pass this test; he placed his reliance on the promise made to him that the Lord God was with him whithersoever he went. Having thus proved himself gentle, humble, and believing; also, strong in his reliance on divine support, devoted in his preparation for the great tasks that lay before him, and superior to the trials of the passing days, Joshua became a worthy "servant" of Moses, and a true leader and teacher of his people.

Fourth Step — Expansion of Consciousness

   The spies that Joshua sent out to explore the land represent pioneers who lead out over unbeaten paths. They went from Shittim, the place of acacia and symbol of the undying spirit.

   As they came into Jericho the king of the city sought to take them. Nor were the inhabitants friendly. But standing apart from her fellow-countrymen in her attitude toward, and treatment of, the visiting spies was Rahab, she who bore the name of harlot. That this appellation pertained to her past only is evident from the character she revealed in her dealings with the spies, and in her acceptance into the faith and the inner circle of Israel. This is an instance of the greatest sinner becoming the greatest saint. In respect to her personal character she parallels Mary Magdalene in the New Testament. Few came as close to the Christ as did Magdalene.

   In accordance with biblical genealogy Rahab was the great, great grandmother of David; therefore she was of the line from which descended the Master Jesus. That Rahab was a soul of high attainment, one of the first women to become a disciple of the new teachings brought by the "spies," is indicated by the incident under consideration. Dante, an Initiate, having an understanding of the veiled values in Joshua's account of Rahab, placed this friend of Israel (the Elect) among highly honored immortals in his initiatory epic, the Divine Comedy.

   Rahab means broad. She represents those of extended vision who are capable of grasping ideals that still await realization by the race mind. Rahab was one of the Fifth Epoch pioneers who prepared the way for the coming of the Great Shepherd and the Religion of the Lamb. With stalks of flax laid upon the roof she shielded the spies, an act which is representative of the manner in which an awakened soul gives hospitality to a new revelation, and protects the teachings of deeper mysteries from desecration by the unprepared — and therefore, uncomprehending — multitude.

   The teachings given by Joshua, and carefully guarded by Rahab, were not taught to the masses until the succeeding Piscean Dispensation. In like manner, Mysteries of the cycle now closing will become common knowledge to the people at large in the coming Aquarian Age. Esoteric truths belonging to far distant times are first discovered by pioneers, the "spies" of Truth that go forth to "view the Promised Land."

   The flax under which Rahab hid the spies represents teachings of purity and chastity given under Virgo, the sign opposite Pisces, which governs the astrological cycle now drawing to a close.

   Jericho, the city whereto the spies were sent, lay in a valley of fragrance, shadowed by palms and cypress trees. Though living amid fertile and beautiful surroundings, the inhabitants were discomfited by fear of the people encamped on the other side of Jordan. It was the fear which man in his ignorance has for something he does not know or understand. The teachings of the pioneering few, being strange, are invariably looked upon by the many, who are settled in long accepted beliefs, with suspicion if not with actual hostility.

   Rahab's assistance to the spies (pioneers) is described as follows:

   Rahab dwelt on a high plane of consciousness (wall). The act of letting the spies down from out of a window, like similar occurrences recorded in the Bible, signifies liberation of the spirit from the body. For three days the liberated spies were out on a "mountain," reference to initiatory experiences undergone in inner realms.

   The scarlet thread whereby the spies secured their freedom, — and the sign used by Rahab and all of her house (those of similar attainment) that they might be saved — has reference to the blood. When cleansed and purified it aids in the development of an unbroken consciousness and the realization of Eternal Life.

   Among the disciples of Moses, the one next in attainment to Joshua was Caleb. These two, together with Aaron, formed a trinity in the life of Moses that was paralleled by Peter, James and John in the life of Christ Jesus.

   It is significant to note that of those sent into Canaan to look it over and report upon its condition all returned with adverse accounts except Joshua and Caleb. They saw it as an "exceeding good land." They had the degree of goodness within themselves to discover the same quality in that which lay outside themselves.

Fifth Step — Joshua's Dedication

   Having mastered the initiatory work preparatory to receiving his high commission, Joshua was ready for complete dedication to selfless human service. Henceforth he was nothing of himself; he moved entirely in the current of divine will and became an impersonal instrument, obedient solely to higher law.

   That an important forward step was taken at this time is indicated in the change of his name from Oshea, the saviour, to Joshua, meaning God the saviour.

   Moses attained to a vision of the Holy Land; Joshua entered it. Moses wielded the rod of power; Joshua the sword. The former symbolizes awakened and realized power; the latter, that power in active manifestation. Early Christians identified Moses with the beneficent, expansive nature of the great planet Jupiter, and Joshua with the pioneering, energetic qualities of the warrior Mars. Moses exhibits the pattern of preparation; Joshua is that pattern in action. The former is the ideal; the latter, the ideal made actual. Hence it was that Moses had only a vision of the Promised Land whereas Joshua entered therein, taking with him all who were qualified to make the "crossing."

Sixth Step — Passage of the Jordan

   At the sixth step the command was given: "Arise, go over this Jordan." The ways and means for making that crossing are not specified. The greater the advancement, the more that is left to the individual's own initiative. All true spiritual teaching is directed toward making a pupil self-reliant. He is taught to look to truth's inexhaustible source of strength and infallible guidance. These are not remote; they do not reside in an external Being only. They are available within the inmost center of man himself. The God without is also a god within. When this divine center at the core of one's own being is discovered and drawn upon, then there are resources for filling every need and for meeting every situation. To such a one comes the assuring words heard by Joshua: "The Lord thy God (Law) is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

   Joshua's ability to meet emergencies was soon tested. The Jordan he was to cross was at floodtide (the emotions surged high, but they were under control). The cool command of the masterful spirit went forth: "Ye shall stand still in Jordan." As a symbol that spiritual powers which were in the ascendancy and in full control of the situation, "the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth" was carried by priests across the river in advance of the people. And all waters, wheresoever they came from, yielded to a power greater than their own. They made way for their Master. This is how Joshua describes the eventual crossing — the crossing into a superior state of being:

   The "waters of Jordan" which were "cut off from the waters that came down from above" refer to dividing the higher elements in the emotional body from the lower. The statement that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" refers to qualities of character that have been incorporated into the subtle body of the soul which cannot endure the light, which cannot levitate to the higher realms, but which must be purged and burnt away before the purified soul vehicle can rise into its rightful sphere. The latter is the body of waters that comes "down from above," and which is "very far from the city Adam," this city being the state of unregenerated man.

Seventh Step — Setting Up the Twelve Stones

   When an Initiate leaves the unillumined wilderness behind and enters into the Land of Light, he sets up twelve stones in Gilgal. The twelve stones are the twelve spiritual centers in man's body which are "set up" into activity when a certain stage of development has been attained. Seen clairvoyantly, these centers appear as whirling vortices of energy; hence their symbolical placement in Gilgal, a name which means a circle or a whirlwind. They are "lotus blossoms" in the language of oriental occultism, and the "roses that bloom upon the cross" of the body in Western esotericism.

   The stones, it is stated, are "there unto this day." In other words, the centers of light and power which Joshua brought into active expression are present in the body of every person, though they are as yet latent in the great majority. The process of their unfoldment is one of the principal teachings of the Bible.

Eighth Step — Circumcision Renewed

   As the Israelites reached the other side of Jordan they were looked upon with awe by the natives who had witnessed the miracle enabling them to cross. Those who wield relatively impotent forces are invariably impressed by the quiet majesty and power of those who exercise mastery over super-sensible energies.

   The second task placed upon Joshua was to "circumcise again the children of Israel the second time." (Joshua 5:2) This rite of purification was repeated — and must be again and again on the ascending spiral of development. Purification generated in the earlier stages must eventually be transmuted into a radiant quality that imparts to an aspirant's whole being a new vibrancy and an added power. Philo interprets circumcision as a symbol of cutting away all superfluous and extravagant desires by a study of continence and chastity.

   As mentioned previously, circumcision was part of Initiation into early Mystery Schools. The Mysteries were founded upon certain tents of purification. Only through repeated cleansing processes could an aspirant become sufficiently refined and sensitized to "pass behind the veil." Hence Joshua, the Initiate-Teacher, demanded of the Elect a second circumcision.

  Early writers tell us that part of the inner Mysteries had to do with the binding of the head and an arrangement of the crown. These cryptic instructions refer to a sensitizing development that takes place within the head. Esoterically, circumcision was part of this work. It is only after this phase of development has been experienced — and this applies to modern neophytes no less than it did to those in times past — that a full recognition of the unity of all life, and a realization of that oneness in inner communion are born. "Always there have been 'miracles' for the few and 'parables' for the multitude."

   The Eighth Step is symbolized by keeping the Passover. The Red Sea had been passed over; so, too, the Jordan. In the interim, while undergoing the "forty-year" discipline in the wilderness, they had been fed manna from above. This now ceased, and they were taught to make cakes of corn instead. Additional work was required of them, which implied a deeper Comprehension of inner plane activities. Moreover, their spiritual life was henceforth to be sustained through resources from within rather than without. The old corn they were to use represents latent powers awaiting a quickening into activity. The symbolism of corn, as quite generally used in the religions of the world, is the planting of spiritual seed in the soil of material existence, where it is destined to germinate and finally come into fruitage.

   The Eighth Degree pertains to such fruitage — the application of spiritual forces to material conditions, and the effective linking of the celestial with the terrestrial. The life within and the life without are brought into a harmonious relationship.

Ninth Step — Jericho Encompassed

   At the Ninth Step Joshua encountered a supernal Being who instructed him in how to capture Jericho. The appearance to a disciple of an Eternal Being takes place in every initiatory ritual ever given to the human race. This experience is referred to in the great Babylonian epic of Ishtar and Izdubar; also in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a book which might well be renamed the Book of Eternal Life, or of Initiation. It is to be found in the Zohar; and mention is made of a like Light Bearer in connection with the Mysteries of Eleusis. These exalted Ones are sometimes termed "Deliverers"; in other instances they are named "Champions," "Metatrons," or "Seers." The Book of Joshua, faithful to the initiatory ceremonialism of the ages, describes this Being as a "captain of the host of the Lord."

   The capture of Jericho was not effected by ordinary weapons of offensive warfare, but by harmonious vibration. The subject in which Joshua was instructed by the exalted "captain" was rhythm. Herein is to be found a key to untold secrets of nature. Within the scope of vibratory law is concealed power over life and death, and over all that is manifest and unmanifest. By the rhythm of the Word were all things made. By the rhythm of the Word they can be resolved again into the universal ocean of being.

   The secrets of heaven and earth are to be revealed as the forces of Uranus, the planet controlling the rhythms of electrical energy, are released upon this planet during the new Aquarian Dispensation. Then feats performed by Elder Brothers such as Joshua will no longer be considered incredible, but will be reverently investigated as phenomena demonstrating the inter-relationship between worlds and between forces seen and unseen.

   Joshua was rebuked for asking, "Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?" His question was prompted by the fear, suspicion, and sense of divided interests common to race consciousness, but are not part of the soul of one who has entered into a full realization of his identity with the Whole.

   Momentarily, Joshua was exhibiting a state of mind that belonged his old self; its long established traits were not easily or quickly eradicated. He was assured, however, that the one who appeared came "as a captain of the hosts of the Lord" — meaning that he was an impersonal agent of Law. Impersonality is the keynote of attainment at this stage. To realize this quality, the personality of Joshua suffered for a time both defeat and humiliation — the side of human nature that must decrease so its divine aspect may increase.

Tenth Step — Capture of Jericho

   The sixth chapter of Joshua tells the story of the capture and destruction of Jericho. The spiritual counterpart of the physical event has to do with the dissolution and redemption of an unregenerate state of consciousness. Jericho, a city, represents the consciousness of a group of people. In Hebrew the word city is feminine in gender. Jericho, specifically, is the "Moon city." It relates to the image-building faculty, the expression of the feminine pole of spirit. In fallen humanity this faculty has descended into evil ways. The race consciousness is not imaging forth the likeness of Him in whose image man was created.

   The ungodlike creations set up by this misused faculty in the consciousness (city) of man must be captured and destroyed as a preliminary step to the establishment of a superior image. To aid in that accomplishment, intelligently and effectively through a knowledge of spiritual law, constitutes the Great Labor of the Tenth Step. In order to teach a group (city) how to perform such a redemptive task, one must have accomplished it within himself. Joshua was a person in whom the "fallen" feminine principle had, through pure and noble thinking and living, been uplifted; the long lost powers that belonged to Edenic man had been restored to their rightful place in him.

   Jericho was taken through the power of seven. The four of materiality was transmuted into the trinity of spirit. Seven marks the ascendancy of spirit over matter. In its highest expression it produces a purified body, an illumined mind, a glorified spirit.

   Joshua possessed these powers, as was demonstrated by the capture of Jericho. They were the result of processes of purification extending to the entire chain of his sevenfold vehicle. Only one thus purified is able to exercise complete mastery over his personality (Jericho, the Moon City).

   Tone is both masculine and feminine. The physical hearing detects only the masculine intonation although the feminine sounds synchronously upon the astral plane. The reason inner-realm music is so transcendently beautiful is because it contains so much more of the language of the soul than is heard with physical hearing only.

   Each masculine-feminine note possesses its positive and negative rhythm, the negative sounding in flats and the positive in sharps. The feminine note sounds continuously within the archetype; the masculine, within the physical form. It is this harmonious rhythm which keeps the archetype intact so long as the physical form is destined to endure.

   An Initiate who has developed consciousness on both planes is able to utilize the forces of masculine-feminine tones. By using only negative rhythms he can secure instantaneous collapse of the archetype; this in turn, will react in annihilation of the physical form. Joshua understood and used this rhythm in leveling the walls of Jericho.

   The seventh chapter is devoted to the "accursed thing" that afflicts fallen humanity. It is the sin against the Holy Ghost which cannot be forgiven so must be expiated. The nature of that expiation is plainly described in this chapter which tells the story of Achan, whose name means one who troubles. He is of the tribe of Judah of the sign of Leo, the home of the heart. A child of the love ray, he shows the consequences of misuse of its force. He and his people, having succumbed to the lure of the sense life, had so depleted their strength that they were unable to withstand the onslaughts of their enemy, the people of Ai. This is representative of the enfeebled condition, due to the same cause, which renders the whole of humanity subject to the negative, limiting, sorrowful state of poverty, disease, discord and death.

   A Kabbalistic key is found in the name of the city of Ai. The letter A is masculine; it correlates to the fire principle in man. The letter I is a symbol of the Ego; it is the Hebrew Yod, which is incorporated in some form in every letter of the entire Hebrew alphabet of twenty-two letters. Like the signs of the Zodiac, this alphabet contains a history of the pilgrimage of spirit through material existence, whereby it gathers experience, acquires self-realization, and attains to conscious union with its greater self: the god of whom it was, and is, and ever shall be an essential part.

   So long as man is a slave to passion, he is subdued by the people of Ai; when he learns self-mastery he conquers them. An account of that conquest is contained in a later chapter.

   Achan was burned with fire and stoned with stones. This is an outward manifestation of painful reactions following violation of nature's law.

   By the power of the spear, symbol of the uplifted and controlled spinal spirit fire, Joshua became master of the city of Ai. The city and its people were destroyed. The power (spear) which, when uplifted (stretched out), gives mastery over things "accursed" (Ai), is the same power which, when debased, works utter destruction. Incident after incident throughout the Bible emphasizes this truth.

Eleventh Step — Conquest of Ai

   This passage, which contains a formula of Initiation, pertains to the Eleventh Labor.

   As previously noted, Ai represents the creative fire force in man. Its utter desolation demonstrates Joshua's complete mastery over that most subtle and powerful of all forces in the life of man.

   Fire possesses a threefold potency. Its first emanation, which comes under Aries, the first sign in the Zodiac, is in the form of an incipient fire-mist. This is its most attenuated and highest spiritual manifestation. This fire-mist is later "stepped down," after which it appears as astral light. This aspect is governed by Leo, the second fire sign. Finally, the fire force condenses and becomes manifest on denser planes of being. It then emerges on the physical plane under Sagittarius, the third and last sign in the fiery triplicity. Each of these manifestations possesses tremendous power, and works in both a constructive and a destructive manner on inner as well as on outer planes.

   The ability to observe and to study operations of the fire force in nature in its various degrees of expression depends upon the measure of control which an investigator has gained over the same force as it functions within his own body. At the present time comparatively few possess ability to view these operations, for in them are concealed the mysteries of life.

   The King of Ai (one who has conquered the fiery currents within himself), was hanged upon a tree. To an hierophant the cross has always been an emblem of high attainment; therefore, it is held in profound reverence. Both the cross and the five-pointed star symbolize to an illumined one the ascent of the fire currents in man.

   Later, when the body is taken from the tree it is placed before the gate of the city. In other words, this is part of an ancient initiatory cipher signifying that when an Ego is freed from the prison house of his body (the cross) it enters into a larger state of consciousness, and is permitted to observe the inner working of the fire principle in all its manifestations. He is able to note that it is the incipient fire force under Aries which is operative in mineral and plant life, that the astral light operating under Leo constitutes the life force in the animal and human kingdoms; and that the physical flame under Sagittarius is the force man utilizes to create for himself what we call a state of civilization. Creation of fire by friction, so it would be available to man in usable form, was one of the lessons pertaining to the physical world that was taught to early humanity in the Mystery Schools of Lemuria.

   The heap of stones that "remain unto this day" are a testimony to the fact that truths pertaining to Initiation are the same now as in the times past, and that they will ever remain the same.

The Twelfth Step — Sun and Moon Stand Still

Transcending The Five Senses

   The people of the city of Gibeon made peace with Israel, after which they incurred the active hostility of "the five kings of the Amorites." Thereupon they sent immediately to Joshua imploring him not to slack his hand in their aid, and to come to them quickly. Joshua "ascended from Gilgal" and received assurance from the Lord (Law) that the five opposing kings were in his hand and that not one would be able to stand before him. Nor did they. Their armies were all slain "with great slaughter," and the kings made captive and placed in a cave, before which was rolled a large stone. Later, these same five kings were put to death by being hanged upon trees.

   The five kings with whom Joshua did battle are man's chief obstacles to spiritual emancipation, for they are the five physical senses. They contact the physical world only; and at one stage of their development they are inclined to usurp authority that belongs solely to spiritual faculties. Such authority, not rightly their's, must be unseated that a higher set of faculties may become the active directors of the whole life. This is accomplished in the higher degrees of discipleship. Its attainment distinguishes a neophyte from a disciple.

   Joshua's communion with the Lord at Gilgal refers to his contact with inner realms of spirit by means of awakened spiritual centers in his body. He was receiving the "impress" of the five sacred wounds. The "nails" were being pulled, and the spirit was being freed from the body to which it had so long been firmly locked except when released in sleep. Now that release was being effected in his waking state, initiatory rites leading to freedom and illumination were being experienced consciously.

   The episode of Joshua with the five kings has a New Testament parallel in the life of Christ Jesus. He, too, hung upon a tree; and He was placed in a cave before which was rolled a great stone. But from this He emerged triumphant, as did Joshua after his battle.

 — Corinne Heline

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