Sunday, June 1, 2014

Slavery and the Promised Land

                      Slavery and the Promised land 

"The position of Jacob before he became Israel was that he possessed the birthright, but had yet to establish it in the higher Self.  For seven years, he worked in his uncle Laban's employ, not just for wages, but for the beautiful Rachel.  To his surprise, he was given Leah, her less desirable sister: that is, he had to accept the disagreeable as well as the agreeable part of his training.  However, because he loved Rachel so deeply, he was prepared to work another seven years and complete his covenant.  In this way, he also paid the debt incurred by having taken Esau's place as firstborn.

Jacob's journeyman-ship was not unprofitable from his point of view.  While he had to contend with the domestic problems of his wives, that is, psychological crises of both an inner and outer nature, he did become wealthy with the Lord's aid, despite Laban's efforts to swindle him.  His parting from his father-in-law began the initiation of his mastership, which symbolized in his wrestling match with the angel.

On his return to Canaan, Jacob faced a meeting with his brother Esau.  This meeting was part of his test. He called on God to protect him and sent his family on ahead, leaving himself utterly alone.  That night he wrestled with a man.  The Bible gives no description beyond this, but it was obviously no ordinary mortal. They wrestled till day-break until the man said 'Let me go,' but Jacob replied, 'I will not let thee go except thou bless me.'  The man asked Jacob his name and said, 'Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Isreal: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men.'  ...The name and title of a prince are not given lightly in the Bible.  A person has to be what he is called. Israel, after the initiation was over, named the place Peniel, 'the face of God,' because he had met his Maker and still lived."  - Z'ev Ben Shimon Halevi

The biblical accounts of slavery in Egypt and the Promised Land are shown to be allegories of the fundamental human condition.  The exiled outsider in the story of the brothers Jacob and Esau - who symbolize the psyche and the body - and the spiritual crisis represented by Jacob's encounter with the angel are all struggles and turning points of inner growth.

We must go through our personal struggles to reach the Promised Land and transform into our Higher Selves.  To start on this journey, you must possess your birthright as a human being.

- 3rd Dog

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