Chapel on the Bridge
WHERE ARE YOU, GOD?
A Metaphysical Interpretation of the Biblical Book ofJob
Nancy B. Detweiler
Scripture Reading for this Lesson: Job 40
Once more God speaks out of the whirlwind that is Job's kundalini experience. Job, as an Initiate, is invited to "Gird up your loins now like a man; I will question you, and you shall declare to me." 265 Job is to converse with God one-on-one. Realizing his own lack of wisdom and understanding, Job perceives he has been the unjust one, not God. Job had blamed God rather than admit his own error thinking. His recognition of Truth results in God issuing the call to World Service as the gallant, victorious Initiate Job now is.266 "Deck yourself now with majesty and excellency; and array yourself with glory and beauty. Cast away the rage of your wrath; and look upon everyone that is proud, and abase him; and cast the sinners into their place. Bury them in the earth together; cover their faces with fine dust." 267 As Job lives his Truth in the world, others will follow his example. They will awaken to the Truth within themselves. In the ancient Middle East, it was the custom to sprinkle dust over the head to indicate repentance. The Truth, as exemplified by Job, will "cast the sinners into their place." They, too, will want to bury their past mistakes and repent with ashes (or fine dust).
"Then I will also give you credit when your own right hand has saved you." 268 Job worked out his own salvation. He suffered pain and loss; he pondered the reasons "why?" He sought relentlessly the answers to his questions. In the end, Job finds Truth. As he integrates Truth into his lifestyle, he undergoes the initiatory process. He awakens to the God within himself and becomes an Initiate. With the dynamic assertiveness symbolized by the right hand (the masculine, assertive energy within all of us), Job sought after and found the answers to life's most perplexing question: "Why do good people suffer?"
"Behold now the hippopotamus which I made for you; he eats grass like an ox. Lo, his strength is in his loins, and his tail stands erect like a cedar tree.. He is the chief among God's creation; for he made him powerful to fight.. Can one take him with a hook, or catch him with a net? Can one snare him in a trap, or can one bind his tongue with a rope?" 269 Translations from the Hebrew use the word behemoth where Lamsa's translation from the Aramaic uses hippopotamus. Both behemoth and hippopotamus come from the same Hebrew word, which also means beast."270 This fact is important because Hebrew translations capitalize behemoth, as if it is the name of a beast. Metaphysicians often use the term Behemoth to signify the lower nature of humankind, although Helen Blavatsky, in The Secret Doctrine, disagrees.271 The various translations are confusing, especially Job 40:19-20.
Because, like me, readers may find the search for the true meaning exciting, I'll share some of the conflicting information. First, note the variations in the translations of Job 40:19-20. These two verses are describing Behemoth or the hippopotamus.
"He is the first of the works of God. His Maker threatened him with the sword, forbidding him the mountain regions and all the wild animals that play there." This New Jerusalem Bible translation depicts Behemoth as a being whose boundaries are strictly limited by God.
"It is the first of the great acts of God-only its Maker can approach it with the sword. For the mountains yield food for it where all the wild animals play." This New Revised Standard Version translation reveals Behemoth as approachable only by God, while the mountains yield food for it.
"He is the chief among God's creations; for he made him powerful to fight. He roams the mountains, and all the wild beasts of the field lie down under his protection." Lamsa's translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta describes Behemoth as a powerful creature to whom all others turn for protection.272 We can see the confusion among biblical translators concerning Behemoth.
Blavatsky uses as her justification (for not accepting Behemoth as the lower nature of humankind) the fact that the beast is described in the various translations as "chief among God's creations," "the first of the great acts of God," and "the first of the works of God." The essence of her conclusion is: Only as we define the fall as simply the incarnation of spirit beings onto the physical plane of duality can Behemoth be considered the lower nature of humankind.273 In Truth, she is correct. However, throughout the eons of relating to the plane of duality, humanity has become blinded to the higher part of self. We relate most readily to that part of ourselves that experiences life via the five major senses. We have, thereby, created an energetic self that can be considered our lower nature because it is through our sense perception that we yield to the temptations of error thinking. We find evidence of this in our sacred texts, myths, and legends. Let's return to the Bible.
One method biblical scholars use to ascertain the original meaning of portions of the text is to see how a particular word is used elsewhere in the Bible. The Hebrew Lexicon reveals the word translated as behemoth, beast, or hippopotamus is used in two additional verses.
In the first, the Psalmist, Asaph, bemoans the ways of his lower nature. "So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was a beast before thee." 274 In the second, the prophet Isaiah is describing the burdens of the behemoth, or beast, of the south in relationship to the rebellious children of Israel.275 Isaiah channels: "Woe to the rebellious children, says the Lord, who take counsel, but not of me.. Who start to go down to Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth.. Therefore shall the strength of the Pharaoh be to your shame.. They go to a people that cannot profit them.. They will carry their riches upon the backs of young asses, and their treasures upon the humps of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.. For this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord.. Who have said to . the prophets, 'Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us'.. Therefore thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel: 'When you will repent and rest you will be saved; in quietness and in hope shall be your strength; but you would not listen.'" 276
Both references describe human beings who have chosen to abide by their lower natures and who have expressed humanity's tendency to live according to our error thoughts and actions. Thus, even though we are-within our spiritual essence-perfect, good, and magnificent child-gods, we acquire a lower nature while living on earth plane. We become entangled with the illusions to be found on the lower planes of duality-the physical and astral planes of existence. We become temporary beasts or behemoth. The struggle to conquer Behemoth can be tremendous.
In addition to confirming the usage of the same word in a variety of biblical texts, the original meaning is also sought through considering the ancient beliefs prevalent at the time the text was written. One of the ancient symbols for the Egyptian devil, Typhon, was the hippopotamus, "sacred to the god of Mars because Mars was enthroned in the sign of Scorpio, the house of Typhon."277 In mundane astrology, Mars is the ruler of the zodiac sign of Scorpio. At its lowest expression, Scorpio signifies the underworld of illusions and error thoughts, personified in the form of a Devil. "The ass was also sacred to this Egyptian demon." Jesus riding an ass into Jerusalem, on what Christians now call Palm Sunday, was a symbolic proclamation that he had conquered his own lower nature. The depiction of Hermes standing upon the prostrate form of Typhon proclaims symbolically the same message.278 Therefore, I feel comfortable in stating that Behemoth, or the hippopotamus, signifies Job's lower nature. Still, the potential for regeneration and transformation is present.
"Lo, his strength is in his loins." 279 It is within our loin area that one of the most powerful of energies is coiled, awaiting the time of our spiritual awakening. This energy is represented by Leviathan in Job 41. 280 Located within our etheric body at the base of the spinal cord, the Root (or Base) Chakra contains the kundalini serpent fire, known by the ancients as Leviathan. Throughout the ancient literature, Behemoth and Leviathan are monstrous beasts with which humanity must struggle to take control. "Can one take [Behemoth] with a hook, or catch him with a net? Can one snare him in a trap, or can one bind his tongue with a rope? Can you catch the Leviathan with a hook? Or draw him out with a cord in his mouth? Can you put a bridle in his mouth? Or bore his jaw with a thorn?" 281
The presence within our being of these two beasts (our lower nature, Behemoth, and the serpent fire energy, Leviathan) is a source of many very subtle temptations. We are all familiar with the temptations created by our lower nature, such as jealousy, competition, hatred, resentment, and the desire for revenge. As we undergo the initiatory process, we are developing the self-discipline needed to gain control of Behemoth. Simultaneously, Leviathan becomes increasingly active. It surges upward through our seven major chakras, gradually granting the gifts of the Spirit, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, and prophecy.
Purification of our lower nature and surrender of our personal will to Divine Will/Love/Wisdom is of paramount importance. The temptations involving the ego-self can be extremely subtle. As we begin awakening to the invisible world, it is tempting to use our newly acquired gifts in ways that exploit others. Or, we may be tempted to use them in ways that make others feel less evolved than we consider ourselves to be. We may use them to extract huge sums of money from people desperate for reassurance or contact with loved ones who have returned to spirit. The temptations are subtle because we tell ourselves that we are striving to help others. We may forget that our ability to truly help others is more a matter of assisting them to help themselves than it is doing something for them. The motivations behind our actions are based on our capacity to control the beasts, Behemoth and Leviathan.
The next lesson will center on Leviathan. "Will [Leviathan] make many supplications to you? Or will he speak flattering words to you? Will he make a covenant with you? Or will you count him as a servant forever." 282
"Evil must be overcome with good. We must dwell in the
"It is our place to hold ourselves in a positive life
265 Job 40:7.
266 Heline. New Age 418.
267 Job 40:10-13.
268 Job 40:14.
269 Job 40:13-24.
270 Driver, Briggs, & Brown 96-97.
271 Blavatsky 486.
272 The Peshitta is believed to be the original text of the Bible, or at least, one of the most ancient texts known to this date. The term Peshitta means "straight, simple, sincere, and true, that is, the original." George M. Lamsa, Holy Bible: From the Ancient Eastern Text (San Francisco: Harper, 1933) vii.
273 Blavatsky 486-487.
274 Psalm 73:22.
275 Isaiah 30:6 as described in the Hebrew-English Lexicon 97.
276 Isaiah 30:1-15.
277 Hall XCII.
278 Hall XCII.
279 Job 40:16a.
280 Heline. New Age 418-419.
281 Job 40:24 - 41:1-2.
282 Job 41:3-4.
283 Fillmore. The Revealing 65.
284 Fillmore. The Essential 392.
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