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 3-10
After sitting on an ashes heap in silence for seven days and seven nights, Job finally speaks to his three friends. Apart from his physical embodiment, Job views life as having no meaning. Cursing the day of his birth, Job reveals the beginning level of his spiritual evolution and conscious awareness. In truth, Job is cursing the karmic burden created in his past lives and which his soul has chosen to balance while in the present incarnation. We all tend to forget the reason we are suffering and confronted by challenges. Instead of remembering what a marvelous opportunity physical plane life offers to balance our accumulated karma, we get angry with God for either inflicting such suffering upon us or allowing it to happen.
The established traditions in which we live provide few, if any, insights. Job's three friends represent the establishment. They sincerely come to comfort Job; however, their lack of spiritual understanding serves only to create frustration. Job, albeit subconsciously, has evolved to a new stage in his spiritual journey. He is ready to achieve an expanded level of conscious awareness. Job is thirsty for a more meaningful concept of life. His soul is catapulting him into a search for Truth. Once we embark on our search for Truth, we move outside the established traditions. In soul-centered astrology, we call this movement making the shift from the Mutable Cross to the Fixed Cross.51
For millions of years, we evolve through numerous lifetimes on the Mutable Cross. On this Cross, we develop the personality and desire nature. Though this is a necessary part of our spiritual evolution, we get detoured by buying into all the illusions created by focusing on the physical plane. These illusions convince us that our physical body is all we are. We view life through our emotions and later, the intellect. As we learned in the first lesson, Job lives in the land of Uz. The name of Job's homeland reveals his present state of awareness: Job has evolved to the stage of being attuned to his intellect and explaining life through his intellectual perceptions. All for which he can offer tangible evidence is believable; the rest of life is inexplicable. He has evolved as far as he can on the Mutable Cross. His cry to God, "Make all things right with me," signals his readiness to seek a higher Truth.52 But, because Job is not consciously aware of his soul's guidance, his transition to the Fixed Cross is marked by cataclysmic upheaval in his personal life. In order to move through this transitional period, Job must come to a more in-depth understanding of life. His three friends assist him by creating even greater frustration. Job is compelled to seek Truth, seemingly out of his own defense. In the same manner, our soul pushes us forward into an expanded consciousness. We, like Job, usually go kicking and screaming.
Job's conversation with his three friends is divided into three dialogues, denoting stages of growth through which the soul must go to reach enlightenment.53 These dialogues remind us of the ways in which our personality ego clings to a position of dominance in our lives. The first dialogue covers chapters 3-14.
Eliphaz, the Temanite, represents Job's material consciousness.54 At this level, Job views his life in terms of his material possessions and his capacity to satisfy his physical plane desires. Eliphaz accuses Job of not practicing what he preached. "You have instructed many.. But now because misfortune has come upon you, and you are weary; it touches you, and you are terrified. Behold, your fear is to be blamed, and your trust in the integrity of your way.. As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble, reap the same."55 Eliphaz refers to the universal law: "We reap what we sow." He relates a dream in which a spirit asks him, "Shall mortal man be declared more righteous than God? Shall he be more pure than his Maker?"56 Eliphaz ends up making Job look like the one in error. Viewed through the lens of physicality, Job is reaping the punishment he deserves for declaring himself to be more just than God.
This stage of growth, in which nothing works as it did formerly, is extremely painful for the individual enduring it. Friends and family misunderstand and make judgments based on the scenario they perceive with their physical plane eyes. The neophyte57 feels vulnerable and as if his foibles are exposed to the world. Job is defenseless. He is the one sitting on the ashes heap. He is the one who lost everything. He is the one who is afflicted with a skin disease. There is nowhere to hide. He is naked before the world.
Eliphaz points out that the traditional religious leaders have no answers for him. "But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause."58 The encouragement and advice we give our friends, and receive from them, often contain just enough truth to trip us up. We do reap what we sow. It is wise to seek God. But Eliphaz also reiterates non-truth: our suffering is God punishing us. The material consciousness, with its total focus on the physical plane, cannot accurately explain our pain. Suffering can have many reasons, all of which relate to the soul and its purposes in physical incarnation. Job could have chosen to endure pain as the most dependable means of getting his conscious attention, once he incarnated and lost the memory of his soul's contract. Job's soul could have selected to experience tremendous grief as a vehicle for walking in another's shoes and learning first hand how it feels to be vulnerable and naked before the world. Job's soul could have agreed to suffer in order to pay a karmic debt relating to the suffering he caused others in prior lifetimes. Or, Job's soul could have offered to suffer as an example to others of how "all things work together for good to those who love the Lord."59 We have no way to know why Job is suffering; only his soul knows.
Just as a glimpse of Truth rolls out of Job's mouth, "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me,"60 so, from Eliphaz comes a glimmer of Truth. The truth of God's grace penetrates his consciousness. "He shall deliver you in six troubles; yea, in seven there shall no evil touch you."61 Symbolically, creation took place in six days, at the end of which God declared it good. On the seventh day, God rested. Eliphaz's words can be restated: "Job, once you have been re-created (or transformed) by six troubles, you will enter a state of grace in which no evil can touch you. You, Job, will be released from karmic law and can step off the wheel of physical reincarnation." As inklings of Truth tumble into our awareness, we need to grasp them and hold them in our consciousness. They show us the way through the darkness into the Light.
Job answers Eliphaz very much as we would. "Oh that my grief were weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances against it! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas."62 Job is playing "one-upmanship"-my suffering is greater than most people ever experience. Job forgets that our souls are allowed to take on only what we can successfully accomplish during any one physical embodiment. The fact of his great suffering is actually an indication of his soul's ability to be victorious over it. But, because we set aside our continuity of consciousness when our souls take on a physical body, Job does not remember being required to get the Karmic Board's permission to take on great suffering. He has forgotten that while still in spirit, he had to prove himself capable of being victorious in order for the Karmic Board to grant this permit.63 For now, Job yearns for the good old days. He feels separated from God. He is also beginning to resent Eliphaz and his advice. "Behold you are seeking to find words with which to reprove, and against my soul you are conjuring up words."64
As Job speaks, he begins to feel more hopeful and additional insights float into his consciousness. "O remember that the spirit is still alive; even yet my eye shall again see good.. Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul." 65 Job is sensing he is more than his physical body. My eye refers to the 3rd eye chakra, the spiritual eye (located between our two physical eyes on the lower forehead) that allows us to perceive life as God knows it to be. Job is realizing that he will emerge from his dark tunnel and once more behold the good. In the verse just quoted, Job relates to the trinity of each of us: body, soul, and spirit. He is refusing to repress his bitterness and anguish, realizing on some level, that repression of his emotions affects the whole of his being.
Note: It is as Job gives honest voice to his feelings and thoughts that he is able to perceive flashes of Truth.
God is not impacted by our anger and bitterness. On the other hand, repression of our negative thoughts and emotions does great harm to us. Repression builds impenetrable walls around our being. These walls prevent the flow of spiritual insights and feelings of God's love. Repression consumes all of our vital life force. We have no energy left with which to respond to our soul's urgings. Job is free to rant and rave; he actually finds freedom in doing so. But, before we go out and blast someone, let us remember where Job is. Job is sitting on an ashes heap outside the city walls, where he can rant and rave without doing harm to another human being. It is as Job talks to parts of himself, i.e. his friends, that he catches glimmers of Truth. "Cataclysms in the subconscious . are a necessary prelude to all true illumination."66
Next, Job listens to Bildad, representing his intellectual consciousness.67 Bildad wonders how long Job will resist God's justice. In asking this question, Bildad is also assuming that "If you were innocent and upright, surely then [God] would be attentive to you, and would make the habitation of your righteousness prosperous, so that though your beginning was small he would make your end very great." 68 Bildad encourages Job to listen to the words of the religious leaders and to learn from their traditions. In the words with which we often beat up ourselves, Bildad rebukes Job: "God rewards the good; therefore, your suffering must indicate that you are not okay. Listen to our religious leaders; they are very intelligent and must be right. Otherwise, why would they hold to their teachings?" "God will not resist the upright [person], nor will he help the evildoers." 69 With his intellectual consciousness and traditional religious beliefs, the only conclusion Bildad can reach is that Job must be evil. The intellect perceives life through the lens of physical plane existence alone. Life is either black or white, never in shades of gray. Job is suffering; therefore, Job is evil. We come to the same conclusions about ourselves when we trust our intellectual perceptions without also listening to our heart and intuitive insights.
But Job is rebellious; he is unwilling to settle for a teaching that does not make sense. He retorts: "How can a man be declared innocent before God? If he should contend with him, he cannot answer him one out of a thousand." 70 Even though Job knows himself to be a righteous man, he feels defeated before God. He is no match for God. And even if God did answer, he could not trust what he heard. Besides, if Job declared himself to be innocent, God could prove otherwise. So, Job draws the erroneous conclusion: "It is all the same; therefore, I say, 'He destroys both the righteous and the wicked.'" 71
With this deduction, Job admits his weariness with life. He has sought tirelessly-through his material and intellectual consciousness-to find the answers to his suffering. These parts of Job offer no satisfying answers. He makes a request of God: "Let me alone, that I may be quiet and rest a little." 72
Psalm 6 acts as a meditative guide. Reading it prayerfully leads us through the required steps for healing of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dis-ease.
The Psalmist gives voice to suffering. As we have seen with Job, it is through the expression of our suffering that we receive cleansing and insights that lead to healing. However, it is very important to note that the Psalmist immediately moves to the knowledge that healing has taken place. No additional energy is given to suffering.
Explanation: The I AM PRESENCE refers to your indwelling God. You may learn more about your I AM PRESENCE by clicking on Divine Self in the left hand column of the Home page on this web site. The Divine Self Chart is an excellent meditative tool; I highly recommend ordering a wallet size card to keep with you at all times.
A Formula For Healing As Revealed in Psalm 6
Nancy B. Detweiler
"O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath."
Disease is most often a result of error thinking. Disease is a wake-up call to align your lifestyle with universal law. In the biblical Hebrew, Lord also translates Law-Universal Law.
1st step - Recognize a universal law has been broken. Wrath in the form of disease is the result of this broken law. God is not angry.
"Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing."
2nd step - Call to the Source of all healing-your I AM PRESENCE or the God dwelling within you.
"O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror. My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O Lord-how long?"
3rd step - Give voice to your suffering. Talk to your I AM PRESENCE. Express honestly your feelings: impatience, fear, anger, doubt, and resentment.
"Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love."
4th step - Request healing from your I AM PRESENCE. Affirm God's steadfast love for you. God's love is eternal and ever-present with you.
"For in death there is no remembrance of you: in Sheol who can give you praise?"
5th step - Recognize the spiritual blindness within your physical plane life. Sheol signifies blindness to universal law. Looking to a Source outside yourself for healing, supply, or completeness is to be spiritually blind. Wholeness within Self lifts you into the Kingdom of Heaven that is your I AM PRESENCE. (Caution: assistance from the medical profession may be necessary; however, know that the Source of all healing comes from within Self. I am-in no way-encouraging you to refuse required medical treatment.)
"I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eyes waste away because of grief; they grow weak because of my foes."
6th step - Grant release to your emotions. Repressing your emotions creates all kinds of foes-diseases. Dis-ease can be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.
"Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer."
7th step - With the releasing of your emotions and your error thinking (the workers of evil), your energy field is cleansed and healed. You know God has already answered your prayer.
"All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror. They shall turn back and in a moment be put to shame."
8th step - Releasing repressed emotions and error thinking into the loving energy of your I AM PRESENCE renders them (your enemies) powerless. Their energy dissolves and disappears. You are healed. Though the Psalmist does not give thanks here, gratitude is certainly to be found in the Psalms. Thanksgiving to God opens the windows of heaven, from which flow abundant blessings.
9th step - Give thanks!
51 Oken 142-144.
52 Oken 144. Job cries out for all things to be made right through his sacrifices for his children.
53 Heline. New Age 401.
54 Fillmore. Metaphysical 192.
55 Job 4:3-8.
56 Job 4:15-17.
57 Neophyte = a metaphysical term for the beginner on the spiritual path.
58 Job 5:1, 8.
59 Romans 8:28. The word Lord in Hebrew also means Law. In other words, all things work together for good when we love and strive to obey universal law.
60 Job 3:25.
61 Job 5:19.
62 Job 6:2-3.
63 The Karmic Board is made up of Ascended Masters who also underwent their initiatory process on the Earth plane. Before each Soul is permitted to re-incarnate on Earth, its guides in spirit assist it in planning for the upcoming physical life. Before the Soul is permitted to incarnate, these plans must be approved by the Karmic Board. This permission ensures that the Soul does not take on more than it can successfully achieve. However, this does not mean that the Soul will achieve its goals. Our gift of freewill enters in and, once we are in a physical body, we are free to choose whether or not to make good use of the privilege of incarnation.
64 Job 6:26.
65 Job 7:7, 11.
66 Heline. New Age 386.
67 Fillmore. Metaphysical 125.
68 Job 8:6-7.
69 Job 8:20.
70 Job 9:2-3.
71 Job 9:22.
72 Job 10:20.
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