TWO PATHS: PHYSICAL & SPIRITUAL
Two thousand years ago the world made its transition from one era into another; from the “era of Abraham” into the “era of Isaac,” at which time the people found themselves at a crossroads, taxed to make a choice between the physical path they were on or the spiritual path that Moses had encouraged their ancestors to take 1500 years earlier. They, as their ancestors, chose the physical path, rejecting the spiritual teachings that would put them back on the spiritual path. Jesus spoke of a spiritual kingdom within. But they wanted a physical kingdom. Once again, they chose the bondage of the carnal law, rejecting the spiritual truth that would have brought them freedom within and without— salvation. In the year 2000 we entered the third and final “era of Jacob,” where we stand at the final crossroads, taxed to make a choice— continue to view the content of our Sacred Texts with a carnal mind. Or begin to view them with a spiritual mind.
The Torah of the Tanakh shows us two paths:
The book of Genesis gives us an overview of the spiritual path, the book of Exodus detailing the children of Israel’s journey through the wilderness and up the mount, symbolizing man’s spiritual journey and ascension. But the children of Israel never ascended the mount, leaving the spiritual path in favor of the physical path, choosing the bondage of a physical law, which was to end at the passing of Moses, which brings us to the end of Deuteronomy, and to the end of the Torah.
The Neviim of the Tanakh shows us two paths:
It begins with the book of Joshua. With the Passover at Jordan, where the children pass over into the promised land, eating no more of the manna, but of the old corn, symbolizing their transition from carnal law to spiritual truth. Their labor was to battle against the seven inhabitants of the promised land, symbolizing the spiritual battle by which we take possession of a spiritual promised land. But they soon reverted to the physical path by making marriages with the inhabitants of the land, which God had commanded them not to do, reverting to the bondage of the carnal law. By driving out the spiritual enemies symbolized by the seven nations we are made free of our spiritual bondage. The book of Judges sets forth the spiritual judgment that would have brought them spiritual freedom. But they would not hearken to their judges, rejecting the voice of God, which spoke through His anointed one, Samuel. They chose instead to have a physical king rule over them, becoming like the very nations they were to remain separate from. The Old Testament’s “Kings” and “Chronicles” names these kings and chronicles their acts. It was King David (anointed by Samuel) that came to turn the heart of the children back to God, putting them back on the spiritual path that their patriarchal fathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, had followed. But the power and influence of these righteous kings was soon usurped by kings that “walked not in the footsteps of David.” A king symbolizes a spirit, revealing the righteous and unrighteous spirits working through the mind and heart of man. Yet God’s hand was outstretched still, sending His prophets, who prophesied of the destruction that would come if they continued in their spiritual disobedience. But they would not hearken to their prophets, stoning them by their refusal to change, refusing to take the spiritual path by keeping the spiritual law or word of God.
The Holy Qur’an shows us two paths:
It establishes quite clearly the error of the children of Israel, yet the Qur’an takes its followers down the same physical path, the laws of the Qur’an no different than the laws of the Old Testament. Muhammad (c. 570-632), founder of Islam, was said to have experienced a vision of the archangel Gabriel in a cave outside Mecca, whose Arabic meaning reveals its symbolism. Muhammed pondered questions raised in his mind as he listened to Jews and Christians expound on their religious beliefs in the marketplace. Proclaimed a prophet by the archangel Gabriel, he continued to receive revelations. If of a spiritual nature, they would have stood in opposition to the beliefs held by Jews, and by Christians, whose religious beliefs by this time (c. 610) were far removed from the spiritual doctrine of Jesus the Christ, which was buried by 460. Any spiritual teachings given to Muhammad quickly became physical laws due to the civil unrest that comes with spiritual disobedience; due to what the Qur’an calls “hearts infected with disbelief.” The Muslim religion, like every religion before it, would follow the physical path.
The children of Israel chose Saul over Samuel, who spoke for God. The Jews chose the carnal law over the spiritual truth that Jesus (the word of God) brought to this earth. Christians have chosen the exoteric teachings of Saul/Paul over the esoteric teachings of Jesus. Paul put the focus on the outside; on Jesus Christ the man, hijacking the spiritual teachings of Jesus, which put the focus on the inside.
Paul taught that salvation is obtained by accepting the Son. Believe in the Son and you’ll obtain salvation, the doctrine being taught to Christians at the time of Muhammed, whose revelation served as a backlash against the idea of the Creator having a Son. Both Christians and Muslims lack a spiritual understanding of the son, without which there can be no creation, and therefore no salvation.
Written by Sandra L. Butler (Copyright © 2000). Updated in 2020