Up the Mountain to Freedom; Down the Mountain to Service
I’m rerunning this segment of The Ten Commandments because it says so much about life and the end times, enlightenment and Ascension. (Never mind that it’s one of my favorite scenes of any movie.)
The way Cecil B. de Mille presented the encounter of Moses and the burning bush is that God spoke to Moses from out of the burning bush, although the Bible itself says an angel spoke to him.
“And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” (1)
Story is story, as my meditation teacher used to say, and for me de Mille’s version has worked its way into my consciousness as “the” version for all times.
But the larger point I wanted to make here is that the Bible is a treasury of enlightenment formulas. Moses’s journeys up the mountain, if I were to follow the lead of St. John of the Cross, (2) in all probability burnt into our mind an image of enlightenment – specifically an image of the kundalini mounting the energy channels of the spine to reach the top of the mountain, or the crown chakra.
Moses took a trip up the mountain to see the burning bush but he also took a trip up the mountain to get the laws and another trip up the mountain with the elders of Israel. In all cases he “saw” God. In fact he not only “saw” God, but talked with him as one familiar with him (a level of enlightenment called vijnana). (3)
On one trip he was advised to leave the beasts of the field and the children of Israel at the foot of the mountain. It’s been suggested that these represent the thoughts and desires associated with the lower chakras that must be left behind, or at least detached from, if we are to travel up the higher chakras to know God.
The trip up the mountain to get the laws has been viewed as the kundalini energy rising up the sushumna canal to the crown chakra where we “get the laws” or realize God. St. John depicted the trip up Mount Carmel in exactly this way. Mount Carmel is represented as the human head, as the diagram to the left shows.
Photo: This is St. John of the Cross’s drawing of “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel”
The purpose of the various journeys that Moses and others make in the Bible is said to be to imprint on our minds enlightenment motifs. But there are other ways these motifs are burnt into us. The way the Ark of the Covenant is constructed is another way: apparently, the fire always burning on the altar refers to the soul or Self, Christ or Atman always burning on the altar of the spiritual heart or hridayam (not the heart chakra).
It is this Christ that we must know as the truth. Knowing it is the way to God. And when, after we focus all our attention on it and know it completely, it yields and reveals its identity as one with the Father and as the Father, we have found the life eternal.
“Life eternal” here refers to not needing to be reborn again into this Third-Dimensional reality of matter. Thus what is being referred to in the language we use here is Ascension.
Jesus’ various parables of finding a treasure in the field (of the body) or finding a pearl of great price or a great fish among fish and then selling all one has and buying that field or pearl or fish are also all meant to suggest the path to enlightenment.
The treasure, the pearl, the fish all refer to that Light ever burning on the altar – the soul, Self, Christ or Atman. Knowing That and knowing it so deeply that it yields and becomes the Light of the Father, is the purpose of life.
A man or woman sees the light in the experience of spiritual awakening, rids him/herself of all other desires but to know God, sits down in meditation and penetrates the Light of the Self to find that it is in reality the Light of the All-Self. At this point he has “bought” the treasure, pearl or fish.
The Bible is carefully constructed to implant in us or imprint on our minds one lesson after another about the purpose of life, which is enlightenment.
Getting back to our movie clip, Moses has travelled up the mountain and seen God. And he now descends the mountain as almost everyone in Third Dimensionality, up to this time, has had to do. Almost no one, except for a few saints like Sri Ramana Maharshi and perhaps Adyashanti, has been able to remain on the mountaintop or hold onto permanent enlightenment (or sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi).
Most people who reach the top of the mountain, metaporically speaking, then head down and take up the mission to free the Children of Israel – i.e, to assist those who have not seen the Light to see it.
Life is simply an endless round of some seekers seeing the Light and thereafter helping those who have not seen it – freeing them from Pharaoh or the worldly life and taking them through the wilderness of Sinai, or detaching them from the worldly life, to the state of purity in which they are fitted to walk up the mountain themselves and see God.
Now all of that is about to be left behind. It was the story that concerned us in Third Dimensionality. But God has now intervened to end the longest running play on Broadway. Last performance before the show is closed and the troupe moves on.
Until now the Bible has been our constant companion. If you prefer a very clear and straightforward version, you could also have read the Bhagavad-Gita. Or the Koran, Zend-Avesta or Tao Teh Ching.
But now the masters will be returning and speaking to us directly, we’re told. However if you like metaphors of mysticism, the secrets of life wrapped in beautiful and enduring images, then scripture like the Bible is there to cause you to float away into bliss on the wings of inspiration. And to burn motifs into your mind.
Not the “begats” as a friend calls them, or the “various and divergent” interpretations of the prophets, as Imperator callled them, (4) but the wonderful and inspired images, metaphors and motifs that are there to show us the way to God.
(1) Exodus 3:2.
(2) “The Biblical Code” at http://the2012scenario.com/spiritual-essays/cross-cultural-spirituality/the-biblical-code/; Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez, trans. Complete Works of St. John of the Cross. Washington: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973, 83.
(3) “What is vijnana? It is knowing God in a special way. The awareness and conviction that fire exists in wood is jnana, knowledge. But to cook rice on that fire, eat the rice, and get nourishment from it is vijnana. To know by one’s inner experience that God exists is jnana. But to talk to Him, to enjoy Him as Child, as Friend, as Master, as Beloved, is vijnana. The realization that God alone has become the universe and all living beings is vijnana.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 288.)
(4) Spirit leader “Imperator” (the prophet Malachi, who organized the books of the Old Testament) speaking through Stainton Moses. Spirit Teachings. London: Spiritualist Press, n.d. (Prior to 1883), 77.