A Spiritual Journey

“The Aspiring One has embarked on the waters of illusion; his craft is afloat but it has not yet reached the shores where the promise of new life is fulfilled. Now he is guided by two beings, one a lovely maiden and the other an ill-visaged man. These two strive one with the other, each grasping one side of the craft; now, it overturns. The maiden seeks to drag the Aspiring One down, while the ill-favored man seeks to keep him afloat. … They come to the sands of the shining shore where the Light of Truth turns the maiden into a vile-faced hag and the man into a handsome youth. The Aspiring One lies on the sands … as one dead. … The Beauteous One comes attended by handmaidens … The Beauteous One bends over the prostrate man and says, ‘Revive, this is not a place where death rules.” He moves, and she says, “Raise yourself and cast away the residue of your mortality.” ~The Kolbrin Bible SCL:2:4-5

Stairway to heavenThe Aspiring One in this story is a person we might call a seeker: someone who has awakened to the need for spiritual enlightenment and has started on that journey, represented here as a boat trip. The boat is not described, but we can easily see that this is a small boat intended for one person, probably a rowboat. I believe the boat represents the physical body, the vehicle one rides in while on his quest for spiritual enlightenment. The water is the physical world that must be navigated while we make that journey. I think the two being who tilt the boat back and forth are easily recognized. They are more often depicted as an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The interesting thing in this case is the description of the two. We have an attractive maiden and an ugly man. Most would assume that the pretty girl is the angel and the ugly man an allegory for the devil, but the truth turns out to be just the opposite because both are hiding their true appearance. The obvious lesson here is that we shouldn’t judge by appearance and the standard Bible is full of stories where people were tricked into doing the wrong thing by demons pretending to be angels. We learn their true nature when the man falls in the water and the pretty girl tries to drown him while the ugly man tries to save him.

The rest of the quoted section seems a little confusing. It seems to be implying that the man is laying in the sand appearing to be dead, but really isn’t. But then the tale goes on as if describing the afterlife. But lets go along with it anyway. The Beauteous One tells the man to awaken for he is in a place not ruled by death. This can only mean that he is in a spiritual world, on a spiritual dimension where everything and everyone is immortal and death does not exist.

He is then told to cast off the residue of mortality, in other words, his physical body. This simple statement says something very important. We have a lot of Christians today who have interpreted scripture in such a confused and materialistic way that they believe that in the end all people will be brought back to life in their physical bodies. But the physical body cannot function in a spiritual world. There is no physical food for it to eat, water to drink, or even air to breath. There is nothing on a spiritual plane but spirit, so the physical cannot possibly live there.

In any case, why would you want to get back your physical body once you have left it? Do you enjoy aging? Do you like having aches and pains? Do you enjoy getting sick regularly? If not, then you should not want your physical body back because those are all attributes of the physical and that will not change. Even if science manages to extend physical life to 200 years, you can still be injured, still get ill, still get hungry, and eventually you will still suffer death. So stop embracing the physical, and head out in your boat on that journey of enlightenment. But beware that there are those who will try to stop you and protect yourself. One of the best ways to do that is to travel the path as part of a spiritual community rather than trying to venture into dangerous waters alone.

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