THE OUTER MAN BEING LIMITED IN STRENGTH
Our outer man’s strength is limited.
Today the biggest obstacle is with us. God’s Spirit cannot break through us. His Spirit lives in our spirit, yet He cannot come out of our spirit. Our outer man is too full; it is full of things in its hands. We have to ask God for mercy so that the outer man will be broken and the inner man will have a way to come out. God does not destroy our outer man. But neither will He allow it to remain intact and unbroken. He wants to pass through our outer man. He wants our spirit to love, think, and make decisions through the outer man. God’s work can only be accomplished through a broken outer man. If we want to serve God, we have to pass through this basic dealing. If our outer man is not broken, the Lord will not be able to have a way through us. He has to break through our outer man before He can reach others.
Before the outer man is broken, the inner man and the outer man stand in opposition to one another. The inner man is a complete person, and the outer man is also a complete person.
The outer man is complete and independent; it is free and full of things in the hands. Meanwhile, the inner man is imprisoned. After the outer man is genuinely broken, it no longer acts independently. It is not destroyed, but it no longer stands in opposition to the inner man; it is subject to the inner man. In this way there will be only one person left in us.
The outer man will be broken into pieces and ready for the inner man’s use. Those whose outer man has been broken are “unified” men. Their outer man is under the control of the inner man. An unsaved person is also a “unified” man, but the roles of his two men are reversed: His inner man is controlled by his outer man.
An unsaved person has a spirit, but his outer man is so strong that his inner man is completely subdued. At the most the inner man can voice some protest in the conscience.
The inner man of an unsaved person is completely defeated and dominated by the outer man. After a man is saved, he should turn everything around. The outer man should be completely crushed and be fully under the control of the inner man. Just as an unsaved person finds his outer man dominat-ing his inner man, we should turn things around and allow the inner man to take control of the outer man.
Christ lives in your inward man.
In this generation, many are seeking answers to explain the many questions that surround the spiritual and natural bodies of man and things. Even as more questions arise concerning the origin and powers surrounding them. Well, the answers are here but they have a need to be understood as the truth that they rest on and that being the oldest source of proof found in the Holy Bible. When its’ words are read and understood, it makes the spiritual and natural realms more accessible in the conscious mind. It’s written, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”(Genesis 1c1) And also, “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.”(John 4c24) So, how can we have an understanding and believe on his word (Jesus) in this high-tech society without physical proof or visual evidence and not just words spoken. Now, we know that the Holy Writ was written some thousands of years ago and many times translated to change its’ meaning to fit certain type doctrinal teachings in many different religions. So, how can we get a clear understanding of the Holy Bible to believe its fullness? It’s thru scientific and archeological discoveries of the past. But some might say that science and religion don’t mix.
In times of weakness, we have the Holy Spirit to supply the strength we require. In fact when we acknowledge our own weakness, we can then know his perfect strength in us. “For when I am weak, then am I strong” (2Cor. 12:10b). The ability and power of the Holy Spirit is available for us to access.
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16). There is a big difference between physical and spiritual strength. While you may not display outer strength, you can be strong in the inner man by the Spirit. David was disregarded by Goliath because of his outward appearance yet he knew of his inner confidence that gave him ultimate victory over the giant.
If you can win the battle inside, you can win any battle outside. Therefore our focus should not be spent on building and strengthening our physical bodies only but rather the inner man. “For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1Tim. 4:8).
In fact having a strong and healthy spirit can ultimately provide you with a healthy body. True life emanates from your spirit man, that’s where the issues of life flow from. Jesus said “Man shall not The Holy Spirit has a teaching ministry to you if you let him. He knows the will of God for your life and he is able to propel your life in the direction of your calling.
According to John 14:26 the Holy Spirit will teach you all things. He is the one who inspired the written Word; therefore he is the most capable teacher we have.
The Word of God cannot be understood merely by man’s intellect, it takes more than the mind to know the Word. He brings clarity and understanding into your spirit. And once the truth is revealed in you by the Spirit, it makes you free in any given area of life.
Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (john 8:32). It is the Spirit who illuminates the truth into your heart and when the truth dawns on you, it makes you free. We should also be aware that the Holy Spirit is able to teach you beyond the Bible truth.
We can find the expression, the inner man,’ three times in Paul’s epistles—
Romans 7:22, 2 Corinthians 4:16, and Ephesians 3:16. In Romans 7:22, in particular, Paul highlights the contradictory nature of the relationship between the ‘inner man’ and the ‘outer man.’ In Ephesians 3:16, he goes further and brings out a kind of ‘thematic progression.’ Paul seems to say that, when the ‘inner man’ is strengthened and formed completely, this ‘inner man’ is the equivalent of Christ being genuinely rooted in this innerness, to the point that Christ himself becomes the authentic ‘inner man.’
In order to grasp the meaning of this opposition, we should however examine 2 Corinthians. Here, Paul’s expression ‘inner man’ takes on an eschatological meaning. The ‘outer man’ belongs to this world and for this reason is destined to perish, but the ‘inner man’ belongs to the world that is to come and therefore to eternal life. The ‘old man’ is the person’s own ego that corrupts itself with its passions, but the ‘new man’ is the very same ego that rehabilitates its own Christian wholeness.
In other words, outemess and innerness can be taken as overlapping existential categories, as can be gathered from Ephesians 4:22-24 and Colossians 3:9-10. The ‘outer man’ is constantly breaking into pieces, but the ‘inner man’ is being renewed day by day. The ‘outer man’ is always the same as himself, a prisoner of his own weaknesses and the burdens of existence, but the ‘inner man’ has one main virtue—the potential to regenerate himself by himself.
The ‘outer man’ holds us prisoners to the past, but the ‘inner man’ constantly opens us up to new perspectives, often ones that we do not expect or ones that we are hardly aware of at the time. All in all, the movement toward a sanctified existence is not a movement towards the old but one towards the new, thanks to the potential for renewal of the ‘inner man.’ This renewal is perhaps not so different from the Gospel call for us to become ‘like children’ again (Matthew 18:3-4).
Nevertheless, the ‘outer man’ who is breaking into pieces is not fated to perish entirely. He or she is only more submissive, more in need of a discipline of the body and of the mind, and more resistant to a way of personal growth that originates from his or her own innemess.
Therefore, paradoxically, the ‘outer man’ should not be taken as the enemy of the ‘inner man,’ but as the one who will help him out. The more the ‘outer man’ becomes poorer and more essential, the more the ‘inner man’ gets stronger, takes root, and forms as a whole. According to Jung, too, ‘the inner man has to be fed.’14 This involves a process of simplification, of reduction to the essential, and of an interiorisation of all existence.
As a result of the ‘breaking up’ of the outer man, the inner man renews himself in a ‘daily resurrection. In tune with Paul thoughts, Opicinus writes: Nativitas naturalls ad mortem, repentant° spirituelle ad Warn (‘Natural birth to death, spiritual rebirth to life’). The ‘perfect man,’ in the words of Ephesians 4:13, Matthew 5:48, and Galatians 3:2, thus, is the person who is able to put the ‘outer’ and the ‘inner’ man, the ‘lower’ and the ‘higher’ man, into harmony.
The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit. THE OUTER MAN AND THE INNER MAN. BREAKING AND TIMING. THE MEANING OF THE CROSS. BEFORE AND AFTER THE BREAKING. The Breaking and Release. Tavistock Institute. Part 98
The Breaking and Release
The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit
Sooner or later a servant of God discovers that he himself is the greatest frustration to his work. Sooner or later he finds that his outer man does not match his inner man. The inner man heads in one direction, while the outer man heads in another direction. He discovers that his outer man cannot be subject to the rule of the spirit and cannot walk according to God’s highest demands. He discovers that the greatest hindrance to his work is his outer man and that this outer man frustrates him from exercising his spirit. Every servant of God should be able to exercise his spirit, to secure God’s presence in his spirit, to know God’s word through his spirit, to touch men’s condition by his spirit, to convey God’s word through his spirit, and to sense and receive divine revelation with his spirit. Yet the frustration of the outer man makes it impossible for him to use his spirit. Many servants of the Lord are fundamentally unfit for the Lord’s work because they have never been dealt with by the Lord in a fundamental way. Without this dealing, they are basically unqualified for any work. All excitement, zeal, and earnest pleading is vain. This kind of fundamental dealing is the only way for us to become a useful vessel to the Lord.
THE OUTER MAN AND THE INNER MAN
Romans 7:22 says, “For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man.” Our inner man delights in the law of God. Ephesians 3:16 also tells us “to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man.”
In 2 Corinthians 4:16 Paul also said, “Though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” The Bible divides our being into the outer man and the inner man. God resides in the inner man, and the man outside this God-occupied inner man is the outer man. In other words, our spirit is the inner man, while the person that others contact is the outer man. Our inner man puts on our outer man like a garment.
God has placed Himself, His Spirit, His life, and His power in us, that is, in our inner man. Outside of our inner man is our mind, emotion, and will. Outside of all these is our body, our flesh. In order for a man to work for God, his inner man must be released.
The fundamental problem with many servants of God is that their inner man cannot break out of their outer man. In order for the inner man to be released, it must break out of the outer man.
We have to be clear that the first obstacle to our work is ourselves, not other things. If our inner man is an imprisoned, confined man, our spirit is shrouded and not easily released. If we have never learned to break through our outer man with our spirit, we cannot work for the Lord.
Nothing frustrates us like the outer man. Whether or not our work will be effective depends on whether the Lord has broken down our outer man and whether the inner man can be released through our broken, outer man. This is a very fundamental issue. The Lord has to dismantle our outer man in order to make way for our inner man. As soon as the inner man is released, many sinners will be blessed and many Christians will receive grace.
DEATH AND THE BEARING OF FRUIT
In John 12:24 the Lord Jesus said, “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Life is in the grain. However, there is a shell outside of the grain, a very powerful shell. As long as this shell does not break open, the grain cannot grow. “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies.” What is this death?
It is the action of the temperature and moisture of the earth upon the grain which results in the breaking of the shell. When the shell breaks, the grain grows. Therefore, it is not a matter of whether or not the grain has life, but whether the outer shell is broken. The very next verse says, “He who loves his soul-life loses it; and he who hates his soul-life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life” (v. 25).
According to the Lord the outer shell is our own life, and the inner life is the eternal life that He dispenses. In order for the inner life to be released, the outer life must suffer loss. If that which is outward is not broken, that which is inward cannot be released. Among all the people in the world, some have the Lord’s life within them. Among those who have the Lord’s life, we find two different kinds of conditions.
With the first, the life is bound, surrounded, and locked up. With the second, the Lord has opened up a way and the life can be released.
The problem with us today is not how we can have life, but how we can allow this life to flow out of us. When we say that the Lord has to break us, this is not a figure of speech or a doc-trine. Our very being has to be broken by the Lord. The Lord’s life is well able to spread over the whole earth. However, it is locked up within us!
The Lord is well able to bless the church, yet His life is imprisoned, contained, and blocked in us! If the outer man is not broken, we can never become a blessing to the church, nor can we expect the world to receive God’s grace through us!
THE NEED FOR THE BREAKING OF THE ALABASTER FLASK
The Bible speaks of ointment of pure nard (John 12:3). God’s Word purposely uses the adjective pure. It is ointment of pure nard, something truly spiritual. Unless the alabaster flask is broken, however, the ointment of pure nard cannot be released. It is strange that many people appreciate the alabaster flask. They think that the flask is more precious than the ointment. Many people think that their outer man is more precious than their inner man. This is the problem facing the church today. We may treasure our own wisdom and think that we are quite superior. Another person may treasure his emotions and also think that he is quite outstanding.
Many people treasure themselves; they think that they are much better than others. They think their eloquence, their ability, their discernment, and their judgement are better. But we are not antique collectors; we are not admirers of alabaster flasks. We are those who are after the aroma of the ointment.
If the outer part is not broken, the inner part will not be released. We will have no way to go on. and the church will have no way to go on. We no longer should be so protective of ourselves.
The Holy Spirit has never stopped working. Many people can testify that this work has never stopped in them. They face one trial after another, encounter one incident after another. The Holy Spirit has only one goal in all of His disciplining work:
To break and dismantle the outer man so that the inner man can break forth. But the trouble with us is that we murmur as soon as we suffer a little hardship, and we complain as soon as we suffer a little defeat. The Lord has prepared a way for us. He is ready to use us. As soon as His hand is upon us, however, we become unhappy. Either we argue with Him, or we complain about everything to Him. From the day we were saved, the Lord has been working on us in many different ways for the purpose of breaking the self. We may or may not know it, but the Lord’s goal is always to break our outer man.
The treasure is in the earthen vessel. Who needs to see your earthen vessel? The church lacks the treasure, not the earthen vessels.
The world lacks the treasure, not the earthen vessels. If the earthen vessel is not broken, who will find the treasure within? The Lord works in us in so many different ways for the purpose of breaking the earthen vessel, the alabaster flask, the outer shell.
The Lord wants to prepare a way to bring His blessing to the world through those who belong to Him. This is a way of blessing. but it is also a way stained with blood. Blood must be shed, and wounds are unavoidable. How crucial the breaking of this outer man is! Unless the outer man is broken, there cannot be any spiritual work.
If we are consecrated to the Lord for His service. we have to be prepared to be broken by Him. We cannot excuse ourselves or preserve ourselves. We have to allow the Lord to break our outer man completely so that He can have a free way through us.
BREAKING AND TIMING
The Lord breaks our outer man in two ways. First, He breaks it in a cumulative way, and second, He breaks it in a sudden way. The Lord gives some people a sudden breaking first, followed by more gradual breakings; the sudden work comes first and the cumulative work follows. Other people face situations and problems every day. Then one day, they suddenly receive one great blow from the Lord; the cumula-tive work comes first and the sudden work follows. These are different patterns of breaking that we ordinarily experience. Either the sudden breaking comes, followed by the cumula-tive breaking, or it is the other way around. Generally speaking, even with those who have not deviated and detoured, the Lord has to spend a few years before He can complete this breaking work. We cannot reduce the time this breaking takes, but we can extend this time. The Lord completes the work in some in a few years. However, with others, the work is not completed after ten or twenty years.
THE MEANING OF THE CROSS
We have heard about the cross for a long time. We may be very familiar with it already, but what is the cross? The meaning of the cross is the breaking of the outer man. The cross puts the outer man to death and breaks open the shell.
The cross destroys everything of the outer man. It destroys our opinions, methods, wisdom, self-love, and everything. Once the outer man is broken, the inner man is released, and the spirit is able to function. The way before us is very clear indeed. Once our outer man is broken, it becomes easy to release our spirit. One brother has a good mind; those who know him all acknowledge this. His will is strong and his emotions are reserved and deep.
Yet when others meet him, they realize that they are touching his spirit, not his strong will, good mind, or reserved and deep emotions. Every time others fellowship with him, they touch a spirit, a pure spirit because this man is broken. Another sister is quick. Everyone who knows her realizes this. She is quick in thoughts, quick in words, quick to confess, quick to write, and quick to throw away what she has written.
But when others meet her, they do not touch her quickness but her spirit. Her very person has been broken. The breaking of the outer man is a very fundamental issue. We cannot hold on to our weaknesses all the time. We cannot have the same flavor after the Lord has dealt with us for five or ten years. We must allow the Lord to have a way through us. This is the Lord’s basic requirement of us.
BEFORE AND AFTER THE BREAKING
The breaking of the outer man is a basic experience which every servant of the Lord must go through. God has to break our outer man before we can render any effective service to Him. A servant of the Lord faces two possibilities in working for the Lord. First, his outer man is never broken and his spirit is never aroused. His spirit cannot be released, and no power flows out from it. Only his mind or his emotions are active. If he is a clever person, his mind is active. If he is a sentimental person, his emotions are active. This kind of work does not bring anyone to God. Second, it is possible that his outer man is not separated clearly from his inner man. When his spirit is released, it is wrapped in his mind or his emotions. The result is mixture and impurity. This kind of work produces mixed and impure experiences in others. These two conditions frustrate a man from serving the Lord in a proper way.
Romans 8 is perhaps the chapter with the most references to the word spirit. Who can tell which words refer to the human spirit and which refer to God’s Spirit? When Bible translators come to Romans 8, they leave the readers to decide for themselves which spirit refers to the human spirit and which refers to God’s Spirit. When the English versions come to the word pneuma, some use an upper-case Spirit, and others use a lower-case spirit. All versions differ in this respect, and no one person’s view is authoritative. The truth is that it is impossible to differentiate between the Holy Spirit and man’s spirit. When we received a new spirit, we received God’s Spirit at the same time.
When our human spirit was revived from its deadened state, we received the Holy Spirit at the same time. The Holy Spirit resides in our spirit, but it is difficult to tell which is the Holy Spirit and which is our spirit. There is a distinction between the Holy Spirit and our spirit, but the two are not separate. Hence, the release of the spirit is not merely a release of man’s spirit but a release of the Holy Spirit through man’s spirit, because the two spirits are one. We can differentiate the two spirits as terms but not in fact.
The release of the spirit is the release of the human spirit. It is also the release of the Holy Spirit. When others touch our spirit, they are touching the Holy Spirit at the same time. If we can provide others the opportu-nity to touch our spirit, we should thank the Lord because they are being provided with an opportunity to touch God’s Spirit at the same time. In fact, our spirit brings God’s Spirit to men. When God’s Spirit operates, He has to operate through the human spirit.
This is similar to electricity that runs household appliances; it cannot travel like the lightning in the air. It travels through the electrical wires. Today we not only have electrical power but electrical wires. The wire bears the electricity. In physics there is such a thing as an electrical charge. To be charged is to bear a burden. If we are to carry electricity, we have to carry the charge by means of electrical wires.
This same principle holds true for God’s Spirit. He needs the human spirit as a medium to bear His Spirit. Through the human spirit the Holy Spirit is conveyed and carried to men. After a man is saved, the Holy Spirit resides in his spirit. Whether or not a man can be used by the Lord depends more on his outer man than on his spirit. The problem with some people is that their outer man has never been broken. There is not a blood-stained pathway; there is no wound, no scar.
The result is that God’s Spirit is locked up within their spirit and cannot be released. Sometimes the outer man moves, but the inner man does not respond. The outer man is released, but the inner man is still bound.
The outer man is working, but the inner man does not join in. The outer man and the inner man do not match; they are not in unison. The outer man is excited, but the inner man remains ice cold. We tell others how great the Lord’s love is, but we do not have the slightest feeling within us. We can tell others of the pain of the cross, but when we return to our room, we have no problem laughing. It is a hopeless situation when the outer man and the inner man are not in union. The outer man may be working, but the inner man is not moving at all. This is the first condition: The mind and emotions are working, but the spirit is not. The outer man acts, but the inner man does not respond. It is as if the inner man is a spectator of the outer man’s performance. The outer man remains the outer man, and the inner man remains the inner man. The two are not in harmony.
The breaking of the outer man leads to the free release of the spirit. The free release of the spirit is not only necessary to our work; it is profitable to our personal walk as well. If the spirit is released, we can constantly abide in God’s presence. If the spirit is released, we spontaneously touch the spirit of inspiration that lies behind the Bible. We spontaneously receive revelation through the exercise of our spirit. If the spirit is released, we spontaneously will have power in our testimony when we deliver God’s word with our spirit. We will also experience this in our preaching of God’s word, that is, in ministering God’s word to others as a minis-ter of the word. Moreover, if our spirit is released, we will touch others’ spirits with our spirit.
In order to deal with God’s presence, we have to first deal with the matter of the breaking of the outer man. The nature of our emotion is different from the nature of God; the two can never be joined as one. The same can be said of our mind. John 4 shows us that God’s nature is Spirit. Only our spirit is of the same nature as God, and only our spirit can be in harmony with God forever.
If we try to retain God’s presence in our mind, this presence is lost as soon as we are not in complete control of our mind. If we try to retain God’s presence in our emotion, the same is true; this presence is gone as soon as we are not in complete control of our emotion. Sometimes when we are happy, we think we have God’s presence. But this happiness does not stay. When it goes away, our sense of His presence is gone. We may think that we have God’s presence when we weep, but we cannot weep all the time.
Sooner or later our tears will stop, and when they stop, God’s presence seemingly stops as well. The function of the mind and the function of the emotion are both activities, and no activity can go on forever. If we try to maintain God’s presence with activity, this presence will be gone as soon as the activity stops. Two substances will blend together only when they are of the same nature, such as water with water or air with air. Things with the same nature can enjoy each other’s presence.
The inner man is of the same nature as God; therefore, it can realize God’s pres ence through His Spirit. The outer man is constantly in the realm of activity; therefore, it is a frustration to the inner man.
The outer man is not a help but a hindrance. The inner man will be free from distractions only when the outer man is broken. God has installed a spirit within us to respond to Him. The outer man, however, only responds to outward signals.
A man loses God’s presence and the enjoyment of it because his outer man is constantly responding to outside activity. We cannot eliminate all outward signals, but the outer man can be broken. We cannot stop all outside activity. Millions and billions of things in this world are occurring outside of us.
If the outer man is not broken, we will react whenever something happens outside of us. We cannot enjoy God’s presence calmly and continually because the outer man is constantly reacting. God’s presence is based on the breaking of the outer man. If God grants us mercy and breaks our outer man, we will manifest the following traits: Our old curiosity will be dead; we will no longer be curious.
Formerly, we were very strong in our emotion; we were easily stirred up in the tender sentiment of love or in the raw sentiment of anger whenever something happened. We reacted as soon as something happened around us, and we were caught up in those things. As a result, we lost God’s presence. But if God is merciful to us, He will break our outer man, and our inner man will no longer be touched when many things happen to us. We will remain calm, and God’s presence will abide with us.
Once the outer man is broken, a man does not have to come back to God because he is with God all the time. There is no need for a coming back. An unbroken man needs to come back to God whenever he goes about with his business because he has moved away. This is the reason he has to come back. A broken man never moves away; therefore, he does not need to come back. Many people move away all the time, even while they are working for the Lord. This is because their outer man has never been broken. It is best that they not do anything at all. As soon as they do something, they move away. But those who know God in a genuine way never move away. Therefore, they never need to come back. If they spend the whole day praying to God, they enjoy His presence. If they spend the whole day busily scrubbing the floor, they still enjoy His presence. As soon as our outer man is broken, we will live before God. We will not need to come back. There will not be the feeling nor need to come back.
When the outer man is broken, all outward activities are confined to the outward realm while the inner man continues to enjoy God’s presence. The problem with many people is that their outer man and inner man are entangled together. Whatever affects the outer man affects the inner man.
Strictly speaking, the outward things can only affect the outer man; but the outer man, in turn, affects the inner man. With those who are not yet broken, their outer man can affect their inner man. With those who are broken, their outer man cannot affect their inner man. If God is merciful to us and if our outer man is broken, it will be separated from our inner man, and outward things will only affect the outer man; they will not affect the inner man. When the outer man is separated from the inner man, all distractions are confined to the outer realm; they cannot enter the inner realm. A man can converse with others with his outer man while his inner man is still fellowshipping with God. The outer man can be con-scious of the “shuffling of the plates,” while the inner man continues to live before God. He can work and labor with his outer man, interact with the myriads of things in the outer world, yet confine all the activities to just that realm. His inner man is not affected, and he can continue to live before God. He has never left; therefore, he never needs to return.
Simply put, whether or not man’s spirit can be useful to God depends on two kinds of work of the Lord. One work is the breaking of our outer man. The other work is the separat-ing of our spirit from our soul or the dividing of our inner man from our outer man. God must accomplish these two things in us before we can put our spirit to use. The breaking of the outer man is accomplished through the discipline of the Holy Spirit, and the separation of the outer man from the inner man is through the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Instead of thinking for ourselves, we have been trained to follow the headlines, and week to week our opinions change like the wind. We think about, and believe, whatever information is being projected. There is always some distraction to be found as the center of social discourse. Talk about being in the dark, today’s people are worshiping shadows projected into a shadowbox. We are still in Plato’s cave. The whole capitalist/materialist game is what keeps us participating in this pyramid scheme. It is the perfect and most true model for the system of the beast. Mankind is now presently, fully consumed and enamored with the trappings of this scheme. Tavistock Insitutute. Part 97
Instead of thinking for ourselves, we have been trained to follow the headlines, and week to week our opinions change like the wind. We think about, and believe, whatever information is being projected. There is always some distraction to be found as the center of social discourse.
We are all in potential, a storehouse of energy and willpower, literal “creators.” Sadly, this storehouse of energy is being diffused and utilized to create this particular reality. Rather than be the masters of our own domain, we are to be caught up in the “puppet show,” and there’s a puppet show for everybody. No matter what a person’s interests are, there is something “out there” to captivate their attention. With the internet especially, any and all interests can be pursued, whatever you like, just “search it,” all at the push of a button.
We will see this “noise” get louder and louder, the great upheaval must continue. As we are overwhelmed by the constant borage of “news,” everyday more and more incredible, we as a whole are being guided to a very specific state of existence. We are unable to resist because of our participation in the momentum. We are constantly reacting to being knocked off balance. As we try to stand “upright,” the momentum pulls us over. This effects the mind, and our ability to respond with reason.
As with any so-called pyramid scheme, it only works through the investment of it’s members. If we didn’t invest in it, devote our hearts and minds, our life’s work into the “system,” it wouldn’t exist. Our jobs, titles and positions in life, our desire for “status” is the foundation of this pyramid scheme. Galatians 5:25-26, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Status is the incentive for our cooperation and participation. Feeding that egocentric character we call “me,” we truly are the cult of personality, and image is king. This is the “image of the beast” written about in the Book of Revelation. It is this (false) “self image” which we worship, above all else. The “beast” is king. This is what the Book of Revelation is telling us. As long as we define ourselves according to contrived social norms, and aspire to elevate ourselves within the system, we worship the beast! Our foolish and misused pride, our self centered, arrogant perspective has led us astray, and has left us vulnerable to being misguided.
Talk about being in the dark, today’s people are worshiping shadows projected into a shadowbox. We are still in Plato’s cave.
The whole capitalist/materialist game is what keeps us participating in this pyramid scheme. It is the perfect and most true model for the system of the beast. Mankind is now presently, fully consumed and enamored with the trappings of this scheme. In all walks of life, men and women are constantly at work, playing the game, though generally unaware of the machinations by which he or she is distracted. We devote our entire lives to this system, somehow convinced that this one way of life is the only acceptable way to live. We are literally imprisoned by artificial and debilitating false memes, all the while ignorantly rejecting the whole entirety of all other possibilities. The fundamental utility of this scheme is to preoccupy mankind with the very task of building and maintaining the system of his own enslavement. This is the system of the beast, and we worship the image of the beast. If we didn’t collectively participate, it couldn’t happen.
All of this is a result of our dualistic mind and knowledge. We don’t know our true selves. We are self centered and in a state of confusion identifying with an ego personality (Cain) which is a compilation of a lifetime’s worth of impressions upon our mind. Basically, we are attached to a sense of self which is a deception, it is a Lie. As a result, all of our energies are misdirected and dissipated. We are naturally powerful beings and with focused intent, we can achieve the greatest of feats. Conversely, in our present state of false identification, pursuing false needs, we are powerless to achieve anything, and instead live our days “chasing rainbows.” We now see, in all of this, what the ancients meant by the slumbering soul, the living dead, and the noise of the world. We have been reading about the fall of man, the long suffering fall. We have been reading about the war waged against the heart, body, and minds of men. All of the combined knowledge into behavioral science, which has been gathered and studied from time immemorial, has been used to bring further slavery in increasingly more complex, yet subtle forms. This is the psychology of slavery.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5:25 )
Much of the information covered thus far can be somewhat disturbing, especially for those whom have never considered such ideas. Many of us have been taught a completely different story, be it from church or from society. The story presented in this work is admittedly difficult to accept. This perspective of “our history” is liable to leave one feeling hopeless and powerless. So far in the narrative, mankind has played the role of the victim, unable to resist these “heavenly forces.” We don’t necessarily want to believe that we are in such a precarious situation, but we should certainly consider the possibility that we are. The intention of this work is not to depress, nor to instill pessimism. This is not a message of doom. This work is laid forth specifically as a means to gain understanding – to gain realization. If we truly want to know what “in hell” is going on, we must truly know where we have come from, and how we have gotten to this state of existence.
The serpent that guards the pearl would at first seem to be the Devil. If not the Devil, this creature could represent the Demiurge, but upon closer consideration, the terrible and snorting serpent must be the self centered personality (Cain’) of the individual himself. He is the ruler of the world, and lives within the center of Egypt. He is therefore the ruler of the body. In this way the serpent in this story would be the “mind” of the individual – earthly man. Not the “king of the world,” he is the king of our world. Each and every one of us is the king, king of his, or her own personal, inner world. And here is an obvious dilemma. Not only is the Savior in us, but it is also suggested that the Serpent is in us as well. As said, man is a duality, we are split in two, we are Cain and Abel. In this story, the sleeping Savior would be Abel, and the Serpent would be Cain. These are personifications of us. We are the “snorting creature” whom must be overcome by the Savior, whom is us as well. This apparent contradiction will be resolved as we continue on.
The Pearl as a symbol is most appropriate, for pearls are found within the many layered shell (body) of an oyster.’ Until she is rescued by the hero, she has no active principle of her own. She cannot save herself, she just lays in wait, much like a pearl in its shell. She is the perennial “princes in a tower,” or damsel in distress. She is without doubt, a symbol of the Soul. The hero must save her, or all is for naught. The “union” must take place, and the two must become one. As the Soul, she is the hero’s “other half,” and counterpart, a piece of himself which is trapped in the underworld. This is a key element to consider; in rescuing the Pearl, the Savior saves not only her, but also himself. Without union with his other half, there is no going back home to the Kingdom from where he came. The Prince and the Pearl are not separate and distinct characters, but symbolize two halves of one whole. The Savior is incomplete without her, therefore they are one in the same. The quest for the Pearl then is none other than the quest to save oneself. The quest to save one’s Soul.
These then, are the key elements to the Hymn of the Great Pearl. Much of this information was covered in earlier chapters, and though redundant, proves to be useful. We have found the theme of “the fall” and the “slumbering Soul” mirrored in this tale. We have gained new appreciation for the “actors” in this drama; the hero, the damsel, and the villain. All key members, it turns out, reside within each and every one of us. They are us. Within this whole scheme, there are two – singularly important details yet to be considered. How does one wake up, if he is not aware that he is sleeping? And, once he has awoken, how does he “enchant” the dragon to “release” the Soul? This is where the real story begins. The rest is just “back-story,” a necessary foundation to shed light on how we’ve gotten here.
The Prince must save the Pearl, and he does. The end of the story is already revealed to us, and it is victory. How one overcomes the serpent will be addressed in the following chapters. The first and foremost concern at this stage is the question of awakening. Though we are still “asleep,” we can proceed with a little optimism. Let us now consider therefore, the essential experience of the “call.” For if we don’t hear the call, we may never awake. If we never awake, we may never save our Soul. What a sad and pitiful loss that would be. What a divine tragedy! “Now, O Light of Lights, I am afflicted in the darkness of the chaos…Deliver me out of the matter of this darkness, so that I shall not be submerged in it…My strength looked up from the midst of chaos and from the midst of the darkness, and I waited for my spouse, that he might come and fight for me, and he came not.” (The Pistis Sophia)
Our next consideration is that of the ”call.” This idea has been hinted at in our study of the slumbering Soul, but only as a side note. We do know that it is a fundamental feature of salvation. That without the call, we are lost in sleep, never to awaken. This then qualifies the call as our immediate concern, the most important element of our redemption. It is our own awakening, it is our own Soul that is at stake. Itis now time to proceed, and to investigate this ”phantom voice.”
In The Hymn of the Great Pearl, the hero receives a message from his parents, as though it were a voice. We find this same concept echoed in the Christian New Testament. John 5:25, ”Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
This verse from the Book of John describes the very same ”voice from heaven.” This is the voice of the Son of God, and ”they that hear shall live.” As established, the state of the Soul is likened to death. Those whom hear the voice ”shall live,” which simply means that they shall awaken. Eph 5:14, ”Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”