If you follow us on Facebook, you will know we have been sharing a series of posts explaining the Metaphysical meaning of Holy Week and Passover. The days of Lent and Easter have such magnificent symbolic meaning that provides us comfort when we have to face challenges in our life. The current COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of these times of challenge. Though we are inconvenienced, we do what we can to maintain a positive outlook, protect ourselves, and share loving and healing thoughts with anyone who is in need, whether it is someone affected by the virus itself, or the resulting economic challenges, such as supply shortages and unemployment.
We have shared the Holy Week messages below for the folks who don’t use social media:
This biblical story is a reflection of what we are experiencing in life today. As we seek to celebrate our freedom (the ability to live life fully) from slavery (confinement; quarantine; spiritual defeat), we must banish the moneychangers (greed, hoarding, selfish needs, etc.) from the temple (our Consciousness). We send for a donkey (inner knowingness), and ride it triumphantly (taming our stubbornness and fear) into Jerusalem (a place of peace), knowing that we will be okay, despite the roaring crowds (chaotic energy) and knowledge of the conviction that lies ahead (uncertainty and dangers of COVID-19). We will be convicted by the Romans (tried by our challenges), who will try to flog us (discomfort of illness and death), but the crucifixion (crossing out error-thinking) will reveal the power of our strength and perseverance.
This too shall pass! Be well. Be safe. Take this time to reflect on your purpose, and to be of service to those whose need is greater than your own. Know that all is in divine order, no matter how uncertain the world might seem right now. And so it is!
The celebration of freedom from the oppression of our negative thoughts and attitudes. The Egyptians (ego-based consciousness) were afflicted by a series of ten plagues (painful manifestations caused by negative thinking and emotions) brought about by broken promises to free the Jewish people from slavery (guilty conscience). The tenth plague, the death of the firstborn (fear of losing that which is most precious to us), was avoided by the Jewish people by spreading the blood of a lamb (a symbol of innocence; choosing the purity of life over earthly desires) on the doorway (our oneness with the Divine).
The Jewish people (Divine ideas) escaped their enslavement (held captive by our error thinking) and wandered through the desert (a consciousness of lack). The Red Sea parted (setting aside emotions of fear and doubt), so they could proceed safely unencumbered. After struggling with their strength and faith for 40 years (40 represents a period of testing), they found their Promised Land (acceptance and realization of personal responsibility), their ultimate freedom.
Some see the COVID-19 pandemic as a plague of sorts. Deny your earthly fears, trust in your own strength, and though you might feel enslaved by stay-at-home orders, know that this testing experience will reveal great freedom when it finally passes over. We may have to release things that are precious to us along the way, but our perseverance and determination will push aside our emotions of fear and doubt, revealing a new appreciation for the life we have been blessed with. All is in Divine Order, whether we can see it or not. Let us never forget!
“Forgive them for they know not what they do.” These words attributed to Jesus are often misunderstood. It wasn’t that they didn’t realize they were “killing God,” for that is not possible. It was about our own ignorance when we allow our ego-based judgment to prevail over the understanding of truth. How often do we make our mind up that something is true without taking time to consider the underlying facts? How often do we trust something we heard just because someone else said it or wrote about it?
Pontius Pilate represents our carnal judgment – our human ego deciding whether something is true or not, whether or not it really is so. The cross represents the point where our sense of human limitation (the horizontal beam) meets our inner divinity (the upright beam) – put simply, where “heaven” and “earth” meet in our consciousness! Golgotha, the place where the crucifixion took place, means “place of the skull” – and represents the “crossing out” of our intellect. In other words, releasing what we assume to be accurate, and allowing truth to prevail. Crucifixion represents surrendering our earthly persona, making space for our Divine self to triumph beyond harm.
Yes, Good Friday is about forgiveness: forgiveness of ourselves. Just as Jesus endured unthinkable torture and punishment at the judgment of others, think of how we torture ourselves by our own self-judgment. Yet, Jesus persevered, just as we persevere in our circumstances, no matter how much we beat ourselves up along the way.
No one, not even Jesus, can assume responsibility for your mis-steps. The lessons of Jesus’ life are to be more aware of our thoughts and actions, and to be more responsible and compassionate with what we create from them. The lessons of his death are not absolution, but overcoming the expectations of perfection in ourselves and the world around us, and finding a way to appreciate the perfection of it all despite the imperfections we perceive!
The pandemic we are experiencing offers a similar lesson. Yes, times are challenging, and yes, things aren’t the way we want them to be, and in many ways, we might feel punished by this thing that we can’t control. But times like this also show us how strong and resilient we really are. Without these challenges, how would we ever know?
We give thanks for all of our life experiences, no matter how we judge them, because they all serve our highest good in some way. Our duty is to recognize the good in everything and to forgive our our own negative judgments of ourselves, others, and the world around us.
Easter (part 1)
“I come to the garden alone.” This Sunday is the celebration of the resurrection. The stories of Scripture tell of many unusual events that happen after the crucifixion, but the most notable was what happened at the tomb on the Sunday after Jesus’ death.
Mary of Magdala (our emotional nature) is expecting to find Jesus’ body (memories of the past) in the tomb (negative thoughts and beliefs). When she arrives, the stone (ignorance; lack of spiritual understanding) has been moved. Inside she sees two angels (Divine guidance) and the shroud, (our tendency to preserve our human ideas) cast aside.
They turn her toward the garden (the realm of living ideas) and she sees Jesus. She doesn’t recognize him at first, his image not yet clear. She still does not believe it’s him, but slowly begins to recognize him (spiritual awareness).
The events of Holy week tend to focus on looking past our earthly thoughts and recognizing more spiritually-focused ideas. Easter is no different. Our emotional nature tends to hold onto the past, and that which we hold dear. It can be difficult to divide our focus between the familiar past and an uncertain future. When we push aside the stone of our ignorance, and allow Divine guidance to inspire us, we learn to let go of the burdens of the past, and overcome our negative thoughts and beliefs. When you go to the garden – a journey in meditation that only you can make – you begin to see your spiritual awareness being resurrected. That walk in the silence brings newer, more rewarding ideas, and a clearer path to follow.
This “resurrection” is not a one-time event. It is a continual process, and over time, we find ourselves focusing less on earthly matters, and more readily recognizing the Divine order in all things. There is no separation from God, or each other, or anything else, for we are all the expression of the same Divine mind. That oneness is our lesson to understand in this life, and once our awareness is resurrected, earthly, ego-based ideas can no longer weigh us down. There is no death, but to the body only.
Easter (part 2)
Easter is not just a celebration of the Resurrection, but also a celebration of spring, which has its origins in pre-Christian cultures. The date of Easter is chosen by nature, usually on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox. Spring is a time of resurgence, a resurrection if you will, from the dormancy of winter. As we emerge from colder weather, the Earth comes alive again, springing forth in beauty, brilliant color, and abundance. Life springs forth too as the animal kingdom begins a new cycle of birth.
Our friend Rev. Pam shared a fascinating analogy in her Easter sermon, which discussed our spiritual journey “from the womb to the tomb” in our process of unfoldment. The story of the resurrection of Jesus in the Bible is a story of transformation. When Jesus died and his body was sealed in the tomb, he went through a metamorphosis. Having discarded his earthly body, he emerged three days later in a pure energy of beauty, light and brilliance, nearly beyond recognition.
This process is replicated in nature: caterpillar wraps itself in a cocoon (tomb), and begins a metamorphosis, discarding old body (crucifixion) and finally emerging as a beautiful butterfly (resurrection), taking to the air in splendid color and glory!
We go through this transformation, too. Physically, springtime is when the warmer weather inspires us to be more active and engaged in the world around us after being bundled up for the winter. Spiritually, we can go into a quiet place of meditation, a spiritual cocoon of sorts, sealed off from the distractions of the world around us. In this quiet place, we shed our earthly judgments and attachments and emerge as a stronger, more brilliant expression of All That Is!
We hope you have enjoyed our series of Metaphysical interpretations of Holy Week. We look forward to sharing more with you, here, on our website, and at The Meditation Center when classes resume!