What Is the Sabbath?

Star of David

In the Bible, spiritual teachings are given in story form. Literal events represent inner realities, the passage from one state of consciousness into another. Spiritual evolution. Numbers carry symbolic significance, each number from one to ten representing a spiritual principle or law. So when in Genesis we find that God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested, we know that a deeper meaning is being conveyed.

The number six is graphically depicted as the Star of David, two interlacing triangles, one pointing up and the other pointing down; one applies to heaven, the other to earth. Two sets of three. Three means the fulfillment of a thing, or its completeness – beginning, middle, and end. Since we are talking about God creating, we know that this passage in Genesis is about the act of creation. And what is being created? The world, but not just any world. This world is the Good. Out of God’s goodness, God created the world. So the good only appears to come after the creation, when in fact it was there beforehand. What appears to be second was actually first, and that which appears to come first actually came second.

In order to know a spiritual truth, we have to live it. And in addition to living it, we have to have an idea of it. That idea must be complete. It must have its beginning, middle, and end. The beginning of an idea comes with hearing it. Next, it has to be amalgamated into what the hearer already knows. Finally, the idea is synthesized and becomes part of the hearer’s worldview. The “living it” part has to be complete too. Right action begins with preparation and sound understanding. It grows by way of practice in the face of difficulty and temptation. It matures in a fully developed character, good habits, and a predisposition to act wisely.

The parable of the creation in Genesis is telling us through these symbols that in order to bring an idea into manifestation, we have to both think and act in accordance with it. It also tells us that in order for an idea to resonate, it must be compatible with our notion of good, because it is impossible to act spontaneously out of any part of us that we do not accept as good.

Maurice Nicoll, author of The New Man

Now, the Sabbath. This word means the complete separation from the world and its cares. What does this look like? Here’s an example: your wife (or your husband) is flying to Chicago, and though you know all the statistics about how safe it is to fly compared to driving, you’re still a little apprehensive about it. But once she’s landed and has called you from the airport, your apprehension disappears. (Now all you have to worry about is her being in Chicago.) Your cares about her flight have disappeared. She has landed safely, and that’s that. You no longer have to think about it. It’s done. This is the psychological state we must master if we are to bring our ideas into manifestation. It’s called “letting go,” and it is so important that an entire commandment was assigned to it. Once we have organized our thinking around the idea and we have tailored our actions so that they express those thoughts, we must relinquish all attachment to the outcome. We have built it, and they will come. We have become the idea in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. And the universe responds to what we are.

But rather than be a Sunday-go-to-meetin’ kind of Christian, forgetting to walk the talk the rest of the week, the Christian Mystic knows to separate herself from the outcomes of all of her prayers. She organizes her thinking and her actions, and then goes about her life, knowing that God will give the increase. Taking Sunday off allows the rest of the week, your life, to consolidate its gains and to heal its wounds. It’s a good thing!

The Bible is not a book of rules; it is an operator’s manual. It tells us how to live, not what to live.

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