Metaphysical meaning of Peter (mbd)
Peter, pe'-ter (Gk.)--hard; compact; strong; firm; unyielding; a large stone, a rock; a cliff.
Meta. The spiritual faculty of faith. This disciple's name, Simon (hearing), signifying his receptivity and ability to discern Truth, was changed by Jesus to Peter, or Cephas, which is the Greek for the word rock. This represents faith in God, strong, unwavering, and enduring. This faith is a necessary foundation for the building up of spiritual consciousness, the church of Christ, in the individual.
The leading characteristic of Peter (faith) before he is firmly established in spiritual consciousness is changeableness. He typifies that state of unsteadiness which fluctuates from the high spiritual to the material, yet with an ever recurring desire for Spirit and for the things of Spirit, which is bound to lead into the light.
Peter, the wavering, denying one, is in reality faith, a rock. When faith works through the intellect it is subject to all the winds and waves of sense thought; but when it lays hold of life and substance, "the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
The spiritual import of Peter's repeated affirmations of love, as given in John 21:15-17, is that steadfastness of faith is developed through love. Peter wavered in his faith many times because he was not established in love. He cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Jesus had him affirm love three times, that is in spirit, soul, and body. Then he was prepared to serve--to "feed my sheep." Peter is the impetuous, fiery enthusiasm of the soul, which finds a balance wheel in Andrew, the sturdy strength and endurance of integrity.
If Peter (faith) had been allowed to continue to concentrate his energy on the limited ideas of carnality, would he ever have become more than a common fisherman? In other words, if your faith is never exercised on a higher ideal than carnal man manifests, will it ever become spiritually strong ?
To walk on the water of troubled thought without sinking requires the established faith of Jesus in the saving power of Spirit. Peter represents faith in its various stages of development (Matt. 14:27-31).
The world is full of ambitious people who seem to have success before them. They start out bravely, but they disappear in the boisterous waves of adversity. If they could but know the mighty power right at hand and could cry out with the Peter faith when they begin to sink, "Lord, save me," they would be raised up and made superior to the seemingly adverse conditions about them.
In the original Greek there is much metaphysical meaning hidden in Matthew 16:18. "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock," reads in the Greek, "Thou art Petros and upon this Petra." Petros is rock, masculine, and Petra is rock, feminine. The character of man must therefore be masculine and feminine in one. Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated this in His spiritualized body.
The "keys" to this "kingdom of heaven" are in binding (affirmations) and loosing (denials). The "earth" represents the fixed, or concrete, state of consciousness resting in this rock substance of faith. All affirmations and denials made by man from this plane of consciousness control the realm of free ideas or heavens ("heaven" is a mistranslation, and should be "heavens").
Get clearly into your understanding that you are not the faith-thinker, Peter. You are Jesus; Peter is one of your twelve powers. Before this truth dawns on you you are a carpenter, a builder in the realm of matter. Peter is a fisherman, one who draws his thoughts from the changeable, unstable sea of sense.
When you realize that you are Mind, and that all things are originally generated in the laboratory of Mind, you leave your carpenter's bench and go forth proclaiming the Truth that is revealed to you. You find that your tools in this new field of labor are your untrained faculties. One of the first of these faculties to be brought under your dominion is Peter, the thinking power.
That Peter today stands at the gate of heaven is no mere figure of speech; he always stands there when you have acknowledged the Christ, and he has the "keys of the kingdom of heaven." The keys are the thoughts that he forms, the words that he speaks. He then stands porter at the door of thought and freely exercises that power which the Christ declares: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
You can see readily why this faith-thinker, Peter, is the foundation; why the faith faculty should be guarded, directed, and trained. His words are operative on many planes of consciousness, and he will bind you to conditions of servitude if you do not guard his acts closely.
Persons who let their thinking faculty attach itself to the things of earth are limiting or binding their free ideas, or "heaven," and they thereby become slaves to hard, material conditions, gradually shutting out any desire for higher things.
Those who look right through the apparent hardships of earthly environments and persistently declare them not material, but spiritual, are loosing them in the ideal or "heaven," and such conditions must, through the creative power vested in the thinker, eventually rearrange themselves according to his word.
This is especially true of bodily conditions. If you allow Peter to speak of erroneous states of consciousness as true conditions you will be bound to them and you will suffer; but if you see to it that he pronounces them free from errors of sense, they will be "loosed."
Until faith is thoroughly identified with the Christ you will find that the Peter faculty in you is a regular weathercock. It will in all sincerity affirm its allegiance to Spirit, and then in the hour of adversity will deny that it ever knew Spirit. This, however, is in its probationary period. When you have trained it to look to Christ for all things, under all circumstances, it becomes the staunchest defender of the faith.
How necessary it is that you know the important place in your consciousness that this faculty, Peter, occupies! You are the free will, the directive ego, Jesus. You have the problem of life before you--the bringing forth of the Grand Man with His twelve powers.
This is your "church." You are the high priest without beginning of years or end of days, the alpha and the omega; but you cannot do what the Father has set before you, without disciplining your powers. Your thinking faculty is the first to be considered. It is the inlet and the outlet of all your ideas. It is always active, zealous, impulsive, but not always wise. Its nature is to think, and think it will. If you are ignorant of your office --a prince in the house of David--and stand meekly by and let it think unsifted thoughts, your thinking faculty will prove an unruly servant and will produce all sorts of discord.
Its food is ideas--symbolized in the Gospels as fishes--and it is forever casting its net on the right, or the left, for a draft. You alone can direct where its net shall be cast. You are he who says, "Cast the net on the right side." The "right side" is always on the side of Truth, the side of power. Whenever you, the master, are there, the nets are filled with ideas, because you are in touch with the infinite storehouse of wisdom.
You must stay very close to Peter--you must always be certain of his allegiance and love. Test him often. Say to him, "Lovest thou me more than these?" You want his undivided attention. He is inclined to wander; you say that your mind wanders. This is an error. Divine Mind never wanders. The faith-thinker, Peter, wanders; he looks in many directions. He stands at the door of heaven, the harmony within you; the same door is the entrance to the world of sense.
Peter looks within; he also looks without. This is his office, and it is right that he should look both ways; but he must be equalized, balanced. He must look within for his sustenance; he must recognize the Christ before he can draw his net full of fishes.
Keep your eye on Peter. Make him toe the mark every moment. Teach him to affirm Truth over and over again. Say to him "the third time, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me?" He may say, "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee." This is a very common protest. We hear, in this day of modern metaphysics, that concentration is not necessary; that if one only perceives spiritual Truth the demonstrations will follow.
Jesus Christ gave us many lessons on this point. He knew Peter like a book. He knew that a faculty whose office was so versatile was apt frequently to change its base. When in the exuberance of his allegiance Peter protested that he would lay down his life for Jesus, the Master said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice."
You must teach Peter to concentrate. Teach him to center on true words. It is through him that you feed your sheep, your other faculties. Keep him right at his task. He is inquisitive, impulsive and dictatorial, when not firmly directed. When he questions your dominion and tries to dictate the movements of your other powers, put him into line with "What is that to thee? follow thou me."
Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am." This is precisely as if Jesus had said, "I am Peter, therefore I am." This is I AM losing itself in its own creation. Exactly the converse of this statement is true: I am, therefore I think. Thinking is a faculty of the Ego, the omnipotent I AM of each of us. It is a process in mind, the formulating process of mind, and is under our dominion.
Be no longer a slave to the thinking faculty; command it to be still and know. Stand at the center of your being and say, "I and the Father are one." "I am meek and lowly in heart." "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth." "I AM THAT I AM"--"there is none besides me."