Loyalty To Truth
We understand that the Bible and all Scriptures are for the guidance of men, in their character building or soul development. It must then follow that every character in this Bible represents some dominant trait or some faculty in the minds of men. When read in this light we get the inner meaning of Scriptures and they become of real profit to us.
In the story of Daniel in the lions’ den we have illustrated loyalty to God or loyalty to the Divine Law. Daniel is that in us which discerns Truth, the interpreter of the Law. He represents the Judge Universal. In the first chapter of Daniel it is related that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, besieged Jerusalem, captured the children of Israel, and carried them away to Babylon. Daniel was one of the captives and became one of the rulers in Babylon. Babylon means “confusion,” and represents a mixed state of mind. The Chaldean wise men, to whom Nebuchadnezzar first appealed for the interpretation of his dream, were astrologers, soothsayers, mediums, and gave themselves up to occultism in all forms. This confused state of mind dominated all their worship, and they were unable to interpret the higher symbols. This is representative of a condition prevailing to some extent in nearly all until they learn the Law and through observance of it work out of confusion into harmony.
Daniel even in this state of confusion was true to the One Spirit and applied his spiritual knowledge, and through his integrity and loyalty to the Law was made ruler under Nebuchadnezzar. His spiritual insight gaVe him supremacy over the Babylonian astrologers, and when the king wished a dream interpreted he found Daniel the highest authority. We have this Daniel of true discernment in us, and yet certain lesser powers seek to dispossess him in his dominion. We wonder why it is when we know the Law, and are so desirous of keeping it, that we find in ourselves these opposing forces. The explanation is found in our lack of loyalty to the true God. Man must continually affirm his true spiritual estate, and when tempted to seek in occult ways for knowledge, he must be loyal to the Divine Law within him. In all things God must be exalted instead of personality. This was the secret of Daniel’s success. In the exercise of his spiritual power he gave all the glory to God and refused his personality any credit.
When Darius, the Median, captured the Babylonian kingdom, he made Daniel the first of three presidents. Under these three presidents were one hundred and twenty princes. These princes and the presidents, being jealous of Daniel, “sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.” They decided there was no charge to be made against him unless it was “concerning the law of his God. To entrap Daniel in his worship, these presidents and princes assembled before the king and asked of him that he establish a law that “whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, save of thee, O King, he shall be cast into the den of lions.” Darius signed the decree, and according to the law of the Medes and Persians it could not be changed, for the law of the Medes and Persians “altereth not.”
Daniel knew that the writing was signed; but he disregarded the outer law, and with his windows opened toward Jerusalem he prayed three times a day, as was his custom. The men who had sought occasion against him accused him before the king, and the king, being friendly toward Daniel, tried to deliver him from the lions’ den; but he could not, because the law of the Medes and Prt sians was unchangeable.
The personality always demands its “rights,” and its edict is that everything that will not bow down to it shall be broken. But the inner consciousness recognizes the Truth that everything comes from the one spiritual Source, and it keeps the word of Jehovah. This spiritual center is in every man. It is Jerusalem, City of Peace. The personality makes laws which, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, are tenacious in their realm of expression. They cannot be set aside, but must find expression whenever the word has gone forth. However, those who know the spiritual law may overcome every lesser law through trust in the Higher Principle. Many think that the word they send forth operates only in the outer world; but it works also in the subjective consciousness. The soul of the spiritual man has to meet and handle the laws which the personality has laid down.
The lion is a big cat, and cats represent the idea of life tenacity. They symbolize the life in us that never gives up. The life force is centered in the lower part of the body, and the love force in the upper part. The Sphinx, with the head of a woman and the body of a lion, represents the union of these subjective forces in man. When you send forth a word you pass a law; and when this word meets the inner life forces there is apt to be trouble, unless you are spiritually quickened and go into the silence with strong statements of loyalty to the Higher Law. The life in the soul will take up your word and grind it to powder, or make you stronger, according to your attitude toward the spiritual Law. If you are absolutely true to God you will not be hurt of the lions within, and your demonstration will give you new and greater power.
Nebuchadnezzar walked through the city of Babylon and took to himself the credit for its glory; but he was called to account for this exaltation of personality. To humble him he was compelled to dwell with the beasts of the field and eat grass as oxen till he should know “that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” This is representative of a certain change that goes on in the consciousness when man gets puffed up in personal pride. Man must realize, even in material things, that all comes from the Universal.
You will observe in this narrative that Daniel did not become king. I Am is always king. The changes from one ruler to another show how one state of consciousness follows another. When Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, came to the throne he was not observant of the Divine Law. He was a sensualist. He gave a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and took the golden vessels which had been brought from the temple at Jerusalem, and he and his princes and his wives and his concubines drank wine from them and “praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” At the feast a hand came forth and wrote upon the wall, MENE, MENE, FEKEL, UPHARSIN. The king and his guests were seized with consternation, and had recourse to astrologers for interpretation of the strange writing, but none could read it. Then they called Daniel, who interpreted it as a message of warning to Belshazzar that he had been weighed in the balances and found wanting, and that his kingdom should be divided and given to the Medes and Persians. That very night, so history says, Belshazzar was slain, and Darius the Mede took his kingdom.
All this history is constantly being repeated in the mind of man. The ego, changing from one mental viewpoint to an other, takes on these various states of consciousness. The sacred vessels are all in our body. If they are used to sensual ends, there is always the writing on the wall, “Weighed in the balances, and found wanting.” The Divine Law is always writing its decree in us, but it takes a Daniel to discern it; and the Daniel spirit is in us, every one. We do not understand, because we do not abide in the inner mind. If we do not recognize the Divine Law, there is a downfall and another king comes into expression. So there is a succession, age after age, of various kings, various dominating egos. The king is always I Am. What you say is established as a law in your kingdom. We will never fully understand ourselves and our power through thought and word to make laws, until we search out every department of being and study Spirit, soul and body. The Scriptures tell of all of these, and all their historic characters represent various attitudes and powers of mind.
Every one has a subjective consciousness which is not directly under his conscious control. It therefore seems in opposition, and in the Bible it is described as the “adversary,” the devil. It is simply the stored-up memories of experiences that we have passed through but have not yet put in order. When properly linked with the conscious mind, and harmonized through Christ, a new power comes to the individual. As an illustration: A lady dreamed someone was following her, and she turned and saw a dark, swarthy man. He said to her, “I am the devil, and he kissed her. She said that after this dream she developed ability to paint, something she could not do before. The man she saw was her own subjective consciousness, and the dream indicated that her thoughts had made a certain union with it. The consequence was new power came to her. Daniel in the den of lions must have made a union with his subjective self under the Divine Law, and the whole of his being entered into absolute trust in that law and the subsequent victory. Most men cannot go into the den of lions, because they do not believe that God dwells in their souls. Yet Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you.” This union is made in prayer and meditation, and Daniel was given to prayer. When the soul is loyal to God it is safe from all destructive thoughts.
All this does not happen in one night, but is a daily prayer and meditation. Daniel opened his windows toward Jerusalem three times a day. Do not be content with a few moments of prayer once a day, but decide in yourself to know the law for yourself, and to be true to it at all times; and remember it is the God of Daniel, the inner discerner of Truth, that closes the mouths of the lions.