Chapter XIII: The Blessing of the Faculties
Genesis 47 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 47:1-12. Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen. And from among his brethren he took five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and our fathers. And they said unto Pharaoh, To sojourn in the land are we come; for there is no pasture for thy servants' flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen. And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and thy brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any able men among them, then make them rulers over my cattle. And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How many are the days of the years of thy life? And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years: few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh. And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families.
Explain some of the duties of our mind faculties toward our vital forces. How are these duties fulfilled?
Joseph's brothers had been shepherds in Canaan. It is the business of our mind faculties (Jacob's sons) to tend those thought aggregations (flocks, herds) that pertain to our vitality. There were no sheep in Egypt, but Pharaoh made them "rulers" over his cattle. Cattle represent physical strength, which like all the powers of man on the natural plane, must be spiritualized. The faculties, having come down into a more material state of consciousness (Egypt), take dominion over and lift up the animal thoughts and tendencies in the body and unify them with Spirit. This is done by a transmutation of quality and is attained by right thinking, by putting the "cattle" under the control of the thoughts of reality or Spirit, represented by the Israelites.
Why is Jacob's blessing on Pharoah significant?
Joseph brought his father to the ruler, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. This shows that the power that rules the body, under the material regime, rules in obscurity or is without spiritual understanding. When imagination (Joseph) brings the higher understanding (Jacob) to the body consciousness (Pharaoh), the higher blesses the lower.
How does the Joseph of our consciousness nourish the other faculties?
Thus, the father and the brothers of Joseph took up their abode in the land of Egypt, and Joseph nourished them there. The imagination, which is our faculty of increase, when established in Truth, prepares the way for us. It inspires, encourages, and sustains the other faculties in us when they fall into a seemingly material phase of being, and ultimately brings about the spiritualization of the whole organism, mind, soul, and body.
It is thought that Rameses is the same name as Raamses, which means "son of Ra," "son of the sun," "sun's emanation." Rameses represents a consciousness of substance in the domain of the physical ego (Pharaoh). This "sun" or "light" consciousness, which in Pharaoh and Egypt is obscured or veiled by the life on the lower sense plane, works in conjunction with the higher religious thoughts (Hebrews) that are in servitude to the darkened sense consciousness symbolized by Egypt, and so this reserve substance (Rameses) is built up in Egypt.
Gen. 47:13-26. And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the grain which they
bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for our money faileth. And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail. And they brought their cattle unto Joseph; and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, and for the flocks, and for the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread in exchange for all their cattle for that year. And when that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide from my lord, how that our money is all spent; and the herds of cattle are my lord's; there is nought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands: wherefore should we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, and that the land be not desolate.
So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine was sore upon them: and the land became Pharaoh's. And as for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of the border of Egypt even to the other end thereof. Only the land of the priests bought he not: for the priests had a portion from Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them; wherefore they sold not their land. Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass at the ingatherings, that ye shall give a fifth unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. And they said, Thou
hast saved our lives: let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants. And Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests alone became not Pharaoh's.
What is the next step after the developing soul has exhausted its resources? What is the routine followed when man taps the inner reservoir of stored-up substance?
In the early stages of regeneration there are times when the developing soul has exhausted its resources and the outer world no longer satisfies. When it reaches this point man has to turn within and appropriate from the higher principles that which they have to give. The center of the great solar plexus (Pharaoh) is also the conservator of substance and life in the organism. When man is spiritually famished and feels the lack he is eager regardless of cost to go to the inner reservoirs of stored-up substance for sustenance. First he gives up to the higher principles the power and strength of the natural man (symbolized by money and cattle), then he draws on the fixed forces, the land (representing the body), until it is finally realized that the higher principles really are in authority. In the last analysis the "sun" (solar plexus) consciousness is actually the great distributor. The men (thought forces) were given seed to sow the land, and Pharaoh (the great distributing ego) permitted them to have four fifths of the harvest for sustenance, while retaining one fifth (in the subconscious) to meet any usual demands. The man now becomes aware of the presence of this subconscious ego that, when spiritually instructed by the imagination (Joseph), will handle all the processes of rebuilding the body. Finally this becomes an established law. The priests, representing the higher spiritual life, are not subject to this law.
Gen. 47:27-31. And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they gat them possessions therein, and were fruitful, and multiplied exceedingly. And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were a hundred forty and seven years. And the time drew near that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found favor in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me: bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt; but when I sleep with my fathers, thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying-place. And he said, I will do as thou hast said. And he said, Swear unto me: and he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.
What is the central thought in Genesis 47:27-31? Metaphysically interpreted, what does Jacob's desire at this time represent? Explain the statement "And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head."
The central thought in this Scripture is that Jacob is giving up old ideas and taking on new. The life of Jacob in a certain unfoldment was drawing to a close, and his desire was that his body be buried with his fathers in the cave of Machpelah. This indicates that a certain phase of the illumined intellect is sinking back into the subconsciousness (Macpelah). All experiences in life that have spiritual qualities and all realities gained in the land of unity (Goshen) are preserved in the subconsciousness. Joseph's placing his hand under the thigh of Jacob symbolizes the truth that the illumined intellect needs the encouragement and support and power of the imagination in order to effect spiritually the change that is about to take place. When this is granted, Jacob bows down in gratitude and thanksgiving to the Holy One and rests in the realization that all is well. "And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head."
Jacob's age is significant. The number seven symbolizes
fullness in the world of phenomena. It is so universally used as a mystical number that its basis must be in some fundamental arrangement of the natural world.
(For significance of the oath see interpretation of Gen. 24:9.)
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 353: Chapter XIII: The Blessing of the Faculties
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 360-364: Genesis 48 Mysteries of Genesis