The waters of Genesis 1:6, 7 represent unexpressed possibilities in mind. There must be a firm starting point established. This point or "firmament" is faith moving on the unformed capacities of Spirit consciousness.
In every mental proposition we have an above and a below. Above the firmament are the unexpressed capacities (waters) of the conscious mind resting in faith in Divine Mind. Below the firmament are the unexpressed capacities (waters) of the subconscious mind.
The "Seas" of Genesis 1:10 represent the unformed state of mind. We say that a man is "at sea" when he is in doubt about a mental process; in other words he has not established his thoughts in line with the principle involved, he is unstable. The sea is capable of production, but must come under the dominion of the formative power of mind, the imagination.
Water ("the sea"), in Mark 6:47-51, represents mental potentiality; it can also be understood as negation. The race thoughts have formed a sea of thought, and to walk over it safely requires that one have faith in oneself. Faith necessary to accomplish so great a work comes from understanding--understanding of God and man and the law of mastery given to man.
God is substance: sub, under; stare, to stand. He is the underlying principle of the universe, upholding all things by His word of power, by the omnipresent energy that permeates all creation. An understanding of God in His true character establishes the mind firmly in faith and causes the feet to walk safely over the sea of the mixed, negative thoughts of the race.
It is not necessary to walk on material water to follow Jesus. His walking on the water is a lesson in spiritual overcoming. When we have found the spirit of the law the material expression adjusts itself. We live constantly in a sea of thought that is moved on by every impulse of the mind. There are greater storms on land than on sea, and they are far more destructive because of the many minds reached by the psychic waves. Men need every day the saving call, "Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid."
The majority of men try to sail the ocean of life without the sustaining power of Spirit, but eventually they always go down in a troubled sea. Even those who have been taught of the Master are still filled with doubts and fears when storms arise, and instead of a reality they see an apparition. But the Christ mind is not an apparition; it is a mighty power, and when we have faith in it all the discordant elements of our life are quieted and we reduce to harmony and wholeness everything that our peace-giving thoughts touch.
Water, in one of its phases, represents negativeness. The individual who allows himself to become negative to the good finds himself uncertain and unstable in his mind, and often his body becomes so submerged in the waters of negation that his physical condition is low. Weak sympathy with error and the results of error helps to produce this condition. To be positive in the good it is very necessary that one have right ideas of God, that one know Him as good. The mind and the body are often toned up by one's thinking of God as divine law. One's understanding Him to be divine law frees the mind from sentimental ideas of God solely as love. It is these sentimental ideas that make weak human sympathy.
God is our Father, and it is His place to instruct and discipline us in righteousness. Those who will not learn their lessons in easy ways will have to learn them in hard ways, and we should not be sentimentally sympathetic with those who make severe corrections necessary. Weak, teary sympathy is just one of the ways in which we bring floods upon ourselves. Water often breaks up and dissolves old error states of consciousness in the individual, just as the Flood dissolved and washed away from the race the old conditions that the combined error force of individuals had formed.
Water is symbolical of weakness, lack of stability: "Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel" (Gen. 49:4, A. V.). In Mark 14:13 it is stated that the disciples were to recognize the man in whose home they were to eat the Passover by his carrying a pitcher of water. The meaning is that we should meet the error thought at the weakest point in consciousness. The error thought to be met in this case was designated as Judas, one of the disciples, who was possessed of a devil. This means that Jesus had discovered that He had one point in His character that was not yet cleansed and spiritualized by the power of the word, or the regenerating thought given by the Father. He said on a former occasion that His disciples (faculties) were all clean through the power of the word, save this one. So Jesus had to meet in the Judas faculty the reaction of an error thought that was working there from the personal or adverse side of existence.
Water also represents material cleansing, and fire represents spiritual cleansing. When John the Baptist baptized with water, he washed away the sins of an external character. He did not enter into the subconsciousness. It takes something more powerful than water to purify the error conditions accumulated by the soul in its many incarnations. The presence of God through Christ is necessary to purify this part of man. (See BAPTISM.)
Water also represents the great mass of thoughts that conform to environment. Every thought leaves its form in the consciousness, and all the weak, characterless words and expressions gather in the subconscious mind as water gathers in holes. When we get discouraged or disappointed and "give up," the undertow of life sweeps this flood of negative thought over us, and we are conscious of bodily weakness of some sort. Then, if we get scared, there is trouble ahead. When we know the Truth, and "brace up," however, the waters are confined to their natural channels again and our strength is restored.
It is the Lord that responds under the divine law to our thought and word. Those who "believe . . . through their word" are the ones that demonstrate. When one is so attached to property or to position that its loss takes away courage and ambition, the functions of the body sympathize with the negative thought and express in like manner.