Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning, Thomas Troward ( Audio Book )

Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning

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Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning, Thomas Troward


















Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning


THE BIBLE is the Book of the Emancipation
of Man. Trie emancipation of man means his
deliverance from sorrow and sickness, from
poverty, struggle, and uncertainty, from ignorance
and limitatiori, and finally from death itself. This
may appear to be what the euphuistic colloquialism
of the day would call “a tall order,” but nevertheless
it is impossible to read the Bible with a mind unwarped
by antecedent conceptions derived from traditional
interpretation without seeing that this is exactly what
it promises, and that it professes to contain the secret
whereby this happy condition of perfect liberty may
be attained. Jesus says that if a man keeps his
saying he shall never see death (John viii. 51) : in
the Book of Job we are told that if a man has with
him “a messenger, an interpreter,” he shall be deliv
ered from going down to the pit, and shall return to
the days of his youth (Job xxxiii. 24) : the Psalms
speak of our renewing our youth (Psalm ciii. 5) : and
yet again we are told in Job that by acquainting our
selves with God we shall be at peace, we shall lay
up gold as dust and have plenty of silver, we shall
decree a thing and it shall be established unto us
(Job xxii. 21-23).

Now, what I propose is that we shall re-read the
Bible on the supposition that Jesus and these other
speakers really meant what they said. Of course,
from the standpoint of the traditional interpretation
this is a startling proposition. The traditional
explanation assumes that it is impossible for these
things to be literally true, and therefore it seeks
some other meaning in the words, and so gives them
a “spiritual” interpretation. But in the same manner
we may spiritualize away an Act of Parliament, and
it hardly seems the best way of getting at the meaning
of a book to follow the example of the preacher who
commenced his discourse with the words, “Beloved
brethren, the text doth not mean what it saith.” Let
us, however, start with the supposition that these texts
do mean what they say, and try to interpret the Bible
on these lines: it will at least have the attraction of
novelty, and I think if the reader gives his careful
attention to the following pages, he will see that this
method carries with it the conviction of reason.

If a thing is true at all there is a way in which it is
true, and when the way is seen, we find that to be per
fectly reasonable which, before we understood the way,
appeared unreasonable: we all go by railroad now,
yet they were esteemed level-headed practical men in
their day who proposed to confine George Stephenson
as a lunatic for saying that it was possible to travel
at thirty miles an hour.

The first thing to notice is that there is a common
element running through the texts I have quoted;
they all contain the idea of acquiring certain infor
mation, and the promised results are all contingent
on our getting this information, and using it. Jesus
says it depends on our keeping his saying, that is,
receiving the information which he had to give and
acting upon it. Job says that it depends on rightly
interpreting a certain message, and again that it
depends on our making ourselves acquainted with
something; and the context of the passage in the
Psalms makes it clear that the deliverance from
death and the renewal of youth there promised are
to be attained through the “ways” which the Lord
“made known unto Moses.” In all these passages
we find that these wonderful results come from the
attainment of certain knowledge, and the Bible there
fore appeals to our Reason. From this point of view
we may speak of the Science of the Bible, and as we
advance in our study we shall find that this is not a
misuse of terms, for the Bible is eminently scientific,
only its science is not primarily physical but mental.

The Bible contemplates Man as composed of “Spirit,
soul, and body” (I. Thess. v. 23), or in other words
as combining into a single unity a threefold nature,
spiritual, psychic, and corporeal; and the knowledge
which it proposes to give us is the knowledge of the
true relation between these three factors. The Bible
also contemplates the totality of all Being, manifested
and unmanifested, as likewise constituting a threefold
unity, which may be distributed under the terms
“God,” “Man,” and “the Universe”; and it occupies
itself with telling us of the interaction, both positive
and negative, which goes on between these three.
Furthermore, it bases this interaction upon two great
psychological laws, namely, that of the creative power
of Thought and that of the amenability of Thought
to control by Suggestion; and it affirms that this
Creative Power is as innately inherent in Man s
Thought as in the Divine Thought.

But it also shows how through ignorance of these
truths we unknowingly misuse our creative power,
and so produce the evils we deplore; and it also
realizes the extreme danger of recognizing our power
before we have attained the moral qualities which will
fit us to use it in accordance with those principles
which keep the great totality of things in an abiding
harmony, and to avoid this danger the Bible veils its
ultimate meaning under symbols, allegories, and par
ables. But these are so framed as to reveal this ultimate
meaning to those who will take the trouble to compare
the various statements with one another, and who are
sufficiently intelligent to draw the deductions which
follow from thus putting two and two together ; while
those who cannot thus read between the lines are
trained into the requisite obedience to the Universal
Law by means of suggestions suited to the present
extent of their capacity, and are thus gradually pre
pared for the fuller recognition of the Truth as they

Seen in this light, the Bible is found not to be a
mere collection of old-world fables or unintelligible
dogmas, but a statement of great universal laws, all
of which proceed simply and naturally from the
initial truth that Creation is a process of Evolution.
Grant the evolutionary theory, which every advance
in modern science renders clearer, and all the rest
follows, for the entire Bible is based upon the prin
ciple of Evolution. But the Bible is a statement of
universal Law, of that which obtains in the realm of
the invisible as well as that which obtains in the
realm of the visible, and therefore it deals with facts
of a transcendental nature as well as with those of
the physical plane, and acordingly it contemplates an
earlier process anterior to Evolution, the process,
namely, of Involution, the passing of Spirit into Form
as antecedent to the passing of Form into Conscious
ness. If we bear this in mind, it will throw light on
many passages which must remain wrapped in impen
etrable obscurity until we know something of the
psychic principles to which they refer. The fact that
the Bible always contemplates Evolution as necessarily
preceded by Involution should never be lost sight of,
and therefore much of the Bible requires to be read
as referring to the involutionary process taking place
upon the psychic plane. But Involution and Evolu
tion are not opposed to one another, they are only the
earlier and later stages of the same process, the
perpetual urging onward of Spirit for Self-expression
in infinite varieties of Form; and therefore the grand
foundation on which the whole Bible system is built
up is that the Spirit which is thus continually passing
into manifestation is always the same Spirit, in other
words it is only ONE.

These two fundamental truths, that under whatever
varieties of Form the Spirit is only ONE, and that
the creation of all forms, and consequently of the
whole world of conscious relations is the result of
Spirit s ONE mode of action, which is Thought, are
the basis of all that the Bible has to teach us, and
therefore from its first page to its last, we shall find
these two ideas continually recurring in a variety of
different connections, the ONE-ness of the Divine
Spirit and the Creative Power of Man s Thought,
which the Bible expresses in its two grand statements,
that “God is ONE,” and that Man is made “in the
image and likeness of God.” These are the two
fundamental statements of the Bible, and all its other
statements flow logically from. 1 them and since the
whole argument of Scripture is built up from these
premises, the reader must not be surprised at the
frequency with which our analysis of that argument
will bring us back to these two initial propositions ;
so far from being a vain repetition, this continual
reduction of the statements of the Bible to the prem
ises with which it originally sets out, is the strongest
proof that we have in them a sure and solid founda
tion on which to base our present life and our future

But there is yet another point of view from which
the Bible appears to be the very opposite of a logically
accurate system built up on the broad foundations of
Natural Law. From this point of view it at first
looks like the egotistical and arrogant tradition of a
petty tribe, the narrow book of a narrow sect, instead
of a statement of universal Truth; and yet this aspect
of it is so prominent that it can by no means be
ignored. It is impossible to read the Bible and shut
our eyes to the fact that it tells us of God making
a covenant with Abraham, and thenceforward separ
ating his descendants by a divine interposition from
the remainder of mankind, for this separation of a
certain portion of the race as special objects of the
Divine favour, forms an integral part of Scripture
from the story of Cain and Abel to the description of
“the camp of the saints and the beloved city” in the
Book of Revelation. We cannot separate these two
aspects of the Bible, for they are so interwoven with
one another that if we attempt to do so, we shall end
by having no Bible left, and we are therefore compelled
to accept the Bible statement as a whole or reject
it altogether, so that we are met by the paradox of a
combination between an all-inclusive system of
Natural Law and an exclusive selection which at
first appears to flatly contradict the processes of
Nature. Is it possible to reconcile the two?

The answer is that it is not only possible, but that
this exclusive selection is the necessary consequence
of the Universal Law of Evolution when working in
the higher phases of individualism. It is not that
those who do not come within the pale of this Selec
tion suffer any diminution, but that those who do
come within it receive thereby a special augmentation,
and, as we shall see by and by, this takes place by
a purely natural process resulting from the more intel
ligent employment of that knowledge which it is the
purpose of the Bible to unfold to us. These two
principles of the inclusive and the exclusive are inter
twined in a double thread which runs all through
Scripture, and this dual nature of its statements must
always be borne in mind if we would apprehend its
meaning. Asking the reader, therefore, to carefully
go over these preliminary remarks as affording the
clue to the reason of the Bible statements, I shall now
turn to the first chapter of Genesis.

The opening announcement that “in the beginning
God created the heaven and the earth” contains the
statement of the first of those two propositions which
are the fundamental premises from which the whole
Bible is evolved. From the Master s instruction to
the woman of Samaria we know that “God” means
“Spirit”; not “a Spirit,” as in the Authorised Ver
sion, thus narrowing the Divine Being with the limi
tations of individuality, but as it stands in the original
Greek, simply “Spirit” that is, all Spirit, or Spirit
in the Universal. Thus the opening words of the
Bible may be read, “in the beginning Spirit” which
is a statement of the underlying Universal Unity.

Here let me draw attention to the two-fold meaning
of the words “in the beginning.” They may mean

io Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning

first in order of time, or first in order of causation,
and the latter meaning is brought out by the Latin
version, which commences with the words “in prin-
cipio” that is, “in principle.” This distinction should
be borne in mind, for in all subsequent stages of
evolution the initial principle which gives rise to the
individualised entity must still be in operation as the
fans et origo of that particular manifestation just as
much as in its first concentration ; it is the root of the
individuality, without which the individuality would
cease to exist. It is the “beginning” of the individu
ality in order of causation, and this “beginning” is,
therefore, a continuous fact, always present, and not
to be conceived of as something which has been
left behind and done with. The same principle was,
of course, the “beginning” of the entity in point of
time also, however far back in the ages we may
suppose it to have first evolved into separate existence,
so that whether we apply the idea to the cosmos or
to the individual, the words “in the beginning” both
carry us back to the primordial out-push from non-
manifestation into manifestation, and also rivet our
attention upon the same power as still at work as the
causal principle both in ourselves and in everything
else around us. In both these senses, then, the open
ing 1 words of the Bible tell us that the “beginning”
of everything is “God,” or Spirit in the universal.

The Creation

The next statement, that God created the heaven
and the earth, brings us to the consideration of the
Bible way of using words. The fact that the Bible
deals with spiritual and psychic matters, makes it
of necessity an esoteric book, and therefore, in
common with all other esoteric literature, it makes
a symbolic use of words for the purpose of succienctly
expressing ideas which would otherwise require
elaborate explanation, and also for the purpose of
concealing its meaning from those who are not yet
safely to be entrusted with it. But this need not
discourage the earnest student, for by comparing one
part of the Bible with another he will find that the
Bible itself affords the clue to the translation of its
own symbolical vocabulary. Here, as in so many
other instances, the Master has given us the key to
the right interpretation. He says that the Kingdom
of Heaven is imthin us ; in other words, that “Heaven”
is the kingdom of the innermost and spiritual, and if
so, then by necessary implication “Earth” must be
the symbol of the opposite extreme, and must meta
phorically mean the outermost and material. We are
starting the history of the evolution of the world in
which we live, that is to say, this Power which the
Bible calls “God” is first presented to us in the
opening words of Genesis at a stage immediately
preceding the commencement of a stupendous work.

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Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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