This blog explores the depth of meaning behind the words used in the Bible, focussing mostly on the New Testament which was originally written in Koine or common Greek spoken 2,000 years ago. Exploring these words can often reveal that the English words chosen by the translators can actually obscure the true meaning.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Disciples as Mind Traits 3
JACOB’S DREAM BY JAMES TISSOT
Why did Jesus have disciples?
Couldn’t he go it alone? Asking such questions can lead us to different
perspectives regarding our own spiritual journey. If we are totally honest with
ourselves, all we want is to understand ourselves. Then, the next thing we want
is to understand others. Looking into the lives of the disciples can assist
When we look at the disciples the
first thing we notice is that each disciple is different, yet they walk
together, and they walk with a leading principle called Jesus. This does not mean that we should look for
a leader outside ourselves, but rather look for a leading principle within us.
When we look at the characteristics
of the disciples we will identify with one more than another. This can reveal
to us the path we are on, and another disciple can reveal the path a friend is
on, this should not be cause for disagreement. Yet this is often the case;
unless you agree with someone you are against them is a common principle today.
This has a stifling effect because unless you have the strength to support your
own ideas you are silenced in one way or another.
Apart from describing our different
paths, each disciple represents mind traits. We can think like Thomas in one
situation, and respond like Judas in another. Understanding the twelve traits
revealed in the nature of the disciples, we can understand ourselves better,
and find ways of responding to life differently. Also, if we can identify where
other people are coming from - a Judas or a Thomas trait - we will meet their
ideas with understanding and life will be more harmonious.
The next three disciples show that
the conventional interpretation of them is actually the opposite of what they
really represent as mind qualities. This is often the case when we investigate beneath
the surface to discover spiritual meanings.
Nathanael Bartholomew, Judas and Thomas
Nathanael Bartholomew: Nathanael means gift of God. He is known by
his family name, Bartholomew, in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. St.
John calls him Nathanael. In my book on the Disciples I show how Nathanael is the faculty of imagination within us. Not fantasy but
real imagination - a spiritual imagination able to create concepts as living
images. By creating moving pictures in our mind when we try to understand a
concept brings it to life. Also, these concepts will be much easier to
remember. This is a method used by people who have excellent memories and inventors
also think this way as they work out the detail of their invention.
What this means is that we ‘see’
things differently. Here is an excerpt from my reflections about Nathanael
“Jesus points out to Nathanael that this is only the
beginning: “You shall see greater things
than these.” This must always be our expectation, to see greater things. We
should always strive to have firsthand experiences, by hearing Philip within us
saying, “Come and see.”
Judas: Judas represents the generative, reproductive energy within
us which can work in a positive or negative way. Judas is said to be the Greek
version of the Hebrew name Judah which means ‘praise Jehovah’.
And she conceived again and bore a son, and said,
"This time I will praise the LORD"; therefore she called his name
Judah; then she ceased bearing. Gen 29:35.
The reproductive force within us is
motivated by conservation; survival of the species. Judas is also associated
with betrayal, however, the word ‘betray’ also means to ‘reveal’. Judas gives
us the opportunity to act in a higher way.
“There are two sides to the Judas energy within us. He can
assist us or assail us. Mostly he works within us without our knowing. It is up
to us to become conscious of what he is doing. Jesus was.” Twelve Disciples byKristina Kaine
Thomas: Thomas represents reasoning, understanding. Thomas’ central
role in some of the Bible stories alerts us to the imperative of reasoning. He
doesn’t take things at face value, he wants to understand and experience things
fully. His questioning can be described as a lack of faith or disbelief,
however, blind faith is like a blind person crossing a busy road alone.
The Thomas in us continually tests
the facts from every side to reach a full understanding. Generally people do
not do this, they stop at the first understanding that meets with their satisfaction
which is usually only a fraction of the truth. This is lazy - taking the easy
way out so we have instant answers and don’t have to put in much effort. What
is not realized is that the effort we put in awakens our consciousness. We
don’t need to find the ultimate truth, or have it given to us by others, what
we need to do is to strive.