The Wedding at Cana (Rabel)

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METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Part of Lecture 5 given on January 22, 1976

The first miracle of Jesus Is found in the second chapter of John on page 24 of your Harmonies where we are told there is a marriage in Cana of Galilee and the mother of Jesus is mentioned first; that is significant. Then Jesus was also bidden, then his disciples to the marriage; and when the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said unto Him, "They have not wine." Jesus said unto her (this is a very crucial turning point in Jesus' ministry. Mary is very much involved in this. She is probably completely aware of the symbolism of this.), and Jesus says to her, "What have I to do? Mine hour is not yet come."

Notice the very next thing that happens: His mother said unto the servant, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." (There is a cosmic moment right there.) You know the rest of the story. After this, Jesus takes over. Now He is the active one who takes the role of the fulfiller: "Fill the water pots with water", and they filled them and He saith, "Draw out now and bear to the ruler of the feast,'and they bare it. The ruler of the feast tasted the water, now become wine, and knew not whence it was."

That is a strange way of saying this. I believe some other translations say, "And he knew not from whence it came, but the servants which had drawn the water knew." The ruler of the feast called the bridegroom and saith, "Every man setteth on first the good wine; and when men have drunk freely, then that which is worse, thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of His signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed on Him."

I want to read again my old notes on this. It is good to give you these perspectives:

"In some respects, this appears to be a somewhat trivial event, and perhaps it is on the strictly outer level of meaning but inwardly and metaphysically symbolizes a very important transformation that can take place in us when we allow our Christ-awareness, Jesus to assume a directive role in our thinking and feeling. This union of thinking, male, and feeling, female, in our consciousness is a wedding in Bible symbolism. Such a union produces offspring or future developments and dimensions added to our nature (I would change that slightly now). Without the Christ-awareness as the directive power of this union within us, we live what we may call a rather subjective or somewhat mechanical type of life."

Without spiritual awareness as the directive factor in your choices about thinking and feeling, the kind of consciousness you would have and the kind of life that would produce, would be a mechanical living, subjectivity mostly, reacting mostly.

Without spiritual awareness as the directive factor in your choices about thinking and feeling, the kind of consciousness you would have and the kind of life that would produce, would be a mechanical living, subjectivity mostly, reacting mostly. [TruthUnity note: see Ed's elaboration on "mechanical talking" in Basic Self Knowledge, Lecture 3, Chapter 11] The symbol for the flow of this type of life is wine. The symbol for a more conscious and vital flow of life is called wine. Now, In the course of ordinary or subjective living and reacting, the wine or essential vitality soon runs low, and eventually will run out but then our intuition, Mary, may call upon the higher power of our own Christ-awareness to take over. When it does so, a new type of conscious vitality is infused into all our life processes. A great overall improvement takes place at the union of our thinking and feeling, and this is quickly felt by us. The ruler of the feast notices the improvement in the wine, and a great rejoicing is expressed by all of our perceptive faculties. "And Jesus' disciples believed on Him." Now, that was the first, sort of a tentative insight, I got into that particular act, but more things have developed since then. This wedding, as all weddings in the Bible, symbolizes the great union of male and female that takes place and creates an individual consciousness, and this formation of consciousness is the marriage performed by God, made in heaven. It is not to be turned asunder. Thinking and feeling are to constantly be united and harmonized, flowing forth as our active, creative consciousness and wine that stands for the life essences or vital energies in living is the servant in conjunction with this wedding, simply meaning the expenditure of vital energies in our expression and living out of our type of consciousness.

At this point. Mary is considered the most important guest. Jesus is an "also invited", and Mary represents pure intuition. Up to a point, an individual's spiritual unfoldment and his religious life is mainly a matter of intuition - up to a point. You can look at many religious people in our world today, and you say, "Well, why do you believe this? Why do you feel this way?" They cannot consciously explain that. It is just a matter of, "Well, I believe, I feel." It is mostly an intuitive thing, a thing from the feeling nature. It could be, of course, influenced by many factors; and one of the most common is. "I was born into this family, and we are Catholics", not knowing what you are saying. Intuition is very much the ringleader of many person's religious life, up to a point. The wine beginning to run out and eventually failing, of course, indicates when spiritual awareness is not in charge, the natural forces become weak.

We are in the first demonstration of Jesus of the great inner transformation that will occur in the whole quality of your life when you, through intuition, decide to make spiritual awareness the head of your life. This is what is meant, and Charles Fillmore often uses this phrase. It has bothered some of the New Thought people. Jesus Christ, who is the head of every man on this planet, simply means that when one "accepts the true meaning of Jesus Christ as applicable to himself, metaphysically, that then spiritual awareness becomes the head or the chief factor in your living, especially in your religious life. This must be a conscious willing choice made by a person. It is not something that "can happen to him" or be given unto him by any other. Others can bring to him opportunities for a choice. Ministers do this all the time. All we can do as ministers is bring to people opportunities for choice and kind of influence them as to the right choice, but that is as far as we can go.

The Catholic Church teaches that the priests can do the choosing for us all. This is vicarious atonement, and the priest does it so that substitutes your choice, such as absolution, baptism, confirmation and all these others, but in Unity and in most illumined religions, we know that the choice, as far as another person goes, can only be brought as opportunities; and the soul, the individual himself, makes the choice. So through intuition, which Mary symbolizes, which sees the futility of constantly repeating, incarnation after incarnation, strictly limited to the natural man plane, while wherein the wine always runs out, that there is next step. The intuition knows when the soul is ready for this next step, and that is no longer depending solely on natural forces and intuition for our evolutionary unfoldment to now put spiritual awareness actually in charge.

Now Jesus' status at this moment, at this wedding, changes from "also present" or secondarily present to first place, the place of honor. You see folks? You notice in your own self-image, your own self-evaluation, you do not start enumerating the chief qualities of yourself, "I have this and this, and I also have spiritual awareness", and that is why some of our Unity ministers, unfortunately, teach Truth: "And then we also have Jesus Christ". It is Jesus Christ who is the Head, spiritual awareness is in charge of the wedding. Now, the wedding will flop if He is not in charge, because the wine will run out. We will flop as Unity ministers if spiritual awareness is not first, you see? This is Jesus' status changing at the wedding, and His status changing in our own sense of priorities and evaluation.

Now, He gives directions or instructions to the servants, and they obey Him. They had been prepared by this obedience to Mary. The intuition has been instructing our servants as it has realized the day was coming, the moment was coming when our whole life will be in charge of our spiritual awareness first. The servants are alerted to these orders or instructions that are going to be given from Jesus, spiritual awareness. Now, the servants are a very broad symbol; they represent all of the willingness and the intelligence, the obedience of certain forces within us which will carry out the word of Christ that comes through spiritual awareness. Affirmation is based on knowledge of this principle.

The shift from Intuition (Mary) to Spiritual Awareness (Jesus)

Q. Then, why did He say, "Woman, what have I to do with thee, my time is not yet come?"

A. A perfectly logical question; and she made it this time when she said to the servants, "He is in charge. Do what He says." You are thinking of the statement to her as a rebutal, but it is not. It is a statement of complete, "I am at your disposal, Madam. What do you want me to do? My time is not yet come." In other words, "You are still the big shot here, Mother."

The word woman here is not disrespectful, by no means. That was the highest compliment you could pay to a person; it still is. No, Jesus is not being rude, He is just simply waiting for her to turn the reins over to Him, which she does, but strangely she does not reply to Him because they are in tune. They could read each other like books.

Now, I am going to tell you, and I cannot prove this, but my intuition is telling me this. Mary was very near, if not equal, to Jesus on the level of development of consciousness. The only difference being that she did not take the starring role in the Christ drama. She took the starring role only up to a point, and this is the point where she relinquishes the starring role and realizes that now the burden or the privilege shifts to her son and that is why intuition is still very, very important to us. We do not let it be in complete charge of us, though, as we used to do when we were more subjective (this is our religious thinking). Now we have become more objective toward our religious goals, so our own spiritual awareness is in the leadership, and intuition is always there with loving support as Mary does in the Gospels.

To me, this sounds very logical, very easy to follow and to comprehend. So, in His words, "What have I to do with thee? My time is not yet come," are really respect for her, awaiting her next move, which was telling the servants, "From now on, follow His instruction." And this is true. We have in the important center of our soul and our body, ready, willing and able aggregations of intelligent forces. We have twelve that we know about, and how many more that we do not have names for? I cannot say. But when, through our spiritual awareness, we speak words of constructive Truth or spiritually-motivated denial, these servants, so to speak, will do their jobs for us. In this case, Jesus' instructions to the servants were something very simple, just fill the water pots with water and then draw out now to the ruler of the feast. Then, the water appears as wine and is tasted by the ruler of the feast and probably it was wine, actual wine, but that is not so important. What is important is the symbolism.

These water pots filled with water, which the servants filled and bore to the ruler, stand for the first stage of a new manifestation about to occur. The water is tasteless, totally fluid, and, in a sense, invisible, which is the symbol for potentials or a preview of things to come. But it is there, the water is there. It is not yet the finished product that it is destined to be, but it is there. All that you need for a completely transformed, higher quality or essence of life, is already there, already here; but in most of us, it is in the water stage of expression. The new you is here, but it is still in the water stage when you diagnose manifestation and expression by analysis, by sequential analysis, this is only for the purpose of analysis. The water becomes the wine, the potential becomes actual, but you notice that Jesus does not do anything. He does not go and lay his hands over the wine. He does not perform any physical action; He is just there, you see. Spiritual awareness is just there.

How are you going to "help" most of the people that you are going to help in your ministry? Just by being there, by the fact of your consciousness being interested in them. You are not going to help people by "helping them". Most of our help for people is in what we are, in what we mean to them, what kind of attention we pay to them, how we respond to what they say to us; and, of course, the quality of your classes and sermons. But helping people primarily is a matter of your consciousness being there, and it will take any form needful in the situation; but that is the primary thing. If your consciousness is not there first, then all the doing and involving in the world is just empty stuff. Jesus just was there, and spiritual awareness just being there and being acknowledged as in charge, will cause all of the potential improvements and expansions of life essences and life energies, water first, to become an actual totally new, higher, finer, purer kind of life expression, not the old wine repeated again, which is what most incarnations are where spiritual awareness is not in charge, it may look like the old wine, but it tastes like new wine, something new, something that has not been served before. It is similar to the old, but not the same, and there is wonder and delight and mystery and the ruler of the feast says to the bridegroom, "What is going on here, what is it with you?" Hasn't anybody said that to you? What is it with you? You are supposed to be older, everybody else does it in that way, Why do your get prettier as you get older? That is not fair, my life does not do that. What is going on here, according to the past precedents, you know, the way everybody else always does it. It is supposed to happen this way, the best wine first, and then deterioration in quality in later stages. But you are doing what she says, you are reversing the precedent. What you served before may have been O.K. but what you are serving now is even better. That word NOW is the key here to the miracle. Thou hast saved the best wine until (not the future) now. Well, nobody explained to him how it happened, and only the servants knew how it happened and the same thing is true of your and my servants, the twelve powers. They know wine, the expression of life, the essence of life that is coming through us now is better than it used to be. It is better than it is supposed to be, according to nature; and they know that spiritual awareness is now in charge, it is the thing. It is the most honored guest at our wedding, at our formation of consciousness. That is the first miracle, and that is one of the first miraculous things that occurs to any person who really comes into Truth and acknowledges spiritual awareness as the head of his consciousness.

Now, spiritual awareness, for those of you who are probably ... you know what I am referring too ... we will not always be just spiritual awareness. It will become Christ consciousness, but Jesus is not symbolizing that yet, not yet. He is still keeping His symbolism, that of spiritual awareness, showing the way and establishing the teachings and the path which will lead to this present goal that we have, which from our point of view, we call the Christ or the Christ consciousness, or perfect spiritual understanding. But when we get into that, when we bring it forth and become one with it, we are not going to call it that. Right now we say perfect spiritual understanding. O.K. Let us say there is such a state actually and literally; but when you reach that, you do not call it that. You call it "Here and Now". You do not say "I am now spiritually perfect." You say, "I am me, and I am here, and this is now, and I still have a lot of things to do." But the essence, or the expression of life, could be very different. It will not be what it is now, and even now it does not need to remain what it used to be. There is a constant refining, purifying, illuminating, etherializing, whatever you want to call it. Mr Fillmore often speaks of it in terms of bringing forth the body of light that is within a current, corruptible organism of flesh. He puts the same thing on a more physical level, bringing forth more and more of the body intelligence, part of regeneration; but before even that, this sort of thing goes on first in consciousness.

Q. In spiritual awareness, a conscious state in Jesus, while it is a subconscious or unconscious state in us, because we haven't actualized it?

A. We have not actualized it to the degree where it a permanently established state, you are right. Mr. Fillmore brings that out very clearly in JCH. The great difference between, in fact the only difference between Jesus and you is that Jesus abided in conscious spiritual awareness all the time, whereas you and I enter into it, but we do not abide in it yet. We come back into natural man or sense consciousness and function. Our attention-factor is still not stabilized. We find it comfortable to abide in spiritual awareness, but we have solid contact with that level of ourselves and are learning to abide in it for longer and longer periods. You had a correct observation there. In many of us, it is often delegated back to potential. We do not stay in that abiding conscious spiritual awareness, but that is what we are practicing.

Q. Is spiritual awareness a state of humanity which relates to the planetary level?

A. Yes, individual and planetary, better individual, racial and planetary. It is valid on all three levels, but really the only level that we need be concerned about at the present time is individual. The racial and planetary will follow, will take care of themselves. We do not need to be involved with that yet. You might be later, but I think that right now our main concern should be the individual level and those around us, those we associate with.

I want to read to you my condesnsed notes on this which are in this audiovisual course that only ministers and teachers can get from A.U.C. I just read as a kind of over-review of what we have been discussing:

"The key metaphysical symbols to the inner meaning of this incident are "wedding" and "wine". A wedding represents the uniting of thought and feeling within us, which produces our individual type of consciousness. Wine represents life essences or life energies (and you could also say process of life expressions). Serving wine refers to expending our life energy. Serving wine at a wedding means to expend your life energy through living the life which results from the uniting of your thinking self, male, and your feeling self, female. In other words, as a thinking and feeling person, you live a conscious life. You are expending your life energies, up to a point. Nature will replace many of these energies, but sooner or later, living the life of just ordinary thinking) and feeling will result in the running out of ordinary wine, the ordinary energies of the natural man. Jesus stands for spiritual awareness (now you all notice in these notes I do not bring Mary into it because the realization of her role came after I had already written this). Spiritual awareness at our wedding or in our consciousness can become more than just a mere guest, a potential. Spiritual awareness can come) forth into greater prominence in our thinking and feeling and begin to actually take charge. When this begins, there is a change in our expenditure of energy. It begins to be replenished from a higher source than just nature. We begin to see the Source of our life essence and life energies as Spirit."

This gives a new quality to our life. It always had that quality, but we were not able to express it, expend it, because we did not realize our direct connection with it. Spiritual awareness (Jesus) corrected that for us. The old wine may run out, but the new wine replaces the old and is greater than the old. Life lived with spiritual awareness in charge is infinite and superior to the old life which looks only to nature as the source of needful good. Listen to the significant comment made by the ruler of the feast to the bridegroom concerning the new wine brought forth by Jesus Christ: "Every man setteth on first the good wine and when men have freely drank, then that which is worst ..." - do you see? As I get older I get worser. It is the old lament running all through our world. "But thou hast kept the good wine until now." The key word here is NOW. Now is the time for us to put our spiritual awareness in charge of our appropriation of the life essences and in the expenditure of our life energies. This is the only true path to immortality: "No man cometh unto the Father except by me." Spiritual awareness is the wayshower to the Father. It is the only way. Drugs, altered states of consciousness, therapy this and psycho that and transactional this ... please do not misunderstand me. These are good. THese provide wonderful consciousness conditioning exercises and pastimes. They are enjoyment for the psyche and for the soul, and as such, I thoroughly approve of them; however, we must not let them usurp the substance. Jesus Christ, spiritual awareness and the truth that He taught on the metaphysical level is serious business. That is the bread of Truth, the wine of life.

Q. You spoke about Jesus and his input on the individual and the planet. I have never heard anyone mention about the universal implications of Jesus Christ on other worlds, the universal implications.

A. Well, for one reason, He himself never made reference to it, so that anything on that plane, anything referring to that level automatically is conjecture, since He Himself gave us nothing to go on. He gave, oh, just the barest hints when He said things like, "Other sheep have I which are not of this flock and I have yet many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them" The fact that He indicated that the realm in which He now has existence is a realm that He is not going on from. Please remember that I am using only His own word. I am not using logic here or somebody's psychic trance reading. Here I am going only by what He Himself is recorded as having said. According to His words, whatever it is, whatever realm of dimension He is now in, He is awaiting us, He is not going on from there on His own private or individual progress According to His words, He is awaiting the rest of us. Why? I cannot say. I only know He said so when He said, "I go to prepare a place for you that where I am there ye may be also," and some others that I cannot remember now, about which He was not so definite.

Q. Could you explain when you use the past tense when speaking about Jesus Christ and others you use the present tense?

A. I am usually speaking about Him on two levels simultaneously: the historical person of the Gospels, there I will use past tense, and the ever-present spiritual awareness, which comes from Christ-Mind and is leading us into that level; there I will use present tense. Get used to the idea that I am speaking simultaneously about both levels, and the confusion will disappear.

Text of the original transcript from paragraph 2 on page 25 through paragraph 5 on page 31.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on August 8, 2013