Of Both Heaven and Earth

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pomegranates2The soul’s journey of initiation is not about transcending the material level of life, it’s about transforming it. The world is not ‘bad’, and in fact, the stories all tell us that the soul is of both Heaven and Earth and never completely abandons this side of the veil: something always remains to maintain the connection.

This is why Persephone tasted the pomegranate seed, just as our own soul tastes the enticing fruit of mortal life. Just as Persephone could not return to Olympus absolutely, but had to remain in the lower world for several months each year, so too does part of our soul have to remain behind in the realm of Becoming.

Similarly, in the Torah, something of this soul that Moses has been leading through ‘the wilderness’ will have to remain behind in the realm of Becoming.

The Reubenites and the Gadites owned cattle in very great numbers. Noting that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were a region suitable for cattle, the Gadites and Reubenites came to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the chieftains of the community, and said…, “the land that the Lord has conquered for the community of Israel is cattle country, and your servants have cattle. It would be a favor to us,” they continued, “if this land were given to your servants as a holding; do not move us across the Jordan.”(Num.32.1-5)

The tribes of Reuben and Gad, aspects of the soul who love cattle and good earth, need to remain behind, to maintain the connection and provide support.

In the New Testament, Peter is the ‘rock’ upon which Christ will build his Church. Peter, the apostle of the physical realm (he is the one who continually seeks literal proof that he can see with his own eyes, and even his name means ‘rock’), is the part of the soul that must remain behind to maintain the connection with Divinity, to provide spiritual support here on earth. Like the Gadites and Reubenites, Peter must take care of the ‘flock’ on this side of the Jordan.

{I hope you begin to see how all these sacred stories, from all our traditions, are so wonderfully unified in their inner symbolic and spiritual meaning. To see more of this valuable truth which can help us all find real understanding, compassion, and peace with each other, please read my book, SYMBOLS, MEANING, AND THE SACRED QUEST: Spiritual Awakening in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Stories.)