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Overcoming Temptation on the Journey to Consciousness

Temptation-of-Christ
Creative Commons License photo credit: ideacreamanuelaPps

As I've said before I think of the Bible as an alchemical text. What that means is that I see the stories of the Bible, and especially the Christ story, as providing us with key concepts for transforming our own metallic like ego consciousness to the gold of higher consciousness.

Here's an example:

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'” Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU'; and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'” Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'” Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to him.

(Mat 4:1-11)

Just as Christ was tempted in the wilderness, we, too, must face temptations in life. Our ability to overcome temptation demonstrates our spiritual progress on the path of consciousness. Since Christ exemplifies the path of individuation for all mankind, we do well to study the symbolism of his movement from the River Jordan, where he was baptized by John the Baptist, and received the dove of holy spirit, directly to the wilderness where he was mightily tempted by Satan.

Like Christ, we too must face similar temptations on our journey to consciousness. Once we turn away from a life of constantly reacting to the outer world and, instead, turn inward for truth and understanding, we too, just as Christ, must face the same sort of temptations he faced. Such a turning, and re-turning, experience is what Christianity calls “conversion,” and it is just such a turn around that is symbolized by the baptism of Christ at the Jordan River. Once we are rightly aligned with Source, we no longer see things the way we did before. The dove of peace and higher consciousness descends upon us and we are forever changed.

The shift we experience is one that involves moving our focus from the external world to the internal realm. And just like Christ, we too, must endure the temptations that test us on the following three levels:

1. the physical or material: it is a temptation we face so we can clarify the question, “Am I living on ‘bread' alone?” Do I worship material success? Things? My career? Material Wealth? Or do I know that I am more than flesh?” Or am I seeing life from a strictly physical orientation?

2. the emotional level; “If you are the son of God … “Our faith is tested through a temptation designed to bring our doubt to the surface. “Do i really believe I am a spiritual being? Am I really a son/daughter of a Divine Source that is limitless? Or do I doubt and undermine my true nature? Do I waver and need constant evidence of who/what I serve?

3. the mental level; the temptation that confirms an illusion of personal power over Divine Power. This temptation comes to those who are more advanced students on the path. It asks us, “Do I get carried away with who I am? Do I mistake the power coursing through me as coming from me, rather than coming through me! Do I think I am the cause of my successes and glory? Do I fall for the temptation to be a somebody? For fame, for wide-spread prominence? For the temptation to believe that I am the source of the wisdom and healing I experience ? Or am I able to stay firmly grounded in remembering, “Not I, but thou art strong, wise, and powerful. Source is my source of strength and power, without it I am nothing.”

To overcome these temptations, as Christ did, is essential to the process of our self realization. Facing these temptations, without giving in, is a necessary initiation on our path of merger with Source.

May we each find the fortitude to proclaim, “Get behind me, temptation! Nothing can distract me from serving the One Source!”

Blessings, Lynne

3 Responses

  1. Having the knowledge ahead of time that any temptation is a very personal lesson given by the Spirit (Source) to invite me to move off the victim triangle back into acting out my belief in a benevolent God Who is sufficient…enables me to work with and not against the temptation for my good/for my growth. Love your thoughts on seeing practical applications from this scripture.

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