Because I was steeped in Esoteric principles before I discovered and began to study the Bible, I immediately, from the very beginning, saw it as an alchemical text, i.e. as an ‘Emerald Tablet’ of sorts, multi-dimensional, alive, and capable of transforming consciousness through the ‘eating of its word.’ I have been an avid reader of the Bible since.
Mine was not a childhood spent in church … instead I was raised with books from a diversity of life – EXCEPT Christianity, which my mother had written off as having nothing to offer her, and as a dogma she was not willing to impose upon her children. Nonetheless she was spiritually minded, and very much a seeker, who introduced me to topics in the more esoteric traditions.
It wasn’t until mid-adulthood that I discovered the Bible, and found my own home in Christianity, although of course, there is much about my walk with Christ that is esoteric in nature. I have found that The Christ uses in me everything I’ve been exposed to … the Flow of Love that is His Grace moves through me best when I am at my least. When I am empty, That fills me and when I read the Bible I find all the little (and big) “me’s” I’ve ever been described in those pages – both old testament – me in my murdering greed and slave-making ways – as well as in the new testament, when Jesus, as man, showed us the possibility of living a life free of victim consciousness and full of Love, for never did he resort to pettiness or blame. He only loved, and through love he demonstrated that all things are possible. This is how I see it anyway.
I offer to you here my commentary on Isaiah, Chapter 6, when Isaiah was called and assigned his mission, as a sample example of the way the Bible speaks to me. I hope you resonate and benefit from this interpretation as much as I have. Thank you, Lynne
ASSIGNED A LIFE MISSION
Finding our life mission is a lifelong search for many, and sooner or later, we are bound to discover that it is not “out there” to find. There is, however a process we go through to ‘uncover’ or have revealed to us, the work we were designed that involves several stages of preparation.
These stages of preparation are beautifully described in the Bible as the Lord’s call to Isaiah, found in Isaiah 6. In it Isaiah passes through six distinct stages to receive his life “assignment” and offers a wonderful model of those stages as they pertain to us on our way to hearing and answering the Inner Call to serve.
As all initiations tend to do, the journey to service described in Isaiah 6 starts with the death of the king. We find a similar motif in fairy tales and in Greek mythology – the old king must die before the kingdom can be transformed or renewed to become prosperous and productive again. Here it is King Uzziah that dies.
Before I launch into my commentary on the story, let’s read the story as it is translated in the KJV of the Bible:
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
My Commentary: The Six Stages to Hearing the Call
Stage 1: Death of the Ego
While reading Isaiah, Chapter 6, which describes the process of Isaiah’s calling, the chapter opens with the death of King Uzziah. It might well seem, upon reading Isaiah 6, that this detail of a king’s death has no relevance to the rest of the chapter that follows.
However if we take into consideration that the old ways (kingdom) must die before the new Self can begin, then perhaps, we gain a little more understanding about why King Uzziah’s death has to be the first thing mentioned. The death of the old king lays the foundation for the rising of a new prophet.
Let’s backtrack to find out a little more about who King Uzziah was. My research uncovered him to be a man who, like Isaiah, who had been called by the Lord, but who, through his own pride, had alienated himself from God. We soon discover that he, as king, had violated the laws of the temple, going against the desires of the Lord, and was evicted from the temple by the priests, who were ordered to do so by God. He was punished for his prideful act by becoming a leper, a mighty wake-up call indeed, for having been “unfaithful to God” (which is what his name implies).
King Uzziah represents the ego in all of us; he symbolizes that part of us who is ruled by false pride, and wants to take credit for the good things around him, and blames others when things don’t go right. He represents that part of us that seeks power at any cost, and then promptly forgets where all blessings come from. The king in us is that part of us that has turned its back on Source, and who thinks that we do not need Universal intervention or protection. The king represents our own ego that seeks to be “king on the hill,” and who forgets that the higher we climb, the lower we must crawl in the opposite direction. This then is the King Uzziah that must die in each of us. It is the ego/king/baby tyrant in all of us that must be given up before we can go further on the journey of hearing the call.
Stage 2: Contact w/ the Numinous & the Realization of Our Human Unworthiness
Isaiah, during the time of the king’s demise is tapped to arise as a prophet in place of the king. The name “Isaiah” literally translates, “the salvation of the Lord.” Once the ego gives up control and surrenders, salvation becomes possible. Isaiah represents the part of us that has recognized its own diseased and unclean state, that in us who is devastated and humiliated by the realization of how we have lived in the past, with our false airs of grandeur, and our fake veneer of righteousness.
In Verses 2 & 3 of Chapter 6 Isaiah’s vision of the Immensity of the Numinous is detailed, It is this vision that brings the realization to Isaiah of his own insignificance by contrast to the Vastness of the Lord, which he described by saying, that the Lord was SO Immense that the “ … train of his robe filled the temple.”
Isaiah’s vision includes the sight of seraphs, a term that literally translates, “the fiery ones.” These are those that stand above, ready at all times to act on the Lord’s behalf, but only with complete obedience do they wait on and serve their Lord.
The seraphs are described by Isaiah as having three pairs of wings. Wings signal us that these are creatures from the spiritual realm that inhabit plains of existence of a much higher vibrational frequency than that of our own earthly plains. We are further informed that two sets of the wings are folded so to cover their face (covering the mouth and safeguarding the words they speak) and covering their feet as well (representing the protected “stand” they take). As they sing loud praises, they stand perfectly and patiently at rest, awaiting orders from their Master. They take no action aside from the orders given from the Most High; they speak and act only for the Lord. There is a third set of wings too, that allow them to fly at the speed of thought. Their voices, raised in praise, reverberated so powerfully that the very foundation of the temple shook, and the air was filled with the smoke that comes from the density of prayerful praise ascending to the Heavens. They remind us to stand still and praise as we wait patiently for our assignments in life. (Isaiah 6:4)
Stage 3: Confessing Sins
Verse 5 in Chapter 6 brings home to Isaiah the revelation of his total inadequacy and human limitations and he cries out in his state of abject self-deploring, at the sight of his own unclean condition. Because he has seen the Glory of the Light of the Lord, he is acutely aware of his own pitiful state of woe – he is overcome with feelings of unworthiness as he gazes in awe at the Lord of his Vision. He cries out his confession of worthlessness, and proclaims himself undeserving of God’s mercy, and is given the gift of forgiveness.
We too, at some point, must realize our paltry nature, our self-serving ways and prideful reactivity. It is by making these lesser parts of ourselves conscious, and putting this awareness into words that we are able to offer them up; we hand them over to Source who immediately transforms the unchaste condition of our minds through His Light and Acceptance.
It is very much a sort of alchemical process of transforming the old crystalized density of painful beliefs into the gold of higher consciousness that allows the dissolution of this calcified mental energy to dissolve. We put our distressing beliefs about ourselves in words that confess their falsity and allow the miraculous healing to occur upon immediate contact with the Fiery Consciousness of Source.
Confession does not mean we condemn or belittle ourselves, quite the opposite.
It allows us to make peace with our human frailties, and erring nature so that we can find right relationship with the Reality of Source. This opens us up to a partnership with the Mightiest Life Force there is or has ever been. We surrender all to That which is Greater so we can receive it all in return.
Confession is to put into words one’s remorse for living a defiled life, and to ask for forgiveness, so that we can be made useful for higher purposes.
Stage 4: Receiving Forgiveness
In Isaiah 6:6, Isaiah describes how a Seraph touched his mouth with a “live coal.” What could this mean? Might it be that the live coal is the fire that ‘singes’ and burns away the guilt of a former unclean life? I think so. It seems to me that the Lord showed Isaiah, through this act, that he was forgiven. Without it, Isaiah, might not have been able to forgive himself; we are not much use to anyone until we believe we can be forgiven. But ultimately, it is not so much God’s forgiveness we need, for Source, knowing us intimately, sees nothing to forgive! That forgiveness has already been given. It is our own forgiveness that is needed here. Until we can forgive ourselves, we cannot feel we have the right to serve, for what could we have to offer anyway?
For Isaiah, the hot coal was the sign he needed from the Lord to assure him that his “sins” had been paid for, that he was therefore forgiven, and that furthermore his tongue had been “sealed” and brought into complete obedience to the Lord. Only then does he feel he can hear or answer the call.
Stage 5: Hearing & Answering the Call (Is. 6: 6-8)
Isaiah, through his confession and acceptance of forgiveness, can now HEAR the Inner Voice when it speaks. Only through this inner clearing process is Isaiah able to hear the Lord when he asks, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Now, free of the guilt that once led him astray, and humbled by the realization of his innate smallness in comparison to the REAL King, Isaiah is now able to respond with his whole heart in answer to the Lord’s request, responding, “Here am I. Send me!
Stage 6: Receiving the Assignment
So now the Lord assigns Isaiah to his mission, and He tells him explicitly what he is to “tell this people.” (Is.6:9)
He is told to, “Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.”
Could it be he is telling Isaiah, and through him, all of us, to listen as observers? To let go of our need to interpret, or judge what we hear. We are told to see the Reality, without creating a story, or interpretation about what we see.
Is. 6:10 continues thusly:
“Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes,”
What could this possibly mean? To me this verse is saying, “Don’t take it personal. Don’t become unperturbed by what happens in life. It is possible to live unaffected by the conditions life brings us; we can live unswayed by power, or earthly promises of personal gain because we realize they are NOT real, but only illusion, temporary at best.
Isaiah 6:10 continues to describe how by not taking on the perceptions of the world, we are left free to “see with … (our) eyes,” – the eyes of Reality, rather than through eyes that can only see our limiting stories ABOUT Reality.
We are encouraged through Isaiah’s message to “… hear with … (our) ears,” so that we can recognize the uncontaminated Truth from the heresy of our own imprisoning thoughts and beliefs, and to “… understand with … (our) hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Through the process of aligning with Reality and Source, we shift from seeing a mind-made, world of illusion, to seeing Reality through the compassion and wisdom of the heart. Those who follow Source get their understanding, not from well presented logic, but from the intuitive connection that comes when our hearts are attuned and aligned with Source.
The rest of Isaiah 6:11-13 (tells us how long we must serve as messengers for Source; forever, it suggests, we are to spread the message until there is nothing left standing in the world, there is no form life left; until only the “holy seed” is left as stumps in the land – to sprout again when Life returns.
These then are the six stages outlined in the story of Isaiah for a life called to service. Have you been called?
Stage One: Death of the Ego
Stage Two: Realizing Our Value through Contact w/ the Numinous
Stage Three: Confessing Our Sins
Stage Four: Reconciling Our Errant Nature & Receiving (our own) Forgiveness
Stage Five: Hearing & Answering the Lord’s Call
Stage Six: Receiving Our Assignment from Source