While study and spiritual practices are an important part of the journey, there comes a time at which these helpful tools have a limited capacity to help us move forward. Knowing God is a process of transformation for us not a destination. We must never be attached to the ideas or practices so that we miss that God is constantly revealing new and more profound aspects of God’s self to us.
Despite being saved previously from the bondage of the belief of being separate from God, our egos have a tendency to revert to believe that we can make things happen through the force of our own personal will. God had parted the seas and lead us with cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night (spiritual guidance). God provides everything and yet we do not believe, and begin to sin against God again (miss the mark).
Instead of having faith, we test God and question whether or not our needs will be met. The is rooted in a belief in lack (desert). We have been given manna, all that is required to handle any situation: faith, courage and intelligence. Manna cannot be hoarded because it will spoil but it is always provided in ample supply for daily needs. Although the substance that was needed has been provided, we do not grasp the gift. We become fixated on worldly cravings rather than spiritual cravings. These types of cravings can only be satisfied temporarily and so there is suffering (the anger of God).
We are plunged into the death of ignorance, and out of these depths comes the true desire for repentance. But still our underlying intention is not sound because our penitence is not truly of the heart. The mind wants to be relieved of the pain of ignorance but still resists the discipline of the law.
The plagues of Egypt represent the repeated trials and tribulations we suffer in order to overcome our resistance. These impulses are deeply rooted in our minds and require much work to conquer. We are required to persevere until the personal, ego based I (firstborn) can be released. Then Spirit leads us out of bondage to the senses and guides us through the chaos of the wilderness. We inhabit a tent during this phase of development. While all of the furnishings for a temple are available the actual housing is flimsy at first. And because that tent is a fragile state of mind; once again the questioning, faithless thoughts begin to rise. We begin the worship of false idols: greed, jealousy and covetousness. These thoughts destroy peace of mind (Shiloh) and cause the laws of cause and effect to kick into action.
We wander in tents in the wilderness for 40 years. Spiritual growth is a process in which we in fits and starts are shown how to fortify that tent into a temple. Following the lead of the Christ within us and in our midst opens our hearts and minds to be receptive to revelation. But revelation is always in God’s time and in God’s way. We can only make ourselves fertile ground for the Divine seed to be planted.
And so it is!