“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Rev 2:10
The seeker is first told to not fear that which he shall suffer. This is easier said than done, especially for the Christian in the days of John. Some were thrown to lions, others in prison, and still others burned or tortured to death. Aspirants in the civilized world today do not have the same fears as many of the early Christians for they receive some protection from the laws of the land.
Even so, the aspirant has his plate full of concerns. It seems that today the average person fears losing his job about as much as earlier people did losing their lives. As humanity evolves, tension not only exists for persecution on the physical levels, but also on the emotional and mental. It is interesting that many people would just as soon die as suffer intense emotional embarrassment.
The true seeker and follower of the inner voice will indeed have suffering he must endure and the inner voice will prepare him for it. He is also told that he may be cast into prison. The prison he may have to suffer may be more than a correctional facility with steel bars. It could be a situation he is forced into and must endure if the work he is to accomplish is to be successful. Sometimes the difficult situations the disciple must face are worse than regular prison.
The inner voice consoles him on his sufferings: “ye shall have tribulation ten days.”
This is not a literal ten days, but is a symbol that tells the aspirant that in the scheme of things the difficulties will not last that long. Many people, including myself, have gone ten days or more without food. If a person can go without food for ten days, then one can handle almost anything for that period. Now, if the voice told us that we must endure ten years, this would be bad news. We can endure most anything for ten days, but even the strongest heart will yield to pressure if the time period is long enough.
Basically the message is that when the trial is over it will seem to be a short period, like ten days. This will be the case even though the actual time period will vary. For some it may be extremely intense and less than ten days, but for others the time may span a number of years, or even a lifetime.
The message continues: “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
It is possible that the tribulation may last until death or even require the seeker’s life, but even if this is the case, it will seem to be a short period in the scheme of things.
Imagine the Master asking you, “Are you willing to endure intense trouble for ten days in return for a crown of life for all the rest of your days?”
Ten days compared to a lifetime, or eternity, is insignificant and is even more so when we consider that we live for many lifetimes.
Now let us look at the final words to Smyna:
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Rev 2:8-11
What must the seeker overcome? Books have been written on this idea alone, but in a word, he must overcome the negative influence of his lower nature and endure the various attacks and deceptions that come from the numerous adversaries of light and love that circulate among us. “He that endures to the end shall be delivered” is the key seed thought here.
If one overcomes he shall not be hurt by the “second death.” What is the second death is the key question that should come to mind at this point.
One problem is that there are several interpretations of this phrase that fit within the Law of Correspondences. Here are several possible second deaths:
(1) One interpretation is the first death was a spiritual death caused by Adam when he and Eve fell and were separated from God. The second death would happen when the pilgrim discovers he is not worthy to return to God and the separation continues.
(2) The Ancient Wisdom teaches that in the end of human evolution some will be prepared for graduation and move on to a higher sphere; the failures will go to another earth to suffer disease and death again and take the earth classroom all over.
(3) After the death of the physical body the pilgrim eventually suffers the death of his etheric body and later his astral body. These deaths can cause suffering and fear to those who are not prepared to sacrifice their lower nature and move ahead. The spiritually-centered person will not suffer from these second deaths, but will look forward to moving ahead.
He who overcomes the lower nature and endures all the adversaries that tempt him to move attention away from the light will not fear any second death, just as he does not fear the death of the physical body.
The Ray of Smyrna
Smyrna represents stage two in the seeker. He is governed by Ray Six, The Ray of Devotion or Idealism. In Smyrna he uses the power of this Ray to raise up his ideals and suffer whatever persecution and problems that may come from the principles he holds.
First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others. Thomas a Kempis (1380 – 1471)
Jan 7, 2007
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