Is it possible to understand the Bible rationally? – part 2

The wedding at Cana in Galilee

Is it possible to understand the Bible rationally? – part 2

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We now try to provide a rational interpretation of the Bible passage about the wedding at Cana. Of course, like the tale of talents, it can be read on a very symbolic level. We show that it is possible to understand it in a more natural way, which could be closer to people looking for a possibility to give a more proper meaning to their own existence, that is to those who are trying to enter the new life path of inner transformation.

Let us begin by quoting its versions from the King James Bible (John 2: 1-10).

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, “They have no wine”. Jesus saith unto her, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come”. His mother saith unto the servants, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it”. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, “Fill the waterpots with water”. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast”. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now” .

A wedding is associated with starting a new path in life, together with someone else. A person with spiritual aspirations may assume that this means embarking on a path of inner transformation leading to a different reality. Who is to be our companion on it? Where to look for him or her?

It is very clear. It is that part of our being that we cannot locate clearly but which is extremely precious to us and which we can never renounce but we constantly neglect every day because we postpone deeper and longer contact with it. With some simplification, that part could be identified with the soul. After the wedding, we are supposed to be with it constantly and with all our attention. A wedding is associated with joy and such inner joy appears when we realize this necessity.

Unfortunately, even at such a wedding, there is not enough wine, that is, the changes caused by this new, more subtle type of energy, brought about by entering the path, finally stop satisfying us and we begin to look for even more intense contact with another level of reality. But then comes the answer: mine hour is not yet come. This means that it is too early for a more significant transformation, because it requires proper preparation.

We are talking about a very special moment when a person feels intensely enough that despite the changes made, he/she is still not fulfilling the life task and, therefore, is ready to change the state of being even more significantly and will do whatsoever he saith. Who saith? Our innermost voice.

It is a state of being when we are ready to follow our deepest feelings, without getting distracted by the claims that these are just daydreams and that life forces us to take other actions. It is obvious that ordinary everyday struggles require proper care and attention on our part. But is it not possible to reconcile all our responsibilities with walking a path of inner transformation? Maybe all the obstacles we see in front of us are only apparent.

The information that there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews draws our attention to the need for proper internal preparation for the path at the level of six vibrational levels with which our being is associated (they can be equated, for example, with the four bodies of our personality: physical, etheric, astral, mental, and with the soul and spirit levels).

It is about cleansing, i.e., leaving behind unnecessary ballast of beliefs, apparent difficulties, previous ideas and inhibitions. The mention of two or three firkins apiece immediately brings to mind a well-known fragment of the Bible (Mt 18:20): For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them[1]. This means that we need a companion on the way; in fact, even two. We cannot use the energy of our personality only, because that is not enough; strength from other sources is still needed. The second source of strength should be the soul, and the third might be the Spirit. Unfortunately, on beginning of the path, Spirit is a reality too distant for most people. Therefore, we need an intermediary who can facilitate our contact with Him, and such an intermediary is a Spiritual School.

Let’s look at other elements of this story. Water can symbolize the primal energy that should become wine to serve us on the path. It must be transformed because the vibration level of this energy is generally too high for a person at the beginning of the path. It is in this transformation that the Gnostic Spiritual School helps.

The ruler of the feast is that aspect of our ego that seeks to fulfill the purpose of human life. Therefore, although still at the dialectical level, it is eager for this transformation of water and is able to appreciate the good wine produced by it; however, it is deeply surprised when it sees this change because it is already an event from another world.

What is with this wine? Why is the ruler surprised that the better was given later? Because so far, he was drinking wine that seemed good at first, only to taste worse later. As it usually is in dialectics. We are thronged with various promises only to get disappointed pretty quickly with the taste of what we get as a result. It is different with Gnosis. Maybe it doesn’t promise a pipe dream. At first, it may be bitter, but with time we find out that what we get from It tastes better and better. Instead of disappointment, in the end there is a great surprise that we are seeing a real progress.

How can we tell if what we are drinking at the moment is good wine and not just a substitute for it? Just ask your companion, using your inner knowledge and new thinking. This new thinking is directly related to the consistent application of logic. But it is not meant to be the logic usually used in dialectics, based on conveniently chosen premises. It must be the logic of irresistible necessity, tied to a very sincere conclusion that it cannot be otherwise in the face of our inner knowledge.

Finally, of course, there is a natural question as to what extent the interpretations presented in this text are true. This, unfortunately, is a completely different issue related to the essence of truth. However, in short, it can be said that what is important is how much the given interpretation is helpful for us at a particular stage of our path and whether this text allowed for a deeper look at the purpose of our life and a better understanding of the path leading to it.

[1] King James Bible.

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Date: November 27, 2020
Author: Janusz Brzdęk (Poland)
Photo: S.M. Needpix CCO

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