Mysteries of John, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
THE NAME Lazarus means "whom God helps." Metaphysically interpreted, Lazarus represents the spiritual strength that comes to man
through his recognition of God as his supporting, sustaining power. When man fails to recognize God as the origin and support of his life, spiritual understanding becomes weak in him and he sinks into materiality. To all intents he is dead to the Truth of his own being. The devotional soul, Mary, and the practical soul, Martha, are sisters in this intellect, and although like all women they have faith in the Spirit, they allow themselves to fall under the thought of mortal law and believe in the reality of death. The whole world is under the hypnotism of this material belief, and it is making tombs for thousands every day.
Out of a torpid condition of soul like that of Lazarus the I AM (Jesus) calls forth the living Spirit of the Christ, and reawakens by one word the consciousness of true understanding in man and the quickened perception of his faculties.
The name Thomas means "twin." Spiritually considered, Thomas is understanding, whose twin is Matthew, the will. Matthew, metaphysical twin of Thomas, is not so described in the Scriptures; spiritually he is identified as the co-ordinating faculty. In a well-balanced mind understanding is followed by action.
Intellectual understanding assures us of the truth of our sense impressions. It says, "Seeing is believing." According to this dictum, if we should see written on a blackboard, "Two plus two equals six," we should be called on to accept as true a contradiction of the principles of mathematics.
Jesus represents man in the regeneration; that is, man in the process of restoring his body to its natural condition, where it will live right on perpetually without old age, disease, or death. A necessary step in this process of body restoration is the quickening of the sleeping Lazarus, who represents the vitalizing energies in the subconsciousness that feed the body and give it the life force that renews its youth.
Jesus was at Bethany near Jerusalem. Metaphysically Jerusalem represents a point in consciousness where the spiritual energy of life is strong enough to vitalize adjacent body substance (Bethany, "house
of figs"). Jesus vitalized and baptized His soul and body with spirit life when He denied the power of death over Lazarus and affirmed the resurrecting life. We can do the same thing when we do it in His name. Jesus' groaning and weeping represent the seemingly insurmountable conditions that are just before us.
We should ever remember that the youth we love so well never dies; it is merely asleep in the subconscious--Jesus said that Lazarus was not dead. People grow old because they let the youth idea fall asleep. This idea is not dead but is sleeping, and the understanding I AM (Jesus) goes to awaken it. This awakening of youthful energies is necessary to one in the regeneration. The body cannot be refined and made, like its Creator, eternal before all the thoughts necessary to its perpetuation are revived in it. Eternal youth is one of these God-given ideas that man loves. Jesus loved Lazarus.
The outer senses say that this vitalizing force of youth is dead in man, that it has been dead for so long that it has gone into dissolution, decay; but the keener knowledge of the spiritual man proclaims, "Our friend Lazarus is fallen asleep; but I . . . awake him out of sleep."
Bringing this sleeping life to outer consciousness is no easy task. Jesus groaned in spirit and was troubled at the prospect. The higher must enter into sympathy and love with the lower to bring about the awakening--"Jesus wept." But there must be more than sympathy and love--"Take ye away the stone." The "stone" that holds the sleeping life in the
tomb of matter in subconsciousness is the belief in the permanency of present material laws. This "stone" must be rolled away through faith. The man who wants the inner life to spring forth must believe in the reality of omnipresent spiritual life and must exercise his faith by invoking in prayer the presence of the invisible but omnipresent God. This reveals to consciousness the glory of Spirit, and the soul has witness in itself of a power that it knew not.
In Spirit all things are fulfilled now. The moment a concept enters the mind, the thing conceived is consummated through the law that governs the action of ideas. The inventor mentally sees his machine doing the work designed, though he may be years short of making it do that work. The spiritual-minded take advantage of this law and affirm the completeness of this ideal, regardless of outer appearances. This stimulates the energy in the thought process and gives it power beyond estimate. This is the step that Jesus took when He lifted up His eyes and said: "Father, I thank thee that thou heardest me. And I knew that thou hearest me always." The sleeping youth (Lazarus) does not at once respond, but the prayer of thanksgiving that is now in action gives the assurance that calls it at the next step to the surface--"Lazarus, come forth."
Jesus "cried with a loud voice." This emphasizes the necessity of working strenuously to project the inner life to the surface. Beginners find it easy, under proper instruction, to quicken the various life centers in the body and co-ordinate them as a body
battery that, under the direction of the will, throws a current of energy to any desired place. A time comes when the outer flesh must be vitalized with this inner life; then arises the necessity of using the "loud voice" as the propelling force. This is removing from the face the "napkin," which represents conscious intelligence made manifest.
Freedom from all trammels is necessary before the imprisoned life can find its natural channel in the constitution. "Loose him, and let him go" means unfettered life expressing itself in joyous freedom of Spirit. The flesh would take this vital flood and use it in the old way, put new wine into old bottles, but Spirit guides those who trust it, and leads them in righteous ways when they listen patiently to the inner guide.
This raising of Lazarus is performed every day by those who are putting on the new Christ body through the resurrected Christ life.
Interpreted within ourselves, there are always the thought forces that believe the Truth and accept the so-called miracles of the Christ, but there are also those that question and resort to the Pharisees (the strict intellectual phase of mind) for their stamp of approval.
In this instance the Pharisees represent a congregation of intellectual thought people called together to counsel with one another. The Romans symbolize the rule of the natural man. The intellectual Pharisee is always jealous of his religious rights and fearful of being robbed of his own. He observes the forms of religion but neglects the spirit. He does not understand the activities of the Christ Mind and therefore fears it.
Another tendency of the intellect is to question and argue back and forth. The high priest symbolizes the highest spiritual thought force in authority that has an inkling of Truth, and he perceives that the Christ will eventually give His life for the redemption of all. The narrow intellect, however, does not have the spiritual viewpoint and seeks to destroy the saving spiritual power.
When a state of consciousness is not open to Truth, the Christ (in this Scripture symbolized by Jesus) withdraws to an inner sanctum (here symbolized by Ephraim, a name that means "doubly fruitful"), where closer union with the great divine source is found. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews.
The Feast of the Passover represents a passing from a lower state of consciousness to a higher. For the spiritual passover the devout always seek the city of peace (Jerusalem). No matter in what state of consciousness one may be functioning there is always that within which craves something better. The intellect, continuing to believe it is to be the highest authority, would kill out the Christ.