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"It is further stated of Abraham that there was a strife84a
Gen 13:7
between the herdsmen of Abraham's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle. The word strife (riv) is here written with a yod (i), by which is indicated that Lot wished to return and relapse into his former state of idolatry and mingle in intercourse with the people of the land, as it is written, 'And the Canaanites and the Perizzites dwelled then in the land.' We are further confirmed in this inference by the words, 'and, Lot journeyed east' (miqqedem), or rather, 'from the east,' the word 'qedem,' as previously expounded, meaning the worship of God, and, giving way to the inclinations and propensities of his lower nature, went and dwelt among the inhabitants of the land in order to enjoy the delights and pleasures of a sensual and worldly life. Observing this tendency in Lot, Abraham inwardly grieving thereon, said unto him, 'Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between thee and me; let us separate, for I perceive there can be no unanimity of faith and worship

p. 360

between us. Thy heart goes out after and is fixed upon the84a-84b phenomenal and sensual, mine after the one eternal and true God and Lord of the universe.'

"Then it came to pass that they parted, Abraham unwilling to be associated with his kinsman in a life which he knew would prove a calamity to both of them because of the sure and unavoidable doom of everyone who ignores and disregards the divine life and refuses to obey the precepts of the Good Law. Of this, Jehosephat in allying himself with the wicked Ahab was a remarkable example. But for divine goodness, he would have been slain along with his sinful companion, but perceiving his danger ere it was too late, it is written, 'He cried unto God and He helped him'; so that he escaped with his life, whilst the King of Israel, the wicked Ahab, smitten and wounded, died ere the sun went down. This was the reason Abraham was unwilling to continue his intercourse with Lot, who chose all the plain of Jordan, preferring to indulge in the gay pleasures and obscenities of Sodom and Gomorrah rather than live, following the divine light that had begun to dawn within him, which would, as it did with Abraham, have led him safely through and enabled him to avoid and escape the dangers and resist and overcome the temptations that beset the path of every individual on his pilgrimage through earth-life. 'And Abraham dwelled in the land of Canaan,' to progress and go from faith to faith and to attain the higher knowledge of the hidden wisdom, but Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, gravitating slowly and gradually toward Sodom, where he fired his tent at last to become engulfed in a world of vice from out which no human means could have entreated and saved him from the fearful and terrible doom that awaited those amongst whom he took up his abode. For as it is written, 'They were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.' Thus Abraham and Lot parted in peace, each of them going his own way and living their own lives, the one of the higher and divine, the other of the worldly and lower self. Blessed the lot of those who choose that better part that shall never be taken from them and whose delight is in the study of the Secret Doctrine, its teachings and principles, and their joy is in the consciousness of the divine presence. They are the true children of Israel, of whom it is written, 'He that cleave unto the Lord your God are alive, every one of you this day' (Deut. 1V.4)."

Next: Chapter XC. Remarks on the Schekina