Your journey through this life should be a path of discovery, uncovering the Light which resides within you.
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The word ‘light’ is much used in spiritual discussions nowadays – and it always has been, right back to the earliest reports describing mystical experiences. All the world’s great teachers have used the word ‘light’ as a metaphor for transcendental visions. We say someone is en-light–ened. We talk about ‘seeing the light’. When the usually invisible Angels appear to people they are surrounded by ‘light’. There is ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel in a near death experience. The Christian gospels report the transfiguration of Jesus, when:
…his face did shine as the sun and his raiment was white as the light.
— Matthew 17:2 (King James version).
A few sentences ago I used the word ‘metaphor’, but are these Light experiences only ‘metaphors’? Is this just a way to describe something beyond words? Or is Light actually appearing in our perception, as a reality? Does it change the material world in some way? If so, are we able – and willing – to access this transcendental Light in our everyday lives?
Transforming into an Angel?
One of the most curious mystical stories In Judaism concerns a prophet called Enoch who, according to legend, was transformed into the Archangel Metatron. Although this tale does not appear in the usual Bible, it is found in later Jewish texts and is based on a strange account that is found in the biblical Book of Genesis.
Chapter five in Genesis presents a kind of family tree of people – men – who lived before the Great Flood. This was a time when there were mighty men…men of renown living on Earth. (This is what my book, Teachings of the Nephalim is about). They may have been gigantic in stature. These are the ancestors of Noah and, according to the legends, they all lived VERY long lives. The oldest man in the family was Methuselah who, we are told, lived over nine hundred years. His grandfather had been Jared who lived a similar length of time. In between these two ancient characters came Enoch – son to Jared, father to Methuselah. This chapter is really quite boring, but stay with me! Enoch only lives three hundred and sixty-five years. Then…
Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him.
— Genesis 5:24 (King James version).
This sounds rather like an alien abduction! Enoch disappears – and Genesis tells us nothing else. But the Book of Enoch (excluded from the Bible) gives us a personal description of what happened, in Enoch’s own words. He tells us that God took him on the ‘stormy wings of the Shekinah’ to the great palaces of the seventh heaven. There, Enoch encounters some extraordinary celestial beings:
- Shinanim of the fire.
- Cherubim of the flaming torches.
- Ofannim of the fiery coals who are servants of the flame.
- Seraphim of lightning.
Then Enoch’s flesh is turned to flame…
…his eyelashes to flashes of lightning, his eyeballs to flaming torches…and received after this heavenly transformation the name Metatron.
This is a phoenix-like metamorphosis, where the human has shed all earthly attributes to become an Archangel.
I referred to this as one curious story, but there is another prophetic transformation to mention, when Elijah became Sandalphon:
Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him.
— 2 Kings 2:11 (King James version).
Again, we don’t find mention of an angelic transformation in the biblical account, but a 16th-century kabbalist called Moses Cordevero does associate Sandalphon with Elijah. In Jewish tradition, Sandalphon is associated with the Messiah, and the disciples witnessing the transfiguration also report that Jesus was seen talking to both Moses and Elijah.
Losing our cloak of glory
Enoch also describes being clothed in Light:
He made for me a garment of kings with all manner of lights in it, and He dressed me in it, and He made me a cloak of glory containing all manner of fine appearance and splendour and brilliance…
— Enoch 3
Jewish teachers suggested that Enoch had somehow atoned for Adam’s transgression. When Adam and Eve are exiled from the Garden of Eden, having attempted to hide themselves with fig leaves, God gives them garments of skin. But the Hebrew word for ‘skin’ is a very close cousin to the Hebrew word for ‘light’. (To be technical here, in both cases, the word or is pronounced the same way, but spelled slightly differently – ‘light’ begins with an aleph, ‘skin’ with ayin). So the idea was that, because Adam and Eve had lost the right to live in Eden, one letter of the creative alphabet had been changed – their garments of ‘Light’ were demoted to garments of human ‘skin’. They no longer radiated that Divine Light which was their birth right, it was now hidden from the world – and hidden from them, as well.
Reclaiming our Light
Every spiritual tradition has developed over many generations and there are layers of dusty old manuscripts in which we can find clues. Sometimes we are called to a particular tradition and the mystical teachings we find seem to call us to adopt the practices on offer. But, when we strip away the layers, we find the core of these teachings will always be based on how to get back to the Light. A guru or teacher, whose original mystical experience prompted them to go into the world and share their visions, can only describe the power and intimacy of their own encounter with the Divine. Almost without exception, the accounts I researched in the Alister Hardy archive of letters from modern people who were willing to share their spiritual experiences would include: words cannot express, or similar sentiments. Until you get that experience for yourself, other people’s words, however poetic, cannot take you there. You can only experience the Light by adopting a regular practice that can promote inner transformation – then the Light reveals itself. Sometimes, a soft and gentle revelation, over a period of time. Sometimes, a sudden, startling illumination, perhaps accompanied by inner messages – an intimate and personal apocalypse in which the veil between your everyday self and your inner Angel falls away.
Your garments – human and Divine
We could say that the story of our allegorical first parents, Adam and Eve, describes how we feel about ourselves as human beings who are aware that we are flesh, bones, blood and skin. But, deep in our consciousness, we are also haunted by the recall of wearing a robe of glory. We feel separated from that beauty. There is a deep pain and a sense of grief. We long for a return to the Light. What we are learning, right now, is how to live in both garments. Our spiritual goal must be in the Light but not consumed by it, so we can live on planet Earth and take delight in our human skins, while at the same time shining with Divine radiance.
If you would like an easy route to find your own inner Light, check out my unique Shefa Method.
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