BEHOLD, I SEND YOU FORTH AS SHEEP IN THE MIDST OF WOLVES:
BE YE THEREFORE WISE AS SERPENTS, AND HARMLESS AS DOVES.
Much of our gospel scripture is drawn from something much older.Just for starters, we know that Jesus was a strong and faithful Jew who called the temple leadership to regain the original teachings of the faith.He was adamant they had corrupted the faith and challenged them to clean up their act.
We also know that Judaism emerged from its captivity in Egypt considerably changed from its half a millennium there. Clearly it wasn't just wasted time. There is some scholarship that points to the possibility that Moses (1391- 1272 BC) would have been strongly influenced by the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten's (1380-1334 BC) courageous, passionate and adamant one God theology.
In fact, there's a theory posed by Muslim scholar Ahmed Osman that suggests that Akenaten and Moses were one and the same person. Their historical time periods were concurrent and Akhenaten's strong stand politically and theologically swept Egypt like a storm, alienating him and his family to a remote region of the capital, and even leaving his sudden disappearance from his royal position a mystery that remains unsolved.
When Jesus refers to the wisdom of the serpent, he's not just using graphic language.He's really saying something specific.He is pointing to ancient Egyptian thought, which we hear also in the stories of Moses (Exodus 7: 8-11) being told by God to throw his staff on the ground which then turns into a snake.And then there's the famous line in Genesis in which the woman is tempted by the serpent to eat from the tree of good and evil which sends Adam and she packing into our fallen sorry state ever since.The serpent.Ah, the serpent.The divine feminine has always been associated with the serpent, and it's not just for women. The divine feminine is the power of that serpent which is clearly meant for both women and men.And, that's just the top of the teapot.
OK, so what about the dove? The dove was the wise little mythic bird that returned to Noah's ark with the branch from a tree that indicated that the waters from the great flood had receded enough for them to return to the land. Later, the dove is the bird that brings Jesus at his baptism in the Jordan the message from God that Jesus is his son with whom he is pleased. (Matthew 3:16) Later, in Christian theology the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, who is also understood as Sophia wisdom.
It's interesting that it's usually associated with water, soaring over it, bringing God's message - or logos - to whomever is connected or in communion with God.It's especially interesting that from a disaster of a flood that washed the planet like a global baptism, to the individual anointing of the one sent by God to teach us authentic power and wisdom, the precious pure dove is always there.
The serpent in ancient Egypt, as in Yoga which may be the oldest existing religion or spiritual practice known to us today, existing predeluvian into ancient civilizations that are long gone, stretching back before ice ages into prehistory, has a specific meaning.
The serpent is that kundalini highway that runs from the Earth's energy up the human spine, spinning through the six chakras, up through the seventh into the higher dimensions where it connects with the interdenominational realms of pure Spirit, or God.
It seems, the power of God flows up and down through us on this kundalini pathway, which is the power centers of the human being and was understood as a serpent.Notice on Akhenaten's headpiece, the snake?It is also showing that the head of the serpent is at the third eye or the seventh chakra of the human energy system.
As I write them I am reminded of the statement in Genesis where God says, "let us make them in our image."So, this is not some strange science fiction fantasy idea that we are made this way.We are made this way, but this is lost wisdom to most of the western world.
So, to look at what Jesus says again with this all in mind.I hear him saying, to center, balance and fuel our energy through the awakening of all the energy sectors of the human kundalini and to be filled with the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.He is calling for a full integration of human and spirit and thereby we become fully whole human beings, strong, powerful beyond anything we commonly know today.
When he says he brought a sword, it is this sword - the sword of knowledge and spirit, a power that would save us from the false powers and principalities of our world.It also connects us powerfully with God and our eternal spirits.It is what brings us into full aliveness, awakens us from our dull existences here.
Could any army on Earth do this?Could any military might have the power against someone fully empowered like this?Moses seems to indicate not.He led his nation, possibly under the wise direction of Akenaten's teachings combined with those of his Abrahamic tradition that seems was never lost during those years, and had the power and guidance to lead an entire nation out of the then incredible world power of Egypt.
Gnostic Christianity has reclaimed that ancient of ancient traditions and understands that as much as Jesus was calling us into full empowerment by blending the feminine and masculine principles in us individually on a deeply psychological level ( as Karl Jung also suggests by his theories), this integration of power and wisdom in male and female terms, the two radically opposite polarities, in the sacred union of the male and female in relationship.It is possible that this sacred union would be the full integration of the male and female as Jung's anima / animus in the individual psyche without necessarily being united with one of the other sex.However, it seems that both would be best.
This is profound and deep stuff and not typically understood or shared among those who embrace a militant worldview, an entirely externalized religion.The call from prehistory seems to have always been a call into the depths of our being, for a greater understanding of who we really are and in that deep inner chamber, that inner Holy of Holies, only there can we worship the everliving God, creator of all and divine presence in all.