The chapter is entitled “A Major Change”, and this is reflected by the equivalent sections of Genesis in
which God changes the name of the hero from Abram, meaning father of the heights, to Abraham, meaning “father or a multitude” This in turn indicates that at a certain stage in its journey,
the progress of the spirit, which until then has revolved around its acquisition of knowledge about the heights of the spirit,
becomes dependant on transmitting that knowledge to others. In other words, he must begin to pass on that which he has learned, for it
is only by helping others that man on the physical plane we can take the final steps that lead from earth to Heaven.
There is no doubt that when after many lives the good man is at last ready
to think about turning away from material things, the actual effort of doing so costs him dear. It is only with great
mental labour that His mind is able to break free of the mental links which for so many lives have bound him to life on earth.
Even then it is a whirl of conflicting emotions but once that break has been made, his spirit may well be free to burst forth
from this material world into the higher parts of the Spirit Plane.
Until then, however, as he struggles with himself, there is no doubt that
“the idealist is in misery”. There are a range of fears within him, but foremost among them is the fear of the
unknown – just how great will be the eventual cost of sanctity? Just how much he will have to surrender – just
how great will be the sacrifice that his “higher consciousness” will demand of him?
Yet he already knows the answer, for “if he intends to dwell on higher
planes” materialism - the desire for material things - will have to be completely eradicated, or as the Sayings puts
it “materialism must be trodden underfoot”. This is essential,
for God has given every one of us Free Will and as long as we hanker after the things of the world, we will never completely
break free of the ties that keep us coming back to the physical Plane life after life.
Verse 3 could be seen as a reference to Baptism, but in a spiritual sense it refers to the downpouring of Divine life-force –
otherwise known as Grace - that God always sends to any human spirit when it first offers its life to Him.
Baptism can of course be seen as a physical symbol of this downpouring of
the Divine Life force, but it is the actuality, rather than any physical symbol thereof that actually consecrates such a spirit
to God’s service. Thereafter it is a “chosen spirit” that is to say, God has chosen him, by this downpouring
of Grace, and although undoubtedly it will still face many temptations, ideally this “chosen spirit” thereafter
“dwells in purity”, meditating and pondering on “the lofty ideals of his Heavenly Father”.
It is through such meditations that God is able to “elevate him to
the heights of the spirit” and this is the way that God has appointed for him to draw nearer unto Him. Certainly this
idea of “meditation” has formed an essential part of the spiritual life of all religions for as far back in time
as we can accurately determine and not surprisingly we are told that “this is God’s appointed way of uplifting
It is important that such spirits demonstrate their faith to all, for thereby
they may lead others to emulate them - if they conceal it, perhaps because they fear the mockery of men, then clearly their
faith is much reduced in value to God. However it is even more important that they demonstrate that faith to God; for if they
do not live up to their beliefs; their faith becomes a hollow sham.
Finally we are told that without the contact with God that meditation allows
that faith “clings only to human values”. In other words it loses its reality and becomes no more than an outward
cloak or worse still a hypocritical sham put on in order to impress others, but without any real spirituality.
The importance of faith in the soul at this stage in its evolution cannot be over-emphasised,
for as yet it has no firm contact with God, and even if it has begun to scale the Mystic Path, as yet it is not sufficiently
well-established thereon for faith to have become un-necessary as eventually it will.