Once upon a time there lived a serious thinking fellow named Charlie. He thought so seriously about things that he felt an intense hunger to find the real goodness of life and a thirst to find the knowledge that would lead him to this goodness.
While meditating on this hunger and thirst he was surprised by the notion that the heart and mind needed real sustenance in the same way that his physical body required it. His mental endeavors were derived from a real appetite but he experienced a more deep-seated hunger and thirst. As providence would have it, Charlie reached for his Bible and randomly opened it up to a page to see if God’s mysterious workings could somehow address his metaphysical hunger and thirst.
It turned out to be a page from Luke in the New Testament describing the events of the Lord’s Last Supper. In fact, Charlie’s finger landed between verses nineteen and twenty in which the Lord passed bread and wine to his disciples to eat and drink saying that it was his body and blood.
Charlie wondered at this. What did it mean to eat from the Lord’s body and blood? Did the bread and wine symbolize spiritual food in some way? Did this ceremony address a supper for the human spirit? After all, thought Charlie, the ritual took place on a higher floor of a house—perhaps this was to suggest that people were to approach the Lord’s new covenant from a higher level of the mind.
Suddenly Charlie’s Bible began to shake quite energetically in his hands. He could no longer hold onto it so he threw it to the middle of the room. When it landed it magically opened up and a wonderful tree began to grow out from it. Then out from behind the tree a frightful-looking cherubim appeared, yielding a terrible flaming sword.
The cherubim lowered the sword and smiled at Charlie saying, “It has pleased the Lord to initiate you into the deeper mysteries of faith.”
“Why me?” asked the wide-eyed Charlie
“Your sincere hunger for goodness and thirst for truth has prepared the way,” answered the cherubim. Then the cherubim pointed to the magnificent tree. “This is the Tree of Life which is rooted in the divine living truth of the Lord God’s Holy Word. This tree is more than a tree. It represents divine order itself.”
“I do not understand,” said Charlie who was eager to learn.
The cherubim gave Charlie a penetrating stare. “This tree is rooted in the stories of Scripture, but the purpose of roots is to distill finer elements and qualities from this sacred soil. In the same way that the human mind distills data from its memory to create new and more dynamic concepts, so to does this tree. The branches, leaves flowers and fruit all symbolize organic structures, which continue to elevate and purify the sap within—just as a mind elevates ideas through the process of abstraction. A person who has access to this tree gains a deeper level of understanding concerning the interpretation of the Bible stories.”
“How does one regain access to the Tree of Life?” questioned Charlie.
“Every time you meditate on God’s teachings, a spiritual seed can be planted within the soil of your heart and mind. This soil must consist of a willingness to be sincerely good or it will not be fertile ground for a heavenly planting. Only goodness opens the mind so that the Tree of Life can be properly cultivated from within,” spoke the cherubim.
“Why do you stand guard to this tree,” asked a perplexed Charlie?
The cherubim’s expression now turned to concern. “If the literal stories of Scripture are mocked, one is not damned because he or she acts from ignorance. But if the deeper concepts contained in these stories are revealed and then mocked, this would be damning for a human soul, for it would be a profanation of the Lord God’s deepest truth and saving operation.”
The cherubim then raised his mighty sword and began swinging it back and forth. “This double-edged flaming sword represents the many ways humans argue passionately about the meaning of Scripture from only its literal words. This is what protects the Tree of Life from people who are not prepared to explore God’s inexhaustible revelations more deeply. I also represent the Lord’s providence and mercy to protect people from themselves!”
“Gee,” returned Charlie, “this means that humans were not removed from an earthly garden paradise, they were removed from God’s wisdom. That makes a lot more sense to me.”
“Perhaps you may now grasp the deeper, spiritual meaning of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, being established on earth. Humanity will again have access to the Tree of Life when this special city is allowed to be built within people’s hearts and minds,” said the cherubim who then disappeared back into the Bible pages.