The sayings of the Saviour analysed
An occult investigation and analysis of some parables from the NT gospels
Guest article by John Temple
In the eighth of his articles on the Search for Truth, John Temple continues his investigation of the hidden wisdom in the Bible by examining some parables from the Gospels
In this further investigation of the hidden wisdom in the Bible I propose to analyse a few parables from the New Testament gospels. If you have not read my previous articles on this subject, you should do so, to familiarise yourself with the basic principles of occult symbolism, allegory and mythology discussed and explained in them. As with my previous investigations, I would like to assure any devout Christians who may have stumbled upon this article that they will lose nothing of value by reading it. On the contrary they may gain a deeper insight into their faith and its mysteries. I tender the same assurance to occultists, many of whom have told me over the years that they "don't do Jesus" because they were put off by Sunday school or compulsory religious instruction classes.
I discuss the relation of the historical figure of Jesus to the mythical Christ in my afterword. This draws on the work of Gerald Massey, who did so much during his lifetime to restore the High Wisdom of ancient Egypt from the stygian darkness into which it had fallen. Although his books were published over 120 years ago and have been largely ignored by both scholars and truth-seekers alike, they are especially relevant today when many are trying to reconcile the true teachings of Christ with the dogmas of the Church in their personal search for Truth.
The source of the gospels
No one knows for certain when the gospels were written or by whom. Although Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are generally accepted as the authors of these four books, this does not mean they wrote them, nor shall we probably ever know who did. What we do know is that there are four main written sources behind the first three gospels: St John's Gospel being in a different category. These four sources are:
- Mark's Gospel
- A collection of sayings and some narrative, known as Q, from the German Quelle, meaning 'source'.
- A source drawn upon by Luke—known to scholars as 'L.'
- A source drawn upon by Matthew—known as 'M'.
Matthew uses Mark, Q and M. Luke uses Mark, Q and L. So in Mark we have one of the original written sources. Matthew and Luke copy it and also alter it, as anyone may discover for themselves by comparing them. But none of this matters in the slightest. What matters is that we have the gospels, which are very beautiful Teachings indeed, though, as readers of my previous articles will know, few realise just what is concealed in plain sight within their narratives. So, without further preamble, let us have a look at a few of the better-known parables, and using the keys I have discussed in my previous articles, see what we may discover within them. I will begin with the parable of the loaves and fishes, which, on the face of it, seems a most implausible 'miracle', no one has ever replicated, except perhaps in the fictional doings of wizards!
Giovanni Lanfranco — The Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes — oil on canvas
Loaves and Fishes
"And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children" (Matthew 14:19-21).
As I discuss in my afterword, the gospel narratives are derived in large part from the wisdom teachings of ancient Egypt, and the parable of feeding the five thousand is no exception. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the deceased declares: "I am the Lord of Bread in Annu (Heliopolis). My bread in heaven is the bread of Ra; my bread on earth was that of Geb." Unlike the Biblical parable, which in transmogrifying spiritual truths into earthly events, distorts the meaning of the allegory, the Egyptian text draws a clear distinction between material knowledge (the bread of Geb, God of the Earth) and spiritual wisdom (the bread of Ra). Sometimes this consists of seven loaves, at others of five, and each is significant. Five loaves are the bread of earth, and seven the bread of heaven, for five is the number of the man of earth, but seven the number of the man of Heaven, or liberated Higher Self.
Whereas both these numbers occur in the Egyptian Ritual, the miracle in the Gospel of Matthew is wrought with five loaves. Whether this change was deliberate to indicate that Jesus reserved the hidden wisdom for his chosen disciples, and only imparted its outer garment in parables to the multitude (the 5,000), is open to question. It could just as easily have been due to the ignorance of those who compiled the gospels, very few of whom had any knowledge of the Mysteries. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Osiris eats under the sycamore tree of Hathor. He says: "Let him come forth from the earth. Thou hast brought these seven loaves for me to live by, bringing the bread that Horus makes. Thou hast placed, thou hast eaten rations. Let him call to the Gods for sustenance." This is the spiritual allegory that is reproduced as a material miracle in the gospels, when Jesus looked up to Heaven, blest the bread and fed the multitude with the loaves and fishes.
That this is the correct interpretation we find confirmed in many places in the gospels, such as the well-known verse from Luke which has been included in the Lord's Prayer: "Give us day by day our daily bread" (Luke 11:3). Only the most literally-minded zealot would interpret this as a plea to God to provide material sustenance, for that is the duty of men, unless we choose to regard the Father of All as some kind of Heavenly baker who has nothing better to do than to provide humanity with fresh baguettes on a daily basis! Luke tells us: "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God" (Luke 14:15), whilst John says: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6:51). What else can this mean but spiritual food?
By 'flesh' John refers not to the Church's dogma of transubstantiation, but to the work of the true teacher who sacrifices their life that others might live. The words 'Day by day' are a concealed reference to our many incarnations, during which we receive our 'daily bread', meaning the knowledge and wisdom we gain during our many lifetimes, for this is the greatest teaching of all. But bread has many other meanings too. The gospels tell us: "It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs" (Matthew 15:26). "They wash not their hands when they eat bread" (Matthew 15:2). The first of these verses is a clear injunction not to give that which is holy unto the unworthy. The pure in heart and mind are often called 'children' in the Bible, for they alone are worthy to receive the hidden 'manna' from God; that is the occult, or hidden wisdom, which it is not lawful to impart to the multitude. The second verse warns us of the danger of approaching the true teachings with unclean minds and hearts.
The gospels also have much to say about leavened and unleavened bread, that is bread with or without a raising agent, such as yeast. Not all spiritual teachings are necessarily good or wholesome as the authors of this website discuss in their excellent investigation of Tibetan Buddhism. Indeed, it is fair to say that Tibetan Buddhism consists of the bread of the Buddha leavened by the sorcery and superstition of primitive Lamaism. Which is why Matthew warns us to "take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees" (Matthew 16.6). Both these sects symbolise the distortion of the words of the true teachings and the true teacher. But 'leaven' may also refer to the interior spirit that gives life to the true teachings without which they become a dead letter. Paul refers to this in his letter to the Galatians, when he says: "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." What of the "twelve baskets full" that were left over after the distribution of the bread? This may be a concealed numerological allusion to the 12 signs of the Zodiac, which require and receive spiritual nourishment in a different manner, according to the characteristics of each sign.
Having considered some of the meanings of bread let us see what we may discover about fish, the better to understand this parable. One of the earliest symbols of Christ was the fish, and we still see this today, often stuck on the boots of cars belonging to Christians, though I doubt whether many of them realise just how old this symbol is, or how universal. In the third century B.C., Berosus, a Babylonian priest wrote about Oannes, a mythical being, half man and half fish, who taught mankind wisdom and every art and science. "When the sun set," says Berosus, "it was the custom of this Being to plunge again into the sea, and abide all night in the deep." This incident is faithfully reproduced in the gospels when Jesus as Ichthys or the Fish instructs men by day, but retires by night to the lake of Galilee, where he demonstrates his solar nature by walking the waters at night, or at the dawn of day.
The gospels tell us that Jesus' disciples being on board a ship, "when even was come, in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them walking upon the sea." Now the fourth watch began at three o'clock, and ended at six o'clock, that is around dawn, which was the proper time for a solar god to appear walking upon the waters, or coming up out of them as the Fish-man, or fisherman. Oannes is said to have taken no food whilst he was with men: "In the daytime he used to converse with men, but took no food at that season." So Jesus, when his disciples exhorted him to eat replied: "I have meat to eat that you know not of. My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me." This is a perfect copy of the character of Oannes, who took no food, but whose time was wholly spent in fishing, or teaching men.
It will now be clear that the parable of the loaves and fishes is an allegory about the true Teacher and his teachings. The teacher being the 'two fishes' in his dual character of the Saviour discussed in my afterword, and the teachings the 'loaves' which were miraculously multiplied as soon as they were distributed among the five thousand. For everyone who receives the true teachings and understands them cannot fail to share them, whether directly in the case of their own disciples, or indirectly in the way of good deeds, kind thoughts and compassion for all. As we have already seen, numbers play an important part in this parable. Five is the number of the senses of man as well as man himself. The Pythagoreans called this number 'Equilibrium', because it divides the perfect number 10 into two equal parts. So we safely say the five loaves and the five thousand who consume them symbolise the multitude and the spiritual nourishment they gain from the teachings imparted to them. It is also worth mentioning that the Zodiacal sign of Pisces is composed of two fishes, not one, each pointing or pulling in the opposite direction. I leave my readers to explore the symbolism of this for themselves.
The ship was tossed with waves
Immediately after the feeding of the five thousand the narrative moves abruptly to a ship "tossed with waves, for the wind was very contrary." Taken literally, this change seems rather unlikely, and so it is, for just as the loaves and fishes were no ordinary articles of food, so too, is this no ordinary 'ship', 'wind' or 'sea'. As I have pointed out in my previous investigations, there is hardly a single word in the Bible that does not have a hidden meaning. Sometimes this is obvious, more often it is not. Moreover, such words often have a double, triple, or multiple meaning, so adding to the difficulty, but also the sheer joy of discovering what they may mean. To do so it is essential to consider the ideas they represent, not their obvious, literal meaning. We all know what a ship is but rarely stop to consider the idea it represents, which is a vehicle of some kind. Similarly, 'sea' represents a fluid substance, not necessarily one that is either wet or salty. The 'astral light' is such a fluid, as in Space, in which the stars and planets swim as ships on their mysterious errands, buffeted by electromagnetic currents of all kinds which even science calls 'winds'.
We may apply the same correspondences to the microcosm—man, who travels in a 'ship' through the sea of earthly life, tossed by the winds of good and bad fortune and his own passions and desires, as well as those of others. He too, must pilot his ship through treacherous currents, avoiding the shoals that might ground his vessel and the rocks of calamity that might wreck it. This way of thinking is alien to most people today, who know nothing of symbols except the 'logos' used to advertise things of little value no one needs and tires of no sooner they have acquired them! Not so among our ancestors, who saw the world around them as nothing but a series of symbols and allegories behind which lay concealed the great mysteries of Man and the Universe.
In the degree that we learn this new way of seeing (which is so very old), so shall we comprehend the hidden meaning in the Bible and other sacred books. And in time, with patience and practise there will then be no secrets in our outer or inner world we cannot unravel, for the language of Truth is one of symbols, not of intellectual reasoning and speculation. Armed with this knowledge and the insight it brings the parable of the ship and the sea will be clear to you, for until we become the captain of our own ship, we will continue to be 'buffeted' by the winds of our own ignorance, doubts, fears and lack of faith, as the disciples were before Jesus—the Christ principle within us all—opened their eyes to the truth.
Angling for the Fish of the Wise
The Gospel of John, as I said earlier, is in a different category to the other three gospels. Whoever the author or authors were, it is clear that it is the work of an Initiate, for it contains some of the most profound truths to be found anywhere in the Bible, of which the following parable is a perfect example. "Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, we also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing" (John 21:3).
Of course they caught nothing, as we shall see. For what we have here is an allegorical drama taking place in the higher astral realms, not on earth. But let John continue: "But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes" (John 21:4-6).
The first attempt which ended in failure was made at night, the second, which brought in such a rich harvest took place during the day in the presence of the Lord after the disciples cast their net on the right side of the ship. Could anything be clearer? Have we not all fished in the 'night'—that is to say in the dark things of this world? Many more fish on the left side of their ship, meaning the lower self. You should now be able to profitably extend my interpretation yourself. The next verse is also replete with hidden meaning: "Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea." Have you discovered what it means? No? Then this time I will tell you and when I have done so you will say it was all so very simple a child could understand it! The 'Lord' is Simon Peter's own Soul, of whom he has become aware. Having done so, he realises his ignorance (nakedness) and clothing himself in his spiritual body ('fisher's coat') ascends into the higher realms of Light, there to angle for the fish of the wise or spiritual truth. But read these verses in context yourself and see what you can make of them, for there is a treasure-trove of wisdom to be mined from them.
The Resurrection of Osiris — funeral chapel of Meri-Sesheta, 18th Dynasty
Raising the Dead
Several people have asked me over the years whether Jesus really did raise the dead to life. My invariable answer is 'yes—and no.' Yes, in the sense that the true teacher and the true teachings can and do give people a new lease of life when formerly they dwelt in complete ignorance of any higher reality or any spiritual aspiration. Yes too, in the resurrection of the dead Lazarus, which, as we shall see, is a distorted copy of the Mysteries of Osiris. No, in the sense that it is impossible to restore a truly dead physical body to life once the Higher Self has left it for good. Like so many parables, the story of Lazarus has been copied directly from the Egyptian mythos and turned into an historical event in the Gospel of John, chapter 11, verses to 1-44.
If you have your King James Bible to hand I suggest you look up these verses so you can follow my interpretation as we go along. I said earlier that there is hardly a single word in the Bible that does not have a hidden meaning. This is true of the word 'Lazarus' which is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Eleazar. This name consists of two elements, 'El', meaning God, and 'azar' meaning support. So we may say it means 'supported by God'. Please remember this. In Egyptian 'ras' meant to rise up while 'aru' was a name for the mummy or corpse. Now 'r' and 'l' were interchangeable letters in Egyptian, as well as in many other ancient languages. In the course of humanizing the Egyptian mythos into Biblical fact, 'Ras-aru' was rendered 'Lazaru', which, with the addition of the Greek terminal 's' becomes Lazarus. Finally, Osiris was written 'Asar' in Egyptian, which, with the transposition of 's' into 'z' forms the middle four letters in the word 'Lazarus'.
Once we know that Lazarus is Osiris it follows that Jesus here takes the place of Horus in the drama of the spiritual resurrection which has been converted into historical fact in the Biblical parable. This becomes even clearer when we read verses 1-6. "Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. . .When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. . .When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was."
Note that Lazarus had two sisters: Mary and Martha. So did Osiris; his sister-wife Isis (Mary) and her sister, Nepthys (Martha). Both mourned over the dead Osiris, as you will remember from my investigation of the esoteric meaning of Easter. Now why does Jesus say Lazarus' sickness is 'not unto death'? Because there is no death anywhere in God's Universe, only change! The change from mortal life in the body to immortal life in the spirit is 'for the glory' of the god within each one of us—our own Higher Self—which is thereby freed from the vicissitudes and illusions of corporeal existence which we might well call a 'sickness'. Moreover, we are all sons or daughters of God in our Higher Selves, for each is a Horus, or Christ, imprisoned in matter to learn the lessons only material life can teach us. This is why Jesus—or Horus—waits 'two days still in the same place where he was' before coming to the rescue of Lazarus. That 'place' is in a higher realm, not on earth. For you should know, dear reader, that no one dies alone. We are all met at the time of our passing by a guide or guides, who will—if we are worthy and have earned the reward—lead us to our own place. Whether that place is one of transcendent beauty and peace or ugliness and strife depends on us as you can read in the article about life after death written by the authors of this website.
For we must remember that Horus not only represents the actual Saviour in the drama of the resurrection, but also those who act on His behalf in the higher and lower realms. There are countless grades of such guides or helpers, of which our own Higher Self is one, for each one of us is a 'Horus' in our Higher Self, just as each one of us is an 'Osiris' who descends into corporeal life to learn the lessons of material existence in a physical body. Unless we grasp that the Egyptian gods and goddesses stand for various occult principles, laws and functions which may be regarded from several different aspects at every level of manifestation, it is impossible to understand the Egyptian Mythos and Eschatology.
Without such understanding, the parable makes no sense. Why wait two days to heal the sick Lazarus? Why not go to his aid at once? So we may be certain that what we have here is a mutilated fragment of the genuine Mystery teachings on the spiritual resurrection of man. For it is vitally important to remember that we are dealing with an allegorical drama enacted in the spiritual realms, not a historical event on earth. Verses 9-16 are all concerned with sleeping and dying, for it is not without good reason that sleep has been called the 'little death'.
Verses 17 to 28, which I examined in my previous investigation into the esoteric meaning of Easter, are a faithful copy of the Egyptian doctrine of the resurrection of Osiris. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." These exact words were spoken by Horus thousands of years before in Egypt. Verses 31-32 reproduce the point in the drama when Isis and Nepthys mourn over the dead body of Osiris: "The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, she goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." This last verse may have been interpolated into the parable to reinforce the Church's dogma of the so-called 'resurrection' on the 'last day' when the dead shall rise from their coffins much like zombies in the best traditions of Hollywood movies, for as I explained earlier, it is quite impossible to reanimate a truly dead body.
The 'Jews' of the Biblical parable are a direct copy of the Aiu in Egypt, the followers of the God Iu-em-Hetep or Prince of Peace, who mourned over the death of Osiris, whilst 'Mary', as we have seen, is none other than Isis who was called 'Meri' in Egypt, meaning 'beloved'. Jesus here takes the place, or acts the part of Horus. In verses 33-42 Jesus is troubled and laments over the corpse of Lazarus. Unless we accept the thesis that the whole story is a copy of the Mystery plays of Osiris that were enacted in Egypt thousands of years before, Jesus' grief over his disciple's death is inexplicable. "Jesus wept. . .Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave." Why should the Son of God mourn over his departed disciple, who was now, even according to the Church's own dogmas, residing with the Blessed in Paradise? Perhaps he was grieving for himself? If so, how was he any greater or wiser than the rest of us deluded mortals, who weep over the loss of our loved ones? If even we, who are so very foolish and ignorant, know that grief is only a form of selfishness, however unpalatable that truth may be to some readers, what are we to make of a Master who suffers from the same weakness?
This is the fatal flaw in the Church's mutilation of the high wisdom it filched from the hated 'pagans' and rewrote for its own temporal purposes; the seal of its unholy impostures which it has stamped upon the canon of sacred writ. This is the reason why the following verses omit the bier upon which the corpse of Osiris was placed in the Egyptian drama of the resurrection, and why the Church has substituted a cave in place of it. "Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it." When, in the previous verse we encounter: "And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" we are at once transported back to Egypt where it is Horus who opens the eyes of his father Osiris! In this and similar ways have the truths of the Mysteries been concealed from the eyes of all but the few who possess the keys to unlock them; keys which I have now placed in your hands so that your eyes may be opened!
"Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days." One hopes this verse is another interpolation by some priestly 'editor', no doubt to reinforce the dogma that it is the physical body of Lazarus which Jesus raised from death. And what a life! 'Stinking' is not too harsh a word to describe life on earth for the many millions whose only 'enjoyment' lies in sickness, poverty, pain and oppression. But once we know that Lazarus is a distorted copy of Osiris, Mary is Isis, Martha her sister Nepthys, and that Jesus is Horus, all becomes clear, or at least I hope it does, or I am a poorer writer than a speaker, for I have lectured on this same topic for more than thirty years.
And so Jesus makes Lazarus come forth "bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin," just as Horus made Osiris come forth as the mummy swathed in bandages in the Egyptian original of the gospel copy. Even the most 'doubting Thomas' must concede that one is borrowed from the other, and as Osiris predates Christianity by many millennia it is not difficult to say which came first! From this it follows that, as I discuss in my afterword, the parables of Jesus set down in the gospels have been taken from Mystery Teachings of Egypt. In the process, whether by design or accident, much of the wisdom of the Egyptian original has been stripped from them. If this investigation has opened your eyes to the presence of this wisdom in the gospels and encouraged you to seek it out for yourself using the keys we have discussed together, my labours will be amply rewarded.
About the author
John Temple is the pen-name of a writer who has studied and practised the occult sciences for more than 50 years. He graduated from Cambridge University with a first in Theology and Religious Studies and has lectured to students around the world on a wide variety of occult, religious and mystical subjects.
He is now retired and lives quietly in London with his wife, two Yorkshire terriers and a talkative African Grey Parrot called 'John' (no relation). He can be contacted via this website.
Read more articles by this author on the Search for Truth
The metaphysics of Talent. An investigation of Talent; whence it comes, its right and wrong use, and where it leads.
Hidden meaning in the Book of Proverbs. An investigation of the origins of the Biblical Book of Proverbs and the hidden meaning in it.
Esoteric meaning of Easter. An investigation of the true significance and esoteric meaning of Easter.
Hidden Wisdom in the Bible. An investigation of the hidden wisdom in the Bible, why and how it was concealed, and the tools the sincere seeker needs to dig it out.
If God is good why does he allow evil? A metaphysical investigation of the problem of Good and Evil.
Esotericism in the Nativity. An occult investigation of the Bible story of the birth of Jesus, revealing the many layers of hidden meaning it contains.
Who are the REAL illuminati? An evil conspiracy or something quite different? His answers may surprise you!
Searching for Truth.
The true story of one seeker's personal journey of spiritual discovery.
© Copyright John Temple & occult-mysteries.org. Article added 18 May 2017.
Updated 3 December 2017.