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“Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).
How we understand Jesus’ kingdom of God is our key to understanding the mystical thread running through his teachings. Is this kingdom a biblically prophesied day of judgment, complete with major destruction, wailing and gnashing of teeth? Or is it a quiet spiritual awakening that is born and grows through our consciousness from the innermost recesses of the soul? It is clear from the overall message of the New Testament that the early Christian community couched it in apocalyptic terms. But when we lift the sayings of Jesus from this evangelical narrative, we find another, inner-directed message more closely associated with the mystical thread.
Jesus often speaks in contrasting terms. He uses things like good and bad fish, wheat and tares, wide and narrow gates, old and new wine, houses built on rock and sand, man and woman, to name a few. We get the most from these illustrations when we see them, not as references to believers and sinners, but as contrasting types of consciousness. One is the surface, senses-based understanding, the wide gate that most rely on to navigate through their world. The other is a consciousness built upon the bedrock of the soul, the narrow gate that relatively few discover. This is the heart of the gospel of Jesus for it not only establishes our relationship with God, it gives us a practical spiritual base from which to weather life’s storms.
Matthew obviously used this passage simply as commentary on the institution of marriage. The deeper meaning addresses the need for unity between the intellect (man) and the intuition (woman). Rather than think of ourselves as a human being seeking a spiritual experience, we correctly understand ourselves as a spiritual being having a human experience. From this spiritual foundation, the intellect and the intuition act in unison, the soul inspired intuition providing the primary insight. We are no longer two but one flesh, our head and our heart joined in spiritual matrimony.
This is an appropriate message for today. Our intellectually driven science sees the soul as little more than a neurological process, an unnecessary curiosity. The towering intellect has effectively divorced this intuitive counterpart for that singing siren of technology.
We know that civilizations grow or fall on the same principle: from the inside out. It’s what we grasp as our center that determines which direction we go. Through all time, this mystical union that God has joined together is truly a marriage that no culture can afford to put asunder.