We love to travel — and one of the places on our “Wish List” is Australia, including a side trip to New Zealand, of course! While we dream of that vacation, we want to travel in this blog to a different “New Zeal Land” — one you can visit anytime you wish, and a place where you can access Divine Wisdom as your souvenir!
We thought we’d zealously pursue ‘new zeal land’ — which means we’re going to be Zen about our treatment of where zeal goes after it finds a home. So, we’ll go slow to go fast. We’ll start with our definition of zeal as it relates to your spiritual growth.
Zeal is enthusiastic spiritual and/or religious excitement on steroids! It’s unbridled eagerness, unquenchable thirst, and tireless impatience in expressing our delight in learning new spiritual teachings and principles. We want the world to know what we’ve just learned and we have difficulty controlling our excitement.
The word translated as ‘zeal’ in Hebrew is kana and in the ancient Greek translation of the Torah, kana is often translated as zelao, from which the English word ‘zeal is derived. There are over 40 verses about zeal in the Bible.
It’s also important for you to know that zeal has its polarities, its positive and negative aspects, its yin/yang properties. So, we’ll mention them briefly as a preamble to the rest of our blogcast.
Zeal, at its highest human pitch when it comes to spiritual matters, can take the form of over-the-top enthusiasm. It can be over-bearing and obnoxious. A bit immature at times. On the other hand, it can take the form of a disciplined and charismatic energy, one that is controlled and mature when it is tempered by wisdom.
Whether it remains impetuous or ripens into a more mature form of zealous devotion is up to us. James E. Faust, author of Finding Light in a Dark World, talks about the nature of zeal’s properties: “Let’s not become so intense in our zeal to do good that we go beyond common sense and good manners, thereby promoting contention, invoke cynicism, or ridicule with flippancy.”
Zeal and Flying Saucers? Elijah and Elisha’s Story
We’ll explain what we mean when we say wisdom is the ‘new zeal land’ by taking you back to a story in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Testament, as it is called today. There is an account in 2 Kings that speaks of the binary nature of zeal. (We’re mostly New Testament metaphysicians, so we had to blow the dust off the Hebrew Testament half of our NIV Bible to reference 2 Kings, Chapter 2: verses 1 and 11).
Here’s the gist of what this passage tells us: The prophet Elijah and his disciple Elisha were on their way from one village, Gilgal, to another, Bethel. As they were walking along, suddenly a fiery chariot and horses of fire appeared and separated the two men. In an instant, Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind.”
If you read between the literal lines of this story you realize that Elisha couldn’t fill out a missing persons report until 48 hours, so the local police never found Elijah, although his face appeared on goat milk cartons. (We’re messing with you!)
That’s how the literal account reads (except for the missing persons reference). Did this event really happen? Perhaps. Perhaps not! The interesting thing about this account is that ancient texts are filled with similar stories. Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Babylonian, Assyrian, and dozens of other writings — even dozens of 20th century accounts — suggest that humans have been taken up in flying machines.
These air ships have been described as fiery missiles; comets from the sun; fiery chariots pulled by horse-like creatures; and more recently, space ships. Cosmologists say there is evidence that ‘sons of deities came down from the sun.’ They even speculate there were perhaps ancient astronauts who visited Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Whatever your beliefs are concerning ancient — and even modern day — visitors from ‘out there,’ there are enough compelling stories to spark your imagination and interest. And that’s okay. We may very well have been — and continue to be — visited by extraterrestrials. For example, if you’re curious you may want to examine historical records dating as far back as 214 BCE and 74 BCE.
In the 74 BCE account, Plutarch reported that a flaming metallic body fell from the sky between two fighting armies, one led by Roman general Lucullus and the other by Mithradates the Great. There’s also the highly publicized alien abduction stories of Betty and Barney Hill in 1964; Jim Weiner, Jack Weiner, Charles Foltz and Charles Rak who claim that they were abducted by aliens during a camping trip near Allagash, Maine in 1976; and hundreds of mysterious UFO sightings all over the world, up to and including this year.
A Metaphysical Perspective on Zeal: 2 Kings 2:1, 11
However, we want to take the Hebrew Testament story in a completely different direction and leave abduction stories and UFO sightings to your imagination and perhaps continuing interest. We’re even going to leave the literal account of the Bible story from 2 Kings to your fancy as well.
What we are going to do is interpret the people, places, things, and events in the 2 Kings account as representing characteristics, personality traits, talents and abilities within you – us and everyone. Why? Because we believe the Bible is a spiritual record of humankind’s evolving spiritual consciousness.
If you’re feeling enthusiastic enough, let’s begin. Here are the main people, places and things in the Biblical account that are all characteristics, abilities, and inclinations within you:
Elijah represents that zealous aspect of us that becomes wildly enthusiastic about spiritual and/or religious growth. It can be an over-the-top exuberance that needs to be tempered. It can become pushy and even obnoxious when we learn a new metaphysical teaching for the first time. The Elijah of us is a testament to our openness to integrating cutting edge science and spiritual knowledge. It also confirms our willingness to explore unanswered questions and test unquestioned answers!
Elisha represents our well-grounded spiritual nature, one defined by consummate wisdom, loving kindness and gentleness, unshakeable poise and composure, superior discernment, and a wealth of advanced spiritual knowledge. This aspect of us epitomizes our highly developed sense of oneness with our I AM Nature. It means we are Self-realized (capital ‘S’ Self, our Divine Self), metaphysically knowledgeable, and have made our life our spiritual practice.
(Note: in literal Biblical accounts, whenever someone is listed before someone else in a text or is claimed to be of a higher status than someone else, it usually means that the one listed first or the one who enjoys higher status represents a trait, quality, or human characteristic that is a prerequisite for the trait, quality, or human characteristic that follows. For example: Elijah [our zeal about new teachings] taught Elisha [our introspection and application of those teachings]; John the Baptizer [intellect becoming illumined] was born before Jesus [our fully actualized Divine Nature]; Mary Magdalene [superior intuition] is listed before any of the other women in the same scripture passage [a wide variety of emotions]; a thought [Adam] came before [Eve] feeling; the crucifixion [crossing our error] came before Jesus’ ascension [full enlightenment]).
The two men walking together symbolize the complementary characteristics and traits in each of us. They are the yin and yang of us, our zealous and poised qualities, our wildly enthusiastic and grounded aspects, our open-mindedness and clear-mindedness, the novice us and the sage us. Together they are the ‘new zeal land.’
The literal account says they were on their way from Gilgah to Bethel:
Gilgah symbolizes the disciplined denial of material attachments and our refusal to give power to outer appearances.
Bethel represents a state of heightened spiritual awareness which signals that we have attained conscious union with the One Reality we call God.
So, our journey toward enlightenment means conscientious and disciplined movement from material attachments (Gilgah) toward conscious union with (Bethel) our Divine Nature (Christ Self, Buddha Self, Krishna Self, etc.). And that involves both our Elijah and Elisha qualities.
The account also mentions chariots, horses, and a whirlwind. These are all ancient symbols used in the mystery schools. The Hebrews borrowed from many cultures to create their own cosmology.
In this case, we believe the whirlwind symbolizes the rise of the kundalini energies — the fiery serpentine energies (horses) which move from our Base Chakra and make their way up each of the seven major spiritual centers (chariots, chakras) along our spinal cord, culminating at the Crown Chakra as we awaken to our I Am nature.
What we have in this Biblical account is a snapshot of two dynamic spiritual aspects in each of us. One represents our being able to temper our spiritual zealousness tactfully and prudently so we can walk the spiritual path on practical feet. The other personifies our Wise Self in action because it is completely grounded in Self-realization and fully aligned with our I Am Nature.
The truth is we show up as both of them. The question is, how can we “duet better?”
Enjoy your journey, and spend some time in “New Zeal Land” — as you walk the spiritual path on practical feet!