Metaphors in the Gospels: “The Prodigal Son”


Illustration: "The Prodigal Son"

Public Domain 

When reading over the story of Adam and Eve today,  one thing seemed pretty clear: “The knowledge of good and evil" is equated with: "death”. Thus, “death” in both the Old and New Testaments is not a reference to physical death, but rather some type of spiritual or intellectual death.

Hence, the reference in the gospels: “Let the dead bury their dead….”

The other reference we have discussed quite a bit in other articles in this series is the parallel drawn between money and some type of spiritual lessons. So, we have the reference to: “the workers in the vineyard” earning one penny and we have the question posed: Which is more important? The temple? Or: The gold on the roof of the temple?

Finally, we spoke extensively about the connection between: “first born sons”, “first fruits of the field” and “the laws of God” which is found in the discussion of the Holy Day of “Shavout”. One of our conclusions was that each type of food represents a particular type of knowledge.

Thus, when discussing the Parable of the Prodigal Son one must first understand and accept that we are not speaking about a real son, a real father or real food.

According to Maurice Nicoll, as explained in his book: “The Mark”, the Prodigal Son is about one aspect of our personality in a struggle against other aspects of our personality. The Prodigal Son, originally was under the influence of: “the father” and ate his “bread”. Thus, Nicoll points out that the prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread” is NOT about real bread or real food, but is a request for spiritual guidance.

The Prodigal Son, however, is drawn away from these spiritual teachings and finds knowledge based in the physical senses to be more attractive. Thus, when he asks for his: “inheritance” we must remember that Moses said that: “his words” were” “the inheritance of Israel”. Accordingly, the inheritance that is squandered is the spiritual lessons needed to raise the son to a higher level of understanding.

We are told that after wasting or spending all the wealth his father gave him the son is now living with pigs and eating their food. In other articles, we discussed that the New Testament mistranslates the words of Jesus to mean: “clean and un clean foods”. What is actually written in the Old Testament, however, is: “pure and impure foods”. Hence: “a pig” is a reference to: “an impure teaching”, not: “a dirty animal”. So, “the husks” that the pigs eat, because we noted earlier that each type of food represents a different type of knowledge, represents: “worthless knowledge”. Thus the Prodigal Son returns home to the “bread of the father”.

The father then declares: “my son was dead, but now is alive”. Obviously, this is not a reference to physical death and, it is my belief, that it is a grave mistake to think that the story of “Lazarus being raised from  death” is a reference to physical death. The name “Lazarus” means: “God is my help” and God, we are told in the Gospels, is spirit.

The Prodigal Son is provided with a feast of “The fatted calf” and we have discussed in many articles the connection between the Hebrew word for “meat” and the Hebrew word for “teachings” and “Gospels”, hence the Hebrew title for: “The Gospel of Mark” can actually be translated as: The Meats of Mark”. Regardless, the Prodigal Son has returned back to the teachings of his father and his first lesson is represented by the “fatted calf”.

The only issue left to discuss is the other brother. Apparently, within the subconscious mind of every person there is a teaching from God (the first born son). From the words of the 1st born were are led to believe this teaching receives no glory or recognition; it just “quietly works in its father’s field” and keeps one life on “an even keel” so to speak. Thus, the Parable of: “The Sower of the Seeds” seems to be a reference to this first born son, that is planted in the mind and must struggle with all the other aspects of the personality: greed, ego, desire etc., etc,… including the aspect of the personality represented by the Prodigal Son.