The letters to the seven churches represent instructions to the seeker as he undertakes seven different stages on the path to initiation where he reaches the point where he can hold his mind steady in the light and not moved out of his place. In addition, it represents seven groupings of people loosely attracted to each other because of reaching a similar point on the path and similar ray qualities.
Notice that to each group the Master gives both compliments as well as stern criticism. This fits the paradigm because until the disciple learns to keep his mind steady in the light and overcome illusion his actions will waver in and out of his spiritual center. In some areas he will be focused and follow the inner voice, but in other areas he will ignore the inner voice in favor of preconceived notions and lower desires.
Now let us look at the first set of instructions:
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; (Revelation 2:1)
Ephesus basically means "given permission." Why is permission an important word as the seeker begins his path to discipleship?
It is indeed of extreme importance, much more than has been realized in the past. Throughout his long struggle the pilgrim has only acted when given permission from some earthly authority. That authority may be a priest, prophet, king, teacher, book, belief system, group, etc. Because the average person can only act under the permission of earthly authorities the inner voice is muffled. Why? Because the inner voice gives permission that overrides all outer authorities.
A great problem then arises. The authority of the inner voice conflicts with the authority of the outer. Which is he to follow? At first the seeker has many fears of defying the outer authorities and then he goes the other extreme and defies all authority almost mindlessly. He makes many mistakes until he learns the true lessons of harmonizing the inner voice with the outer world.
To help the seeker put things in perspective he is told that the voice holds "the seven stars in his right hand, (and) walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks."
The seeker is reminded that he is only lighting the first candlestick on the path to discipleship. He has six more great obstacles to hurdle and six more teachers and belief systems to transcend before he becomes a disciple. He must eventually realize that all seven stages are under the guidance of the inner Christ and even though there are many perils the path is a part of a grand design.
The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.
William H. Borah, (Former) Senator from Idaho
Copyright © 2006 by J J Dewey, All Rights Reserved