You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
The commandment not to commit adultery and the commandment not to steal are extensions of the commandment not to commit murder. Because marriage and one's possessions in life are an extension of the human body and life, they are also an extension of the image and likeness of divine being. In the mystical union of a man and woman, they become "one flesh" and "one soul," and in their union is the complete image of the Human One, both male and female. Likewise, the property of a human being is meant to serve as a vehicle for the development and evolution of the soul. To the degree one embodies something of the light-presence and labors to uplift humanity through one's possessions, property becomes a vehicle of the light-transmission arid divine kingdom. Thus, once again, we are encouraged to respect and value human life and the One life-power.
Stealing can occur by stealth (burglary), force (robbery), deception (cheating or fraud), or wrongful use (use without permission). In any case, it creates distrust among human beings, injures faith and causes an imbalance in the flow of the life-power, and thus may serve to impair the connection between the soul and divine being. In terms of theft from a Gnostic point of view, negativity is engendered, as well as cords that bind the soul to the demiurgos and archons. Such actions naturally betray one's humanity.
Stealing, however, is not merely the act of the thief. Stealing tends to reflect a society in which the value of a person is based upon material possessions instead of honoring actual human and spiritual development. When societies place too much value on material possessions, it serves to encourage stealing by those who are disadvantaged, as well as by the wealthy that are always greedy for more than their portion. Thus, everyone becomes excessively preoccupied with material possessions at the expense of their humanity—their spirit and soul. When society values the wealthy and powerful, and disregards the poor and weak, it creates a dominion of oppression and exploitation. The wealthy become wealthier while the poor become poorer. It is an endless cycle of violence motivated by the selfishness and greed of consumerism—t-he philosophy of thieves!
Thus, while on the surface this commandment points to the one who outright steals, at the same time it points to the underlying conditions that create the desire to steal and the basic mindset behind the thief—"more for me at the expense of all others." Essentially, any time we gather in things at the expense of others, it is a gradation of stealing and reflects the nature of the demiurgos and archons.
According to the Sophian teachings, the commandment not to steal and the commandment to use the name of God wisely are intimately connected. Because, as stated above, by extension all our talents and resources are expressions of the One life-power. This commandment invokes the question of how we might use our resources to better the lives of others and to uplift humanity. This question reminds us of a saying of Lord Yeshua: "But strive for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."6
There is another teaching of Yeshua that is directly associated with this commandment, which is worthy of contemplation in light of our present discussion. He says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but store un for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moths nor rust consume and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."7
In essence, according to the Sophian tradition, one's earthly treasure is given in order to build up a heavenly treasure, which is to say for the sake of the development and evolution of the soul towards self-n . iza-tion. Our earthly treasure is meant to serve and uplift humanity, not to exploit, oppress, dominate, or merely to serve oneself. In and of itself, there is nothing inherently wrong or evil in money or material possessions, but when such things do not serve their true purpose—the great work—then they are without purpose and meaning and are basically vain and futile. After all, we enter this world with nothing. When we depart this world, all we will take with us is our experience, the knowledge we have acquired, the blessings we have gathered through uplifting humanity and through actions of love and compassion. Hence, we will have our soul-being, and hopefully, it will be more luminous than when we entered. This is the basic attitude of Gnostic Christians on material possessions Possessions are a vehicle for the evolution of the human spirit and soul, nothing more and nothing less.
This commandment points to a key teaching in the Kabbalah. The Kabbalah says that, inherently, we begin our spiritual quest with the desire to receive for ourselves alone, with little, if any, desire to share and give. A thief is an extreme manifestation of the desire to receive
6 Cospel of St. Matthew 6:33
7 Gospel of St. Matthew 6:19-2 I
for. oneself alone. Accordingly, progress on the spiritua. path is the development of the desire to share and to give equal to our desire to receive. ~hus, self-realization is the desire to receive for the sake of sharing :ind giving of oneself. This is the basic a:m of Gnor-iic initiates.
We might phrase th s commandment in this way: Honor the true purpose a>i i meaning of things, and be willing to give as much as to receive.
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This work on 2012 will attempt to note them allfrom the concepts andinvolvement by the authors of the Bible and its interpreters and theprophecies depicted in both the Hopi petroglyphs and the Mayan calendarto the prophetic uttering of such psychics, mediums, and prophets asNostradamus, Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon.