DEEPER LOOK AT JUDAS AND PETER
The New Testament Judas stands for the disloyal part of human lower self (disciple); that part which resists the influence coming from the Divine Master. And the “Master” represents the Higher Self … the Divine Christ within.
The “disciple”, lower self, has expectations as to the “Master.” If the “disciple” is not ready to renew his vision of things and enlarge his horizons, for which he needs to drop old expectations aside, he may be defeated. Actual defeat takes the form of “treason.”
Allegorically, in Matthew 26 of the Bible, the loyal disciples do not stop Judas from committing his treason. Their great stupidity, cowardice. and inability to defend the sacred Master - the source of their learning - is well expressed in Matthew 26: 69-74. There, the chief disciple Peter, flatly denies the Master three times. When asked about Jesus, Peter replies:
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
This chief disciple literally washes his hands. He swears he did not see the Master. Peter is too cowardly to be a traitor, or a true disciple - in that moment. He is but lukewarm. He will be able to recover only later in the story.
Anyone cowardly enough or sufficiently ignorant not to make “a brave declaration of principles” and a “valiant defense of those unjustly attacked” is caught in that same situation as Peter.
Of course, “Judas”, or “selfish impulses”, betrays his Master, or spiritual Divine/Soul, who is not defended by other disciples. Thus Judas successfully interrupts the flow of energy between “heaven” (upper Divine) and “earth” (lower mortal soul).
“Judas” is a symbol of that disciple or aspirant to Wisdom who fails in his search for Truth, and who cuts the semi-dormant link to the higher realms, which can only be found WITHIN himself. Judas is also a symbol for the selfish sectors of one’s emotional principle of consciousness.
Evil disguises itself as good. Ambiguity, disguise, and hypocrisy make the basic grammar of traitors. Judas kisses the Master on the face. Outwardly, the fake disciple expresses good wishes to the Master. But this is in fact only made in order to indicate to the swordsmen who was to be the man arrested, and killed.
Then comes the representation of Sacred, eternal Wisdom. In Matthew 26:67, the Master is spat on his face and slapped by ignorant people. You see, the spiritual Mind is degraded and despised by the arrogance of the lower self. Once Jesus is arrested, though, and after getting his bribe of thirty pieces of silver, Judas renounces the prize for his treason. He suddenly realizes that - in the absence of Spiritual Soul, the Divine Master - everything loses meaning for him.
He had rejected the Teacher who did not fit into his own expectations … thus battling his ego. He had done so because he had not previously renounced his own narrow “self” ideas about what the Master should or should not do.
But what could Judas do, now that he had committed spiritual suicide for that lifetime? Now that he had interrupted the sacred bridge between heaven and earth within himself, turned himself deaf to the still small voice of his own higher conscience within? There was but one thing for him to do, and he did it. He completed the metaphor of spiritual self-destruction by hanging himself.
In this highly symbolical metaphor or allegory Judas is the “disciple/self” who betrays his “Divine/Master”. This is the sacred esoteric secret. He destroys his own higher Self by giving into his own selfish ego of self-expectation.
By the symbolism of hanging himself, Judas interrupts the life flow between head and body. Thus he destroys Antahkarana (Hindu Philosophy: the link between the middle and higher mind). This is a way of losing consciousness, or memory. Death symbolizes a form of ceasing to remember. Judas does not remember any longer the things he knew when he was loyal to his Higher Self, or inner Divine Master.
The various factors mentioned above are present in the life of every truth-seeker, and Judas’ lessons should be useful for every one of us.
Everything, which exists in large scale, exists in small scale, too. The microcosm and macrocosm. The Universe within, and without. No one should say, or think, that the experience of Judas in the New Testament is entirely away from his own experience. The whole Universe is interlinked. We can learn from it all, if we only have the ability to do that. The lessons from Judas apply to each and every person. Look deeper into every parable, myth, or metaphor. Search for Truth. Knock, and the door shall be opened.
Just a thought ...
Justin Taylor, ORDM.