Verse 14: “Happy are those who wash their robes clean! They will have the right to the tree of life and will enter by the gates of the city.”
Symbolically, this verse gives instruction about our ego’s task in life. We are to cultivate discernment and act with clarity to create thoughts, feeling states, behavior patterns, and a surrounding environment that are the purest and clearest or cleanest reflection of our soul.
The Tree of Life is a blueprint of the Divine energies that flow into the soul of humanity and the world at the moment of creation. On the Tree of Life, the Limitless Light of the Divine initially flows into the energies known as Wisdom and Understanding.
Wisdom is called the “Inner Robe of Glory,” as it holds the kernel of Divine Essence in a principle or image we can conceive. Understanding is called the “Outer Robe of Concealment,” as it fleshes out the bit of Wisdom into a practical application or form we can grasp and apply. “Robe” is symbolic of the wisdom and understanding that lives within each of us. In Jungian analytic terms, we refer to the Divine Essence that contains Wisdom and Understanding as the Self. The Self is the organizing principle of
The Self is the organizing principle of psyche and “a part of God that God put in us so that we will know that there is a God.” Every aspect of the personality, ego/self, body, and mind clothe a seed of the Self. What we see—our thoughts, emotions, feelings, intuitions, actions, habit patterns, automatic responses—are the “Outer Robe of Concealment.” They are the manifestations of the Limitless Light of the Divine. They embody and hold our unconscious and conscious understanding and application of the Wisdom of our Divine Essence.
When we want to change our behavior or some aspect of our selves, we seek to understand it. We track its appearance and its course of action within us. We try to identify the energy that stirs a mood or affect that result in thoughts and feelings and behaviors. We search for the root or origin of what we want to change. When we find the root, we can, with discernment, see the kernel of wisdom within it. We can connect with the energy or essence of the Self/God Within hidden by the thoughts, emotions, or behaviors that are problematic. Through understanding, we access the “Inner Robe of Glory.”
Often the “Outer Robe of Concealment,” our body-mind with its learned patterns and ways of living, distort the essence of the Divine Self. The forms—personality traits, character qualities, habit patterns, etc.—can hide the Self/God Within so well that we forget the truth of who we are on a soul level. We come to identify with what our ego knows and dismiss the larger Self.
Today’s Scripture reminds us that we can use our ego/self to “wash our robes clean.” We have to seek to understand who and what we are; we can ask the Self/God Within for discernment regarding our ways. As we become clear about the wisdom that is present, even in the distortions, we can cultivate and open to new ways of being and living that embody the Divine Essence in our body-mind, all its expressions, and our environment.
Take a few minutes to consider the state of your “Outer Robe of Concealment”—your body, mind, personality and all its expressions. What are the ways that allow a clean expression of your heart and soul? What are the ways that distort and hide the Divine Essence within you? Ask the Self/God Within to give you discernment regarding the needed expressions, inner and outer, that will let you embody more clearly the truth of your soul.