Continuing now with excerpts from SACRED ANATOMY — where spirit and flesh dance in the fires of creation. Our topic is the spiritual significance of the pineal gland.
A STONE CUT OUT WITHOUT HANDS
Uranda’s reference in my previous post to the “white stone” as being the “renewed Pineal Gland” reminds me of another place in the Old Testament of the Bible where a small stone is mentioned that plays a pivotal role in the history of the Middle East. This reference is in the second chapter of The Book of Daniel. It is such a wonderful and pertinent story that I would like to consider it in all of its dramatic and significant details.
DANIEL AND KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR
It seems that Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, having just besieged Jerusalem—something that occurred quite frequently in those days—had a dream which he summoned his soothsayers to not only interpret for him but to tell him the very dream itself, for he had forgotten it. All he could remember of it was that it troubled his spirit so much that it woke him from his sleep. Yet he could not remember the dream, so he summoned all the wise men of Babylon to remember it for him and interpret it. When they could do neither, he was so furious that he commanded that they all be destroyed, along with Daniel and his fellows, Shadrach, Mishach and Abednego — formerly known by the names, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, respectively. To Daniel was given the name “Belteshazzar.”
Of course Daniel, who had not as yet had his chance at the dream, came to the king and did indeed tell him his dream as well as its interpretation. This pleased the king, who then acknowledged that Daniel’s God was truly “a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets,” so he showered Daniel with many gifts and made him ruler over all the governors of Babylon. He also placed Daniel’s fellows over the affairs of the province of Babylon, with its hanging gardens, one of the “seven wonders of the world.” (Near present-day Baghdad)
The dream itself was of a great image that was fashioned of various ores. His head was made of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron and his feet, interestingly enough, were made with a mixture of iron and clay. What likely troubled king Nebuchadnezzar so was what happened in his dream to this image when a stone, “cut out without hands,” smote the image upon its feet. The feet mixed with iron and clay crumbled and the whole image came tumbling down and all that the image was made of—the gold, the silver, the brass and the iron mixed with clay—was blown away by the wind so that nothing was left of it anywhere. But the stone became a great mountain which filled the whole earth.
Daniel interpreted the dream as a prophetical outworking that would see the rise and fall of several empires, including Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian empire, which Daniel said was represented by the head of gold. There would be other empires to come after the Babylonian empire, such as the Persian, the Grecian and Roman empires. All would rise and fall. The stone represented the kingdom of Daniel’s “God of heaven” which would be established during the reign of these kings and would remain to fill the whole earth after these other kingdoms had passed away.
King Nebuchadnezzar, for whatever reason, was not content to simply heed the message of his dream. He had a ninety by nine foot statue, or “image of gold,” erected “in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon” (Daniel 3:1). Now Babylon [today’s Iraq] was a province, or state—a collective, in other words, of many cities. In the Bible, whenever a city or state is mentioned, it may be seen as a metaphor for consciousness, so that Babylon could be seen here as relating to the collective consciousness of humanity in which the human mind plays a focal role as a lens to refocus the light of truth. The mind is historically thought to be anchored within the brain. So I think it’s interesting, if not significant, that this “image of gold” was erected in the “plain of Dura” somewhere in Babylon. The word “Dura,” as we saw above, is also used to identify the outer protective membrane of the brain and spinal chord.
In other words, this image could be seen as representing an image of gold held in the human intellect, gold representing love, but also what gold brings, namely power, as well as abundance and wealth. To Nebuchadnezzar this image of gold represented his many gods and the gifts of wealth and plenty these gods had bestowed upon him and his empire. Having erected this gigantic idol, he commanded that, upon hearing the sound of the “musick,” everyone, under penalty of death in the fiery furnace, should fall down and worship the golden image.
ONE “LIKE UNTO THE SON OF GOD” IN THE FIERY FURNACE
As the story goes, it was reported to the king that Daniel’s three companions were not obeying his command, so the king had Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego bound and thrown into the fiery furnace to honor his decree. So furious was he that these three friends of Daniel would not worship his gods that he had the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. As we recall, the three men, who went into the fiery furnace singing songs of praise and thanksgiving to their God, were not burned by the fire but only their bonds, along with the men who had thrown them into the furnace, were destroyed, setting them free.
The king was suddenly “astonied” because of what he saw in the furnace:
“Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire ?” he asked of his counselors. “True, king” they answered him. “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:24-25)
Here is that vision again of the One standing in the midst of fire that is like unto the Son of God. There was a presence, in other words, that was of another dimension.
Daniel himself was favored by all the kings who reigned during his lifetime because “an excellent spirit was in him,” and because of his strong faith in his God. The Median King Darius later on would have to throw Daniel into the lion’s den to appease the Medes and Persians, who are known for their unalterable laws, only to spend a sleepless night fasting and in deep repentance hoping that Daniel’s God would surely deliver him. He arose early in the morning and went with haste to the lion’s den crying out remorsefully but hopefully for Daniel, whom he found quite whole and unharmed. He was “exceeding glad” and therefore commanded that those who had made the accusation against Daniel themselves be fed to the lions, along with their wives and their families. Further he wrote to all the peoples of the entire earth that had peace among them and decreed that “in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.”
It is noteworthy here that throughout this story of Daniel he is placed first over other princes and governors because of his spirit, which was the spirit of the Lord God whom Daniel worshiped and sought to represent to the rulers and people of this great empire. It is also noteworthy that this king, along with others after him in the story, were constantly torn between their many gods—the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone—and this One God of Heaven that Daniel worshiped and obeyed. Whereas they could not deny the awesome power Daniel’s God bestowed upon him, particularly over secrets and dreams (it seems the kings of that era had a lot of disturbing dreams), they would resort to their traditions of placating the gods of their religions so as to assure their kingship, as well as the people’s homage, respect and obedience, as rulers of the world at that time.
It was always the accusations of the other governors against Daniel and his companions that caused the king to enforce his own decrees, only to hope in his heart that Daniel’s God would surely deliver them. This dynamic makes the story all the more interesting and relevant to human nature antics, which have not changed much. For even to this day do we worship the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and especially stone which we grind up to construct our buildings and highways. So do we also make laws that cannot be broken without paying either with money or our lives — the same laws to be used in bringing down those in high places of government, our leaders and elected officials whom we blame for our troubles, while praying to God for deliverance from them.
This was the empire where Daniel began to prosper and his God of Heaven was acknowledged as being the “God of the living” to be feared and worshiped by all peoples everywhere. The one just prior to this one, ruled over by Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, was the one represented in the dream by the feet made of iron mixed with clay. It had fallen, bringing all the empires of that era down into the dust of obliteration. But Daniel’s God and his heavenly kingdom, once a little stone, had grown into a great mountain which filled the whole earth.
Stay tuned for the rest of the story and its prophetic significance in my next post. Until then,
Be love. Be loved
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