We often look at the true meaning of the wisdom contained within the collective works of inspired writings known as the "Bible".
As we observed, the Bible is in reality a book of Initiation, in other words a book of Spiritual Growth and Metaphysics, the true meaning of which was only intended for the few who could understand back then as now:
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand". And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. -- Matthew 13:10-16
As we know, it was "them" in the form of the Roman Empire who, seeing their military power dwindling, and in need of another means of controlling the "masses", seized upon the literal words of the collection of texts that later became the canon of the Bible, and used them to replace their existing religion, Mithraism, which in and of itself wielded no powers of control, to form the basis of another instrument of control - the Roman Church. he only difference between the Roman Empire and the Roman Church is that the former wore tunics and ruled by the sword of metal, and the latter wears tunics and rules through the sword of he invocation of the emotions of fear and guilt. The outcome is always the same - misery, and thus the Roman empire lived on in its new guise.
Jesus came to Earth in plenty of time to prepare mankind for the coming transition of the ages:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. -- Matthew 13:47-51
This means that at the end of the "world" or "age" as it would have been more correctly translated from ancient Greek, only those who are ready will benefit from this great opportunity to evolve to the next phase of human being, while those left behind will be frustrated and faced with another long cycle of initiation on Earth or another appropriate planet, for the next opportunity to graduate.
Jesus speaks of Spiritual Growth, as he often did in the form of a parable:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. -- Matthew 13:44
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: and having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it. -- Matthew 13:45-47
It is no coincidence that these profound parables where spoken by Jesus immediately before his revelations about the end of the age.
The end of the age is about one thing fundamentally - Spiritual growth, or at least the opportunity for Spiritual growth. But before this opportunity can be realised certain things must happen.
"The kingdom of heaven" referred to by Jesus are Spiritual worlds, the glories and splendours of which far exceed anything that Earthly man can comprehend. It is these Spiritual worlds, the "Kingdom of Heaven", that are the the great prize for all who are ready as we enter this great transition.
In the first of these parables Jesus is saying that once a person, who was previously focused on mere material things, including the creed, dogma and indoctrination of belief systems, looks within and discovers their true Spiritual nature, with great joy they will "sell" the material illusion that they have been clinging to and turn to embrace their own true reality and destiny - the Kingdom of Heaven.
In the second of these parables, "The pearl of great price", Jesus is further reinforcing these truths, such are their importance.
In the "pearl of great price" Jesus is saying, keeping in mind that this is immediately before he tells us about the great "harvest"
that is to come at the "end of the World", that the Kingdom of Heaven is seeking "goodly pearls", in other words humans who have attained the necessary level of Spiritual evolution and therefore perfection, to enter the "Kingdom of Heaven".
Now it is crucially important, and I cannot stress this enough, for anyone who adheres to the doctrines of a religion to understand
The gates of heaven will not be opened to anyone simply on the basis that they have devoted their life to their religion, Bible, or God, or accepted Jesus as their "Saviour". From the perspective of true progress this is probably one of the most potentially damaging concepts in existence at this time, because it is leading people down a false path, a path that is many cases ends in a destination that in many ways is not as pleasant as the place where non-religious people will go after their time on Earth is complete.
The paradox therefore that such people having spent their lives avoiding "purgatory", will, after the change known as "death", find themselves in a place which, compared to where most people go, akin to a form of "hell" known as "the belief system territories" where they become trapped within their own beliefs.
Spiritual evolution is about self-realisation, realisation of Oneness with The Source, God, and self Spiritual development, not in the blind following of a set of creeds, dogmas and doctrines, convenient though such a packaged belief system might seem. The human race might enjoy instant gratification in physical things, but in the only aspect of life that really matters, Spiritual evolution, the reason why we are here, there is no such concept.
In the pearl of great price Jesus is saying that once these truths, the "pearl of great price" are discovered and realised for what it really is, nothing else will matter - all material things will pale by comparison. Thus realised, the person will sell all his Earthly possessions in the form of material ideas, dogmas and doctrines that have bound them to Earth, and to "buy in to" the "pearl of great price", the "Kingdom of Heaven", the next glorious step along the path where all things coveted on Earth will seem valueless by comparison.
The parable of the "pearl of great price" also has a deeper metaphysical meaning - overcoming the challenges of physical life.
A pearl is formed when a small particle enters the shell of an oyster, and comes an irritant against the soft tissue of the oyster. As an oyster cannot scratch the itch it instead secrets a calcium based substance to coat the irritant and thereby providing some welcome relief.
Very often the oyster is satisfied at that, and makes no further effort to add more substance to the pearl, and the pearl remains small and undeveloped, and of low value as a result. The metaphysical meaning of this can be likened to human who does just enough in life to "scratch their itch" and thereby just "get by" in life with the minimum of effort.
However, occasionally an oyster wishes not only to make itself comfortable, but to achieve their concept of a perfect state of being, and will therefore make the effort to keeping adding more and more layers to the pearl until it becomes large and lustrous and of "great value".
What Jesus was also saying here on this deeper level of the parable is that we should never stop developing ourselves and seeking perfection. Just "getting by" will not lead to becoming that "pearl of great price" that the Kingdom of Heaven is seeking, especially towards the "end of the age" which Jesus goes on to talk about.
And to conclude I would also like to bring your attention to the fact that these teachings of Jesus are also in alignment with these writings.
Anyone can become a "pearl of great price" of such value to the Kingdom of Heaven, and it is in fact our most sacred mission to do so. However - to accomplish this means turning away from the distractions and background noise of the physical world to focus within, towards the Kingdom of Heaven, knowing that is our true reality, and to keeping adding layers and therefore the lustre of Initiation to our "pearls", knowing that the Kingdom of Heaven awaits, with all of the incomprehensible glories that opens up, glories that make the toys of the kindergarten of Earth look trivial by comparison, and which, as in the first parable we looked at today, will cause us to want to "sell all we hath".
I wrote Our Ultimate Reality as the definitive manual for life, to show you how you can focus within, add more lustre to the pearl of your own mission on Earth, and thereby to make yourself a "pearl of great price" in readiness for the transition of the ages, when, as Jesus tells us, the harvest has come and the Kingdom of Heaven casts its dragnet, you, as a "Pearl of Great Price" will be part of that glorious harvest.