What happened to those slaves that Moses led out of Egypt? Why do we remember an event that is centuries more than 3000 years old. Furthermore, this event is now covered with layers of story, myth, and interpretations to the extent that any scientifically historical accuracy about what factually happened is obscured in all the fuss that has been made about this event. Let us suppose that the following bare-bones approximation of the outward historical facts, gives us an impression of what we need to guess in order to begin understandings why this event was revelatory—yes, revelatory of the nature of every event that has ever happened or ever will happen.
Here is my guess: An unusually aware, sensitive, and perhaps educated member of the Hebraic slave community was moved to lead a significant number of his Hebraic companions out of a severely hierarchical Egyptian society into the wilderness where a new vision of law-writing was established that was based on a vision that the Mysterious Realty allows free action to change the course of history. This was a huge shift in life interpretation for these Egyptian enculturated slaves—so huge that it took Moses and others 40 years, so the story goes, to wash Egypt out of this people and prepare them to fight for a more promising place on Earth for their revelation and their emerging peoplehood.
A more personally rooted story-time rendering of this transformative event begins with how a man named Moses got so angry over a member of his people being mistreated by an Egyptian soldier that he killed that solder, and then had to flee to the out-back into a life in hiding. Then one day, so the story goes, Moses came upon a bush that was blazing with a strange type of fire. Temporal bushes burn up, but this bush was not being consumed. It remained the same old bush in spite of this strange conflagration. This was surely a bit of Moses’ poetry for a very real inner happening to Moses himself. His own “who-he-thought-he-was” was being burned up, yet he was not consumed.
According to the further elaboration of this poetry, Moses witnessed that the whole scene around that bush had became Awe-filling and that it spoke to him about rescuing his people from their slavery. This was the last thing in the world Moses wanted to do. He raised the fact that his speech-making talent was far inferior to his brother’s. Take him then, said the bush, but be clear that I am speaking to you, not him. You will have to do the speaking to your brother. You are the one I am calling to this task. Your brother is not here for this awakening in your being. After a bit more excuse making, Moses set out to do this.
Now what had Moses encountered? “The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob,” the story says. “The Mystery of History” is another clue to understanding this encounter. Moses is looking into the black hole of the Eternal Abyss about which human beings know nothing. And Moses is receiving a revelation concerning that essence of that Still Lasting Mysteriousness. What did Moses see? What viewpoint on the Abyss did Moses learn from this conflagration of the temporal Moses that left him still alive, but in a whole new way? Let’s just say this revelation had to do with the topic of historical possibilities. The story continues.
When a series of cracks in the seams of Egyptian society offered an opportunity to slip out, Moses had already prepared the people to do so. We do not need to factually believe the exaggerated story-telling that elaborated these events. I don’t believe that Moses ever had an audience with the Pharaoh. Perhaps in his dream life, Moses said to Pharaoh ,”Let my people go.” I don’t doubt that plagues happened in Egypt. Such things happen to every society. I can also believe that this religious people already understood that every event emerges from that Mysterious Abyss served by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Anyhow, on one highly opportune day a fairly large group of slaves got underway before the Egyptian CIA noticed them, alerted the authorities, and got a detachment of fast-moving military chariots in pursuit. I believe that the real historical miracle was more like the chariots bogging down in the mud of the Reed Sea rather than that there were walls of water as pictured in the Red Sea myth. But however that was, the big happening was that this group, like many others, actually escaped. It is likely that most of those other escaping groups did not find a way to survive in the challenging wilderness. They did not have a Moses who could explain to them how Mysterious Reality was for them (Mose insisted that they remember the Exodus and how to remember it).
I can imagine Moses saying, “Let us view our freedom from slavery as an ongoing realism that applies to the current situations that are now at hand. Here are five ways to not forget the Exodus and five more ways on how we need to treat one another if we are to be true to what we have learned about Reality and about being free souls who can dare the impossible and win.
At Mount Sinai Moses was giving an elaboration of the burning bush revelation about how Mysterious Reality IS and how humans who are true to this truth will find their “better angels” in their own inner depths and live those profound states of living. This profound living includes embracing the freedom to bend the flow of history.
Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others accessed the Moses-initiated vision into the Mysterious Abyss for their new situations and thereby expanded upon the relevance of the Exodus experience for all humankind.
John, the Baptist and Jesus also applied the Exodus experience to their situation, John, the Baptist washed people of their evil era in the Jordan River. And Jesus carried out his loyalty to the Mosaic revelation to such an extent that his followers called the result “a New Exodus.“ Jesus emphasized a positive “Exodus” from the entire Kingdom of Satan into the now available Kingdom of God on Earth.
What do these symbols mean? They mean that we humans can exit our estrangements and find our authenticity in the living here and now of every event that comes our way.
This revelation, this viewpoint on the essence of the Mysterious Abyss, was also spelled out in the symbols of Cross and Resurrection. When we allow our false expectations to be crucified, we can be raised up to the true and glorious life that is being given to us in this real-time moment. “Hallelujah, the Body of Human Authenticity is Risen.”
The elaboration of this revelation about the essence of the Absolutely Mysterious Abyss continues.