This article needs to be rewritten and extended based upon more recent work in John describing water and spirit, but it provides a framework of the framework under construction.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The Key Cycles are the cycles passing through the four keys, the spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional, to return again to the spiritual. There is not one way to describe these four keys, but many. For example, we can describe them as being (spirit), doing (physical), judging (intellectual), and connecting (emotional) or we could describe them as soul, body, mind, and relationships.
Christ describes the passage through these cycles as the way the kingdom of heaven is brought into being on earth. There is not one path through these four aspects of reality, but many different ones. For example inspiration (spiritual), planning (intellectual), action (physical), and sharing (emotional) returning to the spiritual is one such path. Please notice that without the sharing step, the cycle is not completed. Another such cycle would be spiritual, birth (physical) education (intellectual), and socialization (emotional), returning to spirit. Any order is possible, though Christ mainly focuses on three specific cycles.
The Cycle of Keys and their Symbols
The four keys always form a cycle, but that cycle has more than one version in Christ’s teaching. This cycle is best understood using the analogies for these keys. This cycle of keys take two forms that we can call the subjective and the objective. You will recognized both cycles from the large role they plan in Christ’s teaching and his life story. I have named each cycle in three parts. The first part of the name is a general description of its point of view. The second is the earthly beginning of the cycle: either mind, body, or relationship (caring). The third part is the central element in the analogies used by Christ to describe this cycle. This last part of the name is going to be our shorthand for describing it in the future.
The Subjective-Mind-Bread Cycle
The “Bread” Cycle describes our subjective, personal perception of life.
Subjective: Spirit>Mind>Body>Relationship (family)>Spirit
Solid Cycle Analogies: Seed > Grain > Bread > Flesh > Seed
Let’s talk about the analogies first because Christ prefers physical symbols to words that can be misunderstood. The “seed” is Christ’s favorite symbol of the spirit and a main focus of many of his parables and stories. The seed leads to growth, which results in wealth and power, but which is represented by grain in the parables. The grain becomes the food, the bread, the physical stuff of life. The bread is turned into flesh, the source of relationships and feeling. The flesh results in more seeds, the procreation of life. This seed metaphorically begins the cycle all over again.
In this cycle, the spirit of God first fills the mind with thought inspiration. These thoughts then satisfies the body by enabling us to make a living, to survive. Our survival allows us to have relationships with others, to interact with them. Our relationships with others satisfy t the spirit, allowing us to perceive our relationship with God. In going through this cycle, we fulfill God’s plan for us. This is how our lives work on a personal, subjective level, starting with spirit and mind.
The Objective-Body-Wine Cycle
The “Wine” Cycle describes our objective, social view of the physical world.
Objective Cycle: Spirit>Body>Mind>Relationship (Society)>Spirit
Liquid Cycle Analogies: Heaven > Water > Wine > Blood > Heaven
This cycle is an echo of the solid cycle (or the solid cycle is an echo of it) but there are two important differences. First, in analogy the connections are all more miraculous. Second, the pattern of its cycle is more objective rather than subjective.
These analogies evoke the necessary presence of God because they are miraculous to one degree or other. Heaven creates water; water becomes wine; wine becomes blood; blood leads to heaven only by God’s will. Except for the first connection (water from heaven), the other miracles were all part of Christ life. Christ describes as himself the fountain of eternal water, but he never made it rain. At Cana, however, he miraculously turned water into wine. The liquid that satisfies the body becomes the liquid that satisfies the mind. Wine and vineyards are also used a symbol of wealth in the parables. At the last supper, the wine becomes blood. The mental becomes emotional, the sacrifice for others. The shedding of blood miraculously returns the spirit to its source with Christ’s death.
This cycle can be taken very objectively. The “universal rule” or the laws of nature, if you prefer, create the physical world. From the physical world, mental abilities arise. From mental abilities, we form societies. Our societies form religions to address the questions posed by the universe. What we perceive as “spirit” on a subjective level, become the laws of nature on an objective level. Relationship on a personal level become society on an impersonal level.
The Universal-Relationship-Tree Cycle
Christ’s mission was to united these two separate cycles, the objective and subjective, into one by emphasizing our care for one another. This is why relationship (relationship (caring)) is more important than the other physical keys. Christ heals or unites the split between mind and body through relationship (relationship (caring)). One way to put the two cycles together like this:
Mind > Body
Heaven > > relationship > Heaven
Body > Mind
Christ teaches this view. It is symbolized in the Gospels as a “wedding” between the feminine and masculine view of life. I will leave it to you to work out how the two sexes represent the “mind>body” or “body>mind” because the symbol works either way. This is why marriage is such a recurring them in Christ’s teaching though he was never married himself. Christ also personified the marriage and more since he also united the spiritual with the physical.
But this NOT the way Christ describes the kingdom of heaven cycle in his parables. Christ was a LOT more creative than that.
The “Tree” Cycle describes our choice of the personal action.
He describes the universal rule or the kingdom of heaven like thi
Universal Cycle: Spirit>Relationship>Mind>Body>Spirit
Cycle Analogies: Seed > Earth > Tree > Fruit > Seed
Christ’s mission on earth was “turning around” (in Greek, epistrepho, a word also translated as “converted”) people from their narrow traditions to the universal rule. This turning around comes from healing all the parts of our lives. This cycle puts relationship (relationship (caring)) first after the spirit. In the other cycles, relationship (caring) results from physical or mental relationships. In the kingdom of heaven, relationship (relationship (caring)) is a cause, not a result. We start by relationship. Everything is filtered through our relationship (caring) as a basic approach to the world. Because we care, we think a certain way. Because we think a certain way, we act a certain way. The fertile heart of the earth produces the good tree that in turn produces good fruit. This was the Christian revolution: putting relationship (relationship (caring)) first and basic our decisions upon that relationship (caring) for other people. Christ describes himself as a as “one greater than” the temple, Jonah, and Solomon in chapter 12, but all of these motivations have their proper and rightful place in the world. Christ is simply saying that relationship (caring) comes first. Notice that even religion can take a back seat to relationship (caring) for others.
Again, in analogies (which is how Christ works) the seed is the spirit, but it goes first to relationship (caring) in this cycle, represented by planting it in the earth. This is the care of the farmer. The seed becomes a tree, which represents the mental and physical wealth. The tree produces fruit, which nurture our body. The fruit is what reproduces the seed. Notice that this cycle starts with the seed of the subjective cycle but its emphasis is different. The seed going into the earth is the key point in the cycle. relationship (caring) does not come from the body in the form of sex and love of family relationships. relationship (caring) is the first step in the process. The tree is the center of the cycle because it produces fruit.
How do we know that trees are mental and fruit physical? Trees and orchards are physical wealth, which persists. Wealth arises from wisdom and judgment. Fruit is the physical product that we need to nourish the body. Fruit, like the body, is transient and spoils over time. However, we don’t need this insight because Christ tells use specifically. He talks about the nature of trees. Good trees produce good fruit. Bad trees produce bad fruit. He says that the tree is what is inside of a person, our thoughts and mental state. He says the fruit is our action, what we do. He does this in the context of discussing demons, that is, what is inside a person.
Of the three terms, I use different terms for only the “emotional” key in each of the three cycles. In the Subjective Bread Cycle, we see our emotional connection in terms of personal relationships. In the Objective Wine Cycle, we see our emotional connection in terms of our social position or status. Only in the Universal Tree Cycle do
Like all the cycles, Christ’s life teaches this cycle. He was the seed, planted in the ground. He described himself as Jonah, but unlike Jonah, he would go into “the heart of the earth,” the relationship (caring) of the ground. You might even say, the relationship (caring) of Mother earth. The tomb becomes the symbol for relationship (caring). He then rose as the tree, the thought. The thought became a physical body, which went to heaven. You can also see Christ as the seed that went in the earth to create the tree of Christian faith which is remaking the social world. It all works out.
The Coming of the Kingdom of Heaven
On a personal level, this healing is called a “turning around” or a conversion, where both mind and body are united in relationship (caring) for others. This also heals the rift between our subjective world of relationships and the objective world of society. Without this healing two mistakes naturally occur. People care only about their personal relationships, that is, the family and claim, or people care only about the impersonal judgments of society. Christ constantly condemns both of these views, though his is especially hard on those that act on the basis of winning social approval, even religious social approval. The idea is that we should care for all people like we care for our family.
However, this does not mean that Christ taught that society itself should care for others. He taught that only individuals care and that society was inherently flawed. Unlike people, it exists only as an object. It has no subjective viewpoint. The state has no mind to form a view of “the common good.” Others mistake their personal subjective views for the “common” view, but this is a form of “self-centeredness” that is an error on the side of the subjective. The Christian socialist view, which abdicates personal relationship (caring) to the coercion of the state, missed the point entirely. As Christ’s view of the courts makes clear, society does not produce anything like true justice.
Only by personally relationships with strangers can we become healed, or whole. Individuals behaving differently is what changes the condition of the state. The state cannot change the way people care about one another. Only the acceptance of Christ does that.