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In a previous chapter of this book, God’s people were “thrust into darkness”.
Yet the later chapters go on to show how the darkness will be dispelled.
Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.
Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;
And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth.
And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.
And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
The Sharp Axe of Detachment
The Tree of Samsara is an illusion, the projection of the Immutable Immeasurable Imperishable Oneness. When Souls are weary of enjoying the experiences provided by transmigration through a myriad of births and deaths, they must learn to discern the Real from the effects of guna-maya and cut down this Tree. The only way to cut this upside-down Tree is with the Axe of Non-attachment (asange-sastrena).
The Sanskrit word asange means that which is opposed to desire, and sastrena is an axe or knife like weapon. Dispassion and renunciation of the signals which transmit the perceptions of the five senses to the brain, become a mighty (drdhena) weapon (sastra) because they detach human consciousness from the world of desire, attachment and aversion, likes and dislikes, pleasure and pain (Gambhirananda).
An eagerness for Knowledge of the Supreme Self makes this Axe strong and the repeated practice of Discriminations between the eternal Real and the temporal unreal, produced by Prakriti’s guna-maya, sharpens the weapon that cuts down our attachment which binds us in the temporal illusory hologram