‘give therefore to caesar the things that are caesar’s’
October 6th 2015
When the Pharisees asked Jesus whether they had to pay taxes to Caesar, in other words to the Roman occupier, he replied, ‘Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s’. Here, Caesar represents earthly powers, in contrast to God, the heavenly King. Caesar can also be seen to represent one of the forms of our lower nature, our purely human nature, which demands resources just as Caesar levied taxes. We all have a Caesar within us making demands, and it’s a matter of how much we should give him. The four elements give us our answer. If you make a wood fire, you will see lots of leaping flames, then a smaller amount of gas, followed by an even smaller amount of steam, and afterwards there will be only a handful of ashes left on the ground. The fire, gas and steam have all risen into the sky; only the ash, the element earth, has remained. So this shows how much you must give to your lower nature, which corresponds to the earth element: to be generous, let’s say about a quarter. And we must give the other three quarters to our divine nature.