Yeshua said, "The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so.
As for you, be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves." ..........Saying 39, Gospel of Thomas
Let me begin this article with, the story, In a 1915 book of fables by Horace Scudder titled The Arab and His Camel,
The gist of the story is about the camel and its master and how one cold and stormy night camping in the desert, the camel asks for a small space to put his head within the tent and the master permits but eventually the camel takes the whole tent and the master is pushed out into the cold night.
When Moses formulated the Pentateuch his aim was for the people of Israel to have a guiding source of spiritual knowledge. This was followed by the Books of wisdom and the books of the prophets comprising of the whole compendium of spiritual knowledge. As always everyone is not given the mental and intellectual capacity to understand esoteric texts and hence scholars and scribes from the Levite tribe of Israel took upon themselves the task of being the interpreters. Thus was born the elite class of Pharisees, Sadducees, Rabbi and scholars.
But over a period of time the Pharisees and Sadducees, as custodian of this knowledge, kept to themselves the knowledge and subjected the common man to ritualistic routines and draconic laws promulgated to their convenience. The complexity is overwhelming and the "The Mishneh Torah (also known as the Yad HaHazaka for its 14 volumes; "yad" has a numeric value of 14), by Maimonides (Rambam; 1135–1204). This work encompasses the full range of Talmudic law; it is organized and reformulated in a logical system — in 14 books, 83 sections and 1000 chapters — with each halakha stated clearly. The Mishneh Torah is very influential to this day," ..........Wikipedia
Yeshua openly and in every given occasion refuted the validity of these laws. His view on ritual washing of the body while there is no concern about the inner purity and about observing the Sabbath being more important than compassion are clear examples in the canonical texts of the New Testament Gospels.
The keys to the source of spiritual wisdom have been conveniently hidden by the priestly class keeping the common man in a sort of religious slavery through meaningless dos and donts.
This is the common fallacy that is applicable to all organized religions even today. While laws are essential, ever since homo sapiens settled down in larger tribes and societies during the agricultural age, to promulgate ethical, just and moral behaviour in society, extending this domain to matters spiritual defeats the very purpose of spiritual wisdom which in its empowering role has to be tailored to individual needs at a subjective level. All other code of conduct should be formulated to the need of individual cultures and social needs.
The words of Yeshua, uttered 2000 years ago, still holds good in our world today. His final advice to the disciples is very valid.
Serpents and Doves are strong metaphors in spiritual texts. Right from the very beginning of mythological narrations, the serpent is given the role of being the bearer of knowledge. The serpent on plain ground is highly visible but a serpent camouflaged in a tree is the very symbol of stealth and cunning. It is the vertical or cosmic dimension that can bring us spiritual wisdom and empowering knowledge. This metaphor can also be seen in the brass serpent hung on the tree through which life was restored to the Israelite in the desert.
The Dove, in its purity, is the representation of the invisible force through which peace and Holy Spirit is manifested in scriptures.
These two powerful symbols are evoked by Yeshua to advice his followers to gain the key to Spiritual wisdom through means that are not man made.
I had earlier done a commentary on Carl Jung's observation on the process of salvation which should give additional input on the process of seeking spiritual wisdom.