The Spiritual Exodus.
Ancient Egypt was the civilisation that was more obsessed with death than any other. Therefore it would be appropriate for a soul to escape from that land of death and into the promised land. A soul that wanted to escape from slavery in the land of death, or the Underworld, had to pass through the Red Sea by parting the water. As was explained in Reinterpreting the Bible, the sea represents the world and Jesus walking on water was him not sinking into the world. Peter sank into it because he had little faith and that is what being worldly is. The Pharaoh's army getting swallowed up by the Red Sea represents that the physical world cannot continue to pursue and enslave the soul once it has penetrated the barrier between the physical and spiritual worlds.
Once the soul is freed from the land of the dead it doesn't immediately go to the Promised Land, it must stay in a desert for 40 years until the generation that had escaped from slavery die off. That generation knew nothing but slavery and death and constantly wanted to go back to it. They simply couldn't be allowed into the Promised Land. When a soul moves past the barrier between the physical and spiritual worlds, it will experience desolation because it has never experienced anything other than the physical world and it cannot immediately move onto higher realms. The old self must die off before it can move on. Like the disobedient Hebrews, the soul will want to constantly go back to its former life in the slavery of ignorance. This is why the Underworld is so much more attractive than enlightenment. What everyone sees is a desert and a long, empty life in it. The Promised Land will not be seen until the soul has abandoned the Underworld and all its attractions, or illusions of attractions.
A constant feature that kept coming up again and again all throughout the Old Testament was the disobedience of the Hebrews, God sending a prophet, God bringing judgement on them and then God forgiving them. The major feature of the Old Testament is the law, whereas the major feature of the New Testament is death and resurrection. What this is saying is that laws don't make society better, but rising above the flesh and its animal nature is what will make society better. If laws did make the world better than the world should be a paradise because of the countless laws in existence. The problem is the flesh and animal nature makes all those laws only so useful. That is why the death and resurrection of the New Testament is superior to the legalism of the Old Testament. Anyone who has read the Old Testament knows how extremely legalistic it is and yet for all those laws, Israel still failed and likewise the soul will fail until it undergoes the process of death and resurrection.
It's interesting that the staff of Moses turns into a snake. It is similar to the Staff of Hermes, called caduceus and the Staff of Asclepius. These staffs are carried by ancient gods and who were heralds. On the Wikipedia page about the caduceus, the Roman god Mercury, who was their version of Hermes, is described as being guide of the dead, which would apply to Moses as well, if the Exodus story was a metaphor.
These are two chapters out of Alchemy Unveiled, by Johannes Helmont, who talks about how the stories in the Old Testament and the New Testaments are really metaphors for the soul.
The Mysteries of Israel.
"Everything in the holy Torah (Bible) has, in accordance with the mysterious trinity of human Nature, a threefold sense; firstly, the external historical meaning of the word (Paschut), which corresponds to the body and the forecourt in the temple; secondly, the allegorical-mystical sense (D'rasch), which corresponds to the Soul and to the Saints in the temple; and thirdly, the inner secret sense (Sod), which represents the Spirit and the Holy of Holies.
The external, historical meaning of the word is like everything external in the World; only an appearance or symbol? It is so often contrary to reason, that no reasonable Human Being can take it for the truth? Yes, the irrationality should be a protection against the literal word-for-word understanding of the Holy Scriptures.
The "History" of Israel, which is quoted in the Torah, is therefore not an explanation of the external historical events, but in truth, it is in accordance with secret quabbalistical Midraschim, the allegorical History of the human soul and her mystical rebirth.
Just as once Israel departed from Egypt (the Land of Slavery), to search for the Promised Land, the Soul should also depart from the external earthly world (Egypt), in which she was imprisoned in the bondage of the senses and lower desires, and search for the lost paradise.
The Children of Israel (that means, the Souls struggling with God) are being led by Moses (Thoth-Hermes or Mercurius), who with his Aesculapius-Staff (the Power of Wisdom), parted the Red Sea (Chaos).
The Children of Israel (Souls) now walk dry through the parted Sea, which is therefore a dry water, which does not wet the hands, while the Souls led by the divine genius pass through the chaos without hindrance? However, the Egyptian (worldly Human Beings) drown in it.
It is the inner Chaos, through which the Soul must pass; the inner sea of malice and bitterness, the Kingdom of Demons, whose restless floods recede and are being banished by the will-power of the Soul, which is being led by divine Light.
All those who leave Egypt (the world) will encounter such a sea, in order to reach the Promised Land? However, the true Hebrews can pass through it unmolested, that means, the true crossing over Souls? Because hebraeus means: the one from across. "I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, I am bold also: Are they Hebrews? So am I," said the Apostle Paul and at the same time, he mentioned how he spent a day and night in the depth of the ocean! -(2. Corinth. 11. 21-25)
As soon as the Soul turns away from the external World, she begins to become a dweller of the desert? When she returns out of Egypt's Darkness (=Worldly Errors) to the secret place of the Heart, she will not find anything else, but a place of terror and an uninhabited wilderness? Because, that is the desert, impassable and waterless land, the long neglected conscience, totally undeveloped, covered with spines and thorns, full of terror.
The Soul must leave Egypt and search for the desert, and the following is being said about it: "They shall build the old wastes: they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations." -(Isaiah 61, 4)
In other words: the Soul must leave the external World, and must return to itself, into her inner self, to search there for the entrance of the lost paradise.
That is a Journey and Change which requires many years, and many times during this journey through the desert, the desponded Soul will ask: "Is the Lord among us, or not?" -(Exodus 17, 7)
Yet, she will receive nourishment from Heaven and oil out of the rock, the dew of Heaven and the fat of the Earth? She will ascend to GOD's mountain (being initiated) and GOD will place once more His Commandments into her heart? Even though, the Soul will still be pursued by the snakes of malice and temptation, Moses (the divine Genius) will teach them how the snake is exalted? Yes, the Soul might even again, worship the golden calf, into which Isis once placed the dismembered parts of Osiris? But Moses (the Divine Spirit) will burn the golden calf of Isis (the astral Gold-Corpus) with the Fire of the Philosophers and dissolve it into a red dust, out of which the Hermetics prepare their aurum potible.
Then the Soul will again erect in the desert, the true "God's Hut," with its forecourt (the body), where upon the altar, the burnt offering of a calf (animal Soul) is being sacrificed; her sanctuary (the Soul) with the water of purification, the incense-alter of the sacred prayer, the seven candlesticks of her inner Human Being, which must be ignited by the Divine Light, the holy oil or the thick water of the Maccabees, so that the divine spark does not become extinguished, and the table with bread and wine (the heavenly nourishment of the inner life)? Between the sanctuary of the Soul and the holiest of the holy of the Spirit is located the curtain of reason, only through this can the Soul reach the innermost.
The sanctum sanctorum contains the golden ark of the covenant or the mystical shrine of the Law (the spiritual body of the WORD OF GOD, that means, the LOGOS).
Finally the Soul reaches the end of the Desert-Journey or the inner communion to the heavenly Jordan (JORDANUS MAXIMUS = the water of life of the Nazarene)? Here the second crossing takes place.
The first crossing of the Soul occurred from the World into its own inner? The second crossing occurs when the Soul passes through itself and enters into GOD.
During the first crossing, the sea flees; during the second crossing, the Jordan turns upwards? The flight of the sea means the destruction of the bitterness. The turning back of the Jordan is the reinstatement of Love? Because the JORDANUS MAXIMUS, the Nazarene, is the Water of Grace, which is only bestowed upon a humble Soul? Jordan means: Descend? It is a voluntary humbleness and humiliation.
The first crossing took place through the denial of the world? However, in the second crossing, a Human Being denies himself and places himself into the utmost humbleness? He who recognizes and leaves his own evil (his lower demonic nature), has consummated his first crossing? Whosoever does not consider his Goodness (his virtues) as his own, but attributes them alone to God, has carried out the second crossing and renounces even his own I? Then the second miracle occurs and the Jordan turns upwards. Then the divine grace sets in again and exalts the Human Being to the Son of God, who does not do anything by himself, but only carries out the Will of the FATHER? The Jordan of the own Soul has been passed through, Paradise has been found again, the Human Being once again is united with GOD."
The Christ Mysterium as the History of Initiation.
"What was said about the threefold sense of the sacred Torah, applies in the same manner to the early christian Gospel, that is, the Life-History of Jesus.
Jesus (the higher Reason-Soul) is born in a stable of the animal-soul by the Virgin Mary (the Love for the Divine)? His FATHER is the eternal Light, which is enthroned above the Heavens? Through the baptism in the Jordan (the voluntary "Descent")? He receives the holy Spirit of Wisdom, and becomes in that manner a "Son of the Light."
Then He is led by the divine Spirit into the (inner) desert, where He is for forty days and nights "with the animals" and struggles with the Demon, until the Angel (the divine Genius) is victorious in Him.
Now He can change the Water of the Philosophers into a philosophical wine, just like the vine (which He is Himself), that draws the water out of the Earth and changes it into wine (Spiritus).
Henceforth, the rebirth of a Human Being out of Water and Spirit (Spiritus) is the main-content of His teachings.
The enlightened Reason-Soul now heals everything which is ill in us, removes our spiritual blindness and deafness, and drives the devils (demons) out of our inner.
However, the Pharisees and Scribes (the lower reasoning or intellectual powers), who are blinded by the demons, seek to kill Him and try to prevent Him from doing His work, but, with their pseudo-logic, they are not able to extinguish the Light of Wisdom.
Jesus (the enlightened Reason-Soul) knows that He cannot become immortal in the Earthly Body, that is why He takes His cross (the lower quadruplicity) voluntarily, to have it totally die off.
The voluntary Self-Crucification is the foundation of the whole rebirth, that is why Jesus said to His disciples: "If any man will come after me in rebirth, let him deny himself and take up his cross!" -(Luke 9-23)
Now the last struggles begin, because he had provoked his greatest enemy (the lower Nature)? The Gethsemane Struggle begins? While doing so, bloody Sweat is coming out of His body (the extracted Lionsblood!)? But, the Angel (Divine Genius) strengthened Him with the Water of Life.
But once more, He was under the influence of the Power of Darkness? The Tetrach Herodes (the Prince of the Lower quadruplicity) would have liked to use His Wisdom for his own dark purposes? Since however, he did not receive from Jesus (the enlightened Soul) any explanations, then he eventually clothed her (the enlightened Soul) in a white garment to ridicule her, and sent Him to Pilate, the governor (World-Spirit), who also does not know what to do with the enlightened Reason? However, since she spoke to him about the true Kingdom of the Light, the World-Spirit or the lower Reason (Pilate), did not recognize the truth, therefore, he dressed the intelligible Soul in a purple coat to ridicule her.
Jesus (the enlightened Reason-Soul) knows, that she first has to enter into the blackness, before she can attain the miracle of the true whiteness and redness.
Jesus (the enlightened Reason-Soul) is now being crucified on the cross and was given vinegar (=Azoth) to drink? Now the mystical death sets in with its total might? A terrible tear ripped the curtain of His inner temple? The spiritual Sun looses its shine, and deep darkness envelopes Him? The Sun and the Moon are separated, and the soul cried out in this, the most extreme darkness, the gruesome "ELI, ELI lama asabthani! My GOD, my SUN, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Now with the philosophical spear, the side of the body is pierced, so that the red leonine blood and the white Gluten of the Eagle comes forth, which the Soul takes along with her? The lower quadruplicity is now divided, and now the Soul can begin her journey to Hades, to purify and coagulate again those two tinctures.
The separation of the Soul from the Spirit, the Moon from the Sun is however necessary, so that the Soul, on her journey through the different spheres of the underworld, can dissolve her old astral image or corpus and can bring it to a spiritual rebirth. -(Hebrew 4, 13/Jeremiah 23, 29)
But on the third day, the Soul will rise from the dead again? As it is written by the Prophet: "Come let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up? After two days he will revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and shall live in his sight." -(Hosea 6, 1-2)
Then the Morning-Redness (dawn) will break, and the Soul will be again united in a new Spirit-Body with the Light forever, and ascend to Heaven to her divine FATHER."