“The ‘I’ is the member of the human being that continues from incarnation to incarnation. The result of each incarnation continues to live in the ‘I’, …forming what is often called a ‘string of beads’ in Indian symbolism, of which the individual ‘beads’ are the ‘I’ being of various incarnations, while the ‘string’ represents the continuity of consciousness from incarnation to incarnation. Thus the ‘I’ being of former lives lives on and represents the ‘inner’ past that is inseparable from an individual. This miracle of healing indicates a power that affected not only the present but also past ‘I’ being – the ‘I’ that passed through death with the responsibility for the previous life course.
‘I’ consciousness of the past, which preserves its activity from the previous incarnation and in which many human beings live and act, is called consciousness of the ‘dead’ in the Gospels, and those who live under the ‘I’ impulse of the past are simply called ‘the dead’. Thus, healing the paralysed man involved more than merely the present ‘I’; the ‘dead’, in particular, heard the ‘voice of the Son’ and experienced a conversion in his past consciousness. ‘For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will’ (John 5.21).
These words of Jesus Christ have a direct connection with the healing and refer to it. And words that follow express it even more clearly: “Verily, verily I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5.25). True, only a few of the dead had heard this voice – a fact expressed, for example, in these words: “let the dead bury their dead.” (Luke 9.60).
This is the fundamental challenge to which we must respond if we wish to gain spiritual hearing. It is a summons to conquer ourselves again and again and, shutting out all personal impulses, repeatedly listen in silence to the voice of conscience. The sounds that the spiritual world uses to speak are moral and spiritual voices, not fixed ‘vibrations’ for the purpose of being caught by a sensory organ. Those voices can be heard only after the soul has adapted to the voice of the conscience; those who are prepared to follow dictates of conscience without hesitation are thus prepared to hear the voices of cosmic consciousness.
Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia, The Signs and Miracles in John’s Gospel