This book approaches the subject of dissociation from a totally biblical perspective that indicates dissociation has been ongoing since patriarchal days and that it is far more common than people would suspect. The author gives several illustrations of deep emotional healings from her ministry that were only possible because dissociation was observed and prayer was administered accordingly. Sadly, few ministers or counselors suspect dissociation and therefore many people are not fully healed. A large portion of the book is centered on Genesis 38, the bizarre story of Judah and Tamar, viewed allegorically and inwardly as opposed to historically and literally. Using an allegorical principle laid down by the early Church Fathers, that men represent the mind and women certain truths, a detailed picture emerges about how the mind works to handle emotional pain by shoving the True Self down and living out of false personas that hinder relationships with God and others.
In this spiritual interpretation uncovered by a deep study of Genesis 38, Judah represents a Christian living in the end times who dissociates in his attempt to escape the pain of having grown up in a dysfunctional family. In the actual biblical account of Judah’s family of origin, his father, Jacob, had four wives, twelve sons (one of whom was Judah) and one daughter. What little time he had left for his children after satisfying the needs of four wives was probably lavished on his favorite son, Joseph. The remaining sons were so jealous they plotted to kill Joseph but wound up selling him into a life of slavery in Egypt. They lied to their father making him believe his beloved son was dead thus causing Jacob to lapse into prolonged, deep mourning for which he could not be comforted. Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, was raped by a son of Shechem. Some of the brothers retaliated by deceiving and then killing all the men of Shechem and stealing their possessions. The ramifications of this necessitated that Jacob’s family move to another location. One son, Reuben, committed incest with one of Jacob’s wives. Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel, died in childbirth soon after this.
After all this, Judah must have been feeling discouraged and even guilty about his complicity in Joseph’s kidnapping. With this background, Genesis 38 opens by saying, “Judah went down from his brethren and turned into a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah.” Here is where the inward allegorical interpretation begins–an interpretation that is quite unlike the historical narrative and therefore did not actually happen to Judah. In the allegory we see Judah, the True Self, separating from his conscious mind (his brethren) and turning into someone named “Hirah.” Hirah actually means “splendor and nobility,” and comes from a root word that means “shame.” Judah tried to turn into someone else…someone who appeared to be noble and splendid, but underneath it all, he felt shame. Adullamite means “a hiding place.” This entire chapter of Genesis, with Tamar representing the principle of sanctification, shows in detail how dissociation works, why it ultimately fails, and how God works to bring wholeness and full sanctification into broken lives.
Judah’s spiritual type of being the True Self is thoroughly explained in a complete interpretation of Jacob’s entire prophecy over him in Genesis 49. When we don’t know our True Self, we can’t know God, for only the True Self is able to have an authentic relationship with Him. Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks of this disconnect as “disunion” in his book Ethics where he says that as a result of the Fall, “Man’s life is now disunion with God, with men, with things and with himself.” This is the plight of Judah in our inward interpretation, and the solution to this problem emerges as the Holy Spirit uncovers in every verse of Genesis 38 a powerful revelation of the working of God in His people to bring them into the fullness of Christ in the end times.