I was reading an article written by one of the early workers of Christian Science and he brought out a new way of looking at this familiar parable. It is thrilling to find these wonderful insights.
The prodigal son went down into Egypt, but think of that for a moment as the mental effort every Christian Scientist must make in our desire to understand animal magnetism, to learn how to recognize it and reduce its hypnotic attraction to nothing. That young man was a sinner. How would you define sin? The writer of this article defines sin as yielding to animal magnetism's lies that would lead us down a path where we believe we can be separated from God. That young man thought that was what he wanted, to be separated from his Father's authority.
When an honest seeker of Truth comes to himself, as the prodigal did, awakens to who he really is, he is ashamed that he spent so much time in idleness and distration s(some might be in this state when they seem enslaved by the latest technolgy toys). Once we see what is trying to control us, we are not so easily ensnared.
When he returned, he was ready to work for his Father, to serve. The Father rewarded that with a ring, shoes and a robe. All of those were symbols of loving activity. So that journey into Egypt helped that young man be willing to go and do what his Father desired for him, to turn away from selfish suggestions and willfulness.
That boy learned the error of his ways and came to an appreciation of his Father's house that the elder brother never gained. He returned to take up active service.
An interesting new way for me to look at this familiar parable.