The Secret Bible – The Kabbalah
The Ancient Biblical Tradition – Kabbalah is the teachings of the old Hebrew scholars
If one takes the Bible, one sees line upon line of writing clearly visible to the eye. Kabbalah is that which is to be read between the lines.
But as the Talmud points out “If you would seek to understand the invisible, then first have an open eye for the visible, for if you do not know the visible your foundation is on shifting ground.”
This process of “reading between the lines is known as “Mystical exegesis” and in the contribution by Tony Crisp that follows this introduction an excellent example is given of how it can be applied to that greatly misinterpreted book – “The Book of Genesis”.
From mouth to ear, from master to disciple, the tradition of Kabbalah was passed down through the ages. At times, parts of it were written down but it can never be fully written down for its real inner secrets are locked away deep in the recesses of the mind of God where even the purest and noblest of the Tzaddikim, the truly holy and just men, cannot penetrate. And even those aspects of it that can be uncovered in meditation are more truly symbols than words.
1. ATZILAH – THE WORLD OF EMANATION
Simple stories can hold within them enormous depths of meaning and wisdom. In our heritage of such stories, we could find some of the deepest commentaries on life’s meaning and human existence, if only we would look, or had the key. Take the story of Adam and Eve for instance: is that a primitive fantasy to explain life? Was it created by the ignorant to placate the superstitious? Millions of people have said it was. But popular opinion is not always right. Let us look a little more closely and find out. In this closer look I must first acknowledge the scholarship of F. J. Mayers as expressed in his book The Unknown God – Ain Soph. This is my source for much that is quoted. See: Ain Soph
Hebrew, an ancient language, is quite different to English. This becomes obvious when we remember that the Greek letters alpha, and omega, mean ‘beginning’ and ‘end’. We still say ‘alpha and ‘omega’ to mean the beginning and the end of something, but perhaps without knowing that in a similar way, all of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet have a meaning quite by themselves.
Just as the Greek – Alpha – means “the beginning” so does the Hebrew Aleph mean primal creation, for it is the inaudible out-breathing preparatory to making a sound and only made audible by the vowel pointing that underlies it. Daleth as a letter means multiplication, becoming many, and Mem is the sign of unlimited plurality. If we put these together, we discover something interesting. ADM – Adam.
Symbolism of Adam and Eve
Here, staring us in the face, is the possibility that the word Adam is not singular. It is not referring to an individual. It says – the first creative cause multiplying and becoming many. If anything, it is referring to a force or process in nature, certainly not some physical forebear. Yet for generations this is what we have been led into believing. But let us take the story from the beginning and see the wonderful wisdom it unfolds. It would take too much space to do this word by word as has been done with the word Adam, so I will only give a synthesis of this deeper translation, with occasional notes. To make this understandable without too many notes, I will have to enlarge on the actual words used. For instance, a general translation of the first verse of Genesis is. “Firstly, Elohim created the heavens and the earth”.
Now, several things will be misunderstood if we leave it at that. A little word ‘eth’ that is the combination of the first and last – aleph and tau – letters of the Hebrew alphabet, has been left out of translation. Also, we must note that it does not say ‘In the beginning’ which suggests a process in time and space. The word ‘Elohim’ literally means ‘gods’ or God the gods. That is, the seven creative forces emerging from that which lies behind the emergence of the universe. The word ‘created’ is translated from the word Bara, which broken into letters means “internal movement of the creative life energy in its first action, or from the primary cause”. It suggests an artist arriving at an internal conception of a work, which he will later materialise. i.e., it is all in the mind at this point. The words Heaven and Earth, are therefore not talking about physical realities, but spiritual realities in the conception of the Creator. The word Heavens is ‘Shamaim’, which means infinite source or potential of life forms or life energies. The word Earth is ‘aretz’, which in Hebrew means primal vibrating substance. So we have the source of life forms – the mother, and that substance which it uses
Obviously, the sentence ‘Firstly Elohim created the heavens and the earth’, gives no idea of these meanings. If we enlarge upon it we may arrive at something that brings this understanding. Therefore, at the risk of making many mistakes, I will give a free rendering.
That which moved not and remains always unmanifest expressed out of itself seven creative forces. There was conceived within the one purpose of these the plan and living spiritual reality of the whole cosmos. From beginning to end, all existed as divine realities in this conception. But, it was not yet made real in time, space and motion. But the creative energies began to bring into being the forces and archetypes that would be the spiritual body upon which the physical universe would later hang.
(V. 2 King James Version – And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.)
The basic substance of the universe was chaotic and unmoulded, as yet without form. All the elements of existence were in chaos and unknown. But the creative forces extended into the unformed. Beyond time and space the divine energies caused a great symphony of vibratory energy to express. The Word, which through its patterns of vibrations would be the pattern of creation.”
(V.3 ‘And God said: Let there be light, and there was light’.)
The patterns of energy in the divine conception were full of meaning and consciousness.
(V. 4 ‘And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness’.)
And the creative forces, when the power of consciousness and order was whole, set it in opposition to, and to act upon. the chaotic primal substance, which lacked awareness. Thus, from out of that which was neither conscious or unconscious, substance or non-substance, form or formless, but all things – a cosmic conception had flashed into being. Form and formless were now separated, consciousness and unconsciousness, energy and substance, set apart to form a duality to interact.
Symbolism of Creation
(V.5 ‘And God called the light Day, and the darkness Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day’.)
And the creative forces gave unto the positive, conscious side of the duality, the quality of universal consciousness and the power to make all things into cosmic consciousness, to express the divine plan. The negative, unconscious side of the dual had the power to limit, to hide, to bring forth forms. Then was the first cycle of inner activity complete, and there began a new cycle.
V.6 ‘And God said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’
It might be as well to point out here that the Elohim, or seven creative forces, are the same as the seven Chakras. They are Pure Consciousness – Understanding or intellect – Will – Love – Destruction – Creation – Energy or Unconscious substance.
And as an outworking through the creative forces, there came about a link between the cosmic consciousness, and the cosmic substance. Through this the active could act on the passive; the ‘light’ enter the ‘darkness’. Thus ended the second cycle of cosmic activity.
V. 7 and 8 as above. V.9 ‘And God said: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so.’
In this cosmic conception when the positive forces acted upon the primal substance they would begin to coalesce into matter, as the basis for the physical universe. This would lead to the formation of the physical worlds.
(V 10 ‘And God called the dry land Earth: and the gathering together of the waters he called the Seas: and God saw that it was good’)
The word Seas is the same as that – for waters – iamin – with “ee” prefixed. This makes it mean ‘visible waters’, i.e., the materialisation of what was previously only spiritual. The words ‘dry land’ are ‘iabasha’ which means ‘the dryness: Earth is ‘aretz’ which means the limit of materiality, physical matter. Thus we arrive again at a different idea than just the Earth, with its Seas.
The primal substance would by this action lead to its most material expression, known in the Cosmic spectrum of forces as physical matter. This was the plan of the Cosmic conception and was ‘good’.
(V. 11 ‘And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed. and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its own kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so).
In the Light, or awareness, the cosmic conception would be held. The Darkness, or primal substance, would receive the projections from the Light, as a screen. First was the tendency that led it to materialise as matter. Now the energy-forms (the Word i.e., God ‘said’) within the Light projected the next step, which would be the energies acting upon the mineral kingdom causing it to vegetate. As this power acted upon the mineral kingdom, there would arise the forms of the vegetable kingdom. Like sound causing patterns of response in the air, these energies would cause self perpetuating forms to arise: plants which themselves would reproduce according to its – the patterns of the Word – own nature.
V. 12 & 13 ‘And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after its kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.)
And from matter there was planned to arise that expressing the vegetative forces bearing the power to reproduce, and forms that carried within them this hidden power of the Word to vegetate. And this was the cosmic conception, and was good. Thus there came an ending and a beginning that was the completion of the third creative cycle.
(V. 14 & 15 ‘And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
In this passage, the Hebrew words for Sun and Moon – Shemish and larech – are not used. The word maoroth is used instead. It means dual light, light givers or foci of light. As the word used for ‘light’ has already been shown to also mean the divine consciousness or intelligence which acts upon the ‘darkness’, it need not mean physical’ light. The word ‘signs’ is othoth, which means symbolic signs, or ‘to be coming’. ‘Seasons’ is the word moadim, which literally means ‘periods, division of time.’ And Shanah, the word translated year, means regular recurrent period.)
The divine conception was still working through the archetypes that were not yet materialised, and the forces issuing from the seven creative energies – the Word – were planned to cause intelligent power to express through the substance of the stars. Like great beings living in the bodies of the stars, the forces they expressed into the cosmos would cause the events of the physical universe to take place. Within themselves would be the potentials of what was to come about. Their power would bring about the changing qualities flowing to the worlds. In great cycles their being would express to bring recurrent and spiralling changes into the physical cosmos. They would rule the forces of the universe, for they were the patterns of its life and being that the creation was setting up.
(V. 16 & 19 ‘And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
In this passage the word ‘stars’ is translated from the word ‘cocabbim’. In the previous passage, the heavenly intelligences are shown as expressing themselves through the physical body of the stars. In the usual translation, this would therefore seem to be an unnecessary repetition. But the basis of the word ‘coccabim’ is cabab, which means to ‘roll around’. The root of the word is koch which refers to forces or virtues. In the night sky, it is only the planets of our own solar system that ‘roll around’. It is therefore likely this word refers to the forces or energies radiating from the planets. This is why I have rendered the passage in the way following.
And the creative activities, manifesting through the cosmic mind, and the primal cosmic substance, when they particularised into the cosmic intelligences of the stars, and the comparative unconsciousness of matter, would become realised as two levels of consciousness. The awareness of the Light would be cosmic, linking directly with the creative and cyclic activities. The consciousness in matter would be limited, and aware of physical things. And the cosmic intelligence and energies expressing through the planets, would influence these two levels of awareness that were aspects of one consciousness. Through the influence of the planets would arise the experience of separation or difference between the consciousness that looked to the creator, and the consciousness that looked toward the created. And there was an ending and a beginning, as this was an expression of the cosmic conception. Thus ended the fourth cycle of the creative activities.
2. BRIAH – THE WORLD OF CREATION
(V. 20 to 23 ‘And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind, and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
We have already seen that ‘waters’ refers to the universal primal substance, acted upon by the primal energies and intelligence – the Light. The words ‘ishertzou sheretz’ translated ‘moving creatures that hath life’, means ‘bringing forth that which undulates or vibrates and proliferates’.
The words nephesh chaiah, usually translated living soul, and here used in connection with what was to be brought forth from the waters, means literally, that which takes in, breathes in, individualises, then expresses out, the universal energy or consciousness. The soul is, therefore, described here as an activity brought into being by the creative processes, which individualises and expresses the cosmic energies or awareness. Whales – ‘tanninum’ – means the activity or power to propagate abundantly or hugely from the waters. Because people took ‘waters’ to mean the seas, they obviously felt this must refer to some large physical sea creature, instead of a cosmic activity. We must remember that this is still talking about the internal (bara) creation or the thinking out in detail what will be later materialised.
The vibratory energies acting upon the primal substance, when they had set in motion the forces causing the primal substance to tend toward becoming matter, and the forces which would lead towards that matter ‘vegetating’, would then cause activities of life movement, of individualisation, to occur. To move, to express as separate individuals to rise up toward the higher consciousness from material existence, these were the forces that would be set in motion. And they would carry in them the power to propagate themselves from the cosmic substance, wherever in the universe suitable environments occurred, and the mineral and vegetative forces were already manifest. And this was an expression of the cosmic conception. Then the creative forces – Elohim – filled them with power by extending it to them. There was an ending and a beginning, and thus the fifth cycle of creative activity was complete.
(V. 24 & 25 ‘And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind, and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Let us look at the words rendered as ‘cattle’ – behemah – ‘creeping thing’ – remesh – ‘beast of the earth’ – chaitho – aretz – ‘everything that creepeth’ – cal remesh – ‘upon the ground’ – ha-adamah.
Behemah means inner life activity, or invisible life activity of a universal nature but with a particular direction. It is a singular word, not plural. Cal-nemesh means ‘all movement or progress upward’. Chaith-h aretz – ‘beast of the earth’ means earth life, or life on or in earth.
‘Ha-adamah’ however, should never be translated ‘upon the ground’. As we have seen ‘aretz’ refers to primal and physical substance. The word Adamah derives from Adam, which later does not refer to the ground at all. The prefix ‘ha’ means ‘a tendency toward. or movement to’. As it is a prefix to Adam, it is saying ‘a tendency or movement toward Adam – i.e., man-wards, to self awareness, not necesarily in the form of humans.
And the creative energies will lead the universal life forms to manifest in physical matter, and to express themselves as actual physical creatures . Yet within the being of the creatures is the cosmic life forces causing their existence, in them would occur the potential to develop self awarenesss. And this was an expression of the cosmic conception.
Was Adam a Man and Eve a Woman?
(V. 26 & 27 ‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
Some of the things we must note here are that ‘God’ said let us – our image, referring to himself as Elohim, the many. So God is not here a single being. This Elohim also at once talks of men and women, not just a Man, Adam.
The word translated image is ‘tzelem’ which means shadow, or something which extends outwards, a projection or complementary reflection. The word as ‘likeness’ is ‘chidamothou’, ‘dam’ is blood, which in Hebrew thought refers to the ‘same quality’, or ‘kinship or family’. It means altogether, ‘for likeness of us’ or ‘as kin of ours’. It is also a verb which means ‘to be a likeness maker’. So Adam is both created and creator. We notice also that Adam is male and female, singular and plural. As in the human kingdom the word ‘man’ is both male and female, singular and plural. As the spiritual potential of any individual human being, Adam is all that humans can be. As we saw at the beginning, ADM means that which sprung from the first cause and became many. It is, therefore, like the ‘whale’ a divine cosmic impulse, and not an individual man at all.
One last thing is that the Hebrew original designates Adam’s power as IN the life of the earth and animals, not as a ruler over them.
The creative forces, expressing their vibratory energies – the Word – now unfolded into cosmic realisation, that which would be aware of its own divine nature. And there would arise to consciousness that which until now had been working within the realms of the minerals, vegetables and animals unconsciously. Unconsciously it would work, leading the vegetable to evolve from the mineral, the animal to arise from the vegetable, and would give birth to the human kingdom of personal awareness. For this human kingdom would reflect the divine forces into the lower kingdoms, and be a channel for their energies to flow to the yet higher kingdoms of Elohim – for to be male and female is to be a receiver and a transmitter, a link between the above and the below.
(V. 28 to 31 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply. and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat, and it was so.”
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
And in receiving the higher forces into its life, and reflecting them into the lower kingdom, humanity would transform, uplift and direct those kingdoms. They would become more fruitful.
Humanity shall also, by being a reflector or projection of the creative forces, have rulership over the multiplicity of impulses, energies, feelings and drives in these kingdoms and thus in itself.
But the inner life must be built up and fed upon those energies that express as the vegetable kingdom, and which transforms material forces, and integrate into fruitfulness. Humanity’s individual energies must open to the creative forces, and bear fruit, and incorporate the divine creative energies in that fruitful creativity.
To the animal kingdom this was not given. They would incorporate in their beings only the energies that grow and open multifarious qualities, and not those which create out of matter and the Light. But humans would be a tree that walks, an animal plant that opens its flowering consciousness to God, and whose fruits would enclose the Light, for his activities were planned to express divine creative powers. And this was an expression of the cosmic conception, and was good. The ending and beginning completed the sixth cycle of creative activity.
(Chapter 2 V. 1 and 2 ‘Thus the heavens and earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Thus the plan of the many levels of consciousness and life activity were completed, and all the laws, principles and powers that would cause them to exist and governed them had been formed as seeds ready to grow and express themselves.
All the seven cycles of cosmic creation were now ready to be expressed. In the different levels of being these creative activities still continue. For the seven Elohim have caused to exist in humans seven stages of consciousness. These are mineral consciousness, vegetables consciousness, animal consciousness, human – self -consciousness – cosmic consciousness and God consciousness. And in this seventh consciousness or activity, all forces are balanced and return to their original unity, ceasing their previous activity. For at this level God is returned into its original condition, and not to be known as in the other levels, in creative opposition, in relationship, in self awareness, in creative thought, or as the unity of many parts. And this seventh level is full of God’s blessedness, for here all are made one again, and creation and separation ends; for we too are made whole and complete here. Thus the creative activity had been expressed, and now the divine Creator returned unto itself to watch its creation express.
(V. 3 to 6 ‘These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.’
One great fact we have to mention here is that before the word ‘generations’, a word is left out of all English, and the prior Latin, translations. The word is ‘tho’. It means symbolic. It is saying that all the previously described creation drama was symbolic of what occurred before the physical universe came about. The stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, which follow, were also SYMBOLIC. Yet it was left out. Why? To leave people in ignorance? Would they then be free of churches and priests? Would they understand too much? Also, when the English translation uses the word ‘heaven’ in the original it is always a plural word.
The Hebrew words translated ‘not a man’ are literally, ‘Adam was not’. The word translated ‘ground’ is Adamah, which does not denote anything material at all. As already explained, it means ‘man-ward’.
All that has been described is an attempt to presemt, in symbolic language, how the divine consciousness inwardly created the detailed plan of all that was to exist.
All the potentials for the mineral, vegetable, animal, human and other kingdoms had been brought about. They existed as realities that had not yet taken on physical expression. The physical universe was not yet existent, and the vegetable, animal and human had not come into material expression. But from here there was to begin an ascent from the lowest to the highest. All would be expressed in matter, time and space, that had been created spiritually in the divine conception. There was as yet no expression of the divine plan, for there were no individual souls, no spirits of humanity to work with God at creating the physical worlds and all in them. For the Eternal One had not yet caused these things to rain or descend into matter, to express in the many worlds of the material universe.
Then energies locked up in the primal substance, began the process of the ascent to the highest. From the power that would lead to humans, there acted upon the primal substance that which began the process of physical creation.
3. YETZIRAH – THE WORLD OF FORMATIVE FORCES
(V. 7 ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
So despite the earlier statement that man and woman had been created, this is repeated again, showing again that the previous was a mental creation, not a physical.
The word ‘ground’ is again, in the original, Adamah, the basic spiritual forces or divine impulses, and consciousness which has a tendency toward self awareness. The word translated ‘formed’ is utzer. It means ‘to create from the substance of the eternal’. The word ‘man’ is Adam, which means collective humanity, the composite of all people. It is like an organ of many cells. The many cells are humans, the collection of cells, the organ, is Adam.
The words ‘living soul’ are ‘nishemath chayim’. The first word means high or exalted. But ‘chayim’ is a plural word, so cannot be translated soul. Like so much of this translation, the meaning has been twisted to fit the limited understanding of the translators. Chayim means ‘lives’ or ‘souls’. Living soul is translated from the words ‘nephish haiah’ already described. They mean a taking in of the universal life and consciousness, and individualising it.
The eternal creative forces, from out of their own nature, and with the most refined forces and activities leading toward individual existence and awareness, caused the Cosmic man to act as a channel for the outpouring of divine energies to the creation of the worlds in space. The cosmic man, the Adam, would take into its being the higher energies, and then express them to the material worlds, taking part in the creative drama to take place.
And in this way, the cosmic man became aware as countless individual exalted beings. Thus it was that the spirits of humanity came into being, arising as separate beings in the cosmic nature of Adam. Not born into physical bodies, but arising to work as co-creators with the Eternal, unfolding in matter the cosmic plan.
(V. 8 & 9 ‘And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Planted, in the original is ‘itta’. It suggests the giving of a permanent form, to arrange in matter. Gan, translated ‘garden’ means ‘an enclosure, or a sphere of activity. It is rather like our skin enclosing the sphere of activity we call our body. The word eastward is ‘m’kedem’, which means ‘before’. It is used in Hebrew to show humanity’s view of eternity from his sense of time. So it means to be ‘out of eternity’, or to be able to ‘look back on eternity from time’. Eden, or aden, means something which is given existence but is transitory. The word ground is once more, Adamah; thus the ridiculous confusion of describing trees which have knowledge of good and evil or a ‘tree of life’ being in the ‘ground’.
‘Whetz’ the Word for tree, means something that grows and develops, whether physical, mental or spiritual.
And the Eternal, working through the divine beings that were Adam, brought about in the physical universe a condition in which Adam, the uncountable spirits of humankind, could experience and work upon time and the limitations of space and matter. But these spirits were not in physical bodies.
And out of the energies flowing into mankind, the Eternal One caused forces to emerge into the spiritual beings of latent humanity that would fulfil their needs and understanding. In the very midst of their involvement of working in time and space, they would still know eternal life within them, for there was the possibility of becoming too involved in the direct experience of material life, with its conflicting opposites.
(V. 10 to 14 ‘And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
The name of the first is Pison; that is it compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold, and the gold of that land is- good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same it is that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
The word river here is ‘nahar’, it means, quite simply, ‘life force’. It is a great stream of divine energies or life force. While the word water – Nishekah – means to make fertile or productive, to bring life to. ‘Heads’ is translated from ‘neshim’, which means to break down, or to decompose. That is, from oneness to become many, like the spectrum in the rainbow does from colourless light.
The word Pishon describes the idea of an energy that fills all space, and causes ideas, thoughts, mental conceptions, to become materialised or take on form. Havilah means the activities and conditions of physical life.
The word ‘beddolah’ translated bdellium, means literally, ‘mysterious dividing’. Onyx is from ‘aeben ha-shoham’ which says ‘stone of universal sublimation’. It is doubtful whether this is an original verse in the text.
Gichon means any force or energy of a universal nature, which is mechanical, chemical, instinctive or unconscious, depending upon what it acts. Cush, translated Ethiopia, in Hebrew means fiery, impulsive or forceful. It refers to energies arising from passion or emotions.
Hiddekel is the force produced by human thought and will. Assyria has been translated from Ashur, which means ‘the blessings of’. The Hebrew text does not have the words ‘the fourth river’. Euphrates is used because the Hebrew ‘houa phrath’ sounds like it, and the translators were locked on the idea of physical places. Houa is in each of the preceding verses, and is there translated as ‘it, or that’, or ‘that one’. Phrath means the power to propagate or be fertile’.
And as the great creative life energy flows out of the sphere of activities in which the spirits of humanity take part, the life force is directed into four activities as it is expressed toward time, space and motion.
The quality or power of the first is to evolve physical realities from the cosmic conception. This acts upon all physical life, on all that is material. It builds the bodies of all things, all worlds. In this work the divine consciousness is reflected, like gold being sunshine made material.
And the quality of the second stream of life force is that which acts as unconscious mind in all creation. It shows as mechanical force, chemical ‘intelligence’, instinctive wisdom in plants and animals. It flows through all the attractions and repulsions in nature, and is seen as emotions. This fills all bodies with energy and sensation.
And the quality of the third expression of life force is individual consciousness as thought and awareness of being a separate soul. It flows from the Eternal One and returns to it, for the soul partakes of Eternity and Time. It converses alike with heaven and earth. This gives bodies a soul. Upon these flow that which causes them to be in harmony with one another, to express the divine purpose, and to he expressive of their qualities. This directs the body and soul to act in harmony with all creation, and in accord with its own innate nature.
(V. 15 to 17 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
‘ikach’, translated ‘took’, means ‘a tendency’ or an ‘inclination toward’. The word put is ‘innach’ which means to feel at home in, or feel settled or right in. Despite many peoples idea that paradise is a place where one does not have to work, and that work is for the fools, the Hebrew word translated ‘dress’ means to work or labour. It suggests here that to take part in creation in harmony with the divine forces – to work at this – is a divine impulse in humanity.
The word ‘commanded,’ ‘itzaw’, means ‘gave guidance’ or ‘guide-lines’. This means that instead of saying ‘NO’, divine guidance is saying, ‘Be warned in advance that if you choose to ‘eat’ this, the consequences will be painful’. ‘Surely die’ is from the words ‘moth tamoth’. As we have seen, the many spirits of humanity, are not yet in physical bodies. The words mean that ‘Adam’ will die from one condition and experience another. This is borne out by the fact that Adam did not die when he ate the fruit.
And the Eternal One had placed within the spirits of mankind an urge that would find happiness and fulfilment through acting as channels and co-workers with the divine creative forces flowing to the material worlds. To work as free beings without physical bodies in the whole cosmos, was mankind’s innate work and home. To act as links between the eternal and the changing, the physical and the formless, and to watch over the work of creation, was their birthright. For the state of ‘Eden’ was to be aware of physical worlds and yet remain aware, or to have the centre of consciousness in the Eternal.
And the Eternal One placed within humanity the understanding that they could take part in and experience any aspect of the creative work taking place in the physical realm. Of this they could partake or ‘experience’. But in their consciousness of the Eternal they knew no opposites. They were guided always by the divine will of universal oneness, not from a sense of separateness. Thus they knew no polarities of good or bad, male or female; and if they should plunge their consciousness into the physical realm completely by closing themselves to their eternal awareness, they would die to their sense of the eternal and know the opposites of the physical realm only. These opposites are illusion.
(V. 18 ‘And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone: I will make an help meet for him.
The word for lonely is ‘l’abaddo’. It means ‘In a state of internal oneness’. In the text it suggest a lack of self-realisation, of only being a reflection of the divine will, and having no separate will of one’s own.
The verse, in saying the Eternal expressed it as ‘not good’ that a state of oneness, of lacking self expression, points out that ‘God’ sought companions, a means of self realisation, a mirror, in creation. The same is now being sought for ‘Adam’.
The word ‘meet’ is translated from the Hebrew ‘be-igid-O’. It is a difficult many faceted word, but includes the meanings ‘to make something known’, to ‘reflect something’, to ‘will or do something’ and to divide into active and passive.
And the Eternal One held in its being that there should not be a state in which the spirits of mankind knew only the One will without choice. They should be free to choose and to decide. Yet in their consciousness of the Eternal, they lacked any idea of separateness, or any ability to make decisions of their own. God wished for companions who shared the Eternal consciousness, and not just puppets of the divine Will. They too should share the pleasure of self-realisation in creation. The divine conception had willed that the spirits of humanity develop a faculty of will, the ability to reflect upon a course, to decide, to have choice, and find their own divine creative powers in free will.
(V. 19 and 20 ‘And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Once more, the word ‘ground’ is translated from Adamah which is not earth or matter at all, but the forces of the Elohim which move man-wards; i.e., the evolutionary energy. The word ‘called’ is from ‘ikra’, which can also mean, engraved, character, carving, writing, etc.’. It means, as a whole, to give a quality or character to something. It must also be noticed that the word formed is used, and not creation. Creation had already taken place at spiritual levels. Now things were taking form in their actual inner qualities, their character, which would result in a particular physical shape.
And out of the activities and states of being from which the spirits of mankind had arisen, the Eternal One, working through Adam, caused all the creatures of nature, plant and animal, to be distinguished. Acting as the channel for this activity to become real in the physical universe, the spirits of mankind took part in this creation. In this way they began to realise what they were, for each creature was formed out of a quality, power or level of awareness in the Adam. Each creature was an expression of an aspect of the Adam’s total being. It was in this way that the spirits of mankind gave a quality, an inner nature, out of themselves, to the evolving aspects of nature. Yet in no creature did the spirits of mankind see a reflection of their total nature.
Free to Choose
(V. 21 to 23 ‘And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh thereof. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man made he a woman and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman. because she was taken out of man.
Adam, remember, still has no physical body. The word translated ‘a deep sleep’ is ‘thareddemah’. It means an entrancement; to withdraw to ones very centre; to surrender self. The words translated ‘one of his ribs’ are ‘achath metz-alothais’. Acath means ‘one’ as when we speak of a family being one; i.e., one in unity. Tzaloth means ribs, not rib, or more precisely, the thing which envelops, protects or covers.
The sentence including the words ‘woman’ and ‘man’, says – ‘To this he gave (the name) Aisha, because from Aish this was taken’. It doesn’t say ‘she’ was taken, but ‘this’ was taken. Aisha means: ai – desire, inclination, self expression. Aish – all activity in which ones individual self is expressed. Aisha adds a letter which means in this case, ‘life, or movement toward some purpose.‘ In Hebrew the word is spelt A-SH-H, while the aish is spelt A-I-S-H. Aisha, or Ash-h, is therefore, the faculty of will and emotion, individual feeling and will, and the ability to conceive personal desires, thoughts and plans.
And the Eternal One caused the spirits of mankind to withdraw their consciousness from activity and surrender to the process taking place in their beings. So they lost themselves in the divine will while it acted upon them. And the divine activity in Adam caused a separation of their unity with the one will to occur. Out of their united will was made individual will. For the spirits of mankind had not been capable of personal or individual decision, but now the divine made this a part of their being. And the Adam knew this was now substance of his substance and part of his innermost nature. For out of mankind’s divine inclination toward self-expression, which made them a reflection of the divine forces that had created them, there had arisen their own individual will, with its power of expression.
(V. 24 & 25 ‘Therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother. and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Commentators see a different style on these verses, and some conclude they were added to the original.
Therefore, are mankind become capable of turning from the creative activities that gave birth to them, and living by their own will. Yet were the spirits of mankind still in accord with the divine will, even though they now had self will, and they had known no shame due to misuse of will.
(Chapter 3 V. 1 ‘Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.
The word translated ‘serpent’ is Nahash. The word for snake in Hebrew is sheretz. Nahash is a special word that does not refer to a snake at all, but to a force or process. It means evolutionary energy, or energy which tends to individualisation or selfhood. A whirlpool is simply water. But it is water drawn by an energy circling toward its centre. This circle of force draws things to its own centre – to its own self. In the previous notes it was said that three basic states underlay all existence. The first is the Unknown God – neither light nor dark, male or female, nor any opposites. From this issued the Word, or Elohim, the creative activities which caused a separation to take place. Thus the Light-consciousness, and Dark-unconsciousness, came about. These are also known as the centrifugal and centripetal forces.
One caused all things to expand from a centre, the other to draw in to the centre. Nahash is the in-drawing energy or whirlpool that causes men’s spirits to have a personal centre that gives individuality. The power of Light is the opposite, it universalises.
One other point is that whereas thinking and willing were united in the Adam – now they are separate.
Now the activity leading toward selfhood in the human spirit was so subtly a part of its nature, that unlike the other activities that had been expressed outwardly as the evolution of vegetables and animals, it was difficult to stand aside from it. The mineral, animal and vegetable forces had not involved mankind so strongly. They had been objectified easily.
(V. 1 to 6 ‘And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent; we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
We have already dealt with the above words.
Now that the human spirits could follow their own feelings, from the forces that caused human spirits to have individual existence there arose a question. It entered their consciousness asking, “Did Elohim really mean that I should not totally experience material existence? Surely, if I entered the sphere of opposites I would gain knowledge and experience from it?
And the divine wisdom in men warned them of the consequence of this, saying, you must not centre your consciousness in matter, for by that you will die to your cosmic awareness and have only consciousness through physical senses.
But the forces of individuation, flowing into matter, seemed to say that if they allowed their being to enter into and experience physical life, how could they lose their eternal consciousness? Instead they would gain knowledge of the opposites, of the paradox that Elohim knows.
Then the desires for this fired their will, for many spirits wished to know life in physical realms; to experience fully the knowledge of time and space, of the incompleteness of being just male or female, of looking out through the senses of a physical body, and knowing the feel of winds and water, separation and aloneness. Thus came about the fall of the angels, and many spirits fell into life within a physical body.
4. ASSIYAH – THE WORLD OF PHYSICAL MATTER
(V. 7 & 8 ‘And the eyes of them both opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
The word translated ‘naked’ – ‘aroom’, really means blindness, deprivation of light. The words ‘sewed’ and ‘fig leaves’ are from ‘va-ithepherou’ and ‘aleh thaench’. These mean to produce, to give birth to a – covering of sorrow or sobbing. Aprons – ‘la-hem’ – means strife or contention, when its roots are analysed. Tree – ‘etz’ as already said, is physical substance.
And the spirits of humanity who involved themselves in matter knew the life of the body. Having turned from the one will to their own desire, they realised how utterly naked of any personal wisdom they were. Having turned from the cosmic wisdom that had guided them, they found no light of their own to lead them. And shame and sorrow was born in them by their act, and among them contention already arose due to their disunited will.
And as the light of their cosmic awareness waned, the presence of Elohim was yet with them. But through their shame they turned from it to the consciousness of the bodies they had made for themselves.
(V. 9 to 16 ‘And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and hid myself.
And he said, who told thee thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I command thou shouldst not eat?
And the man said, the woman who thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the woman. What is it thou hast done? And the woman said, The Serpent beguiled me and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the serpent. Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon they belly shalt thou go, and dust shall thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be toward thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
The word beguiled is ‘hishiani’, which means ‘a mental blank’ or disorder of thought’. The word for cursed is ‘aroor’. It suggests an ‘evil through excess’ (most of the other words have been previously dealt with.
And the presence of the Eternal One yet came to men in their turning away. It entered their being like a great question – Why?
Never having known any other condition than complete at-one-ment with the cosmic life, their awareness of being separate from the One Life, and naked of wisdom, aroused in them the feeling of awe and fear of this immense presence they had once been a part of. It was so vast. ‘I turned from you in fear,’ they said. For now, as beings feeling themselves separate, the One Life seemed like a being outside themselves, a personal God. They feared being swallowed in the vastness.
Did this come from involving yourself in biological substance, against which your inner wisdom warned you?
Yes, the separate desires and will which you caused to arise in us, led us to be involved in the experience. Our desires led us into a condition of unbalance because we allowed them to be directed by the self-centred activities alone.
Then the presence of the Eternal One caused the fallen angels to know that the self-centring, individualising forces had been allowed excessive activity. In the cosmic life, these forces drew the divine energies inward to humanity’s personal awareness, to be expressed as creativity by the opposing forces. But now the evolutionary energy will have to work upon the lowest of natural forces, the mineral kingdom. It had led consciousness into the physical realm, and must now work there, inclined earthwards.
And a conflict would arise between humanity’s will, their desires, and their instinctive drives arising from the life force of Nahash. The evolutionary energy could still ‘uplift’ humanity even when involved in matter. It would develop mankind as individuals until they once more achieved cosmic awareness. But an individual’s personal desires would crush out this activity, and the evolutionary energy, would thus act in conflict with a person’s conscious will.
In the cosmic life, mankind gave birth to all the creations of mind under direction of divine will. To think was to immediately bring into being what was thought. But now, all accomplishment would be through difficulty and personal effort and experience gained in trial and error. In future, will and desire would have to be directed by thinking. For now that the forces of desire and motivation which act upon will are not directed by the divine, they will have to seek guidance from the limitations of knowledge gained, and personal wisdom harvested.
(V. 17 to 19 ‘And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Again, the word ground is translated from Adamah.
And the fallen spirits of humanity knew from their diminishing awareness of the Whole, that they had not hearkened to the wisdom within themselves which had warned them not to unbalance their consciousness toward the physical only. Their own unchecked desire nature had led them to it. Their awareness of the Whole informed them of this, enabling them to see that by such an act they had been their own undoing. Their spiritual energies (ground-Adamah) had been brought into disorder and unbalance. Life experience, because of this, would be a struggle. Yet they would be forced to partake of/experience this and it would bring forth pain and misery. Nevertheless, the natural forces of growth and survival would sustain them, and by their own efforts they would gain a spiritual wisdom of their own making. From the ‘corn’ or harvest of their natural energies they would bake the ‘bread’ of their spiritual sustenance. In this way they would eventually return to their original condition in the spiritualised forces. For from divine consciousness they were formed, and into divine life they would return.
(V. 20 & 21 ‘And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Unto Adam also and to his wife, did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
‘Havah’ is the Hebrew from which Eve is taken. It means ‘materialisation of beings’. ‘Coats of skins’ is translated from ‘Che-thanoth’. They mean ‘giving body to protect’. It is necessary to point out that the original material bodies the Adam experienced – the fig leaves – were made by the spirits of humanity themselves. These ‘coats of skin’ are now made by God. Some investigators believe that originally the spirits of men made fantasy forms such as mermaids, centaurs, satyrs, etc., in which to taste physical life. (See ‘There is a River’ Thomas Sugrue). But men became trapped in these thought forms. Therefore, physical bodies of a new type were made as a means of escape from eternal entrapment in matter. The bodies of ape like creatures were inhabited by the spirits of men, and thus quickly changed them.
And men knew that their desires had led them to become physical creatures, and they called their will Havah. And men had become trapped by their own desires, in bodies of flesh that were yet eternal. And the Word, the creative love and wisdom of the Whole, caused bodies of existing animals to be suitable to receive the spirits of men. In this way they would know the cycle of birth and death; of physical life and a return to their source, until they, by the ‘sweat of their brow’ had liberated themselves from their attachment to the life of the senses.
(V. 22 to 24 ‘And the Lord God said, Behold the man is become as one of us to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of Life and eat and live for ever.
Therefore, the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
The word ‘igaresh’ does not mean ‘drove out’, but to ‘put at a distance’. No chasing out is suggested.
Ezekiel in his vision, does not at first use the word cherubim, but in Chapter X used it to describe his ‘living creatures’. Another similar description is found in Revelation verses 2-8 of Chapter 4. The animals described are easily recognised as the four fixed signs of the zodiac. As such they represent great cosmic intelligent forces or agencies.
The word Cherubim is the plural of cherub. It means ‘in the likeness of the visible heavens, or the fourfold heavens. The word translated sword is ‘chereb’. It means ‘life influence’.)
And the Eternal One, knowing what many spirits of men had done, directed the creative forces to guard man from his own foolishness. If men still had their full spiritual power, they could still cause their physical bodies to live for ever, which would separate them from their cosmic awareness and life perpetually.
So the spirits of humanity were cut off from their awareness of their higher nature in Eden. They were placed in bodies knowing birth and death, having to enter body after body, lest they avoid developing the spiritual qualities of their innate nature by forming an eternal thought body, in which they could avoid change and the fruit of their own actions.
For humanity must now till the ground of their own spiritual nature to bring forth its fruitfulness. Mankind thus left the timeless and entered into an awareness of time. And thus became subject to the great cosmic intelligences and life forces which acted upon time and space. The influence of these great forces penetrated the whole realm of space and time in which humans now found themselves, directing their experience, fate, urges and thought toward liberation. Men would be led along the ‘way of the growth through many lives’, the pathway of the soul back to the ‘ground’ of their existence.
Thus did the Word speak it. Thus will it be.