Heavens and Earth

Ain Soph – The Unknown God

Chapter 4

Fred Mayers

The “Heavens.” In order to explain satisfactorily many of the words we have to deal with, we shall find that it is hardly possible to take them strictly in the order in which we find them. We may either have to refer back to some word already studied, or pass on to a word we have not yet reached.

This word “heavens,” for instance, cannot be explained except through the explanation of the word “waters” in the following verse, so we will study that first. The real meaning of the word “water” is not at all easy either to explain or grasp, but it is important to get at it. We must remember that we are dealing with something spiritual, of which material water is only an analogue. The Hebrew word for “waters” is “Ma-im,” and the word for “heavens is shamaim.” They are the same word with the difference that in the word “heavens” the word “waters” is compounded with another word, “shem.” This word means something “high.” “exalted,” “superior,” glorious,” etc. So if we get the meaning of “waters” we shall know that the “heavens” are the same thing raised to a higher and more glorious state. The meaning of the word “waters” depends entirely on the significance of the Hebrew letter “M.” This letter is perhaps the most interesting one in the language. It appears to be the first “consonant” uttered by every baby who comes into the world and, therefore, it may be considered the starting point of speech. Apparently it is a universal. spontaneous “mother” call of baby humanity. “Am.” “Ma,” “Mama.” “Maam,” “Mem,” etc. – (“Mem,” by the way, is the name of the letter in Hebrew) – are found in languages all the world over, from that of ancient Quichis of South America, to India. It may well be called the “mother” sign. (We spoke before of “B” as the sign of “internal activity”; it is also known as the “paternal” sign.) “M” has many meanings, all of which grow in various ways out of the original “mother” idea. For example, motherhood implies increasing the number in a family, so “M” as a final letter becomes the sign of the masculine plural. Extending this idea indefinitely, it becomes the sign of “universality,” “infinity.” “endlessness. Then again, motherhood suggests a “source” of life and sustenance. “M” expresses this idea in various ways; used as a word in itself (as a prefix to other words) it means “from” or “out of.”

“Mi” is “water” – the ancients thought water to he the “source of life.” The plural form “Maim” means “waters”; “anything held in solution,” universally. (Egyptian: “Ma” water, “Mera” =flood, inundation.)

The association of the “mother” idea with the “water” idea finds expression in many languages, as, for instance, in French “mere” – mother, and “mer” – sea. But a much more curious and equally widespread association is that between the word for “water” and that for the word “what.” – Ex. German wasser – water, “was” – – what; Latin “aqua” – water and” ua” – what. Even in Chinese, “choui” – water and “choui” – who or what. In Hebrew “Ma” or “me” denotes both “water” and “what.” (“Manna” – What is it?). The cause of this association would need to be sought a long way back in the early growth of languages. But the fact remains.

Notes of this kind could he extended indefinitely, but enough. perhaps. has been said to show that the spiritual idea of the word “waters” is some kind of universal source from which everything that constitutes the universe must he drawn’.

In Gen. I, v. 2. we are told that “the Spirit of Elohim moved upon the faces of the “waters’ ‘ – while at the same time we are told that the “earth” was as yet merely a “germ within a germ” – a “possibility within a possibility.” Neither material land nor material water yet existed. But the “possibilities” of everything existed, latent, in universal Spirit. This vast “deep” of possibilities was the “waters”. Now, if this idea is grasped. it will be clear that the “heavens” are something – some constituent of the “waters,” which are separated from the rest and raised to a more exalted and glorious state. But this will be explained more fully when we come to verses 6, 7, 8. In the meantime we have to explain the word “earth;” “aretz.” The root of the word is “AR” (aer), which denotes in a broad way the “primal element,” the “substance” of the Universe. – This root has also survived in modern languages in words which denote material elements of any kind. For instance, in English we have: ether, air, water. fire. earth, matter, etc. In French: terre, mer, matiere, etc., while in German, strangely enough. “ertz” is just simply the same as the Hebrew “aretz.” To this root “AR” is added the letter “tz.” This letter is the “sign” of “finality,” “limit.” The complete word denotes “the final or most material state” that anything can be brought to. It is, so to speak, the “polarisation of Spirit.” Before the work of Creation there was only “Spirit – matter” universally. Just as the passing of an electric current round a soft iron bar transforms the inert iron bar into an electromagnet with + and – “poles,” one of which attracts and the other repels, so Creative activity produced a similar effect in Universal Spirit – matter. In one (heavens) direction there arose a tendency toward “pure Spin in the other (earth) towards “matter.” The limit of the downward movement was “earth,” the “mineral kingdom,” hard and “dead.” The limit of the upward movement was the Eternal One Himself.

There is an interesting point about the root “AR.” We have already said that “A” was the “sign” of the “First Cause” the “First Being” – the “First” of anything. – “the primal element”; and that “R” was the sign of “movement.” So it is evident that the idea conveyed by the root “AR” was that of “motion.” Is it not surprising that an ancient language should use, to denote any material substance, a word the root of which denoted “motion’? Is it not also surprising to find this word expressing a spiritual idea in writings which Dr. Fr. Delitzsch, – in “Babel und Bible,” rather disparagingly called “ancient Hebrew Myths,” and then to discover that, after discarding many “theories of matter” the last word that modern science has to say on the subject coincides with the ancient conception of “motion” embodied in the root “AR.” What the ancients had grasped unconsciously, intuitively, is confirmed by modern thought.

The “Heavens,” therefore, were the divine spiritual + pole of Creation, and “Earth” the lowest, most material – pole. This applies on every plane of creative manifestation.

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