Male and Female Created He Them

  • Ain Soph – The Unknown God

Chapter 13

Fred Mayers

v. 26: “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.

v. 27: “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

v. 28: “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.”

Thus far the “Creation” has comprised: –

1st. A spiritual universe the “Heavens”;

2nd. The material physical universe;

3rd. The “vegetable” kingdom, distinguished by life – forms endowed with power to “grow” and “propagate” their kind, but without conscious sensation.

4th. The “animal” kingdom, which includes all things endowed with “life – soul,” ie., life, with growth, propagation, power of movement, and conscious sensation. It included myriads of varieties of living creatures inhabited by the ‘group-souls” which gave them their forms and their generic characteristics, from the swarming creatures of the waters to the flying creatures of the air, and from the creeping worms of the earth, to the beasts of the forest or the wilds, and of domestic animals specially fit for service and association with a still higher type of being.

But so far, in all this wonderful and complex creative scheme, there was nothing, which in itself had any direct kinship with the Creator. It is true that in everything created there was “manifestation” of the power, the wisdom, and the “craftsmanship” of God, but there was nothing akin to Himself in nature and essence. The relation of everything thus far “created” to the Creator, was just that of the pot to the potter, or the picture to the artist, and no more. That did not satisfy the desires of the Heart of God. He wanted more – much more. He wanted beings capable of loving Him. He had partly given away His secret in the words: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Those words revealed something which He felt would be “good” for Himself, and to satisfy that desire of His heart, a final kingdom of beings. Hence the announcement in verse 26: “Let us make man.”

This was the first mention of man in the Bible. Now, what is this “man” to whom the inspired writer gives The appellation “Adam?”

The first curious thing we notice is that in one breath he is spoken of as a single being – “him” (or “it”) – and in the next breath he is referred to as a plurality, “them.” Then in verse 27 the word or name “Adam” is preceded by the definite article “the” (“the Adam”) as if Adam were some impersonal being. All this seems at first glance very confusing. So, without going farther or faster than the writer of Genesis goes in telling his story, let us see what light he has to give us. In the first place he tells us that Adam was to be made “in our image, after our likeness,” “Our,” as verse 27 explicitly states, refers to “Elohim.” We stated in Chapter II that “Elohim” is a plural name, and yet it is always treated as a “singular” one, and always used with a singular verb. In this verse, Elohim, in using the phrase “in our image,” etc., treats Himself as a plurality, but immediately afterwards we read that “Elohim created the Adam in “His” own image, in the image of Elohim created He him.” There, Elohim is a unity again. What is the explanation of this apparent confusion of terms? Our “higher” critics will, of course, pounce on it as another example of slipshod “collation.” There is really neither confusion nor contradiction in the passage. “Elohim,” as we saw in Chapter II, was the “manifesting God.” He was the latent powers and attributes of “Ain Soph,” the “unknown” Eternal God, coming into activity as the Creator, and in and through Creation making the Unknown known. He “manifests” the God that “no man hath seen at any time, nor can see.” Through Him we learn the power, the will and all the attributes of the Absolute “Eternal” Being, to be distinguished later by the name “Ihoah” = “The Eternal.” The divine attributes summed up in Elohim were many, hence the plural aspect of His being. In “The Chaldean Account of Creation” by George Smith, among the translations of the Babylonian tablets containing the story, there are many curious corroborations of some points in this chapter. For instance, one tablet begins: “When the ‘gods in their assembly’ had created,” etc. It is easy to see that the word “assembly” is equivalent to a “bringing together” into a unity, as Elohim does.

Another interesting point is that several of the tablets contain “glosses” stating that all the divine titles apply to the same deity. “Elohim” made them a united whole, hence His singular aspect. It was in the “image” of the manifold attributes of God that Adam was to be made.

Let us look now, into the actual meanings of the two words: “image” and “likeness.” Dr. Bennett in the “Century Bible” notes, tells us: “No distinction can be drawn here between ‘image’ and ‘likeness.’ They…. are a pair of synonyms setting forth one idea with special emphasis and some variety of language.” We have already had to deal with several cases of apparent repetition or redundancy; and in every case they have proved to involve some distinct differences. In any case, in the Hebrew Text, the words are very different from one another.

The word image is “Tzelem.” The root of the word is “tzl.” This root denotes something which extends outwards from its source to a distance, exactly as a shadow is cast from an object. It denotes an “image” only in the sense that a shadow gives an indication of the outline of the object that causes it. It also suggests something darkened or obscured. The word “tzelem” is commonly used for “shadow,” and that word might perhaps have been more appropriate in the English version. A little thought, however, will show us that that rendering could not be correct in a literal sense when applied to God or His attributes. “God is Spirit. Spirit casts no shadow, and “In Him is no darkness at all.”

It is true, however, that some ancient philosophies conceive of the created universe as the “shadow of God” (The Vision of Hermes, in the “Pymander,” for instance). They conceive of God as universal “Light.” and all creation everything outside of His own Being – as being, by contrast, “Shadow.” In that metaphorical sense, either the word “image” or “shadow” could be used. But what proceed outwards from God, universally, are His manifest attributes, qualities, thoughts, ideas, and Will. These are in a very real sense the “image” of God.

The Hebrew of the word “likeness” is “damoth.” It will be seen at once that this word has the same root as the words “adam” and “adamah.” “Dam” is also the word for “blood,” and we have seen already that “blood” in Hebrew thought was always associated with ideas of kinship, similarity, likeness in nature, consanguinity, etc. The ending of the word “damouth,” “oth,” is merely the feminine plural affix.

But in the Hebrew text the word “damoth” has also a prefix attached to it – and a further affix, so that the whole word is “chidamothnou.” The “chi” means “as,” “for,” or “because,” and the final affix “nou,” may mean either “us,” or “our.” So the whole word means “for likenesses of us.” Incidentally, construed hieroglyphically, the word “damouth” can be read equally as a verb. Then the word means that Adam was to be the likeness – maker. So Adam was to be akin to Elohim, a spiritual being in the Divine likeness. He was also to be active in all created soul – life as a progressive, uplifting force, raising soul-life from its earliest and most embryonic states, step by step, until finally, in human souls he could realise fully the Divine likeness. Adam was to make humanity “divine.” His final purpose and destiny – was to make individual human Souls children of God, in the “likeness” of their Father. Jesus, in His own way, stated the same thing (John XX, v. 17): “I go to my Father and your Father to my God and your God.” He was, as St. John says, the “express image” of God the Father; and, as St. Paul makes clear, the “Christ” was to be “formed in” His followers, making them also “sons” of God.

Let us return again for a moment to the name “Adam,” and note its hieroglyphic construction. “A” – as we know, denotes anything primal – the “First Cause”; potentiality – “God.” “D” is the sign of multiplication, abundance; final “M” is the sign of unlimited plurality. The name “Adam” therefore means “the ONE becoming many.” God, Who taught us through the word of Jesus, to address Him as “Our Father,” wanted what the very word Father involves, – what every father wants, – “children” in his own “likeness.” But as a spiritual being, Adam was only one. As we said in speaking of the group-souls,” a spiritual conception, a “species” or “genus,” cannot, as such, multiply. It can only multiply in the number of individuals comprised in it, and this multiplication can only take place on the physical plane. The full implications of that fact will become clearer in a later chapter. In the meantime. We have now, the explanation of “Adam” being both singular and plural, “him” and “them”; and both “male” and “female.” In his singular aspect he was the “human”, principle.” the “soul” or essence of “humanity.” Just as the group-souls” animated countless individual creatures in the animal kingdom, so Adam animates countless individuals in the “human” kingdom, and in those individuals he “multiplies.” As a spiritual unity Adam was sexless, but sex was a necessity of multiplication in the physical realm, – and in the physical realm alone. As Jesus explained to some of his questioners: in the spiritual world there is “neither marrying nor giving in marriage, for all are as the angels,” i.e., They are all of the same universal nature as the divine forces working throughout the Universe. He also told them at the same time: “Ye do err – not knowing the scriptures,” plainly intimating that the “scriptures,” if they had known them aright, confirmed just what we have been saying above, and what we have tried to make clear that the scriptures did say.

We must now explain more fully the meaning of the “dominion” given to Adam in the various “life-kingdoms” and in “the whole earth.” We use the word “in” advisedly. The Hebrew text does not use the word “over” which our English translation gives. It most distinctly says “in.” The translators with their preconceived notion of “Adam” as the first individual man of flesh and blood, were – very naturally – quite unable to see how a human being could be “in” the fish life of the sea, or the bird life of the air, or the animal life of the earth, or in the “whole earth” itself, so the only interpretation they could put on the word was that Adam was to be a kind of “Icing” of creation. He was – but in a way of which they had no conception. Let us try to clear up the mystery. What we have already said about “Adam” goes a long way toward giving us the solution.

“Man” as most thinking people recognise today, is a very complex being. In his constitution he has something of all the various kingdoms of Nature. His physical body belongs entirely to the material mineral realm. It is composed of physical and chemical elements common to the physical earth : – minerals, water, gases. It has no life in itself. While “living” it is vitalised and held together by a “life-body,” but directly its life-body” quits it, the physical body commences to dissolve, and the elements of which it was composed return to the earth from which they were taken. To the “life-body” the physical body owes its organisation and its powers of growth and propagation; and a life which is the same in nature as that of the vegetable kingdom. The third constituent of man is his life of sensation, feeling, desire, movement. By these qualities he shares the life of the animal kingdom. Then he has a “thought” being, a mental life that raises him above the animal stage, and higher, purely spiritual qualities, that can raise him beyond all physical realms, into life that is entirely spiritual. So man belongs to every plane of existence in the universe – every plane supplies some constituent of his being. Now, the important point we have to consider at the moment, is that something on every plane of being has to be prepared, developed, and organised specially for the making of every human being.

That is why “Adam” has to work in every plane, shaping and controlling the development of everything necessary to make man and then to make in man the image of God. To make “man,” “Adam” has to begin his activities at the very bottom of the ladder of life. What science calls “Evolution” is really a vast chain of phases of existence, beginning its upward course with the granite rock of earth, but ending (or perhaps more correctly, reaching a new “point de depart”), as countless beings in the “likeness of Elohim.” Science is perfectly well aware of this upward progressive movement. It tries to explain it by theories of “Natural selection” and “survival of the fittest.” But it conceives of these “theories” as mechanically acting forces of Nature. “Selection,” however, is really, inconceivable except as the activity of some intelligent being, of something living and thinking, and endowed with power to translate thought into effective activity. And what is “fittest” can be known only if one has some definite standard by which to judge. Science – at least materialistic science – ignores those considerations. The author of Genesis realises fully their importance, and his statements respecting the nature and purposes of “Adam” are, by far, the most truly scientific explanation of “Evolution” ever given to mankind.

There is really no difficulty in understanding the activity of “Adam” – the Human Spirit – in the various kingdoms of Nature. Let us just mention a few things by way of explanation. Firstly, the Adamic activity in the material earth itself. Does not “man” take from the earth its own substances, coal, ores, salt, oil, gems, etc., etc.? Does he not make direct use of these things as the earth provides them, and go infinitely farther than making direct use of them by transforming them in, literally, countless ways? What has he not transformed by-products of coal into? What has he not done with metal ores? and oil? Does he not alter the very composition of the soil of garden or field to make it more fruitful and prolific than nature made it? Does he not dam rivers and carry out irrigation works to make desert lands fruitful? The tale is endless. And everything is done on man’s account, and to further man’s insatiable desire for a “higher standard of life.” Nothing below the human level ever felt any need for anything that nature does not provide ready made. What animal ever thought of digging the soil or planting a tree? What animal ever thought of “higher standards of life”? The animal asks no more than enough food and adequate shelter. Everything beyond that is the work of “Adam,” and shows his “rule” and “dominion” in the earth. “Adam” is also the ‘wisdom hidden in the unconscious plant – always tending, more or less directly, to make the vegetable kingdom of increased service to man. Maeterlinck writes about “The intelligence of the flowers,” but really the intelligence that he writes about, in so fascinating a way, is not an attribute of something that has simply a deep, unconscious sleep life; it is something much higher in the “life” scale Than plants are that is the indwelling “ruler” of the plant life. Plants do many wise things, but the wisdom is not in the plants. The present writer loves to stroll through a wooded land in Autumn and note the fallen leaves lying face downwards on the ground under and around the trees. One day he asked himself the question: “Why face downwards?” At first he was puzzled, but gradually he began to understand, and see the “hidden wisdom”: – Throughout the spring and summer the leaves had had very important work to do. They fed the tree with sunlight and life, and spread themselves out with faces turned to the heavens for that purpose. While they were thus imbibing light and life from – the sun, the sun’s heat was causing the evaporation of moisture that had risen from the damp earth through the tree into the leaves. This drying process had the immediate effect, naturally, of increasing their ability to absorb more moisture, and so the upward flow of moisture through the tree was greatly increased and all the functions of the tree were strengthened. This continued until flowering and fruiting were completed. By this time the leaves. whose whole life is only for one short season, began to grow old and less absorbent; they became dry and brittle, so that the wind could easily detach them from the tree. Now, those leaves were badly needed just where they fell. All through the spring and summer the tree had been drawing nutriment from the soil which its roots occupied and impoverishing the soil to that extent. It was necessary in the tree – s interests, that the soil should be enriched again with organic matter that the leaves could supply. If the leaves fell, as they grew, they would have their most convex side downwards. That would mean that the lightest wind would scatter them to a distance; they would scud over the ground like little boats on water. But, if they fell the other way up, every little projection on the leaf would tend to catch in the soil and anchor them, more or less, where they fell. That is exactly what happens, with the result that the soil actually receives more nutriment than was taken from it, and grows richer, year after year, by what it receives from the decomposing leaves.

There is certainly “wisdom” in the planning of all these processes; it is not the wisdom of the plant, but of some living spiritual intelligence. Genesis attributes it to the “Adam.” One might go on indefinitely to speak of The part played by “human” intelligence in developing plants to increase Their food value, and in many other ways. One might speak of the wonderful flowers that are to be seen at Horticultural Hall shows, the ancestors of which were at one time just wild weeds; but enough has been said to suggest the idea we are trying to explain.

Just exactly the same kind of work is being done by human intelligence in the animal world. The facts are so we known to everybody that it is quite unnecessary to go into any further details. We only desire to make clear the deep wisdom and knowledge hidden away in The old Genesis story – a story which has suffered more from misrepresentation, and from the learned ignorance of commentators – than any book in the world.

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