Search for Helpmeet

Ain Soph – The Unknown God

Chapter 22

Fred Mayers

Genesis v. 19 and 20.

v.19: “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air’; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them; and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

v. 20: “And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air’, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found an help meet for him.,-’ (English R.V.)

Most of the words in this verse have already been examined and explained in previous chapters. Some of them may require further clarification, but the chief difficulty of interpreting the verse lies in the extreme conciseness of its composition. It seems to economise in words to the point of leaving us to do a lot of “guessing.”

We give here an attempt to represent its actual wording in the original,- as closely as we can, word for word. Wherever we are obliged to use more than one word to represent one word of the original we will indicate that by small capital letters :–

“And HE CAUSED To FORM Ihoah Elohim from the Adamah all-life of the field (Nature) and the deity all-flying the heavens and He approached to-the Adam for seeing how (or, what)-he will give character to it-AND-ALL which HE CHARACTERlSED- To it-THE ADAM soul living that ITS (OR His) NAME.”

The reader will notice in that rendering the apparent gaps and uncertainties which constitute the difficulty we referred to. For instance, in each case where we have translated “chol” by “all” the word may mean equally: “the WHOLE” or “ every,” or “each,” and there is nothing apparently to show us which word would be most correct. The translators-of the English Version recognised this difficulty. They could see nothing to do but say “them” in some cases and “it” in others-for the same thing. Then, in the word: “the heavens,-’,- which the English Version translates by “the air,” the word “the” might equally be- rendered “of the” or “of.” If we choose “of,” the word would seem to mean “heavenly” instead of “the heavens”; and that translation is not by-any means an absurd or impossible- one. Again, the word approached,” or “brought nearer gives no specific indication of what it is applied to.

153 However, these difficulties are not insuperable. We have a number of signposts on the way to a satisfactory solution of the problem, in the work we have already done. We have acquired the deeper Biblical meaning of a fairly extensive vocabulary of Genesis words. – We have seen that the whole narrative, so far, has been unfolding, in a surprisingly connected and logical manner, a Cosmogony that can hold its own against all other systems that we have any acquaintance with, and-in very important and highly significant ways-go beyond them. We can continue to work from the known to the unknown. For every word in the verse that we can clear up the meaning of, we not only remove its own special difficulty, but narrow down cumulatively the difficulties of the remaining parts of the verse.

In the first place we must never for a moment lose sight of the difference between “Creation” and “Formation.” “Creation” was a Divine mental conception; it was concerned with the “being.” the “essence,” the spiritual “substance,” the “beginning.” the “end” and the “purpose” of everything. “Formation” is concerned with the “activities” and the “processes” by which the “dream” becomes “reality.’,- “Creation” was the conception of:

“A fire-mist and a planet,

A crystal and a cell,

A jelly-fish and a saurian,

And caves where the cave-men dwell”:

but those things (with all the countless, unmentioned things that came in between) did not spring into existence independently,-each complete and perfect. On the contrary. We know from clear and indisputable evidence that they were progressively developed through immeasurably long periods. from the simplest embryonic forms to the infinite variety and complexity of the universe that exists around us to-day. “Formation” was the activity of the forces that produced all the developments and all progression. Then we saw in our second chapter that “Elohim” was the sum of all the powers and qualities that had been latent from Eternity in the “Unknown” Absolute “God,” flowing out into manifestation in Creation. Going a step further we found that those same powers and qualities, outwardly reflected in Creation, constituted the “Adamah” or spiritual “ground” from which “Adam” or the universal spiritual “man” was “formed.” It is clear, therefore, that the “Adam” stands in the same relation to “Elohim” in the sphere of “formation” as Elohim stands in relation to “Ihoah” (The Eternal One) in the highest spiritual sphere.

That explains all that has been told us about “Adam” being given dominion in” every kind of living creature, and in the whole earth”; it explains what we mean by “Adam” being the spiritual activity in “Evolution.” Progress from stage to stage in Evolution could not possibly be produced by the created things themselves. For instance,- once the creative idea of a “worm” has been “realised,” the worm has no power to become anything than it is. What it was millions of years ago it is to-day. If in the course of ages, new “forms” of life appear, finally resulting in a “butterfly,” those developments are the work of something higher than the worm-something with the power of continual self-transcendence, and therefore capable of producing ever new and higher “forms” in all below itself. The only “something” in the universe which possesses that power of “self-transcendence” is the “Adam”-the human spirit.

This brings us directly to the subject of the verse which we are considering; but before we go farther with that, it will perhaps be wise to make a digression, to forestall and remove any possible misconception with respect to the phrase used above: continual self-transcendence.”

If “Adam,” himself formed from the spiritual powers and qualities of Elohim, differed from everything else in Creation by the possession of the faculty of continual self-transcendence, that is. that there was no limit to his power to take into himself ever more and more of the divine powers and qualities, and so become ever more fully and perfectly the manifestation of the “Likeness” of God, it has been argued that the logical consequence must be that “Adam” must finally become a “God” himself. That contention is not so logical as it may at first appear; and a little careful consideration will show that the -idea is quite untenable. It is quite impossible to think of two or more “Infinite and Eternal” Beings. Nothing that has ever -been “created and made” could be “infinite,” otherwise, it must include the Creator, which is a contradiction in terms. Neither can a created thing be “Eternal” because it had a “beginning” and is “mutable.” There can only – be ONE Infinite and Eternal: “Listen, Israel, Ihoah (the Eternal) our God* is Ihoah (Eternal)-Unity-One” (Deut VI, v. 4). Between “Infinity” and “finiteness” there is a gulf which can never be bridged. Man can never be God ; but he can attain to union with Him, -a true union of heart and soul and Love, through,, which he can find “Peace” and “Salvation” and “Blessedness.

*Literally: “our Eloah”-the singular of “Elohim.”

There is another reason why “man” can never become “God.” It is that “Adam” is not complete in the “oneness” of his spiritual being (see Chapter XXI). He is complete only in his multiplicity, in the countless millions of individual men and women, every one with a soul that is to be a manifestation in some respects of the “Likeness” of God. No two of these millions of individuals are quite alike or equal in body, mind or spirit, or in their particular capabilities of assimilating the infinite varieties of knowledge, the qualities and the active forces, that are comprised in the “fullness of God.” They vary from the “mind-dark” idiot to the greatest genius, or the most inspired “illumine,” They may possess ability in certain particular directions, and utterly lack ability in others. The man or woman does not live who can excel in every way. Therefore, no individual can ever attain “The perfection that is God” by any possibility; and as “Humanity” is but the sum of its individuals, and every one of its individual members is imperfect, humanity en-masse can never be “perfect.” No mirror ever reflected an image without some diminution of the perfect brilliance of the unreflected object-and surely no image has ever been so dimmed and distorted by reflection as has been the “image of God” in the minds of men.

But let us now return to our text. We are only at the beginning yet of what the narrative has to reveal to us about “Man.”

In the “Creation” story all living creatures, whether of the seas, the earth, or the air, were said to be produced from the “waters” or the “earth.” In this “Formation” narrative only two classes of creatures are mentioned, from which we infer that they alone have any direct connection with this part of the narrative. These two classes: the “beasts of the field” and “fowl of the heavens,” Ihoah Elohim is said to “form,” not from the “waters” or “the earth,” but from the “Adamah”-the “spiritual ground” or element of which “Adam” is formed. That makes it quite clear, at least, that the subject of the passage is spiritual and concerned with certain activities affecting both the creatures and Adam.

Let us examine one or two words in detail before going farther. First the word “iahbeh,” translated “He brought.” The root, “ba,” conveys any ideas of progression; graduated advance; of coming: of passage from place to place, or from state to state; locomotion, and so on.

The verb “boa” means the act of coming; forthcoming; to arrive: to become; to proceed; to go forward; advance; to enter, etc. It appears to be used in the text in the “causative,-’ form.

The next word we need to examine carefully is the word “ikra,” which is translated by “he called.” The word appeared twice in – the first chapter of Genesis (v. 5 and v. 10), where it was also translated “called.” It has, however, many significations, much more directly springing from its root meaning than “called.” The root “KR” (“car”) contains the ideas of what is incisive; penetrating; ingrained; engraved; any character; letter or writing; inscription; memorial; carving. It acquires the meaning of “call” from to “cry out,” to scream ;* to call anyone’s attention; to hail anyone; to designate; to name anyone; to evoke, convocate. (Sometimes it means an incision; to dig; a ditch; an abyss.) If we study these various significations it is quite easy to see that they all have a similar connecting idea. That idea is not “calling anything by a name,” but of giving something the distinguishing qualities or characters which are the reason why anything gets a particular name : and it is something of that meaning which it undoubtedly has in this 19thth verse. Verse 18 told us that God declared His intention to make for Adam a help’’ in reflection of himself,” i.e., as a means of self-expression. It is difficult to see any relevance in following that up by anything so childish as bringing all the animals and birds in procession before Adam, just to see what he would “call” them, so that whatever he called them would be their names. What had the naming of an animal to do with “making a help-meet” for Adam? Obviously, in any such sense as the English translation suggests, nothing! It has not even the “moral” of an Aesop’s or La Fontaine “fable.” We must look much deeper for the real meaning of the verse.

Why are only two classes of living creatures mentioned here? Delitzsch, after pointing out that if the narrative was concerned with the creation of animal life in general, fishes,-reptiles, etc., would have been included, goes on to say: “The animal creation appears here under a peculiar point of view, which the narrator certainly did not regard as its motive in general. It is the first step towards the creation of woman.” That sentence comes a long way towards the truth, but strangely enough, Delitzsch quite failed to see how animals of any kind could be “the first step towards the creation of woman,” or how it affected the interpretation of the remainder of the verse. He also omits to notice that, from beginning to end, the narrative never uses the word “creation in connection with “woman.” As a matter of fact he never realised that “creation” and “formation” were anything but one and the same thing, although he and his fellow-workers built up an immense amount of very learned, imaginative, literature on the assumptions that the words were synonymous, and that, in any case, the writer or writers of Genesis could not have been sufficiently philosophically-minded to make fine distinctions in the use of words, and that they were merely hashing up ancient fairy tales for the Hebrew people. We hope that we have already shown sufficiently that the lack of “philosophical-mindedness” was certainly not in the Mosaic writer.

However, we think we are now are in a position to make the meaning of the verse fairly clear. In the first place, the reason why two classes of living creatures only are mentioned here is simply because of what they represented symbolically. They were the correspondences of two essential constituents of human nature. The “beasts of the field” were representative of the instinctive “animal” and emotional nature in man, and the ‘fowl of the air” (or, as the text says literally, “of the heavens”) were representative of the reasoning or thought faculties of man-faculties which were not “earth-bound,” but capable of soaring from earth to spiritual regions. The writer of the narrative uses the “animals” and “birds” and “Adam’s” relations with them, in the manner of a parable, through which he could explain something which it was not easy to make intelligible otherwise.

The verse tells us that “Ihoah Elohim “formed” from the “Adamah” (that is, the spiritual foundation of the “human” being) all the “birds of heaven” and all the “beasts of the field.” The writer was not speaking either of their “Creation,” or of their being “made” as physical beings. He was speaking only of their “formation,” that is of the particular characteristics imparted to them: of the various instinctive qualities, passions, feelings, impulses, etc., “formed” or developed in the different species of the animals, and of similar representative particularities in the flight and ways of birds. He was,, in other words, dealing with the shaping and characterisation of the animal and bird “soul-life,

and to all that those things corresponded with in human nature. Now, we have said many times that this formative process in subhuman kingdoms of Nature was work assigned to the “Adam”: the “dominion” he was given “in” the lower Kingdoms constituted him the “living force” in all the processes of “Evolution.” Here it is stated that “Ihoah Elohim” does the formative work! At first sight, this seems to be in contradiction to our previous statements. We shall soon see, however, that the verse immediately proceeds to harmonise the two statements. It is perfectly correct in saying “Ihoah Elohim formed,” etc., but it also makes it clear that the “Adam” was the agency that Ihoah Elohim employed. Adam was the working force, but, as we have all along been careful to say, he was not yet possessed of any independent Will; his activities merely reflected the Will of Ihoah Elohim. The animal “souls” were “formed” by being brought into contact with the “Adam” to see what characteristics he was able to develop in them. That is precisely the meaning of “mah-ikra” in this verse.

There is another little point in this connection, which explains the apparent confusion, which we pointed out, in the use of “them” and “it” in the English Version: All the “animal” and “bird” “souls” are said to be brought into contact with the “Adam”; that necessitated the word “them” when referring to them; but the work of the Adam was necessarily different for every species, each species received different qualities according to its nature, so when the separate species are referred to, each one is called “it.” The phrase then is: “to see what characteristics he would give to it.” And whatever the characteristics were-whether they were the particular qualities that make the lion a “lion,” the lamb a “lamb,” the eagle an “eagle” or the nightingale a “nightingale,” those were the distinguishing characteristics by which each species was recognisable-that is, its “name.” appellation the Hebrew acceptation, a “name” As we have said before, in it is that which makes anything knowable, distinguishable, remarkable-the outstanding qualities of anything.

This brings us to verse 20

“And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him.”

Having arrived at the meanings of the words used in verse 19, we are relieved of further trouble in that respect with this verse. The only word in verse 20 which we have not met before is matza,”- “found,” and the meaning of this is not in any way in question.

The way in which verse 20 is worded gives further confirmation of what we said about verse 19. The original conveys a somewhat different meaning from the English Version. It says in effect: “And the Adam produced in all the various species the distinguishing qualities which called forth their names. There is a little modification in verse 20 of the animal types that Adam had given “character” to. Verse 19 spoke of “beasts of the field” and “birds of the air”; verse 20 says: “all cattle” (i.e., domestic animals) and “birds of the air” (heavens? and then adds that Adam’s activities had extended to ill “beasts of the field” in general. (The word “field” should really be understood as “Nature” generally.) The probable meaning of the change is that the highest types of animals, those that are fitted to be most useful to man, and to be in the closest relations with him, were considered to be of chief importance in the search for a suitable “help” for Adam, although he had had his part to play in the “characterisation” of all species.

‘The reader will notice how, even in English, the words expressing the meanings of the root, “KR,” contain the same root themselves. (Note the sound rather than the letters): character; inscription; carve; cry; scream.

The verse ends with the statement: “yet for “Adam” was not found any “help” “in reflection of him.” There is no difficulty whatever in interpreting the narrative, in the light of what we have already learned. The “Adam,” as we have said so often, was the active spiritual force that produces all evolutionary developments. He was, himself, “formed” from the spiritual qualities and powers that constituted the “Being” of Elohim. He was given a “being” of his own; and, as that “being,” he was still in his universal “Unity.” Although “Adam” was the first being to be formed from the “Adamah,” he was the last to be given physical” expression in bodies of “flesh and blood,” though which he could become “fruitful and multiply.” The most primitive of all “living creatures” were the first to be given existence in physical form, and all the higher life forms followed progressively. Spiritually, Adam pre-existed all other life forms, and his activities gave to each “soul of life” the special forms, characteristics, and capabilities that distinguished it, just as far and as fast as its physical evolution permitted. Beyond what the physical form of any species was capable of expressing, be could not go; but he could provide the spiritual prototypes for the production of new species of higher forms up to the limits of what we call the “Animal Kingdom.’

He was aware that all the creatures below him had one thing that he still lacked, and that was “sex differentiation,” by means of which they possessed the power of propagating and multiplying their like. He was aware also that in every species of living creatures, the male and female elements were in exact correspondence with each other, in nature. But none of them corresponded at all to his nature. He was aware of qualities, 160-faculties, and potentialities within himself, that differentiated him from all lower beings so essentially that they constituted -him an entirely new Life Kingdom-a Kingdom as different from the “animal kingdom” as that was from the “vegetable kingdom.” He could only form a “human kingdom.” His “help,” therefore, must needs be of his own human nature. It was necessary for God to bring about sex differentiation from some element of Adam’s own being.

·This is fully confirmed by all scientific evidence.

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